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Monday, November 7, 2011

I can get through an airport, but....

.....I can't go and get a pound of ground turkey for supper.


Because of this.

Because 3 years ago, I had a total hip replacement.

I was told at that time that I would have to carry this card with me any time I had to go through metal detectors, because the prosthetic would be detected. I forgot to get the card right after my surgery, and a few months later I was planning to fly out of state to a friend's wedding. In a panic, I made phone calls and ran around all over the place to get the card so that I wouldn't be strip searched at the airport.

Turns out, even after all of that, I whizzed right through security without a beep.

In fact, since the surgery, I have *never* set off a metal detector at an airport. I actually questioned a TSA person about it one time, and she told me that in general, prosthetic hips don't set them off because of the uh, extra padding that is generally found in that area of the body. (She was really nice about it - I don't remember her wording now.) She said that prosthetic knees are more likely to be detected, simply because there is less fat and muscle around them.

OK, makes sense to me. Also makes getting through airport security easier, although I always have the card out and ready to hand over, just in case.

This summer, when we were in St. Louis, I set off the metal detector. I got questioned pretty closely but after I told them about the hip (I didn't have my card ready) they let me go through - like I was going to pull some sort of crazy stunt with all 5 kids in tow. But whatever, they were doing their job.

I've been noticing lately that I've been setting off alarm systems more often - at the library and at the grocery store, especially. The fun part is setting them off when I walk INTO the building - like I'm going to shoplift something and bring it back into the store!

Today - again - I set it off at the store. As soon as I walked into the store, it started beeping. I kept right on walking (semi-sprinting, I was in a hurry) and got my ground turkey, Diet Pepsi, and powdered milk. I went through the checkout and I told the cashier look, I set off the alarm coming in, so I'm going to set it off going out and I headed for the door. I even raised my arms up as I went through to show them that I wasn't hiding anything as the alarm started beeping. I got out into the area where the carts are kept and was trying to get my bags and Daniel organized so that we could get out to the van - because of course by this time it was 12:28 and we had exactly 2 minutes to get to school - and a store employee came flying at me. "Ma'am!" (not a good way to start a conversation with me, buddy....) "I need to see your receipt!" Dude look, I set off your metal detector walking into the store. You saw me do it. I saw you see me do it. Back off and let me get my kid to school.

Of course, the receipt was crumpled up in my wallet. Daniel was pitching a fit. "Mom! I have to go to school!!!" I dropped the bags, dug into my purse (I forgot how much I hate carrying those things), dug into my wallet, and pulled out the crumpled receipt. He looked at it, got some code off of it, apologized, and left.


I've been trying to figure out why I'm suddenly setting off alarms all over the place. I mean really, it's not like I reached into my body and changed the metallic makeup of the prosthetic.

It dawned on me today. I was thinking back to the conversation with the TSA lady.

Hips don't generally set off the alarms because of the extra layers of fat that tend to be in that area of the body.

I've lost 30ish pounds in the last year or so.

Huh. I lost fat around my butt (yay!) so now the metal prosthetic is closer to the surface of my body, and therefore easier to detect by security (boo!)......

I swear. I can't make this stuff up.


  1. well...condolences AND congrats! I'm sorry you're setting off alarms, but SO happy for you with the weight loss!
    Can't be THAT big a town you live in is it? You'd think they had seen you once or twice!!! sheesh!
    Gotta love technology.

  2. LOL Mare, it's not a big town - and it's not like I'm not in this grocery store every other day - they should know me by sight by now! The whole thing is such a pain in the butt.


  3. Look. I figured out the plot of this story way back when. Congrats on making your butt smaller. (I say as I'm drinking pepsi and eating pretzels.) Honestly though - you might want to re-think the plan :)

    Just kidding!



  5. I'm Back and Feeling Much Better!!!

    So, this is a HAPPY POST THEN!!!!


    come check me out... I'll write a post later on today.



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