Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Human Lab Rat

Yep, I have whored by body out in the name of science; I have gotten paid to be a human lab rat. (I do have my limits and would never do research for a drug company and I would read every single line of the consent form to determine the risks, I’m not that stupid) 

rattyelleBack in 2008 one of my nurse friends was working as a research coordinator for an asthma study through a respected medical university.  She was looking for participants with asthma and asked me if I was interested.  I gladly signed up because:

  1. I wanted to learn more about my asthma,
  2. I’d get free medicine (similar medicines I was using anyway), and
  3. I’d get paid over $2,000 for my time.  SCORE for me!

The test lasted for close to a year. and it was studying the “Best Adjustment Strategy for Asthma in Long Term.”  Basically they tested the severity of my asthma and then put me on an inhaled corticosteroid adjusted according to the severity of my asthma.  I kept a diary recording my asthma symptom and used a peak flow meter to quantify my asthma symptoms twice a day at home.  I would go back in every month to get officially tested on how I was doing and then they would re-adjust the medicine strengths and when to take it.

It was SO interesting because I got to see graphical data on my asthma.  I found out I was more asthmatic than I realized; before the test I thought I was just always out of shape, but it was really my asthma that was part of the problem!  Plus I got to see the effects of taking daily medication.  I was also in the middle of training for the Columbus Marathon so I was really in-tune with my body and breathing and could feel a difference taking the medicine.

I hate taking medicine so it was invaluable for me to see PROOF that the medicine helped me (the research nurse wasn’t supposed to show me the results but when she would leave the room and I would look at the numbers, whoops).  I know also know the strengths of asthma medicine taken at certain times that best helps control my asthma.  Very cool!


And the reason for this post is to remind myself to consistently take medicine.  Oh and because I hope to participate in a follow-on study to the BASALT asthma study here in Denver which would give me more free meds and some side cash :)


Jean said...

You are a such a nerd. I would love to find a study that would follow an old lady that is trying to stay in shape. I plan to ask my doctor at my Friday apt. I think it would help me stay with all this exercise stuff as well as figure out what works best. I will keep you posted.

JRL said...

Elle is a goof

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