Monday, January 31, 2011

T Plus One

Many of you probably thought about a rocket launch and the countdown.  When NASA launches a rocket, the countdown starts and is typically marked with “T minus 2 minutes”, etc.  Once liftoff occurs, you switch to the plus side of the countdown.
Today marks T Plus 1 year for the Clayton family.  When Kyle was diagnosed with Type I diabetes on January 31, 2000, many in the diabetes “club” talked of a cure being found within 10 years.  Well, that came and went last year and we are still dealing with Kyle’s diabetes. 
Am I bitter – maybe, but not too much.  Yes, I would give my islets (inside joke) for him to be cured, but what will that cure look like?  Eleven years ago, I thought a cure would be that Kyle would take a shot or IV and then, BOOM; he’s cured – no more shots, no more finger sticks.  But today, Kyle is on an insulin pump which puts insulin into his body continually and allows up to dial up more insulin based upon what he eats.  All this is done through an infusion site which he changes once every three days.  There is also a Continuous Glucose Monitor (we don’t use) which is inserted under the skin and provides glucose readings once a minute and even has alarms for low or high glucose trends.  Clinical trials are occurring which pair these two devices and let them “talk” to each other; creating an artificial pancreas.  If this could be available, is this what the cure looks like?  Maybe not in the traditional sense, but close. 
I look back on what our diabetes regime was when Kyle was diagnosed.  He was on two types of insulin (Humalog & Ultralente) which required 5 daily injections (at a minimum).  We checked his blood sugar with a meter that took a very large drop of blood.  We then would calculate his insulin dose using an insulin to carb ratio which we calculated ourselves.  Today, his is on the insulin pump with one type of insulin.  His meter calculates his dose based upon his reading and communicates with his pump via infrared signal. 
Yes, we have come a long way, but there is still work to be done.  The Clayton family became a member of a club that no one wants to be in eleven years ago.  Though we didn’t want to be in it, we have met some great people in this club who have blessed our lives.  Whether it is the great medical staff at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and the Eskind Diabetes Center, the great staff at the Middle Tennessee JDRF chapter, the Type I kids and their parents, the JDRF friends we have met nationwide, or the faceless names of folks I have e-mailed on the web; all are great people who have blessed our family.  I wish I had never met them, but I am glad that they were, and are, there.
Let’s not let number get too high on the “plus” side of T.
Zach, a Type I parent and a Tennessee Squire

Monday, January 24, 2011

Just Give Me My Bleepin' Burrito

Sometimes it is just easier to do without.  I stopped by the local Sonic the other day to get some breakfast.  Here is how the conversation went:

Speaker:  Hello, this is x, thanks for making my Sonic, your Sonic.  Can I take your order?

TS:  Yes, I would like a sausage, egg, & cheese burrito combo with tots and a diet Coke.  I would also like a strawberry/banana smoothie, and that will be all.

Speaker: Would you like to make the smoothie your combo drink?

TS:  No, I want a diet coke with my combo.  The smoothie is extra.

Speaker:  Would you like tots, fries, or onion rings with that combo?

TS:  Tots.

Speaker:  Would you like some mozzarella sticks with that?

TS:  No.

Speaker:  Would you like to make that a large?

TS:  No.

Speaker:  Ok, I have a number #14 combo with tots, diet coke, and a strawberry/banana smoothie.  Correct?

TS:  #14 combo on your board is a sausage, egg and cheese toaster combo, not a burrito.

Speaker:  Oh, ok.  Got it.

Believe it or not, the order was right, but by then I was ready for lunch.  Before those of you who know me raise the question - yes, the F-250 Super Duty Diesel was turned off.

Would you care for another blog topic?

Zach, A Tennessee Squire

Friday, January 7, 2011

Give Me A Break

No, I'm not talking about the old McDonald's commercial.  I am saying " what tha?" after seeing the following announcement in my Company's newsletter:

Meatless Mondays – Part of the Healthy Monday Initiatives
Healthy Monday is a movement of people and organizations across the country who commit every Monday to behaviors and actions that will help end preventable disease in the United States. Healthy Monday is a public health initiative founded in 2005 in association with Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University and Syracuse University. The goal of the initiative is to end chronic preventable disease in the U.S. by offering people and organizations a weekly prompt to start and sustain healthy behaviors, intentions, actions and initiatives. The Healthy Monday movement has built a following of organizations across the country, including for-profit and non-profit entities. This campaign will allow our customers the opportunity to eat meatless each Monday through vegetarian and/or vegan options.
Start your new year off right. Join us in the [cafeteria] each Monday during the month of January and register to win yoga mats and T-shirts from Kashi.

Meatless Monday?  You have to be flippin' kidding me.  With that in mind, here is Tennessee Squire's menu for the week:

  • Sundae Sundays - I mean McD's used to have $.29 sundaes, right?
  • Margarita Mondays - Fins up for you Parrotheads.   Buffett would be proud.
  • Taco Tuesday - visit your favorite Mexican restaurant.
  • Waffle Wednesday - add some scattered, smothered, & covered while at the awful Waffle.
  • T-Bone Thursday - nothing screams fitness like a medium rare hunk of beef.
  • Fried Friday - eat anything fried.
  • Suds Saturday - what better way to celebrate ball games and being off work.
Now, some of you may be wondering why I didn't mention that amber liquid from Lynchburg.  Well, we all that it is acceptable on any day the spirit(s) move you.


Zach, A Tennessee Squire

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Big Year-Ender

A radio show I used to listen to always had what they called “The Big Year-Ender” where they had guests, brought out every gag they ever had, etc. and closed out the year of live broadcasts.  My goal was to do a “big year ender” for my blog and try to recap 2010 before the end of the year.  As you can see by the date, that didn’t exactly happen, but hey, you have to finish the year before you can reflect on it, right?  I know that as soon I post this blog, I will think of something to add.  Thank goodness for the “edit” function.
This past year was pretty eventful, but then again, aren’t they all?  If our lives aren’t eventful, we really aren’t living, are we?  So, in no particular order, other than the order I thought of them, are the things that stick in my mind for 2010.
The Flood – First and foremost for anyone living in the Middle Tennessee area, this has to be the event that defined 2010.  Not only the flood itself, but the relief response, the bonds made, and the lives that have to be rebuilt because of it.  Hundreds of people are still dealing with flood issues these many months later.  For my thoughts on the flood, see 
Illness – Within the last quarter of the year, Momma Squire & I have had two friends receive the diagnosis of the “C” word – yep Cancer.  While, we are used to hearing of people receiving this diagnosis, it is always the older folks we know at church or in the community.  This time the people were our age.  Really hit home with us on how precious life is and how we should relish every moment.  But, we shouldn’t need a cancer diagnosis to make us do this – we should do it every day.
The Vols – what a year for my beloved Vols.  First, we find out that Lane Kiffin is bolting for the left coast and then we finish the year realizing that our basketball coach, Bruce Pearl, lied to the freakin’ NCAA.  Hopefully, we have a solid football coach in Derek Dooley and Pearl gets his poop in a group.  I predict that all of these just opens the door for Mike Hamilton to exit his spot as AD.
Family – Continue to be amazed at how my boys are growing up.  Will is a freshman in high school, playing basketball with the big boys, and now has his learner’s permit.  Kyle continues his work in the band and keeps growing up way too quick for Momma Squire & I.   He has taken over virtually all of his diabetes management which brings a new set of issues to deal with for us, like “No, I didn’t get your kit.  I am not the one with diabetes.”  Momma Squire decided to embark on another career path and is taking some classes at Trevecca to enable her to be a certified teacher. 
Travel – We had the pleasure of taking a couple of extended pleasure trips this year.  We went to Seagrove Beach back in the summer for a week and dodged the BP oil spill.  We also got to go to Ft Walton Beach after Christmas with the Harpeth Basketball team for a tourney.  Any time spent at the beach is golden to me.  We also got to see a lot of Middle Tennessee as we traveled to Will’s AAU tournaments in the spring.  From Bell Buckle to Shelbyville, we saw it all.  We even worked in a trip to Atlanta and Six Flags before one tourney. 
Music – For the first time in many years, I didn’t attend a concert in 2010.  I did get to see a couple of club shows involving one of my favorite singer/songwriters – Jaime Kyle.  Maybe 2011 will bring some acts to town that I want to see.
Work – Had a very good friend make a huge move regarding work.  Quit his job and embarked on a business venture where he is his own boss, well, except for the wife who is working with him.  I made a move, but nothing that drastic.  After 23 years as an Internal Auditor, I am now working in the Corporate Accounting department and loving it!  It is good to be excited about new challenges at work.
In closing, when I look back on 2010, it was a year of realizing how precious life is.  Whether it was seeing flood damages, helping in the flood relief, watching friends undergo medical treatments, or just spending time with family; I guess even more than ever, I see God in so many places and people.  No one knows what 2011 will bring, but I do know that I have it good and appreciate my family, friends, and the Community I live in. 
Happy New Year
Zach, A Tennessee Squire.