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Flying With Salvador Dali aka my insuin pump is such a thrill – NOT!


Anna's Blog
By: FatCatAnna

The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes! Whoo! Whoo!

I am a Type 1 diabetic diagnosed back in the early 60's as a child.  I am living in Montreal, Canada and enjoy scribbling about diabetes from time to time. I’ve had my ups / downs just like any person would experience with going through life - diabetic or not.  My motto in life?  Diabetes does not control me – I control it!! 

You can find more posts/discussions at my Facebook page called "The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes" and also on Twitter under the name of FatCatAnna.  Feel free to follow me at both places or send me a private message!


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 Blog Entries
The joys of having Bowie my CGMS – Chapter 1 - Sep 02
 Okay, for those of you who have never read my #dblogs before, I give names to all my little gizmos that I use for controlling my diabetes.  What we have today, ...
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In a slump and scared - Jul 21
It’s rare for me to compose a #dblog that is not all “chirpy chirpy” … I think the last time I did one that was kind of down was at Diabetes1.org ...
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Surviving the Holocaust with Type 1 diabetes - Mar 27
  " To the best of my knowledge, I am the only diabetic who survived years of imprisonment in German concentration camps. This is my story "   The above words ...
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Sugar and Your Health - Mar 06
The other day I emptied out a 4 kg (about 10 lbs) of white sugar that I had dated a year ago when I opened it.  I use white sugar purely for cooking (I make my own ...
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Eating from the ground - Yuca Fries - Feb 20
I am home now from a working holiday, in the Bahamas and Miami.  Despite the weather being abit cooler then normal (they only get 2 weeks of winter - we were there in ...
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Posted: Nov 22, 2010 14:36
  • 2 Comments.
  • Flying With Salvador Dali aka my insuin pump is such a thrill – NOT!

    Lately, in some of the diabetic forums I hang around in - alot of Americans have been very dissatisfied with the treatment they receive by TSA when going through security with their insulin pumps on.

    I am used to being pulled over, patted down, questioned about products in my carry on that relate to my diabetes, along with swabbing of my pump when I fly.  Apparently though, as of October 29th, 2010 - procedures have changed yet again with TSA (Transporation Security Administration) and how they handle passengers that are deemed to be threats.  As far as I can tell,  for diabetics and insulin pump users, nothing has changed since I last flew.  You can check out what you are allowed at this
    link ( http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/specialneeds/editorial_1374.shtm#3 )

    Last March, I had the delight of going through a
    full body scanner at Orlando International Airport.  As usual, metal detector detected my pump and I was pulled aside.  Though this time, instead of hand pat down, I was placed in this futuristic looking "bubble".  I went in there pump and all, sucked in my gutt, and within 5 minutes after pump was swabbed down for possible explosive material - I was free as a bird.

    I am now finding out, after speaking with Frank at
    Animas Canada that I should NOT have gone through the scanner with the insulin pump on.  The same applies to my loaner pump I always obtain when I travel.  This is always in my carry on luggage and goes through the x-ray machine.  No, no, no - he told me!  Yikes, I didn't know.  Due  to magnetic fields, it can cause the insulin cartridge gizmo that pushes your insulin through the pump tubing go wacky.  He said due to rapidly changing TSA requirements, Animas is now issuing a travel card with their loaner pumps specifying to the TSA agent that your pump NOT go through these devices. 

    Being the honesst Canadian gal I am - I went on to tell him that in Forums they were saying NOT to admit this to your pump company that your pump had gone through any of these devices - or the warranty would be VALID. Gulp - why am I so damn honest?  Because my Mum raised me right?  Frank was nice enough to say, if I was talking to one of their Animas Technical department then this statement would have caused some issues perhaps.  Therefore, I  will be requesting a manual pat down just like I've had in the past, prescanner time for me! 

    One other topic I thought I'd add here is the questions amongst diabetics as to how much radiation do we receive when in these scanners?  Yes, they have been approved by FDA ... BUT ... what hasn't been approved one minute and then turned around to not be good has occured before.  I think at my age, I'd rather put up with the human pat down then the bubble machine - aka scanner.  Yes it will perhaps take longer, but as always, I will arrive at airport much earlier then required, just so I can make my flight on time.  Here in Canada, we have had much controversy over the full body scanners,  and according to Health Canada - " There is more shielding on airport X-ray machines — the entire belt is shielded; in medicine, the patient table is not shielded ".  Read more at this link (
    http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/01/05/f-airport-scanners-radiation-risk.html )

    I have to admit, as other diabetics have been saying ... flying the friendly blue skies is no longer the thrill that it used to be with the security measures that we have to face once we walk through the airport doorways.  Maybe taking the train, bus, personal car, or ship to destinations abroad might be the way to go?  Like my Dad said to me - take your time if you can and take in the sights you don't see when you fly!

    Comments (2):
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  • By: FatCatAnna: Nov, 24, 2010 12:40 PM
    ** UPDATE Animas Insulin Pump Exposure to X-rays or Radiation at Airport Security **

    Attn:  Airport Security

    An insulin pump is a life-sustaining medical device used to treat diabetes. The pump delivers insulin 24 hours a day via an infusion set and needle inserted into the user's body.

    This device cannot be exposed to x-rays or radiation.*

    This device should not be removed from the user's possession.

    Users may be travelling with additional back-up pumps to be used in the event of emergency.  For any questions regarding x-ray or radiation exposure related to this pump, please contact Animas Corporation, Product Support at 1-877-937-7867 (1-610-644-8990 outside of North America).

    *According to the OneTouch Ping Owner's Booklet.


    By: FatCatAnna: Nov, 24, 2010 12:35 PM
    ** UPDATE Animas Insulin Pump Exposure to X-rays or Radiation at Airport Security **


    I have posted this same message in a few insulin pump forums I belong to - incase you missed my post - here it is again ....

    Received my loaner pump for my upcoming holidays. The following is on the wallet sized card I can present to either the TSA/CATSA/other countries airport security officer who will no doubt be pulling me over as they always do when I fly. 

    What was more interesting tho' - is the Animas CANADA rep I spoke to said that they have no issues with Canadians going thru' the full body scanners in OUR own country - but in other countries they can't be sure of the amount of radiation that emits from their machines.  Therefore, in order to protect their client / pump - they are stipulating that we do not go thru' a scanner with our pump on.  Also, this information I have typed out below - was printed here in Canada (Burnaby, BC) - so not sure if Animas in United States have done the same thing. From some of the previous comments on this subject, appears not to have been done.
    Again - things are changing so rapidly at our airports here in North America - and pump manufacturers are doing their best to inform their clients (note - I do not work for Animas - I am just a user of their product).  I'll be posting this information on my blog I wrote earlier in the week - incase this gets lost in the jumble of messages that come out of IP!

    Due to being unable to post a lengthy comment - am doing this in two parts ...



    Tags:
    x-ray (1) radiation (1) flying (1) airport (1) full body scanner (1) pump (1) insulin (1) diabetes (1) TSA (1)

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