Letter from a Passenger : “Every Time I Fly, I Have to Explain My Private Medical Condition to a Perfect Stranger.”

Here’s a letter from a blogger named Matthew Grant McDaniel. He has an ostomy bag due to the fact that he had to have his large intestine removed as a result of Ulcerative colitis/Crohn’s disease. This letter and article from Matthew is redolent of my post “The Most Awkward Moment for a TSA Screener” (I have a strange feeling that post is going to become one of the top 5 most popular of all time on this blog fairly soon). As with “The Most Awkward Moment for a TSA Screener,” I can only imagine how awkward and humiliating this routine experience is for Matthew and other passengers in similar situations. I would now like to add that the number 2 awkward moment for me as a TSA screener involved this…

Hi. My name is Matthew Grant McDaniel. 

I’m writing because I wrote something a while back that may or may not be useful to you. I’m sure during your time with the TSA you occasionally came across passengers who had ostomy/colostomy bags. I, myself, unfortunately had to have my entire large intestine surgically removed because of Ulcerative colitis/Crohn’s disease a few years ago (when I was just 26 years old). Most folks with an ostomy are survivors of very rough diseases and conditions (the majority of them either UC/Crohn’s or colon cancer). As a way to provide a service to these people, and after a particularly jarring experience, I wrote something on my blog, which is still among my most popular. I’ve met a few people who were in the same situation. They found my blog because they, too, have an ostomy and were scared shitless (pun definitely intended) about getting through TSA screening without being humiliated.

-Matthew Grant McDaniel
twitter: @mgmcdaniel
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