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Experience of body scanners at airports

Hi everyone, me again Lisa. I thought I would share with you my recent experience of body scanners in American airports. Not to bring any negativity, but rather to raise awareness.

Lisa Walkingshaw

So in January my boyfriend and I set of to New York City to celebrate his 30th Birthday. Airport check in going from Belfast was not a problem. However coming home from New York was a different story. We queued as normal for security but when I got to the body scanner I was pulled over by the lady security officer. I looked behind me and noticed that the screen (visible for all to see) highlighted something stuck to my abdomen. Of course I understood that security have a duty to ensure the safety of all passengers and to make sure I wasn’t carrying anything. It was however the way in which I was treated that made me angry.I was asked to step aside. The lady asked if I was carrying anything and it was then I explained my ileostomy and showed her my medical card. She said if I was unable to show her that I would have to go to a quiet room to be searched. By this time everyone was looking at me wondering what was going on.

The security officer talked to her colleague and came back to me. She then said “Are you able to show me without exposing yourself?" She obviously didn’t understand my medical condition nor have any awareness of what an ileostomy was. I said that it would be impossible since my bag is situated low down on my abdomen. She then said "Can you touch it without exposing yourself?" Embarrassed, standing in the middle of the airport I had to put my hands down my trousers to touch my bag.

She then asked me to put my hands out in front of me when she then swabbed my hands for drugs. I know I could have been anyone telling them anything but the way in which the situation was dealt with was in my eyes ridiculous and far from discreet.

It wouldn’t of course put me off flying to the United States again, but I will however be more prepared the next time. I think I would rather go to the quiet room to be searched instead of putting my hands down my trousers in public. I wish I could visit all American airports to provide some much needed education of what ileostomies and colostomies are. Maybe that will be my next mission! Haha!!

Anyway enough of that, I also would like to share with you all my exciting news. After 10 years together through all the good times and bad, my boyfriend got down in one knee in the middle of Central Park NYC and asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes!! I couldn’t think of anyone else to share my life with. Hess seen me at my best and my worst and still stayed by my side. For that I will be forever grateful...

Until next time

Much love

Lisa