Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Note: Please read my comment written today September 7th which inspires the photos and my latest post of today. I want you to understand while the new rule may be a minor inconvenience for many people, there are others with situations where new security guidelines have become a hassle and more than an inconvenience. Remember that I represent a minority of the spectrum that has things easier. I write this not only about my own experience and emotions but for you to become aware of other people for whom travel becomes a crisis and a major burden to deal with these issues. I am rather open about my NF2 and needs. Yet remember that there are those who are private and would not want to disclose their condition under these new security parameters or would even feel up to dealing with all of this. I know when I flew home from treatment just over two years ago I was sicker than a dog and would not have been able to tolerate dealing with this scenario. What happens then? The burden is then passed on to family members, friends, or loved ones that may not know what to do with the situation or be quite emotional themselves. It can be just as draining or more so for them. Do the law makers or the TSA consider this? Are all airport staff trained to recognize and accommodate these people without requiring them to give full and detailed medical disclosure? So far in my travel experience that answer is "no".

Alright this has nothing to do with NF2 really but the news has made me LIVID!!!!!!! My husband flew out to visit his mother in Minnesota and I had bought some nice gardenia smelling body spray from Bath and Body Works. Those who are fans of the famous store no that it is not cheap. So let this be a warning to all!

Seeing as it is one of the last things I gave him while packing he put it in his carry-on luggage. He also has his toiletries such as hair gel, shampoo, and toothpaste. In addition he was carrying a nalgene water bottle filled with water. Guess what??????? At the x-ray machine airport security made him throw out EVERYTHING - yup the brand new bottle of body spray I just bought, the toothpaste, the shampoo, the hair gel, and even the freaking water for cripes sakes!!!!!!!!

What is next?......tampons and lip gloss that you find in women's purses??? Gum? Mints? Breathspray?

Okay the tweezers, nail clippers, and grooming scissors were a little silly but we put up with it. This new rule (just who in the hell pulled that out of their arse?????) of anything liquid is pure hogwash!

Now back to NF2, cancer, or other such disease or disorders. For many of us we MUST have water with us at all times. Unless you travel first class which is VERY EXPENSIVE, you know that something to quench your thirst does not come around for at least 20 minutes or more after you have boarded the plane.

For this reason, I ALWAYS carry some type of LARGE water bottle with me and or fill my hydro-backpack. I often suffer from dry mouth and need to drink water continuously. I know that several cancer patients, people on prescription steroids (such as NF2ers after surgery), and several other disorders need to do the same. What are they all going to be required to dump out their water now and wait for the little cup? WTF????? Again, who invented this dumb ass rule?

Let me also say that things I commonly carry on with me for obvious reasons would be lip gloss and carmex, a small bottle of body spray as one can become kind of smelly on a flight, a small bottle of hand lotion (ALWAYS as I often have a serious dry problem of my hands where they can crack and bleed in changing weather), a small bottle of mouthwash to rinse my mouth, eye drops (THERE IS NO DISPUTING THAT AND MANY NF2ERS WILL AGREE), and often my toiletry bag in case my checked luggage becomes lost.

We just made a flight to and from Miami in June without any problem. I had all of the above in my carry on luggage. So when did this lame brain new rule go in affect?

Needless to say. I am "madder than heck"! Please pass the word. This has just gone too far!


Anonymous said...

Hey, Becky. There are LOTS of people upset about this new "Rule", but it came about when there were terror threats a couple of months ago that involved an explosive that was discovered that, when mixed with any liquid would cause it to explode. That was why the ban of all liquids on flights came about. This includes makeup, perfumes, hair stuff, etc. Not good, but it beats the alternative for sure. People are allowed to pack those types of items in checked bags though...

Rebecca said...

Alright this is definitely a problem folks!!! I realized yesterday afternoon that I will be traveling by air in less than a month. To be honest this additional burden has turned me off to traveling via plane if you can believe that.

I was thinking, "ok I will bring an empty water bottle and then fill it with water once I get beyond the x-ray point. Also thought, "Well I can buy one of those tiny disposable one time use lotion packs at an inflated rate at one of the vendors in the lobby before I board the plane."

Then I read this:
"Can I Take It?
Due to enhanced security measures liquids, gels, lotions and other items of similar consistency will not be permitted in carry-on baggage. These types of items must be packed in your checked baggage.

Additionally, liquids, gels and lotions purchased beyond the checkpoint but must be disposed of before boarding the aircraft.

hmmn. I was recently told to use an over the counter eye ointment while sleeping so that my eye does not dry out AND I DO NOT GO BLIND IN THAT EYE!!!!!!! I guess I will have to make a point to stay awake on my flight and continuously use the eye drops. FORTUNATELY the size of my eye drop bottles is allowed.

Perhaps I can get a note from my dentist and radiologist saying that I suffer from dry mouth and need continuous fluids so that I will either be allowed to bring water with me on the plane or the staff will be understanding and gracious enough to give me some water when I board and not make me wait THE 20 MINUTES OR LONGER until they come around.

Cracking lips - It says you can bring solid lipstick so hopefully they will allow chapstick.

My hiking pole/walking stick......hmmn that still poses a problem as it does not fit in my luggage and I need it for balance. Most often when I travel with it there is not a problem but there is an occassion when I was harassed that it could be a deadly weapon. No I do not use a cane. I am still able to get around mostly without one but in certain situations such as seeing a new place and looking around, I need the pole so I do not fall over. Also, if I am doing some kind of hiking on uneven terrain, where there are hills, things(scenery I want to see), and I am carrying a hydropack I need to use it. I don't like to let my situation limit me in life and find ways to do things that are possible.

I will have to include a picture so that you understand what I am talking about. I also need to use it if I am walking on a beach. The hiking pole in those situations helps me greatly and I would either have a hard time or not be able to do those things without it.

You are probably wondering "Why not use a pole that collapses more and is lighter?" Well in fact I do have a pair of hiking pole that do just that and are ironically named "Odyssey". I use those in a purely hiking frame of going up a hill and down. I will bring those also. Yet they are made for hiking purposes and not for support due to imbalance. For example, I would not use those poles when going to a zoo, a botanical garden, walking on flat terrain at night, or walking on a beach. The audoban pole I have is thicker, sturdier, and made for use as one pole offering more stability.

As you can see I have a variety of techniques and things I use for adaptability. I have different eye drops for different times of the day, different shoes for different terrain, and even different methods of communicating. That is what the life of NF2 is. It is about adaptability as ones life changes.

So I need that pole! It looks like with these new changes that all I can do is get letters from all my medical staff stating why I need these things so that I am allowed to travel with them.

Yes pain in the arse!

I guess I am glad that I did nto travel this time and discovered all this before I will travel next month. All this really does take the fun and relaxation out of traveling making it exhausting and a burden.

Does this new rule make me feel any safer? LOL NO. In fact I do not feel any different from before other than more annoyed and restricted. I will refrain from explaining my answer to the question.