It almost amazes me how many brilliant people there are in diabetes.
So, Kelly here, I'm in Chicago, I've had an incredible steak lunch, and I get to the conference and I'm walking down to the exhibits. I see one of my favorite people in the field, a very cool industry watcher who always says just exactly what is on his mind. ("Yeah," he said recently to me three months after another conference where we had sat down for a session by a former thought leader, "Everyone in this room has been peer-reviewed by this guy and had at least one rejection - most multiple." Bemusement. "But that doesn't mean the lecture will be any good." Two minutes pass. "I'm out of here, I just really can't deal with it - so 1980s.")
Anyway, my friend - let's call him Peter, because that's so not his name - ambles up to me. "Have you seen it yet?" he demands. "Nice skirt."
"Seen what?" I sputter. I'm already behind!
"The Dex Com booth," he says. "You haven't seen it?"
"No, not yet, although I have heard it's supposed to be excellent."
"Okay, what do you think you'll think, on a scale of 1 to 10?"
"Ten," I say, because I know I'll like it. I like the product, I like the speed, and I like their approach to the patient - like we are real people, not people with some sort of problem.
"Yeah," he says. "It's pretty solid." For him, this is like he is bestowing the highest honor one could imagine. "Basically, it's like being on acid."
Beat, beat. I've GOT to get down to see it. I am at once so loving but not even really able to deal with the anticipation.
"Okay," he says. "I'll walk you there. I don't believe you. Not 10/10."
"Really ...." I say, doubtfully. I don't like to exaggerate, but I have heard it is really something.
We walk down, we walk by some cool booths (the Pfizer inhaled insulin station is good, the Byetta booth is swarming, the LifeScan booth is tiny, but the Ultra 2 is garnering lots of excitement) and I keep looking around, wondering if I have missed it. Maybe I did! But I thought I would notice it, they said?
All of a sudden, I am face to face with a GIANT screen in these excellently vivid colors - a whirlwind of images has walked into my life. I stare. I see all sorts of cool images. People. Gorgeous, together, caught up in the midst of life - walking, biking, cooking, kissing, sleeping, lazing around - and okay, I know, I'm a marketer's dream! But that's what it is - all these people look and seem and sound normal. They don't have this underlying tenseness going on. ("What, you are blaming that on your diabetes and your constant low level of hypoglycemic anxiety?" my sweet husband would say. "Let's face it. You basically love angst.") So okay, either way - but the video, I am hooked. I am literally transfixed. You MUST go see it at ADA - they'll have it there too. If you ever want to know what the average intensively managed patient wants their life to be like, go look at this. It's all about living uninterrupted, tangle-free, from diabetes.
Thinking about it, life was probably like this in the early 1980s, when the first blood glucose monitors happened and when docs worried about patients killing themsleves etc. So with that, I'm not sure what the worst thing was that happened, just like I'm not sure what could be worst here. I don't take it lightly, at all. Insulin is a )#&)@(#$@ing scary substance - the therapeutic index is lower than you even want to come close to imagining. So yes, people could do harm with this. But isn't that true of basically everything?
The big things they got right. I want to live like the people in their commercials and I have to say (again, I'm a marketer's dream, but this is also true) - since I went on the STS a couple of weeks ago, I'm a heck of a lot closer.
Now, for this thriving commercial market to start - I hope the FDA and CMS kick it into high gear.
Back to the booth. My cool, lax, hippie friend watches me, smiling. "Yeah," he said, "I thought so. You knew you'd like it because you knew it would speak to youi. But you didn't get that it would be a 30 out of 10, not a 10 out of 10, how much you like this whole drama you are watching."
"No, I said. "Even you don't get it. This ad? This is basically infinity out of ten."
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Check it out if you can. And thank you to the FDA for making it possible for some of us to live like this. But at $35/sensor, not very many of us can -- for me, I'm lucky, it's just about making other sacrifices and I can do that - but most people can't. So ~ onward!