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Im not sure about other diabetics but for me every single airport security venture is always completely awful. I never ever remove my pump so when I walk through the metal detector thing it always beeps and they wand me and it beeps on my medic alert, pump and bra but they still insist on a full body search. Lately airport security has been urging me to go into the full body scanner but I am a little hesitant about it. I've read that I am not suppose to expose my pump to any radiation or x rays and I dont know how the scanners work. So, anyone out there know if these are bad for pumps? I will be going on a trip in less than a week so im looking for some answers. Thanks :)
Both Animas and Medtronic do NOT recommend going through the full body scans. Radiation can affect the pumps they say.
Yes. I've had the same problem with the pump.
All the time I was on MDI, I had no problems going through the scanner with my needles, etc.
But the two times I travelled recently with my pump made me never want to travel with it again.
I told them ahead of time about my pump and I beeped going through the scanner. They took me aside and lifted up my shirt in the security line (I was travelling with coworkers). Then the lady asked me to go through the full body scan and I said I'd have to take the pump off bc it's not supposed to go through the scanner. Then a male security guard came over to her and said "give her a break - she told you it's her insulin pump that's beeping." The female guard decided she'd swab my hands instead. Very upsetting. And this was a domestic flight!
Coming home was the same hassle - having to step aside and get felt up in front of everyone. After that trip, I decided to travel with my needles and leave the pump at home.
All of your experiences are very familiar to me. Getting felt up in front of everybody is very humiliating. I feel that diabetes is a part of me, and with diabetes comes my insulin pump and I should not be discriminated against just because I wear a pump. When I think about flying all that comes to my head is the horrors of security.
Same here and I work at the airport. TSA screeners are a pain. We should all ( Diabetics ) plan a trip some where and all get in the screening line together so they have to check all of us. The airlines and customers will complain because they will be getting to the gate late they will have to make changes. As for fully body scanner NO WAY. HEY IT JUST MIGHT MAKE THE NEWS :)
Haha, I think thats a wonderful idea! I find as soon as I tell them that I cannot go in the full body scanner they automatically treat me as suspicious and its such a frustrating situation.
It reminds me of a guy a couple years ago who was videoed telling the TSA person "Hey man, don't touch my @&%~!!!
Maybe we should have a pumper and a buddy get together with a cell phone camera and holler "Hey man, don't touch my pump!"
Please, please, please make a funny YouTube on this and I'll do my utmost to help it go viral. LOL It could be very educational.
The Medtronic trainer I worked with said that under no circumstances should I go through a full-body x-ray machine with my pump on. I've flown a few times this past year with my pump and, when presented with the option of a full-body x-ray scanner, informed the TSA folks that I was wearing an insulin pump and could not go through the machine. They found someone to do a pat-down. Each time, they insisted on swabbing my pump (I assume for explosives) and that was it. There were not any questions/issues related to all the insulin and other supplies I was traveling with either.
I am a little concerned about some international travel I have coming up this spring (to Israel). You have to go through a special check point when going there (if you go through Frankfurt, which I'm assuming we are) and I'm preparing for the worst.
I'm very concerned about this topic as my trip to Singapore nears. Would it be smarter to disconnect my pump at the site and be carrying it in hand when I reach the screener? That way I could hold it out to her separately and explain what it is. I got the idea from knowing how creepy it is for others to see something connected to our bodies (when they don't know anything about this gig). Any thoughts?
When I went to Korea,it was the US TSA folks who gave me grief, but leaving Korea was a piece of cake. At SFO, after refusing the scanner, I was given a pat down and my hands and pump were tested for explosives. Leaving Korea, I showed the official, who was directing folks to the metal detector, that I had a pump, he directed me to a female official who just gave me a quick wave of a wand and sent me on my way.
I wouldn't recommend carrying the pump with the intention of explaining it to the TSA official. If there are a lot of people to be screened, they might not have time to listen to the explanation. Just keep it in your pocket, if it has a metal clip-take it off, and hope you only go through a metal detector. Don't worry what others think, most people who see mine think it is a cell phone or IPod of some sort.
Singapore is sweet - it is well known that TSA are horrid and the US is the worst place to travel in. The Singapore airport security were awesome, I got a pat down in Korea (Incheon), mainly because I got the new guy that didn't know what to do with pumps. And NEVER disconnect it, then they think they can argure for you to put it through the bag extra - if it is connected, you tell them it cannot come off.
You don't have to. Just let the TSA agent know you are wearing an insulin pump and it can't be disconnected. MM says not to expose the pump to X rays. So far I haven't had any problems at airports.