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Re: [IPk] flying again

Hi Nanette,

http://www.diabetes.org/main/community/advocacy/travel.jsp summarises what 
you have to know if travelling with diabetes supplies in the US 
post-September 11, 2001.

CAVEAT: DO NOT say to a gate agent or security officer that you have 
diabetes UNLESS you are asked POINT-BLANK *WHY* you are carrying some 
specific piece of diabetes-related paraphernalia, as in: "Ma'am, I see that 
you have several syringes in your bag here. Why are you carrying these 
syringes?" The chance that you will get such a direct question is very 
small. If you offer any information that was not asked for, you will only 
get treated like you have just confessed to carrying something illegal--I 
nearly missed three flights in the first couple of trips I took back to the 
US within 18 months of the TSA being established because I said, 'Oh, by the 
way, I have diabetes and I'm carrying some medical supplies'. Keep your 
mouth shut if you want to be on your scheduled flights.

Make sure that your insulin--any/all opened vials included!!!--stays in the 
cardboard box it came in when you got it from the pharmacy. Insulin in a 
manufacturer's cardboard carton, bearing a label from the pharmacy where you 
got it that states your name exactly as it appears on your passport, is the 
only legitimate proof of having diabetes if you're travelling in the US now. 
Your doctor's letter is useless, as the TSA decided that doctor's letters 
are eminently forgeable and should arouse suspicion rather than allay it. If 
you feel the need to carry the letter regardless, do not produce it as 
'evidence' that you are entitled to carry syringes. You may be arrested if 
the letter doesn't convince the security guard who takes you to talk to the 
nice military policeman. No kidding.

Lastly, you may be pulled aside and frisked by a security agent if a pump 
causes the metal detector to go 'beep'. DO NOT tell the security screener 
person that you have a pump until the machine has gone 'beep' if you want to 
make your flight. When the machine beeps and you are detained, show your 
infusion site to the agent immediately and indicate that NO, you CANNOT take 
it off. No apologies for that fact, either. I advise full cooperation except 
when it comes to removing the pump. Some people on the listserv say that 
they disconnect and put the pump in their hand luggage, but I am not willing 
to risk that. So what if you can disconnect the Quick-set or Silhouette or 
whatever, the point is that the pump is yours and if you take it off, if you 
imply that it is not necessary for you to have it at all times, there is 
like a minuscule chance that it might get seized and I could be WAY out of 
luck. I usually smile and say as I'm being frisked, 'If you want to take me 
to a private room and strip-search me, that might be easier'. The person 
searching me usually seems surprised at that level of cooperation and speeds 
up the search. Just a tip.

As for the sharps: I have a nifty sharps container that I got from my GP 
here in Oxford. When it's full I take it back to the surgery and get a fresh 
one. It's no bigger than a pint-size can of lager and it's a lot lighter. 
Seen anything like it in Israel?

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you,

IDDM 10 years; MiniMed pumper 7 years

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