Dexcom G4: The Airport.
My experiences at the airport are all anecdotal, so while I assume that TSA teams have seen insulin pumps and CGMs before, I'm most likely completely wrong. Maybe they think I actually do have a suspicious device on hand, and they want to check it out thoroughly. Maybe we're just going through the motions, according to protocol. Either way, I don't mind being pulled aside for the pat-down (unless I'm trying to make a connection flight, in which case I tweak out the entire time, wringing my hands until they're useless dishrags with bitten fingernails.)
The trip to Australia was my first experience at the airport with the Dexcom G4, and while it wasn't too much of a hiccup, it was a different experience than traveling with the Dexcom Seven Plus system. (Note: Australia was the first, and only time, so far, that I've traveled with the G4. I wonder how the next trip will go.) The people I ran into, security-wise, looked at this device as though it was made out of live gerbils, so it took a while to move through the line.But I was a little surprised at how many people were called in to examine the G4: the "female assist!", supervisor, and then the security supervisor.
"Um ... what is that?"
"This is a diabetes device, kind of like an insulin pump." I wanted to mention a device they might be at least a little familiar with, before launching into an explanation including weird words like "interstitial."
"I need you to stand over here, miss, and do not touch any of your belongings."
Chris was watching from a few feet away, keeping an eye on our bags as they went through the x-ray machine.
"I'm going to just stand over here for a few minutes with my shoes off, okay?" I said to him, holding up the Dexcom receiver as evidence of probable cause.
He waved and nodded, safely back in his shoes and reunited with our bags. The security team continued their questioning as they swabbed the device and proceeded to pat me down.
"A diabetes device? Okay, what does it do?" asked the supervisor.
So I explained the sensor and the transmitter, and how it pulls glucose values from the interstitial fluid in my body, then transmits the data to the receiver.
"So it's for blood sugar management?"
"Does it play music?"
Wasn't prepared for that question.
"No? Well, when it alarms when my blood sugar goes too high or too low, it plays a tune. But not like a real song - more like an irritating commercial jingle."
"Does it communicate with your computer or phone?"
He paused. "Does it come in different colors?"
Odd question. "It does, actually. Pink, blue, or black."
"Pink, eh?" The TSA supervisor examined the receiver one more time, then asked to see the sensor on my leg one more time. (Thankful for yoga pants, which are easy to hitch up to expose the necessary real estate.) His team also took at look at everyone one last time, making notes on a small iPad looking device. Then the security machine buzzed, letting them know my device didn't contain any explosive materials. I was free to go.
"So, do you like it?"
That stopped me. "Like it?"
"Yes. Does it help?"
"It does, actually. It helps me keep tighter control of my blood sugars, which helps everything."
"Thanks for your patience." He handed me back the receiver, turning it over in his hand one more time. "My niece has diabetes, and she has a pump, I think. She might like to hear about this thing." He smiled. "She likes pink."