College was getting tough. I had decided not to take out any loans. It really wouldn’t help our little family’s financial goals. So I had taken on a couple part time jobs to make it all work. In the course of my schoolwork I was not maintaining focus because of all the work I also was pursuing to keep us off loans. It was then that I began looking for another option. It was then that I saw an offer that seemed too good to be true. In the school paper I read about an experiment that one of the professors was doing and that needed some test subjects that fit my description. Before I tell you about what happened I want to make clear that I was very glad I used some of the little money we had to buy life insurance before I began volunteering to be a human guinea pig. What I experienced was too close a call to have almost been without it.

So, as I was saying, there in the paper was an offer that spelled out the need for a handful of people to give one hour a week to go through some medical experiments. They said they would pay $1000 per sitting. I had to call to make sure that it wasn’t a misprint. Sure enough it wasn’t. And after a short prescreen questionnaire on the phone I was told that I qualified for an added $1500 per session. I guess I was one of the only ones that fit the kind of people they needed to determine the effectiveness of the new medication.

On my first appointment I was set down and explained to what would be happening over the next 6 months. I was given the scoop on the risks and while there were some, they assured me that it was expected to all be pretty minimal. For $2500 a week, for one hour? I didn’t care if I grew horns and a tail, I was in!

Well, it soon became apparent why they offered so much. For people like me, there were some reactions to the medication. I guess they knew that would occur, but they wanted to track how long they could continue the treatments without the symptoms escalating. In the release notes I could have read about this, but seriously, I was too busy with school and finishing up my other two jobs to care.

Well, it was on the third week of the administration of the drug that I began to see some of the symptoms they were mentioning. I had lightened mood, but it came also with loss of function of some of my movement. By week 5 I had lost my ability to think clearly. But for some reason, probably because of the money, I agreed to continue forward.

Then, immediately after week 6 administration I had a strange sensation in my chest and stopped breathing. The nurses got me onto a gurney and rushed me to the next room where doctors where waiting in case just such a reaction were to happen. I had a mask put on my face and that’s the last I remember.

When I woke up from this scary experience I was laying in the hospital with my wife and kids around me. “I am glad we didn’t have to use that life insurance you just bought,” were the first words that came from her mouth and I smiled and squeezed her hand.

So, while I survived, it is not always the case. My suggestion, buy life insurance before volunteering for medical experiments.

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