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SO MUCH FOR MEDICAL TRIAL 2007


Diary of a labrat, by Jackie Bn
THE GREEN WARD, DAY 4.
I’m at the hospital again. Oh nothing serious, in a way, I just though I’d try again and prostitute my body for science. That’s the way my dear brother likes to put it! Sweet. Thanks bro, all the support I needed.
HOW IS IT GOING THEN?
So what are they trying on me this time, will you ask? Eeeeeerm, a drug, dooh! Oh, ok, I’ll tell you: It’s a drug for the treatment of addiction to ……Drugs. You following? I’m sure you do. My brain is that of a 12y.o, not yours.
So yeah, as I was saying, drug treating drug addiction, It lasts about 8days, nobody gets in, nobody gets out of the building, otherwise, well, they shoot you on site. So there am I, locked in in this ward wiht nothing else to do but writing stupid stuff to people. Enjoy while it last cause a load amongst you have recently moaned about never getting any news from me. You want news, here they are.
ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?
It did say on the consent form that “entertainment” was being provided: now let’s talk about this for a moment; by entertainment, they meant (hang on, i’m having a quick look around me for a sec…) scrabble, puzzle, trivial pursuit, poker, Risk, Monopoly, internet (now that’s not bad), tv, sky but no movie channels that they have to pay for nor the pay per view thingy, and eerrrm, hang on, there has got to be something else….well no, i’m affraid that is it. Waaaait a miiinute, i’m pretty sur I saw sumwhere mention of pool tables and touch play screens that just happen to be my favorite. Wrong study, wrong ward sorry my dear! And what is it I saw in that bloody tvwhereyoucantwatchmoviesonsky room that looked like a touchscreen-photoplay thing, I rebel? What’s wrong with my eyesight now, must i also consult an other specialist? there is a out/of/order sign on it big enough for the sick in the building across the street to see. Right, so no favorite plaything then. Okey, fine. That leaves me with this PC, sleeping and my book I can’t focus on as I’m always disturbed by those anyoing little unstopable noises made by the other 5room mates.
THE ROOM MATES
5 roommates, I said. Yes, just as many as those 5 horrible grannies I’m sharing my room with back in the Hostel I’m staying at. Is this a curse? or a sign maybe? What does it mean? Must I marry 5men? Heeelp, i’m scared. Somebody pleaaase!!!!!! As unbelievable as it may seems, considering the kind of clientele we find in hostels in general, they are all but 1, older than me, weheeeeey! But hang on a minute, there were plenty of rooms available at the time the reception put me up there….and coming back for 3years, they kind of know me by now….. Oh, I hate them now. That’s it, no more smile when i come back, unless they move me to a more youthful mixed environment. These ladies are terrible, always talking about finding a man, desperately, about running out of time, about all these things you talk about when you reach 40 and still looking for an answer to you’re not sure even what. They have all their little habbits in the room, it’s like they’ve been there for ever. And I thought I was miserable. They keep reminding me that this could be me, pretty soon: 40y.o, sharing a room in a hostel with spoiled little brats trying to work out what pants they have to wear just to go to work. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
Anyway, back to the hospital roommates, well, there is one for sure older than me, polish, very rude, i feel like I just repeated myself here. She doesn’t like the monitor next to her bed, so she thought it’d be a good idea to push it onto mine without my consent…how very dares she??? After lecturing her about good manners and explaning that i have this phobia with radio waves/electromagnetism and shit, she kinda felt bad, but then realised I was spending 3/4 of the day in front of that PC in the lounge… haven’t remained friends since. 1 down, 4to go.
There is an other “eastender” as I like to call the far end of Europe people, not sure where from exactly, not that curious about her, didn’t ask. But at least, she’s been very sweet and open (not like me) since we arrived. One other is a little too bubbly and lively for me, goes talk to everybody, smiling about, almost annoying to watch. Tried with me but my infallible ways gave her enough warning about not trying to socialise me up. Now we are taking it very slow and we start to apreciate each other. You see, nice and easy. One other is mixed race, a bit like me, prettier maybe and quiet too. But she hasn’t got this coldness in her which makes her more approachable than I am. Good for her. And the 4th one is a young turkish student from can’t remember where who actually behaves like normal people.
We all have the nice polite morming conversation, but all know by now that I am not the talking type…just quite yet. And that polish bitch, I won’t even acknowledge her presence, she can forget about my saying even hello to her. bitch!
THE DAY OUT!
So anyway, I just got back from a nice little walk in the park, somehow, someone that has been stuck here too long had a desperate enough look on his face and managed to request a one in a lifetime walk outside the hospital!!!!! Now that was a very risky move to let a bunch of locked-in folks like us out escorted buy one 25y.o female nurse. Of course, as you all know me, I had to give her a couple of scares just to make my day and avenge mypoorself for she told me off earlier on. I got her so paranoid, she was turning around every 5sec to make sure the 10of us were still 10. Amazing, how good it feels to actually be out of a building after just 4days of isolation. I now have sympathy for the jail convicts. God help you guys.
Our group is made of 6 girls and four boys, females and male patients as they like to name us. Naturally, i was put in the girls room as there happened to have enough bed to fit every one of us in it. I was being my usual antisocial self up until that walk.
I have been chatting and got to know the nice nurse I was calling a cold bitch for telling us off for not taking our meals on time (as for all the understandable reasons of the study, meals, ECG, sleep, dosing and other monitoring have to be timed.) and threatening to fine us and she happens not to be just a cold hearted nurse only doing her job dutyfully but also a lovely 25y.o nigerian from east London. How can I be so badmouthed? I made everybody gothrough the park with my sleepers on (very little is needed to amuse you  when you have been held up for so long. Feels like an eternity here) as this was the only way back to the hospital according to a walker in the street who we asked when we felt we were seriously getting to close to the M25. Bless, the nurse, she’s only working inside the hospital after all! So it was this way or all the journey backward. I talked them into taking shortcut…Today was a lovely sunny day. Unfortunately, the park was still a little bit wet and muddy at some parts, including the parts i felt we had to go through…. me and my sens of orientation! Well at least we’re back now, aren’t we? And they can give their shoes a quick wipe. It’s only mud for goodness’ sake.
So today, the group got a chance to actually get together and know everyone a little bit more. They are all more or less aware now that I am a bit of sarcastic bossy OCD-ed freak but I swear, i kept the best for myself.
THE FILTHY BATHROOM
The way I see it, they should pay me extra for cleaning they bathroom. One beautiful morning, I saw hairs on the way down to the drain. So I thought I’d pick them up b4 they go get themself stuck in between the pipes. I grabbed some tissue, as I started pulling the hairs out, I realised that the lot was slightly heavier than expected and understood why in the split second that followed. The hairs were being held back by a mixture of (eyeeeeeuuuurk !****! sensored) that must have accumulated for about, I’d say a month or so. Good thing I hadn’t had break fast yet. Because I didn’t want to make the cleanners look bad, they need to pay bills too, I just sorted it out and moved on with my day. Yes, this is happening in a clean, up to high health and safety standards maintained hospital ward, where I just happened to stay in for a few days. So, no, I will not let them see the freakiest of me, that’s if I can hold it for an other 4days. I know I can do it.
HEALTHY AGAIN
Back to my trial; Yes I made it this time. Remember, iron deficiency? Since it has been an issue for a while, and still, I wasn’t resolved to go back to red meat again, I decided I was going to be a good girl and eat more iron loaded stuff. Not the spinach, I still hate them after my mum made me have too much of these back in the days; not beef, as I told you, I don’t do animals, or virtually not; but I discovered that lentils, when decently prepared, don’t actually taste bad at all. I can actually now declare that I cook them better than my mum. It’s alright, I’ve told her already; I also have been on prunes and other dry fruit, just because the special diets book say they were good for anaemics like myself; Basically, I have been behaving goo all year round so my next health check result would come out spotless. And it did. See, I didn’t need these drugs and other tablets they wanted to prescribe me last year to get better, all I needed was a better eating habit. I hope you can all learn from that one.
WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO ME??
So anyway, I got an oportunity to have an other free full health check and an oportunity to participate in a new trial, so I went for it. And it worked fine, since I was healthy again. The reason they want you to be totally healthy is for when they try the drug and you show problems, they’ll know it’s from the drug instead of never being sure whether it’s due to your history or the the drug they try on you, you see what I mean? That’s why. Since the drug is a cure, we, healthy are not supposed to get sick or better than we already are from it. Unlike Herbal remedies that work on many areas of the body at a time, chemical drugs work on a specific area, it’s targeted. So, if  you don’t have anything wrong in that area, drug will have no action. All you’ll get is the usual side effects most poeple get when they take medications. What pharmaceutical really want to find out is how fast it runs through your system and mainly what are those side effects when they put this much or that much drug into your system.
Let’s just hope I don’t have a sensitive heart or stomack as most commonly, those effects are nausea, headache , stomack ache, increase or decreasae of apetite. You don’t know if you’ll get the placebo, the smallest or the highest dosage. Whatever it is that you feel is unsual is supposed to be reported so they writeit down on their report, then compare the symptomes with the dosage. If I complain that I have a headache and I happen to be on placebo, then, they’ll realise afterwards I was just being a miserable sod and wont have to print this symptome down on the instruction manual when it goes to market!
I DON’T KNOW HOW I FEEL
The thing is, you see, you are in a differnet environment, away from “home”, you are not being your usual social or antisocial self, you eat hospital food; you kinda feel a little depressed here. Plus you are stressed by the schedule all day, they wake you at 6am one morning, the 8am an other, you just don’t know if you feel dizzy from standing up too fast, from the pills they give you, from the thought of maybe getting the strongest dosage, or whatever. We get sandwiches and crisps for lunch, which is about 4 hours after breakfast, I can barely start the second half of the snack, I feel already like I wanna throw it back out. Then again, since I have misbehaved with the food in the past, I don’t know if it’s because I know I’m being overfed here and it acts on my psyche and make me not wanna eat; or if it’s the drug as I might also not have it running through me. I just don’t know. I asked one of the nurses how long it would take for the drug to be in my system, about 2/3hours, so when comes the time after dosing, i try and find out what feels funny in me but it’s hard to say really. I am just a confused little girl! So Just in case, I talked to that nice not so bitchy the nurse about that state of mind of mine who advised me to wait a couple of days more and see if there is any great changes. Well I guess I’ll just have to do that then.
HOSPITAL FOOD
Coming back to the food, it happens to be really nice and healthy, surprinsingly. Of course we are not allowed certain ingredients which include chocolate, sweets, caffeine and more. But then I guess normal hospital patients don’t get what we get either. We lucky cows are being fed medical trial food, you see! We’re not just any hospital patients. For breakfast: milk/cereal/1/4glass of apple juice/2slices of toasties; then comes luch about 4 hours l8r with a choice of fillings in the baguette or 2doublesandwiches thank you very much, cranberry juice and a fruit (and that lunch is what I have all day when I’m working!!!!) Then, when you are just about to get over that luch, here comes dinner about 4hours l8r with a choice from 8/10main dishes, choice from 5vegs and choice from 5desserts, quite nice as well like real apple crumble, triffle (hate it), pancake, yoghurt or fruit salade. Yesterday I had a lovey chilli con carne with fruit salad for dessert! Lovely, I ate all my plate like a good girl! Man, you should see the size of plates tho, I swear I could feed a familly of 4 with this one portion.
All is well here but I feel we are being overfed with very little physical exercises allowed for pulse rate reason, and I feel by the end of the week I will be stuffed and ready for next Xmas. I swear.
THE DEBAT
So you see, there is nothing to worry about me. I’m fine, having my fun, pulling my act, bitching around, keeping busy and all.
No 3rd leg is gonna grow out of my body when i’m out. Poeple like to dramatise everyhing.  Forget about elephantman, for all we know, he could been taking substances he didn’t tell the docs about b4 going on trial, or maybe he had an allergic reaction to the drug or maybe or maybe or maybe, we’ll never know for sur no matter what’s been said about it. We could speculate all we want for ever.
We take risk in everything we do in life, when we work, when we go to work, when we travel, when we cross the street, when we eat, when we have unprotected sex, etc….  I choose mine.
Now, some big mouths will go and say that’s easy money and prostitution and all. Even if it was true, who are they to judge? I could be working my arse off and be used and abused by my employer for the next 10years of my life just so I can pay a bill;  I could try and play lottery, that’d cost me though, or I could take the opportunity to make a quick buck and help science progress. My choice. If shit happens, for sure you’ll hear me complain about it, but that’s because I like moaning, then I’ll move on with my new life. What are the odds, anyway? If worst happen at least I hope they’ll find out what went wrong and prevent from happening again. I like to think it’s for a good cause I screwed up.
As we all know, nowadays malpractice can cause millions in legal expences,so we can assume that medical trial with humans is safe enough otherwise it will have been shut down and outlawed a long time ago. I am of course talking about the trials that are recognised by all the ethical committees and other councils. Unless you’re the conspiracyeverywhere type of person and know that it is not actually that safe but it’s allowed practice for those committees and parmaceutical companies are working together for one a the same purpose, namely keep the monetary system up and running and the people sick enough so they keep requiring drugs but not enough to require a cure….will never know for sure.
I see it as 1 week paid full board holiday in a remote resort, someplace, saving a life of misery, cruelty and torture to innocent animals That don’t even respond to the drugs the same way I do.
I’ll be out soon.
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