Wednesday, June 1, 2011

in which Remicade is a Mercedes Convertible, and I decipher Russo-English science

It has finally happened.  I -- organizational and scheduling fanatic -- have missed an infusion.  By two weeks.  How did this happen?, you may ask.  I'll tell you.

I rescheduled my infusion to be two days after I met with Dr. GI, so that if we decided to scrap the Remicade and move on to "sexier cars" (his words), I would have drug-free buffer room to start immediately.  In fact, what happened was that when the nurse rescheduled me, she in fact neglected to reschedule me.  So my appointment came and went, as did my alleged infusion date, and I called the clinic to see why they had no appointment for me.  "You were a no-show on the 14th," is what I was told.  "But I rescheduled for the 27th of May, I just did not receive a reminder from Epic as I typically do and so I have not yet been infused -- I must not have been rescheduled" I retorted.  "Oops," the nurse replied, not at all withdrawing the reprimand from her previous remark, mind you.

Not all that exciting a story, really, but I wanted to get your hopes up.  The recent increase in Throughput over the past two weeks may be in part because I am overdue for my drugging.  Dr. GI was firm in his conclusion that it is not because I've increased my veggie intake.  My miniature experiment wherein I ate only crackers/rice/broth for a day and produced a 50% decrease in Throughput the following 24 hr period was noted.  The 50% reduction did not convince him.  And since I've been buffering all my veggies with fluffy carby foods over the last week with no Throughput let-up, I am beginning to side with him.  It is possible that my notably increased nausea and dependence on Percocet to survive the evenings are weighing in.

So... I'm taking my Remi from the 8- to the 6-week interval -- perhaps the 4 -- and if in the coming two months I do not see improvement, I will concede to move on to "sexier cars".  For now, I will deliberate between Humira (the Benz), Imuran (the Lexus) or LDN (the Prius).  I refrained from challenging Dr. GI as to whether Imuran was a Lexus or, in fact, an Astin Martin.

Meanwhile, in my small corner of the world of science, I am reviewing my first manuscript as a Peer.  It has been translated from Russian, and while the findings are very exciting, the syntax, run-on sentences and hugely neglected Methodology section have been problematic for my novice brain.  I spent 6 hours on Sunday trying to get through this thing (during this same period, my boss pummeled through a 140 pg dissertation... pwned).

Something I am gleaning from my meager experience in reviewing and being reviewed is that reviewers tend to hope that you cite them in your work.  Often, when we (my lab) produce(s) manuscripts, we request reviewers whose work we cite in the present work.  The Russian paper from this weekend didn't cite any of our work anywhere, which was not really offensive so much as remarkable because their findings were so intertwined with ours, and supported by some of our previous publications.  They did not defend discrepancies between their data and that of other studies which they did cite (which was a weird door to leave open), nor did they speculate on the correlations within their own data set (also odd).  It is a very different experience to read a submitted manuscript than a published article.  I think I like it...

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