I must have gone through her luggage three times that morning to make sure nothing had been lost since I packed (and re-packed) her bags a over a week earlier.
It was time to drop off our girls at diabetes camp for 2 weeks. Beyond that, it was also time to get them hooked up and ready to start participating in the 2014 Bionic Pancreas Summer Camp Study. Misty and I embarked on this journey after hearing Ed Damiano present at the CWD Focus on Technology Conference 8 months earlier. The nervous energy felt surreal after so many months of preparing, planning, and coordinating to make this trip a reality.
As soon as we arrived, there was paperwork to take care of, then a physical exam, and a meeting with the camp medical staff to discuss basal rates and bolus times and all the other stuff necessary to keep these kids alive.
Height and weight, blood pressure, temperature…then another weight check to make *ABSOLUTELY* sure (because the Bionic Pancreas delivers insulin and glucagon based on a person’s weight). A Dexcom insertion, a new meter, new strips, and a Spibelt…
Then we had two hours to kill while waiting for the initial Dexcom calibration, but there was still plenty to do. Find the cabin, pick a bunk, unpack, lunch in the dining hall, swim test, visit the camp store, picture, activity selection…it was enough to keep us busy for 2 hours for sure!
Words really can’t accurately describe how beautiful camp is. Not only the accommodations, but the experience of being surrounded by so many adults with insulin pumps. The people in the dining hall, the people doing the swim test, the medical team. There were pumps everywhere.
Yes, camp is BEAUTIFUL.
And then it was time to give the study an official start time. Sugar was assigned to the second group of participants, which means she will wear the entire Bionic Pancreas system for five days, starting next Sunday. Ally, however, was assigned to the first group, which means she will wear the entire system for the first five days of camp.
Watching that countdown, knowing each of those girls were about to be completely controlled by a closed loop system was incredibly emotional. I’ll expand on those thoughts and feelings later, but Misty talks about her experience in that moment HERE.
When it was time to say good-bye, part of my heart stood still.
I know she will be a little more grown-up with more confidence, and more independence under her belt when I return to pick her up. And, while I also know this is the ultimate goal when raising each of my children, I couldn’t stop the tears from falling as I walked away.
In our last minute together, I held her close, felt her soft skin on my cheek, and nuzzled my face in her hair.
Good-bye, sweet girl.
I am so proud of you.
I’ll see you in two weeks.
This post is part of a series documenting Sugar’s experience in the 2014 Bionic Pancreas Summer Camp Study.
See more pictures HERE.