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 :)
Thanks, Richard. When do you let the screener know? after you walk thru the xray and it beeps, or do you snag a screener b4?
Cin,sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I try to let them know as I am the next one in line. Depends on the activity at the aiport too. At Bradley in CT no problem. In Las Vegas the line was full of people so I told the TSA agent as I stepped up.
Thanks, Richard~ Can you educate me a little? When we walk thru the common security screen, is that a metal detector and not an xray? Or IS a metal detector an xray? I'm assuming it's ok with MM to walk thru that one, just not the new fangled full body scan. help?
My understanding is that it is ok to walk through a metal detector with a MM pump. But a fully body scanner or a luggage scanner is an X-ray machine and you should ask for a pat down instead.
Oh thank you! I had originally thought I could disconnect my pump and send it thru w/my purse! Yikes, glad you set me straight.
I've always told the TSA person it's an insulin pump, then sent it through with my purse and shoes... Ooops! So far has not hurt it in any way I could detect,though? And those hyper-serious menacing TSA up-feelers left me alone.
I am boycotting the full-body scanners. Doctors at UCLA have expressed concern that the x-rays are concentrated on the surface of the skin in those scanners, which they posit is very bad news for people with melanoma genes or other skin cancer genes. Having been diagnosed with malignant melanoma twelve years ago, I am not getting in one of those things. Ever. (Lesion removed successfully but I couldn't walk normally for six months post-surgery -- all subsequent biopsies have been O.K)
They are not "less radiation than a flight" because normal, natural background radiation (e.g. from a flight) is evenly spread through the body, not concentrated in the skin cells.
Just came back from an airline trip to Memphis from Columbus, Ohio. I was wearing my Pump and my Cgms. I had just talked to the MM folks by Phone, and they DID NOT suggest wearing the CGM through the full body scanners. I had just paid out of pocket for a new transmitter ( new deductibles with my retired level insurance); and I truly didn't want to crash it. I asked for the pat down in lieu of the full-body scan. I told them before I went through that I would not be going through the scanner and why. The TSA agents assured me that they knew it would not hurt the Pump, but they,of course, had never heard of nor seen a CGM.
I assumed the '"I believe I can fly" condor position with arms outstretched and feet apart; while the very nice female TSA officer patted me down ,for both the departure and the return flights. I am not at all shy, nor tactiley defensive, so it did not bother me..But some people may not like the lack of privacy. It used to be done in a little covered shelter away from the general screening area, but now it has to be done in public, in full view. But is just not that awful to me.. In guess I kind of like an audience, anyway,(lol)., However, the rest of the passengers did not look; They were too busy trying to get their own belongings and go to their intended gate.
I will always ask for a pat down and will never do a Scanner. No desire for even a chance of damage to my "Bionic woman" gadgets, as they are quite pricey...
I flew from Phila to Ft Lauderdale and back last year. The woman in Phila was, frankly, nasty. She asked if I wanted to go somewhere private for a pat down - no way! The whole time she was doing her thing I talked, not quietly, about insulin pumps. They did the explosive swab too.
Coming back, the woman in FL was really nice, interested in hearing what the pump is, learning about D, etc. What a different experience.
I always tell them when I'm next in line that I'm wearing an insulin pump and won't go through anything but a metal detector. No way will I leave my pump at home and go back to MDI for the TSA. But then I'm like Brunetta, not much embarrasses me ;)
Any time I've flown, I've discretely taken off the pump and placed it into a sandwich bag in my purse and let it run through the carry-on scanning. Then after I walk through that area, I reattach it. That's worked everywhere so far without comment or harm to the pump. I have a Medtronic MiniMed which I usually attach to my abdomen above the waistline when a trip is planned. The only problem I've ever run into was with my bag of pump supplies which seemed to worry one agent. But she was nice about it.
I guess it's time for me to call MM for the tie breaking vote. I'm going to call them anyway to participate in the loaner program. I'll take MDI supplies, but I don't wanna go there if I can help it. I'm a pumper now!
MORE CONFUSED THAN EVER!
My trip to Singapore is just a week away and it seems traveling with an insulin pump is getting more complicated.
I did call MM and learn that the insulin pump should not go thru anything but the walk-through metal detecter. It should not go through the automated conveyor belt scanner either because that is an xray. Of course we all knew not to take it into a full body scan at all. Heck, I'm not even taking myself thru that, let alone the pump!
So the airport aspect is solved.
Then I got a surprise when I printed out MM's travel info. I learned that we are supposed to turn off the radio frequency function that allows our meters to speak to our pumps! And then the MM rep claimed she could not give an opinion on whether or not I should USE my pump on the flight! Now I know from all of you that you do use your pump on flights... do you use the RF function on your meters?
Thanks for helping... once again.