Monday 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.
This 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).