January 2nd, 2008

Kreegah Bundalo

TSA is Trying to Kill Me

Last night I put on my CPAP mask and started to fall asleep normally. A few minutes later, I was back up, coughing like crazy. I tried again; same result. I then examined my CPAP machine more closely. Although there may be another explanation, I found a whole lot more dust than usual inside the machine, and the rear cover of the air intake dislodged. My luggage (which did have the TSA notice inside) was more rumpled than usual. I suspect that TSA dislodged the rear cover and that a bunch of dust got inside the thing. I replaced the disposable filter (which was filthy and due for its monthly replacement), washed the reusable one, and slept much more easily.

I expect that at least one person reading this is about to tell me, "You shouldn't check your CPAP machine -- always carry it on." Well, I'm already carrying on two pieces of carry-on luggage (including my "personal item" briefcase) on most flights, including my computer, and the stuff is heavy. If you say, "There's an exception for medical equipment," I say, "I'd rather not have to risk the inevitable TSA goon who doesn't know about the exception, won't listen to me quoting regulations, and has the perceived authority to arbitrarily confiscate my goods and imprison me." Checking my CPAP machine and spare laptop are calculated risks, I know.
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