It’s been a day and a half since coming back from camp and already it felt like it was forever ago! As with every camp I go on, it’s a brand new experience for no, despite having been a leader on previous camps. Family camp, for one, is a lot shorter (three days compared to the week long camps) and the parents are with the kids (aged between 4-7 years).
Hearing a parent with a diabetic child’s point of view was extremely eye opening. As a young adult dealing with diabetes, I whinge about it sometimes how others don’t understand what I’m going through and I feel so alone. But I often don’t think of what parents will have to go through especially when their child was diagnosed as a baby! My mum is lucky in that respect that I had a healthy childhood as with both my younger sisters. Some of the kids at camp were diagnosed before their first birthday. Parents have told me how difficult it was for them because not only do they see their child suffer, but they have to be extra vigilant of any odd behaviours to signify a hypo or a high as they’re too young to even verbalise these things. All carer’s have to go by on are the numbers flashing back on a meter. If that were my child, I’d be paranoid and sure as hell frightened and would be protective of my baby! These parents and those who have or are currently looking after a sick child are amazing. They put on a brave face for their little ones, when inside their heart must be breaking. To all the parents out there, YOU ARE AMAZING!
I sure think/hope that the parents who attended the camp over the weekend go home feeling a bit more relaxed and relieved, knowing that they aren’t the only ones going through the hard times. Over the weekend, I saw some friendships blossom and bonds formed; not only between parents but amongst kids as well. For many of them, this is their first time meeting someone else their age who has diabetes and I saw the excitement and thrill in some of their faces when they saw other kids testing and injecting. It was amazing how full of life, joy and innocence these kids were. Reminded me of why I loved swim teaching and why it was so hard to leave.
And so for the rest of the week, apart from exhaustion and falling sick, I will be battling Post Camp Depression (or PCD as it’s more fondly known) again with the fellow leaders and I’m sure the parents and kids who attended. Can’t wait for Senior Camp in September!