Monday, July 5, 2010

WANDING and PATTING and FINGER DUSTING OH MY!!! (more about travel)

Well...gang, as always it seems I posted too quickly and didn't REALLY think through EVERYTHING I wanted to share about traveling with Type 1. No worries... this would have been too long for one post anyhow.


I found these two pics from our trip to Disney World a couple of years ago. I forgot to mention to you "PUMPERS" out there that a "special" screening in the Airport Security Area is par for the course. So definitely plan on more time upfront to get checked-in and to your gate. Not only does Joe always set off the alarms, but he is then wanded, patted down, his backpack (filled with Bakugan, books, and usually his Nintendo DSI, and rocks - oh those damn rocks) is gone through by Security Personnel, and his hands are dusted or wiped for analysis (of what I am not sure, but I think some sort of explosive powder residue perhaps - or maybe that is my over-D-R-A-M-A-T-I-C brain coming up with that).

Also, CARRY ON....and I repeat CARRY ON EVERYTHING when it comes to Diabetes Supplies. You don't know where you can get stuck or what can happen. I haven't received any guff about carrying on insulin, EMLA Cream (a big tube), needles, sets, etc. I have a physicians letter stating Joe's diagnosis of type 1 diabetes and his need for access to his diabetes supplies at all times. I have not, to this date, needed the letter at all during travel. I do like that I have it just "in case".

With the above being said, the Security Personnel at the airports we have been through have been phenomenal. They have been surprised at how good Joe is about the screening - he totally knows what to expect and just "assumes the position" (see above).

Anyway...just one Security Lady in all of our years with "D" has pissed me off. I was traveling solo with Bridget and Joe about 2 1/2 years ago to visit my brand new niece. We had been held up in Burlington International for 2 hours due to snow in NY. We finally arrive in NY (LaGuardia - GOD I HATE that airport) and have to schlep to another concourse. At LaGuardia you have to either wait for some shuttle that never seems to MATERIALIZE or WALK OUTSIDE next to an insane amount of traffic. On this particular day, in February, the WALK is in a BLIZZARD. You can see where this is headed; we WALKED, well more like I "cattle-prodded" my entourage ... picture in your mind Joe (4), Bridget (5), and I ...without coats (I checked them, because how could I possibly manage the bulky coats in addition to "D" supplies, the two children, and our other carry on items I ask you?), one of the two children was wearing Crocs (hello B-L-I-Z-Z-A-R-D), and to top it all off, one child was crying uncontrollably because he/she had to pee (hint: it is the other child...not the one who had to take the "emergency piss" landing in Seattle in Ashamed of Feeling Shame). So, I (while trying not to strangle Bridget and Joe's cute little necks that support their heads which don their even CUTER faces) somehow get us: me - (the CRAZY MOM, multiple bag carrying pack mule, trying to get her little ones from point A to point B without jumping in front of a taxi to put myself out of my misery); Bridget - (the crying, Croc-wearing, bladder about to explode sensing daughter); and Joe - (the non-stop body moving machine who could use a "LOW preventing, body-binding velcro suit" type 1 son) to the desired concourse that seemed to be at least a MILE away. But alas WE MADE IT (we always do).

First off...the pee issue (ALWAYS the pee issue FIRST), I high-tail Bridget, still crying, to the bathroom. I then discover that I need to "re-check" in for our next flight - WTF? So, as you must know, that means ANOTHER line (ALWAYS the lines). Whatever... it is all good.

We then get the "added bonus" of going through security AGAIN - fine. So, I send my two kids through the metal detector first. Bridget - no ringing, good. Joe - I try to let the lady know that he always rings it off due to his insulin pump. I could tell right away this lady was all business, somewhat miserable in her life or job, her face is stone and she wants NOTHING to do with the likes of smiling, trying to be "helpful" me. So, she ignores me, and has Joe come through the metal detector - BEEP, BEEP, BEEP - yeah, no shit. Nope, she still WON'T listen to me (face is still stone-like and NO eye contact) and makes Joe go through the metal detector AGAIN - OK lady, you wanna play that way? well, Joe no "likey". Joe is 4 years old for this trip mind you and he is now confused because usually he is immediately ushered to the area where the airport personnel wand you and pat you down. So he comes back to me to go through the metal detector again, but is now a little nervous and DOES NOT want to go anywhere near this COLD FISH of a human being. This lady says "COME ON KID, GET GOING"... Joe is still standing there a little put off by her harsh tone. I then encourage him to go through the metal detecting arch and I then let the woman know that he is a 4 year old and to take it EASY. She then responds to me "I know LADY, I have had a 4 year old too you know" - UGH. Anyhow, that is truly the only negative experience I have encountered and it really wasn't even all "D"-related, just an unhappy, "pinched puss" face, nasty middle-aged woman who didn't know how to deal with young kids... ANNOYING.

Well what ended up being even more annoying was we MISSED the flight from New York to Texas and waited in stand-by for 5 different planes before heading to Texas. Yes, sweet peeps that means I was stranded SOLO with Bridget (5), Joe (4), and "DIABETES" (yep, sometimes I consider "D" a 3rd child) for 9...N-I-N-E HOURS before we finally got a connecting flight. This reinforces the need to CARRY ON ALL "D" SUPPLIES... I REPEAT... CARRY ON ALL "D" SUPPLIES. I feel I have adequately shared my travel experiences to date with you AWESOME "D-RENTS". Another tale of what the day-in-the-life is truly like.

POST EDIT: One more thing to be aware of - I know for our Animas Ping we are instructed in the manual to turn of the RF Communication between the Pump and the Glucometer. I am not sure what other Pump Companies recommend. I cannot find anything in the DexCom Users Guide on shutting down the CGM for flying. We have flown with it on without any "adverse" flying events - i.e. no crashes or emergency landings due to equipment malfunction - smiles.


Hallie Addington said...

Oh yeah. We know the drill. We always carry on all our stuff. We do shut down the RF between the ping and the meter and we also power down the Dex. Just to be safe. :) Avery also always sets off the alarms. She and I both get patted down. I think she thinks it's just what happens- she can't remember anything else.
Security has always been pretty cool - although somewhat clueless so you've got to be on your A game or they'll do something stupid like send the pump through the detector.
I think I would have gone off on that lady! I was yelling at the computer, "Maybe so, lady. But you've never had a 4 year old with Diabetes - so BACK OFF."
Don't mess with a D Mom. Moral of the story! :)

Tracy1918 said...

Haven't done the airport thing with D yet. Good idea on the letter from the Dr, though. You never know.....

LaLa said...

You crack me up - we totally need to hang out!!
We haven't traveled since the big dx - - - not sure my temper could handle it. :)

Heidi / Jack's Pack said...

More great advice! Can you imagine that security guard being your mother??? Aaaacccchhh!