High anxiety for first band camp


(David) #1

My son (14) was just diagnosed in February. Obviously, it was a huge shock, but we coped and have been doing very well, I think. Until this week. He goes to marching band camp next week and I am starting to freak out. (He seems fine, his mother’s doing okay, with it, it’s just me.)

I know it should be fine, he’s good about things and we’re taking precautions. I was already going to be a camp chaperone, so I’ll even be there. Even last week I was fine. But I can’t shake this feeling of fear.

I need some help or I’ll be the problem at camp. :fearful:


(Dennis J. Dacey, PwD) #2

Hi David @bigwave, you shouldn’t be too worried about your son “surviving” band camp - he will do well as long as he is aware of how he is feeling and knowing symptoms. Most especially HIS feelings when his BGL is dropping. A little extra bit of foresight on his part and on yours - be proactive - will go a long way. When more active and eating “differently”, monitor frequently and stay hydrated - everyone at camp should stay well hydrated. Low BG and dehydration symptoms are similar, but a low BG can falsely read high on a BG meter.

You don’t mention his insulin therapy protocol; if he uses a pump, he may want to set a temporary basal rate lower than 100% on marching days. He should always have something like a chocolate-nut granola bar with him. Diabetes should NOT keep him from being a teen boy and being a full participant in activities.

Two weeks after being released from hospital following my diagnosis, I was working on a highway labor crew - so what, I lied and added two years to my age to get the job. And that was 35 years before the invention of “home” blood sugar testing. Dave, let him be and don’t be over-protective but do keep a watchful eye on him from the distance and be ready to step in.


(David) #3

Thanks for the positive words Dennis.

He is using Novolog and Basaglar pens for insulin. We’re starting to look at pumps and CGMs.

What do you mean “a low BG can falsely read high on a BG meter”?!?


(Dennis J. Dacey, PwD) #4

David, accurate blood sugar readings depend on blood [and interstitial fluids] having “the proper” mix of fluids and dehydration can upset proper ballance. It is necessary to always be properly hydrated; dehydration in itself can also cause a person who isn’t “blessed with diabetes” to have a high blood sugar level - I got that information from our daughter who worked ER and the first treatment for people coming in with unexplained high BG was to begin IV hydration therapy.
Our bodies do strange things, and over time your son [and you and his mother] will accept that if he is running a high [or low] BGL that it isn’t because he messed up an insulin dose or because of something he ate or did. I know with me, other conditions have first been uncovered because I’ve seen “unusual” BG readings; I’m in my 62nd year living with diabetes.


(David) #5

OK - that makes sense.

Thanks again.


(Heather) #6

It’s got to be so normal to feel like you do. I’m only the grandma of a five year old diabetic. He was diagnosed when he was three. I worry a lot. I’m one of his caregivers and worry every day but I try not to let him know it and I try to learn as much as I can so that I feel like I can handle things if/when they go wrong. It’s scary and sad for the child and the family. The more I know, the more I feel I can handle it. It’s took me two years to feel comfortable watching him for more than three hours but I got here. And you’re the Dad so I’m sure it’s that much harder. Take care of yourself and surround yourself with people you can count on to help too.


(Wendy Spencer) #7

Hi David. I so understand! My daughter is 15, and was diagnosed 3 and half years ago. I was so anxious the first camp she went on (it was with her school and only 3 months after diagnosis.) that my husband and I stayed a fifteen minute drive away. (We weren’t needed, but everyone felt safer and we had a weekend away!) Before each camp she has been on, I make an appointment to see the person in charge. I prepare a checklist of what they should be aware of in the diabetes management, particularly the lows, which make my daughter either weepy or a bit silly and therefore not so easy to communicate with. I also show them how to use the hypokit in an emergency and make them practise administering it using an expired kit and an orange. I send along food just in case. Kate went on band camp this February. She loved it. (If you want to read more about the camps, I blog at www.Time4t1.blogspot.co.za). I really hope your son has a wonderful camp, and that you survive! It is hard parenting a teeneager with T1, isn’t it! All the best