Jason Swarbrick

Community Voices

Life Updates

I A lot of things have happened since I last posted here.
CW// pet loss

I got COVID -- as far as I know, it was mild and didn't last long.
I got a job -- it's been difficult and I've been working so hard I'm feeling sick and sluggish for the rest of the week. They're moving me to a different, easier department, though.
I'm going back and forth from the doctor cause I'm having new symptoms and I don't know what's going on. I'll make a separate post about it later.
Finally, my dog passed away July 20th. He was fairly old, but it still didn't feel like it was his time...
I'm working hard to bring my cat, Mymy, home to live with me again.

But there y'all go. That's the update.

3 people are talking about this
Jaime Cline

I Workout With Diabetes As an Act of Self-Love

I went for a workout yesterday. Not because I hate my body. Not because I “ate bad things.” Not because I “need to lose weight.” Not because I felt “fat” and “ugly.” Not because I was worried about the calories I ate that day. Not because swim suit season is coming up and I have to have a “bikini body.” Not for any of those reasons. I went because it makes me feel good. I went because my body loves it when I work out. I went because I sleep better, have more energy and combat my depression when I work out. I went because my diabetes is more controlled when I’m active. I went because I don’t want to let my diabetes stop me from reaching my goals. I went because I love feeling strong. Fierce. Powerful. I went because I want to model a healthy lifestyle for my daughter. I went because I want her to see that mama takes care of her health and makes it a priority. I went because I want her to understand that her worth is not equated to her jean size. Neither should her mood be. I went because she inspires me to try new things, to celebrate what my body can do, and to never give up when it gets hard. I went because 10 years ago I had horrible body image and I never want to go back to that mindset. I went because 10 years ago I couldn’t look in the mirror without hateful things coming to mind. I went because I love how my husband loves the way I carry myself after a workout. I went because I love that he calls me strong, and I want to live a long and healthy live with him. I don’t work out any longer because of negative motivators. I work out because it makes me feel strong, happy, healthy and alive. Follow this journey on the author’s blog.

Community Voices
Ginger Vieira

Parenting With Type 1 Diabetes, Celiac Disease, Fibromyalgia

There was absolutely a time in my life when I firmly believed I shouldn’t get pregnant and give birth to my own children because of reasons like, “This body isn’t a good environment for a baby to grow inside of” or “My body is under enough stress, why would I put it through pregnancy?” And what about after the baby was born? Surely that baby would interfere with my own self-care of the chronic illnesses I’ve been diagnosed with. And for some, those may be very valid reasons not to become pregnant, but for me, I’m actually pretty darn healthy despite having type 1 diabetes, celiac disease and fibromyalgia. On paper, when you don’t look at those diagnoses, I’m a healthy gal at a healthy weight, healthy blood pressure, yada yada yada. No doctor had ever told me I couldn’t pursue pregnancy. If anything, the opposite was encouraged. About two years after falling in love with my husband, it suddenly dawned on me: I can absolutely handle pregnancy and giving birth to my own children. I can do this. And I want this. I was suddenly done letting fear stand in the way of something I genuinely wanted: creating a family with my husband. Here are three reasons I am so grateful I didn’t let fear prevent me from pursuing pregnancy and motherhood: 1. It gave me a new appreciation for what my body can do. My body can’t produce insulin. My body can’t digest gluten properly. My body severely overreacts with symptoms of intense pain and extreme exhaustion for reasons medical researchers still don’t understand when I use my muscles and joints for anything beyond the mundane tasks of daily life. But my body can create this life. This gorgeous, happy, healthy little baby girl…my body made her. Sure, my husband helped, but my body did the majority of the work. Me! My body! This body that has turned against me in so many ways and failed me in ways that will forever continue to impact every hour of my life is also incredibly powerful and capable. Knowing this leaves me feeling far more grateful for what my body can do and far less concerned with all of the things it can’t. (Although, don’t get me wrong: this doesn’t mean I didn’t whine and complain regularly during my pregnancies!) 2. Persevering and improvising when facing challenges and obstacles are no big deal. When you live with a chronic illness like type 1 diabetes that requires non-stop micromanagement, planning, reacting, checking, fixing and saving…you’ve already mastered many of the skills required for parenting. I already know how to effortlessly pack the diaper bag for everything one might need over the next five hours because every time I leave the house as a person with diabetes, I have to be prepared for low blood sugars, high blood sugars, diabetes technology issues and many daily blood glucose tests. I haven’t been the kind of person who can just leave the house with $20 in their pocket and the car keys since I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 13. I always need at least four or five things with me in order to ensure that I will be safe and alive for the next four or five hours. When it comes to managing the needs of a baby or a toddler, honestly, it’s certainly never easy, but it’s also not the hardest part of my day either. 3. My chronic illnesses inevitably teach my children about bravery, strength and self-discipline. My 2-year-old daughter has already seen me – Mommy – give myself probably 100 insulin injections right before her eyes. If she’s near me when I need to give myself an injection, I simply say, “Mommy is taking her medicine,” so she knows to give me space – which she learned instinctively and immediately before she was even 2 years old. She watches quietly and waits until I’m finished before giving me a hug and asking me to come play by grabbing my finger and pulling me in her direction. As she gets older and becomes aware of mommy checking her blood sugar before getting behind the wheel, or treating a low blood sugar while we’re in the middle of an activity, or counting my carbohydrates carefully so I know much insulin to dose for my meal, she inevitably learns what it means to be both vulnerable and strong. Having a chronic illness (or several) as a parent doesn’t have to take away from my ability to parent my children – even if there are moments when I have to say “pause” or pop them in front of the TV quickly to take care of myself during more emergent issues. If anything, I have no doubt that my daughters will grow up to be more empathetic to others, more aware of the less obvious struggles and challenges we all face in our day-to-day lives and stronger when facing their own struggles and challenges. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Community Voices

Chronic and severe pain

9 people are talking about this
Larissa Martin

Separating 'Disability' and 'Inspiration'

I have been disabled since birth and will be for the rest of my life. Therefore, my disability is nothing new, exciting or inspiring. However, I have been and will continue to be considered an inspiration by some people for the rest of my life, as I’m sure others with disabilities will also. People who know you personally or just admire you from a distance may label you an inspiration. The definition of inspiration is being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. I may inspire you or be inspiring — but why? Because I am disabled and I am doing things you haven’t seen a disabled individual do before? Or is it because you know me personally, know the kind of person I am and what I bring to the world? While my disability is a trait of mine, it is not what caused my mindset or the actions I take towards being an inspiring person. I feel I am just a woman going through life doing what I have to do like everybody else. I believe we as a society use the word “inspiring” far too often when describing people with disabilities. It gets thrown around too much. I believe able-bodied people use it to make themselves feel better. They may think, “If that person can do it and they have a disability, so can I.” But what they really need to do is look at the real meaning of inspiration and find it within themselves. If people started to see us for who we truly are instead of labeling us an inspiration at first sight, they might be more willing to find the inspiration in themselves. What we do and how we act is what makes us inspiring people, not that fact that we have a disability. I think if more people truly understood that, they would view the words “inspiring” and “disability” differently and things would change for the better.

Community Voices


What are some songs that you help you stay grounded?

93 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Boring Boring boring dayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

I'M feeling a little uneasy today, I still have some #Anxiety over the drama yesterday.#TheMighty #MightyTogether I feel kind of un·set·tled for some reason. It's also rainy blah day. #Depression

11 people are talking about this
Community Voices

New to the group!

I’m a parent of an adult son dealing with anxiety PTSD depression, late 20’s and lives/works across the country, in therapy. How can I best help him?

27 people are talking about this

The Problem With the 1-10 Pain Scale for Chronic Pain Patients

Can I share something with you all? I don’t hate many things; hate is a very strong emotion and most times it latches on to you and its negativity destroys you more than the thing that you hate. So it is not to be taken lightly when I say that I despise, I hate, I loathe the pain scale. I understand why it’s there, I do – in the emergency room setting you have a doctor who doesn’t know you at all and they have to make quick decisions so a pain scale makes sense in theory. The doctor is supposed to use that scale as unique to each person, knowing that each person’s pain is different. Unfortunately, in my experience, it has not worked out that way. For me and for people I have heard from like me – those with chronic pain who have a high pain tolerance – the pain scale backfires. We can be at a normal person’s seven, where they might be writhing, and yet we are still sitting up, maybe reclining on the hospital bed, a grimace here or there. If you are like me, then humor is a coping mechanism, so you crack jokes with the nurse. They ask your pain level and you freeze because you don’t know what number to give. To you there is pain you can handle and pain you can’t, and your pain is getting to the point you can’t – that’s why you are there. So you throw out a number. You don’t want to sound dramatic so you low-ball it and the doctor isn’t seeing a patient in that much pain, so what happens? Nothing, another wasted trip. So what are we supposed to do, lie there moaning and acting? Please, stop telling me to give you a number. I can’t give you a number, my life is not a number. How about asking me about my life. What is the pain stopping me from doing? What does my normal day look like? What about my day has changed because of the pain? Do I feel like I am a danger to myself because of the pain? What do I hope to get out of the visit? Those questions would open up such a huge dialogue between patient and provider and hopefully lead to some kind of treatment. I find with the pain scale, once the doctor sees me and hears my pain scale number it’s like vault doors closing on his mind and he is already thinking about the next patient. The pain scale and its very odd illustrations are great for kids but I am a 40-year-old woman. I don’t want to point to a face or throw out a number. I want a doctor to sit down as my partner in my health care and have a conversation with me about my health. I am lucky enough to have found a wonderful primary care doctor who understands how much I hate the pain scale. His health network still requires that it is used but he didn’t complain when I wrote out my own definitions to each of the numbers on the pain scale, unique to me, and asked that he keep it in my file so we will both know exactly what I mean when say “four.” I actually had to take a break from writing this in order to go to a doctor appointment. A med student did my initial appointment today and I was so impressed because there was no talk of the pain scale from her. She asked me things like, what kinds of things is the pain preventing me from doing in my home life? How about recreationally, with my hobbies, etc.? (Ha, yeah right – but she doesn’t know that.) That is how you assess pain in an efficient yet personal way.   What’s your opinion on pain scales? Join the conversation below!