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[IP] Airports and Insulin - Long but important!

I travel quite a bit for work and have run into all
kinds of scenarios when flying through various
airports.  Some comical, some not.  I will post some
in another post.

There is one important point that I want to be sure
that every pumper knows...you should NOT allow your
insulin (or back-up insulin pen) be scanned through
the carry-on (and definitely not the checked baggage)
x-ray!  This is particularly important if you use a
pump.  The newer airport x-rays may slightly denature
your insulin following extended exposure.  The
denaturing causes the insulin to thicken slightly and
doesn't flow easily through pump tubing and can make
the insulin useless altogether.  I had this personally
happen to me (going through Boston/Logan) and it also
occurred to a fellow pumper at work (going through

I always bring my insulin bottle with prescription
label and insulin pen in a ziploc baggie (I put all
other pump supplies through the x-ray).  I request the
baggie to be "hand-searched."  I have been told many
times that it is just fine to x-ray the insulin but I
argue with them until they hand-search it.  It is your
right to demand that something be hand searched. 
Please note, that if you run into "mean" security
people, this will lead to everything that you have on
you to be searched, even following the x-ray.  I
always allow extra time now.

Details of story follow...if you are interested:

I was traveling last year down to New Orleans and put
my pump supply case including my insulin (bottle and
pen) right on the belt like I always did.  The scanner
employee was quite interested in the needles at the
top of the 508 reservoirs and kept it in the x-ray for
quite a while, brought it out, and put it in again.

I was fine for two days (the insulin already in my
pump only went through the metal detector) until it
was time to change my set.  Following the set change,
my BS continued to creep up all morning.  I kept
bolusing to correct.  When that didn't work, I changed
the set and bolused again. Once I hit 350, I used my
insulin pen to correct and called MM.  My BS continued
to rise.  

MM had me test the pump and assure that the screw was
turning properly.  Everything tested fine and the MM
person then asked (particularly since my BS was still
not going down with my back-up pen) if I had been
through airport security recently.  When I told her
that I had, she told me to go get new insulin ASAP and
told me about the potential insulin denature.  She
said that they have had a few reports of this.  

Thank goodness that I carry extra prescriptions.  A
quick trip to the local Walgreens....As soon as I got
the new insulin, the pen got me down (from 425 at this
point) quickly and the new set worked fine for the
remainder of my trip, even following another set


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