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Traveling to Europe

Posted by lonestarszq, on Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:31 pm
I am planning a trip to Italy in February, and am afraid I will be seized and arrested as a terrorist going through security.  I have a descending colostomy and only 150 cm of small intestine left due to multiple Crohns surgeries over the past 40 years.  My weight plummeted to 90 pounds this past July; so, they surgically implanted a peg tube in my stomach. I use Ensure to keep my calories and weight at acceptable levels.  Now not only do I have to deal with the ostomy appliance, but also a tube protruding from the middle of my stomach. That should blow their minds if I have to go through a full-body scan!!! This woman is wired and is carrying explosives!

If I make it through onto the airplane, my concern is finding an Ensure product in Italy.  Does anyone have a similar situation?  I don't think that I can take a case of the product from the US on the airplane.  I'm afraid my dream vacation will be spent in a jail cell in New York!

Does anyone have any suggestions?
Reply by SheliaBaby, on Sun Oct 03, 2010 12:50 pm
Wow...seems like you should be able to get some sort of note from a doctor...explaining your situation.  That way you don't have to try to tell them.  Also, do you think the note could ask that you be allowed to take whatever ensure/supplies you need?

Good luck....and hope you get to make your trip without any problems.  Shelia Smile
Reply by Pinky, on Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:42 pm
First off - you are so lucky to be going to Europe!  Don't let a little thing like the TSA put a damper on your plans!!!

Here in San Diego, there is a separate screening line for baby strollers and PEOPLE WITH MEDICAL LIQUIDS  Very Happy      It's always the shortest line of course.  If your airport has the same thing, you can ask right then for a PRIVATE screening.  I'm sure whatever amount of Ensure you need for the flight over will be allowed.  Can you then put the rest (case or whatever) in your checked luggage?

Maybe our friends in the UK can help regarding where to obtain Ensure in Europe.  Here is a link to Abbott Labs which makes Ensure:

Ciao, and have a wonderful time!!!!!!!!!                                 Pinky
Reply by Immarsh, on Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:59 pm
Hi,   You're doing the right thing by planning in advance.  You'll work out the details.....

Just to let you know, that a friend of mine who was on home dyalisis went to Mexico, and was able to send all the bagged fluids she needed for the procedures on the plane through special luggage arrangements.  All she had to do was pick them up at the destination.  

But if you can find a source to purchase an assure product, you can have it delivered right to your hotel.  If you can't do it through a company, try using e-mail to write to someone in Italy, who might be able to give you some suggestions.  A number of years ago, I flew to Haiti with a friend in a private plane, and was able to get information from Americans living in Haiti.  

Best if luck to you....and enjoy your trip Italy is fabulous.  

Reply by Wyle, on Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:07 am
Sounds similar to Fortisip? I was on this pre / post ileostomy for a few weeks. It is quite expensive & (being a liquid) quite heavy for its size.
Can you get an extra luggage allowance? I'm travelling to Florida in Dec & am allowed an extra case, to be marked 'essential medical supplies'. I managed to get an extra 15kg allowed for this with no arguing, I'm sure I could get more if I need it.
As for the body scanner... Not looking forward to that myself but I think a letter from a Dr will help smooth things.
Good luck & enjoy yourself.
Reply by Lobster, on Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:16 am
I'm just back from Italy (had a great time. 30 degrees and clear blue sky and toughed it out by the pool but back home now to an impending British winter!).

As for security screening - don't worry. I have been through screening here in the UK at Gatwick, Heathrow and Stanstead, been to France, Italy and Bulgaria since getting the colostomy and have had no problems or difficulties at all. I have had medical gear in hand luggage that went through the xray and the only time anything happened was when I had forgotten about a can of ginger beer in the bag. So, no issues at all on the screening front.

Enjoy Italy, it is a great country and Campari and soda is a perfect aperitif as the sun sets.
Reply by goldengirl, on Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:41 pm
Let just say that i never had a problem going through I have lots going on too..I don't know about the ensure but maybe get in touch with airline an see if you can bring your own you go girl...have a fabulous time...really really enjoy I'm wanted to go there...let us know how it went an take lots of pictures...have a safe marvelous trip..Fran
Reply by Tiggy, on Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:01 pm
Good grief, I wish I could give you specific help relating to your queries, but I will be taking a plane at the end of this month for only the second time in my life, so I really can't chime in with anything worthwhile.

However, I did want to express my encouragement! I hope you have an awesome trip, and something tells me that you will. Just think of what would happen if a big fuss was made about your unique situation at an airport! It would be a PR disaster!!! No one is going to make waves when it comes to a sensitive issue such as an ostomy. Trust me, they would end up looking extremely foolish in the end. And if something does happen, let us know and we'll start writing angry letters! Very Happy

Seriously, have a great trip.
Reply by WOUNDED DOE, on Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:00 am
Hi lonestarzq! Smile  I know two people who work for airlines and ...(of course depending on your Airline).....they said something like that shouldn't be a problem especially with a Doctor's note Smile   call your Airline well ahead of time to inquire and make any possibe arrangements sweetie.....good luck and have fun!  Let us know how it goes! Smile  

~safe journey, safe return Smile
Reply by brenth, on Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:31 pm
Just saw this after posting my own question on Europe and I was wondering the same things! Looks like no one has had any issues yet so that sounds like good news.  Hope your trip goes great!
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