Oh, the lord is good to me.
And so I thank the lord.
For giving me the things I need.
The sun, and the rain, and the insulin.
The lord is good to me.
Sorry I haven’t written in a few days. I was at diabetes camp in Leesville, LA for eight days and then hit the ground running the minute we got back. I am finally taking a homework break to write a little bit about my experience at diabetes camp, what I did and what I learned. I will try not to make it boring. Short, sweet and to the point.
This diabetes camp is composed of two one-week session. The first week is the younger children. They are anywhere between the ages of 7 and 11. The first set of interns from my program worked during that week. Myself and eight other interns went the second week, which is the 11-14 year olds. This camp is sponsored by the American Diabetes Association in partnership with the Lions of Louisiana. This camp is at no charger to the campers and their families. All they need is to get a Lions member to sponsor them, and a sponsorship is 15 dollars. Lots of these kids don’t get the kind of one-on-one attention that they need. Some kids have been newly diagnosed and need help understanding carbohydrate counting, insulin and the importance of the balance of carbs throughout the day.
There were dietetic interns from LA Tech, University of Louisiana at Lafayette and North Oaks Health System. We also had the pleasure of working with nursing students and pharmacy students. We were all assigned to a patrol to work with. A fellow intern, Kara, and I were on the G4 patrol. We had the younger of the girls (12 & 13 years old). We were supposed to have seven girls in our group, but only ended up with four wonderful girls, Bre’Naysia, Teliyah, Daijah and Lauren (which one of these is not like the other…) and two counselors, Kaitlyn and Faith.
Our main job at the camp was to develop a “meal plan” for the campers. It basically was how many carbs they could have at each meal. During meals, we had to educate the girls on carbohydrate counting, although our girls all knew how to do it, as well as keep track of how many carbs they ate at each meal. At first we tried to keep them at the carbohydrate level they followed at home, but we soon eased up on them, because they are so active at camp, extra carbs do not hurt. In addition to helping at meal, we also all were in charge of snacks and 2 am rounds for one day. We had Monday, so it was nice to get it done early in the week. Snacks were three times a day: after breakfast, after lunch and bedtime. During 2 am rounds, we went with the nurse and pharmacist and checked blood sugars. If they were low, the dietitians (US!) were in charge of giving them the correct amount of carbohydrates and make sure they eat it all. We then would have to get their blood sugar 15 minutes later. That next morning after rounds was rough. I drank lots of coffee!
While we weren’t at meals, we had time to hang. We visited with our kids, stuck our feet in the pool, did homework, and went into town (and by town, I mean Wal-Mart). After dinner, there was always a night activity. There was a carnival night, swim time, the Great Escape (basically a huge scavenger hunt), the big dance and a campfire.
I will say I have a huge respect for the counselors that do this camp. The six weeks before diabetes camp even starts, they help with the special needs/handicapped camp. By the time our week was over, they were finished their eight week of campcounseloring which is incredible. During the week, we sang a lot of song. Really. A crap ton of songs. I loved how involved all the counselors were. Even though they were probably ready to go home and see loved ones and such, they were still on all the time. They really showed the joy they had for this camp. I was exhausted by day four, and to think they have been doing this for 2 months. It is incredible.
So that was diabetes camp. I learned so much more about diabetes and realized that I truly love it. I plan on getting my CDE (certified diabetes educator) after I get my RD. Maybe I’ll come back and do diabetes next year as a true dietitian, although I am going to try it in Chicago next time.
Only a week and a half left of classes, then its summer break until September. Getting excited to move into my new apartment next week!