Yesterday I began participating in a chronic fatigue syndrome/fibromyalgia research study at Stanford University. The study will be looking at biomarkers for the illnesses, specifically inflammatory cytokines in the blood, and possible treatments.
I have to keep a log of my symptoms twice a day for 5 weeks, and also go in every day for 25 consecutive days to get a little bit of blood drawn (20 ccs, about 1.5 tablespoons). That part is not going to be a whole lot of fun, but it’s only for 25 days, not the rest of my life. And they will be using special thin needles, not the regular needles normally used for routine blood draws, to minimize the discomfort.
I went in yesterday for my initial appointment to get the ball rolling by filling out enrollment paperwork and symptom questionnaires, getting baseline pain sensitivity readings of my fibromyalgia tender points with a dolorimeter, and learning how to use the PDA with the daily symptom log app on it. Now I have 2 weeks of just keeping symptom logs at home before having to steel myself for the first of 25 needle sticks.