Lack of concentration

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barnesrickw

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Not to sure if this qualifies as a disability, but I've had end stage renal disease on dialysis for almost seven years, and one of the side effects is "loss of mental acuity". I received a transplant a little over a year ago, and some of my ability to think has returned, but not all. I chose this hobby, because of the challenge, but I'm having a real problem finishing projects. I have so many parts made, but no complete engines. I know it doesn't sound like a problem, or one that could be solved by "just finish it", but I was wondering if there are others with concentration problems, and what they do to cope. Looking at the side effects of the medications I need to take 'til death do me part, the problem will stick around a while.
 

Swifty

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What a coincidence, I'm sitting here on dialysis at the moment reading the forum. I've been on haemodialysis for 18 months now, but have not YET suffered those side effects, gives me something to look forward to. :eek: I seem to recall reading something about that before, better not come too soon, as I do my dialysis at home and I would not want to make a mistake with setting up.

Dialysis sure infringes on my machining time, have it every second day, but I'm feeling great and have a positive attitude. I'm positive I won't win the lottery, and so far it's worked.

Paul.
 

abby

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Unfinished projects is "model engineers" disease and I don't know of anyone who doesn't suffer from it .
 

Tin Falcon

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rick:

Abby I think is mostly right. It is something many of us struggle with.

I have not been able to completely machine and assemble a model in a few years.

I work as a scale mechanic and have serviced the scales of several Dialysis centers . So I have a slight glimpse of what the patients have to go though.


That said I offer a suggestion that may help the concentration. buy a copy of the book Drawing on the right side of the brain by Betty Edwards.
I think if you can teach yourself to shift to right side creative brain mode, you can apply this to machining. This should allow you to concentrate on completing one part and feel really good dong it then repeat the process and complete and engine.

Worth a try the worst side effect is learning how to draw free hand.
more info here

http://www.drawright.com/
Tin
 

mcostello

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I don't know if this will help, but, I am right handed and thought it would be interesting to learn to write left handed. Gave me headaches the first few times. Now I can do it but it still does not look pretty. Maybe the same dynamics going on. Maybe worth a try as it's free.
 

Tin Falcon

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Writing left (oposite) hand is one of the exercises in the books.
It is a little more involved than just that. the book can be had used for a couple of bucks.
Tin
 

barnesrickw

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Thank you for the responses I'll look for that book. Some days any side of my brain working would be great. I do take some comfort that I'm not alone in the unfinished project category.

Swiftly, I was a home hemo patient too. I used a NexStage for most of the years I was on dialysis. I came awful close to checking out because I could not eat for a period. 6'3" and got down to 148 pounds. Had polycystic, so the pain was pretty intense. So stay healthy, And fight the good fight. Thank your spouse, or whoever is helping you at home daily. (If you have a fistula, learn to use button holes! My arm is almost pretty compared to most). If you ever have any questions. or just need an understanding ear, feel free to contact me. Any questions about a transplant, and life after, feel free to ask too. I could talk ESRD all day :)

Rick
 

Swifty

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Rick, I have PKD as well. I use a fresenius machine, I have just had another fistula made by shifting a vein in my arm to a better position for needling, haven't started using it yet, but will have to soon as the old one is playing up too much. I'm actually pretty well informed about dialysis, I'm a teleconnect volunteer for people who are worried about starting dialysis or just have a few questions. I also attend talks given by the renal team for people about to start dialysis, I give a short talk about home dialysis.

Where about's are you located?

Paul.
 

barnesrickw

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Muskegon Michigan. My clinic had me do similar stuff. That is a huge advantage you have, home dialysis can be very stressful for some. A high percentage of care partners opt out of being one in one way or another. An independent patient helps avoid that. My wife is an ICU nurse and works third shift, so the first thing I learned was to start myself and put my own needles in so I would not have to disturb her when I ran. Six days a week for about five of the years I was on dialysis. Even when your mind turns to mush, it's hard to forget how to set the machine up at that interval. Did anybody else in your family have PKD? I was one of the 1 in 50,000 that is the first in the family to have PKD.

PKD, any back pain?
 

Swifty

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Rick, mine was hereditary, I spoke to someone yesterday who is like you, it just popped up with no family history. I only have back pain if I burst a cyst, apart from general muscular back pain. My training hospital did a trial on the Nxstage machines, but was not happy with the clearance rates, and they had to dialyse every day. My every second day routine gives me 73% clearance rates.

Don't know how the US handles it, but in Australia everything is provided free, machine, plumbing, consumables etc. I even get a $2000 annual payment from the government to cover power and water, as well as a rebate on my power bill and 450 litres of free water every day.

Paul.
 

barnesrickw

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While you are on dialysis you qualify for disability and Medicare. It covers 80%. If you have a secondary insurance you are ok. The estimated cost per patient in the US is about $80,000 per year, last time I checked. Transplant ($125,000) is covered, but the anti-rejection meds, $4,000 - $6,000 a month are not. You need to find a real good prescription plan for that. My co-pays for the meds alone is about $500/month. They cancel your disability and Medicare between a year to three after your transplant. My treatment and the 16 surgeries over the since 2005 has cost over $1M. My economic position has changed dramatically in the last seven years. I think we saved so little on the electric, we didn't bother. But I'm alive and kicking, and as soon as I find some sucker willing to hire a 48 year old renal patient, I'll be back in the game...
 

barnesrickw

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The clearance is not as good with NxStage. That's why I treated six days a week, three to four hours a day. Having done both, I felt I little less drained on the NxStage. And yes, burst cysts suck. So do football size kidneys.
 

Swifty

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I also had football size kidneys, I had one removed June 2012 to make room for a future transplant, after that one was taken out it was then that I started dialysis. We have a fairly good medical system over here, everyone is covered by Medicare, this gives you treatment at a public hospital or a general practitioners that will bill the government direct (but not all, the GP that I go to charges me $65 per visit, with about $35 rebated from Medicare). The main problem with operations in public hospitals is the waiting list time.

If I recall correctly, the cost of dialysis in hospital is about $60,000 per year, but home dialysis is only about $40,000, but there are not that many people doing home haemodialysis. After transplant, which is free, I believe that the ongoing anti rejection medications are covered by Medicare, meaning that we only pay $5.90 per prescription.

I do have private health insurance, this is a great benefit if I go to a private hospital, I was in one recently when I had the vein shifted in my arm, I saw the invoice that was paid by my health fund, they were charged $3000 per day for the room, my annual premium for myself and my wife only comes to $3,600 so it is well worth having.

Paul.
 

barnesrickw

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Moral of the story, don't get sick. :) I had a lot of time to research while on dialysis, and it turns out about 70% of people on dialysis are there due to not controlling type 2 diabetes or hypertension. Some changes in that could really reduce the strain ESRD puts on Medicare. Prevent the long, long waiting list for donor kidneys. Well, this thread went in an unexpected direction. Good luck with everything. Sounds like you are well on top of things.
 

Swifty

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Your right, this topic has certainly gone off track, it was the same when I was attending a dialysis ward, a lot of people had diabetes as well. As I understand it, over here people with diabetes and ESRD will not get placed on a doner waiting list. I wish you all the best, keep as well as you can, the alternatives are not great.

Paul.
 

Wizard69

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Unfinished projects is "model engineers" disease and I don't know of anyone who doesn't suffer from it .
Oh so true, especially if you are still working for a living.
 

Wizard69

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Moral of the story, don't get sick. :)
Sometimes you don't have a choice! It can be especially frustrating when heredity is a factor in many of these diseases.
I had a lot of time to research while on dialysis, and it turns out about 70% of people on dialysis are there due to not controlling type 2 diabetes or hypertension.
As a diabetic I'm well aware of where things can go. I try not to dwell on it.
Some changes in that could really reduce the strain ESRD puts on Medicare. Prevent the long, long waiting list for donor kidneys. Well, this thread went in an unexpected direction. Good luck with everything. Sounds like you are well on top of things.
The only other thing I can recommend is to browse the medical papers every six months or so, the world of medicine is changing rapidly. For example many of the drugs used to treat diabetes didn't even exist a few years ago. Many of the research papers are tough to read if you don't have medical training, your doctor should be doing much of that reading. Unfortunately the world is a vast place and things can get overlooked.
 

barnesrickw

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Yep, it's a roll of the dice sometimes. Tough to lose your financial security due to a condition that just popped up one day. But, I got my health (relatively speaking), got my family and got a roof over my head. Maybe some day I'll even have a Taig mill to go with my lathe. Life's pretty good.

I'm diabetic too after the transplant. Side effect of prednisone I think. Saw pig kidneys being looked into for transplant. That would be great! I mean I love bacon. So I watch closely, especially for advances overseas. Hear they have some immune system manipulation that can eliminate the need for anti-rejection drugs, and more importantly the $20,000/year cost.

Oh, when I showed my wife your post about how they treat you in Australia, she replied "I can get a job as a nurse there too". So who knows, Aussie, Aussie, Aussie.
 

Nerdz

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Ive noticed Ive gotten such a "disease" in other projects. You make something, get it to 90% complete and just dont finish it. Why? I think its because the difficult part is over. Or maybe we dont want to see ourselves fail when we put it together.
 
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