Diabetes Day Camp, Take 1

It has been an eventful week. Of course, “eventful” is useful in the same way as “interesting,” — it can represent many different shades of good, bad, and in-between.

The Bear had her first week of diabetes camp. She’s only 7, so it was day camp. She went to a one-day event at this camp last fall and really liked it. When I saw that they had summer day camp (1 week), I was pretty excited but we were waiting to hear whether she got into another camp (that runs by a lottery system) that could have been the same week so we didn’t register for diabetes camp right away. In fact, I didn’t even remember it until the Friday before the camp was set to start 🙂 I called, they made room, and come Monday she was off to Camp Hot Shot.

The awesome: Everything I have read about any diabetes camp applied here — huge peace of mind knowing that most of the counselors & some of the organizers have T1 and/or have a lot of experience with managing T1. Even though this camp did a lot of the same things as the rec camp she got sick of last summer, she had fun doing those things here and I think the counselors & other kids were the biggest reason. She didn’t have any comments on what it was like being in a group where everyone was testing bg and taking insulin (rather than being the only one doing those things, like at school), but I’m sure it was an incredibly normalizing experience for her. She has already said she wants to go again next year and someday she wants to be a counselor. The pool at this facility is a non-swimmer’s dream come true with buckets that randomly drop water, and a waterfall-like thing.

The same-old-same-old: The camp had a “veggie challenge” on one of the days. Each camper was assigned a vegetable and had to come up with a recipe that they could make and bring in for everyone to try. The camper who tried the most things was recognizeveggiesd and the campers voted on which recipe was their favorite. Ahead of time, I told the camp director that the challenge would be getting the Bear to try anything. She laughed and said that did sometimes happen but often parents are flabbergasted at what their kid did try. Well, color me unflabbergasted. Our kid tried exactly zero veggies. But, she did say on the way home that there were two things that she kind of wished she had tried, so maybe there’s hope. We’ll be buying some fresh green beans to be dipped into ranch dressing (so creative! so innovative!) and looking for a good muffin recipe using butternut squash (please comment if you know of one!).
The not-so-good: and this has nothing to do with the camp per se. After a very long day at the beach on Thursday (well, that has to do with the camp. I think 5-6 hours in the sun on the beach is a bit much, especially for a 7-year-old), our Bear came home exhausted, over-sunned (though not burnt, thanks to good suncreen), and with a headache. We chalked it up to the long, sunny day. She slept most of the evening, didn’t eat any dinner, and stayed mostly in the mid-200s. Changed her pump site a bit early and at 2 a.m. she had come down to 94 and when she woke up she was 106. She was still tired though, and more emotional than usual. At first she didn’t want any breakfast either. When she tested at 260-ish before we left for camp, we checked for ketones which came back at 0.8. She has never had ketones, not even at diagnosis since we caught it so early. She still wanted to go to camp though and ate a couple of pieces of toast so we covered for that & by the time we got to camp she was coming down. We let them know what was happening & knew we would be back in only 3 hours for the family lunch & games, etc. so it wasn’t a full day. When we got back they told us she had been running in the high 200s & around 300 & corrections didn’t seem to be doing much. She was still testing at small ketones as well. As soon as we sat down she snuggled up to the BHE. Didn’t want to eat or do anything else, but also didn’t want to leave. We ate our lunches (she didn’t have anything) and hung around for a bit before she finally gave up & said she was ready to go home. Long story, long: she slept on the way home, vomited at home, tested at 0.5, 0.4, 0.8 ketones but with bgs at 106, 114. No more vomiting after an anti-nausea dose, but lots of sleeping and refusing to eat or drink anything. Then the usual sick day procedures, temp around 101, insulin via syringe just in case, talked to the CDE on call, blah, blah. Real-person sick.

Crummy way to end a great week.

By the time I am writing this though, it is as if someone flipped a switch. She has perked up, ate a bit, had a popsicle, and is clearly feeling some better. We didn’t have the afternoon we were expecting, but it could have been worse. Tomorrow is a 5K in the morning for me, & probably a bike ride for the BHE and the Bear if she is up for it. Then in the afternoon maybe a longer bike ride for the 3 of us. Back to normal.

We are so lucky. Myself & the Bear get sick very rarely. We made it through the whole winter without anything more severe than the sniffles. The only downside to that is when one of us does get sick, I feel totally inexperienced. There’s no other times to compare it to or to help know what to expect.

I hope that over the year she will remember diabetes camp for all the fun she had and not for how it ended. Someday, I hope we’ll be dropping her off for sleepaway diabetes camp and for that to happen, these earlier experiences need to be positive. I think we’re good, but I wouldn’t be a mom if I didn’t worry a little. 🙂



This entry was posted in Camp, Illness, Living with Diabetes, Others caring for your T1 kid. Bookmark the permalink.

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