CAMP is (still) a Four Letter Word
Last year I attended Slipstream 2018, a weekend camp for adults living with Type 1 Diabetes, up in Algonquin Park.
I had never been to a diabetes camp before; my age at diagnosis placed me a weird group, I was nearly an adult but still very much a child. I was 17 (and a half) years old. And by the time I had settled in to my new diagnosis, the ship carrying my opportunity to attend D-camp and bond with peers, as a youth, had sailed.
It was a complete fluke that I even found out about Slipstream. And it was a total shock to myself (and those who know me well) that I registered. I registered in March (if memory serves me correctly) and then shit my pants thinking about it until that last weekend of September, when I was supposed to head up to Algonquin Park and meet all those other folks just like me.
As we approach Slipstream 2019 (and yes, I am going!), I thought it might be fun to look back on all of those fears and feelings I had about attending for the first time.
To say I am absent of fear and anxiety, ahead of this year’s Slipstream, would be a complete lie. I am still incredibly anxious. Which is to be expected, I have Social Anxiety (and other struggles) that make it very difficult for me to, well, socialize. Being around other people quite literally gives me hives. But I try really hard to work through those feelings so that I can have new experiences and meet new people. And maybe even enjoy myself.
Approaching camp this year is slightly different. Knowing what to expect has alleviated some of the fears (just not the anxiety). And I will not be travelling alone. I will also know a whole bunch of people when I get up there, and that is no small thing.
Diabetes life has also dramatically changed for me. Last year, I was one of a handful of campers still on MDI (and struggling with severe needle phobia while navigating camp and food and injections around new people was difficult for me). This year I have Otis (my Omnipod PDM) and a Dexcom (my CGM) – so I will be one of those beeping people in the cabin.
In addition to new medical tech-gear, I started this site hoping to create a platform for those struggling with mental illness and T1D. I have opted to be a lot more vocal about my mental health because I think those struggles are something that needs to be normalized in today’s society, as we find more and more people are struggling.
And have started to be more public (and loud) about my T1D and my relation to Banting. #BantingsT1Dcousin *wink wink* My hope is that I will be able to parlay that relation/unique position in to a meaningful position of advocacy.
Lots of other changes have happened too (and more than what I am about to rhyme off here). I am no longer working outside the home, instead I am pursuing my dream of becoming a published writer and homeschooling our kiddo. I have even taken a break from the whole cake thing for other people. I found I was putting too much pressure on myself and it was both unnecessary and detrimental to the entire situation. Plus, it really was helping us financially in any way. Hubby has received several promotions at work and continues to excel. Positive changes all around.
I have never been opposed to change, but I desperately like to be in control of it. An unrealistic desire, I know. I doubt I am alone in this. That being said, I have tried to give myself over to change…a little more.
Buuuuuut, I am a creature of habit. So much so, that I eat the same breakfast every single day. And the prospect of not being able to eat that breakfast at camp is giving me tremendous anxiety to the point that I am attempting to plan out what I will do to circumvent that hurdle all while battling enormous knots in my stomach, and preparing to navigate the emotions that “may” arise as a result, nearly two weeks out from the actual dilemma. *face palm*
So, while I try and collect myself, and sort my breakfast for NEXT WEEKEND out, please enjoy my first post about last year’s trip to camp (below).
CAMP is a Four Letter Word: Part 1
I’m scared. So scared. Terrified, in fact.
Each and every single thing that triggers my anxiety is firing off in swarms lately.
I am restless and fatigued. Tense and lethargic. My heart is racing and I’m having trouble thinking clearly. I can’t even read a book or sketch. Everything I need or want to do takes more of me than I can offer.
Is it hypoglycemia or anxiety?
I should mention, for those who may not know, I’m a Type 1 Diabetic with diagnosed Dysthymia and Anxiety. And a laundry list of other health issues but we can save those for another day. Another post.
I currently (carefully) manage my Diabetes using two different insulins – a long and a short acting – via multiple daily injections (Did I mention I also have a needle phobia? Totally ironic, right? And, I’m covered in tattoos – go figure!), a flash glucose monitor and glucometer. I also eat a low carb, vegetarian diet. For exercise, I do Yoga, play with my kiddo and walk.
It’s still a tightrope walk on the best of days.
My mental health is something I monitor just as carefully. I used to treat my Anxiety with psychotherapy (antidepressants were NOT an effective form of treatment for me) until we moved a year ago. When we moved I left the Endocrinology Clinic that I had been going to in favour of something local. Unfortunately, the new clinic does not have an in-house Psychotherapist. And, because they themselves are specialists, cannot refer me to one. And while I was able to find a new family doctor, there is a wait to get to a therapist. And so, I wait. It is not my strong suit in a general sense.
And it has proven to be detrimental to my health.
My stomach is in knots. My chest is tight. I’m sweating, and I’ve got a mild case of the sweats.
Maybe I should test my glucose levels…even though I’m certain it’s not a hypo…
And it’s not. In fact, my levels are higher than I’d like, better go correct that…
I’m scared. So scared. And I have been for days.
Maybe even months.
It continues to build. And is intensifying…I am petrified it will become a full blown attack at some point. Even though I am doing my best to avoid that. I want nothing to do with that catastrophe. But I sense it, see it peeking around the corner up ahead. I am scrambling, desperate to change my path.
So what’s got me running?
Or not running. Fight or flight has yet to fully kick in…
It’s one thing. One word.