“They Were Convinced my Humalog Penfills were Ammo”

Readers share thoughts and experiences of getting their diabetes supplies through airport security.



After we shared a story of a Type 1 diabetes family detained by airport security, we asked readers to share their thoughts about going through airport security. Here’s what they had to say*:

I’m travelling from Perth, Western Australia to Bali in September and freaking out about how I will be treated carrying an insulin pump.
-Eliza S.

I was stopped on Monday when they found my Humalog and Lantus pens. Produced letters from my doctors, opened a pen to show the agent, and all was good.
-Keith H.

I always get stopped, but am always super polite and explain it’s a medical device. TSA has always been very nice to me after I explain, but they usually also run a gunpowder residue test on my hands and pump. It takes less than 60 seconds and now I just know to be prepared for it.
-Brynn H.

I don’t have a pump, but they were convinced my Humalog penfills were ammo.
-Susan D.

Every time I fly I have a pat-down and swab. I unclip it and hold my pump in my hand and show them as I walk through the detector. I don’t mind as it’s a precaution.
-Lyndsey H.

I live in Israel and the security personnel know what an insulin pump is, but I always carry a letter from my doctor just in case.
-Mark R.

I always get stopped. I’ve been told if I ask any more questions, I would be detained. So now, every time I’m stopped, I politely but firmly request/demand a report and to speak to a supervisor.
-Kerry O.

I think it is a good thing that they check out our pumps and other medical devices. Times are scary.
-Cathy V.

At an NFL game, they just about tackled me until another guard said I had a medical device. Still, I actually appreciate the extra security steps.
-Deborah H.

I bring material translated into whatever language of the country I’m going to. Never had a problem.
-Angelica J.

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*All comments have been edited for length and clarity, not for content.

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Craig Idlebrook is a past editor for Insulin Nation, Type 2 Nation, and Información Sobre Diabetes. He is now the community engagement and content manager for T1D Exchange.