# [IP] camps.... (warning: rant alert!)

so, there has been a lot of discussion of camps recently, and although i
hope much has changed in the last nine years i must warn parents that my
diabetes camp experience was something akin to hellish....

\begin rant

i went to an all girls diabetes camp a little over a year after i was
diagnosed.  (i was almost thirteen at the time...)   although most of the
girls in my cabin were at the point where they made most of their insulin
adjustments themselves, the camp's policy was to have all insulin
adjustments made by the camp physician...  (while there were many
reasonable answers for why this was the camp's policy i ended up feeling
that it was counter productive, for the following reasons:)

they felt it necessary to decrease our dosages drastically (to compensate
for the addtional activity level.) but they ended up running me and
several of my cabin mates' bg's up in the 300-400 range for days, despite
the fact that we were constantly complaining to the staff RN's and MD's
that we knew for a fact that increasing our dosages by x amount would fix
the problem... however we were ignored, while the MD slowly increased our
dosages, until our bg's came down (incidentally, this final dosage was
within 1 unit of where each of us pegged it to be...)

one of my cabinmates had found that her bg would shoot up drastically the
day before and the first two days of her period, but despite repeated
explanations of this fact to the nurse, her insulin dosages were not
changed to compensate, and she spent three days with nasty high blood
sugars...

i was extremely dissapointed to find that i had very little in common with
my fellow campers besides age and diabetes, and despite everyone's claims
to the contrary, this was insufficient to make any lasting bonds...

on the whole the experience took away much of the independence that a
cabin full of pre-teen girls had been working hard to attain...  (that
should be the antithesis of camp....)  i hope this is no longer the case,
however as i know all the parents of pumping kids on this list are
extremely interested in encouraging their kids independence, i would
suggest that you ask your kids careful questions about their camp
experiences....

the following year i spent a week at a music camp which i enjoyed
thoroughly, where i met many interesting people (one of whom i ran into
again, my freshman year at college)...  they were very happy to make
every possible accommodation for my diabetes...  so, my experiences with
"non-diabetic" camps were infinitely better, and i would certainly
encourage young people to go to whatever camp interests them the most, and
simply help the camp to be accommodating of you, they will likely be
willing....

\end rant

-jess
(who will now step down off her soap box, sorry....)

--
Jessica Elena Marder
email @ redacted
(781)721-4664

----------------------------------------------------------
Insulin Pumpers website http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/
for mail subscription assistance, contact: HELP@insulin-pumpers.org