Tuesday, February 10, 2009

On Selling My Body to Science

well, recently i've discovered a new, quick and [relatively, sometimes] painless way to make money: participating in research.  i can't believe i was so slow to sign up--i'm a fan of research, i get to be a part of it and basically i get paid to answer surveys about my family history and feelings.  

last rotation there were tons of research fliers in the psych hospital and my clinical group and i would huddle around the bulletin board like clockwork on our way to rounds, just to see if there were any new ones.  a lot of them didn't apply--for instance as much as i want to be, i'm not a teenager with an eating disorder.  nor do i have a 20 year history of bipolar disorder.  and dammit--how come i wasn't born with type I diabetes?!  seriously, there are boatloads of money to be made by diabetics.

where i don't have a lot of the diseases that plague our great country (at least not yet, anyway), i can always stand in as a control.  i'm a fairly healthy young woman (if you discount my biglurve for cupcakes) and it turns out that there are quite a few studies asking for controls. 

the best one i've found--and by best i mean pays the most money--is this MRI imaging test where there were very specific requirements (asian american 22-28, on no medication and non smoking) but were offering to pay $500 in compensation.  i'm still waiting to hear back from them but God help me, when they call me back i'll be all over that. 

the only study i've managed to follow through on is called the PUMA study, which studies how being an angry person can increase your chances of getting a heart attack.  seriously.  a few weeks ago i had to sit in a room and fill out surveys about whether or not i thought i was more deserving of other people and if all people were assholes.  and at the end of the 1 hour, i got $10.  

this morning i went in for a follow up where i had to sit in a room for 4 hours while they stuck an IV catheter in my arm and tried to take some blood three or four times.  i say try because although the catheter was working and they could push fluid in (an extremely odd sensation), they couldn't pull anything out.  they tried in the arm (TWO needle sticks!) to no avail--nothing was coming out.  

i think my body has some kind of visceral somataform memory where when i get stuck with needles or the nurse tweaks the needle in my arm (especially in my right arm) it's like my unconscious remembers the last time that happened (i fainted--let this be a note to you all: eat lunch before you give blood) and i get really dizzy and lightheaded.  that's why when they offered to try a different kind of needle that would require three more needle sticks i declined (politely) and offered to reschedule. 

all in all it wasn't bad though.  for two little needle sticks, i got $20, hopefully in addition to the $50 i was supposed to get had my veins not been so lame, and they've rescheduled me with the head PI who apparently is Japanese (!!!!!).  anything to be close to my favorite people. 

i know what you must be thinking, and i have questioned this too:  how can a future nurse be so squeamish about needles?  will i survive?  the answer is that i have absolutely no problem putting them in other people, it's just when i see the bevel side up going into my skin i lose it and need to look away.  the phlebotomist (sp?) today showed me a new trick: when i'm feeling woozy, rip open to alcohol swipes and sniff.  it does wonders. 

No comments:

Post a Comment