Up a creek

To read about my full flight adventure, you’ll 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).
The Minnesota meetup


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.
Sarah and Sara


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!

double barrel pumping


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 I’d 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 “don’t ask, don’t 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 don’t see the pump and it doesn’t 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 wasn’t 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 “I’m 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!!

DexCom tweets


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 I’m 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 hadn’t 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!


  • Uggh. That’s very frustrating! Thankfully, Elizabeth has had no problems with TSA. But I left 80gb iPod on my way back from AADE. I came back within 10 minutes of disembarking and it was already stolen (probably by the staff). I miss it daily. 🙁

  • This weekend without the DexCom has definitely sucked! I am not sure how long to wait for it to show up before biting the bullet and ordering a new one. I can’t handle not having the updates.

    I mean what is a credit card for if you can’t replace a medical device, right? 🙂

  • So sorry to hear this. My sister’s watch fell off her arm and someone on the plane saw the airline employee pick it up. Yet the airline attendant lied and said she had not seen the watch. My sister wrote the airline to complain but no luck. Don’t think you are going to see your Dex again.


  • Glad you got to visit with some D-Peeps. But that does suck on the Dex situation, and I’m sorry it came out that way, Sara. But it’s so awesome to hear how the stars aligned and Stacey helped come to the rescue. That rocks, indeed! Hope the next trip out to San Diego (however short on the mileage it may be for you out that way!) is smooth sailing.

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