One day of Teen Camp and my type 1 experience has taken a massive turn. Last week I was excited, I was learning. I was showing my pump and CGM off and educating anyone who wanted to know about it. School mums, extended family, friends, even my GP!
But 24hrs with 35 type 1s and I'm nervous. Honestly, I feel like a fraud. I'm hiding to test my BG, going to the dorm to bolus and to calibrate. I'm worried that these teens think this whole 'tentatively type 1' is just ridiculous. I feel like an outsider and feel sad.
Until I realized that the way I am feeling right now is actually of benefit, because the way I'm feeling right now is bringing me closer to understanding how someone with type 1 diabetes may feel in a group of functioning pancreases. I know type 1s who retreat to the bathroom in a restaurant to test and inject/bolus. I know type 1s who don't feel comfortable eating out or at a mates for the same reason. It's horrible, but I know it happens.
And then as I sit here at Teen Camp watching all these teens test, bolus and inject in the common room. I Hear them discuss basal rates across the bunk beds. I smile because this is their time to feel comfortable, to feel relaxed, to be the insider. So I'm happy to feel like a fraud, to be the outsider. I'm happy because it is all part of what I set out to learn during this experience.