Thursday, February 08, 2007


"It's just gonna be a scene," Ryan says with a devilish grin.

I look at him, doubtful at first-- but then I imagine how blown away Joseph will be when he opens this gift on Christmas day.

When he sees the tickets.

And really, it would be one helluva lark.

"All right. Let's do it."

So here I am -- two months later -- sitting in a crowded arena, flanked by my husband and son.

Directly in front of us -- an astonishingly short distance away-- a ring.

A Professional Wrestling Ring.
"My God-- this is gonna be insane!" I say to no one in particular.

Ryan says nothing-- just grins broadly, soakin' it all in.

Joseph can barely contain his excitement when a pleasant-looking man in a brown suit walks to the center of the ring holding a microphone.

The lights go down, and at first I can't make out what the man is saying over the thousands of madly cheering fans, but then his booming voice is suddenly clear:

" . . . weighing in at two hundred and thirty-eight pounds and standing six foot one-- Euuuugeeeene!"

A spotlight shines on an energetic fellow wearing a short white jacket and what looks like a shiny black speedo as he gallops through the crowd, then leaps into the ring.

Moments later, loud ominous music fills the air and again, the crowd screams as the announcer continues:

" . . . his opponent, hailing from India-- reaching a height of seven foot three . . . "

My head whips around to Ryan-- "Did he just say seven foot three?"

" . . . and weighing four hundred and twenty pounds . . .
The Great. Khaaaaaa-leeee!"

The crowd roars as Khali strides purposefully through the audience, climbs up toward the ring, and effortlessly steps over the top rope.

Eugene cowers in a corner, looking almost childlike next to this behemoth.

The "match" lasts less than three minutes.

Over the next three hours (that's right-- three hours) various heroes and villains parade into the ring and face off. And while there are some fun, wildly acrobatic moments, there's mostly a whole lot of really bad acting.

Despite this, Joseph is having a blast.

As the main event is about to begin, the crowd gets to their feet and begins shouting and chanting the name of the star attraction.


I'm standing on tiptoes trying to get a look at this guy, when I feel a light tap on my arm.

"Mom, I'm tired," Joseph says, then leaning on me suddenly, "and I have a headache."

"Honey, do you feel low?"

"I... I don't know."

While everyone around us remains on their feet -- cheering Cena on as he marches toward the ring -- Joseph slides back down into his seat.

Even in the dim arena light he looks terribly pale.

"Honey, let's check your sugar," I say, feeling a rising panic.

He's 95.

Which wouldn't be bad, except that he's dropped more than 50 points from when we checked just ten minutes earlier.

That's way too fast.

"Bud, take three glucose tabs."

As I watch him eat the tabs, I'm wishing I could just get him out of here now (he looks that bad).

But the arena is dark; the aisles, packed with people.

"Mom, can I take another tab?" Joseph asks in a shaky voice.

"Go ahead, Bud."

I ask him several times over the next ten minutes if he's feeling better.

"A little," is all he tells me.

When the lights finally go up, we gather our coats and make our way across the crowded arena floor toward the high staircase that leads to the exits.

Thank God.

My stomach in knots, I walk behind Joseph while Ryan leads the way.

As we join the river of people already climbing the stairs, Joseph turns his head and says weakly, "Mom, I just wanna go home, I'm really, really tired and my head hurts."

Then he begins climbing.

A few seconds later, halfway up the staircase, he slips-- his face connecting with the stairs.

"Joseph!" I shout, my heart in my throat.

Grabbing onto one of his arms, I pull him to his feet.

"Are you all right?"

"No . . . no, Mom," he cries, "I just wanna go home."

There's some blood on one of his front teeth.

"Honey, does anything hurt?" I reach out and touch his face. "You're bleeding a little."

"I hit my mouth on the metal part of the stairs," he says, through tears.

"It's okay . . . you're gonna be okay . . . "

And then, frightened that his blood sugar might be taking a nose dive, I say:

". . . maybe we should check your sugar- "

"No, no, I'm sick of sticking myself! I'm just tired. I just wanna go to bed."

Ryan looks at me, mouthing the words "Let's go."

He's right-- we've got to get him out of this swarming crowd.

I turn back to Joseph-- "It's gonna be all right, Bud-- we just need to get to the car."

Holding onto him, I help him up the rest of the stairs, and then on out into the sub-zero cold.

A few long minutes later, we pile into the car, thankful to get out of the biting wind-- and away from all of those people.

Not long after buckling up, Joseph falls asleep.

Although his blood sugar is 111 when we arrive home, he's still not feeling right. I give him a snack and sit with him for a while before settling him into bed.

And then I can't sleep. I'm just so worried and angry about what happened. About all the other nights he's not gonna feel right -- or worse -- because of this damnable disease.

And I just want to scream.


Allison said...

I think you should scream. I think we should all scream as loud as we can because maybe then God will hear us.

I hate diabetes too.

Carey said...


I am truly so sorry you all had to go through this. I hate this F-ing disease. I was so much hoping this was going to just be about a fun night out.

Anonymous said...


Your scream has just been heard.

I would suggest you read about Natural Hygiene and help your son the way nature intended.

You can find this book useful:
80/10/10 Diet by Douglas Graham

Books from Herbert Shelton (

Best wishes,

Vivian said...

This stupid disease seems to always rear it's head when the kids just want to have fun. I hate this so bad for Joseph, and for you. That so sucks!

Journeywoman said...

I'm married to a 35 year old diabetic who used to be a 11 year old diabetic. I scream too sometimes.

Sometimes I think it is harder on the family. Hugs to you and your son.

Megan said...

Man, what a night.

Hope he's feeling better soon.

Nicole P said...

Damned disease. I just know EXACTLY what Joseph was feeling on those stairs - desperately wanting to feel better, not wanting to be reminded of diabetes with ANOTHER finger stick. Damned disease.

Sometimes, you just want to be tired - just because you're tired, you want to feel off - just because you're having an off day - I find myself thinking often "why does every off feeling I have seem to relate to diabetes??"

I wish there was something to say that would make it better - I know in my heart there's really not. Again though, I'm glad you (and I) have this place to come where at least we're not standing alone - no matter how much it might feel like we are sometimes. At least we can feel assured that there are people who understand - people who want to scream right along with us.

All my best to you today, Sandra.

Nina said...

Even though I'm Type 1 I've never felt that I hated diabetes. But I know I would if I had a child who had it instead of me. I would hate it then.

MileMasterSarah said...

I guess I’ve never hated diabetes either, not in myself. With Gracie though, the pain with her is pretty intense. I never knew diabetes caused emotions like that. My mom mentioned the other day that she was blown away when I was diagnosed. She just never expected it. I hope Joseph starts feelin better soon.

Shannon said...

Tears came to my eyes when I read that Joseph missed a step and hurt his mouth. To be so damned wiped out from a low and to end a wonderful night with a low point really sucks. I hope Joseph considered it a good night afterall.

Sandra Miller said...

Thanks everyone.

It's good to know that I'm not alone in needing to rage at this thing every so often.

And man, did I ever need to rage-- in fact, whenever I think about our night out, I still do.

Though I think you all should know that my son has told me (and all of his friends) that his night at pro wrestling was "awesome!"

The boy just amazes me.

Nicole P said...

Excellent. The D didn't get the best of him. That's the best thing I've heard today.

Paige said...

My 21-month-old daughter was diagnosed a week ago today. While reading your post has scared me to death, it has also been a real comfort to find your blog. I appreciate you and your son for sharing your experiences.
My best to you and your family.

Rachel said...

What journeywoman said. Exactly.

Chrissie in Belgium said...


I am so very sorry! That D always has to stick his grimy two fingers in there to mess things up! Please try coke - it works faster than sugar tabs when you need the bg to rise QUICKLY.

Sasha said...

I'm so sorry you had to go through such a scary experience. It's such a sad and unfortunate truth that diabetes makes us miss some things in life and makes us feel so bad that life itself has no interest anymore.
I wish you and your son all the best! And screaming helps, as loud as you can.

Sandra Miller said...


First-- I am so sorry.

And second, I really wish I hadn't posted this entry so soon after your daughter's diagnosis.

Please know that I frequently use my blog as a place to unload some of the more difficult moments we experience surrounding our son's diabetes.

But also know that there's so much more to our lives -- to his life -- than those moments.

My son rides a skateboard, plays baseball, the cello.

He's often the king of four square at recess.

He's smart and very funny-- and at age 11, already has a "girlfriend."

His teacher tells me that he is a leader-- the most popular kid in his class.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that Olivia is going to be fine -- more than fine -- she's gonna be great.

I firmly believe that.

I won't lie-- you will face some hard stuff. And the learning curve in the beginning is steep.

But you'll make it through, and then your "new normal" will be exactly that.

There's a TON of support available from the many bloggers in the Diabetes Online Community-- I urge you to tap into that (they've helped me countless times).

If you want to talk directly, my email address is

Contact me at any time. Really.

Stay strong, Paige-- it WILL get better.

Penny said...

This post brought tears to my eyes.

I'm so sorry that Joseph couldn't just enjoy it without D getting in the way.

(((big hugs))) to you both.

Scott K. Johnson said...

It sounds like he did have a good time for most of the night - that's the part he'll remember, not feeling crappy because of the low.

It sucks that he got so wiped out though.

Anonymous said...

With us it was arenacross. Casey (then 7) wanted to go so badly that his big brother bought tickets for his birthday. Casey "slept" through almost all of it. Was diagnosed days later. I HATE DIABETES!! I would never think of second guessing God, but I do have some serious questions when I see him.

Anonymous said...

I am not anonymous, I am Maureen.

Kerri. said...

I agree with some of the other commenters - as a diabetic myself, I don't think I've ever hated it. That would be akin to hating a part of myself, which I feel would be self-destructive.

And while I do think it sucks tremendously at times and can be so frightening, I have always thought it's harder on the families of diabetics. I would do anything to take this burden away from my parents, just as I know they would do anything to take it from me.

Strange feeling, to wish it away for someone else. Of course, I don't want it either. But I wish it away for you, Sandra. And for Shannon. For Julia. For Dee. For all the other parents.

And for my mom.

Bernard said...


Sorry you had such a lousy and scary end to the evening. I'm really glad that you made it through in the end.

For me, Gatorade works fastest. It's also a little easier to take than glucose tabs. They really only work if I chew them up without swallowing. And that's really yukky!

Anonymous said...

My son has type 1 diabetes too. He is 11 years old and got tickets to a similiar event for Christmas. He had a good time and I was the nagging mom reminding him to pack take his meter and glucose tabs with him.

Jamie said...

I'm so sorry D stepped in and ruined the end of the night for Joseph. But, like you said, he's an amazing boy and despite the low that kicked him in the butt, he still had a fabulous time :)

I despise how this disease can step in and do this to a person when you're trying to enjoy yourself. I don't blame him for protesting another "stick" either. I just hate that it has to be this way for our children.

I feel like a 3 year old throwing a tantrum and screaming, "It's not FAIR!!"

Molly said...

I've shed many tears because I have had to have people remind me about fun events because I don't remember them, or was confused during them so the memories are skewed.
Dam diabetes.
Sorry to Joseph. But kids with diabetes are so tough. I'm sure he is remembering the excitement of it all, and has pushed the diabetes crap to the side.