Riding on insulin 2016

TJ kept asking to go snowboarding but Tony and I have no experience with winter sports. We had no idea how to teach him and were a little afraid of the high costs associated with snowboarding.  At family camp last October we heard about riding on insulin, which is a Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) snowboarding (and ski) camp started by a professional snowboarder with T1D. The closest camp they had near us was on Mt Hood in Oregon. When registration opened we signed up! G was too young for the camp, so we planned to find somewhere to sled while TJ was learning to snowboard.  

  We had to drive for 4 hours to get to Mt Hood and unfortunately had a late start because Tony got stuck at work later than we’d hoped. We got to our hotel so late that we completely missed the orientation on Friday.  


 We got up early (as always-thanks to my boys rarely sleeping past 5am) ate breakfast and got ready. Our goal was to get the rest of the way up the mountain to the lodge where the camp was being held by 8 am, so we could get all TJs rental gear and the info we missed at orientation so we would be ready for the beginning of camp. But the odds were once again against us. We were only half a mile from the lodge when our tires started spinning. We pulled off and Tony put our chains on but it didn’t really give us very much extra traction. It took a while but we finally made it to the lodge and parked. We walked around trying to find the right building and the banquet room that riding on insulin was using as base camp. After being lost and asking our way, we finally found the room, got our folder of info and headed back to the other building to get TJs rental gear. Another wait in two more lines and back up to the lodge we headed to get TJ to his group and find out the plan for the day.

  TJ was having a rough weekend. He refused (or was unable) to follow directions and listen. It probably didn’t help that he was low during the morning session, but I don’t think that was the whole problem. He kept falling down and then laying there or making snow angles. He wasn’t paying attention to the instructor either.  Luckily his group counselor took him under her wing and gave him some one on one help part of the time.  While we were watching TJs antics and trying to help him and get him to pay attention and try his best, G kept playing in the snow without his mittens on (despite us putting them on his hands repeatedly).  When we gave up helping and left, hoping TJ would do better without us there, G was cold (especially his hands). We walked around the lower building looking for somewhere to get him a cup of cocoa, and couldn’t find anywhere. We went up to the lodge still searching for cocoa and still didn’t find anywhere. Tony decided to check out the gift shop and I took that opportunity to ask the cashier where to find cocoa. She recommended the restaurant upstairs saying they had a delicious signature cocoa. So, once we finished checking out the shop we headed upstairs and got a table at the restaurant.  The cocoa was so big that G had to share with me! It really was delicious! It was covered in whipped cream with toffee bar crumbled on it and drizzled with caramel and chocolate syrup. The three of us also split a cheese fondue appetizer for lunch before heading back down to the campers lunch to check on TJ.  He was not having a lot of fun and had had a low of 33. They gave him juice and got him back up and he was sitting at a table with his box lunch, not eating. He poked his finger when we got there and picked out what he wanted out of the box lunch. We dosed him for part of what he ate (expecting more activity lows after lunch) and sat with him while he ate.  We asked if he wanted to go back out with his group or go play in the snow with us and he decided to go try snowboarding again. So after another finger poke he headed out with his group and we headed out with G to find a good place to play.  We found a steep hill and climbed it repeatedly and had a small snowballfight and had lots of fun. 
We went back up  to the lodge to check on TJ again and make sure he was having fun and wanted to stay with his group, but had a hard time finding them.  We eventually found him and he showed me what he had learned.  

Sorry for the sideways video, but it’s all I got (thank you Marnie, for getting it on video for me!)
   We hung out inside for a while hoping socks and boots would dry for another trip out to play, but it was soon time for the group photo and the boys were tired. We headed back to the car for a rest and some pictures before walking back up to the lodge for dinner with the rest of our riding on insulin campers. 

We ended up having to leave shortly after dinner because my boys were so tired they couldn’t even handle sitting at the table anymore. 

In spite of all our struggles (and lost battles against time) we managed to have fun, see some friends, and TJ learned how to stay up on a snowboard (although he needs to work on stopping) 😜 thank you riding on insulin!


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