Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Diabetes camp.
Every year, we pack up our bags with a flashlight, a few pairs of shoes, ten pairs of brand new socks, (because for some reason I cant have people seeing my kids in dingy whites socks--- what must they think?) Ten pairs of underwear, in case he gets a hole in one... about four pairs of swim trunks, because I know damned well that Nolan will consider swimming to be a shower, and I know that he will wear the same swimsuit all week, but just in case he has a hankering to change his look... I send more than one. Hats, jeans, boots, raincoat, a sheet, and a blanket, a pillow, bug spray, (which I dont believe in using, but buy because the list says so) sunscreen (That my son will not put on)
and a box of quicksets, for the numberous site changes he will do at camp, and we shove it all into the car and take off for Camp Hertko Hollow.

Camp Hertko Hollow is the most beautiful haven on earth. It is located at the Des Moines Y camp site, and is quite possibly my favorite place ever. I have been all over, just so you know...

Of course is is heaven to me, because it is the one place on earth where my son gets NO looks of sympathy for having diabetes. He gets no, "awwww. that must be terrible"
Good god. How on earth must it feel, at ten years old to all the time be told that your life must be sheer misery? I consider it an insult, actually, to my person, my resiliance, will to live, and positivity.
To say that is just is just rude, the more i think on it. People are trying, of course, to be nice...
But what does that say about our quality of life?
No. Its not that bad, and I am not weak, and neither is my son, and we live a happy, normal life. He has lots of talent, he plays the drums, is very smart, and funny. Ask him about His drumming!!!!
At camp, he is just one of the hundreds.
HUNDREDS... Yes, its true.
His counselors are not afraid to yell at him for being a turd just because he is diabetic.
Other kids dont point to his pump and say, "whats that?"
Nobody looks at him funny for sitting down in the middle of a game of kickball to eat a snack... They all do it together.
And it is FUN for him.

I love camp.

I volunteer there as a camp nurse.

I love to listen to the stream as I walk back to my cabin at 2am, after doing night checks. I love to watch spiders crawl up thier webs that glimmer in the moonlight.
I love to talk to my cabin counselor about what she wished her parents would have done differently with her diabetes... and I love to learn.
I love to laugh.
I love to live.
And that is why I love Camp Hertko Hollow.
The kids there, as well as the staff work SO hard to have a great time. I think it is the one time of year that they can do this.
They sing at meal time, they get up from the table, and they dance to songs like sugar pie honey bunch that is blasting on the Y camp radio.
They play tricks on each other.
They sing when they walk.
They laugh... Belly laughs, the heartiest kind.
They compete for the cleanest cabin, and who can win the golden plunger.
Then they try to sabotage others attempts at winning.
The Y camp is beautiful, free, joyous, fun.

And now.... it is under water.

The floods have taken the dining room, and the pool.
Y camp staff, volunteers and all sorts of people are working to get camp ready for June 19th, when camp will start.
I take a deep breath and hope that it can be done, that the damage is not too extensive, that the 41st year of Camp Hertko Hollow can happen.
Lots of work is to be done. I am sadly too pregnant to do much physically to help. But I will be sending drinks, and supplies this week.
I would encourage anyone who is interested to check this website out and check out the Y camp link.
And, if you find it in your dear hearts to do this, call the Y camp, and see how you can help.

I say all the time that this we live in the best time yet to have diabetes. But all the technology, all the new treatments, and all the upcoming new "cures". I would not trade it for Camp Hertko Hollow... not in a million years. Camp has done more for Nolan, (and for my soul) than anything else has. Ever.

Once more,

Thank you.