Freaky Friday—A Day Without Type 1


I woke up this morning, and something was very different. No, I wasn’t in the wrong bed. No, I wasn’t in my boyfriend’s clothes. And no, unlike the usual, I hadn’t slept on my pump tube leaving a ridiculous mark on my face.

Something was gone.

Derek (my pump) was missing. Where did he wander off to? Did I forget to plug him in before bed and leave him in the bathroom (again)? Umm … no. Wait, what the hell? My infusion set is gone, too! I only had two glasses of wine last night, this makes no sense. So, after a frantic pat down, I jumped up and did a full bod inspection: all the scars, and pokes, bruises and needle prick marks around my body had vanished.

And then, just like Jamie Lee Curtis in Freaky Friday, I put my hands on my face and totally bugged out: My diabetes was gone …

Okay, JK. This didn’t actually happen. If only it were that easy … But if I had a dollar for every time I wish my body would swap with my non-diabetic body from 2005, I would have as much money as like … someone with a shit load of money.

But this Freaky Friday, my mind really has wandered to the what if? Instead of getting sad or resentful about the fact that my pancreas is still very much dead, I decided to have some fun with it. If I was truly “healed” over night, here’s what I would do first:

  1. Take a long and super dope shower. I no longer have thousands of dollars of medical devices hanging by a thread off of my abdomen with a janky tape job. Scrub a-dub-dub loofah man, let’s do this.

  2. Next, I would make myself a giant plate of waffles or pancakes. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed pancakes without fear or guilt since St. Patrick’s Day in eighth  grade when my mom dyed a huge stack green and I got to gluttonously shove my face into a pillowy pile of mystery carbs and Mrs. Butterworth. Then I would obviously wash it down with a glass of NOT Trop 50 OJ. Hell, make it a mimosa.

  3. After I digest my feast, I would work out for hours. Just … let myself buzz around like a freakin’ mad woman until I’m tired. I’d wear a sports bra in public. Run up and down a bunch of stairs. Jump. Roll. Throw my body around. Do a spin class, yoga, frickin’ … kickboxing—I don’t know. But I’d move until I couldn’t physically move anymore.

  4. After that, I’m going to go out and buy, then wear an under wireless bra (for the rest of time). I hate how rigid and tight my bras always feel on me. And I’m packing some serious heat in my chestular region, so it’s a big load to carry around. But sturdy bras are my pump holster of choice, so that leaves me little room to swap it out for something more comfy. Having the luxury to buy a fun, soft, lacy little number would be ah-maze.

  5. Once I’m in a comfy bra, I’m totally going swimming. And not like, “dip my toes in like a lil’ sissy” swimming. The real deal. I want to go snorkeling in the Caribbean for HOURS. And I’m not getting out of the water until my fingers are so wrinkly I look like a damn raisin and you have to yank me back into the boat by the straps of my snorkel mask.

  6. After waterlogging myself, I’m going to drink a frozen margarita. Because now that I’m in vacation mode, I’m going all in, baby.

  7. Now that I’ve had my happy hour, I’m going to go to a concert and bring absolutely nothing with me but my phone and wallet. I’ve lugged around the biggest bag with an entire life saving supply of crap in it for long enough. Tonight, I’m literally Freebird.

  8. After the show I’m going to go home and walk around in the buff. Because to be perfectly honest, I missed my body.

  9. And lastly, after the most liberating day in 11 years, I’m going to pass the F out and sleep all the way through the night. And not once wake up in a sweat from a low, or a haze having to pee desperately because of a midnight spike. I’m just going to sleep and sleep and sleep and sleep until noon the next day.

Not having diabetes anymore would obviously be a dream come true. But it has also taught me so much about life, my own strength and relationships, that I would never want to give up that wisdom. I am so much more compassionate, patient, understanding and level-headed after 11 years with diabetes. I know how to plan, be organized, responsible and really, REALLY nice to customer service people. Diabetes totally sucks most of the time. But if a real Freaky Friday opportunity were to arise, I would really hope that I got to keep all of the amazing lessons that I’ve learned.

Read Libby Russell’s #MeFirst story or visit her blog The Sugars.

WRITTEN BY Libby Russell, POSTED 06/08/16, UPDATED 09/28/22

Libby is a copywriter at Vaynermedia in NYC, a city she never thought she'd be able to walk fast enough to live in. However, she seems to be doing just fine, and even passes people on the sidewalks these days! Type 1 diabetes (T1D) has been one of Libby's significant others for 11 years, and was diagnosed her junior year of high school. In college, she felt a huge void in exciting, fun or even remotely realistic resources for people with diabetes her age. So, after she graduated, she decided to do something to disrupt the frustrating language barrier between diabetes and 20-somethings by launching her blog, I Have The Sugars. Libby now lives in Brooklyn with her bearded knight in shining armor, and can be found doing what she does best: not sitting still, and taking awkward infusion site selfies for her Instagram, @ihavethesugars.