Monday, January 24, 2011

You shall not pass

About a month ago I wrote a post entitled "One disease to rule them all" where I talked about how Diabetes affects all facets of your life.

In keeping with this Lord of the Ring theme, I was thinking about a scene from the first movie of the trilogy.

The Fellowship (Frodo et al) is travelling through the Mines of Moria when they are attacked by some orcs. As they are trying to escape, a great booming echos through the chamber, causing the orcs to scatter. Only Gandalf realizes the great terror that is about to confront the Fellowship, and orders everyone to run.

Gandalf then turns to face the Balrog (think big, scary, fiery demon), and in one of my favourite scenes in the movie, Gandalf slams his staff into the ground and commands the Balrog, "You shall not pass!"

(Have I totally geeked out on you yet?)

Don't you wish that this would work with diabetes? How awesome would it be go all Gandalf on it's ass when diabetes is threatening to ruin a fun time for your child?

Like when we're at a birthday party, there's cake and Elise's BG is 350.

Or she wakes up on the morning of a special day at pre-school, and she has ketones of 2.1 from a stubborn high overnight BG.

Or she can't join her skating lesson because her BG is low and will not come up as she watches the kids skate and cries because she wants to be out there too.

On days like those I envision diabetes like the balrog; all ugly and mean. Getting in our way and stopping us from living our life. I would love to slam Elise's lancet into the ground and yell, "diabetes, you shall not pass". I wish I had some wizardly power to stop diabetes and throw it into the bottomless pit in which it belongs.

Alas, I am no wizard. And although I lack the magical powers to figuratively kick diabetes in the groin, I will not let it defeat me.

I will remember that the 400 glaring at me from the meter is just one number in a very long line of numbers.

That there will always be more cake.

That diabetes has the power to ruin one day, but not every day.

My daughter is bigger than diabetes and better than diabetes. And so am I.


  1. Great Post and a wonderful reminder to me! THANK YOU

  2. You lost me in pure geekdom in the beginning, but I was reeled in in the end. I too wish I could slam our lancet down. I loved how you wrapped it day is a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things...

  3. Great post! I think its a great way to remind ourselves not be down on ourselves as pancreas and d will not beat down our spirits. Thank u!

  4. I love LOTR and your analogy! I must pass this along to my husband. :)

  5. Dear Joanne,

    You are awesome! I like you already and I don't even know you! First of all, you compared Diabetes to LOTR. I don't geek out on many things, but LOTR is definitely on the list I do... Secondly, you have an amazing and positive attitude, which I wholeheartedly approve of in regards to Diabetes. Your daughter will appreciate some day when she is older that her mother has raised her to not let this dumb disease defeat her. Last but not least, I came across your blog today while looking for parents with Diabetic children and was hoping you could help me. Here's the scoop:

    I am a Type 1 Diabetic who was diagnosed at 9. I am now 23 years old, an Illustrator and Graphic Designer, and am currently working on a set of books for newly diagnosed diabetics: one book is specifically designed to help parents in transitioning into life with a diabetic child (written and illustrated by me), the second book is children's story for the child who is diagnosed (written by author Rick Walton and Kristyn Crow--I am illustrating it). The main goal is to try and get these books published so that they can be used by hospitals and the ADA to give to parents. Rick has a son who is diabetic, so that is his motivation. Kristyn has two type 1 children.

    As you know having a child diagnosed is a devastating blow to be dealt. But along with that, I want parents to know there is hope and happiness, and to discover from a woman who has grown up with it that sometimes the disease we live with as children can be a blessing in disguise. I would not be who I am today if I had not been diagnosed. It has taught me responsibility, trust, reliance on myself, and most of all to see the sunshine in even the darkest hours.

    I was contacting you in hopes that you would be willing to provide your outlook for the book, in giving that hope and yet down-to-earth perspective you seem to have and share it with other parents who have gone through the same situation as you. If you are interested, please email me back at

    I would really love to hear from you!

    Best wishes,

  6. Love the LOTR analogy! As you already know I am a BIG fan and I know exactly the scene in which you are referring to Jo! Love it.

  7. I love a good analogy, especially if it involves a good book scene. I think we do need to keep that kind of attitude. I don't know if it helps, but I think D affects people less as they get older. My son can usually participate in most things. There are some days (especially sick days) that take my full attention, but most of the time, he has completely "normal" experiences. Like yesterday...I dropped him off with 7 friends for a ski day and despite my reservations (which I kept to myself), he had a wonderful day. Well, he said it was "beast."

  8. Any LOTR analogy is a good one. :) I felt like slamming my own lancet in the ground when I woke up with a 156 this morning for no discernible reason. Especially when the same basal usually keeps me at 80? Such a frustrating battle sometimes.

  9. One test is higher than all
    One drop to find them
    One shot to answer the call
    And in the end control them!

    Lets let the geek shine through! Long live the King :)

  10. Brian... that was awesome! Thank you for the chuckle!

  11. Damn straight.

    Excited to hear about Maria's book project and how/if you will be involved!!!!!

    Told you before and will tell you again, I LOVE your writing style.

  12. I understand completely, geekdom and all, I however feel small curt curse words well up in the back of my throat. They don't exit my mouth but it's getting tougher and tougher to not let a few slip when d roars into places that it needn't...I try to see the greater picture, the one that shows that d really doesn't have a hold on us as much as it feels at times. But boy do I wish we could just keep d away from ruling so many aspects of our dear babes lives.

  13. Joanne, thanks for an excellent post. That scene always gives me goosebumps, but you're completely right - diabetes can screw up a day or two, but if we do our best it won't screw up our lives.

  14. I LOVE LOTR.... so, I was totally right with with the whole way through. ;o)

    GREAT analogy... great perspective... but more than that.... what a GREAT D Mama you are, my friend!


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