Monday, August 5, 2019

Diabetes Camp - Year 10!

When Grace was 7 years old and went to diabetes camp for the first time, I remember her telling me something on the ride home from camp. "Mom, I want to be a counselor when I grow up!" and I smiled. I was just worried about one more year of camp, and here was Grace, telling me the future.

It's all come true. Grace is now a diabetes camp counselor! This year was her 10th year going to camp, and she went through the CIT 1 and the CIT II program last year and the beginning of this year at camp. She completed both and was promoted to Jr. Counselor, with an invitation to interview for a counselor position at next year's camp. I am so very proud of her.

It was her 17th birthday while she was away at camp. That was bittersweet. I was reassured that she was spending her birthday exactly where she wanted to, at her favorite place to be, among friends. Her fellow counselors decorated her bunk so she woke up to lights and signs for her birthday. It was incredibly sweet.

Diabetes camp looks different when you are older. There is so much more independence. There is so much more autonomy. There is so much more responsibility. There is so much more caring for others. Grace likes the younger campers more than the older teen campers. She likes to keep busy. She's responsible for helping with 12 am and 3 am blood glucose checks on the campers. She's responsible for helping plan activities and run them.

Camp looks different for me as her mom too. She's solo on her management. She actually let me follow her on Dexcom while she was away at camp! She texted once or twice about it, but otherwise it was all hers. And I didn't say one thing about it all week. She got through it amongst her people. She managed it all. Was it 'pretty?' I don't really care. I don't. I am done with the illusion that if we just get the right A1C, we have the perfect diabetic and the perfect life. And I am saying it very clearly, this is HER diabetes, NOT MINE.

Diabetes camp, for Grace, has saved her soul. And I don't say that lightly. She is more herself at camp. She is comfortable, in ways that are not possible even among her close friends at home. She is understood. She is incredibly happy to meet others and share her life. Onward she goes.

You can visit her past years at diabetes camp here:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sweet grace is such an inspiration, this blog and have literally saved my life. Learning to not only live, but improve my quality of life is something that I will be eternally grateful for.