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After the Pat Down, Not Even a Text Message

Last week I wrote about my adventures on a horrendous diabetes day from hell. One of the comments, well actually two, made by the TSA agent who frisked me got under my skin and I felt the need to expand on them.

The first comment I’ll expand on was actually his last comment to me.  He said “If we had been doing this last year, the underwear bomber would never have gotten on the plane.”  Now that flight originated in Amsterdam, and while I know there are TSA agents in  Vancouver, I really have no idea if there are some stationed in Amsterdam and there may be.  I didn’t point this out or ask him if there were and really just wanted to get going, but the manner in which he said it annoyed the holy beejeebus out of me.

He stepped right up next to me and said it, attempting to project power, much as a police officer would with someone not cooperating.  I didn’t flinch away and turned my head to  look right back at him, projecting my own subzero tolerance  for bullsh** and said “Right”.  I then just ignored him and eventually he went away.

The other comment was after I said I didn’t like being singled out simply because I wear a medical device. He said that he understands and imagines that all other device wearers feel the same way.

Well first of all, unless he wears such a device and has to deal with this, he does not understand.

And then when he says that he imagines that all other device wearers feel the same way, that does not make me feel one bit better.  As a matter of fact, I start to get angry; which, I’m sure, led to the comment I discussed above.

The reason I got angry is that there are now thousands of people who will be undergoing this same humiliating process everyday.  Not having to endure it because of some suspicious articles or “profiling”, but simply needing a device to stay alive.

If, instead, he had said “I’m sorry, sir, but this is my job and this is how we have to do it now” I think I would have reacted totally differently.  I wouldn’t have thought about the thousands of other people; even though I totally should have.  It would have been just him and me.

We all live with an enormous amount of bullsh** that diabetes adds to our lives.  Emotional, mental, physical, financial, insurance, glucocoasters – all of them able to happen to us at any given moment.  Now I have to add an extra layer of bullsh** from my government anytime I want to get on a plane.

I really try not to get political on my blog, but I just don’t see how I can avoid it on this one.  Isn’t our elected government supposed to be scared and intimidated by its citizens and not the other way around?

  • Agreed, Scott – so much of this is about uniformity and just simple attitude. I get they have to do it and I’d even concede that it’s a necessary evil to ensure our own and everyone’s safety. But please, just treat me with a little dignity and respect in doing this. Don’t assume that just because you have to do it, I’m going to “disagree” or “cause an issue.” That’s what bugs me the most, and many appear (from what I’ve been reading) to be doing this in such an arrogant manner.

  • I also agree, Scott, but I disagree with Michael saying it’s a necessary evil. We should not always be subjected to pat downs just because we MUST wear a medical device. it’s call discrimination and that would be illegal except they failed to specifically note diabetes in the Americans with disability act. This needs to be corrected. We ALL need to contact our Senators and Congressmen and get this addressed, not just for diabetics. There are lots of others also affected and it’s just not right. Hope this posts. I’ve sent others that apparently haven’t. Maybe too long?

    • Bill, in ’08 Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADA-AA) into law – this Amendment includes PWDs. The “focus” of this Law is in regards to labor; hiring, accommodations, safety.

      • That is absolutely true Crystal. Previously, courts, including SCOTUS, had ruled that diabetics were not disabled “enough”. The 2008 ADA-AA closed that loophole and diabetics now have the same protections.

  • So, after reading your worthy blog – I started to question my upcoming flight from Canada to your fair country. Will be interesting to see how CATSA (equivalent of TSA) handles things – as we tend to follow in your direction.
    BTW, do you put your pump through the x-ray / scanner? I just discovered today that this is a no no – oopsie! You can read more here – much applies to Americans as well – so be aware is all I can say –

    Should we perhaps go back to horse ‘n buggy? Yee Haa – Anna Get Yer Gun!!!

    • No, I didn’t run it thru the xray. I just hope we don’t get to a point where we are required to run everything thru the new scanners, which are also not recommended for pumps as I understand it.

      Hope you have a safe trip!

  • Pingback: Continuing the Dialog | Truth and Justice For All()

  • Lorraine

    This is a little upsetting – I understand the need for precautions, but the more I hear, the more uncomfortable I get and relieved I am that we have to plans to travel by plane in the near future.