July 18, 2011

First Impressions of Diabetes Camp

(I am honored to be a guest blogger over at D-Tales today while Heidi takes a blog-a-cation.  Stop over to D-Tales and check it out!  Especially if you are tired of reading about diabetes camp...cuz that's all I've got on my mind over here!)

We dropped Ally off at diabetes camp yesterday.  It was seriously one of the hardest things I've ever done.  I am a worrier.  That's just who I am.  And this is the worst kind of worry.  Every time that my mind goes to that place of missing her or worrying about her (which is like every 3 minutes!), I just keep reminding myself that this is going to be SO good for her!  I KNOW THIS!  But it's still so hard!!!

I felt really good at check-in.  The first thing that you do is have a medical check-in.  We met with a doctor, a nurse and three counselors - all assigned to her cabin!  There are 11 girls sleeping in her "Pink Panther" cabin, along with 3 counselors!  That makes me really happy.  At least two of the three counselors have type 1 diabetes.  As it turns out, the nurse assigned to their cabin had subbed as her school nurse several times so she knew Ally.  Also, Ally knows three of the other girls in her cabin.  I'm still feeling good about this.

We arrived at the same time as Ally's new friend Cadence.

As we were getting the girls settled into their cabins - making their beds, setting up fans - I had a chance to chat with one of the counselors.  She reassured me that they check their blood sugar every night - at midnight, again at 2 am and then again at 4 am if they feel it is needed based on the other two numbers.  I told her that I was relieved that they do this because with so much activity Ally's trend is to be high during and right after activity and then drop hours later.  She said, "That's exactly how I am!"  And that made me feel good too, in a weird sort of way.  Not that I am happy that this young lady experiences this, but that she gets it!  She KNOWS first hand what happens to Ally.  And I feel good about this.  She is in good hands.

Ally and her buddy Cadence in their bunks.

I asked (again) about how they count carbs and bolus for meals (Ally can operate her pump, but I always tell her how many carbs to enter). The counselor said that they all check their bg before meals and record that number.  Then they get their food and the counselors help them to measure out and count carbs.  They let them start eating and take all the info to the doctors.  The doctors figure out how much insulin they should get based on their bg and carbs. Then the kids go to "insulin" station when they finish eating to get their bolus.  I was a little upset at first thinking that Ally would be bolused for all her meals AFTER she eats.  We always bolus before meals, and in most cases I try to bolus about 10-15 minutes before she eats so that the insulin can begin taking effect.  Then the more that I thought about it, I feel good about this too.  Ally will be eating different foods than we normally eat at home.  I am pretty good at knowing how much food to put on Ally's plate so that she will eat it all.  I am confident pre-bolusing her and knowing that I'm there to see if she doesn't finish her meal that I can make adjustments (ie - eat a glucose tablet) to make up for what she didn't eat.  At camp, her eyes may appear bigger than her stomach or she may choose foods that she ends up not liking.  I think in this situation it will be best to bolus after her meal.

I was feeling good about all of this.  And then I said goodbye.  I held it all in until I walked out of the cabin and then the tears came.  It was so hard to leave!

Then we got home and I carried her diabetes bag in from the car (the camp supplies everything that they need with the exception of pump supplies).  I had a moment of panic.  Like I had forgotten to leave it with her.  Like she was "without her life support", as my newest D Mama friend Michele (and mother of that cutie in the picture with Ally above) put it.

When we were putting the younger two girls to bed, we found notes from Ally.  "I miss you.  I love you.  See you in a few days.  Love, Ally" 

More tears.

I wonder what she's doing.  I wonder what she's eating.  I wonder what her blood sugar numbers have been.  I've never gone this long without knowing what her blood sugar numbers are - that is so hard!  It's all the not knowing that is killing me!

I made it through the first night (even though I woke up every two hours wondering what her numbers were) and I was surprised to find some pictures this morning that the camp posted on their site.  It was so good to see her smiling face!

And now I will be putting on the "dark circle and puffiness solution" from BeautiControl and getting ready to meet the Diabetes Dude!  Yes, he's in town.  So cool, I know.

One down.  Five to go. 



  1. Ok first (((hugs))) I am sweating just reading this but how awesome that they check them at night! That was always a worry for me.

    Sounds like they are in great hands!! I'm curious how do they handle site and cartridge change?

    Can't wait to hear more!

  2. OK, so I was totally prepared to offer some words of comfort and advice but now I'm am just beyond jealous!!
    You got to take her TO THE CAMP and SET UP HER BUNK?!?! We put Bean on a school bus for a two hour drive to camp!
    You got to SEE PICTURES of her?!?!? We got NOTHING all freaking week...with the exception of the little note Bean sent that we got the day before we picked her up!
    OK, rant over....yes, it's totally hard to have their supplies at home (it like they are missing a limb!) and it takes a couple of days to not have the overwhelming worry about what they are doing and what their numbers are (it turns into wonder instead of worry, at least it did for me!).
    I know it will be a great week for both of you...it just may take a few days for it to feel that way!! ;)

  3. I'm so proud of you! I don't know if I could do it! Love that she already had a friend to share a cabin with, love the counselors IN her cabin, and the night time checks! Sounds like you left her in wonderful hands. : ) You can do this! : ) Hugs!

  4. How do you do it????? I have a whole year to prepare myself (we were conveniently away when this year's D-camp was held) and reading this gives me the shakes!

    I love that you got to go into her cabin and meet the staff and grab some super cute photos. Hold tight to those smiley memories when you start to worry.

    You got 'dis, Misty!!!!!

  5. AWE! She left you a note?? She's such a sweetie. She will do great :) YOU... I'm not sure about. J/K lol

  6. There is nothing I can say to make you feel better... Because I get it. I worry, too. If it were a sport, I'd be in the Olympics. And I can not imagine leaving Sweets. I cried tonight just thinking about it!! But.... I'll try! She is having fun! She is fine and well cared for! I will check on her tomorrow!! :)
    I love the pics!! ((hugs))

  7. oh boy I would have been sobbing, sounds more difficult than the first day of dropping off at college...I am sure it will go really well, things will be incredible and she'll talk about it all school year. I can't wait to hear more ;)

  8. Oh I am so proud of you! We have braved day camp, but not overnight. I bet she will LOVE it! I will keep you both in my prayers! : )

    Also...I got on FB recently and love connecting with other D-Moms there. Are you on? If so, please find me. I'm Tracy Capps Selle.



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