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[IP] Re: insulin-pumpers-digest V6 #208
Glad to hear your travels went well with your pump at your side. I am a
consultant so I fly every week to a new city. My experiences have been
similar to yours. The security guards are very nice and actually treat you
with kid gloves after they know it is an insulin pump. I do have some notes
for everyone. When traveling, if they decide to search your bag, tell them
up front that you have diabetes. Many of the guards have been pricked by a
lancet that had fallen into our luggage. Also, if you wear the pump under
your clothes like I do, be sure to tell them immediately that you are
wearing a pump. If you are being patted down and they find it, many times
they "freak out" and almost tackle you. This happened to me in the
Philadelphia airport just 3 weeks ago. I forgot all about my pump and they
security guard began patting me down. His hand landed right on the pump and
he immediately jumped back and swung me around like I had a bomb. I yelled
that it was an insulin pump, and he just asked me to pull it out and show
him the screen.
Noel R Patterson
email: email @ redacted
----- Original Message -----
From: "insulin-pumpers-digest" <email @ redacted>
To: <email @ redacted>
Sent: Sunday, March 24, 2002 9:57 PM
Subject: insulin-pumpers-digest V6 #208
> Date: Sun, 24 Mar 2002 13:34:51 -0700
> From: "Kelsey" <email @ redacted>
> Subject: [IP] Back from China (long - sorry)
> Hi All,
> I just recently got back from a trip to China and I thought that since
> have been quite a few posts about Diabetes and travel that I'd pass my
> experience along. It was my first trip out of the US since I started
> pumping and since 9/11 - both of which made me a little nervous where I
> never been a nervous traveler before. Also, it would be my first trip in
> country where I didn't speak the language and China has a problem with
> Dysentery and Giardia. So I took a little extra precaution.
> When I travel out of the US I always take the following: several
> suppositories (in case of bad vomiting due to food-borne bacteria),
> (in case of food poisoning resulting in diarrhea), and double the diabetes
> supplies (I've had canceled flights and longer layovers than expected
> this has come in handy). This time I took triple the needed amount. I
> bought a Frio wallet to keep my insulin and compazine cool because I
> confident that everywhere I went would have a fridge handy (it cost about
> 12.85 US). And I asked a Chinese national friend at work to write a card
> that had "Diabetes, Insulin-Dependent" at the top and the Chinese
> translation for that at the bottom since I didn't speak the language.
> At the Phoenix airport where I began my travels I wore my pump in its
> leather holder and went to go through the security gate. One guard yelled
> for me to remove my cell phone but I told him that it was an insulin pump
> and his response was "sorry, honey - go ahead". I was really pleasantly
> surprised that the gate didn't even beep. In San Francisco where I had my
> layover I had the same experience. No problems, no delays due to the pump
> (or anything else for that matter).
> I kept my pump on Arizona time and figured that by my second day in China,
> I'd switch the time over (it's a 16 hour difference). However, by my
> morning in Shanghai, my blood sugars were off just a little bit and it
> seemed consistent with the difference in basal rate. I still waited until
> the second morning to switch the time on my pump and sure enough,
> straightened out.
> We flew within China from Shanghai to Beijing (China Eastern Airlines) and
> wore my pump on my waistband again. Sure enough when I approached
> the guard yelled a bit in Chinese and finally said "mobile" and pointed to
> my pump. I said insulin pump and showed him the bit of tube sticking up
> was about to start rooting around for the card that said I was diabetic in
> Chinese, when he said "diabetes" and waved me through. Again, the pump
> didn't set off any alarms.
> Flying back from Beijing to Shanghai I kept my pump hidden which is how I
> usually wear it because I realized that it wasn't going to set off any
> alarms and showing it was more trouble than it was worth. Sure enough, I
> went through security with no problem.
> Flying home from Shanghai to San Francisco I again wore the pump on my
> waistband because it's just more comfortable for long flights that way.
> However, I was wearing a jacket that covered the pump and I wasn't stopped
> or questioned. Although, in San Francisco I was selected for a random
> search and the person who was assigned to me was very new. She didn't
> what an insulin pump was and kept telling me I had to take it off (the
> was in my butt and there was no way that was going to happen!). But her
> supervisor quickly came over and seemed exasperated with her and told her
> what it was for. He then asked me to "make it do something" so that they
> knew it was a real pump. I just hit the act button (MM508) to show them
> what was left in the reservoir and they waved me on. The funny thing is
> that when they wanded me, my zipper set the wand off, my silver necklace
> the wand off, and the clasp in my bra did as well, but the pump did not.
> I got home mid-day and immediately made myself stay up until about 9 p.m.
> before going to bed (I always do that and never have problems with jet
> and then the very next morning I set my pump back to AZ time and didn't
> a single blip on the radar screen.
> Hope this assuages some worries - I'd say my experience traveling with the
> pump was wonderful. The worst that happened was that I went very high
> climbing the Great Wall (exercise usually raises my blood sugar a little
> this raised it to about 240) but I bolused and was back to normal within
> hour. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to send me a note.
> If you're planning a trip to China I'll be happy to scan my translated
> and send it to you so you can print it out as a graphic and take it with.
> didn't have any need for it - but I think it can't hurt to have it in case
> of emergency.
> A bit of background: I've been diabetic (type 1) 20 years, no major
> complications, on Vasotec for prophylactic measures, MM508 for 5 months,
> my last trip overseas was about 10 months ago on MDI to Australia. Before
> that I had lived in Spain and Italy for short periods, also on MDI.
> email @ redacted
> - ----------------------------------------------------------
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