Monday, February 7, 2011


UGH, the time has come. I need to talk about Diabetes Camp. GASP. The time is approaching to quickly for me! Every day as summer inches a bit closer I start to feel a tad more smothered in FEAR!!!

So here goes.....

Years past, Maddison just hasnt been a good candidate for Diabetes Camp. A weekend maybe, but 7 WHOLE DAYS....UM......NO WAY JOSE. Maddison hasn't been "ready" for Diabetes camp for many, many reasons. Reason #1 being that 70% of the time Maddison ends up in our bed, even before she falls asleep for the night. Maddison has never been a "good" sleeper, and typically sneaks into our bed soon after I fall asleep. She just doesn't want to sleep in her own bed. Alone. A WEEK at camp? No, way Jose!! She just hasnt been ready.

I used to call Maddison my "conditional" child. If she didnt eat well, have great blood sugars, AND sleep well she was likely to be a friggin mess. If she was too cold she was irritable. Too hot she was mean. Thirst made her crazy and boredom made her FREAK OUT. Maddison has always been emotionally "unstable." Sometimes I wondered if we were looking at depression or mental disorders. Of course, to the outsider Maddison never seemed to have these issues. She saved all the instability for home. It used to be I would REALLY have to work to keep Maddison in a decent mood during the school week. It was exhausting. Maddison HATES school. In fact, she despises it. I cant say I blame wasnt until this year that testing FINALLY showed she has multiple learning disabilities, even though I fought the school since 1st grade to get her the help/testing she needed! So, since Maddison has been getting the help she needs in Resource this year she has really changed her attitude towards school...

For the most part anyway.

FINALLY there is less complaining and fighting when it comes time to do homework. Lately Maddison even comes home from school and does her chores, then jumps right into homework without being asked!!HALLELUJAH!! By far he BIGGEST change in Maddison is that there is NO MORE dragging her (literally) from bed every school morning while she cries and screams how school is boring, a "prison" or a waste of her time. Yes, my Maddison is finally getting the school help she needs! More confidence in school = more confidence overall. Maddison is SO MUCH more emotionally stable the past few months!! Sheesh. If they only would have listened from the beginning!!

There are so many ways Maddison has begun to change and mature this year. (Damn. She IS ready for camp!) Why do I feel the need to explain why she wasn't ready before now? I dont know, but truth is, Maddison was typically unable to tolerate large groups of people. Especially those that included alot of noise. Maddison always ended play dates in short notice. All of a sudden she would be "done" hanging out and just wanted to spend time alone playing in her room. So she would just up and do so. Nothing could convince her to emerge from her room once she was "done" hanging out for the day. Thats just the way she is.

I wont even talk about Maddison's RIDICULOUS picky eating habits. I'm embarrassed to admit just how limited her diet really is. What the hell is she going to eat for 7 days at camp?? I wish I could say her eating habits are changing. They aren't. I think she might starve while she is there.....

Socially Maddison has always been reserved. She prefers just a friend or two. She is shy. She doesnt warm up to others easily....But lately, she has blossomed. Maddison has changed more in the past few months than she has in years. The age of 10 seems to be a turning point for both my girls. I remember Hannah turning was like a new girl emerged over night. Hannah took off running by the age of 10 and never looked back, whereas Maddison still has her days when she needs to just be home away from all the chaos life and school can bring. Some days Maddison just wants to be alone....but, those days are far a few now it seems.

So, here I am in a panic. I didnt expect Maddison to be "ready" for camp this year either.....but she IS. And **I** seriously NEVER WILL BE.

Why can't camp be a weekend? I mean REALLY? I dont even want to send away my non-D
14yr old daughter for a whole week! 7 days? SEVEN DAYS? Every time I think about it I just about vomit. Crazy worries invade my mind. I imagine myself pitching a tent in the woods surrounding camp....just so I can secretly sneak in and check on Maddison during the hug from Maddison for 7 days during Diabetes camp week? I dont even get to talk to her over the phone!!?? UGH. I dont care how much fun Maddison will have at camp...**I** will never be "ready" to just send her away for the week!

At first I filled out the application without a worry in my mind. I know Maddison is surrounded by AMAZING medical professionals. In fact, I do believe the ratio is one medical professional for every 3 children. WOW. Thats impressive!! Then there are the Counselors. Most of whom have Diabetes themselves. Of course there are FRIENDS. (At least 5 other kids we know from our local support group attend camp each year) Friends will be made. Ohhhh lots of friends will be made!!

None of that really matters, TO ME. It doesnt take away the worry and fear I have inside. Maddison's Diabetes is MY Diabetes. **I** am the expert. **I** know what HER body is doing. I even know what her body is THINKING. **I** know what swimming does to her insulin needs. I know what hiking, biking, walking, jumping, running and illness do to her basal rates. I know how her body metabolizes ice cream. Pizza. Pasta. **I** am always a step ahead of the game. (or so I think) **I** seriously won't know what to do with myself without my Maddison for 7 whole days!!!!!!!But, I also realize Maddison takes awesome care of herself when she needs to. She catches all her lows. She checks when asked and boluses without complaint. She is ready.

I know Diabetes camp is a place where Maddison will meet friends that will last for a lifetime. I know camp is a place Maddison will be surrounded with kids just like her. The same feelings, same dreams, same struggles. I know Maddison will LOVE camp. I know she will learn a higher level of self respect, confidence and responsibility. Especially when it comes to living with Diabetes. I know she will be safe. That doesnt take away the "what if's" that invade my mind. It also doesnt take away the fear that night time brings, just because medical professionals surround her and check her sugars over night. Nope. Nothing can take away the concern or worry a D Mom faces when sending away her child. For SEVEN DAYS!!!

Maddison is going to camp this summer. YEP. I keep telling myself this is true. She has wanted to go to camp for years now. I didnt think she would ever be ready....but this year, she is. June will be here too quickly. I'm excited for her, but oh so freaked out of my mind!!!


Reyna said...

GOSH, I am freaking out with you! I asked Joe about "D" Camp and he says he wants to go to "Hockey" Camp - LOL. I don't even know how I am gonna make that happen.

LOVE YOU and you are doing such a great job by your daughter. You know her and her strengths so well.

Kerry said...

My son is a lot like your daughter and last year I had to just let go. Our camp is actually staffed my my sons Endo and all the other clinic nurses and dieticians etc. That was the first time since diagnosis that he had slept away from us and home and I was more scared than he was. But he did great and loved it! He is so excited to go back again this summer. Our Endo brings his wife and kids to camp also and they all have a great time. I can not say enough good about the whole experience, I learned to let other people take care of him and there was not one bump along the way.

connie said...

I can COMPLETELY understand your fears in regards to camp. The thought of it sends me into a panic too.

I can only say that I feel your pain and I wish the best for you and your family, I'm sure that camp will be an amazing experience and I will be holding my breath with you when you send her off ;)

Donna ((Sweet Momma)) said...

I am so glad we dont have to deal with this issue yet... and really not looking forward to the day we do!

Can't wait to hear how it goes!

Wendy said...


(easy for me to say, eh? Sugar can't go this year because she won't meet the bday cut off. Ho Hum...)

I'll be there every step of the way, my friend. So proud of you...and thrilled for Maddie!!!!

5Byrds said...

I'm with you. Our Endo goes to camp for the week and has assured me that Casey with be fine, even though she's still new, even though she can't feel her lows, even though she has a Mama who doesn;t want to see her go, SHE wants to go and she will be fine. This will be a long June. All my kids will be away at camps some week or another... Ugh!

Sleepless Mom of a Diabetic said...

My son is only 8. I can't imagine him going away to camp. Even with your daughter being older, I know it has to be sooooo difficult. I am so glad I am not to the point of dealing with it yet.

That being said, I know she will have so much fun this summer and I wish her the best. I will keep following your blog!

Sleepless Mom of a Diabetic said...

My son is only 8. I can't imagine him going away to camp. Even with your daughter being older, I know it has to be sooooo difficult. I am so glad I am not to the point of dealing with it yet.

That being said, I know she will have so much fun this summer and I wish her the best. I will keep following your blog!

Anonymous said...

Of course, you should research which D camp you send her to, but the doctors and nurses did very well the year we sent her to Clara Barton (she was nine). Not too many issues with the blood sugar numbers. We did have issues with the fact that she was homesick and wanted to come home and they did not apprise us of the fact, nor let her contact us. We sent her emails and letters and we did get one back, in which she did not complain. Consequently, she has refused to ever go back. So the one caveat I would say is make sure she is old enough and emotionally ready for the experience. They do know how to care for your child as far as D is concerned.

The "D" Girl said...

At our camp in utah.. we have the option of weekend or longer. Sorry, that isn't the case for you.
I wish i lived closer... Maddison is so cute, and what not better but to have two of us cute mattie and maddie...