1 comment

General

4/3/20

           Dear diary,

           I’m not sure a professional log entry should start like that, but my grandmother would have been pleased. It is now 0210, EST, and I am wide awake. I have been subjecting myself with the experimental drug Diprazamine in an effort to cure my insomnia. After four continuous days, I am still not demonstrating any improvement with my condition.

           My vital signs remain constantly in the normal range, but the computer has registered anomalous variations in my brain waves usually associated with REM sleep. Clearly, I have not yet achieved a REM state, yet the computer says otherwise.

           (Side note: ask Lisa about the possibilities of coding issues in the software)

           As noted in yesterday’s entry, I administered the drug at precisely 2100 hours, with an anticipated 15-30-minute span before the drug altered my chemistry. The graph indicates that I feel asleep about 19 minutes after taking the pill, but I regained full alertness at 2306 hours.

           While it is too early into the clinical study to pronounce the drug as a failure, I would be dishonest to say that I remain hopeful. I would estimate that I am now fully alert, which is a clear indicator that my theta activity most likely never activated.

           I will presently attempt the old-fashioned remedy of warm milk and soft jazz music in an effort to initiate alpha activity in my brain.

           (Side note #2: I’m not sure who the kid is standing across the street, nor what he is doing outside at this hour, but make sure to mention it to my neighbors.)

           4/6/20

           Dear Diary,

           It has now been a week since initiating the trial on myself, and the results are mixed. I’ve had one night of full REM sleep, but that might not be enough to continue the experimentation. Lisa examined the software and determined that the coding was without issue, so I am still confused as to why the electrodes are registering theta activity when it seems that I have had none.

           The lack of sleep might be causing other issues that are more concerning. Sometimes I think I hear whispers coming from other rooms, but then when I stop to listen, the whispering goes away. I am also experiencing forgetfulness, as I constantly forget to turn off lights that I am not using, as well as leaving books out and not returning knives to the block.

           I will allow myself one more week with my Diprazamine trial before I resort back to much stronger sleep agents. I despise the risk of addiction, but my brain desperately needs regular rest.

           (Side note: I snapped a picture of the kid standing across the street. He was out there again, this time at 0200 hours. Does this kid seriously not have a family? If this continues, I will be forced to contact someone from social services.

 

           4/7/20

           Dear diary,

           This entry is going to be about my mental state. I am thoroughly convinced that my sleep depravation is triggering hallucinations, which is of course a grave concern. This morning I was convinced that I heard footsteps downstairs. I grabbed my son’s old baseball bat and cautiously crept downstairs. I went room-to-room, but found no one. Later that night, I intended to visit several of my neighbors asking about the child staring at me every night, when they should be home in bed.

           The first neighbor I talked to was Carl. I asked him if he knew who this kid was and I handed him my phone. He looked at my screen, made a face and asked me if I was trying to pull a late April Fool’s joke. I took my phone back from him and looked at the picture I had taken.

           There was no child in the photo.

           I laughed it off, made simple small talk and then headed back to my house. Once inside I went through my images to inspect the photos, but all of them were of an empty city street early in the morning.

           As a scientist engaged in a neurological clinical test, it is my professional and ethical duty to record any and all things related to the test subject, and in this case, that would be me. My initial thought is that the boy was a visual hallucination and that the various sounds I have been hearing were auditory ones.

           But I cannot rule out a potentially serious side effect of the medicine, and I need to report this recent development in my official log tomorrow. I’ll get ahold of Dr. Brice after the morning conference call to see how to proceed with my log entry. I am a scientist but I am not unaware of the amount of money that Bowersmith Pharmaceuticals has already spent to develop Diprazamine, nor am I blind to how much money they stand to make from creating a very effective and non-addicting sleep medicine.

           (Side note: I will keep a separate personal journal to enter my various hallucinations. The entries will include date, time of hallucination and in-depth details of said hallucinations.)

 

           4/9/20

           Personal journal of Dr. Harold Green

           Since this is my first entry into my personal journal, I can dispense with the professionalism.

           Diprazamine sucks.

           Not only is the drug ineffective, it is counter-effective. In other words, it is worsening my insomnia, which is in turn making the effects of sleep depravation more pronounced. My ability to form coherent thoughts is diminished, and the hallucinations are becoming more prevalent.

           Hallucination #1: (1019 hours) I was sitting on my couch when I heard a baby crying. The crying continued for approximately 30 seconds. Auditory hallucination.

           Hallucination #2: (1254 hours) I went upstairs to retrieve my wallet when I heard footsteps on my stairs. I live in an old home, and my stairs are quite creaky. At this point I felt a rise in both my pulse and respiration. My staircase contains 14 steps, including the landing at the bottom. I did not count how many steps I heard. I shall make certain to do so if this hallucination occurs again. Auditory hallucination.

           Hallucination #3: (precise time unknown, app. 1600 hours.) I smelled bacon frying in a pan. Like my wife used to make. I need sleep! Olfactory hallucination. Rare, but not impossible.

 

           4/10/20

           Dear diary,

           I administered myself some Valium in order to gain some much-needed sleep. I understand the medical and professional implications of using a barbiturate in a clinical trial involving a competing product designed to combat insomnia, but in my professional opinion, Diprazamine has been shown to be ineffective. I have written my direct supervisor at Bowersmith Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Brice, to inform him that the trial has been cut short due to the ineffectiveness of the drug and my increased brain abnormalities, specifically the rise of hallucinations.

           (Side note: The Valium allowed me almost 20 hours of non-stop sleep. The monitors indicated I achieved REM sleep every 3 hours, which is the standard for a normal sleep cycle. At this point I will refrain from using either Valium or Diprazamine.)

 

           4/10/20

           Personal journal of Dr. Harold Green

           I received a text from a friend of mine at work. I won’t divulge their name, but they let me know that they overheard supervisors discussing my clinical trial and that my position with the company is in jeopardy. So, I have two options: continue the trial with Diprazamine or seek employment with another company.

           After a somewhat thorough search online, I have discovered that there are not many openings for someone of my skill level. It seems that I am in that awkward middle where I have no management experience to validate an upper-management position, nor I am entry-level to validate an acceptable lower salary.

           For right now I am stuck continuing the trail, but when this trial is over, I will begin a job search in earnest.

           4/11/20

           Personal journal of Dr. Harold Green

           I feel that madness is creeping upon me. I heard the steps. I was upstairs. 14 steps. All of them. I saw his shadow. Then I saw him. The boy across the street. He was at the top of my stairs. He looked like someone I once knew. Only older. Can’t be him.

           Can’t be him.

 

           4/14/20

           Dear diary,

           I want to include this in my official entry. My intellectual ability has been seriously compromised by my insomnia and, what I anticipate to be true, the horrible side-effects of Diprazamine. It is in my official, professional opinion that not only is the drug non-effective, it is downright dangerous. The chemical compound is inhibiting my pineal gland from producing sufficient amounts of melatonin, and my GABA level is incredibly low.

           I write this not as a suspicion but as a matter of fact. I submitted two vials of my blood as a sample to an independent lab and the tests results clearly indicate that Diprazamine actually works more as a sleep inhibitor than a sleep inducer.

           I also want to write in my official entry that this cannot be an accidental error on the part of Bowersmith Pharmaceuticals. Indeed, it must be a calculated design to do the exact opposite of its intended purpose. I suspect that if a lab were to test the compounds of Diprazamine, they would find more than trace amounts of both hypocretin and dopamine.

           I have tendered my resignation to B-P, and am officially ending the clinical test of Diprazamine. In my resignation letter to Director Brice, I voiced my strong concern with the drug and informed him that if Bowersmith continues their trials using Diprazamine as a sleep inducer, that I would file a formal letter to the FDA regarding the side effects.

           Sincerely,

           Dr. Harold Green

 

           This is my personal journal. I don’t give a rat’s ass about professionalism. My son’s old ball bat is at the top of the stairs and it is covered in blood. I can see the blood and bat, I can smell the copper scent of the blood, but I can also feel the blood on the bat. Tactile hallucinations are considered an impossibility. I am not hallucinating. I am either crazy or-

           -it’s him.

 

           I can’t stop him now. I tried to then. But no one would listen.

           He ran away.

           He ran away.

           He ran away.

 

           4/16/20

           Personal entry, Dr. Brice.

           The body of Dr. Green was discovered in his home late last night. He had been beaten to death with a ball bat in his upstairs bedroom. No indication of the assailant yet, as the local police are still investigating the homicide.

           I had his personal laptop brought to my office this morning, as a fast-thinking detective hid the device from the other officers. I paid him in cash for the device and had my assistant hack his password, which wasn’t very difficult.

           The Diprazamine worked as intended. Dr. Green quickly demonstrated signs of mental instability as the cocktail of dopamine, sodium pentothal and memantine began to work on his frontal and temporal lobes. The sleep deprivation, along with the other listed drugs, made Dr. Green highly susceptible to both suggestion and hallucinations.

           It is my professional opinion that this drug, along with other techniques, would form an impressive “truth serum” for the purchasing agency requesting this trial. It is not a quick process, but if a week to ten days is within the realm of possibility, the purchasing agency would find it to be very helpful in securing vital and reliable information from reluctant suspects.

           I have forwarded all data collected by Dr. Green to the purchasing agency, except for the last entry of his personal journal. In it, he described his killer as being his teen-age son, one that ran away after the death of his mother some years ago. Dr. Green blurted out the death-bed confession that his son was severely mentally ill and that he had murdered his own mother. Dr. Green said that he had killed his own son with a baseball bat and hid the body in the great expanse of woods near his home, and that the ghost of his son was coming back for vengeance.

           This is, of course, the ramblings of a terribly sleep-deprived man on the cusp of a breakdown, as Dr. Green was obviously the victim of a break-in gone bad. Therefore, I felt the last entry to be useless to the purchasing agency.

           Final entry of Diprazamine trial.

           Trial concluded.

           

           

April 07, 2020 16:50

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

1 comment

John K Adams
01:02 Apr 16, 2020

Your close adherence to the style and jargon of a real clinical trial undermined what might have been a more interesting read. The objectivity forced a distance from the character and made him a less engaging character. The ironic ending was hopefully fanciful and not realistic.

Reply

Show 0 replies
RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.