Why I’m not where I thought I’d be (and why it’s okay)

Goals are everchanging. In middle school I thought I would be a marine biologist, swimming with the fishes along the Australian coast. In high school I thought I would put my lifelong health issues to good use and become a nutritionist. Since then I’ve done neither. Some things simply change.

I think I just kind of fell into my niche, and was lucky enough to enjoy what I was good at. Even if I can only practice what I love on the side of my less-fun grown up responsibilities, I still get to do it. And not having to do it for a job makes it that much more enjoyable.

Things happen for a reason. Whether it’s to teach an important lesson, or bring the right people in your life, or even force the wrong ones out, I’m a firm believer that life has a way of directing itself in ways that may catch us off guard. That’s why I’m teaching myself to expect very little– so the good things that do come my way feel like even more of a blessing. Also, some surprises are just fun.

Career-wise, I am nowhere near where I thought or hoped to be by now. However, I am also in places I never could have dreamed of being. For example, physically, I am at my peak since about middle school, and that brings me a huge amount of confidence and energy to continue.

I also have the right people in my life, and know how to recognize when I’m spending too much time on the wrong ones. While I don’t love my job, I have one. It’s steady and believe me, I’ve had worse jobs. I’m still writing. About myself, my journey, about music, and even things that are a little more personal that I’ll keep just for myself. Let’s be honest, even this blog is mostly just for myself– and the few family members and friends who read my long rants (thank you!).

The point of this dragged out, wordy blog post is not to be dragged out or wordy at all, it’s simply to point out that things don’t always go as planned, but a new plan will eventually fall into place. It might not be as bright and shiny as the old one, but it will (hopefully) lead us to an important part of our stories.



FGQ (Frequently Googled Questions)

I know there are a lot of misconceptions about T1D. It’s not something that is common knowledge to everyone, so I was curious what questions the general public had about the condition. And as most of you know, I’m sure, Google does this nifty little thing where you can start typing a question and it will suggest auto completions of your questions based on the most popular searches. I decided to try it out to see what everyone else was curious about, and here is what I found, along with answers to the questions I am qualified to answer.

are diabetics

Personally, I am always hungry. But I don’t think that’s a diabetes thing, I think that’s just a Casey thing. One of the symptoms of high blood sugar is extreme thirst, but hunger I do not believe is a side affect.

As for being cold all of the time, my fingers and toes are often colder than the rest of my body. This has to do with circulation issues that also comes with diabetes, and which is also why sometimes extremely high blood sugars cause the feeling of pins and needles in fingers and toes.

I have not read anything that says my risk of cancer is increased as a diabetic.

Type one diabetes is defined as the body’s inability to produce insulin. We are not necessarily resistant, we just cannot produce it ourselves.

Being sleepy can be a sign of high or low blood sugar, but we are not in a constant state of tiredness. If you’re feeling more fatigued than usual, a blood sugar test might be necessary.

Does diabetes

Diabetes can cause weight gain, or often prevent weight loss or make it more difficult. Excess insulin can be stored in fat cells. There are medications, however, that help release the insulin in those cells.

Eating disorders, from what I’ve read, are actually more common in diabetics than I would have thought. It’s called diabulimia– a combination of the words diabetes and bulimia in which diabetics will not take insulin for the food they consume for fear of gaining weight, and instead regurgitate their meals.

Dizziness can be a symptom of either high or low blood sugar, so it’s always a good idea to test when you’re feeling off in any way.

Itching, unless it’s a side affect of a particular medication, is not caused by diabetes.

How does diabetes

Diabetes is hard on the entire body, including the heart. One way it affects the heart is if blood sugars get extremely high– like unreadable levels– it can make the potassium levels in the body drop, which can cause cardiac arrest.

Here is the American Diabetes Association’s definition of type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes can cause what is known as diabetic retinopathy, which is damage to the blood vessels in the eye due to poorly controlled blood sugars.

In the kidneys, diabetes can cause what is called diabetic microalbuminuria, or the presence of protein in the urine. This can be controlled with medication.

is diabetes

Type one diabetes is mostly caused by genetics. Type 2, however, is caused mostly by poor diet and exercise habits. This is when the pancreas is still producing insulin, just not an adequate amount to take care of food consumption. Type 2, if caught early enough, can be reversed.

Diabetes is recognized as a disease and a disability. As of yet, there is no cure, but it is not contagious.

What does diabetes

Say your air conditioner dies right in the middle of July. You can still make your house cool, but you would have to do so manually with ceiling fans and more air circulation. That’s what diabetes does.

Diabetes doesn’t feel any different than living without it, as long as blood sugars are controlled.

Diabetes affects everything. Nerves are especially affected, and that’s why diabetics have to pay close attention to their feet. The feet are the first to be affected, which is why you sometimes may here horror stories about diabetics losing toes to T1D.

Will diabetics

Yes, eventually diabetics will die without insulin. However, it will be a very slow and painful death. They will feel very ill for a long period of time until their heart or kidneys give out. This is absolutely preventable though, as long as diabetics keep taking their insulin.

Occasionally, type 2 diabetes can be reversed with improved diet and exercise. Type 1, however, will not go away. Once the pancreas stops working completely, it will not start again, at least until they find a cure.

Most diabetics will have complications, simply because the human body is like a chain reaction. Everything affects everything. Other organs have to work harder to make up for the one that isn’t working at all– the pancreas. However, not all diabetics will have complications as severe as blindness.

Anxiety Detox

Mental health is not a field that I am an expert in. But as everyone does at some point, I’ve dealt with stress and anxiety for a fair amount of my time. In cases like mine, some days I’m fine and others I am filled with stress and dread. It’s as if everyone around me is moving and I am standing still with my feet cemented to the ground. I wanted to write about some of the strategies/daily things I’ve done to improve my mental state pretty drastically. These may not work for everyone, or maybe some do and some don’t, but the worst thing I’ve found you can do is sit still and let the stresses of your everyday life eat you alive. Find something that works for you and keep doing it. If it helps you stay calm even for a moment or an hour, it’s worth your time.

  1. Find a happy place- I’m convinced there is a place for everyone where the world kind of stops or slows down and allows us to breathe. For me, it’s the beach. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, or when I feel the anxiety coming on, I take a ride by the beach, get out and just walk on the sand and watch the waves crash. As long as the ocean is able to keep moving, I should be too.
  2. Take a look at your diet- I’m really guilty of not paying close attention to this, but greasy, no-good-for-you foods and caffeine filled drinks obviously make your body feel both exhausted and hyperactive. It’s not a good combination. I’ve changed my diet the past few months and my mood is likely ten times higher than it was when I didn’t care.
  3. Work toward a goal- It can be the smallest thing like doing the dishes every day, or drinking a certain amount of water every day or putting the clean clothes away. It fills up the time during each day that your mind usually spends wandering through the dark and anxious places. And, goals are usually set to improve quality of life, so by setting one for yourself you can reduce stress as well as live a happier life. For example, my goal has been reaching a higher level of fitness and achieving weight loss, and I’ve been doing really well. If your overall goal is too large, create mini goals on your way to the larger one.
  4. Stay active- while we’re on the topic, exercise releases chemicals in your brain that allow you to destress. There are so many different ways to get your body moving including running, yoga, kickboxing, weight lifting and a plethora of other options. Find what works for you and your schedule, and make it something that you look forward to doing.
  5. Write or draw it out- Keep a journal or start a blog if you want to go more public. Whatever outlet you choose, you’re getting your thoughts out of your head where they can stir around and make you crazy and release them somewhere safe. I keep a journal for the more personal things as well as post on this blog for the thoughts I feel like I can share. You don’t have to be Shakespeare in order to put a pen to paper.
  6. Find something to relate to- Music has been my biggest comfort since before middle school. You could also choose a TV series, movie, book or something completely different, as long as it gives you an outlet or something to relate to. The best media stress relievers are the ones that help you get through whatever is going on in your life as well as give you the confidence that you’ll get through the next thing too.
  7. Do what you have to do without embarrassment- If you need professional help, get it. If you have to scream into the void every so often, scream. If you feel like you need to cry, cry it out. Whatever you have to do, do it unapologetically.

Some of these may work for you, or maybe none of them will. Most of them have worked for me, but every person is different and has different ways of coping. Do you have any tips or vices to get you through times of stress and anxiety? Let me know in the comments!


Reasons to befriend a ‘betic

Yeah, diabetes sucks. But if nothing else, it makes those who have to bear it great companions for non-betics! We have to pay extra attention to how we’re feeling hour by hour, so we’re basically always on the prowl for health issues in ourselves as well as others. While we might feel like it’s an extra responsibility for others to make sure we’re okay throughout the day, there are reasons our condition can actually be beneficial to you (if you want to see the reasons, that is).

1. We’re great mom friends (or dad friends)

We know health struggles, and how to prevent most of them. Do you need water? Have you eaten enough today? Are you feeling okay? We know, and we’ll take care of you.

2. We always have snacks

Because there is always a chance our blood sugar could plummet unexpectedly, we have to keep a small stash of granola bars, juice boxes, peanut butter crackers, or anything else that will raise our sugar quickly. And we’ll probably share.

3. We can stay calm in most emergency situations

Odds are, we’ve had one or two emergencies ourselves. It’s obviously different when someone else is the focus of the emergency, but we’ll usually be able to stay calm and get help quickly.

4. We’re basically nurses without the degree

Diabetes leads to a lot of other health issues, so even if we don’t have them, we’ll know the symptoms and warning signs for a lot of other problems.

5. More food for you!

Diabetics are limited to what we can eat, so if there’s ever a really sugary dessert or too many starches on our plates, we’ll pass them your way.

6. Lastly, we’re pretty self sufficient

The thing is, a lot of people think they have to pay extra attention to us in case our blood sugar rises or falls. In reality though, we are so in tune to our own bodies that we can sometimes tell minutes or even hours in advance if we’re going to have an issue and correct it before it happens. It’s kind of a sixth sense.

To eat or not to eat- that is the question

When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. Except if you’re diabetic, then you just squeeze it in your unsweetened iced tea. 

I’ve been criticized by both people who know I have diabetes, and those who don’t know, when food is concerned. Many times, the ones who know– mostly the older people who know– often study my plate to make sure I’m not eating anything with even a gram of sugar. The amount of “Should you be eating that?” and “Is your sugar low enough for that?” lines I’ve been dealt feels astronomical.

I really don’t mind if someone wants to learn about the criteria of foods I can consume and be okay. I like educating people. However, knowing people are watching me and analyzing every bite I take not only makes me feel like they believe I’m incompetent, but also very, very self conscious.

Along with the diabetes, I struggle with body image as well. I’ve never been tiny, and I’m aware of that. I’m working on it. I don’t need to be stick skinny, but I’d like to avoid feeling like I’m grossly obese, which is how I have felt sometimes in the past. If someone is going to glare at me for eating a few french fries or potato chips, I’m going to stop eating them and everything else. This is something I’ve struggled with since I was twelve or thirteen– it’s not new to me.

The other side of this is basically the opposite problem. Because I function like a normal human being in public, some people assume that I am in normal health and that diabetes is just a word. I have been accused more than once of using diabetes as an excuse not to eat high sugar and calorie foods because they believe I’m only trying to lose weight, aka, being a prude.

It’s actually a life or death decision. And because maybe someone has seen me eat high sugar foods in the past to correct a low blood sugar, they believe I have a “cheat day” any time I want. I wish there was an on/off switch for diabetes, but the fact is, there isn’t.

It’s like if I were to say to someone who has asthma, “you didn’t take your inhaler today, you’re not allowed to breathe.” Maybe that’s a little dramatic, but honestly, how ridiculous is that statement?

For those who are concerned about a diabetic’s immediate health, please do not feel discouraged to speak up. My point is only that a diabetic will most of the time know their limits. They know what’s within their boundaries, and how to compensate for things that might be a little outside of them. The biggest asset you can be to a diabetic is a support line, when they need it.


DISCLAIMER: The severity and symptoms of each individual diabetic varies, as should their support system. Do not be afraid to offer assistance when they may appear to need it.




But really, this post isn’t to complain about being sick. Everyone gets sick. It’s about how diabetes makes being sick, like a hundred times worse (okay I’m exaggerating but that’s how it feels). For one thing, it doesn’t go away as quickly as it might in a normal person. Diabetes is considered an autoimmune disease, which means that a body’s cells work against themselves, specifically in the pancreas. However, if cells are fighting against the cells in one of my organs, I can accurately jump to the conclusion that they will fight against the rest of my immune system as well. And my body has been fighting itself a little extra for about three weeks.  

Secondly, once it’s in your house, it doesn’t go away. You’ll give it to your siblings who will give it to your parents who will give it to you grandparents who will give it back to you. The house will be filled with germs and cough drops.

As for the diabetes thing, blood sugars will spiral out of control. No matter how much insulin you give yourself or how little you eat, it’s no surprise when you can’t get your sugar level below 250, which then brings on a plethora of other symptoms. On top of the coughing and sinus issues, it feels like you need a gallon of water every hour, and when you do drink that much, you get seriously nauseous.

All I want to do is be able to speak, not squeak. The most frustrating part of this is knowing that if I did not have diabetes, I would probably have regained full health about a week ago. However, after two rounds of antibiotics, I’m left waiting out the remainder of whatever is going on with my body.

Please let me know if you have any home remedies that might help bring my voice back! I don’t use it that much, but I’m really starting to miss it.  Thanks for reading!

12 Lists of Christmas

It is officially mid-December, which means there are less than TWO WEEKS until Christmas (but who’s counting?). In keeping with the spirit of the holidays, I’m sharing my personal 12 lists of Christmas. It’s off-topic for this blog, but bah humbug, I’m doing it anyway. Tell me your own faves in the comments!

12  favorite Christmas songs:

1. Ho ho Hopefully-  The Main

2. Christmas Time Again–  Amely

3. Baby Please Come Home- Josh Ramsay and also check out Anberlin

4. Christmas With You- Artist vs. Poet

5. December- Neck Deep ft. Chris Carrabba 

6. There Will Be No Christmas- Crown the Empire

7. Mittens- Carly Rae Jepsen

8. Sing in Celebration- Faber Drive

9. Maybe this Christmas- For All Those Sleeping

10. Down to Us- Let’s Get It

11. Merry Christmas, I Miss You- Farewell for Now

12. Christmas Lights- Yellowcard

Here’s a link to my Spotify playlist with all of my personal favorites

11 Christmas Movies

  1. Home Alone
  2. Elf
  3. To Grandmother’s House We Go
  4. The Santa Clause
  5. Polar Express
  6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
  7. The Santa Clause 2
  8. A Christmas Prince
  9. The Muppet Christmas Carol
  10. Nightmare Before Christmas
  11. The Santa Clause 3

10 Christmas Specials

  1. Rudoph the Red Nose Reindeer
  2. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  3. A Charlie Brown Christmas
  4. Frosty the Snowman
  5. Rudolph’s Shiny New Year
  6. The Year Without a Santa Claus
  7. The Little Drummer Boy
  8. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)
  9. Annabelle’s Wish
  10. Grandma got Runover by a Reindeer

9 Christmas Cookies

  1. Sugar
  2. Gingerbread
  3. Peanut Butter
  4. Snickerdoodles
  5. Chocolate chip mint
  6. Thumbprint
  7. Red Velvet
  8. Dulce de Leche
  9. Snowballs

Almost all of these recipes can be found at this link

8 Universal Christmas Gifts

  1. Socks
  2. Candles
  3. Books
  4. Cookies/candy
  5. Gift cards
  6. Coffee/mug set
  7. Lotion/shampoo/toiletries
  8. pajamas

7 Stocking Stuffers

  1. Candy
  2. Cookies
  3. Tea light candles
  4. Gloves
  5. Pens/pencils
  6. Playing Cards
  7. Chap stick

6 Cookie Cutter Shapes

  1. Snowman
  2. Reindeer
  3. Christmas Tree
  4. Star
  5. Angel
  6. Snowflake

5 Christmas Dinner Items

  1. Ham/Turkey
  2. Baked Ziti/lasagna
  3. Cranberry suace
  4. Bread
  5. Potatoes

4 Christmas Traditions

  1. Decorating the tree
  2. Putting up lights
  3. Making cookies for Santa
  4. Watching Christmas specials

3 Christmas Drinks

  1. Apple Cider
  2. Hot Chocolate
  3. Eggnog

2 Christmas Faux Pas

  1. Peeking under the tree at presents
  2. Digging into the food before it’s been put on the table

1 Christmas greeting



20 Stages of Type 1 Diabetes

  1. Waking up low and eating breakfast like

2. Then your body decides you over corrected and need insulin NOW

3. When you get to a public place and your pump decides it’s time for a new battery

4. But there is literally no convenient way to change it at the present moment

5. But you break out your pump anyway because, ya know, you need it to live, and people around you get all curious

6. So you have to explain your long-winded diabetes saga yet again, boring even yourself

7. And feel them watching you the rest of the day to make sure you don’t pass out

8. Get at least three people telling you, “I know all about diabetes, my grandmother’s cat has it!”

9. Coming home to find out that someone raided your secret stash

10. Knowing the difference between being intoxicated and high/low blood sugar

11. “So like, is it contagious?”

12. When someone asks if I got diabetes from eating too much sugar

13. And you lie to avoid the long conversation

14. Then they try to tell you what you can and cannot eat

15. But you stuff it in your face anyway just to spite them

16. …and regret it two hours later

17. When you finally come down to a normal range

18. …and you realize you have an endocrine appointment next week

19. Accepting that your life is a roller coaster of health issues anyway so might as well buckle up

20. And finally, the feeling of relief after you see your endocrinologist and he doesn’t scream at you






It’s Diabetes Awareness Month!

Happy November!

November is full of widely recognized holidays in the US, including Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Black Friday (if you believe that a day of extreme discounts is a holiday. I do). But a lesser known month-long event that takes place in November is diabetes awareness month.

Officially, diabetes is defined as a disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood and urine. What does that mean in English?

It means reading the nutrition facts on every packaged food you consume, or knowing estimated carbohydrate counts on foods without labels. It means eyeballing measurements like a cup of pasta or potatoes. Figuring out if you can eat something based on carbohydrate to sugar ratios.

But my goal for diabetes awareness month is for people, even just a few of them, to understand what doctors can’t tell you about the disease. It may differ from person to person, but nearly all diabetics will understand this.

  • Diabetes is going trick-or-treating on Halloween, and hoping that your blood sugar will drop just enough to allow yourself a piece of candy.
  • Diabetes is carrying around extra supplies everywhere you go just in case.
  • It means being pat down and man handled at the airport when all you want to do is get from point A to point B.
  • It’s explaining to people that your insulin pump is not some sort of cell phone you have attached to your hip.
  • Being self conscious of the scars all over your body from injection sites.
  • It’s knowing the difference between high or low blood sugar and normal intoxication when drinking alcohol.
  • It’s the struggle you have managing weight, and knowing healthy people wouldn’t have this much of a problem.
  • The plethora of other health issues that come with it, like kidney disease or heart issues.
  • Knowing that people mean well when they pretend to understand the disease because their grandmother has it too, even though it’s probably type 2.
  • The list goes on.

One day, I hope that no one will ever have to know these things because there will be a cure and it will be affordable to everyone. Until then, I want people to know that diabetes is more than a medical condition. It’s a way of life, and it’s never easy, no matter how long you’ve been dealing with it. Diabetes is more than a physiological illness; it’s a source of self consciousness and doubt. Knowing you’re not, and will never be, “normal,” but trying your best to be anyway. Diabetics are strong, not because we choose to be, but because we have to be.

All anyone can do is live the lives they’re given. We are diabadasses, and November is the time to take note of that.

Feel free to leave your personal struggles in the comments!

Quarter century goals

As I was reading through a journal I used to keep, I came across an entry from what I’m assuming was a few years ago about future goals. Particularly, goals I wanted to reach by the time I turned 25. Now being about a week and a half away from that, I feel like I need to check in and readjust some of those goals– or at least write about them as a self-motivator.

  1. Fitness– I am in a better place than I was a year ago, but I still need a lot of work. I didn’t have any solid goals then either, so I’ll be setting some for myself starting this week. I’ll check off this box for my 25 year bucket list, but 26 better watch out because I’m coming for ya.
  2. Write a blog– Well, here we are! My next goal is to update more consistently. (PS talk to me if you have any ideas for me to write about, I’m running low).
  3. See more of my friends and family– Sorry to those of you I haven’t seen or even checked in with in a while, I’m coming back real soon.
  4. Watch more movies and shows– There are a few shows I keep up with consistently (and am anxiously awaiting more seasons) like Stranger Things, 13 Reasons Why, and Riverdale, but I always feel like I’m behind on pop culture. Leave me suggestions!
  5. Learn to play an instrument– I don’t actually have an instrument to play, but I think learning something new would keep me sharp.
  6. Travel somewhere new– I just have a consistent case of wanderlust that I need to satiate.

That’s all I have for now, but I’m sure I’ll add on later. Let me know if anyone wants to embark on any of these journeys with me! Cheers to 25. ♥