NYU – Pfizer Drug Trial: Day 1 (Visit 2)

Day One is DONE
Day One is DONE

Pfizer Drug Trial: Day 1 (Visit 2)
….is done. It was a long day, but productive. It’s hard to tell if the meds worked (or if I received actual medication at all – it could be a placebo) because of being in a stressful situation – fMRI scans, mild electrical shocks to the wrist to induce stress, etc. – but the worst is over. Tomorrow I only have one fMRI/trigger session, then I’ll be able to get a better idea of how the meds affect me because I’ll be in a more normal environment.

Today’s happenings: after reporting to the NYU School of Medicine Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), an IV was placed, ECG completed, and several blood tests were taken. Various assessments were given, and the obligatory drug and pregnancy screenings were completed, as well as a breathalyzer to verify that I hadn’t consumed any alchohol. We were good to go, so on to the next phase.

I was transported to the Center for Biomedical Imaging (CBI) for my first fMRI. Electrodes were placed on my body to measure any muscle movements, and an elastic belt was placed around my abdomen to measure the depth of my breathing during the scan. An electrode was also placed on my finger to measure my oxygen levels.

Electrodes were attached to my palms to see how much I was sweating, and a special video camera recorded my eye movements and blinking.

After testing increasing shock levels to determine the maximum that I could tolerate without it being painful, I was slid into the imaging machine and the scan began.

I received electric shocks to the inside of my wrists as a trigger, along with being shown images of people with different expressions of disgust, anger, etc. on a video screen. I was also shown images of different shapes and colors, and told to predict whether or not I would receive a shock by pushing buttons on a small handheld device.

After about an hour I was allowed to rest for ten minutes while they completed the fMRI scan of my brain.


I then went back to CTSI to take my first dose, and then was monitored for a few hours. Later that afternoon, I was again transported to CBI for another fMRI and triggering session.


Oh my god. That was a really long fucking day.

Right now I’m working on getting rid of a massive headache, hopefully caused by the lack of caffeine and not the trial med. Another hope? That I came out on the right side of the coin toss and am getting the actual meds and not a placebo. Only time will tell. Once again, the staff at NYU have proven themselves to be exceptional. I couldn’t be in better hands.

The one thing I would change is getting a ride back to my hotel. I’ve been responsible for my own transportation, so it did feel kind of weird to be just turned loose outside the building to find my own way home, especially so late at night. It was a VERY LONG, ten hour day today, so I am *exhausted* both physically and mentally. My headache is so bad that I decided I just couldn’t wait on a cab and so I walked the two blocks back to the hotel.

Did I mention that I was exhausted?

On another note – check out the luggage under my eyes! Those are some serious bags!

Enough complaining. I’m so lucky to be here!! Even though I feel like pounded shit, I have never felt so HOPEFUL.

Onward. 🙂


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