Tuesday, October 26, 2010
This One Time, at D-Camp...
Flashing forward to October 2010: I may be 31, but I was excited about this. Even though I wouldn't be "one of the campers" and even had at least a decade on the oldest of counselors there. So, I was the "Adult Type 1 guest" who got to hang for the weekend. In a sense, it was a little weird being "that guy." But honestly, I felt more like "one of them" than not. We were all the same, and in so many of these teens I saw some of myself.
Unlike regular D-Camp, this Teen Weekend had a mantra that everyone was pretty much responsible for their own D-Care. Monitoring, doing what they'd normally do at home. Apparently, less protocol than what happens during regular camp weeks and weekends. Bedtime and pre-meal times brought the requirements of testing and then reporting numbers, so that the head counselor Alyssa (@afaughn, a fellow DOCer and DBlogger over at The Chocolate Cheerio!) could write them down.
The more serious point for the weekend, though, was talking about "those issues" that the teens might not want to chat about with parents or doctors, but might be more comfortable sharing with fellow D-Campers. Like the high school rebellion. The sports/dating/coolness v. D-Management balancing. College prep and the Drinking, Drugs, Driving, & Rock N' Roll issues they'll be facing.
At times, they looked at me (and the other Adult Type 1s there as "speakers") like we had 3 heads. But I think my wandering around with them earlier, zipping on a robe and being led blind-folded across a field with a spoonful of candy corn helped ease the mood. We touched on how important it is to know your own limits, to "be on your game" so that you'll be normal. Since none were 21, drinking wasn't really a topic they'd experienced yet and we gave the legalese-like disclaimers. The two other Adult Type 1 guys, both in their 30s and living with diabetes for 25+ years like me, talked about being athletes in high school (and some college) and how they'd handled drinking. I talked about my own experiences, especially during my "rebellion years" during late high school and early college, and what I'd learned not to do from those situations. One of the other Adult Type1 who was serving as a counselor, a 24-year-old who's married and in her final year of pharmacy school, talked about the same experiences in her own life. Our common elements were the turning points, and one of the high school boys raised his hand.
"I'm listening to you, and it really means a lot because that's where I'm at. I am at those turning points in my life, where sports and dating and school is more important than testing."
We all talked about getting through those times and doing what's needed, not pushing off D-Management for the sake of sports or anything else because then we really wouldn't be able to achieve that level of "normalcy" we're striving for.