Thursday, December 11, 2008

One More about Treatment

The cold worsened slightly overnight and has now headed into my chest. I hope this is the worst it gets, since I can stand blowing my nose constantly far more than I can hacking, coughing, and wheezing. Last night a humidifer was placed into my room and I am doing all the things one is supposed to do: drinking lots of water, consuming mass quanties of orange juice, and taking tylenol and a decongestant. My immune system will eventually rid itself of this but I know I have several more days of this.

Thanks to all who wished me well yesterday. Colds are annoying. I had a good run of luck since it had been several months before I'd gotten physically sick. Perhaps someday they'll find a cure for the common cold.

Yesterday I was informed of the exact date the trial begins, which is 12 January. Every day I am administered the ketamine I will go through a relatively similar routine. First, transportation to the treatment room on the first floor, whereby an IV will be inserted into one of my arms. Next, the drug infusion will be administered over a period of forty minutes. Two doctors and three nurses will remain in the room with, asking me questions and monitoring my response. Everything will be obsessively documented and I will be asked in great detail to describe my mood, the sensations I feel, and the intensity of the anti-depressant effect derived from the medication.

Next comes a PET scan, an EEG, blood work, and more questions. Then my day concludes in the early evening. The protocol lasts exactly a month from start to finish. The first two weeks I'll be administered either ketamine or a placebo, then I'll break for a week before the second section resumes, then for the remaining two weeks I'll again receive either ketamine or placebo. Either I'll receive the active medication the first two weeks, or I'll have to wait until the end before I receive it. Since this is a double-blind study, no one except for the immediate supervisors of the study will know for sure.

I have approximately one more month where I will have the ability to go out during the day. When the protocol starts, as I mentioned earlier, I won't be through with tests and trials until the early evening. Provided I'm feeling up to it, I might go out a little in the evening but that will be the extent of my free time. I really hope the medication doesn't make me feel sick, because I have every desire to document how the trial affects me. If ketamine has a positive effect, I certainly wouldn't be able to be prescribed it on the outside, but it might give my doctors a better idea of treatment regimens to try.


Gail said...

Hi Kevin-

Keep up those fluids for your cold! :-)Jan. 12? Wow, Well, it all sounds so clinical, I guess because it is. The 'trial is very lucky to have you as a participant. Your keen sense of self and honest reflections are critical to their findings.
I will continue to send all good thoughts for all good outcomes.

darkblack said...

Sending my hopes for a speedy recovery.

Utah Savage said...

Thanks for the update. I am very interested. Since I have other health problems and need to be on other medications I wonder if I would be accepted as a participant. I like the idea that they'll do a PET scan, and that you'll be so carefully monitored.

PENolan said...

Love, light and a box of very soft tissues

Comrade Kevin said...


We have a patient who has diabetes on unit now and it's not much of an issue with her to monitor medication for another health condition.

From what I've been told, they are desperate for volunteers. I can think of at least one on-site study they need people for at which one must be over fifty to qualify.

If interested, find NIMH on a google search, and call the information line listed on the site. They'll connect you with the right person. Of course, they'll want documentation from your psychiatrist and past hospitalizations, but I'm sure you can arrange that.

Let me know if you need help if this is something you wish to do.

jack ralph said...

no way!?!
free intravenous ketamine?
you lucky, lucky boy.
i love a bit o' k, me.

is it actually to check for medicinal qualities or just to see what it does to your head?