Monday, May 26, 2014

The Lab Rat goes home

Field of very big Telescopes
Where in heavens name are we?
I got home from the SPSP (the SouthPacific Star Party) in Wiruna NSW at 19:30 last night. My sister & I drove up, leaving Melbourne on Thursday morning and staying in a little cabin park in Wagga Wagga that evening then continuing along the Olympic Highway on Friday to arrive at the campsite at 3 in the afternoon. We were both very tired, but managed to get a fabulous hour with a fellow who let us look through his telescope at Saturn, the Tarantula nebula, some globular clusters, the Jewel box, and then pointed out how the dark spaces in the Milky Way form the Emu, which was observed and pictured in rock art by the Aborigines thousands of years ago.
Seeing Saturn through the telescope made my gut jump. 
I haven't been writing much about the 'Closed Loop' project for a while, as really, nothing has been happening apart from trying to fine tune my levels. I've spent 4 or 5 days intensely monitoring food and some times I think it really doesn't make much difference, they will still go awol if they want to. I put in a new sensor on Saturday, sitting on the floor of the tent, the last one died about 1:30am in the middle of all the fracas with the late camper arrivals on Friday night and I just couldn't be bothered doing anything about it even though I was awake. I was scheduled to put in a new pump line on Sunday but after thinking about travelling for 12 hours to get back home, I decided to put it in on Saturday, once again while sitting on my sleeping bag in the tent.
Today I went back into the hospital to set up the 4 day at home trial. I think the thing that most worries me about this is just the intensity of all the things I have to do each morning and evening.
I exit the hospital armed with 4, 2 litre containers for urine collection, 1 smartphone, 1 translator gizmo, 1 laptop computer, 1 actigraph wristband, 1 daily sleep diary, 1 sleep questionnaire (p/day), check sheets for each day, instructions for connecting all the gizmo's, oh and don't forget to have a 40 minute exercise session each evening before dinner, do the cognition test before bed and when you get up, check the pump settings after you disconnect in the morning, wake up half an hour early to take your thyroid medication and make sure you tick off the check sheet!
This is now my life as a Lab Rat for the next four days. 

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