Cohort 1, group 1, patient 1, day 1

My time as a guinea pig for the Vulcan clinical trial to treat (cure perhaps?) hepatitis C started today. I arrived at 7am and remained in the hospital bed until mid-afternoon, while they took blood tests and ECG tests, as well as a fibroscan of my liver itself.

A hospital band was put on my wrist when I arrived, but scissors couldn’t be found to remove the excess from it, so fortunately I was able to offer then the use of the dangerously sharp knife on my Leatherman, which has previously sliced open someone’s thumb when they were testing how sharp it was after being warned. The poor nurse though tried to use it backwards the first time around. It worked much better for her when she wasn’t using the back side of the knife. After she had to use it again a second time, and trying to use the back of the knife again before succeeding, scissors were eventually found from somewhere else and given a permanent place there.

The procedure that they have in place for us patients is a bit different now than it used to be when I was on a similar Venus trial last year. Blood pressure tests are not done now while you’re lying in bed, but instead now require you to be sitting on the edge of the bed with your feet flat on the floor for five minutes before taking your pressure.

We will also be going in not every week, but now only every two weeks for a checkup and to have our remaining pills counted. They won’t be serving breakfast either! Which is a shame, so we’ll have to arrange our own now before going in.

Speaking of pills, they aren’t provided separately any more. The sofosbuvir and ledipasvir (pronounced led” i pas’ vir) are combined as one large pill now, which is to be taken in the morning with 3 ribavirin, and another 3 ribavirin in the evening.

I’ll be attempting to be less active this time around for the next few months, because the light-headedness from low haemoglobin that the ribavirin last year caused, is something that I would like to try and limit this time around.


Around at my parents, EQC have finally decided that they can move out, after being advised about how the winter is affecting my mother’s health. They’ll be moving out next month and so we are finalising building plans about what we want for the new place.

When bringing additional components in SketchUp to help flesh out the plans, we found that some of them could have been built a lot better. There was for example a bathroom vanity that we were modifying by removing a side panel and such-like, only to find that it was not made of separate parts, which resulted in it being quite a pain to make changes to. We got there in the end by rebuilding the side we were working on, but it really helped to demonstrate that techniques such as organising parts of objects in to separate groups really does help to make later modifications much easier to achieve.

The Heat

When finishing up at my parents, I didn’t think that I would be able to head home for dinner before catching the movie at Riccarton. So I rang home to advise Sharon about that. On checking the details though, I find that the movie is not at the normal Tuesday location but is instead at The Palms, so I can make dinner afterall. A quick call to advise that helps to resolve the issue, and I realise afterwards that had checked such details beforehand, that no such calls would have been needed at all.

The movie was a buddy-cop movie between the uptight and slightly defective FBI agent Sandra Bullock, and the violently foul-mouthed but effective Melissa McCarthy. I don’t think that it will be one that we’ll be watching over and overnight years to come, but it still does a good job of being funny while attempting to take down a major drug lord.