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  • Phyllis Kaplan

Participating in a Clinical Trial

Despite the fact that I thoroughly read the 22 pages of paperwork, and asked a ton of questions at the consent visit, I knew what to expect for this clinical trial. Yes, I knew it would be 12 hours of mostly sitting, but I wasn't counting on it being physically tough. And I didn't realize just how tough it truly was until I fell asleep the second I got on the commuter train to go home. Since the study was designed to test how well glucagon worked in a controlled setting, my blood sugar was purposefully kept low, with very careful and constant monitoring. Despite the fact that my blood sugar stayed between 45-60 for close to 5 hours, I felt mostly ok. I was able to talk, and form complete sentences which I typically can't do in this blood glucose range. In a normal day if my blood sugar drops from 120 to 50, I'm a puddle of mush. I'm not sure if the reason was because my blood sugar stayed low for so long, or that there wasn't a sudden drop, or if there was something else going on, I'll let the investigators figure out that piece of the puzzle. Hour 6 was the hardest, I felt ready to give up, I was whiny and didn't feel my best. But, it passed relatively quickly and I was able to laugh at myself. While it was a hard and long day, I didn't give up. I kept thinking "without people like me, there can't be advancements in diabetes treatments." And to me, that's everything. Knowing I'm doing everything I can to potentially help other people with diabetes makes me happy. It took me a long time to find my first clinical trial to participate in. The government website is hard to navigate and hard to determine if you might qualify. There are apps and sites now that make finding a trial close to you, that you may qualify for a lot easier. I found the one I'm currently involved with through the JDRF Clinical Trials Connection site: If you do decide to participate in a clinical trial read you are provided with. Ask a lot of questions. Then ask some more questions. While I was surprised with how hard my day was yesterday, I look forward to the second appointment of the same nature in a few weeks.
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