Time to Spare?

3 min to read

Chris, one of our volunteers shares his story about taking part in a 27 day clinical trial…

Chris, one of our volunteers shares his story about taking part in a 27 day clinical trial…

With my home locked down and my bags packed, my sister picks me up to drop me off on my trial. Having stayed with Quotient before I have some idea of what to expect and have some books, plenty of films on my laptop and a to-do list to strike through. I have just worked a solid week of over sixty hours work so the change in pace will be a welcome one, and I’m looking forward to having a lot less to do. My first night in and I get to meet some of the other volunteers and settle in, there are nine of us on this clinical trial and this will now be my home for 27 out of the next 34 days. Having enough to do is important but being able to relax and chill out on demand is a great side effect.

Although not so pivotal in everyday life, food is a focal point of my days at Quotient and my first task is to decide exactly what meals I want for nearly the next four weeks. Ultimately I choose to randomize most of my choices to keep things interesting.

After a good night of sleep our first day will be busy as most of the preliminary tests are done pre-dosing, along with a day of blood tests and ECGs, so I opt to stay in bed and chill out while things get underway. Our group starts to bond as we get to know each other a bit and fall neatly in to the routine of the day. It’s not long before the procedures thin out and the social interactions turn to banter.

The wards remind me of the old school field trips I used to take although, with the exceptions of medical procedures, somewhat less formal and with considerably less chastisements than I use to get from my school teachers! The staff are friendly and easy to get on with and even the mixture of medical formality alongside social intercourse seems to flow and makes the stay uncomplicated and even fun most of the time.

After the first week had passed myself and another volunteer decided we would have a go at basket weaving, something I had never even considered before but we now had the time and decided to give it a go. Our study broke for a week back at home before our return for nearly a three week stay. Another hectic week of trying to cram as much work in as possible before I have to go back. I did some research on line to acquire patterns for the basket, and a quick visit to the local Park Ranger to get permission to collect willow reeds and we had the all the materials we needed for our basket and at no cost too.

Once back in the unit our group re-acquainted ourselves and once again became accustomed to the more relaxed pace of life. The Cricket World Cup from India was well under way and our days were interspersed with matches, movie nights and organised events run by Quotient such as quizzes and bingo.

The basket weaving had taken bold leaps as we made fine tune adjustments to our attempts in the hope of producing a seemingly basket-shaped object before our time was up!

The days passed by and as our finished basket stood proudly on show we organised a poker tournament between ourselves and other groups to finish off our stay. My time at Quotient started in solitude as a single volunteer with time to spare and a laptop full of films; and after some 27 days within the unit, culminated with a group of friends and more than a handful of shared memories.

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