Re: [IPk] flying again
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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