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Empty cereal bowl and empty coffee mugMonday 6th January saw visit 2 to the OCCDEM unit at The Churchill (actually it was visit 3 – I had to go in between Christmas and New Year because of  something  in my blood called HCG which was a bit on the high side).

This was a fasting visit which was rescheduled from an unfeasibly early 8 am to a more achievable 10:30 am. The first activity (as it were) was to sit down and do nothing . Then came a discussion with the doctor, blood tests,  weigh-in, waist measurement, an eye examination and an ecg  (lots of  wires and electrodes) to test my circuitry . By the time I was allowed to have breakfast I was climbing the walls, which I attributed to low blood sugar but which was probably a symptom of acute caffeine withdrawal.

All the tests were satisfactory and I was given the green light to take part in the study.

Toast and coffeeThis meant more sitting around waiting for the prescription to be filled by the hospital pharmacy. As this took a while, NHS hospitality was extended to include the offer of a slice of toast and another coffee (which I accepted) and a magazine (which I declined) from one study nurse whilst the other one went back to stand around in the pharmacy staring meaningfully at her watch.

Then came the crunch – preparing the syringe and injecting myself with the medication (gulp).

The next bit was waiting to see whether there would be any side effects (anything from a touch of nausea to death) or instances of hypoglycaemia (very low blood sugar).