Tuesday, August 14, 2012

On Diabetes Camp

Today is a hard day. I say this because I have been mulling over if I should post about this today or just keep it to myself, but I decided that this is the ideal place to air it out.

Snack time

Today is the day that the diabetes camp I went to growing up and worked at through my adult life starts for a week. I imagine that right now there are many homesick little T1 kids getting consoled by the entirely T1 staff. I am sad only because I am not there.

Theme meal :)

There's something called camp magic, that you can not put into words, pictures, song or anything. It's simply a feeling of home that isn't home. Everyone talks about diabetes camps being a pwd's home away from home, the place where they feel like they aren't being judged for taking needles or sitting out of an activity due to blood sugar...but it's more.

Hearing stories at game time

It gets to be part of your soul. Diabetes camp binds itself to your being as a child and as you grow it remains a constant that will be there even in your darkest hour. The friendships I have made as a child and adult at camp have surpassed anything I have experienced outside of that environment. It was the one place, for the few weeks that I felt I could truly be myself. My comfort zone got expanded at camp exponentially with every new experience.

A quick bolus before swimming

I gave my first shot at camp. I had my first kiss at camp. I learned the effects of child abuse for the first time at camp. I witnessed my first seizure at camp. I sprained my ankle for the first time at camp. I met my first university roommate at camp. I got stung by a bee for the first time at camp. I learned so many skills outside of diabetes care, I can not begin to list them, but my major skill that I will never forget is to love my fellow humans, for every one is fighting a hard battle every day. It's something that sticks with me, and I try to be kind to everyone....or at least give them a chance.

This camper was terrified of the water, but overcame his fear at camp :)

A few years ago I took a job that somewhat prevented me from continuing my life at camp due to allotted vacation time. I was heartbroken. Trying to explain this hurt and ache to people who have never been to a camp and felt that soul quenching magic can not be done. I get teary and nostalgic every year when camp time rolls around. I go through old photos and try and find old friends on Facebook and Google. Every year I try to find a way to fill this void, but memories are all I have. I feel like I have so much more to give to camp, the children that go and my friends who are working so hard to create that magic for others. I don't know how to do this without being physically there. I will continue to live on my memories for now, but I need to figure out how to keep my magic alive.

Pure love.

1 comment:

  1. I can only imagine what a beautiful experience this would be for a child with T1. Now, we need a camp for adults!