As I write this, I am sitting on a Southwest Airlines flight to Portland, Oregon. I've already waited 3 hours for a delayed flight from Atlanta to Chicago, spent two hours on the said flight, waited an hour and a half at Midway Airport, and now I am on a plane to Portland with an hour and 52 minutes left of flight. After this flight, I get to sit in a car for three hours to get to our final destination. Needless to say, I hate travel.
I especially hate it because here is so much uncertainty when it comes to travelling with diabetes.
Here are some of the questions I ask myself every time I travel:
Did I pack enough sites?
(I packed ten site changes for 8 days.)
Did I pack enough insulin?
(I packed my half full vial in use and another vial. I also have my sister's insulin pens for back up.)
Did I pack enough test strips?
(I packed 100.)
Did I pack enough Dexcom sensors?
(That's a joke. I completely forgot an extra. Hopefully it can lest an extra 5 days; it has before.)
Just keep in mind that all of these questions simply pertain to packing, not the actual trip.
|My dexcom on a festively themed background.|
Once you get to the airport, you have to deal with the TSA, my favorite thing!
More questions mentally asked:
Will my pump accidentally test positive for explosives?
Do I have to get a pat down?
Will the metal detector ruin my Dexcom or pump?
Will the TSA officer be nice to me?
Will the TSA take away our medical supplies?
And that's only during the security checkpoint. Yay! < sarcasm
When I get on the plane, it gets worse.
What if my pump site messes up and I have to change it on the plane?
What if my blood sugar goes too low or too high?
What if my CGM fails on the plane?
Also, add in all other what if questions normal people ask while on planes.
Side Note: I hate turbulence and apparently we're going to have it for the next hundred miles. Whee!
Morals of the Story: (Yes, there are two today!)
- Travel messes with the homeostasis of my life, and I don't like it.
- I don't understand how flight attendants do this for a living.
In Atlanta, the TSA got mad at me because I left my CGM in my pocket. I left it in there because people have said they don't make the metal detectors go off. They told me that I need to give it to them and tell an officer to hand inspect it. And before she gave it to the officer to inspect it, she tried to put through the x-ray multiple times, even though I told her it couldn't go through the metal detector. She thought it was an iPod. I also walked through the stupid metal detector about 10 times before she decided I would need a pat down.
In Portland, one officer tried to convince me five times (!) that I should go through the millimeter wave scanner, even though I was sure that Animas said that it couldn't go through it. He told me that other people with pumps and pacemakers have gone through it and said I should go through it. I firmly told him, "No." every time. Then I had to wait awkwardly to the side of the security line for probably 10 minutes. (It also confused them when I gave them my CGM for hand inspection, even though the TSA officers in Atlanta told me to do that. Way to be consistent, TSA.) The lady that gave me a pat down was actually pretty nice.
And my dexcom totally failed the whole time and was extremely unhelpful, but I never took it off because I didn't want to repeat this.