Formula · Living with PKU

Travelling Stories

Kevin Alexander just posted on facebook about travelling with PKU and I realized that I have some good stories that need to be shared!

Getting through airport security with formula can be interesting. I bring my formula for the day in a little cooler. Now, as we all know, we are not allowed to bring liquids through. But I do it every time! I used to bring a note from my doctor, but I’ve found that they don’t really care about that — they just have to test the liquid and the ice packs anyway. So I’ve stopped bringing the note. I just let security know that I do have a medical liquid so they don’t think I’m trying to pull anything. I always graciously consent to their testing and wait patiently. No use putting up a fuss. It usually goes pretty smoothly.

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But this Christmas when I was flying home my ice packs actually set off an alarm. Because of this I had to get searched and patted down. It wasn’t that bad really. I was just curious why this happened when it’s never happened before. After the security guard finished searching my belongings he told me that sometimes the compounds in lotion can set off the alarm. Then I remembered, I had put lotion on that morning before packing my cooler! So now I know – don’t put on lotion when you are packing formula.

Another good story. When I went through airport security in China, I handed them my medical note, they looked at it, walked away to show it to someone else. That someone came back. They didn’t seem to care about the medical note. I was worried they would make me throw it away. But what they did is ask me to drink it! I thought that was so funny. What a primitive but effective security measure — if it was poisonous or dangerous, I wouldn’t want to drink it either! So after watching me down a few sips, they let me go.

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