Randomization. The word is, thus far, more intriguing than the experience. For those who don't know: randomization is the first dose in a drug trial. It's when you are blindly given either THE DRUG or the placebo. (Sometimes it's blind, differing doses of THE DRUG.) Today is MY randomization day! I'm at the center where the study is being conducted for Novartis' FTY720 (Fingolimod) trial, being monitored for 6 hours after my first dose of what may or may not (Shhh! It's a secret.) THE DRUG. After much help from the nice IT guy here, I'm now slurping from their wireless trough, surfing their cable tv, and I even got a free lunch! (A big thanks to the radiology techs here for sharing their spread! What can I say? Radiology is a small and tight knit family.)
Just so I can satisfy the curiosity of other potential Lab Rats, lemme tell you about today so far:
Came in at 9am and met the woman who is monitoring me today. It has to be a person who's new-to-you to ensure "blindness" and objectivity. Had an EKG and was hooked up to the Holter monitor again. I gotta wear it for 24 hours again, but this time I got "stickies" that are for folks with sensitive skin. I was skeptical at first, but I am a hell of a lot less itchy than last time.
Waited for an off-site MD to read my EKG and get the thumbs up to dose. New Woman checked my temp, blood pressure, and heart rate (furthermore referred to as vitals) before giving me a small pink capsule to swallow with water. I worked last night and the ER was retardedly busy so I tried to nap, but couldn't overcome the espresso I had to drink in order to get here on time. Watched some of the Today show and Ellen, all the while having vitals checked hourly. I ran into some old friends from the radiology world and had lunch (always the patient and the professional). Finally got online, thanks to NO SKills of my own, and here we are.
Not only have I successfully not died, I feel fine. I think. I noticed my heart rate is much lower than usual, which is an expected side effect of THE DRUG. I told myself I wasn't gonna speculate about whether I was on the real thing or the placebo, but now that I've taken it I realize I was just bullshitting myself if I thought I wasn't gonna be hyper-self aware. I mean, I'm sleepy, which could account for my low heart rate, and the weird taste in my mouth could just be bad-breath, right? I dunno, but I refuse to go bat-shit crazy for 2 years trying to figure it out. "They" (other trial participants, people half a step removed from the study) have told me that THE DRUG is easily tolerated by most. Some have had nausea for the first couple of weeks, but I haven't (yet?). I do have a freakishly robust GI system. No really, I very rarely suffer any kind of upset stomach, gas, indigestion, food intolerances, or anything. I may be a flabby, limp noodle on the outside, but I am intestinally fierce!
We'll see. Doesn't that piss you off? Everything with MS is, "we'll see." "We'll see if this drug works for you." "We'll see if you can walk in 10 years." "We'll see if you can tolerate painful injections foreverandeveramen." "We'll see if they discover a cause/cure for this stupid disease." "We'll see if we feel like covering the costs of your prescriptions." "We'll see how tough you really are missy, 'cause your in for a raucous fuckin' ride now!"