Not much on the schedule today. We got to sleep in until almost 7. They took our blood pressure this morning and drew blood after breakfast, but no ECG or urine collection, and there’s nothing else today but meals. Tomorrow we start what looks like a real marathon until the end.
The Bible study debate went on until after midnight last night. These two are hard core. The debate last night was about whether or not the Bible is actually the word of “God.” Bible Guy took a more scholarly view than Church Lady. I can’t get a fix on his beliefs, but he was telling Church Lady that some parts of the Bible were perhaps more spiritually inspired than others, and Church Lady was not having it. She kept giggling and saying, “You don’t really believe that? No, you don’t! You’re crazy.” Giggle, giggle.
I assumed that he was the more reasonable and sane of the two, but then he started talking about how there were already people on the earth when God created Adam and Eve, which accounts for the fossil evidence. So, there are people living now who are from Adam and Eve’s lineage and people who are not. Step away quietly.
This place is totally sci-fi. Rows of identical beds, everything sterile and white. The staff wear scrubs and lab coats. There are always several studies going on simultaneously, so we wear color-coded t-shirts. I'm in the red t-shirt study. Subjects also wear wristbands with bar codes that identify us, and we carry clipboards everywhere we go which detail our scheduled procedures. There are big red digital clocks on military time, and everything is timed to the second, every ECG, every meal, every blood draw. The technicians go down the rows of beds with carts and machines, sticking pads on our chests and legs, hooking us up to machines, sticking needles in our arms, each subject 3 minutes after the last one. It’s a hive of activity and high-tech beeping monitors that moves up and down the row of beds several times a day. And they rush the little vials of our blood away in frozen containers and write numbers on our clipboards.
There are features of the architecture that resemble a hospital, but it never feels like a hospital at all. There are doctors here somewhere, but not the kind of doctors who take care of people. It’s a lab and we are lab rats.
The first few days here, I was pretty miserable. I got a severe headache from caffeine withdrawal, which I expected because it always happens, but I expected it on the first day. When it didn’t happen then, I was very relieved. It just waited a day. Then when the headache was receding, I started feeling intense deep pain in my lower back and hips. I couldn’t find a way to sit or lie down that didn’t hurt, and the second night was awful. I hardly slept. I’m almost certain it was from the bed and spending so much time in it.
I feel much better now, and I spend most of my free time in bed reading. I finished The Celluloid Closet and I’m trying to plow through Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell’s Film History textbook. It’s the perfect kind of book for this place. I’ve done a little work on my high school diary project, taken a few notes. The piece is taking some kind of general shape in my head.