Tag Archives: TSA

#DBlogWeek – Day Two. Let’s write a petition!


We’re right in the middle of Diabetes Blog Week! Myself and many others are posting for 7 (seven!) straight days. Haven’t heard of Diabetes Blog Week? Get the lowdown by clicking on the banner above. Now, on to today’s subject:

Recently various petitions have been circulating the Diabetes Online Community, so today let’s pretend to write our own. Tell us who you would write the petition to – a person, an organization, even an object (animate or inanimate) – get creative!! What are you trying to change and what have you experienced that makes you want this change? (Thanks to Briley of inDpendence for this topic suggestion.)

Why yes, I do have an idea for a petition. I would like to see our community as a whole petition the Transportation Security Administration for some changes to their airport screening procedures. Among the changes I would propose:

Providing agents with clear, up-to-date information on insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), meters, and durable medical supplies. Including pictures.

Finding efficiencies in the pump/CGM screening process. If everything goes well, we have to stand (while our traveling companions wait) as we touch our devices, then get them and the devices swabbed. Then the swabbage gets checked out with a machine that tells us whether there is any explosive residue anywhere. To begin with, this takes too long. It also saps resources that might be better used in another part of the screening process. You don’t have time to check for knives and scissors, but you have time to swab my pump and my hands and question me about something that many travelers wear every day? How is that helping to find potential terrorists?

Providing advocacy for all affected travelers. This is remarkably important. If you’re “randomly selected for additional screening”, once you go beyond the security door, you’re on your own. Why? Is this still America (at least where I live)? Can’t I at least have an advocate in my court who can let my traveling companions know what’s going on? How about an advocate that is well versed in what is appropriate behavior, language, procedures, etc., so I don’t have to be every time I fly? An advocate who, in the event of hypoglycemia during the screening, can advocate on my behalf so I can get access to my juice boxes, Glucolifts, or Honey Stingers?

And while we’re at it, how about requiring a specific level of training for TSA staff? Meaning, all TSA staff? I’m still waiting for the first time that I’m handled the same way in the screening process on both ends of a round trip flight. I shouldn’t be told to go through the metal detector at one airport, then through the full body scanner in another. I shouldn’t be told that I don’t have to remove my medical supplies from my carry on in one airport, then get yelled at for not removing it from my carry on in another airport on my trip home. TSA staff must be more consistent in how they handle everyone, including People With Diabetes.

So that’s it… Clear information. More efficiency when screening our devices. Advocacy for travelers (why does a murderer get an attorney when they need one, but travelers aren’t represented at all in the screening process?). Specific, consistent training for TSA screeners. That’s fair. And it’s not a lot to ask for. It would help us all to feel better while at the same time feeling safer.

A Non-D Post: Trip Recap.

I was gone from home for most of last week. I went to Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, my birthplace and where I grew up. The main purpose of my trip: Baseball.

At Great American Ballpark on Reds Opening Day

At Great American Ballpark on Reds Opening Day

As I said in a post last week, Opening Day is really a holiday in the Queen City. And I’m fortunate to have a brother-in-law with a partial season ticket plan. So we were able to be two of the 45,000-plus to attend the 13 inning loss by my Reds. I’ve been living in Baltimore for 19 years, but I grew up in Cincinnati in the age of the Big Red Machine. And I’m still a huge fan.

Here are a few quick hits from my trip:

– My encounters with TSA staff going out of Baltimore/Washington International and Dayton International Airports was very nice and without incident. They waved me through the metal detectors with my insulin pump, and they hand checked everything with the Dexcom G4 that I was carrying as part of my clinical trial. I had to explain how a CGM works about 50 times, but everything was pretty easy going and no full body pat downs. I’ll ask this again: Am I just lucky so far, or am I having such an easy time with TSA because I’m male?

– I arrived on Friday, which happened to be Good Friday, which meant I got to spend Easter Sunday with some of Maureen’s family. For various reasons I won’t waste time detailing here, I didn’t get to spend any of the holiday with my family. First time in a long time I spent time with family at Easter, and we had a great time. It was also the first time in a long time that I was apart from Maureen at Easter, and we missed each other terribly. Life is a balance.th

– I did get to spend a little time with my parents, ages 78(dad) and 74(mom). I hope they don’t mind my giving their ages… after raising six kids, they should celebrate the fact that they look this good and they’ve made it this far. I really enjoyed our lunch together.

– Speaking of lunch together, check this space later in the week for details about my meetup with another Super Diahero.

– There’s hardly an inch at Great American Ballpark that isn’t covered by advertising, and that can give the casual observer the impression that it’s a cheesy place to watch a game. But after several visits now, I can tell you that to me, it seems like Reds ownership and staff give an almost hurculean effort to make every fan’s experience a positive one at their home park. Even if that fan roots for the visiting team. Kudos to Bob Castellini and the rest of the Reds front office for making it fun to go to the game. Even when it’s football weather outside. Can you send a team to Baltimore to show the folks at Camden Yards how it’s supposed to be done? I root for the Orioles, but I don’t much enjoy going to the game here.

– I really like Reds Opening Night, a newer phenomenon held two days (or nights) after Opening Day. The day after Opening Day is always an off day, held in reserve in case of inclement weather on Opening Day. Anyway, Opening Night is made into a big deal there partly because a lot of fans can’t get a ticket to Opening Day. So on Opening Night, the team’s broadcasters, the stadium’s ushers, even the grounds crew wears tuxedos. There are red carpets leading to the main gates to the stadium, and the team sets up a band on a platform out beyond the right field line. The band plays before the game and in between innings during the game. A very fun experience that I now look forward to as much as Opening Day.

– As luck would have it, thanks to some recognition our team received at work, I went to work last Friday and found a ticket to get into one of the luxury suites for the Orioles home opener at Camden Yards. Two Opening Days in one week… for a baseball fan, it doesn’t get any better than that. Unless my two favorite teams make it to the World Series… Go Reds and O’s!

Here are some additional photos from the trip:

At the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.  Championship trophies from 1975, 1976, and 1990

At the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum. Championship trophies from 1975, 1976, and 1990

Plaques at the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum

Plaques at the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum

With the family on Easter Sunday

With the family on Easter Sunday

From Easter... one for the DOC cupcake lovers...

From Easter… one for the DOC cupcake lovers…

First pitch of the 2013 baseball season

First pitch of the 2013 baseball season

The Rusty Griswolds playing on Reds Opening Night

The Rusty Griswolds playing on Reds Opening Night


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