Participants Point of View- Diabetes Camps

On March 6, 2011 by dsma_renata

Week 33 Diabetes Camps

by Naomi (@Diabeteen)

I was recently going through some letters and pictures of mine; looking for memories I could bring to college with me. To my surprise, I found letters I had written to my mom and dad while I was in diabetes camp. All of them were along the lines of “I hate this place” or “Please drive two hours and come pick me up!” At that point in my life, I wasn’t in the mood to meet others who were “just like me”; that’s how I saw it. They weren’t people who knew about the things I was going through they were people who were just like me, and I didn’t want to meet “copycats”.

Looking back I had always regretted it, and the idea of becoming a diabetes camp counselor has popped into my mind a couple of times. So when I realized on Wednesday that the DSMA chat topic was all about diabetes camps, I was intrigued. Maybe getting ideas and responses from other diabetics, mostly adults, would give me a new perspective, hopefully better than the one I had eight years ago.  

Question 1, reminded me of my favorite part of my diabetes camp: the too-good-to-not-be-1000-calorie chocolate milk they gave us if we were low during nighttime checks. Question 3 and 4 really trumped me; I’m not good at thinking of activities.

However, it was Question 2, “If given the opportunity would you attend an adult diabetes camp for both type 1 and 2?” that really got me thinking. My simple answer at that moment was: Absolutely. I know we all have similarities but I would love to learn more about type 2 (and even, type 1!), but it gets much deeper than that.  

I have an uncle with Type 2 diabetes. He was only diagnosed about three years ago but he was the first person I met with Type 2. Not only that, but I didn’t really know what type 2 was. Yes, I knew the logistics like type 2 diabetics have to watch what they eat, as do T1’s, and T2’s can sometimes correct their blood sugar with oral medication. However, I didn’t, correction, I don’t, know the more intricate details, the similarities between type 1 and type 2.  Honestly, I would love the opportunity to learn more about both diseases.

Not only that, but I’m now an adult in the eyes of the government; and with that comes more responsibility. In about four years I’ll be looking for a job (which will probably involve relocating), in ten I hope to have the starting of a family, and all that adult stuff; and that’s added onto the care of my diabetes. I think about this all the time, and it really scares me; I could barely handle being in the hospital, all alone, due to DKA about a month ago. If I had the chance to meet with adult diabetics and learn strategies to help me cope, it would give me much more confidence. 

So in the end, do I regret my answer on twitter? Yes. But not because I don’t want to go. It’s because I want people to know why I want to go; why it should be something every diabetic has the opportunity of doing. I no longer see diabetic camp as a place where I would be stuck with several hundred people just like me; I see it as a place where I can meet several hundred people who are going through the same thing as I am, who can give me hope for my future and guide’s to obtain my goals, the same one’s any non-diabetic has.

Check out Naomi’s Blog at http://diabeteen.wordpress.com/

One Response to “Participants Point of View- Diabetes Camps”

  • Great post, Naomi. Thank you for sharing your deeper insight and perspective on that topic. I feel the same way, as someone who didn’t get all too involved in D-Camp when growing up. I’d jump at the chance now, for the same reasons you talk about- meeting so many incredible Adult Type 1s going through the same things. Maybe, we’ll have that chance before long…

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