Friday, January 11, 2013

Would You Sell Your Body?

The question gets asked a lot; What would you be willing to do for money? I make the joke that I'll sell my body for money, become a hooker, and work the streets. And then I realize I don't like being naked, or being touched, or you know...being tied up, or freaky, or any of that stuff, and I'm pretty sure if people are paying me for my body, they kind of get to do what they want, no? So then those plans fall apart.

Or so I thought.
The hospital was huge. And I usually got lost.

I've spent the last two weeks being a voluntary lab rat for a drug study. Why? 1) Because I don't like animal testing and I've always said there will be people dumb enough to test drugs for whatever reason. (I am that dumb person :) ) 2) They paid me $300 and I have a lot of bills to pay.

Three times, I spent about an hour getting hooked up to machines that monitored my face muscles and my galvanic responses. As she hooked electrodes up to my de-watched and de-braceleted wrists, I said rather sheepishly, "Please just ignore the cutting scars." The woman placing them on me stopped for a second and said, "Wow, you really have been through a lot, haven't you?"

When that was done, I shoved a syringe up my nose, inhaled deeply, and then got to watch Blue Planet for a half hour (it was lovely. I watched about Polar Bears and whales), and then looked at pictures and answered test questions like, "How attractive do you find this face?" "How likely would you be to approach this person?" "How approachable do you find this face?" One day I was given the placebo. One day I was given the actual drug and had some difficulty breathing/the room kind of spun. (I may have lied when they asked whether or not I have heart problems...)

After, I spent a few minutes answering a survey and then having to get blood drawn. I chatted quite a bit (making sure to sell the fact that I'm an author and that I do presentations because you never know when it'll come in handy).

Baxter takes injections/giving blood
better than I do. 
By today, I look like a heroine addict (turns out one of the days I was dehydrated and it was difficult to get blood). I had my last round of looking at pictures, though because I got no drug or placebo, I didn't have to shove anything up anywhere, or give blood.

As I put on my jacket to leave I started getting kind of sad. I'd spent several hours with the woman hooking me up to machines and poking me with needles. She told me about her family, I showed her pictures of Baxter (and told her about my screwed up family). It was strange coming to an understanding that I probably won't see this woman or the doctor ever again. They both seemed awesome and nice.

The last Tuesday I'd been there, the woman had told me, "Do you plan on having kids?" and while she didn't know about the abortion, I still cringed.

"No," I told her. "I don't want to end up like my mom."

Her voice became very serious. "I don't think you'll EVER have to worry about that. You're nothing like her."

As I drove home from work that night, I ended up crying. What if I do want kids? What if I end up like my mom? Isn't in better to just say you hate kids and that you never want them so you don't end up even potentially destroying them?

As I got up to make my final exit, she stood in front of me, fully stopping my path to freedom and said, "I'm hugging you, and I don't care whether you've showered or not." (I hadn't.) Then she wrapped both of her small around around me, and we embraced. When we parted she looked me square in the eyes and said, "You'll do great things with your life. I'm happy I met you, and I wish you nothing but the best for your future."

She walked me to the elevevator and as I stepped on, I looked back and said, "You know, when people like you give me those little speeches, it kind of reaffirms the fact that I need to become a bad ass and change the world."

I drove home smiling. I get the feeling that she doesn't say or do these things to ever lab rat in the study.


  1. Well yes, in the way you're talking. :) We have a research place like that here too, but I've never done it. If I were a college student or wasn't married with kids, I'd do it though. They sometimes have sleep ones here and you have to stay overnight of course and they pay pretty good money.

    1. I've thought about doing the sleep ones, but I wouldn't be a good candidate (I have sleeping problems anyway. Oh, and I hate hospitals).

  2. Oh, man, I could never do that. Getting blood drawn does things to falling down. But good for you!
    And for the awesome words of encouragement!

    1. I was very happy about the kind words. Though I hate needles, don't be fooled.

  3. Wow. That takes some serious cojones. Still--I would definitely do something like that--but I'm on other drugs and then I'd have to worry about the interactions killing me, so it's a no go on the drug trials.

    But I'm glad you got such nice people to work with and I hope everything in your life looks up soon. I am broke too, my husband has been out of work for months and we're just hanging on for tax time. I keep telling myself one day I won't have to worry about it...but that day keeps not coming.

    Hopefully 2013 is a good year for both of us!! I haven't been on your blog a lot, cause it's just hard to find the time to visit everyone, but I caught up on a few of your posts.

    Hope you are getting more time with Baxter. Just make sure he has a lot of toys and fun doggie stuff for when you're gone. He'll be fine. Dogs love to nap!! Give him an extra hug today from a fellow dog lover!!

    My doggie got hit by a car on New Years Eve--my daughter backed OVER her as she pulled out of my driveway. But, I am happy to report that, as of today, Squishy (that's my American Bulldog) is up and happily trotting around the yard. SO relieved. She spent a week convalescing on the couch, but it looks like she's gonna be fine!!

  4. I hate needles. It is one of the few things in life that I absolutely cannot stand. Has to do with my childhood and a horrible experience that I barely remember. It is there, however.

  5. That's crazy. You have much more interesting experiences than some (like me, for instance). But I guess that stems from you actually being willing to do this stuff that many of us never could.

    By the way, I think the fact that you worry about becoming like your mom is a good sign that you won't, for the record.

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