Will I still be able to go?

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Will I still be able to go?

Postby shikaro » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:38 pm

Sooo, I made a little boo-boo and dropped a cinder block on my barefoot this weekend. My big toe is probably going to loose the nail because of how black/blue it is underneath it. I'm pretty sure I don't have any broken bones (Going to the doctor tomorrow) but I've never lost a toe nail before so I'm not sure how painful it is going to be in 46 days when the burn starts.

My question for you guys is, since I'm 90% sure I won't have a big toenail when the burn starts... Would it even be a good idea for me to go? I'll obviously be asking my doctor as well tomorrow, but it would be my guess that he/she hasn't been to burning man to understand the conditions...

Please help! I'm kinda freaking out... thank you
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby Sham » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:42 pm

In my opinion, you'll be just fine. Don't worry and just show up.

There you have it!

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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby Lonesomebri » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:44 pm

Ask the doc, alot depends on how determined you are to keep the wound safe, moisturized, etc. Always have the toe protected, covered, nurse it, use it for sympathy among the compassionate. Explain to the doc about the alkaline dust and all to get ideas for on playa care. Hell, this would not stop, nor freak me out.
Last edited by Lonesomebri on Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby Bless » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:44 pm

Just make sure to bring comfy footwear.
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby Eric » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:49 pm

Talk to your doctor.
Talk to your doctor.
Talk to your doctor.

That said, let your doctor know you'll be in an environment where the air is literally filled with desiccating alkaline dust the consistency of talcum powder that has a strong tendencies to dry-out & crack injuries (cf: "playa foot") All that said - it's probably survivable, but there is the potential for a serious problem as well.
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby AfricanFire » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:09 pm

I've lost multiple toenails before (all at once - don't ask). If the nail falls off, it hurts for a while because the nail bed is tender, but it dries out and toughens up pretty fast. It still hurts to push directly onto the nail bed, but it isn't a constant raw feeling. I have a chronic disease that makes foot injuries heal really really slowly compared to normal people, and my doc didn't make me do anything special after the initial rawness ended. Make sure you're wearing comfortable shoes and you're keeping your feet clean and moisturized and you should be OK. I'd wear something with steel toe caps that would create a cage around your toes so you don't stub them by mistake. Obviously check with your doctor first. It will have started to grow back by then.
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby Token » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:09 pm

Actually, your toe will fester and you will be in constant agony.

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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby Savannah » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:31 pm

Eric wrote:Talk to your doctor.
Talk to your doctor.
Talk to your doctor.

That said, let your doctor know you'll be in an environment where the air is literally filled with desiccating alkaline dust the consistency of talcum powder that has a strong tendencies to dry-out & crack injuries (cf: "playa foot") All that said - it's probably survivable, but there is the potential for a serious problem as well.


Yep. Talk to your doctor, tell him about the skin-eating alkali, etc. Tell him going barefoot or in flip-flops will not really be an option and ask if being covered by socks or shoes 24 hours a day will hurt matters (or if you should instead sleep with a light breathable gauze wrap and neosporin or something). Ask what to moisturize with for these circumstances.

If you decide to go, pack at least 3 pairs of broken-in, roomy footwear options, have fresh socks for every day + extra pairs, and bring a bike if at all possible. When I've had a foot injury, sometimes biking was easier than walking.
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby Fan C » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:32 pm

What I would do may or may not be a good idea. However I was paratrooper medic in my youth, I'm good at "keep driving on" wound care.

Just be prepared to clean and bandage as needed. I'd keep my feet buried in boots both to keep dust away and to minimize toe stubs.

However I'm highly motivated and kinda dumb. Your experience will differ. :shock:
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby Lonesomebri » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:39 pm

And when you go, and are out there on the playa at night feeling no pain, don't forget about the toe!!! It, and how you milk the story, is gonna get you that primo ride on that tripping mutant vehicle.
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby Savannah » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:41 pm

Oh--you might also ask your doctor if he's willing to prescribe the antibiotics he would recommend if your toe gets infected. He might not go for it, or maybe you will be significantly healed by late August, but you could tell him how difficult it would be for you to get them in the desert. (You otherwise might have to go to Reno. ESD has a few antibiotics--I think--but sometimes stuff runs low in supply). You could promise not to take them unless an MD at Center Camp ESD diagnoses it as infected and agrees they'd be okay.

Whenever I've needed antibiotics (and was insured) they were dirt cheap.
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby Jackass » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:11 pm

Depending on how hard and how it was smashed, you still may have that toenail in place at that time. Bring some medic/sports tape, that way if it starts to lift just tape that sucker down. Last thing you want is that nail coming off or lifting prematurely, before that new one takes hold...OUCH!

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I've seen some mangled folks that got busted up out there, and were doing their best to hang out on playa without having to leave for the hospital

This guy had an ankle bone about to poke through the skin, he pleaded that we watch his green bike for a minute and not let anyone take it...to watch him walk was painful.
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:11 pm

All those replies and nobody stated the obvious answer!!! :?

Wear a condom on it!!!!!!!!!!!! :lol: 8)
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby Monkeystyle » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:28 pm

also the gates open in 39 days, the man burns in 46 days....
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby Lonesomebri » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:49 pm

FIGJAM wrote:All those replies and nobody stated the obvious answer!!! :?
Wear a condom on it!!!!!!!!!!!! :lol: 8)


Oh yeah, I always forget about those camps.....
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby shikaro » Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:12 am

Thank you all for your replies, I'd like to respond to all of you but that would take too long. I'm less worried now and will definitely tough it out whatever happens. Been waiting too long for this.
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby gyre » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:23 am

Figjam, that's your answer for EVERYTHING!

Someone dropped a computer on my great toe quite some time ago.
Now I may be in the same boat.
The nail appeared to heal and grow out after turning black.
Now, tweaked or something, sore and turning a myriad of color.
I have to go see the doctor and I imagine they will tear it off.
I hope it's not worse than it is now.
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby Jovankat » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:52 am

I think you'll be fine. I lost a big toenail after a water polo goal was dropped on it poolside as a teenager (this was a mandatory gym class, please do not mistake me for a sporty person). My big piece of advice is; get some crutches until you can walk comfortably and normally on the foot. I limped along only putting pressure on the outside of my foot for a few days until all my leg muscles screamed in agony from being used in a weird way. If you haven't lost the nail and started to heal by the time you head out I'd imagine dressing if nicely and wearing a boot that doesn't squish it painfully but does protect it would be fine. You'd probably need to swing by the med tent to get it dressed during the week but that seems like exactly the sort of thing they're there to do... But yeah, talk to you doctor and try not to do any more damage by limping weirdly.

Also for what it's worth I've had 2 friends break the exact same bone in their foot just before going traveling this year. One was 10 hours before flying from Sydney to the UK to coach the Australian Mens Derby team in the world cup and the other was about to go on a regional tour of a theatre show as a sound technician. The really ridiculous thing is both of these girls play roller derby, a very intense physical sport and both of them broke their feet by just stepping off a kerb awkwardly. :roll:

Even if you're on crutches by the time the burn rolls around there are ways to manage that and that is totally something you could get advice and suggestions on from the folks around here so don't panic!
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby skippy3k » Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:04 am

This brings up an interesting topic, but probably not interesting enough to make this thread drift too far. Weeks before leaving for the playa (as in....oh....right about today) I begin to get a little paranoid about getting sick or hurt. Hand sanitizer use increases, I lift things a little more carefully, choose slightly less dangerous hikes and mountain bike trails, etc. I definitely stay away from cinder blocks.
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby AntiM » Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:27 am

MyLarry has had his toenail turn black and fall off more than once. He now wears steel toed loafers to work in. He can't recall if he had a damaged toenail on the playa or not, but chances are likely.

I went to the playa two days after having 16 radiation catheters removed from my breast. I kept the wound area clean and covered, and it was fine. I did not ask my doctor. This is bad advice.

Ask your doctor. And get some steel toed shoes.
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby Jovankat » Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:57 am

skippy3k wrote:This brings up an interesting topic, but probably not interesting enough to make this thread drift too far. Weeks before leaving for the playa (as in....oh....right about today) I begin to get a little paranoid about getting sick or hurt. Hand sanitizer use increases, I lift things a little more carefully, choose slightly less dangerous hikes and mountain bike trails, etc. I definitely stay away from cinder blocks.


Yup. Getting travel insurance is at the top of my to do list for this reason.
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby CaffeineGirl » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:21 am

I usually lose a toe nail or so a year due to hiking down steep trails. Usually the new nail grows in under the old one, then the old one eventually falls off with no pain at all. This process often takes months, but depends on how bad the initial bruising is. The key is absolutely do not pick at the old nail, and if you are walking a lot with shoes on, keep it taped/covered so it does not get prematurely rubbed off.
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby shroom » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:35 am

I've lost a toenail before and like someone else said, it's going to dry out soon. It will be a while before the nail grows back but the skin will harden. Just wear socks and comfy shoes and wash your feet daily. That's needed even without an injury.
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby mdmf007 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:48 am

ESD camps at 3 and 9 will be able to do wound checks for you, but as pointed out earlier were limited to OTC antibiotics. Anything more than that would be at Rampart by Humboldt General Hospital at the 5:15 and esplanade facility.
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby gyre » Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:01 am

Jovankat, may not work for you, but I got medical coverage through the airline as a rider on trip insurance.

Since I kept the stated value low, very cheap.
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby Jovankat » Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:26 am

Yeah there's usually cover included with your credit card when you use it to buy the flights too but I've cancelled that card :? I just need to get my butt into gear, spend an hour comparing them and then pay the $500
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby remi » Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:34 am

See if you can get one of those handicap parking passes. I heard (you may want to verify this with anyone other then me,) that if you have a handicap vehicle pass at the burn, you can register a mutant vehicle easier then if you were healthy... providing you can afford a golf cart and some fuzzy material.
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby andy » Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:43 am

I'm not a doctor, but I do know that the desert is one of the LEAST infectious places on earth. It's not teeming with organisms and bacteria. (I learned this from a video about desert survival after a plane crash - which was actually a management training exercise rather than intended to teach actual survival). I actually think you'll do fine.
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby misfit » Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:15 pm

yes you will be able to go. clean socks and comfy shoes. you"ll forget all about it..........
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Re: Will I still be able to go?

Postby gyre » Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:34 pm

Jovankat wrote:Yeah there's usually cover included with your credit card when you use it to buy the flights too but I've cancelled that card :? I just need to get my butt into gear, spend an hour comparing them and then pay the $500

Yeah, they cut my centurion card into teensy little pieces then an honor guard marched in and burned them.
impressive bit of ceremony though.

i got this coverage as an extra from the airline and the medical was a tack on.
Your airlines may vary.
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