Guinea Pig – Free Food!

I very foolishly bravely volunteered to help out with a bit of medical research. I’ve read a fair bit of research since being diagnosed with Acromegaly, so I thought it time I “did my bit” by giving something back. The research will take place in two stages – before treatment and after treatment. On both stages, it requires me to stay overnight to take blood samples, and a whole-body MRI Scan.

Great Arabic Middle Eastern Cuisine.

Great Arabic Middle Eastern Cuisine.

I’d imagine that if I say too much about the research that it could jeopardise it, so I’ll keep it sufficiently “woolly”. I’m also not mentioning the names of the doctors and nurses.

Anyhow last night I went in for 6pm to Christies to take part in the “Overnight stay”. To my great delight, when they asked what meal I would like they said that a couple of the other (healthy) volunteers had a kebab as their meal. In order to ‘standardize’ the meal (of course!) I opted to go for the same. Instead of just waiting in my hospital bed, I asked if I could go along with the doctor to pick it up. So off we went, crossed a main road and got our kebabs. I was joking with doctor how they could get a lot more volunteers if they advertised that they were giving out free kebabs.

Medical Volunteers - FREE KEBAB!

Yum yum. The "standardised!" meal. Wanted: Medical Volunteers - FREE KEBAB!

At eight o’clock I had a cannula put up both arms, in the one was a saline drip. Every ten minutes a tiny amount of blood was  taken from my right arm (the saline drip was turned off every time a sample was taken). Later on, into my left arm very slowly through the rest of the night and next morning I was automatically injected with a couple of things.

I didn’t sleep all night – although I might have dozed off in between samples in the early hours of the morning. At around 3 o’clock in the morning I was startled by the alarm sound of one of the machines. Hey, it could have been really a very bad alarm after all! I shouted for help at the top of my voice, and the doctors came and fettled with the machine until it worked again. I was going to suggest they hit it with a big hammer, but thought better of it because I was hooked up to it…

The doctors changed shift at that point, and after the alarm giving me such a fright I wasn’t much in the mood for dozing, never mind sleeping. So I spent the rest of the night asking the doctor as much as I could. I learnt absolutely loads. I’m sure I was a real pain in the neck for him. 🙂

One of the longests nights of my life, but well worth it!

One of the longest nights of my life, but well worth it! Where would we be without medical research?

At eight o’clock in the morning they injected two other materials into my bloodstream. I was really really tired at this point, and got quite scared when they were injecting me. I felt a burning sensation in my throat and up my left arm as I was being injected. I started crying, really sobbing. It was just a lack of sleep probably. One of the nurses comforted me by stroking my arm and telling me to calm down. I calmed down then felt really embarrassed for being such a wimp!

By half past eleven in the morning, my job was done and I was chomping away quite happily with a plate of toast and jam, slurping a cup of coffee feeling a lot better. A quick shower, and I felt even better still. I had a taxi home, and had a sleep until my lovely wife woke me up to have my tea.

The doctors and nurses were absolutely brilliant, it was such hard work for them taking so many samples under such strict timings, and doing the blood preparations as they were going along too. The small snags they came up against they handled very professionally.

I would definately recommend helping the medical profession by being a volunteer. If nobody volunteered then no new treatments would come to market. Not only does it help people, but also it’s an excellent opportunity to spend time with doctors and discuss matters at a considerable length. The benefits far outweigh the temporary discomfort experienced.

Sign up today (ask about the free Kebab!).