Is anyone paying attention?

Is anyone paying attention?

Since the election all the pundits and prognosticators are trying to figure out where they went wrong. How could it be that Donald Trump was elected President. How when all the polls showed Hillary Clinton in the lead that on election night that the people voted and elected Mr. Trump.

While we are not a political pundit and have no desire to be one here is our quick read on the results; there are a lot of ticked off people out there. People who do not live in urban areas or on the either coast. People who long for an America that does not exist anymore and will never come back either.

How did the pollsters, pundits and prognosticators miss this, that’s easy; they weren’t paying attention. The pundits, pollsters and prognosticators have no idea what these people were thinking, how angry they were because they could not see beyond their own little fiefdoms.

Yes, believe it or not people who live in rural areas think and live differently than those who live in urban areas. That people who do not have a college education think and live differently than those that went to college. That no matter how qualified Hillary Clinton was, they wanted change and she was not viewed as a change agent. That no matter how flawed Mr. Trump may be, they were willing to overlook these flaws because they were ticked off and wanted change.

We see a parallel here between the people who voted for Mr. Trump and the diabetes community. A community that like the political pundits and prognosticators cannot see beyond their own fiefdoms. They seem to think that every patient with diabetes is like they are, heavily engaged with their diabetes. They look down upon patients who do not intensively manage their diabetes almost as if these patients are not worthy. They view non-insulin using patients as second class citizens almost as if these patients don’t have diabetes. They seem to believe that every patient wants interconnected diabetes management (IDM).

Well they are wrong.

Now we know these folks are well intentioned. They are devoted to the cause. However, they are also blind to some pesky facts. That most patients are not like they are. That most patients do not intensively manage their diabetes. These people aren’t stupid; they know they have diabetes and they know it needs to be managed. But most of all for the majority of patients they are ticked off they have diabetes. They don’t like being told what to do, what to eat, when to take their meds and check their glucose levels.

Many in the diabetes community just cannot fathom how any patient with diabetes is not devoted to their diabetes management. They believe that every patient is enamored with all the way cool whiz bang cloud enabled devices available. When in fact the majority of patients don’t care.

The worst part of all this is the companies in this wacky world listen to the diabetes community and not people with diabetes. These companies have fallen head over heels in love with far too many diabetes bloggers who perhaps at one time lived in the real world but now have become detached from the people they were supposed to be advocates for. The same can said for the JDRF and ADA, two organizations who seem to have forgotten who they are fighting for.

Now we don’t want to dump on this quest for an artificial pancreas but it is a perfect example of what we are talking about. Just so there is no misunderstanding we are not against this quest. However, let’s look at some pesky facts. There are approximately 30 million people with diabetes, of which approximately 5 million use insulin, of which perhaps 500,000 use an insulin pump. So, will someone please explain to us why so much time, effort and money is being spent on a technology that only a handful of patients will use? Would it not be a more effective use of these resources to find a cure for all patients with diabetes and not just those who use insulin or an insulin pump? Would not the 5 million or so insulin users appreciate putting some of these resources towards lowering the out of pocket cost of insulin?

The reason the artificial pancreas gets some much attention and resources is it’s the ultimate in way cool whiz bang diabetes technology plus the diabetes community actively supports it. Ask the average person with diabetes, someone in Kansas City or perhaps in Bowling Green, Kentucky, someone not in San Francisco or the Valley, their thoughts on the artificial pancreas and you’ll likely get a yawn. Something like that’s cool but how does this thing help me.

This is one reason we wonder if IDM will become the standard of care. Yes, we know the many benefits of IDM but if patients with diabetes don’t use the damn technology what’s the point. It amazes us that the companies who are developing all this way cool whiz bang technology are designing it for the diabetes community and not people with diabetes. That they seem to forget not everyone has an iPhone and most of these people are not constantly monitoring their diabetes.

Afrezza is another example. Afrezza was originally targeted at patients with Type 2 diabetes, it was supposed to make insulin therapy easy and painless for these people. Yet, who turned out to be Afrezza users, intensively managed patients. Patients who are actively engaged and educated on diabetes management. This was obvious reading the many patient reviews of Afrezza, these people were not the norm, they were not average patients. Afrezza had many issues but one often overlooked issue was it was just too damn complicated for the average patient. These regular folk just didn’t understand it. Ok it was way cool as it didn’t need to be injected but beyond that they just didn’t get it.

Yet the diabetes community was in love with Afrezza. They just couldn’t understand why more patients weren’t using Afrezza. To them Afrezza was some sort of wonder drug, how could it be that it wasn’t a mega-blockbuster. It must be a conspiracy; the major insulin companies don’t want Afrezza to be successful. Like we said there are many reasons Afrezza failed but a contributing factor was most regular folk just didn’t get it.

We are seeing this play out again with all the furor over the out of pocket cost of insulin. Again, the diabetes community is up in arms. In need of a villain, someone to blame once again let’s blame the insulin companies, it’s their fault. Ask the average patient with diabetes about this and they’ll say ok but why is my deductible $6,000. It might make the diabetes community feel better having someone to blame but it doesn’t help regular folk with diabetes. It will make a good blog post or sound bite but help real people, you must be kidding.

At some point the diabetes community may wake up to the fact that the majority of patients with diabetes want to live their lives WITH and not FOR their diabetes. That these people are pissed off they have diabetes in the first place. That what they want more than anything is something they cannot have, as what they really want is not to have diabetes. To regular folk with diabetes their diabetes is just one more thing they have to deal with that they’d rather not be dealing with at all. It’s like going to Thanksgiving dinner with the family and having to deal with crazy uncle Harry and Aunt Harriet.

Regular folk with diabetes want simple. Sure, way cool whiz bang is nice but simple is better. Yep an artificial pancreas is the ultimate cool but a lower deductible hits home every day. Would it be great to take the insulin companies out to the woodshed for a good lashing, perhaps. Would this other than create some interesting pictures; do all that much? Not Really.

Diabetic Investor may be the only publication that can draw a parallel between people who voted for Donald Trump and regular people with diabetes but these two groups share a commonality. Both are pissed off and very angry. And both are wondering if anyone is paying attention to their needs, to their concerns. Both believe the establishment or elites have no clue what their lives are like, and they are right.

The people have voted and now we have Donald Trump as our next President. These voters have sent a clear and powerful message to the establishment and elites. They were so desperate for change, so hungry to be heard that they ignored the many flaws of Mr. Trump. They didn’t care if he was a womanizer, racist or bigot. They didn’t care they he didn’t know much about something called the Constitution. What they wanted was change and change is what they are going to get. Or as Momma Kliff was fond of saying; “Now that you got what you wanted don’t bitch about how it turns out. As it may not be what you thought it was.”

The problem for regular folk with diabetes is they can’t vote for change. They can’t throw the bastards out of office. They must suffer in silence, their voices unheard, their concerns ignored. They wonder is anyone paying attention. We wonder the same thing.