A Diabetic . . . Horse?

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When it comes to Type 1 diabetes, I think there’s one thing almost worse than having the disease yourself: having a kid with diabetes. I cannot imagine the stress parents must feel trying to constantly monitor their children’s glucose levels, simultaneously worried about long-term complications and terrified that their child will go low in their sleep. I pray that when I eventually have kids, I don’t pass this disease along to them.

Wait a second . . . why am I getting all depressing and pensive here? The news I wanted to report is that according to a Kentucky ABC affiliate, there’s a new diabetic patient in town. His name is “Justin Credible” (get it?) and he’s a horse. Yup. Justin is considered to be the world’s first equine diabetic. Poor thing.

I bring this up in the context of parenting because of the toll poor little Justin is taking on his owners — they’ve racked up $4,000 in medical bills so far caring for him and are constantly worried about his highs and lows — as the article depressingly puts it, “he’ll never have a normal life. He has seizures, and no freedom to graze through pastures.” As his veterinarian explained, “Grass is full of sugars, and you know diabetics have to watch their sugar levels.”

I find this totally heart-breaking, this diabetic colt. No grazing? No gamboling in the pasture with the other horses? And as for his owners, they’re taking care of a diabetic who can’t talk? Jeez. I mean, I’ve heard about diabetic cats (they pee all over the couch) but a horse — that just hits me where it hurts. (It’s strange that it would take a diabetic horse to remind me how much this disease really sucks — as opposed to, you know, living with it every day of my life.)

Granted, I guess that with a case like Justin’s, you’re probably not going for particularly tight control. But maybe they should reconsider — he could be the world’s first horse on an insulin pump. Now that would be just incredible.

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