Discrimination of the big D?

I’ve never thought of discrimination as something that I would personally encounter. Anything weird or different about me is fairly easy to conceal. I’m not dogged for my race, I don’t discuss religion with anyone who doesn’t know me because I know anyone of a disagreeing religion can judge based on differences, and the only time being a woman seems to bite me in the butt is because even though cooking is considered a woman’s job, the culinary field is largely dominated by men (don’t ask, I don’t get it either).

I have to say, I never thought an “invisible” disease would make me feel discriminated against. But the more I see and that I personally encounter, the more I believe that people like us ARE being mistreated and misunderstood. The man on the train that they thought was intoxicated during a bout of hypoglycemia and escorted off of the train, the recent problems of one of our own site members and the mishandling of him and his insulin pump for a random drug test (at a hospital, no less!), and my own embarrassment of trying to get through airport security during a recent trip.

I understand that airports are more strict that ever with their security measures. This is a good thing. It helps to protect us. It is, however, really uncomfortable for me to be pulled aside by security so that they can pat me down, empty my bags, and test my hands, pump surface, and belongings for…whatever it is that they do. It made me feel like crud that I pack up my tiny little bottles of liquids in a ziplock baggie, don’t even bring nail clippers or a razor in my bag, and bring a letter from my doctor with me and I still get patted down and scanned all over by the wand (even though I didn’t set off the metal dectors) and have to re-pack my things after they’ve taken them all out. It just doesn’t feel fair that I’m an automatic search to them because I have an illness for which I need a medical device attatched to me at all times. It’s not that I feel violated or harassed really (security was actually very nice to me and I really felt like they were sorry they had to put me through it). It just seems that I have enough problems to deal with without adding pat down at security to the list. I don’t even like to fly. To me it just sort of seems as silly as taking an old man’s cane and checking it to make sure he can’t press a button to turn it into a spiked club or assuming every person who lost their hair due to chemo is a neo-nazi.

I guess I just wish people understood better. When I used shots people thought I was a heiroin addict (or if I said I just had a shot, they thought I was drinking), when I’m low, people assume I’m just a snob because I get mean, and now on the pump, apartently I’m a security threat. I’m just a normal person trying to live a normal life. I just happen to need a little outside help to do it.

I travel a bit and this has happened to me at the airport too. It really does make you feel crappy. I have found out that they don’t mess with what they can’t see. So sometime before going through the metal detector I put my pump between my breasts. I am small but it isn’t noticable if I put it under the middle part of the bra. That is my trick. I have done it while standing in line for security but I recommend going to the bathroom to do this. After going through security I usually suck in and let it drop down and hook it on my jeans.

I think I would feel weird about hiding it. I don’t feel it’s something I should have to hide (IMO, the more people who know about my diabetes, the better for me incase I’m not feeling well) and if they knew that I was trying to breeze by without getting it looked at, I might get delayed even more. I know that there’s nothing wrong with my pump and hopefully one day the TSA will leave us alone. I just have this image in my head of hiding my pump and then being tackled to the floor by overzealous security agents. After all, that would be just my luck. lol

You seem to have run into very kind airport security. I've been approached by a drug dealer while having a low, who thought I was 'dope sick'. I really don't want to talk about diabetes anymore after all of the negative experiences I've had, they're too numerous to count. Im an angry angry girl! This includes being fired from my job, among many other things. How does one deal with it!?