Sunday, 24 May 2009

Medical Research

Foxgloves (Digitalis) were used to treat heart conditions, years ago.

Not long ago, I had my DNA taken and stored on file.
No, I hadn't been arrested and neither was I a suspect for a crime, nor was it needed for elimination purposes.

My Family Practitioners (Doctors), got in touch to say that thousands of people were needed to help with medical research and Harry and I were asked if we'd take part.
Those of you who know me (if it is possible to know some one from a blog) might well be shocked.

"What! Maggie May, the elusive grannie who won't even have her photo printed on the net! Giving DNA!"
Yes, that's right. After doing quite a bit of research into the company and asking quite a few questions about what they would do with the information and samples, we decided it was pretty safe to do this. There are some pesky diseases in our family. Prostrate cancer, breast cancer and the tendency towards depression. Wouldn't it be good to find a way to halt these illnesses and to even eliminate them in the future?
We will not be told anything about what they find from the blood and urine samples. It might be years before they are processed and we gave permission for the samples to be stored and used after our deaths. That's it....... curtains! Forget about it.

We had to have medical checkups and to answer questions on a computer. It took one and a half hours. Some of the questions made me go a bit hot, but there was an option to say that I'd rather not answer. However, I didn't take that option.

The man who took my blood asked me, "Do you normally faint when you have blood taken?"
I quipped back, "It depends how much you are going to take!"
I had to climb up onto the huge leather chair, which had a reclining back and I thought, "Blimey! They are well prepared if I do pass out."
Anyway, I didn't, but he filled up 5 phials and made a massive bruise on my arm. Looked like I had been injecting for years by the time he'd finished. (Not that I'd know, of course, but I can imagine!) Never mind.... this was for the future good of mankind, I reminded myself.

I had to be weighed....... Grief- the moment of truth! They didn't put me down as obese, but I was definitely overweight. Oh and my Body Mass Index is high!
Right, that does it. I am dieting from tomorrow. We eat too much. I blame Harry for that as he always seems to bring back little treats from his shopping sprees and he says, "A little treat now and then never hurt anybody."
Well, the treats seem to be everyday now. It has to stop.

Harry told me that my lung capacity was good! What a cheek! So I was looking forward to a good result. Something positive. However, because of an eye condition that I have, they wouldn't do the lung capacity test as they thought it was too risky. I have managed to blow up balloons without any ill effect ( for the granddaughters, that is, not for me.) Oh well......
I had to stick my heel into a little box and I am pleased to report from that test that my bone density is good! Why am I telling you all this stuff?
Any way, that was that. Our little bit to help the future generations.

The clinic was full of people doing the same and we were offered tea/coffee and biscuits for our trouble. They would have paid our bus fares too but we used our free bus passes.
It all made a change from the things I normally do on my day off!
What would you have done? Gone for the research or not?


Granny on the Web said...

I think what you have done is most admirable. As you say, future generations will be thankful you did. Finding cures for inherited or indeed any disease, is a worthwhile job and painstaking, so this help from us public bodies ('scuse pun!) is essential.
I have done the same some years back, when my sister got RA, and they did a family study, to include my mother ( she died three after) and myself and brother, to see if it was inherent. We will never be told the results of our family tests, but every time there is news of progress in this disease, I wonder if our contribution had helped.
Good for you
Love Granny

The Gossamer Woman said...

Hi Maggie, I have an award for you over at my place. Please come and get it.

VioletSky said...

Participating in medical studies has always fascinated me, though not enough to actually do it. Yet. I think it is admirable of you to subject yourself to so much.

SandyCarlson said...

It makes sense that we study ourselves to understand ourselves and our illnesses. You are a brave and good soul!

Rose said...

I think this is a great idea, Maggie May. The tests sound simple enough, though 5 vials of blood might have made me pass out! I think most of us would be willing to do anything to help eradicate cancer and other horrible diseases.

I missed your last post--although I had to cover my eyes for the last few photos:) I'm so glad you got to the root of the problem! No more skittering above your head and awful smells. Hooray! You are lucky they didn't chew through the wiring any more than they did.

Anonymous said...

If it's for the greater good, if it would help cure a disease and if it didn't hurt, I would do it:)

Sniffles and Smiles said...

I'm all admiration!!! I hate medical tests of all sorts...and do not willingly submit to them!!! Bravo for you! I give you a standing ovation! (Hope the bruises from your ordeal heal quickly!)~Janine XO

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

I'll do anything for a cup of tea and a biccie! I can't look when needles go in though.

Well done for making the effort! xx

Anonymous said...

Maggie, like you I would have looked into the company and found out what was involved, and done the research. Sounds like it involved alot but well worth it. Makes me wonder what I can do myself to help medical science. It's something worth thinking about. Nice post!

lakeviewer said...

Great idea to contribute information for science.

jinksy said...

Do you now feel like lab rats?! I'm all for anthing to help science find as many cures as possible for our human ailments. Well done, you and hubby!

Wendy said...

Oh, I'm at the point where I'll eat treats anyway. I'm tired of counting calories and depriving myself of whatever just because its junk food. Phoeeeeey! But I don't over do it.

I think you did well to check things out first and then go and give your stuff for medical research. At least you'll be doing something for the future. Hope you have a good weekend!

bindhiya said...

Dear Maggie,
That was a beautiful day off... yes, future generations wil be thankful..
thanks for sharing this with us.
take care
♥ & ((hugs))

Jeni said...

I think some big congratulations are in order for you and Harry! My medical history and thus, that of my children too, is a lot like yours -both my parents died of cancer, my ex-husband's father also had cancer. Depression issues -oh my yes, me and all three of my kids too! I'd be more than willing to sign up for anything like you did to help in any way for future generations to be free or as free as possible from any type of disease/disorder, etc.
I signed on my driver's license several years back to be an organ donor but just recently learned that if/when something happens to me, that will not be given any consideration because of the chemotherapy I received. Apparently it ruins the major organs used in donations all except for, I think, it is the eyes. But my vision is so crappy, I don't know if the eyes would be of any use to anyone else, ya know.
I'm really proud of you and Harry for being willing to take part in a study of this nature though. Can you tell?

Working mum said...

You'd better not commit any crimes now they've got your DNA ;)

PS Award over at my place

The Gossamer Woman said...

I would participate in the study because I think genetics and mental illness are fascinating subjects and the more we know about the link, the better, being a sufferer and an inheritor of one.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful and brave thing you have done. There is so much more to learn, but look how far we have come.

The weighing alone would have scared me! I'll be joining you on that diet, LOL.

Have a wonderful day.

MarmiteToasty said...

I you wish to 'do away' with someone, make a spinach quiche but swap the spinach leaves for foxgloves leaves :) - this handy tip was brought to you via......'get rid of your X with a delicious quiche' LOL


Akelamalu said...

I'd definitely volunteer for the research - well done to you Maggie. :)

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Good for you Maggie. Yes, I think I would have done the same. It is interesting to be able to help with possible future research, even if you never get to know any results. It is years now since I gave blood - a couple of times I went they were unable to get any!!! A x

Eddie Bluelights said...

Excellent thing to do.
I've just donated my 88th pint of blood - an extra 5 phials may be 'pushing it a bit' but my wife and I might well do this later ~ Eddie.

Hilary said...

Ah good for you. I've done similar but for a different reason initially. I was in the process of genetic testing for family diseases and was asked if they could keep my DNA for future research which they anticipate will reveal so much more than they know now. I may or may not be advised if and when they use it, and I might be contacted to answer questions sometime over the next twenty years. I agreed. Why not be a part of a scientific process? Interesting post. :)

Rajesh said...

That is very nice of you. You have contributed for something that feature generations will be benefited. Take care.

meggie said...

Research! My brother would love a DNA test done to see what our 'lineage' is. I have osteoporosis, & have had since I was about 45, so that would be interesting to explore.

Mya said...

You are a kind and generous lady, Maggie. Yes, I think I would have helped out if possible, I'm not particularly squeamish - and let's face it, there's not much I wouldn't do for a free biscuit and a cup of tea.

Looking at your rats in the roof post - they look just like the ones we pulled out of our roof - it's quite horrible thinking what has been going on above your head for all that not to dwell on it!

Mya x

Expat mum said...

Until they have a few more cures stock-piled, I'm not sure I would want to be faced with all the syndromes etc. that I'm going to get.
Good for you tho - 5 test tubes of blood! I would have needed a zimmer to get back home!

Bina said...

I would absolutely have done the research! And even though they don't give you results of the blood and urine at least you got to know your weight, bone density and BMI, right? I think it's great you guys agreed to do that.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a real fun day. I think things are done a little differently in your country. I can relate to hubby causing the overweight problem. Mine just wanted to know if I could put a batch of brownies in the oven this afternoon since I would have it on anyway to cook the meatloaf. I told him I could but I didn't want to gain 5 pounds. After I explained this to him, he agreed we should just stick with the meatloaf.
Good to hear from you. I always like to make new friends. I made two trips to the UK in 1997 and 1999. I loved it.
Good day.

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