First, I’m not a TSA “hater.” Having worked at an airport for the best years of my life, I know how people can get. In a word, they can get nasty…hateful…ugly… snotty…snarky. I was none of those, and neither was the TSA in Atlanta today. That said, I can’t let the sun set on this day without saying something. I’m a Global Entry carrying, security cleared, respectful lover of America. This isn’t a complaint even, just an observation.

My boarding pass was stamped TSA Pre for my flight to Seattle this evening. Three beeps. Good to go. The Walk through metal detector “randomly selects” me for further screening. Oh well…whatever. TSA tries to send me through the nekked scanner. To be clear, I don’t have any radiation fears. It’s just that I’m a type 1 diabetic insulin pumper. Medtronic, the manufacturer of my $5000.00 insulin pump says the following about airport security.

Medtronic has conducted official testing on the effects of the new full body scanners at airports with Medtronic medical devices and have found that some scanners may include x-ray. If you choose to go through an airport body scanner, you must remove your insulin pump, Guardian monitor, Continuous Glucose Monitoring (sensor and transmitter), meter and remote. To avoid removing your devices, you may request an alternative screening process.”

I don’t know about you, but that says to me….do not wear your insulin pump through the nekked scanner. Of course, today at TSA PreCheck, after getting randomly selected for additional screening, I get directed towards the scanner. I point to my insulin pump and say “I can’t go through that with this, and I opt out.” The TSA screener insists I can go through, but I can opt out if I want to, so I say one more time “I opt out.” I then get directed to remove my shoes, belt, and anything else in my pocket, which I do, and then get sent to secondary screening for a full on rub down.

To be clear, no one at TSA was rude or inconsiderate. In fact, everyone was polite as could be, including the pat down guy. It’s just that I was left wondering what anyone proved by sending me to secondary screening? Not only that, why can’t TSA get the idea that my particular insulin pump manufacturer has determined that their “machines” are harmful to my insulin pump? This is the first time in well over a year, if not 2, that I’ve had to deal with this, so perhaps I’m a little over-emotional about the whole thing. On the other hand, this was NOT the first time I’ve been “randomly” selected by the walk through metal detector. It’s just the first time that it has happened and I’ve been sent to the “scanner.” Part of enhanced security procedures this week? Maybe so. That’s fine, but I think I’ll defer to the manufacturer of my insulin pump when it comes to these kinds of things.

-MJ, July 3, 2014