All of the signs were there.
Finally, Morgan Crebbin went to the emergency room to confirm what his mother, Tonyia, had suspected — he had diabetes.
Always an athlete, the diagnosis changed his life.
“It is a life-changing thing, but I want to make sure it doesn’t change me,” Crebbin said. “My friends know, and I want to make sure I don’t use (diabetes) as an excuse to get out of things. It was a wake-up call.”
His coaches know, too.
He did not want people to look at him differently because of his disease.
Learning how to be discrete was crucial, but Crebbin does not shy away from sharing his story, showing his fingers that have been pricked often for the several times a day he must check his blood sugar level and talking about his life.
“I have to check, check, check,” he said.
Especially as an athlete, since there are so many variables that affect being able to compete at a high level.
Once he and his doctor determined methods of controlling his diabetes, Crebbin started to learn how to give himself his insulin shots.
“I practiced on oranges,” he said with a grin. “I’m learning how to diagnose myself.”
Crebbin used an insulin pump to help control the disease, but that became difficult becaue he was an athlete. He played basketball and ran track and field for the Pelicans, including competing in the state Class 4A championships in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays this spring.
The first key, he said, is to check his blood sugar when he wakes up in the morning.
“I have to be on top of it,” Crebbin said, “before I eat, before I drive, after I eat, 45 minutes before a race. It varies from 15 to 30 times a day that I have to check myself. I also have to know what to eat, when to eat, to disperse insulin.”
One of his biggest obstacles comes when he competes in the heat.
“When you warm up when it’s cold, you feel warm,” he said. “When it’s hot, your body has to work harder to stay cool.”
Controlling his Type 1 diabetes will be a life-long battle, and Crebbin is well aware of several resources available to help him with that, including his personal physician.