People at airport security

Airport Security is…Heaven!

Going through security at the airport has recently begun to fill me with…

Nope – not dread.

Nope – not fear.

Nope – not anxiety.

It fills me with excitement and anticipation! (I find it important to say hear and now that this is ONLY if we are there in good time. Nothing is more stressful than setting off the REALLY bad alarm when already running short on time. But more on that soon.)

So…let’s consider this Part 1 of a series, shall we?

Episode 1: The Pat Down from Heaven…Mostly.

Thanks to wearing a continuous glucose monitor sensor on my arm, which in basic terms is a sensor I scan with my phone that tells me my blood sugar, and also wearing an insulin pump, (which I could take off but don’t because most security have come across pumps and it kind of helps explain the lesser known sensor. It gives me Betes Cred, ya know?) I can’t go through the body scanner.

Guess what that means?

Yup. A pat down. Every. Time.

We’ve travelled a lot in recent years, with a couple (or more, thanks to crisis) of trips back to Canada  every year from here in the UK where we now live, plus European travel with friends and family, and a few warm holidays for the hubs and I too. So this pat down thing, well, I’m well familiar.

On this particular occasion, we were flying from – oh heck I can’t even remember – somewhere in the UK to – oh shoot, somewhere in Europe. I reported my attached medical devices to the disinterested bag belt woman who sent me to meet another young lady to let me around and past the body scanner.

Here’s where it starts to heat up.

There is only this one young woman on the through side of the scanner, and I very quickly clued in to the fact that she was new to this. Like ‘just born and hasn’t yet criednew. And I had the honour of (metaphorically, of course) holding her upside down and slapping her until she did. (I think that’s what happens in the delivery room? I’ve never had a child nor have watched one be born but I have watched some Grey’s Anatomy and ER in my day, so…?)

I’ll let you in on a little secret. When I travel, thanks to a multitude of reasons for motion sickness, I must heavily medicate. Basically I’m legally stoned, thanks to a med they usually give to cancer patients going through chemo for their nausea. So…I’m pretty chill when I travel.

This poor young lady needed some of what I was on. (I’ll call her Bo from now on. I must protect the green, er, I mean, innocent.

Bo lined me up in front of her on what I like to call ‘the perpetrator mat.’Then under her breath she began to talk out the steps.

‘Ask if there are any sore spots on the body. Pat down arms first…’

I put my arms up like airplane wings, as you do.

‘Oh you can put your arms down.’

Oh. Okay. {I put arms down.}

‘K. So you could you raise your arms by your side please?’

Oh. O…kay. {Arms up then.}  I start humming ‘I’m like a Bird…’by Nelly Furtado without even realising it.

As she lifted her hands to my shoulder I said,‘Just so you know, I have an insulin pump in my bra, so you’ll feel it there. I can show you if you’d like. Sometimes they swab it too.’

‘Oh. Umm. Okay. Well, no I don’t think I need to see it.’

{One pat, two pats}

‘Actually…maybe I should look at it. Can you take it out?’

I reached into my top to pull it out.

‘Well…maybe I’ll do that at the end.’

{Arms back up. They’ve never been so toned.}

Here’s where it really starts to get good. Still all the while talking herself through each step, and with a few beads of sweat starting to glisten on her forehead, she began to, um, roll and cup (?) my arm all the way down to my fingertips. Slow, steady, firm but gentle…oh wow. That. Is. Nice.

My other arm could barely wait! Dont rush the process, Suse. Soak it in. Soak it in.

Breastbone and abdomen? That was fine. But then, then

‘Okay you can put your arms down now. I’m gonna check your back and legs next. Could you please turn around?’


I turned.


I’m not sure whether to tell you what I felt at this point or what I saw. I think I’ll start with what I felt first.

So the cupping and rolling and firm but gentle massage slowly continued down each leg. I’m sure she was aiming for, thorough but appropriate, and what she achieved was amazing.

‘Can you hold on to this wall and lift your right foot please?’

Okay, so this was standard at airport security. Visually check the bottoms of my feet. (No shoes. They’re in a bin with my scarf.)

There was nothing ‘standard’ about Bo. She actually massaged my feet! I’m not sure what she thought I might be packing in those thin nylon socks of mine. A 110ml bottle of killer salad dressing? Or hair oil maybe? Who cares. I would’ve walked on a fork if it meant more of that.

As I was feeling more chill, she certainly was not.

Cuz here’s what I saw:

As I had turned on my offender’s mat, I looked up to see Don, standing squarely behind the walk through scanner, arms crossed with a combination of eye rolls and head shaking with the word, ‘really?’ floating invisible above his head.

What really disturbed me though, was the ginormous lineup of disgruntled? entertained? angry? jealous? all of the above? travellers behind him.

‘Oh thank god,’she said. ‘My colleague is here now.’ Security reinforced.

 The only way I could see to save both her and I, was to ask her again if she wanted to swab my pump, and then to make a big showing of this lifesaving medical device to the antsy queue as I whipped it out of my top.

I mean, at least then I gave them a reason for all the massaging, right? I’m not a perp, but rather a person with diabetes.

A very relaxed person with diabetes. 😉

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