Last week, I was forced asked to be a camp counselor. I work full time in recreation (special events, marketing), so doing something like this isn’t completely out of the ordinary, but it’s not the norm, either. My group for the week consisted of mostly boys – ages 12 to 15, and most of them were taller than me.

Being an older ‘more mature’ group (ha. ha. ha.) we went on trips every day. Guess what? Day one, drive time, my sugar was low. I had to make a decision whether or not to tell them that I had diabetes, and I had to make it immediately. I stalled driving until my sugar was back up, and I knew that keeping my sugars steady would be a challenge the rest of the week. Too low and I can’t’ drive. Too high and I feel like crap.

I wanted them to know what was going on in case I needed to pull over while driving somewhere. I figured 15 voices screaming “Miss Carlyn! Why are we pulling over?” while my sugar was dropping would probably not be good for the situation (never happened, though).

I got their attention – not a small feat. “Have any of you heard of diabetes?” I asked. They all stayed pretty quiet, most of them shaking their heads ‘no’. One of them piped up “I have heard of them, but I don’t really know what they are..” he said, with a confused but concerned expression on his face. It was hard not to giggle. I gave them a short explanation about how my pancreas doesn’t work right, and so I had to do the work for it. I told them that if my sugar got low, I would need to pull over to take care of it. That was that.

The rest of the week, they worked up the courage to ask my about my pump, my CGM, and if I was feeling shaky. Their intrigue was limited, but it definitely touched my heart. I was glad that none of them knew much about the disease. One of my favorites, though, apparently had a cousin who is a PWD. On the way back from one our last trips, totally randomly, I hear this:

“Miss Carlyn, what’s your favorite thing to eat when your blood sugar is low?”

I told him I eat glucose tablets mostly – but if I can, I like candy or cupcakes. He agreed with me, that he really likes cupcakes too. Kinda miss those kids 🙂


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