Wednesday 20 July 2011

Diabetes Camp - A Mother's Take

Prelude: I actually started this post last Friday, just before Dylan returned from diabetes camp, but encountered computer problems. After taking our home computer in for what we thought would be a simple repair, it turns out we have blown something on the motherboard and need either a new motherboard, or a new computer altogether. Seeing as everything else on the computer is quite new, we opted for a new motherboard. So while we wait for it to be shipped from who knows where, I will be blogging from my iPhone, hence the delay...

Original post, Friday, July 15th, 2011:

Day 5 of diabetes camp, the final day, Dylan is coming home. He is spending the weekend with his dad, so I won't actually see him until Monday, but I can't wait to hear all about his week!

Dylan is at Camp Kakahmela, a diabetes camp organized by the Canadian Diabetes Association, and located in Gibsons, British Columbia, Canada, about a 10 minute drive and 40 minute ferry ride from our house. This is year 3 for Dyl and he absolutely loves it. Type 1 kids, and type 1 counsellors, travel from all over the world to attend this camp, so we are very fortunate to have it in our backyard! A team of diabetic nurses is there, of course, as well as 1 pediatric endocrinologist, who this year happens to be Dylan's endo, who has overseen his diabetes care since diagnosis in 2005.

What does all this mean to me, as a d-parent? It means some peace of mind, which any type 1 parent will tell you, doesn't come often. Yes, he is away from home, and participating in activities that pose a potential risk, but that has nothing to do with D, that is typical of any camp.

I get peace of mind because I trust the staff. I trust Dylan's endo explicitly; she knows him well and knows his diabetes patterns and history. She knows that he needs to run on an 80% temp basal for the week to avoid nighttime lows. She knows he can count his own carbs and enter all of his own data. This year she'll be thrilled to learn that he can change his own infusion sets - entirely by himself (not just the insulin, priming and tubing change, but he can insert the new cannula too, and we don't use a quick set, so he actually sticks that big long needle into his own tummy without help)!

I know that they will stay on top of his testing, including twice at night, and I know that when he gets home and we upload his pump data the numbers will be more stable than when he's at home. How do I know this? Because it happened last year and the year before.

This week i get a little break from being a d-mom. I get to sleep through the night and show my other 2 children that the world doesn't always revolve around diabetes. Of course I'll miss him, and I'll worry, even though I know he's safe. But that is really the best thing about diabetes camp, and the thing that a d-parent, and every parent, prays for each and every day - to know that your child is safe.

For more information about Camp Kakhamela visit:

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