[travel] The joys of flying as a cancer patient

One thing I’ve learned about TSA screening is that if you approach the security area wearing a hat or gloves, you will always be randomly selected for additional screening. Apparently having peripheral neuropathy profiles one as flying while Muslim. So I routinely remove my hat and gloves now to be a compliant flyer and avoid the hassle. Still, it’s more than a little weird.

Now TSA is warning us of surgically implanted explosives. Speaking as someone with an implanted medical device (chemotherapy access port in my right chest, a hollow titanium knob almost the size of a golf ball) and multiple surgery scars festooning my abdomen and chest, I’m pretty sure this will make me a high risk flyer once TSA starts scanning for evidence of surgical history.

Which, if it becomes true, will just piss me off. Basically, the sickest travelers will be in the high risk pool. We will be forced to explain, or possibly document, our medical histories. On top of the myriad indignities of serious illness will be heaped the ingenious indignities of TSA.

Meanwhile, yesterday in America, almost 90 people died from gun violence, almost 1,700 were killed by poor diet and a lack of exercise and a little over 1,200 were killed from smoking cigarettes. No people using the air transit system were killed by surgery patients or persons wearing hats and gloves.

Feel safer yet?

3 thoughts on “[travel] The joys of flying as a cancer patient

  1. Cora says:

    My Dad just came back from a business trip to Greenland. Greenland is cold, even in summer, so of course he wore a thick winter jacket. Which raised quite a few eyebrows at the airport security scans (and European airport personnel is usually a lot easier to deal with than Americans), because obviously the only reason why someone might wear a thick jacket in the middle of summer is that he or she is a terrorist. Chemotherapy or flying to a very cold place obviously don’t count.

    As for the implanted bomb thing, this strikes me as another largely imaginary threat like those liquid explosives terrorists were supposedly planning to manufacturer in airplane toilets. It was complete bunk, yet passengers still aren’t allowed to carry liquids on board, because a bottle of deodorizer is obviously a threat to security.

    The sad thing is that once the US starts with that idiocy Europe will probably follow, because we always do.

    Never mind that anybody determined enough to implant a bomb into their body would probably manage to fake medical paperwork.

  2. Trey says:

    Dammit. Another one my dad and I called. And while detonating a bomb inside a person is likely to be anti-climatic (if disturbing), its the gomers that figure out how to get the bomb out and against an outer wall that will drop the planes.

    Sigh. I guess its time to start planning on driving to Mexico to visit my father-in-law. And I like my father-in-law.

    1. Cora says:

      Yes, the real risks are elsewhere. I never know whether to smile or be alarmed about all the security measures and scans I have to pass at the local airport, while there is next to no security at the airport perimeter where people can park their cars directly at the end of the runway unbothered. So far it’s just planespotters and people taking their dogs for a walk, but it could easily be a terrorist with a surface to air missile.

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