Friday, October 17, 2008

Serenity now, dammit!

A shot of the extremely calm lake on a beautiful Thursday run



So this was my Thursday:

I work in clinical research on the technology side of things. We have drug/device companies (sponsors) that use our products and services to help conduct clinical trials.

Yesterday I get a call from a sponsor that is conducting a drug study. The study is blinded, which means that the patient, research site, and most people in the sponsor organization have no idea what particular treatment the patient received.

The call was rather panicked. I was told that a patient in the study was moved to intensive care, and that there was an urgent request from the site to “unblind” the patient (meaning, to reveal to all what drug the patient was randomized to receive). There is only one unblinded person at the sponsor organization who can tell exactly what treatment was received; however, this person was apparently traveling or somehow not available.

They asked if I could find out what treatment this patient was randomized to receive.

HOLY...CRAP...no pressure here.

After some digging, sweating, and most likely some swearing, I was indeed able to determine what drug the patient received. So, I was the one who unblinded the patient. Needless to say, I was relieved, and I am hoping we were able to get the information to them in time to do some good.

Shortly thereafter, I was really mad that the sponsor didn’t have adequate backup coverage, or at least a contingency plan for emergency situations. Think about this; you are patient who is potentially dying, and your hopes of finding out what drug you were taking rest not with your doctors, not with the clinical staff, and not with sponsor personnel, but with some stupid project manager in the Twin Cities? Give me a break!

What I am saying is that Thursday was a little stressful!

The calm lake, taken from a different bay



It was not a scheduled run day, but I felt I needed to after the day’s events. I was really glad I did. Not only was it great stress relief, but it was also a gorgeous day. Cool in the lower 50’s, sunshine and puffy clouds, and not a breath of wind. I stopped on the bridge, snapped a few pictures, and just marveled at the lake. It is rare that it is ever this calm and reflective. I picked up a few more woolly bear caterpillars off the trail and moved them to safety. I chased a few sparrows and juncos down the trail as I ran.

A great way to end a tough day at the office. And it concluded by watching the new episode of “The Office.” Seeing Dwight putting a baby stroller through a stress test completely pushed me over the edge and had me in hysterics!

Looking forward to the weekend,

Jean
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