Sunday, 1 April 2012

"It's The Final Countdown"

I must admit that when I woke up this morning to come into the lab I was a little worried that no one would be around and that the April Fool's Day joke would be on me. True to their words though, Nia and Kurt were in the lab with our latest subject. Keita Ikeda (Ike) from Duke.

I'll figure out how to add some audio down the road, but for now click on this link... for my buddy Dave

This is the beginning of the last round of baseline, sea-level tests before we head up to the Pyramid and the official beginning of my countdown. I wasn't letting myself get too excited before April, but now I can let myself smile (FROM EAR TO EAR). This week will be insanely busy with us starting in the lab at 6:00 most days (me then driving from UBC to Okanagan College in Penticton to teach at about noon, and maybe back to the lab when I'm done teaching at 4:00). My wife is also off to Vancouver this week and it's the last week of classes! I think the rest of the guys will be in the lab until 11:00 PM or later. Who made the schedule? KURT?

It's also my birthday on Friday and the guys in the lab have been generous enough to schedule me in as a subject on Friday. This experiment will be looking at brain blood flow & metabolism under different CO2 challenges and during exercise. (I'm still working on getting the rest of the crew to send me a paragraph or two about the studies) We investigate brain metabolism by drawing blood from the veins in your neck (yes we're going "straight to the jugular"- I'm sure this is a famous movie line, but can't remember which movie), so we will have I.V. lines in our necks as we do this. In addition, we get to do a VO2max test while having the lines in. I've done a tonne of volunteering for studies in the past:

11 muscle biopsies (you're welcome Brendon Gurd)
Exercised in MRI's (Sean Forbes)
Taken all kinds of pills and potions (too many to list)
Probes in every body part (thanks Neil Eves)
Exercised in all kinds of crazy scenarios (thanks Neil Eves)
Had needles inserted into the nerves in my leg (Craig Steinback)
Had all the blood sucked into my legs (all of Kevin Shoemaker's students)
Continuous and interval training studies for weeks on end (Bryon McKay)
Multiple repetitions of moderate and heavy intensity exercise transitions (you must help your lab mates)
I know I'm missing some others

I've have never had a problem with any of it, but I'm a little "uncomfortable" with the idea of I.V.'s in my neck. Especially as a birthday present :) At least I'm going at the end of the week, so they'll have had time to practice on the others!

I say all of the above in jest, but I am completely confident in the abilities of my fellow researchers and the gents from Duke do this sort of thing all the time. They are truly professional when it comes to subject safety and the like.

Indeed, one of the best things about Phil's network and web of fellow investigators is the relaxed nature of the people involved. We have fun, crack jokes (often about levels of incompetence and manhood), play pranks on each other (Dr. Ainslie is currently on holidays- a little inside humour), but when it's time for science and seriousness, there are no better people to "stick your neck out" for (that was a very Doogie Howser like finish to the blog post- if you don't know what I'm talking about, then you're either too young or too old, but he was the originator of the blog!)

No comments:

Post a Comment