Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Day One

So we were awoken to meet at 6.45 this morning and brought back from the Travel Inn for blood tests, nasal washes and a nasal swab. The nasal swab made my eyes stream with water, however at least I didn't faint after the blood samples like another volunteer.
We were rewarded with a bag of breakfast consisting of frosties, pastries, fresh orange and a plain bun with jam then sent back to the hotel, so I sat in my room having a chat and watching the tele with another Volunteer. Feels a bit like a holiday so far as all other eight volunteers in the hotel are the same age- around 22, mostly students and almost all have come from Manchester.
I was sat in the hotel when I got a call saying that my blood has been tested and I am fit for quarantine.
The people sent home have had things detected in their blood such as smoke or have been drinking a lot recently therefore are less healthy since the first screening.
I have now been admitted into quarantine and am sat watching come dine with me
Its a bit weird having the blind open and a big window that everyone can see in but i'm sure ill get used to it

Arriving

I am currently sat in a hotel room after the worlds longest day! I got the train to Euston station then a taxi - the taxi man said it would be £15 and it was £40!! 
So I got to my destination at half 5, after a few examinations I was left in a doctors room by myself until about ten and none of the doctors let us know what was going on.
They had over invited 8 people so tomorrow with the test results they will be sending eight of us back home! 
It will be a nightmare if I have to go back after coming all this way! But hopefully I wont have to ill find out tomorrow... 

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Two days to go..

On Tuesday I am going to spend almost two weeks in a room for the sake of developments in medicine for the cold virus, so as I have spent my afternoon googling other peoples experience trying to prepare myself for what is to come, I thought I would document my own experience for anyone else who might be going.. and obviously to pass the time while I'm there!

I originally signed up out of curiosity due to hearing about someone I know doing it and obviously the pay of £3300 would come in useful. I originally thought it was really weird and recall saying 'why don't you just get a job' to my sister...haha however my views have obviously changed as I'm sat here with an almost packed suitcase.  I was called in for a blood test originally, we were shown videos and given plenty of information about this test which put me a lot more at ease with the idea, it sounds crazy until you hear more about what it is for. It is basically to monitor the cold medicine that has already been tested for safety to see how fast it works etc. To begin with I was confused why they would need advances in any medicine for something so easy to deal with as a common cold but it was explained that people with low immune systems such as old people and people going through chemo can die from such small illness. Which actually makes it very meaningful and gives me lot more satisfaction in taking part as this cure could potentially be highly beneficial to vulnerable people that can't cope with a cold or flu.

I was initially rejected due to already being immune to the flu. However they called me a month or two later as a call back for test on the common cold virus that I am apparently suitable for, so I returned within the week for a full medical check that included a very difficult task of testing my lungs by breathing in and blowing out with as much pressure as possible (it's harder than it sounds!) putting a solution up my nose to test if I can handle it, and lying with lots of stickers attached on my chest which electricly measures your heart or something, as well as usual things like heart rate etc. 

 So now I have been offered a place in Whitechapel starting Tuesday 5.30 I am actually looking forward to it as a little adventure considering I am a student and off for the summer I might as well. I'm thinking of it as an experience that will hopefully be interesting and I suppose something different...