Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere.... your or your loved one's diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share. (Thanks to Jasmine of Silver-Lined for this topic suggestion.)
I have LOTS of very memorable diabetes moments. The most memorable diabetes day would be my D-Day.. But I've decided not to talk about that today, and to share another memory instead. I will not be talking about one specific day, but an incredibly life changing week, instead. My first week at a diabetes camp!
A few short months after my diagnosis, my parents and I set off from Syracuse, NY (my hometown) to Camp Setebaid in Winifield, PA. I was TERRIFIED. I didn't give my own injections, I could barely test my own blood sugar, and I still wanted a new bandaid for every finger poke (which wasn't very realistic, in retrospect). Up until that point I was attached at my mother's hip at all times when I wasn't in school. I got off the bus at my parents' salon, and was never away from them for more than a few hours. The reality that I was going to be without them for a whole week didn't hit me until we pulled up at the camp.
The first day was the scariest. My parents left, and there I was in a new place with people I'd never met...
Fast forward a few days... Pick up day. I was so upset that camp was over and that I had to say goodbye to my new diabetes family. I went home checking my own sugar, giving my own injections, and told my mom exactly what insulin pump and infusion sets I wanted. I had even tried an infusion set to see how it felt. I broke out of my shell and learned so much about diabetes and myself in just a few short days.
Since that first camp experience, I found a camp closer to home and started going to Camp Aspire in Rochester, NY. Talk about a diabetes family! I attended Camp Aspire until I was too old to be a camper, and then I got to be a counselor. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life... To be able to make an impact on those kids' lives, the way my counselors made an impact on me. To be able to teach them things the things that I learned as a camper. To be able to do that was as life changing as being there for the first time. I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything. Unfortunately because of work I haven't gotten to go back as a counselor since the summer of 2011. But I plan on making my return soon enough!
All of my diabetes camp memories are my best memories. I couldn't ask for a better group of people to have grown up with!