To read about my full flight adventure, youll have to visit my other blog, but since this is my diabetes blog I wanted to share a little about the diabetes trials and tribulations on my recent travels.
I was in Springfield for a conference for work. My job includes travel probably about once a year. This particular conference is held annually at a different location across the country. It is actually the reason for my first ever diabetes meet-up when it was in Minnesota and I met Scott and Molly (and Dixie).
When I found out I was going to be in Springfield, I sent out a tweet with the dates and made plans to meet up with Sarah Jane.
It was a short meeting because my conference kept me busy, but it was nice to hang out with a diabetes buddy even for a for a little while. Beside, we are going to see each other in less than a month in San Diego anyway!
On my way to Springfield, I volunteered to get bumped from my flight for a travel voucher. People had missed their connection so they ended up not needing me, but I thought Id volunteer on the way back too. I had nothing better to do this weekend anyway.
On my way through security in Springfield I set off the metal detector. I am a dont ask, dont tell security fan. Once I set off the metal detector on this trip, I did tell them why. While I was waiting for the pat-down, I told the TSA agent about my technique and she said that was a good idea. She said if they dont see the pump and it doesnt set anything off, then it is obviously no problem. If you even just tell them you have a pump before you go through, they have to inspect it. She agreed that it was worth a try to get through without the extra hassle.
I experienced my first full pat-down, and honestly it wasnt as bad as people make it out to be (in my opinion). I was wearing jeans though; maybe it is more awkward in a skirt.
I did end up getting bumped from my flight, but was able to leave at the same time (full story here). Partway through the flight to Atlanta, I got out my DexCom receiver and put in next to me on the seat. I was a little low, and I wanted to make sure I was trending up. In Atlanta, I had to check in again because of the changes in my flight. I got off the plane and headed to customer service.
I was able to quickly print my boarding pass and thought to myself that it was about time for dinner, and wondered what information my DexCom would contribute to the equation. I reached for my backpack, and as I put my hand into the pocket, I realized that I had never taken it off the seat!!
I rushed back through the terminal to my gate. I told the gate agent that I had just gotten off the flight and left a medical device on board. She confirmed that the plane was still at the gate. I asked her if I could go on board to look for it. She instead asked me what it looked like and went to go look. A few minutes later she came back up to the gate empty-handed. I asked her if I could go look for it, and she said no because they had looked all around the seat and even took the seat cushion off and it was not there. I wish I didn’t doubt her, but now I will never know.
She sent me to customer service so they could tell me where lost and found was located. Guess what? Lost and found is in baggage claim. Remember what airport I am at Atlanta getting to baggage claim is no small task. It took me a while to find lost and found. I told the woman my story and explained that I had left a medical device on the plane. She asked what it was I thought instead of just saying a DexCom receiver I would actually explain what it was. I said Im diabetic and and she interrupted me to say that she was too. I told her what I left behind and she seemed to understand.
I still had a few hours to kill in Atlanta so she took down my number in case it appeared while I was there. Then she told me to go online because that was the only way to report a lost item. Basically, I went through the security checkpoint to have her tell me to go online. Grr!!
I got back in line to go BACK through security. Took my shoes off, took my laptop out of my bag, took my insulin out of the cool-pack, etc. I walked through the metal detector and set it off again. When I told them why this time, the woman said that I should have gone through the full body scanner. I asked her why, and she said that in the scanner, they could see what it was, and I because they would be able to identify it I would not need a full pat-down. Instead, I got my SECOND full pat-down in less that 3 hours!
I am a little confused by the conflicting TSA information, that Im not sure now what I will do on my next flight!!
When it was close to time for me to board my flight to Florida, I headed over to my gate and asked the agent there if there was a way to make sure that my device hadnt shown up yet. I told him it would be a shame to leave Atlanta if it was still there. He called down to lost and found and they did not answer. That was odd because they are open to 10 pm. He gave me the customer number to call at the same time to see if I would have better luck. Nope because the customer number closes at 5 pm.
I got to ride in style in first class on my way back to Florida (one of the perks of being bumped). I am home safely now, and my DexCom is either in a trash pile in Atlanta or enjoying a mini-vacation in Roanoke, Virginia or beyond.
I may be UP a few hundred dollars in my travel voucher but I certainly will be DOWN a few hundred dollars if I have to replace my receiver!