"No, It's Not An iPod..."

I took a couple airplane rides recently, the first since buying a Dexcom G4 CGM.

Airport security was mostly hassle-free and not an issue, for the two airports I went through in my own city and then the higher-traffic one I was flying home from.

They knew what my insulin pump was, and just did their thing swabbing it for possible explosives that only took a few minutes. No issues there. (maybe because I'm currently using an Animas Ping that really does look like a medical device and is much more old-school retro looking, compared to modern-looking devices like the t:slim...)

My CGM was less understood.

At both airports, the same comment came my way from a handful of security people: "All phones and iPods need to go in a bin and get scanned."

My response:

"It's not an iPod, it's a medical device."

TSA responses varied --

"Oh." (Read: Whatever.)
"Oh" (with an exclamation point!).

"Really?!" (No, actually I'm lying to you.)

And the inquisitive "What kind of medical device?," to which I gave a little CGM-101.

But the one I liked the best was a friendly man in Indy, who was the second TSA agent at that airport in the line.

"Sure, I know what that is. If I was up there, you could've just gone right through instead of standing here waiting for 5 minutes."

I would've liked to chat more with that man, to see how he in fact knew about my G4. But, there just wasn't time. And it was very early in the morning, before my coffee. Oh, well.

Really, the only issue I had was the one TSA agent in D.C. who apparently didn't understand or believe that my CGM was a medical device and despite my insisting sent it through the X-ray bins anyhow when I wasn't watching. And he didn't much care for my comment, "You break it, you buy it."

He wasn't amused, but in the end it too was really no big deal.

I'm not annoying by these questions or mistaken-iPod identities, for the most part. Because seriously, the Dex G4 really does look like an iPod. How can we blame people for thinking this?

An Actual iPod, NOT a medical device.
My Dexcom G4 (partially photo-bombed by Ping).

We so often clamor for our D-devices to look more non-medical device like, and then gripe when non-D folk don't recognize them as medical devices and question us a little more? It's kind of funny, to me.

Anyhow, overall point: Few airport hassles with the new G4, which was good.

And that's really all I have to say here, for now.


StephenS said…
I was using a G4 for a clinical trial earlier in the year (don't own one myself) and I had to go through security without it attached, prior to the start of the trial. I spent a lot of time on both ends of the trip watching TSA agents inspect the shiny new device and pull everything out of the boxes, including the documentation. I thought they were getting to play with it more than I was! Glad everything worked out okay with the X-ray.
t1mama said…
I actually never really considered the x-ray and the handheld CGM. I've always been much more concerned about the transmitter on my son and the metal detector. No problems there, just always a *hold my breath* moment. I've had my three year old on the G4 for almost exactly a year now and the only places we've really had trouble was going into places like courthouses. And even then, it wasn't much trouble and they were more concerned usually about his Omnipod PDA than his G4.
Nikki said…
My pink Dexcom gets mistaken for an iPod all the time, too, even at work. Someone over the weekend said the round button on the front looks like a mini bass speaker. Lol!!
Holly said…
Gosh, I hadn't thought about that. We do want their stuff to blend in..but then that can actually cause problems! Maybe they need a manual with pictures in case of questions??

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