Drugs and machining

Discussion in 'Machining with Disabilities' started by Cogsy, Jan 13, 2017.

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  1. Jan 13, 2017 #1

    Cogsy

    Cogsy

    Cogsy

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    I don't have an actual disability as such but I do have a chronic back injury which requires constant medication. Due to complications with my previous medication I've been changed to some different drugs, one of which affects my mental 'acuity'. Basically, I pretty much always feel like I've just downed 2 quick beers on a hot day.

    So although I'm legally allowed to, I don't feel right to drive at the moment, though I expect I'll build up a tolerance to the effects eventually and be ok to drive again. In the meantime I have been continuing to use my machines but I am finding it much more difficult than usual and I'm much more prone to making stupid mistakes (and I usually make plenty of those anyway). So I'm wondering how others deal with side effects of medications while machining and if you've any tips on dealing with the issues that crop up.
     
  2. Jan 13, 2017 #2

    mcostello

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    Try to do the less demanding parts such as finishing, deburring and such till a clear head prevails.
     
  3. Jan 13, 2017 #3

    Sansspaceship

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    Hi Cogsy,
    This is a difficult one, as also have back and neck issues and take my fair share of meds. Pain is one of those area's where i don't believe people understand what it is about unless they have suffered chronic pain and even then it affects people in different ways. So please don't take the below as me saying i understanding your condition or the functioning of your pain.

    This is how i handle it -
    (i) i constantly play with my timings and dosages (keep an accurate diary) to find sweet spots.
    (ii) i find one of the big issues is fatigue from the pain, i don't feel guilty laying down in the arvo for an hour to rest or sleep too recharge if need be.
    (iii) never push myself (to do machining) when tired or agitated
    (iv) the fog of pain killers - more difficult to manage, i cut a dosage by half for one drugs as it reduced my ability to think straight.. which just means that my pain threshold is reduced... again all a balance. But in my case would rather my brain functions at 90% and my body at say 60%.

    Now this is just common dog sense, but all the more important when taking meds... do one thing at a time and give it 100% of your attention; and my goldern rule ..... if i start to make a bunch of small mistakes ... its time to call it a day and do something that doesn't involve spinning bits at 10K rpm. Note when i say mistakes.... i mean something that you would normally do without error, not new learning experiences. :)

    Good luck,
    .Adrian
     
    dalem9 likes this.
  4. Jan 13, 2017 #4

    Blogwitch

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    Al,

    I am on about 30 different tablets a day, many duplicated during the day as they have to go with meals. They don't really bother me, just injecting oneself each day can become painful if you hit a hair follicle, drag it out and try somewhere else on my tummy.

    But anyway, some of those do have side effects, but nothing to worry about as they are mainly for diabetes and getting my nerve endings more receptive to the stronger stuff.

    The ones I do have to watch are my morphine patches to kill the pain of a long standing spinal injury, if I don't change them regularly (every 3 days). I get very bad withdrawal symptoms, now those can really affect you, and I suspect the longer you have your back problem, you might escalate your meds to that sort of system. I couldn't go in my shop when I had them first prescribed, and they had to be gradually raised until I was up to my full dose, which took just over a year. I was almost chewing bricks before the doc gave me the go ahead to just get in shop and take it steady.
    The ones I really don't like taking are the topper uppers, which I suspect are the type you are on. High codeine and paracetamol base, if I take my full allowance of 8 per day, I get the symptoms you do, feeling drunk, dizziness, I even get numbness in my fingers, once that happens, I wouldn't go anywhere near my shop. With regards to my brain, that was messed up years ago, so I don't worry about that, just sit down and try to work things out.

    If you are only just starting to have drug treatment, eventually your body should become accustomed to it and most, if not all the bad side effects will disappear, just enjoy the good effects while you can, I was high as a kite for nearly a year when started on my morphine.

    John
     
  5. Jan 13, 2017 #5

    ninefinger

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    My personal advice is to stay away from the machines. A serious injury is only "one stupid mistake" away...the first mistake of the session may be the only one...i.e no "warnings"
    You can still play in the shop - just do those little things that need manual work (hack sawing, filing to shape, layout work, etc) or spend some time cleaning until things clear up.

    Mike
     
  6. Jan 14, 2017 #6

    Cogsy

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    Thanks for the ideas guys. Stopping machining isn't really an option as I have very limited time periods where I can actually get into the shed so I don't want to waste it. I know it's not as safe as it should be but I'm only risking my own health at least, which is why I won't drive currently.

    I had a session this morning and I tried hard to concentrate on one thing at a time, which helped a little, plus I'm making a point of not getting as close to the spinning things as usual - like no sanding parts on the lathe, power on filing, etc. I did manage to get my chip brush too close to a spinning 5/16 endmill which promptly stripped all the bristles from it and made quite a mess, but I think I'll be able to stay safe as long as I keep away from the higher risk activities.
     
  7. Jan 14, 2017 #7

    Cogsy

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    John,

    I have a bit of a story about morphine that may be of interest to you (it's long winded but I think it is of value to you):

    My father developed bad arthritis many years ago and over time his pain medications were increased in strength until eventually he was prescribed Oxycodone (morphine essentially) which is quite hard to get on prescription down here. Over time, as his condition worsened, his dose of Oxy got higher and higher until he was almost maxed out on the stuff. Even then he continued to complain of the pain so I imagine it was fairly severe. He was on tablets several times a day and if he was late taking them he got very bad withdrawal symptoms very quickly. He also suffered other side effects from them, like sweating, trouble peeing, craving sugary foods and other weird stuff.

    After taking the Oxy for about 8 years, at 78 years old he had an accident where he was crushed underneath the car he was working on (very lucky to survive at all, long story) and suffered a shattered pelvis, broken shoulder, several broken ribs, a punctured lung and many scrapes, bruises and cuts as well as having a heart attack bought on by the extreme trauma. I was at the hospital when he arrived by helicopter and he was in a terrible state of pain but due to his high normal Oxy load, the doctors were not able to give him much 'extra' for the pain of his injuries (this is bad enough but not the point of the story).

    Anyway, he was given medications to block the withdrawal symptoms of the Oxy and, once his Oxy load had reduced, he was put onto other pain medication for his injuries.

    While he was in hospital he was seen by pain specialists who explained to him and us, in layman's terms, that Oxy was a very good short-term pain killer but over time it could actually CAUSE pain itself, which is why his Oxy dose had to be increased so much over time. These specialists recommended that he cease using Oxy completely and use alternative medication for his crippling arthritis. He thought this was a good idea and while he was in the hospital he continued to take the anti-withdrawal meds and ceased Oxy use.

    This is the really interesting bit - as he healed from his injuries his alternative pain meds were reduced as the pain subsided and he eventually got to the point he is at now (3 years later), where he takes over the counter paracetamol as required for his 'crippling' arthritis. Some days he takes none at all! Now I'm not saying he never had arthritis pain, but he got so used to the very high levels of pain while taking Oxy that he can now stand the 'actual' pain of his arthritis without a great deal of medication at all.

    I too was offered oxy for my back but I'm staying well away from it based on Dad's experience and the recommendations of those pain specialists. Now I have no idea about your situation but I thought I'd let you know as perhaps it might be something you want to raise with your own medical people. I know the GP who put Dad on the Oxy in the first place did not have much knowledge of the drug at all and it is my understanding that it is best reserved for treating extreme pain in terminal patients, rather than long-term use.

    Hopefully this is of value to you, I had to let you know as I'd never heard about this before Dad's accident.
     
  8. Jan 14, 2017 #8

    Blogwitch

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    Al,

    I actually attend a pain clinic every couple of years, where they revue all medications and how your body is reacting to them, and then after a couple of weeks checking me over, they adjust my meds and techniques to reduce my pain.
    It never gets it completely pain free, but bearable, and that is where the codeine/paracetamol comes in, I top up with those when really needed.

    They actually gave me a very good tens machine, which doesn't work with everyone but it did wonders for me. Unfortunately, when my wife died, I had no-one to put the pads on for me as I couldn't reach the area they were needed. It was when I was using that they put me on an epilepsy drug, using one of it's side effects to allow the nerve endings to be more receptive. They left me with those after I couldn't use the tens unit as they said it will also work just as well with my morphine. As and when we get to live in the same house together, I will train my partner how to put the pads on so that I can start to use the tens unit again.
    I rely on the pain clinic to keep me going as they are real specialists in it's control, using everything, including acupuncture if needed, and I now know that it isn't GP BS just to get you out of their surgery.

    John
     
  9. Jan 14, 2017 #9

    Sansspaceship

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    Hi John,
    The epilepsy drug was the one i had to halve as it made me just too dopey...... well more than usual anway :confused:

    Glad you get some relief from a tens machine its nice to have a non drug option to get a little relief.

    Hi Cogsy - Agree with you thinking! At the end of the day we need to still enjoy life and work with within our limitations. Probably not the most politically correct answer but if the risk can be managed ..... keep on living! At the end of the day you can be killed by walking you doggy :rolleyes:

    Cheers,
    .adrian
     
  10. Jan 14, 2017 #10

    Herbiev

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    Cogsy has raised a good point in the fact that opioid analgesics actually create a hypersensitivity to pain. After three bad motor vehicle accidents ( cars rear ending me) I had severe neck injuries. Over a period of 20 years of taking MS Contin ( morphine sulphate) in ever increasing doses the pain was so bad my shed time was virtually nil. It was only after being diagnosed with chronic lung disease that I was taken off the Morphine due to its effect on the respiratory system, that the pain level dropped dramatically.
     
  11. Jan 21, 2017 #11

    Cogsy

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    So I've been doing a fair bit of machining, when able, over the last week or so and I think I'm starting to get used to the new meds (I don't feel quite so whacked out anymore). My biggest issue now is misreading the plans and turning dials the wrong way. Not too much of an issue with home engineering but very soon I'll be back at the controls of the multi-million dollar scanning electron microscope that I use for my research.

    It's actually very similar to operating a mill when moving the specimens around but at a much smaller scale. My working envelope can be as little as 3mm and it is possible to crash into the electron gun or one of the electron detectors. As detectors vary in price but start around $20,000 and an electron gun crash runs upward of $100,000, I really want to avoid having an issue with the microscope. Hopefully the mental fogginess goes away completely before long.
     
  12. Nov 13, 2018 #12

    tim9lives

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    Yeah Adrian... It’s that Gabapentin aka Neurontin that makes me a walking zombie also. It’s a nasty state of mind. And bumping into the walls when on that stuff.
    That said.... for those crossed wire nuerological pain issues... those epilepsy drugs like Neurontin do work well. That said... when I need the Neurontin I don’t operate the lathe much. I might piddle in the workshop, but it’s udu light duty and maybe a good time to clean the shop and put up the loose tools.
     
  13. Nov 13, 2018 #13

    DJP

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    No one has mentioned CBD oil (Cannabis) as I used it after fracturing two vertebrae in my back. It doesn't have the side effects and it's not addictive. To get it for medical use I had to be registered by my GP. The CBD oil was shipped directly to my house due to extreme government controls. This oil has the THC removed so you will not get high and the CBD extract deals with chronic pain very effectively.

    It's an option for your consideration.
     
  14. Nov 14, 2018 #14

    vederstein

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    Machining with Drugs?

    I've never actually tried, but I'm not really sure how to hold those little capsules in the lathe.

    ...Ved.
     
  15. Nov 15, 2018 #15

    smittman

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    I also take gabapentin 2700 mgs a day for neuropathic pain aka constant burning like hornets with flame throwers pain in my thighs. That along with 12 meds for congestive heart failure After a few months the dizziness subsides some but the draggy feeling doesn't. I'm now 60 and always wanted to build steam engines. So I've put together a 12x24 shed with air and a few old machines and I have a reason to get up and get moving every day. So don't let the meds stop you go slow and steady. What I used to do in a hour now takes 5 or 6 but it's not a race. My wife is a big help and loves steam things as much as me so it's a shared passion. I read the posts here every day have learned alot. The people here are so willing to help and answer questions without being Judgemental. It's like the old saying of all the things that I've lost in my life I miss my mind the most.
     

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