I have been a lab rat for decades now. It started with an ad I spotted a couple of decades ago in the Sun by a pharmaceutical company looking for ‘volunteers’ for a study of a medication with human subjects. I remember the initial screening took place at sort of industrial strip mall north of the Scarborough Centre.
A ‘screening’ involves taking a simple medical history, blood & urine. Then seeing a ‘doctor’. Over the years I did several of these a year, learning from other subjects about other similar studies done by various companies. Most were two, three day/two night sessions – though I did do a couple that were 30 days.
The money was okay & I never had a reaction to anything tested on me. I realize now most of these were absorption studies – to see how quickly the medication would be found in the blood. As a result I lost any fear I may have had of needles & blood draws, or eegs & blood pressure cuffs. My ‘white syndrome’ never existed.
I became too old for most of these studies – though I was fine for non-drug studies of memory & the brain but these didn’t pay that well, I enjoyed them. I am also a ‘sample’ patient for medical students at Women’s College. They use ‘ordinary’ folks to practice taking medical histories, checking pulse, heart & blood pressure. When the pandemic shut down all of these ended for a couple of years & I opted only resume as a ‘sample’ patient.’
Then August 2022 I saw a Facebook ad for a study that included people in my age range! I made an appointment for the screening. In September I got myself up there – near Sunnybrook Hospital – & went through one of most detailed medical histories ever & then got turned down when my BP was too high for them. This was news to me, but I was grateful as the study was very complex & was too long & not paying enough for the complexity of it – as I didn’t have smart phone one would be provided.
Such is life.
In March 2023 I answer another ad by the same company for a high blood pressure study – perfect. So I call & get a screening for that study. They were able to use some of the info from my previous screening & I do the full initial screening & get an appointment for the first follow up. I buy a home bp machine to keep track of it for them. Before that follow up appointment I have my hypertension incident (not as serious as an ‘event’). As I result of that I’ve decide not to do that study – at least not for a year.
to be continued