Writing About Doing a Medical Study Involving Taking Speed While Still on the Speed that I Took For the Medical Study.
Okay, so everything is currently too fast right now, so this will be a bit of a mess. Also, I am not someone who takes drugs recreationally ( you know, Salvidor Dali, “I don’t do drugs, I am drugs.” (I am a grandma/nerd/if I was punk I would probably identify as straightedge??/remember that girl from Freaks and Geeks who gets high off Jesus? I feel that way about painting which is probably weird. Moving on.). So being on speed for the first time is overwhelming and bizarre and don’t expect this to be a polished masterpiece, okay?
When I was super broke and literally living off of basically potatoes three times a day (over the summer), I signed up for a medical study that I found on Craigslist. I had done some preliminary MRI scans over the past month, but today was my day to shine (oh god did I just type that?). Overall, the studies will pay about $1000, and though I do have a nice job now (which, if you employ me, I would never do anything to affect my job performance, and specifically asked if I would be able to do my job well tomorrow before signing on officially, because I really love where I work. Cool). I figured a little savings wouldn’t be terrible. I’d come so far, and it felt like I had to unlock the final level of a video game or something (not that I am irresponsibly comparing medical studies to games). I figured I’d basically sleep in a machine for eight hours, like Tilda Swinton did with that box in the MoMA (this is funny, because one of the question they asked me was if I thought I was rich and famous, okay, whatever, it is funny). However, the day before they said, oh and you’ll be on amphetamines (which I think the street word is SPeed? But if I know a slang word for drugs it isn’t relevant probably? MEssage me what it’s called now, you crazy kids).
Isn’t this supposed to make me focused? I feel like ahh everywhere all at once. Don’t do speed ever. DOn’t follow my example ever. THis is terrible. NOt going to bother fixing the caps issues here. Also, I will use this intermission to say that all of the doctors there were fantastic people. True pros. I kept saying “good job!” to them, which was probably rude to say to medical professionals— they know they’re doing a good job!
Okay, back to the study. I woke up at six in the morning to take a long train ride to the hospital (not saying which one, cause I don’t know if I”m allowed to?). I wasn’t allowed to have any caffeine before hand (I usually drink tea, because people who know me well now that I can not handle coffee. which is what makes me being on speed hilarious probably). They performed some blood tests, another pregnancy test (despite taking one when I was there yesterday for paperwork— glad somebody thinks I have an active sex life). I then had a saline IV drip stuck in my arm (to keep me from dehydrating. I also have baby veins that have plagued me my entire life— they had to bring in a special nurse to administer it because my veins probably belong in a small child. Somewhere, there is a five-year-old with my almost 25-year-old size veins (dropping a hint that my birthday is next month). Here is a picture of me with it in (I thought a bathroom selfie would be extra pathetic/hilarious— this is all hilarious okay? To me at least, I can’t claim to know your subjective view on my writing and this is too long help!
I accidentally made that face that I hate when people make when they think they are being funny. I am ashamed. I thought I was being funny.
Did you know the Polish artist Witkacy would paint on drugs to see how they’d affect his work? Not into that. That’s lame. I love his art though. MIxed feelings. SOrry I’m doing this, but people keep asking!!!
So I did an initial cat scan (maybe it was a pet scan?), and they made a special helmet out of plaster to keep my head in place. That was relaxing but I really needed to use the bathroom, but ceased to need to use it as soon as they offered me a bedpan. Really into the miracles of indoor plumbing. I think my arm still hurts feels funny from the iv drip? Okay I’m still focusing! I got to keep it, see??
Important paragraph break because this was my favorite part. I look very happy. I match the picture behind me sort of, huh? Glamour!
OH, where was I? Yes okay so blah blah that happened, and then they led me to a room and were like, now you take the speed and we wait two hours. I didn’t feel anything at first, but then I realized that I was talking to ten different people on facebook chat and autocorrect wasn’t quick enough for me to bother with it. I think I told somebody that “I [felt] like a million people.” I feel like about 20 now? My arms are buzzing— is this normal or psychosomatic? The researchers were incredibly nice and I think I accidentally told them all of my secrets (but like fifth-grader level dorky secrets. I need to work on having cooler secrets). I would make a terrible spy (OR WOULD I???)
Before I forget— I kept asking the kindly researching to write this down cause I thought it was super neat— every time they gave me a saline injection, I swear to goodness, I smelled dry erase markers. They said it could be a form of synthesesia, but I won’t claim it because that seems like the lamest synthesesia ever (Cna’t spell but we’ve come too far for spell check). Another hilarious fact— I was being compared against people who smoke weed on a regular basis who were also found on Craigslist, and NOT ONE OF THEM ASKED IF THE AD WAS A COP STING! Am I just paranoid (part of why I don’t smoke myself/it makes me feel dumber than usual, which why the hell would you want that), but geez! Protect yo neck!
This is too long, and you are probably no longer reading, so I’ll try to wrap it up— I was pretty euphoric (couldn’t stop talking, but that’s pretty normal for me), and then I went back into the scan. For whatever reason, I got very melancholy. Like teary-eyed, thinking of people I miss or regret not seeing more often. After about eight hours of tests (this is literally the worst pacing ever for writing, so sorry), they paid for me to take a cab home. I became excited again (because they let me keep the helmet and gave me peanut butter cups) and I think became friends with my cab driver? He gave me his card? Learned cool facts about taxis (it’s sorta like owning a small business, but I should probably write about that another day).
So now I’m home safe— I have one more MRI to do to complete the study. Though again, everyone was wonderful, I most likely won’t do another study. The money isn’t as easy as it sounds, and “easy” money is a slippery slope. I would not do a study for a “for profit company.” I liked knowing that I was working with a top notch university’s medical system, with data that could actually help people, and that hopefully won’t be skewed to fit the needs of big pharma. And again, I am not in the least trying to be a role model. I will not be doing any more studies that involve taking drugs, because, I dunno, again, slippery slope. I am personally not into causing yourself harm (I wouldn’t have done this if I didn’t know it was low-risk). I am probably forgetting tons, and I still feel jittery and gross, but less weird than I did when I first started writing this, which is good. Not going to edit or reread this until after I post this, because I want it remain in the speed mindset. Posting with trepidation, because I don’t want to seem reckless/feckless (I keep repeating that). Also, don’t want to be that girl at the party who’s like Ahh my first beer, I’m so drunk, and acts ridiculous, and it turns out she drank like a root beer or whatever.
The moral of this story is: don’t give Jane amphetamines (jk jk, hopefully I’ve learned something more than that from this experience). think I wrote all this in twenty minutes. The end.
My one and only edit: I think why I was such a mess was that the amphetamines made me forget to eat for 14 hours. I am feeling a lot better now (don’t worry, Mom).