Living Well with Parkinsons Disease

Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at Copyright 2013-20 Sheryl Jedlinski

Not a security threat


By Sheryl Jedlinski

Watching nightly news about heightened airport security takes me back to the weeks right after 9 – 11. I was catching a flight out of O’Hare when a security screening machine started beeping at me. A woman in a TSA uniform pulled me out of line and took me off to the side to “wand” me.

Stretched out wide, my arms started flailing about. “Are you nervous?”the woman asked. I tried to explain that I have Parkinson’s disease, like Michael J. Fox, but she had never heard of it. I was incredulous. She continued wanding me, stopping at my chest when the beeping started. Who or what did she think could be in there trading secrets with our enemies? She pulled my underwire bra away from my body, waiting for the evidence to fall out. “I know what is going to fall out,” I told her, “ and it is not a threat to national security.”

Leaving the area, we passed a young national guardsman who had a first row seat for my wanding. I thanked him for his service. My husband recalls he winked and said, “No, thank you ma’m.”

Looking back on this event 15 years later, with awareness still an issue for the PD community, we must ask ourselves whether we are part of the solution or part of the problem. Every time we hide our symptoms, whether by sitting on shaking hands or staying home altogether, we enable others not to see us.

4 comments on “Not a security threat

  1. 100wickedwords
    December 20, 2015

    Great story; I remember when you were frisked by the TSA! Maybe the government should put underwire bras on their “suspicious items” list.

  2. defeatparkinsons
    December 20, 2015

    Reblogged this on defeatparkinsons and commented:
    I always beep at airport …and have to go through whole routine myself this is never a good th No especially when you are traveling abroad!!!…sometimes I want to just go ahead and get dbs so I have actual excuse but then I may have to have to explain even more…we still have so much education and awareness to do in our communities …sorry for anyone that has ever had to go through this …many blessings to every one and happy holidays !

  3. Betty Lou
    December 20, 2015

    Thanks Cheryl, I was having a bad day and you made me laugh out loud. You so special.

  4. Lyn
    January 4, 2016

    This is so true. We should not hide our Parkinson’s. We Parkies have to educate anyone who wants to learn and understand this condition. Funny story though Cheryl, you made me smile. XX

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This entry was posted on December 20, 2015 by in Advocacy, Coping Strategies, Holidays.

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