Concentration, the ability to stay focused on the task at hand! Its a great concept, but it is not always easy to achieve! Distractions can come at you from anywhere at any time. This particular blog has taken over a week to write, as my life has been bombarded with a series of minor and major events that made writing this a challenge!
The toughest problem I ‘ve had to deal with to date is having difficulty breathing. It came about from having my immune system weakened by the treatment needed to protect my vision from further loss (peripheral vision is mostly gone for good), Prednisone. A high dose of Prednisone taken since July 5, 2017 led to the development of pneumonia (3 times), diabetes (blood sugar levels change drastically but the level of Prednisone drops, so too does the need for externally produced insulin) and allowed Valley Fever to attack my system. With the pneumonia and Valley Fever hitting me concurrently, Every breath became a new study in pain. It became impossible to lie down in bed or to sit back with my feet propped up in my recliner, as that would put me into a coughing fit. For a 2 week period, I managed to get what little sleep I got while sitting at my desk and hoping to not fall out of the chair. To complicate matters a bit further, the antibiotic and flucanozole (Valley Fever medication) can create a very nasty problem if taken together, heart arrhythmia. What a thrill!
As I try to write, the problems from above make it difficult to sit and stay focused on the tasks at hand. It seems that in order to write cohesive sentences, one has to be able to breathe, imagine that. Thus my writing time slips away. I’ll resume this later! When I got back to this post, I realized I had not concentrated on writing, instead I worked on a different aspect of my photography.
Since I am also trying to scan some of my old negatives, I found that regardless of the task I am trying to get done, not coughing becomes important. As the drugs tackle their respective diseases, I can sense the improvement. I managed to scan in about 600 images and now the task is to apply key words to their meta file, rate and sort them. It all seemed easy until I realized most of these images are about 18 years old and I have to rely on my memory to figure out their location. My memory is ok and up to the task, but then I get hit with another of Prednisone’s quirks, lack of attention span. I find myself unable to stay on my desired task for more than 15 minutes and most times less than 10 before I start getting stir crazy and need to get out of the chair and head to the kitchen. I am not hungry or thirsty and when I get to the kitchen, all I can think of is “I was doing something in the office” and about the time I figure out I should get back to writing or sorting images, the dogs want to play! Once again concentration quietly slips away!
The good news is that my Prednisone dose is now down to 10 mgs. This makes its side effects lessen and helps me return to a better level of functionality. I find that since I am breathing better, I am having less trouble staying on my selected tasks. However, I try not to resist too much when the dogs want to play!