Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Big July Adventure: Part 3: Four Roths in Three States

Back to work at my office in North Carolina on Monday for me. Day camp for Tristan and Zoe at Harmonyville Church of the Brethern in Pennsylvania, where my brothers and I attended camp as kids, and full-time+ school for Jennifer in Vermont.

Since everyone is away, I decided to participate in another clinical trial at my unethical ex-employer, aaiPharma. This is probably the eighth or ninth study I've done there since 2002.

For those not in the know, here's how they work. They're testing generic formulations of name-brand drugs to see if they're released, absorbed, and eliminated in roughly the same amounts and timeframes as the already on the market name-brand drug. It's realtively safe as these are already approved, marketed drugs, and their generics. No first-time-in-man stuff here. I wouldn't touch that. You have to be healthy, normal weight, and not on any medication to participate. One weekend you get the generic, the other weekend you get the name-brand.

I had a screening physical on Wednesday where I signed the papers, had a physical with height, weight, blood, urine, and EKG. Saturday night I checked-in to the clinic at 7:00 where my stuff was searched for unauthorized items like food, candy, gum, medicne, automatic weapons, etc. I gave another urine sample to make sure that I haven't been rockin' the ganj since Wednesday, and that I'm not pregnant. From there I make my bed. In my particular room there are nine twin-sized bunk beds, all but one of them with occupants. I have a bottom bunk, fortunately, as the top bunks suck, being directly under the fluorescent lights, in some cases. The rest of the night is spent hanging out, with a "light snack" of fairly awful chicken fajitas, and an orientation meeting where the self-important clinic manager chides us and speaks to us like children, which is not entirely undeserved in the case of many of these people. There are a couple of TV rooms, a study room, a big dining room, and wireless Internet access (which is a fairly recent development). Lights out at 11:00. I'm in bed by 10.

Sunday morning wake-up call is at 5:30. I get up at 5:15 to get a jump and avoid the lines. There are 52 people in this study, which is half the number of my last one, so the crowds aren't bad at all. Blood pressure and temperature check. I'm in the fasted half of the study, which means no breakfast, which isn't entirely bad if you've seen the breakfasts here. At 6:45 I have my first blood draw. At 7:30 I take the medicine. The next few hours are really busy. I have blood draws at 10, 20, 30 and 45 minutes, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 3.5, and 4 hours, lunch consisting of a turkey sandwich with cheese and lettuce, a bag of chips, a can of soda, a small cup of honeydew and canteloupe, and an oatmeal cookie, blood draws at 5, 6, and 8 hours, dinner consisting of fried chicken, mashers with gravy, corn on the cob, steamed squashes, horrible dinner rolls with butter, and a can of soda, a blood draw at 12 hours, then snack, which I think is strawberries and pound cake...and a can of soda. Then it's free time until my final in-patient blood draw at 7:30 monday, followed by discharge from the clinic. I come back Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30am for my 48 and 72 hour blood draws, respectively. The whole thing is repeated on the weekend of August 5th.

In case you're curious, all the blood draws are from the same spot in my left arm. This is known as "The Money Vein" in my house, as it has provided some wonderful things like TiVo, a refrigerator, and trips to Italy, The Grand Canyon, and Lake Tahoe, among other stuff. If you have the stomach for it, this really is a decent way to pick up some extra money.


Shelley said...

Hi Dave,

I've never commented but wanted to tell you that I thoroughly enjoy your food descriptions in all of your blog entries. Also, I wanted to point out that I giggle every time I see a typo similar to one your younger brother makes pretty consistently. You two are most definitely related! Thanks for the entertaining entries.

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