Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Please Come Take Me Home"

Last week Maddison finally returned home from 7 days away at Diabetes camp. I couldn’t wait to see her smiling face and listen to all her camp stories! My half empty heart felt complete again as soon as she stepped off that bus, and Maddison’s endless chatter filled the car on the drive home. Besides looking run down and super tan, she also looked as though she grew many inches! Summertime (just before her birthday in August) is when Maddison seems to always grow the most! Luckily I caught up on some sleep while she was away at camp because I have a feeling things are about to get crazy with changes! Of course, the first 5 days or so home from Camp Maddison was running lowish from all the increased activity, even despite her pump still set on crazy basal and ratio decreases! I don’t think we saw a number over 120 for many, many days after camp, even though she was STARVING and eating non-stop! Now as things have gotten back to “normal” its right back to chasing numbers of course!

Maddi still has endless stories about all the fun times she had at camp, just as I expected. Sadly though, she made sure to tell me right away that she spent a lot of time “scary low” in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, so I figured I should take a second and ask her about the letter she mailed to us asking to come home. “Did you really want to come home? I asked. Her reply was a very quiet “YES.” Followed by a long silent pause. “Are the lows part of the reason you wanted to come home?” I asked. Her reply was “No, not really.” Then more silence. I then asked Maddison if she told them she wanted to go home, and she said she did tell them a few times but they told her that going home was “not an option.” Im not really so sure what I think about that....mostly because there were tears in her eyes as she told me!

YIKES. I quick changed the subject so we could talk about it later, because I wanted Maddison to tell me all about the hiking, archery, horse back riding, theme nights, and even the crazy pranks the counselors played. Yes, Maddison had a GREAT time, despite truely wanting to come home by the third day of camp.

So, later in the evening we talked more about why she wanted to come home from camp. Many of the things she told me were NOT what I expected to hear!

Reason #1 was because “Four people were standing over her when she woke up really low in the night” Maddison said this happened “a couple times” over the week and she remembers feeling panicked because there were so many people beside her watching to make sure her blood sugar came up. I can only imagine what her blood sugar was to cause such a stir with the medical professionals!!! I really, truly, honestly thought I was going to throw up when she told me this! Of course, the only logged blood sugar numbers that are sent home from camp are the pre-meal numbers and the bedtime number....Im guessing this is exactly why!!! I don’t think I even want to know, and its probably better that I dont! She made it home safe and thats all that matters right!!??

#2 The cabin bully. –Sigh- Maddison seems to always be a target for bullies, even though we have often had conversations about handling these situations in the past. I NEVER would have thought D camp would have a bully!!! I mean, these kids are with their assigned care givers almost constantly!! My heart was broken when I heard Maddison was bullied at camp, a time when she was supposed to feel indifferent and have the time of her life!!! It sounds like all the kids were aware of this “bully” and Maddison assured me the camp counselors did address some issues with this MEAN child several times during the stay at camp. Sadly though, Maddison felt it didn’t change much.

#3 Maddison says she was tired of all the “wildness” which means, she was simply tired of all the noise and constant people everywhere. I would have guessed this one! Maddison just isn’t the large gathering type most days, kinda like her mother.

#4 They made her climb the rock wall that she was afraid of. Well, she said she wanted to climb half way up the wall and then go back down, but they “made her” try and try again to make it to the top. She told me she ended up crying because she was so scared. Ive seen this same scenario on many rock walls unfortunetly! Maddison always wants to tackle those rock walls, but her fear of falling from “defective” ropes just takes over the higher up the wall she gets. Encouragement is one thing...but peer pressure is another. Maddison just doesn’t handle it well (and sometimes cant tell between the two) so I can only assume she was already lacking some confidence and struggling because of the “bully” at this point!

#4 The food. Picky eaters and camp don’t mix. Each camp year I have hope that Maddison will just try the damn food...but she starves herself instead! Its so frustrating!! I can see in her pump history that she was only eating about 10-20 carbs per meal, and she sounded mortified to tell me that they “forced” them to eat their food. She is such a drama queen when it comes to food. IT DRIVES ME CRAZY!!

#5 The boy she asked to Dance with her at the Dance said NO. –UGH- Geeezzzzz!!!!! What can you say to that!!?? My poor Maddie just seemed to have one strike to her confidence after another this year at camp! Im SO sad for her!

Even though this years camp experience wasn’t so great for Maddison she still had tons of fun. She is a tough girl and you cant keep her down for long! If I could change one thing for her at Camp it would be the fear she had in sleeping away from home with Diabetes! She can handle bullies, peer pressure and disappointments, but no child should be afraid to go to sleep at night!!! STUPID DIABETES!!!

When I asked Maddi if she would want to go to camp again next year she told me that even if the “BULLY” is not there she “PROBABLY WONT” want to go. UGH. That breaks my heart! Needless to say you can rest assured that the Camp director is aware of the “bullying" that Maddison experienced in detail, and we will still encourage her to know that very year at camp will be different! I hope all the other D campers out there had a better experience than we did this time around!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Its NOT the Damn Shots People!!

Saturday morning before dropping Maddison off for camp we planned to meet her Dad for breakfast downtown where he was working. It ended up a bit chaotic to say the least! Not only was **I** the passenger being driven around by my 15yr old who newly has her driving permit, but we were in an area of town that I am NOT familiar with. YIKES. Enough said!!! We ended up lost for a short while trying to find the breakfast meeting spot, so Maddison was a bit grumpy being worried about making it to the bus on time for departure. DOUBLE YIKES. I could feel my blood pressure (and probably blood sugar) rising minute by minute....

We finally found the IHOP with plenty of time to "relax" before having to head out to meet the bus for camp, but "relax" wasnt gonna happen with 2 giant Red Velvet Pancakes staring at me from Maddison's plate. What was I thinking? Icing, not syrup. Maddison gave me the evil eye when I ordered the icing on the side......What the hell? What kind of crazy new pancake is this anyway!!?? Maddison super bolused a crazy amount of carbs, and I tried my best to not wonder how she would feel arriving at Camp in a few hours. Would she bottom out low? Would she be sky high? I still dont know the answer to that....but Im sure her blood sugar will be logged in her book somewhere reflecting those crazy ass pancakes!! Today I'm still dying to know if we kicked some Diabetes ass with those pancakes or not....

So, guess what this "D" Mom did? FORGOT THE FUCKING PUMP SUPPLIES TO SEND TO CAMP!!! We didnt need to send a meter or strips. Not even insulin. We just needed to pack pump supplies to cover the week. -Sigh- OH MY GOD!!! They were at home on the kitchen counter!! My heart seriously fluttered. FLUTTERED!!!I literally felt my face turn pale white. Maddison was PISSED, she gave me an earful! Apparently I guess I become forgetful when being rushed out of the house by an excited 15yr old who couldnt wait to drive on the freeway! ACK!!!!

So, when we arrived at check in for camp Maddison was already frazzled. She had dark circles under her eyes after anxiously tossing and turning all night. She was irritated with me questioning her suitcase contents, yet **I** forgot the fucking pump supplies! As soon as we arrived to check in they were calling Maddison's bus number to finish loading. WHAT!!?? The damn camp day "instructions" said we needed to arrive by 11am to assure we had time to make the bus, and we arrived sharply at 11am.... So, whatever. Maddison felt rushed, I felt rushed.....and THEN......

She said it. I dont know who the hell this lady was....but she said.....

"If you don't have the pump supplies we can just put her on shots this week."


If you could have seen the look in Maddison's eyes you would have DIED right then and there. She was SO MAD at me, SO scared for herself.

I literally laughed out loud (because I wanted to FREAK OUT!!) and said " Uhhhhhh NO!"

This crazy lady looked at me like **I** was unreasonable. Like **I** was making a big deal out of needles, or "shots."

In my mind I was SCREAMING!! Its not the fucking needles that are the problem, It just isnt that easy!!!! Ummmm.....yes, you are right crazy lady!! Shots arent a big deal. But do you know what IS?? Feeling like SHIT while you are at camp because your MOM forgot the pump supplies and now you are high or low, up, down and all around with a 24 hour injection of Lantus in your system that you cant fix if the calculated dose is WRONG. THAT is a big deal! Feeling like shit at camp IS a big deal. This is supposed to be a "Vacation" with Diabetes, I didnt want Maddison being a Guinea Pig as they try to get the Lantus right over the next 7 days....Shots would have been a HUGE deal. It just aint that easy! I have never been quite so mad at myself as I was at that moment!

So, instead of slapping this crazy chick like I really wanted to do, I told her I would Fedex overnight the pump supplies. So I did. End of story. Ugh. The Golden D Mom award goes to......... yours truely.

So, Maddison left for camp frazzled with an unknown blood sugar from a crazy ass breakfast, but Im sure she was happier than a clam to be away from ME at that moment!

Today is day 5 since Maddison left and Im bored to death. I guess Im used to driving her around from one place of volunteering to another. She sent a letter in the mail to her Dad on Tuesday...I didnt get ANYTHING. ?????? I really did have tears in my eyes!!

Yesterday we got a letter addressed to "Roxxie and Callie"(her dogs)but again, nothing for me!!! ????????WHATTTTT???????? She must REALLY be mad.

The letter said: "Please come and take me home"

And that was it.

I didnt think anything of it. I thought she was being silly writing a letter to her dogs....but while I sat at work today I couldnt help but wonder if she was being serious. My heart began to feel broken. So I called the camp.

Maddi's camp counselor told me she was struggling the beginning of the week with "homesickness" and that was about it. She had nothing else to say but Maddison is doing "fine." She didnt sound so sure.

If I know Maddison, I can tell you she isnt so much homesick as she is just DONE with all the fun. She doesnt like alot of noise, and dreads large parties because of too much commotion. Camp is like a 7 day party. Its loud. Its CRAZY. Its non-stop "fun" for those of us that enjoy a week full of commotion. Thats not Maddison, but I know she will be fine. She might have a headache and hide out in her room for the next month, but she will be fine. 2 more days....just TWO MORE DAYS!!!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Camp AZDA Year 2

Tomorrow at noon Maddison leaves for CampAZDA. This will be just our second year sending Maddison to Diabetes camp, but let me tell ya, people aren't kidding when they say Diabetes Camp is something their child talks about all year! Maddison has had her suitcase packed for almost 3 weeks now, and has been eagerly anticipating camp since Spring break! So far I have been nearly worry free about sending Maddison to camp this time around......until bedtime rolled around tonight!

Now I can't sleep. And neither can Maddi. Both for VERY different, and total opposite reasons.

Maddison couldnt wait to go to bed tonight. In the summer I always have to drag that kid to bed, but not tonight. You'd think she were going to Disneyland in the morning or something! She is giddy. Bubbly. Smiley. Trying SO hard to sleep! I can hear her still tossing and turning down the hall...

Her bedtime number tonight was 106. -Sigh- A beautiful number. A number that Im fairly confident will rise to around 150 or 160.

Or maybe not.

Sometimes Maddi will spike to over 200 lately, just after falling asleep. So I sit and wait another hour to recheck.

I then realized this "bedtime" check is the last I will see for Maddi until JUNE 16th!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thats 8 nights away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think my heart just skipped a beat.

Oh man. I was doing so good. I guess it was just wishful thinking that this time around I wouldnt have the same worries about sending Maddi to camp. But in reality Diabetes never changes, and neither does the endless concern of blood sugars. So, here I am again tonight wondering how I will *sanely* make it through the next 8 nights without knowing ANYTHING about Maddison's blood sugars. I feel empty already, and Maddi hasn't even gone away to camp yet!!

This kind of concern and "worry" is something that no person/parent could EVER understand, unless you live this Diabetes life. -Sigh-

But, the truth is, this isnt all stressful.

It is also incredibly heartwarming.

Friendships will be made. Confidence will grow. Most importantly....the children at Diabetes camp will be surrounded with UNDERSTANDING. We are all in this together. We learn from each other, share with each other, support one another, encourage each other, trust and confide in one another.....UNITE.

I will myself grow (or let go) from this whole camp experience every bit (if not more!) as Maddison will, and THAT in itself is what this journey called life is all about.

(((So now I will secretly and silently go climb in bed with Maddison and hold her tight, PRAYING for a cure!!!)))