Adventures in Airport Security

This summer on our travels, we had the opportunity to see TSA in action a couple of times. The first time through, going and coming back, went so well we couldn’t believe it. We had heard so many nightmare stories about TSA and were holding our breath each time. Our second time, probably due to our first good experience, we expected not to have any problems. Boy, were we surprised and extremely irritated. I don’t know if I can say that everything that could go wrong did; but, we certainly had more than our share of trouble and both ways I might add. On the way out of town, we did everything that we did before, but, got a different result. I showed Parker’s VNS card and told everyone we saw that he had a VNS and couldn’t go through the scanner. On our first trip, they said no problem and took him around and used some sort of wiping down method of him and his wheelchair to look for I don’t know what and everything was great. They looked inside his cups and tested the liquids. I had a doctor’s note for said liquids and they didn’t care to even look at it. Again, no problem and we went on our way.


On the second trip, all my making a fuss over the VNS made absolutely no difference. They smiled and said okay and indicated I should go through and the TSA agent would bring Parker around, but, he didn’t. He pushed him right behind me and through the scanner. I couldn’t believe that he acted like he listened and he smiled and assured, but, he didn’t listen and I became extremely upset. Once he realized his mistake and that he wasn’t really paying attention to me, he was apologetic and kept asking me if Parker was acting okay. Since he cannot speak, I kept saying that in that moment he was acting okay, but, how can I really know. I decided than and there that for now on I would have to speak down to these people as my son is obviously only important to me and they really couldn’t be bothered to do their jobs properly. So, on the way back I actually said over and over that he can not go through the scanner and kept checking for any understanding of my words. I was determined that it would not happen again.


So there we were in the airport and through security and not knowing what may have just happened to the VNS. I quickly called the neurologist and amazingly enough he got on the phone and told me that it could have just set it off once or it could have changed the setting up or down. We cannot know for sure until he comes in to check the settings. He did say if it was changed down, he may start having more seizures and if it is too high, he will get irritable. Oh good, what a way to start a vacation!


On our way home, TSA adventures once again kept us amused, not. In order to not have overweight luggage, we stuck the last few cans of Pediasure in our carry on bags. With the doctor’s note which they still could care less about and the fact that they were sealed, we figured no problem. Wrong! There was a problem. They said that since it was sealed and they could not test the liquid, I would have to have a pat down. Not Parker, not Lee, me. We asked why and I honestly cannot tell you what they said because there was no logic to the answer. When Lee asked why, the agent said to ask me because she already explained it to me. I said I don’t understand the reasoning and can’t possibly explain and she explained it again. Once again, it didn’t make any sense. Lee started getting angry because of nonsensical rules and I had to tell him to calm down or they could make us miss our flight. We will gladly do what is necessary for rules that are logical, but, this was just doing something because of something else and there was no correlation. Getting to the pat down took about 20 minutes as they had no idea what they were doing. They had one agent on the phone with a supervisor talking them through everything to do and they just did what they were told without any understanding of the logic or lack there of. They also said that any bags that were mine needed to be hand searched after already being scanned. Really? How dumb are these people and their rules? I packed every bag we had. Whatever they think they were looking for could have been in any bag. If you are making a rule, use some logic for goodness sake! Since they only asked which bags were mine, I wasn’t about to suggest they check all of them. Apparently, the factory sealed Pediasure made me suspect that I might have some grand weapon like…..water?


We are all for safety and checking people out thoroughly for all our safety, but, make some rules that make sense and stop assaulting people that are obviously not a threat and leaving those alone that look suspicious. Just use common sense and we will all be safer and much happier.


About Lori Linn

Besides writing, Lori has been an Actress both on stage and in film, is currently a member of SAG and AFTRA, and is a credentialed teacher as well as her full time job as a mom.
This entry was posted in Children's book, novel, non-fiction, seizures, epilepsy, VNS, special needs, disability, genetic disorder, author, Mowat Wilson Syndrome, vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Adventures in Airport Security

  1. BIKELEPTIC says:

    Thank you for detailing your detailing your (however stressful) experience. I am preparing to air travel at the beginning of September for the first time since getting my VNS device and have been frantically trying to figure out exactly what I need from my doctors and such.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s