Camping: A Metaphor for Diabetes

I was supposed to spend the first weekend of October camping (and merrily attending the local renaissance fair), but Mother Nature had different plans for me and my crew.

The first night went without a hitch – we’d arrived at our campsite early in the evening and had just enough time to set up our tent before darkness fell. By that time, we were able to get a campfire roaring and cook up some dinner that we enjoyed with beer. After plenty of conversation and laughs, everyone settled in their respective tents for the night and we let the sounds of the great outdoors lull us all to sleep.

The next morning was drastically different as the sound that woke me was the furious pounding of rain against our tent roof.

I wasn’t worried, though – surely the rain wouldn’t deter us from going to the fair. Maybe we’d drive there instead of walking there as we originally planned, but no big deal. I’d be gobbling up a giant turkey leg in no time!

Our campsite on night 1, looking deceptively idyllic.

But I was wrong. As I slowly grew more awake and alert, I decided to check the weather forecast as well as fair hours on my phone. The moment I saw that 1) rain was forecasted to fall at a ferocious pace all day long, and 2) the fair had announced on their website that they’d be closed for the day in order to better protect their employees from the remnants of Hurricane Ian that were striking the south shore of my state.

I couldn’t help but laugh. I nudged my partner (who was still somehow slumbering despite the deafening sound of the rain) and told him what was going on. We figured our options were either stick around and make the most of camping in the rain, and try to get to the fair the next day, or cut our losses by packing up and heading home. After a quick consultation with the rest of our group, it was clear that the latter option was more favorable to all.

So instead of frolicking around the fair in my carefully curated garb on Saturday morning, I was donning a giant red poncho as I helped disassemble our campsite in pouring rain. As I did what I could to shield our belongings from getting completely wet, I couldn’t help but think that this camping trip was becoming a bit of a metaphor for diabetes. In life with diabetes, I spend so much time planning for any case scenario to crop up at any time. And yet, diabetes still manages to throw curveballs in my way that require me to adapt quickly. Diabetes doesn’t care about how much preparation I put into something or that it’s an inconvenient time for it to start acting up – that’s just the nature of diabetes, and…well, the nature of this trip (literally and figuratively).

Ultimately, we regrouped from our change in plans by getting everything packed up in just under an hour, then heading over to IHOP to at least have a hot meal in a dry location together before we all left for home. And even though we would’ve preferred to spend our day at the fair, I’ve got to say, pancakes do help make many situations better – including this one.


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