Monday, July 15, 2013

Camp for me 2013

Hi,it's me Gwyneth, and I just got back from diabetic camp a few days ago. It was so  much fun! I went to session 1 at Camp Conrad Chinnock. At camp you get to do things like: camp fire, archery, shooting range, arts and crafts, rock wall, hiking, and so much more! It's just like a normal camp but you don't have to explain what diabetes is to anyone, it's a place to have friends that won't ask if the shots you take hurt. It's a place to feel normal. When I feel alone, or like no one knows what I am going through I think of camp and how everyone feels what I feel one time or another.  If I had not gone to camp I would not be as confident with diabetes as I am today. I hope that every type 1 diabetic gets to have the magical experience at camp like I did!

Cabin 5 decorated watermelon!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Letting Go

Camp. Packing my daughter up, choking back tears and sending her away for a week without me? Best decision I have ever made as a T1 Mama. I first made that decision when she was 9. It was 6 months after diagnosis. 6 months after I first heard of Type 1 Diabetes. I would never have sent my child away for a night, let alone 7 nights if it weren't for the fact that she asked. "A whole camp filled with people just like me?" That's all that needed to be said. Of course she had to go. She deserved to go.

To her camp is home. It is a place where everyone is just like her and everyone is normal. The first time she came home from camp she joked that the rest of her family were the weird ones. If your pancreas works, she now smiles and thinks that you're different. Not the other way around.

At camp she hiked, canoed, sang songs, preformed skits, made lanyards, scaled walls and repelled down, swam, learned about caring for her diabetes and made life-long friendships. And she did it all without a working pancreas. She did it all without me. I wasn't there to tell her to check her blood. I wasn't there to give her sugar at midnight for a low. I wasn't there to suspend the basal on her pump when her activity level increased. I wasn't there to make sure she covered her carbs properly. And she survived without me. Actually, she thrived.

She came back a mile taller. Filled with confidence that I had never seen. She was proud. Proud of her independence, proud of her accomplishments (she has learned to give herself shots, insert her own pump site and more at camp) and proud of her people. The Team Type 1 that she's now on is all she needs.

I cried less this year as I packed her up for her third T1D Camp. I now know the gift that is camp. I know that camp deserves to have my sunshine-filled daughter there and that she will come back fueled-up. Fueled up and prepared to be the odd one out at home, at school, at activities...until the next year at camp where she blends in, relates and belongs.