Explosives Detected

Recently we were fortunate enough to host one of my daughters BFFs from CA. Her sweet friend stayed with us for a week and it was wonderful watching my dear daughter laugh with her friend.

Sadly the visit had to come to an end. Although this friend is past the age of ‘unaccompanied minor’ according to airline regulations we still wanted to escort the friend to her departing gate.

My husband was not able to stay home with my two boys which meant me and all my kids accompanied the friend to the airport.

Traveling with diabetes can often be a real pain in the hindquarters and much of that pain can simply be getting though the security check points at the airport. Accompanying someone to the gate with gate passes means passing through the security check points.

The airline had no problem issuing the four guest passes we needed to escort the friend to the gate. The lines for security weren’t too terrible and we had plenty of time since her flight was delayed.

My boys each wear the Animas Ping pump. My daughter wears the Tandem TSlim.

Sometimes the position of the insulin pump can effect the metal detectors. We never send the pumps through the X-ray machines – some do – we don’t.

I asked all the kids to move their pumps in the center of their bodies – in front of belly buttons. I don’t know why this makes a difference but it does.

I don’t let the kids go through the full body imaging thingy because of the pumps.

We lined up for the old-fashioned metal detector line.

I have always warned the TSA agents that my kids wear insulin pumps and will likely cause the metal detector to alarm. That way we don’t waste time with the TSA people asking kids if they emptied their pockets – blah blah blah.

In the past if the kids don’t alarm (they don’t always alarm) TSA waves us on.

My daughters pump always alarms and since she is over 13 that means a full body pat down. Its annoying but she’s normally a good sport.

This time my boys did not alarm. We should have been waved through. Nope.

The TSA agent had a bee in her bonnet. She insisted they had to swab the boys.

Me: “But they didn’t alarm”

TSA: “Its policy”

Me: “But they DIDNT alarm”

TSA: “They are wearing pumps”

ME: “You wouldn’t have known that had I not told you – you can’t see the pumps.”

TSA: “Its policy.”

Me: “Oh for the love of bubble gum”

It took nearly ten minutes for them to find a TSA agent to do a swab and pat down my daughter since it was shift change time.

FINALLY someone shows up to swab the boys. This meant they had to touch their pumps then get their hands swabbed.

Sugarboy was first. Touch pump, swab hands, insert swab strip into machine.

“EXPLOSIVES DETECTED”

Oh Holy Hell.

The man with the cool mustache looked down at Sugarboy, looked at me, then looked at my other son.

Thankfully he said “its the machine. we will give it another go.”

Of course this meant waiting on a TSA supervisor to come resent the machine. Another 5 minutes. Machine reset – touch pump, swab hands, insert swab strip. All clear. Rinse repeat for Middles.

Meanwhile my daughter is waiting on a female to do a pat down. I look over and she is standing with her arms held out while the TSA agent recites a very long speal about what she is going to do during the pat down. My daughter is rolling her eyes and trying to just say “ok I’ve done this” but the lady just keeps talking.

Nearly 20 minutes after we stepped through the metal detector we were allowed to carry on.

Of all our air travels – this was by far the longest we have been detained by TSA. The worst part was we weren’t even boarding a plane.

The moral of this story –

If you have an Animas pump try placing it in front of the body just under the belly button and for the love of Pete don’t tell TSA first.

Also – plan for these possibilities when traveling by air – plan extra time because you will never know if someone peed in the TSA Cheerios earlier in the day causing some of them to be less than accommodating.

We have not used it but I have heard many in our club to have great luck with TSA Cares. If you have air travel coming up you may want to check into it.

For all my dear friends traveling to Children With Diabetes Friends For Life conference this week – I wish you safe travels and easy check points.

 

There Are No Strangers In The D World

Monday I discovered my little dog had a terrible infection on one of his rear legs. Required emergency surgery to remove dead and infected tissue.

On Tuesday I needed to have Sugarboy in Palo Alto to start the second part of the study he is participating in.

On Wednesday the kids and I were leaving NorCal to travel to the Seattle area to house shop.

Meanwhile I was frantically finishing up cleaning and organizing my home so it could be listed for sale Wednesday evening.

I started packing for our trip Wednesday at 4:30pm – flight was scheduled for 9pm which meant leaving the house by 5:30pm because I’d be driving to SFO during rush hour.

3 pair of pants for each kid, 4 shirts, 4 underwear, 4 pairs of socks – check

toothbrush, toothpaste for each kid – check

jackets – check

electronics (DS’s, ipad, phones, chargers, laptop) – check

clothes for me – check (not really I forgot to pack pants)

Seems all in order right? oh wait I forgot about the elephant.

photo 1

Insulin – check

3 different pump cartridges and two different infusion sets (3 kids on 3 different pumps) – check

CGM sensors (part of study for Sugarboy) – check

Computer that is used with study – check

Glucagon – check

Lantus and syringes – (just in case) – check

Extra pump (just in case) – check

ketone strips and meter (also part of study) – check

Ketone stix (part of study and just in case) – check

Zofran (just in case) – check

Test strips for two different meters – NOPE

photo 2

I only packed contour strips – didn’t pack OneTouch Ultra strips for Middles.

Sweetstuff and Sugarboy are both using Contour Next meters.

Sugarboy can’t share his meter since it is for the study. Sweetstuff wasn’t keen on sharing.

Middles was down to 5 strips by 9am today. 3 days to go before we are home. Shit.

Here is where AWESOME happens.

There is a Facebook group I was invited to join for the Seattle area.

Much like many other local groups around the country. Parents of CWD.

I posted in the group that I was visiting and needed test strips around 9am this morning.

By 9:30 I had 3 responses. “Sure I have strips, where would you like to meet up?”

Please note – I’ve never met any of the parents IRL from this group.

I’ve only been part of the group since early November.

Yet these parents answered the call. A stranger in the diabetes world is no stranger at all is what I have learned.

I don’t want to share the name of the group or the folks that responded because the group is private and honestly I’m not even “friends” with them (yet) on Facebook but still in case any of them find their way to my humble slice of the blogosphere I’d like to give a huge shout-out and express my sincerest gratitude for their generosity.

The diabetes online community is a magical place and stretches further than twitter, blogs,  Facebook and Instagram. It embraces us all with outstretched arms and touches our hearts. IMHO.

Thank you again G and everyone that responded so quickly to my post. I am so blessed in this area already and I haven’t even moved here yet.

Oh and while I am tossing out a shout-out Id like to include three others.

One goes to a mom of a CWD that I was introduced to via email after contacting the Seattle are JDRF. She is on the board and we have exchanged a number of emails, chatted on the phone, Facebook messages and texts. She has been instrumental in helping me understand the area. Sadly there were no homes that met our needs and budget real close by to this new friend but I’m sure we will meet up soon and I’ll be seeing her at JDRF functions.

Another local parent of a CWD has also exchanged been helping me learn the area and shared her experiences with diabetes in Seattle. Again sadly no homes near her but certainly look forward to meeting up and getting to know this wonderful Dmom.

Lastly – I “met” (online via the Facebook group) another Dmom in the area I hope to buy a home. I had again posted in the group a question about a particular city and asked if anyone was around. She responded and has shared wonderful information about the area we hope to buy a home. She has a daughter with T1 Sugarboy’s age and even works at the school the kids would attend.

This post isn’t witty or funny or exceptionally intelligent in general but for me it was a very blessed day – a reminder that no matter where we live my kids and I will never be alone.

Thank you to all the Dfamilies that have taken the time to welcome us to the area.

 

Don’t Panic

Today is Wednesday and according to blog code this post should be “Wordless” but lets face it – blog code is like the Pirates Code – really more like guidelines.

mantra3photoSo tomorrow my kids have their last day of school. I will soon have a 8th grader, 6th grader and 4th grader. My kids will only attend an hour of school tomorrow because they and I will be leaving on a jet plane by noon for Texas.

I am taking them back to TX to attend our favorite day camp for kids with diabetes and their siblings. This will be our 5th year at Camp Bluebonnet. It has always been the highlight of our summer vacations.

I am thankful that we have this opportunity to go back and be with our friends.

Why the “Don’t Panic”?

Because I haven’t packed a thing!

I do have a list.

Nothing is checked off.

I did start collecting all the diabetes paraphernalia. Infusion sets – two kinds because my daughter is participating in a trial for a pump (not named because it’s a trial).Insulin cartridges – again two kinds. CGM supplies for the CGM my daughter is using for the trial. Test strips, Glucagon, ketone strips, lancets, extra meters, and batteries. Of course all of this is just piled up on the kitchen table.

The dogs need vaccinations before being dropped at the kennel. Their vaccinations expire the day we leave – really how did that happen?

I can’t find the chargers for the cameras and it seems I lost my memory card. Really?

Do I pack a carry-on bag for each child or a big suitcase – does United charge for checked bags??

I will need my laptop to upload camp pictures and put them on the camp website each night. Also – needed to Wednesday night tweet chat with DSMA – I sure hope a new chat room was put together – silly twitter wasn’t playing nice last week.

Ipads, DSs, phones, and all the chargers that go with them. Man my carry-on will be heavy.

Worst part – I’m getting on a plane and I have NO Xanax. Thus – the most important part of the “Don’t Panic” is me getting on a plane without the help of pharmaceuticals. Please let it be a smooth uneventful flight!

Wish us luck – send calming thoughts.

 

Hi Ho Hi Ho It’s off to Wisconsin We Go

I am participating in the Wego Health National Health Blog Post Month Challenge.

Todays prompt suggestions were:

News-Style Post – seriously? I can barely put a coherent thought together in first person. Although I’ve read a number of News-Style posts today that were fabulous. See a couple of them Here and Here.

I grabbed a prompt from the Bonus list for today.

Write about what it’s like to travel with ‘your’ condition.

On Friday my dear daughter and I will hop a jet plane to WI for my older sisters 40th birthday celebration. It will be a quick trip Friday – Sunday but at least I get to see my sister and Sweetstuff gets to see her twin cousins that are only 2 days younger than her. We are very excited.

Traveling with diabetes isn’t the easiest task. There are so many variables to consider.

Packing – how much diabetes crud to take

  • infusion sets
  • insulin, pump cartridges
  • batteries {yes there are batteries in WI but the pump or meter might go low in route}
  • test strips
  • glucose tabs
  • ketone strips
  • glucagon emergency kit
  • extra meter
  • fast carb snacks
  • carb free snacks
  • juice boxes {yes TSA loves this}.

Adjusting pump settings for extended sitting while in the air – how far in advance do we set temporary basal rates?

Since I am leaving Sugarboy at home with daddy I also need to consider what to have prepared for them. I will need to do an infusion set before I leave since my little guy prefers I do them rather than his dad. I’ll need to be sure an extra glucometer is in daddy’s car in case they leave without Sugarboy’s meter (happens more often than he’d like to admit).

Once we are packed there is the ordeal at the airport to deal with. TSA rules have changed many times since the kids started pumping. It used to be the kids had to leave the pumps on and walk through metal detector, thus alarming it and then the kids and I would get pat downs. Then we started removing pumps prior to walking through the metal detector and asking the pumps to be hand inspected which involved some type of swabbing with a small square of cotton. There have always been some TSA agents who try to insist that the pumps can go through the xray machine – NO THEY CANT. Most recently I had my kids take the pumps off at SFO and asked the TSA agent to hand inspect them. This resulted in a full pat down for me and full inspection of my luggage. Then they wanted to put the pumps in this weird machine (looked like a centrifuge) I DONT THINK SO! 35 minutes later of arguing we left TSA behind but only after TSA told me I should leave the pumps on the kids since they are under 17 they wouldn’t even get a pat down. Moral – every airport is different.

The juice boxes are treated differently at each airport too. Sometimes I’m allowed 2 for each kid, sometimes I’m allowed 4 each. Sometimes TSA agents want me to open a juice box – HUH?

Traveling with diabetes can be a real pain in the finger* but with proper planing and lots of “roll with it” attitude it isn’t terrible.

Note the sign above my dear daughter. This is in the Milwaukee airport.