Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ain't no cure for these summertime blues

It came in the mail the other day.  Eight or so shiny pages chock full of fun.  It was the information guide to all the summer camps offered by our city.

I actually thought it was something else; another brochure our city puts out about upcoming events, adult sports leagues, library offerings and the like.

When I realized what it was, those old familiar feelings started bubbling to the surface.  Sadness. Feeling like an outsider.  Loneliness. 


Such ferocious anger at this disease that works so hard to leave my daughter out of all the things most people take for granted.  Like summer camp.

Elise will be going to summer camp.  The one offered by her pre-school.  Her regular teacher will be there and is only too happy to have Elise in her class again.  I love that woman.

The problem?  Next year she's too old for the pre-school's camp.

But she's too young for me to let her go the the city-offered ones.

And they're camps I know she would love; gymnastics, soccer, and even a lego camp.  My girl can build the crap out of lego sets.

And I know most of these camps are run by teenagers.  Don't get me wrong.  I love teenagers.  I used to BE a teenager (and probably still act like one some days).  But most lack the maturity to deal with t1.  I can still remember when I put Elise in skating lessons when she was 3.  At her first class, I tried to give her 15-ish year old instructor the D run-down and she gave me this look like I had two heads.  She shrugged her shoulders, gave me a flippant, "o-kay" and skated off.

So I spent the 45 minutes every class, staring intently through the window into the rink, trying to determine if Elise was going low.  This was obviously before the new G4 dex, so any time I felt unsure, I had to haul 2-month old Mattias in his car seat with me into the freezing rink, get Elise's attention, and wait for her to painstakingly make her way to the door so I could check her dex. The teacher would never even acknowledge me.

And now between nursing and naps for my two littlest littles, there is no way for me to "camp out" at Elise's camp, in case there's a problem.  The same issue rules out any D day camps; as they're all really far away from us.

So I sit here; feeling angry in a way I haven't been in a very long time.  Age, plus a pump and the dex, have all made life a little bit easier and inclusive.

I guess this is just one more thing that will have to wait.


  1. The in-between years are tough. We're looking at the same - a camping trip with his preschool class, and a daycamp for T1 kids (where I'll chaperone, b/c he's too young to go alone). Seattle's Parks and Rec site has forms for T1, asthma, etc., so I'm guessing some cities technically support kids with those conditions once they're of age...

  2. I hate looking at these Summer activities too for they bring up the very same feelings for me. Hope Elise has a blast at her pre-school Summer Camp again this year! xoxo

  3. just my two cents (please ignore if you want ;) )
    I had been feeling anxious and slightly ANGRY, okay more than slightly, I was pissed about the fact that when Ethan turned four my mother-in-law took him for an overnight "camp" with his cousin that is the same age. They did zoo camp for two hours each day and stayed the night at her house. (and she has done this every year since for Ethan!) Last year Isaac was promised the same with his cousin that is the same age. Summer came and went, promise unfulfilled and one grumpy Isaac. This year I decided I would make it happen, I've called all the camps to find out who receives funding that would make them have to make the camp safe for all, I've located which ones have full time healthcare workers available, and which ones have had children with t1d there before (based on other parents of cwd). Isaac has choices this year. I maybe "camping" with him in terms of staying "on call" by being near, but I will not be with his group. I will have to train staff days if not weeks ahead, but I will do my best to make this happen!
    So, that said you can put her in one. There are places that have had more daring parents than I and have put their children with diabetes into the camps even earlier than either of us would. It could work. I know it. I just do :) I tell myself this all the time, many have walked these roads before - I just need to find the worn path and make it ours, too.
    If anything you guys could come here to the PNW, join Isaac for zoo camp and hang out with us Kelly's :)

  4. I feel your pain! Even with as independent as Bean is with her care, I don't like the idea of her being under the not-so-watchful or understanding eye of some of those camp counselors. Thankfully, she OK with just he D-Camp experience and hasn't asked about doing much of anything else....

  5. We live in Richardson with our daughters, an almost 11 yo T1 and an almost 5 yo. While our oldest went to TLC in Kerrville last summer for a week and LOVED it, she misses out on Girl Scout summer day and overnights and other extended camps because I am not comfortable sending her off wihtout knowing that someone gets T1 and knows how to support my daughter. I just learned about a day camp near Austin for T1s and their siblings (ages 4-17)called Camp Bluebonnet. I want to know how we can start one in DFW.

  6. If you can find a camp that is not sports oriented, i.e., computer camp, theater camp, especially if you can find an afternoon session and not an all day camp, you might be able to swing it. You can modify the pump settings so she runs a little higher. We used to do theater camp there was some dance, we would minus temp basal 20 percent all day and she ate excarbs for exercise. The camp had acting voice, just a little dance. She had cell phone, checked in with us before lunch snacks and every couple of hours. It worked really well; however she was nine years old. The key is to find a camp without a lot of physical activity. After camp we would spend the rest of the afternoon at the town pool. All the Moms go there, young babies and all. Not fun for you at all, but a blast for the kids. In our area there are camps for music and voice, art.... creative writing. I hope you can find something in your area for Elise.

  7. I know. This sucks. Jada will be eight by the time summer rolls around. We have one D- camp in Alaska and it's a good 12 hours away from me. I can't even leave her at gymnastics for 1.5 hours twice a week. Suckage, suckage, suckage!!

  8. I feel ya! Things I put my older boys in I can't consider for my younger ones...unless i hover. I guess they just have to camp with me. Oh, if you love teens, I have two you can borrow..and they know a bit about T1D! :)


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