When TSA is Terrible Staff Agency

This is absolutely inexcusable!

A young woman, Hannah Cohen, has had a tumor removed from her brain, which combined with radiation treatments has made her blind and deaf on her left side, along with limited speech and mobility. She and her mother were flying home to Chattanooga a day post-anaesthesia from another treatment at St Jude hospital. [1]

And then the metal detector went off.

“They wanted to do further scanning, (but) she was reluctant — she didn’t understand what they were about to do,” said her mother, Shirley Cohen.
Cohen said she tried to tell agents with the Transportation Security Administration that her 19-year-old daughter is partially deaf, blind in one eye, paralyzed and easily confused — but she said police kept her away from the security agents. [2]

Disoriented and confused from the metal detector alarms and being grabbed, she was forcibly manhandled hard to the floor making her head injured and bleeding.

Worse, the TSA and Memphis Airport Police did not heed her mother, Shirley Cohen, who repeatedly tried to convey necessary medical information about her daughter, and ensure accommodations.

Two guards grabbed her daughter from both sides, the mother said.
“It freaked her out,” she told The Commercial Appeal. “They didn’t listen to me at all. When they grabbed her, it scared her, and she was trying to get away from them. The next thing I know, one of them slammed her down on the floor and busted her head open. There was blood everywhere.” [1]

The young woman, who was returning home after finishing treatment for the brain tumor at St. Jude Hospital, was arrested and booked into jail.
Authorities eventually threw out the charges against Hannah Cohen, but her family has filed a lawsuit against Memphis police, airport police and the TSA. [2]

[1] http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/courts/lawyers-st-jude-patient-injured-by-airport-security-36949a4b-631b-10b7-e053-0100007f024b-385207351.html

[2] http://www.rawstory.com/2016/07/disabled-woman-beaten-bloody-by-tsa-agents-after-becoming-confused-and-afraid-at-security-checkpoint/

Odd places where Insanely Busy Woman

squeezes in catnaps:

  • Patient bench under the CT scanner (today’s choice, which most delightfully came with a blanket that more than made up for the repeated, “Breathe in; hold your breath,” commands)
  • Slumped against the wall behind a folding partition and faux Ficus tree in the corner of an unoccupied hotel “ballroom” during a convention (I had the flu and wasn’t presenting until an hour later)
  • Dentist’s chair (N.B. to dentist: don’t dwaddle, as the local anæsthesia wears off me faster than anyone thinks it ought to)
  • Toilet stalls (micronaps were not always intentional but due to jetlag, and I have to say that the Dutch closet-like stalls are fab)
  • Sitting upon a gently-used Turkish newspaper on the floor of the Frankfurt railstation (newspapers in languages you cannot read are still useful for a surprising number of things beyond blotting fish-and-chips or flooring bird cages, and whatever shall we use when the news is no longer printed on dead tree pulp?)
  • Sandwiched between two cats solarizing on the carpeted stair landing (warmth, purring cats, zzzZZZzzz)
  • University library stacks, while seated upon a step stool in the corner of the QL461 research journals (napping at a uni library isn’t odd, just that normal people do so in the plush club chairs that the sympathetic librarians add into their budgets)
  • Inside a section of new concrete sewer pipe stored with similar construction supplies at the edge of a county park (it was pouring and pouring down rain so my wee daughter and I just waited the storm out)
  • In a mostly-empty moving box of towels (there were no surfaces empty of moving boxes)
  • On a poolside chaise longue that someone had moved to outside the safety gate of a hotel pool — I wasn’t staying at that hotel, but did have my trusty towel draped over my face for sunburn protection and reduced apparency as an interloper, Thank You Douglas Adams
  • On a bench in a glasshouse at Royal Botanic Garden, Kew (heat, plants, zzzZZZzzz)

Repelled from the Garden

Triocereus candicans

Trichocereus candicans

There are few better times to visit a garden than when everything is unfolding in the fresh new flowers of the season. If you’re visiting a desert garden, spring is nice because it is not as hot as summer.*

I’m a serious “garden-geek” and visit gardens where-ever I travel. Hubby has perforce acquired a taste for gardens, albeit at strictly the tourist level. He has even taken pictures of me squatted or perched in awkward positions as I strain to take pictures of plants, because well, that’s what some of our vacation consisted of. He will (most thankfully) exercise patience as I take pictures of giant compost heaps as well as rare blue poppies or blooming agaves. We have also found that when you’re jetlagged and desperately trying to stay awake to adjust to a distant time zone, a tour of a garden is a perfect way to get the necessary daylight exposure for the inner clock, and is a good opportunity to stretch and exercise airplane-cramped muscles. Even better, it is an attraction that does not place heavy cognitive demands on the visitor just to enjoy it (which is important for those of us who cannot sleep on plane flights).

So when hubby is looking for things to do with his papa, he thinks that a trip through a garden would be a great way to spend time together, and also get a change of scenery. But is the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix accessible? Hubby is hard of hearing, so pulling up their Web page on his Blackberry is his first route of information. But he can’t find the information he seeks, and then tries phoning. Unfortunately that just yielded the annoying automated system. When you cannot understand the recorded message, having to go through the entire phone tree again to listen to it a second time is not only frustrating and laborious — the message is also not likely to be any more intelligible the second time around!

Well, this lack of accessible information about site accessibility is really vexing. It’s also really surprising — Phoenix and the surrounding cities are full of seniors, due to the climate. One would hope that large portions of the garden would be accessible for wheelchairs and walkers, but gardens aren’t always. In fact, many botanic gardens have gravel or wood chip pathways, or even put flower beds way out between expansive lawns, which turns garden tourism into wheelie triathalon events.

Meanwhile, I’m hanging around bored in an automotive waiting room as I get a dead headlamp replaced. Receiving his frustrated text message, I then start my own search. Read the rest of this entry »