Jay Hewitt is 41 years old and has lived with type 1 diabetes since 1991. He is an elite Ironman triathlete (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, 26.2 mile run) and three-time member of the U.S. National Team for Long Course Triathlon. He is a lawyer, the father of a 16-month-old daughter, and a motivational speaker. He speaks to people with diabetes and others all over the world on fitness, nutrition, and achieving goals in life and business. Jay is also captain of Team Joslin at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, MA. Visit Jay's website at www.jayhewitt.com.
I would exercise if I had more time... if I had a health club membership... if it didn't hurt so much... if I knew what exercises to do... if I could do it with my family... if I could control my blood sugar...
Do you ever wish you could leave your diabetes at home? Maybe you're at a holiday party, chit chatting with your buds gathered around the bar enjoying an adult beverage (or two), maybe grazing at the table of cookies, cakes and other tempting morsels. "Oh, I think I'll try one of those. Maybe one of those too. I didn't bring my diabetes with me, so I don't have to think about it tonight." Diabetes is not last year's outfit you can leave at home, or a bad relationship you can dump and move on. It is more like a tattoo. It goes everywhere with you.
Last summer, I led thethird annual swim-run biathlon for the Barton Center for Diabetes Education, which hosts two Massachusetts camps for children with type 1-Camp Joslin for boys and Camp Clara Barton for girls. It was at Camp Joslin that I met a memorable eight-year-old boy who exemplifies what being a diabetes hero is all about. I'll call him "Adam."
It's early on a Thursday morning in a hotel ballroom in downtown Oakland, and attendees at a breakfast of the annual meeting of the California Dietetic Association are still working on getting fully awake. That problem is solved two minutes after Jay Hewitt, the breakfast's inspirational speaker, takes the stage. Hewitt, a 41-year-old lawyer who was diagnosed with type 1 in 1991, knows his audience is an experienced group of professional dietitians that has dealt with every type of patient and heard every kind of excuse for failure.
Being a teenager is hard enough, but being a teenager with diabetes can be brutal (and being the parent of a teenager with diabetes can turn you into a basket case). Last month, I wrote about the challenges of being newly diagnosed. This month, let's talk about handling diabetes during the teenage years.
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