Pre-Flight System Check

It’s been awhile since I’ve been on an airplane. The last time was our honeymoon in June of 2011. That means… I have never flown since being diagnosed with diabetes… and I’ve never flown with a medical device.

I’m flying across the country tomorrow. Of course I got my ticket early enough to build up a massive case of nerves.

I’m excited to go back here.

The first thing I did though was email Lisa, who uses the same d-gear I do and has flown out of Cleveland before. Lisa was incredibly reassuring and answered my questions the best that she could and I felt better for awhile.

I stopped feeling better when Brad and I were planning out when we’d be going to the airport… then I started looking things up about policies for insulin pumps/CGMs when it comes to TSA. Long story short, there really aren’t any and it just becomes to luck of the draw for which agents I encounter. Beyond that research and reading travel recommendations (nothing that my doctor didn’t mention when we talked) I did probably the worst thing I could have done… I started reading flight stories. The stories that go online are usually the horror stories.

So now, less than 24 hours to take off, I’m pretty nervous. I have accepted that I’ll have to be patted down and I’ve accepted that it will take longer to get from check-in to boarding. But I’m still freaked out. I used to have major personal space issues, that have improved since my teens, but I’m pretty sure I’m not cool with being touched all over by a stranger. I’ve accepted that I’ll get my hands scanned again, which isn’t a big deal because that’s happened before.

I’ve prepared as best as I can, the only thing left to do is just go.

Brad is prepared to go though security ahead of me, unlike in the past when he’s followed “ladies first.” He’s prepared to wait with my things while security confirms that the only thing my robot parts do it keep me alive.

I’m prepared to ask for a pat down instead of be scanned. If we get herded through the traditional metal detectors, it won’t be a big deal.

Last night I had to change my electronics, so I interrupted my rotation to put them in places that don’t require a strip search to be inspected. My Dexcom sensor is on my arm and my OmniPod is on my stomach.

I have a note from my doctor. I have the most recent published  information from TSA about traveling with diabetes care items. I have my prescription labels and boxes. And I have extra of everything packed along with back up Lantus and syringes for Apidra.

I have my medical ID.

I’ll let you all know how it goes. Is there anything else I should do before leaving tomorrow?

8 thoughts on “Pre-Flight System Check

  1. Yes! Enjoy the flight :)) I’ve traveled via air many times since I was diagnosed 8 months ago. I’ve never run into problems. Ever! Usually they either know very well what the device is and wont even ask you any questions or they will simply and kindly ask you what it is and you reply insulin pump and they might do a balistics test for which they ask you to touch the device and and touch a small strip which is then tested for any explosive materials etc. obviously test results in negative for explosives, the agent gives you a smile and thanks you for your time! Seriously! Just enjoy the trip, dont worry about pumps and stuff :)) have fuun!

  2. I have flown out of Cleveland several times with my pump. I just ask for a pat down. Then I hear “I need a female assist”…..then the process starts. It is totally non evasive and I have never had any issues. The women who do the pat down are always pleasant. Enjoy your trip!

  3. I have a metal plate and screws in my arm so I had to go through special security at one airport I flew through when I went to visit my parents in February/March. I also don’t like people being in my personal space and I felt really dumb because I had never done anything like this before (the last time I flew I was 6 so it was 1995 and I was also metal-less). Most of the people were really kind and helped me out. They were more surprised that I was the youngest person in the line by at least 40 years 🙂 haha. And it will be nice having Brad there, I was alone and it sucked because I felt like I was holding everyone up and I was worrying about my stuff while I was getting checked. You’ll be fine, you’re a people person and know how to communicate effectively so you shouldn’t have any problems!

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