We drove to N. Oxford, MA last night to drop Katie off at the Clara Barton diabetes camp, which has become an annual event for us. This is her 3rd year going there on a fall weekend they call, Wacky Weekend. This is a camp for children with Juvenille Diabetes to get together and relax, play, learn more about their disease and also to learn that they are not the only ones suffering from it. I think that remembering that you are not the only child is the best part of camp - a camp where having an insulin pump is almost required and where everyone needs to test their blood sugars every few hours. Where they can take a time out for a low or high blood sugar and not feel isolated, as each camper there knows what those things feel like and you aren't considered to be interrupting the activity at hand.
I know this weekend each year has helped me a lot. As it also reminds me that we aren't isolated in what we deal with as a family. A weekend, where as a mother, I get a break from diabetes..... and if you don't deal with it --- I can assure you that it is a 24/7 battle. A weekend off, I must admit, although I worry about her, it feels like a mini vacation.
Then I realize she doesn't get that vacation.... ever. It is 24/7. It makes me so sad.
That being said - we are grateful. Juvenile diabetes is manageable. Yes, there are long term complications, but we manage daily and Katie is HEALTHY! There are much worse things than that. I look to Katie as an example. She is the definition of strength and resiliency. She has never let her struggles impact her - her grades at school never slipped and if your blood sugar is high, it is impossible to concentrate or take a test. But somehow she does. She wears her pump and doesn't hide it - she is who she is. She never looks for an exception or a break. She has never backed off physical activities that can make the blood sugar go low. She just ran her first 5k and is currently playing on a travel basketball team. Watching Katie train for the 5k was the most inspiring thing I have ever witnessed. Now... I am not saying that she didn't complain, because she did --- BUT who doesn't complain when they are running?! I know I do constantly. As Katie trained almost every single training run involved a low or an asthma attack or both. Yet she would treat, wait and then GO! I know a lot of runs, I think most of us would have used that as an excuse to not complete the distance planned. Katie completed every training run!
Katie is the example of not letting a struggle define you and it has certainly made her a much stronger person. I think she will be a better person for having this disease and I think we should all look to not let our struggles define us and learn how to rise above. I guess that old saying what doesn't kill you makes you STRONGER!!!
Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second. ~William James