Our adventure to Ireland began at the Toronto Airport. This senior citizen triggered the alarm during the security check. I was sent back to go through the scanner again and again. The customs agent questioned if I was wearing bangles, ankle bracelets and what was in my pockets; all the while people stared. My daughter and son-in-law were behind the agent waving their arms and pointing at my hip. How wonderful that I have recovered so well that I forgot about my artificial hip even though I had procured a letter from my doctor to present at security.
The agent directed me to stand over to the side; while I mumbled over and over “I have a doctor’s letter”. A second agent, a female, directed me to stand even further over to my right, hold out my arms as she proceeded to wave a wand over my body. This was followed by a “pat down”. A thought flashed through my mind, ‘oh my god would I have to show my scar?’ How much did I have to share? She then asked to see the bottoms of my stocking feet. I smiled and told her that she would have to let me lean on her or I would fall over if I had to stand on one foot at a time. My balance is not what it once was. Patiently she agreed as I lifted first one foot and then the other. I was finally approved to continue with my trip. I was deemed safe with no contraband or weapons and my hip was great.
This process continued every time I had to go through security before boarding a plane. No one wanted to view the doctor’s letter. The trip from London airport to Dublin also entailed an x-ray. I asked if they could see the screw in my hip and a rather dour agent said “no”.
While these checks seem over the top because I know that I am a good person with no ill intents; I constantly reminded myself that these hard-working people were there to ensure our safety.