Monday, June 16, 2014

Camp Lessons

For those following lately, Andrew made it back home Saturday from camp where he had a BLAST, as he said - already begging to go next year, wanted to go another week RIGHT NOW (the camp is only a week anyway, so no chance of that) and full of stories of things they did, the fun they had, etc.

Oh, and what they learned about themselves and diabetes management - and what we learned too.

Nearly everyone at camp - all the kids, all the teen counselors and many adults - have some form of diabetes, mostly Type 1 (which used to be called "juvenile diabetes" because it usually occurred in children but can be diagnosed in people in their 20's and 30's). You tend to forget that when you see everyone running around, being kids and having a good time. It's easy to forget...sometimes.

So while they are there, between the fishing and hiking and ziplining and horseback riding and other activites, they learn how to start taking care of themselves, from nutrition to insulin pump management. Not by classes, but usually by example and by watching all the others who are in the same situation, along with practice.

We learned this firsthand Sunday, when Andrew's blood glucose numbers remained higher than normal all day. This usually means we need to do an infusion set change, which needs to be done at least every three days - about a 10 to 15 minute process of replacing the insulin, cartridge and tubing in the pump and injecting a new infusion site into Andrew, usually on the stomach or back of an arm. My wife and I have been getting very good at getting this done in about 10 minutes over the past year.

When we told Andrew it was time to change infusion sets, he said, "I can do it!" Really? Well, he HAD been giving himself injections a few months prior to getting his pump last year, and he said he'd done it in camp. Why not?

So we gave him the equipment and insulin and stepped back to watch.

He did it all himself - in UNDER 10 minutes. With confidence.

We're amazed at this eight-year-old, at the friends he's made over the past week, the confidence he's shown, the things he's learned.

He's going back next year. No question.

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