Monday, July 21, 2008

Q & A Continued

Hockey-Chica Barbie2B asks: does asthma count? i mean, it's not contagious. maybe i could come visit if i wear a mask or something.
Asthma is fine, you'd only be barred if you had something we can catch. Blood draws test our "immunocompetence,” which is expected to dwindle over the duration, and we cannot ingest medicines. You can't have a cold, can't lean on the bed, can't bring edibles, etc... I'll get a soft-copy of the visitor's booklet to post.

Diane asks via email (paraphrased): OH, sounds painful! Do they give you any kind of [assurance that nothing will cause permanent damage] from these tilts or injections?
Let's see * * Shakes Magic 8 Ball * * nope, no guarantees ;) You sign papers saying you understand these studies carry RISK, and you can't fuss if you have to work hard to get your health back on track because lying tilted for 90 days gave you a sinus condition or tweaked your lumbar vertebrae or made you grow a tail or whatever. However, given the medical staff here, I have a better chance of getting Chris Pronger and Sean Avery to hold hands and sing "Kumbaya" together than someone NOT responding to any systemic emergency within about half a second.

D also asks: How many people are there? How big is this place? Are we asking too many questions?
NASA has two UTMB floors for medical studies and space studies, each with capacity for twelve residents. I don't know about 5th Floor, but on the 6th there are three subjects, me and two men. Another man is due to be admitted this week, and a woman in early August. I've asked around as to how crowded it gets, since right now it's very low. I found one longtimer who has seen a full 12 on my floor, but it's more likely to be between 5-7 people at a time.

LOL, no... nobody is asking too many, this is great. If you ask questions, I don't have to think about what to write.