Imagine spending four days and three nights in a hospital bed, and you aren't even sick. Imagine having three to five vials of blood drawn every fifteen minutes for several hours, and there is nothing wrong with you. That was my experience in mid-July when I volunteered to take part in a clinical trial that is being conducted by the CDC and Emory University Hospital.
I checked in on a Monday afternoon and quickly settled into my room -- a regular hospital room in the research wing of the hospital. After meeting the principal investigator of the study, I made myself at home by setting up my laptop and stacking a few magazines and books nearby. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I underwent two MRIs and was hooked to an EKG for a while. The MRIs required me to think as it captured images of my brain as I tried to work problems on a computer screen that was projected into the MRI. Tuesday was probably the most relaxing day, as the MRI on Wednesday seemed to take longer. For a few short days, I felt as if I was on a vacation. I devoured a wonderful novel, "The Kite Runner," and ate some actually tasty meals that were delivered to me as I sat comfortably in my room.
The "vacation" came to a screeching halt on the last day of my stay. It was on this day that even more was required of me as a volunteer participant. More blood was drawn more often, and I had to think on my feet as I finished the testing portion of the study.
Would I do it again? Probably. All of the medical advances we enjoy today were achieved through research and through the hard work and dedication of the physicians and researchers who devise the studies and see them through (which most often takes years and even decades to reach). By volunteering as a study participant, I, too, can help move medical science forward. Even if I do lose a little blood in the process.
New Cards and Prints Are Now Available! - I've added a few new cards to my Etsy shop and have more arriving soon! Not only that, but I think I've finally figured out the best way to create prints o...