Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Clinical Study (Afterthoughts)

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.


Octamom said...

Hurray, hurray!!! I've finally made it to your blog! I'm so excited!

Thanks for your sweet comments on all the pics...I've been having so much fun!

Thanks also for the Good Housekeeping idea--I will definitely look into it--and it means so much that you think I might have a compatible written voice for the publication.

Well, I'm off to peruse your posts--this CDC series is fascinating! Can't wait to hear what results and research comes from this!

miruspeg said...

Hello Roban!
I found you via octamom.....'six degrees of separation'!
I take my hat off to you for volunteering for this clinical trial. I give blood every 12 weeks as I am 'O negative' and my blood can be used with everyone's blood types, but what you went through was extraordinary.
I have never had a MRI....what was that experience like?
Anyway I just wanted to touch base and I will speak to you again in Scrapblog land.

McMGrad89 said...

I didn't know you had a blog, Roban. I was reading Peg's blog when I found yours. Quite an interesting experience you had, for sure. Well, I can't wait to see what else you have to say, so GET TO BLOGGIN'

Mommyvictory (Annemarie)

McMGrad89 said...

R, I teach fourth grade gifted students on a military base.

miruspeg said...

Hey Roban thanks for visiting my blog and filling in more details about the CDC and the MRI....everything is abbreviated these days isn't it.
Yes please send me an email so I have your address on file.

I am not sure how often I will post to my blog but at least it is there waiting for me if I get an urge to ramble.


Octamom said...

Hey Girl!
So glad to 'see' you--glad you are back!

Thanks for the comments on Clean Cut--I almost exclusively shoot natural light. It's funny, back when I started, I got a lot of flack from some other photogs who thought that my trying to do portraiture with natural light sources was just silly and would cost me in being able to control light sources. Now natural light photography is practically the norm--it's funny how things change!