February 10, 2014 11:12 am -

This post at Cafe Mom shows how humiliating it can be to pass muster with a TSA agent. A man who had cancer had to wear a diaper because of incontinence, and had to suffer through one TSA agent shouting that fact to all with earshot, and another one not understanding what an “incontinence product” was.

Never an issue until last week. While waiting in the security line he had a strong bladder spasm and and a large release of urine into the diaper. After he emerged from the scanner the TSA officer (a female) asked if he was carrying liquids in his clothing. He explained his condition and what had happened. In the past, it was embarrassing enough for him to just tell a TSA employee that I was wearing an adult incontinence garment but now he was also announcing that he had wet himself.) She called over to another (male) officer (the boss, I guess) and explained the situation to him out loud in front of everyone else still going through the line. The problem was he did not understand what an “incontinence product” was when she told him. Myself, DH, and the female TSA employee tried explaining a few times before the woman finally just shouted ” HE IS WEARING A DIAPER” which caused pretty much everyone to turn and stare at us (smaller airport so not that many people). The TSA officer then snickered which was almost enough for me to go off but I really didn’t want to make an even bigger scene then there already was.

He then told us that the scanner was unable to tell what was under his clothing and that “further review” was required. I asked him what that meant and he asked us to get our bags and follow him. We were taken through an office area into a room in the back. After waiting a couple of minutes 4 new TSA officers(one of which went to college with DH but dropped out his freshman year- still embarrassing to know someone in a situation like this though) came in and one asked DH if he had any liquids in his pants. By now we were both getting quite annoyed with being asked the same question over and over and he replied that he was wearing a diaper and that he had pi—d in it while waiting in their ***** line. Probably wasn’t the best idea for him to get that mad but at that point he didn’t even care about people knowing he had a medical condition and we just wanted to get out of their.

They then patted him down and asked him to drop his pants when they felt the “suspicious padding” around his waist. After finally seeing the diaper, one of the officers said that he would need to “change out of it” to “clear the issue”. He got his spare brief out of my carry-on, a female officer came up and gave him a large Ziploc bag and they left the room while he changed. She returned, collected the bag with the wet brief and went off for about 5 minutes. The group of officers then returned and told us that we were cleared and showed us to the door. On a positive note, I must say that all of the TSA agents, except for the one who loudly yelled “he’s wearing a diaper” in front of the entire airport security line, were courteous, professional, and apologetic for the intrusion.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.