Sunday, November 27, 2011

Packing Luggage for London

The middle bag above was the size of my stowaway bag
I put my wife and son on a plane to London Wednesday night before my flight on Sunday Oct. 23.  I began to gather the items I needed to pack my bags for London as soon as I returned home from the airport.

One of my carry-ons was like this bag which contained my CPAP

One of my carry-ons was this shape and had a retractable handle and wheels 
        As I wrote earlier, my wife tripped and hurt her foot the day after they landed.  My son emailed with additional items to add to my bags.  The items included several pairs of footwear and dried mangos, blueberries and two pounds of cashews from Costco.  My daughter, in London, also requested I bring a quantity pack of cucumber mellon scented Dove deodorant from Costco, a pumpkin carving kit
and an aerosol can of Pure Citrus Orange Air Freshener from Walmart and two bags of fresh cranberries from a supermarket.

The aerosol can, deodorant and pumpkin carving kit went into my stowed luggage not to be misconstrued as bomb making materials or weapons with which to take over the aircraft.  The rest would fit into my carry-on.

There were some items that were mandatory in my carry-on luggage.  
They were:

 • my medications (heart, hypertension, reflux, low dose aspirin)
• my CPAP machine  
  (continuous positive airway pressure for sleep apnea), face mask 
  and tubing (my breathing sounds like Darth Vader)
• my camera for photographing the wedding couple before and   
  during the reception
• strobe
• sealed gel cell battery for strobe
• strobe attachment bar
• strobe light modifier
• strobe wall voltage adapter
• mobile phone wall voltage adapter

If you know anyone with obstructive sleep apnea, you know the importance of a CPAP machine in getting that person a good night's sleep.  When I underwent sleep testing, I was told I awakened three hundred times throughout the night and entered REM within the first ten minutes of sleep.  That is not good for the heart (which is why I had most of the meds) nor for a restful sleep.  No wonder I used to fall asleep at the drop of a hat.  All I needed to do was sit still in one place and in no time, I was asleep.  I was constantly embarrassing my wife and family.  "Dad's asleep, again", would be heard at every gathering we attended.  Or my fellow workers would snicker or outright laugh at me during meetings.  My falling asleep was terribly troubling when I drove a car.  As you might well imagine.  This machine is a necessity and that is why it was in my carry-on.

I now needed to make room in my carry-on for three pairs of footwear, a bag each of dried blueberries and mangos, two pounds of cashews and two bags of cranberries.

I began to wonder what kind of questioning I would go through with security at the airport.  There was the CPAP, face mask and hoses plus the battery and strobe and all the electronic items and now food and three pairs of footwear in my carry-on.  What red flags would that throw up?  I was soon to find out.

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved

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