Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back To School, Home From Camp

Today is the first day of a new school year. Nikki is in her last year of elementary school and Amber is in her last year of middle school. One of my little ‘personality quirks’ is that I worry. So I have been worrying about Nikki going to middle school next year and having to take care of her diabetes and switching classes, and and and . I am attempting to take a deep breath and think about it later.

Nikki returned from Camp Korelitz this past Saturday and she had another amazing week. It was interesting hearing the things being said from kids to parents as I was walking around trying to find Nikki. One of the first comments I heard was “mom I filled my own reservoir!” The young lady was so proud of her accomplishment and well she should have been. It’s just a bittersweet thing that they even have to know how to fill an insulin reservoir. Nikki’s accomplishment this year was having her site inserted without using Emla Cream. Emla is what we use to numb the area where we insert the site. Her site is basically like an i.v. (for those who don’t know all the diabetes pump terms) and it can be painful to insert. We normally put Emla on the spot where we will put the site for about 45 minutes to numb that area so she, hopefully, doesn’t feel anything. Evidentally, she was anxious to get into the pool during a site change and asked the nurse to “just put it in”.

Another big deal at camp (and I wish I could have been there on this day) was that Olympic U.S. Ski Team member, Kris Freeman, came to camp to hang out with the kids. He wears an Omnipod Pump (which is a wireless pump). Nikki was thrilled. She took pictures with him, I don’t have those developed yet but I am looking forward to seeing them myself – and it goes without saying that I will be sharing them with everyone! It’s such a great thing for these kids to see that when we tell them there is nothing they cannot accomplish, we really are telling the truth. Diabetes is a bummer, but it doesn’t have to stop you from achieving your dreams. In fact, if you channel your anger about having diabetes into something you love, it may even help you achieve those dreams.

Both girls had a great first day and for the first time, ever, Nikki didn’t call to check in. Her and the nurse handled her needs. Let me say that the school nurse, Paula, and I have great communication and we are intentionally steering Nikki toward making more small decisions without me and toward relying on the nurse (during the school day) to help make those decisions. Of course, I speak to the nurse all the time, it’s just a secret (so don’t tell). This is in preparation for her heading to a more independent environment in middle school next year. It’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to do but if I want (and I do) Nikki to be successful in everything and be able to take care of herself, it’s something I have to do for her. Please pray for us all.

I’m looking forward to this school year and watching all the new things my children will achieve. I know that diabetes will throw unexpected things our way, but the last 5 years have taught us that we, and especially Nikki, are tougher than the disease.

More later,