73. Tunnel vision

Yesterday was very interesting, in a boring kind of way.

You might remember that, in the early part of the year, I participated in a drugs trial.  There’s more about it here and here, if you can be arsed to look.

In essence, the lovely Dr LaMancha and his team are trying to see if a particular drug, currently in use for another condition, has any effect on the progress of Parkinson’s.  The trial is now over and the results are still being analysed: a painstaking task.  I asked about it today, as Dr LM prepared to inject me with radioactivity.

The protocol for these things is very rigorous, of course, and nothing can be said for sure until the results have been published and peer reviewed.  Perhaps it was just wishful thinking on my part which gave me the impression that the findings are looking optimistic.  I do know, though, that – putting aside CatFoodgate – the progress of my own condition has been thankfully slow.  In fact, my PD doesn’t seem to have progressed significantly from the point when I started on the trial.  Which might be a co-incidence.  Or might not.

Unfortunately, there is less doubt in the fact that Dr LaMancha is not optimistic about the money being secured to take the drug trial to another level, even if the results are promising.  Which is very dispiriting.  Both the Cure Parkinson’s Trust and Parkinson’s UK are fully stretched in supporting research projects and they have limited resources.  And, of course, the Government need to spend money elsewhere: high speed-trains and the like.  It’s not as if curing Parkinson’s in an aging population would save anything on drugs and carers.

However.

Yesterday afternoon saw me lying in a white tunnel , brim full of radiation and trying to keep completely still for an hour and a half as the radiographers attempted to locate my brain.  Definitely in there somewhere.  This was the PET scan I mentioned last week, which you might remember is incredibly expensive – six grand a shot.   I kept reminding myself of this, as I fought down the urge to wriggle, knowing that I shouldn’t.

It felt a bit like sitting in the vicar’s assembly, biting down the urge to call out something inappropriate about the minor prophets.

I had taken along an audio-book to try and make the time pass quicker but found it quite difficult to concentrate.  They slid me back out of the tunnel just as Poirot had gathered all in the library to reveal the workings of his little grey cells.  Alas, my own microwaved cells hadn’t quite cottoned on to who had been murdered, let alone who the suspects were.

Dr Ceres has promised to send me a copy of the scan.  InfantPhenomenon has suggested  that I take it in to show my class and ask if they can figure out how to fix the broken bit.  They may come up with something interesting – who knows?  And if all else fails, we could colour it in and add some glitter.  Think of the problems you could solve with sparkly pink cells.

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