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[IPp] RE: summer camp


We have dealt with 2 very different daycare situations for our 4 1/2 yo
daughter, plus this year she was actually in public school (our local school
starts at Pre-K).  We have trained a LOT of folks (this year at her school I
trained 8, due to midyear staff changes).  And I do think that it's very
important that the staff be comfortable with what they need to do.  Although
you (and the doctor's letter) do need to mention the scary stuff, I'd
recommend that you take a morning to talk with the staff about what your
actual experience has been.  I always stress these things to whoever I

(1) In almost 4 years since diagnosis, we have NEVER called 911, never had a
seizure, never used glucagon, and never had a crisis that required medical
intervention (other than sugar).  The scary stuff is few and far between, or
even less.   I'm sure it was much more common when you couldn't test your
blood sugar.  Remember that this was not so long ago (20 years?  30 at

(2) Don't worry, you will NOT kill her.  While most people have a vague
sense that too much insulin or too much sugar is dangerous, they don't
understand how dangerous (or not).  Too much sugar will probably make her
cranky but won't really harm her - and it's easy enough to fix with more
insulin.  Too much insulin can be dangerous, but not right away!  It takes 2
or 3 hours for all of the insulin from a bolus to get out into the body - so
if an overdose occurs, there will be symptoms to clue you in (and you could
check her blood sugar to verify), and there will be time to fix it.  MOST
people I have trained give a visible sigh of relief on being reassured that
an insulin overdose takes hours, not minutes or seconds, to be fatal.  It is
something they worried about but didn't know how to ask.

I'm not sure that having the camp talk to your endo will actually help?
Endos will see the worst case scenarios but often are pretty clueless about
day to day living.  Which is why, for example, they write this scary CYA
letter rather than writing one that would actually be useful in helping to
prepare folks to help your daughter deal with her diabetes.

Unfortunately if you have folks who are uncomfortable with your daughter's
diabetes, they may end up making her/it a scapegoat for anything else that
is going wrong in the class (long story, but we've been there).  So wherever
possible I'd shop around until you can find a teacher who is comfortable
with what he/she needs to do. 

Good luck!

Maria, mom to 4 1/2 yo Sigrid (Dx'd 11 mos, pumping since 17 mos)

- ----- Original Message -----
From: "Louis Diaz" <email @ redacted>
To: <email @ redacted>
Sent: Thursday, June 08, 2006 4:35 PM
Subject: [IPp] Summer Camp
> I signed up my daughter (4.5) to a new camp this summer, (for 1 week).
> Obviously, I told them that she had diabetes and wore a pump.  I 
> informed them that she would have to be tested and observed, while she 
> pumped herself.  She can currently test herself as well, but it's 
> easier if someone else does it.
> Anyway, there seem to be no problem.  The head of the camp requested a 
> letter from her doctor basically stating that it was ok for her to 
> attend.  The endo provided the letter with no issues, it was basically 
> a form letter as this is a common request.  After receiving the letter 
> the camp called with some serious reservation about letting her 
> attend.  I read the letter and it clearly was a bit scary for someone 
> who is not well informed about diabetes.  It basically lists the worse 
> case scenarios, e.g. the pump breaks, keytones, urine testing, 
> seizures, glucogon, convulsions and vomiting, etc.
> At first I was very upset with the camp.  I spoke with them several 
> times today and tried to reach an agreement that everyone would be 
> happy with.  I will now on a daily basis go to the camp before lunch 
> and test her myself.
> I also suggested that the camp call the endo directly so that they 
> could find out that while possible, the above is the exception.
> I am now signing special release forms and testing her so that she 
> could attend the camp just like any other regular kid.
> The whole incident was a bit depressing and gave me a clue as to the 
> uphill battles our children face and the likely discrimination they 
> will be subjected to.
> What is your opinion, should letters from endos include all the scary 
> details?  In the past for other schools and camps I have created a 
> document that describes diabetes and insulin, hypo and hyperglycemia 
> their signs and testing.
> .
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