Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welcome

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Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welcome

Postby serioushat » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:06 am

Hey lovely folks, I am having a Burning Man related dilemma that I'd love some feedback on. Hopefully this is the right place to ask and not an annoying newbie question, apologies in advance if it is. Here goes:

I have a ticket and a fantastic chance to go this year with an excellent dude who is super prepared and bringing a camper (bonus!) If I go, I also will work hard to be super prepared myself. I went to Burning Man once before in '99, so pretty long ago, but haven't been back since. Sounds like a great chance to go back, right? It is! I went to my regional Burn this year for the first time and loved it.

However, unfortunately I have been in two accidents in the last 2.5 months, and have had two concussions in that time (what are the odds, I know). I'm improving, but still a bit wonky, and at this point am having trouble deciding a) whether going to Burning Man anyway is the raddest idea ever, because seriously what a good opportunity and who knows if you get chances to do neat things again in your life, OR b) probably ill-advised, since if I get injured a third time it has the potential to be a pretty bad scene.

I'm pretty torn, I will be super sad if I have to miss the Burn but don't want to do something totally reckless and dumb, either. So, more experienced Burners, feedback would be appreciated. Of course, radical self-reliance and all that, so of course the decision and consequences thereof are mine alone and I am not asking anyone to decide for me. However, I would like to hear people's more recent experiences on the playa, though, and whether going out when one is not 100% health wise is ill-advised or not. What are the odds of getting reinjured? I mean I know it can happen and am not too worried about minor stuff. I'd be more concerned with, for instance, getting caught in a dust storm away from camp and being hit with flying debris. I think in 99 we had pretty tame weather so not sure how likely more serious injury would be.

If anyone wants to chime in, thanks in advance for your wisdom, and if I can't join y'all this year, then hopefully next year I can.
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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby maladroit » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:09 am

Ask your doctor, who is the person most familiar with your current medical state and the activities that you should avoid.
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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby serioushat » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:42 am

Good point and one I forgot to include in my original post! My doctor has said I likely could go, however it could go either way, and she's told me to consider whether I will be well enough to have a good time. She has emphasized strongly the importance of not getting any more concussions for a good period of time (probably six months to a year). My concerns are therefore more about whether I'd enjoy Burning Man if I'm still not 100% health wise, and also the possibilities of getting reinjured and how likely or unlikely that might be. Thanks for the advice, should have included the info about my doctor's advice in my first post.
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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby moonrise » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:12 am

I can only do about half of the things out there due to a scewed up, chronic, low back condition (due to a botched back surgery in 1999). I have a great time!

I usually buy the $55 medivac insurance. It covers (most of?) your expense for ambulance or helicopter to Reno Hospital. I'm semi-local to Reno so I do get the added bonus of 12 months of coverage since it only covers you for Reno area hospitals. I haven't looked into it yet this year but I think it's listed on the Burning Man web page.

Maybe bring a motorcycle helmet for emergency use during severe storms?
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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby AntiM » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:06 am

I went two days after finishing radiation therapy. I went with a huge hernia. I have asthma and a bad back. I just got a JP drain removed and may still have complications. I find the burn you have is your decision. The laid back burn hanging out in shade structures is a good burn too. Just decide you wont' get so fucked up you can't make good health decisions.
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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby plantmandan » Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:45 am

serioushat wrote: I'm pretty torn, I will be super sad if I have to miss the Burn but don't want to do something totally reckless and dumb, either.


Then don't do something reckless or dumb, whether on the playa or off. Truth be told, you will now need to minimize the risk injury wherever you are. BRC is rather safe, certainly no more hazardous than wherever you live the rest of the year, unless you don't want it to be.

You seem to have a fantastic opportunity to go and a potentially great camping situation. Think long and hard before passing that up.
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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby gyre » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:49 am

Make sure you get enough rest, and eat well enough.
Remember the altitude too.
All of this can be hard out there.

You may need a great deal of sleep for some time to come.
If you need rest, make sure you get it.
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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:13 am

Wear a helmet! 8)



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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby Bob » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:14 am

Stay home.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby Lonesomebri » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:51 am

Your doctore recommends you avoid getting anymore concussions? I'd get a new doctor.



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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby wh..sh » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:54 am

Lonesomebri wrote:Your doctore recommends you avoid getting anymore concussions? I'd get a new doctor.

*screen wipes* you, stop it! :lol:
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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby trilobyte » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:08 am

What maladroit said. If you're concerned about your body's physical condition (and that is a very legitimate concern), talk to your doctor and make sure you're not suffering from so other kind of fallout from those accidents. If he/she gives you a clean bill of health, then it's just a matter of deciding whether you want to go.

You've been to the event once, so you've had firsthand experience of what the dust and the conditions could be like. Between that and the recent regional event, you also know the potential for awesomeness.
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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby Bob » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:21 am

No, really, STAY HOME.

Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby Bob » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:23 am

Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby ygmir » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:32 am

and, no more chasing parked cars!!
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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:37 am

HOw many concussions do you usually get in the course of one week?
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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby maladroit » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:45 am

In any case, it's camping in the desert, not extreme snowboarding. However, there is a possibility of things going sideways at high speed. If one more head blow will kill you, even while wearing a helmet, you take your chances. Going outside is not as safe as staying in your living room...usually.

Feeling a little default? Are you taking a shower every day? Ask your doctor if Playa is right for you.
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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:47 am

maladroit wrote:Going outside is not as safe as staying in your living room...usually.

For instance, in the case of someone in a physically abusive language--muuuuuch better outside.

Accidents in the home are a huge cause of death.
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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:58 am

So let's sum this up. Three choices for you.
1. Get a helmet. Many stylish choices are available.
2. Stay home.
3. Or do whatever the fuck you want to do.

:)
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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby ygmir » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:05 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:So let's sum this up. Three choices for you.
1. Get a helmet. Many stylish choices are available.
2. Stay home.
3. Or do whatever the fuck you want to do.

:)


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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby stew » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:17 am

I don't remember where I saw that, but there was a statistic about injuries at Burning Man. If I remember correctly, leading were cuts and sprained ankles, followed by dehydration. One thing that you should look out for is tripping hazards - lots of ropes and rebar on the ground.

And it is perfectly acceptable to wear a helmet, just make sure it is brightly lit at nighttime!
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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby Savannah » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:26 am

stew wrote:I don't remember where I saw that, but there was a statistic about injuries at Burning Man. If I remember correctly, leading were cuts and sprained ankles, followed by dehydration. One thing that you should look out for is tripping hazards - lots of ropes and rebar on the ground.

And it is perfectly acceptable to wear a helmet, just make sure it is brightly lit at nighttime!


From the 2011 AfterBurn Report . . . :)

Approximately 38% of the total patient volume involved minor injuries such as blisters or cuts. Other less common patient categories included dehydration (6.1% of total patients), orthopedic injuries (6.9%), wound rechecks (2.8%), and eye problems (5.3%). Other medical care categories included urinary tract infections (3.6%), difficulty breathing (1.2%), abdominal pain/diarrhea (2.6%), burns (2.1%), allergies/insect bites (3.3%), headaches (1.8%), and lacerations requiring sutures (2.1%). All other chief complaint categories were at or below 1%. The numbers for alcohol- and drug-related patients continue to be remarkably low for an event of this size. In 2011 ESD and HGH treated a total of 57 drug related patients (0.9%), and 85 total alcohol-related patients (1.6%). These numbers do not necessarily represent drug and/or alcohol overdoses, only patients for whom drugs or alcohol were the primary reason for seeking medical care.

Of the 33 patients transported to Reno hospitals for additional care in 2011 (a decrease of 27% from 2010), 28 were stable patients transported by ground ambulance, and 5 (a 55% decrease from 2010) were deemed critical enough to be flown out by helicopter. The decreased need to transport patients off playa can be attributed at least in part to the availability of diagnostic equipment such as lab tests, x-ray, and ultrasound on playa, services previously unavailable on playa.


http://afterburn.burningman.com/11/play ... gency.html

No one can say what kind of mischief you'll get into, serioushat, so this decision is between you and your doctor, but if there's any event at which you can hear a helmet all week without being stared at, it's this one. Getting the insurance Moonrise recommends might be a really sweet idea. Best of luck to you. :)
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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby trilobyte » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:32 am

theCryptofishist wrote:HOw many concussions do you usually get in the course of one week?


I'm reminded of the old bugs bunny cartoon where coffee's being served and sugar cubes are being doled out and bugs innocently asks "how many lumps do you want?"

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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby BBadger » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:39 am

Lonesomebri wrote:It's better to regret things you have done than to regret things you haven't done.


I love this quote.
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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby Lonesomebri » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:45 am

BBadger wrote:
Lonesomebri wrote:It's better to regret things you have done than to regret things you haven't done.


I love this quote.


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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby stew » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:46 am

Lonesomebri wrote:It's better to regret things you have done than to regret things you haven't done.

Work as an EMT for a while, then you'll meet many people heavily regretting things they've done.

Taking risks is fun all you risk is looking like a fool or damaging $2000 equipment, but when it comes to life-threatening injuries, I'll pass.
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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby Lonesomebri » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:14 pm

stew wrote:Work as an EMT for a while, then you'll meet many people heavily regretting things they've done.

Taking risks is fun all you risk is looking like a fool or damaging $2000 equipment, but when it comes to life-threatening injuries, I'll pass.


Looks like staying inside is the only option. Work as an EMT !?!? No thanks, far too risky.
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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby wh..sh » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:32 pm

There is only one thing I will say to people with health issues. Listen to your body.
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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby stew » Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:24 pm

Lonesomebri wrote:Work as an EMT !?!? No thanks, far too risky.

Didn't feel that risky to me, at least physically. Mentally, yes, I would guess EMTs are just as likely as doctors to become alcoholics or pill abusers after all the shit they see (figurative shit, even though you do see more literal shit than you wish).
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Re: Debating whether to go this year, advice for a noob welc

Postby stew » Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:26 pm

wh..sh wrote:There is only one thing I will say to people with health issues. Listen to your body.

I fully agree. Listen to your body, your doctor and your gut feeling. Don't listen to us, for all you know we're just a bunch of drunks with access to the internet.
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