From El Mirage, Arizona, USA:
My 15-year old granddaughter's doctor told her today that she should go to a diabetes camp for 3 months. Apparently the doctor saw evidence of "burn out, " and was very angry. Are there camps that take patients for so long a period? I'm only able to find camps that offer programs of a week or less.
Although some camps run only shorter sessions specific to diabetes, there are a number of camps throughout the United States dedicated solely to diabetes. I am involved with one such camp in Massachusetts, and I know there are others. Search the section on diabetes camps here on the Children with Diabetes web site. At many of these camps, children and adolescents have the option of staying for 1-2 week sessions or longer. There are also opportunities to become camp staff, which may be a fantastic option down the road for your granddaughter. Speak to the camps directly regarding these considerations.
The education, support and new-found friends from all over the world who share diabetes can be an amazing experience. Even a week-long session can make a difference in the life of a child or adolescent with diabetes. Don't hesitate to have your granddaughter consider starting there. In addition, consider the importance of on-line diabetes support. This website is a wealth of information in that regard.
Wishing you best of success in your search. Your granddaughter is lucky to have you on her side.
Additional comments from Dr. Donough O'Brien:One or two weeks in a diabetes camp would be fun and a chance to make friends with other young people who have the same kind of problems. Three months is impractical and might easily induce a feeling of being rejected. I sense that what would help your granddaughter most would be to have her diabetes cared for by a team which includes not only a doctor but a nurse educator, a dietitian and a Medical Social Worker. Together they would be a great help with 'burn out'.
Additional comments from Dr. Stuart Brink:You are correct. There are no 3 month diabetes camps. If your granddaughter were interested, however, there are some camps with week long programs and others for 2 and 3 weeks at a time. The local American Diabetes Association or Juvenile Diabetes Foundation affiliates where she lives will know what is available. Her diabetes doctor and team may also know what options are available. Has anyone thought of counseling to help with her issues?
Original posting 26 Jul 2000
Posted to Social Issues: Community Resources
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