For the past 2 weeks, Brian’s brother has been visiting from North Carolina. Because they live so far, we don’t really get to see them very often. Getting them here for so long was really a treat.


And as eastern “mountains” are nothing at all like the Rocky Mountains, one of the things they wanted to do while they were here was to go camping.

Now, I know that there are other TPN families that go camping. However, most of them don’t have TPN running for as many hour as Patrick, nor do they have intermittent IV medications to give. Cleanliness is a factor. (I never used to be bothered by campsite potties or even camping without potties, but things have changed.) Temperature is a factor. (Don’t really want IV fluids to get too warm or too cold.) And having to drain a belly by gravity adds a whole level of complexity to sleeping away from home.

And so, we have decided that we don’t dare try overnight tent camping with Patrick.

And, since they were camping midweek the week after Brian got home from trek, spending a night or even a whole day was out of the question.

Still, Brian and I both grew up in the mountains and really want to share this with Patrick. So, Brian made arrangements to leave work early one of the days that they were camping so that we could take Patrick.

We arrived late in the afternoon, just as they were getting ready to take the canoe out on the lake. It was also just as Patrick was being disconnected from his TPN, so he was a little more free.

Patrick thought playing by the lake was great fun. Earlier that day, I’d introduced him to the idea of wading in a stream at a local park with a manmade stream that kids play in. So he was ready to head right down into the water.

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I hadn’t known to prepare to get wet, though, and hadn’t brought him a second pair of shoes, so he had to settle for standing on the bank throwing rocks into the water.

Then Brian got brave. He decided to take Patrick out in the canoe. I covered his dressing with an aquaguard, though that would certainly have done nothing to protect him if they overturned. More importantly, we put a life vest on him, and then they climbed into the boat.

Patrick wasn’t so sure about the unstable feeling of being in a boat.

But he likes to sing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” so he was game to at least try it. Brian left me on the shore with his camera.



After his first boat ride, Patrick was content with adventures on dry ground. He climbed rocks (with help) and ran until he fell down. He watched fish.

Back at the campsite, he got to go with his cousins to play in their tent, which he thought was great fun. He thought that the tent trailer was the greatest of inventions. (Which is good because we think a tent trailer may be what we need to actually be able to take him camping.) Granny made soup for dinner, and so he thought he was in heaven.


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We left as the sun started to go down and got home between 9 and 10. Patrick had worn himself out and slept the entire ride home. Sadly, though, he woke up just as we arrived.

He didn’t sleep again until 1.

He was just too excited about the day. I sat up with him and he just kept telling me “Papa” (Grandpa), “Ma-mah” (Grandma), “Drr rrr” (Amber, a cousin), wa-wa (water), bo (boat), wah (rocks), sssooop!… and on and on and on.

I loved seeing how much fun he had and just kept thinking while we were up there “Maybe this is do-able.” Maybe one of these days we’ll get brave enough.

That is if I can get over my fear of Patrick dragging his tubes across a firepit, or disconnecting or breaking them and dragging them in the dirt, or spiking a fever in the middle of nowhere, or having an anaphylactic allergic reaction, or….

One thought on ““Camping””

  1. It was a treat for us too!
    Submitted by hhoopes on Mon, 08/01/2011 – 8:11pm.

    It was a treat for us too! Thanks for sharing this post. I had a good time watching Toby and Patrick interact like big kids, and the picture of them together with the ball (perfectly balanced in midair) is perfect!

    Hopefully we’ll get to see you again soon.


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