It’s Official, I am a Lab Rat
So, I came the realization yesterday that I am a lab rat. I am a very fortunate lab rat in that the scientists are not giving me cancer to see if particular concoction of medications will work to cure the cancer they just gave me. And no-one is intentionally giving me a stroke to see if they can fix it with a little bit of brain surgery. And thankfully no-one is putting make-up on me to test my skin’s reaction – I would not want to look like a clown! So, really, my lab rat status could be a lot worse. Which could lead one to think that maybe being a lab rat isn’t all that bad. But it is, trust me, this lab rat would much prefer to be a rat living wild and free, with the sole focus of finding food scrap to gorge on.
So, what does this lab rat’s life look like?
I have more freedom than most lab rats. Which means I get to live in the home of my choosing (without bars on the windows), sleep in a comfy bed (not made of a wood chips), run on a treadmill (which surprising similar to a wheel in a typical rat cage), and I get to play with a large dog that doesn’t eat me (which is not the case for most other rats).
But, I also get to go to random medical appointments all across the city, sometimes with a few days’ notice, 30 minutes’ notice, or no notice at all. At some appointments technicians stick me with needles to take my beautiful red blood, and presumably send it to labs to be tested. Sometimes they stick needles in me to put me to sleep for a few hours while they remove tissue from my insides. Then they watch me like a hawk in a giant building full of sick people because my blood pressure tends to drop drastically and dangerously low (thankfully they rarely do that procedure because the other rat I live with gets really worried). Other times, they shoot me full of radiation to make sure my insides are all good. And, other times they use external and internal wands to take pictures of my insides. Other times they insert an incredibly painful suctiony thing into me while I’m awake, and suck tissue out (I suggest avoiding this one at all costs). Sometimes they stick pills inside me, send me home with narcotic pain meds and then I get sever cramps for a few days. And when they aren’t busy physically hurting me, they seem to like me to talk about all of this with a brain specialist.
Some days through all of this, I wonder if they are really studying me, or if they are studying the reaction of the lab rat I live with. They have poked him with a few needs to take samples of his beautiful red blood, but it’s pretty rare that they try to physically hurt him in the same way. But, they almost always require his presence at all of my appointments. And the brain specialist really seems to like to monitor his reactions too. I think they worry he might not be coping well, but he really does seem okay most of the time.
Just when we think we are done with being lab rats, they surprise us with more tests. So, this week we cleared another test hurdle like two champion lab rats, and we continue to be perfectly healthy with one unexplained tiny little problem when it comes to producing a viable and healthy baby.
So, until our next pregnancy, this tiny lab rat will relax and enjoy some much-needed time without painful tests and needles.