Diabetics on the Playa

Questions, answers, tips & tricks for newbies and veterans alike

keeping insulin cold..

Postby Jennyp » Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:02 pm

well, so obviously I'm diabetic, have never been to BM before, am really really wanting to come this year - is there a medical centre where I could store my insulin? Does anyone know about portable cool packs/fridge type things I could use?

I'm sure it won't be a problem, and I decided ages ago not to let this stop me doing stuff - but it gets hot in the desert, non? And insulin likes it cold..
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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:16 pm

You can buy ice at the center camp--~$2-- a bag. That would mean a) having an ice chest of some sort and b) having your insulin in some sort of insulated lunch bag type thing so that it doesn't freeze. If you don't open your ice chest very often, you should get two days from a bag. Longer if you use block ice.
You can make friends with someone in an RV who will let you use thier refridgerator. If you are looking for a camp (and this is by no means nessesary, you can camp on your own) try and hook up with someone who might have an rv.
As you are from England, you might want to get in touch with(NAME REMOVED BY MOD AS THIS IS AN OLDER POST) and ask him if there will be suitable facilities at the Black Rock City International Burner Hostal.
I'm not sure about facilities at either the central camp medical camp or either of the outposts. Questions can be asked of the staff by emailing 911 at burningman.com if you need to know more.
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Diabetics on the Playa

Postby telizas » Thu May 11, 2006 9:43 am

My first year I was not diagnosed diabetic at the time. Now I'm an insulin dependant pregnant diabetic and need to reassure my Drs that I'll have what I need. Does anyone else have any experience with this?
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Postby phil » Thu May 11, 2006 11:02 am

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Postby Disco Patrick » Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:39 am

Hi telizas, and thanks for the link phil.

My friend and I are both virgin burners, coming this year, and she is a diabetic. We would also be interested in anyone's first hand experience of being diabetic on the playa. So *bump!*

In answer to your question, telizas, about keeping insulin cold, I found this post by theCryptofishist on another thread:

theCryptofishist wrote:You can buy ice at the center camp--~$2-- a bag. That would mean a) having an ice chest of some sort and b) having your insulin in some sort of insulated lunch bag type thing so that it doesn't freeze. If you don't open your ice chest very often, you should get two days from a bag. Longer if you use block ice.
You can make friends with someone in an RV who will let you use thier refridgerator. If you are looking for a camp (and this is by no means nessesary, you can camp on your own) try and hook up with someone who might have an rv.
As you are from England, you might want to get in touch with Fred Hageymon (his username on this board is hageymon) and ask him if there will be suitable facilities at the Black Rock City International Burner Hostal.
I'm not sure about facilities at either the central camp medical camp or either of the outposts. Questions can be asked of the staff by emailing 911 at burningman.com if you need to know more.
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Postby barthalamu » Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:48 pm

Bumping this since I just found out I am diabetic..

Looking for advice from other diabetic burners.

When I asked my doctor about how to deal with dehydration because I was going to Burning Man soon, she flipped out and said there's no way I'm going, at least until I get my blood sugar under control. So I'm kinda motivated to whip this thing into shape ASAP!

So questions are:

How long does it take to get blood glucose down to normal?

How does diabetes affect your stay in BRC?

What do you do to cope? Hydrate, etc?
I've always done the gatorade thing, so that's kinda out..

Should I just give up on this years event and wait until I have more experience coping with this thing?

Any other advice?
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Postby AntiM » Mon Jun 25, 2007 7:06 am

My friend Coco over on tribe is diabetic, and she told me that she's willing to provide advice to any other burner who needs help with that. Message her through Tribe, I don't think she's on here.

http://people.tribe.net/43736d9d-9ea5-4 ... 793a5408e1

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diabetics

Postby lothos 1162 » Mon Jun 25, 2007 7:40 pm

I am also a diabetic,make sure you have a glucometer(keep in cool place),extra batteries,test strips(keep cool),have any meds available for event,keep hydrated,insulin(keep in cool place).Medical stations at 3 & 9 and REMSA can handle any crisis that may arise.Lothos(Logistics 20)....also a BM ESD staff person.
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Postby littlemissfancypants » Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:17 am

I'm an insulin dependent Diabetic, and I don't think you'll need ice for the insulin necessarily...

As long as it's not HOT or lying in the sun, the shelf life outside of the fridge is 28 days.
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Diabetes at Burning Man

Postby PhilJustPhil » Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:07 pm

A friend of mine is an insulin dependant diabetic who wishes to go to BM next year. I've read the advice on the BM website, but was hoping to get a few playa tested solutions to the issue of insulin refrigeration.
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Postby misfit » Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:22 pm

insulin can be kept in the fridge at REMSA....
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Postby mdmf007 » Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:30 pm

MOD NOTE-
"Diabetics on PLaya" comes up often, but no often enough to maintain a thread. I just combined three or four threads, erased the more pointless banter as diabetes is not a joke.

The combining of threads may have left an out of sequence and funky timeline.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:42 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:As you are from England, you might want to get in touch with Fred Hageymon (his username on this board is hageymon) and ask him if there will be suitable facilities at the Black Rock City International Burner Hostal.
.
Hageyman no longer runs the BRCIBH, so don't harass the poor man.
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Postby LostinReno » Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:54 am

theCryptofishist wrote:
theCryptofishist wrote:As you are from England, you might want to get in touch with Fred Hageymon (his username on this board is hageymon) and ask him if there will be suitable facilities at the Black Rock City International Burner Hostal.
.
Hageyman no longer runs the BRCIBH, so don't harass the poor man.


Ok, veering WAY off topic, Hageymon was my Math teacher oh so many years ago! :D I remember seeing in the news a few years back, when his stuff got stolen, did he ever get any of it back? Actually that's when I found out he was a burner! Is he still affiliated with a camp? I'd loved to have said "hi", maybe next year! Anyhoo, back to the diabetics.........(sorry for the Hagey outburst. LOL!)
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:44 am

LostinReno wrote:
theCryptofishist wrote:
theCryptofishist wrote:As you are from England, you might want to get in touch with Fred Hageymon (his username on this board is hageymon) and ask him if there will be suitable facilities at the Black Rock City International Burner Hostal.
.
Hageyman no longer runs the BRCIBH, so don't harass the poor man.


Ok, veering WAY off topic, Hageymon was my Math teacher oh so many years ago! :D I remember seeing in the news a few years back, when his stuff got stolen, did he ever get any of it back? Actually that's when I found out he was a burner! Is he still affiliated with a camp? I'd loved to have said "hi", maybe next year! Anyhoo, back to the diabetics.........(sorry for the Hagey outburst. LOL!)

I think he still burns, but the issues of running the hostel got too much for him.
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Postby roamer » Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:26 am

Hagey did endure both the 2005 theft and 2007 RV fire through donations and insurance, and does indeed still burn.
He camped with and supported Couchsurfing Camp this year, selling/lending the BRIBH shade tower to them. On playa, Hagey being Hagey, liking to keep options open and mobile, ended up next to Media Mecca.
I didn't get to see him at BRC this year but caught up with him at his place before. Thankfully, the vibe at his house was so much more mellow than previous years with just a handful of regulars staying there.
He is just about managing to fight the urge to once again take on greater responsibility, host more people in Sparks and resurrect The BRIBH in 2010.
I for one would discourage him if he starts making noises about this.


As for lone Burners with diabetes, I'd recommend camping with a theme camp and telling everyone at the first meeting that you are diabetic.

Disco Patrick wrote:My friend and I are both virgin burners, coming this year, and she is a diabetic.

They ended up camping with us and one morning I noticed that her behaviour was slightly unusual, even after only knowing her for a couple of days. I suspected her of going hypo and after discretely telling Disco Patrick, we confirmed my suspicions with a prick of blood and then she was off to the nearest medical tent, after which she was fine.
We usually have a doctor and a couple of nurses/medics camping with us most years too, which is always reassuring.

Also, between everyone in camp there will be some way to keep insulin refrigerated, probably in an RV.
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Postby LostinReno » Sun Sep 27, 2009 3:37 pm

Thanks for the Hagey update Roamer!
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Postby Pink Daddy » Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:03 pm

I have a good friend in my camp who's diabetic. He checks his levels quite frequently, but his doses are not frequent. His activity, diet, and hydration affects how many times he gets a shot. He camps in an RV and puts his insulin in the fridge. He cooks regular, real meals (not pop-tarts three times a day or a bucket of nuts for a meal), and had only one incident while he was there.

He didn't look so good one day, a little sluggish, so we dragged him back to his RV. After checking his levels and administering a shot, he admitted that he forgot to check his levels that morning.

So, if you can store the insulin, check your levels at least twice a day, eat right, stay hydrated, and be observant of symptoms you might have... you'll be fine...
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Re: Diabetics on the Playa

Postby Soylent Queen » Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:31 pm

hello, diabetic burners and friends of diabetic burners and wanna-be burners and theoretical friends of theoretical diabetic burners!

So, here's some input from a Type 1 diabetic who returned a week ago from her first, magnificent burn (that would be me).

1. Cooling your insulin: Keep it refrigerated or, for a more primitive camping experience, try one of these excellent insulin cooling cases from a company called Frio: http://www.readycareco.com/splashpage_frio.htm. All you have to do is soak the case before you leave the default world. The gels will swell and then give off a cooling effect as they dry, which takes weeks or months. It's not as cool as refrigeration, but it's just fine for keeping the insulin from baking. The only thing you need to do is to keep the case exposed to as much air as possible, given that evaporation promotes the gel's cooling effect.

2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. You can't metabolize food well without hydration, as I've found out when ill with gastro-intestinal illnesses in the past. Same goes for dehydration: assume your body isn't using fuel as well as when you're hydrated.

3. Test your blood sugar frequently. Your activity level is likely to differ dramatically from the default world, but whether you run higher or lower than what you're used to is entirely based on your individualized activity levels. I did a lot of walking, and I danced, and I biked, but it still wasn't up to the level of exercise I get in the default world ( I exercise a lot), so my blood sugars went high in the morning (morning spikes being typical of aberrant activity levels/slowed metabolism, my nurse practitioner told me when I got back).

I made a Type 1 diabetic friend at Poly Paradise who stayed on the safe side by keeping his blood sugar around the 200 range. I'm strictly controlled, with an A1C of 6.0 or 5.9, so that's unacceptable to me. Therefore, I tested very frequently.

4. Foot care: Bring white vinegar and lotion, and don't go barefoot. Don't wear sandals, either. I know, I know, it's irresistible, but that dust will turn your feet into dry, cracked and potentially bleeding messes. Wear shoes and socks. At or before the first signs of drying feet, bathe your feet in vinegar. That will change the alkalinity that's drying them out. Then, liberally apply lotion, and put on socks and shoes.

5. Eating: If you like to control your diabetes by eating low-carb, as I do, be prepared to bring pretty much all the food you'll be needing. At least at the camp where I stayed my first year (Poly Paradise: wonderful camp!), the low-carb selections were spotty at best, and often the only breakfast to be had was industrial size boxes of pancake mix and syrup. I wound up cooking my own meals quite a lot... which is actually one of the reasons that my dear guardian angel ToMmy and I are thinking of starting a theme camp around low-carb eating, plus other diabetic-friendly offerings, such as 1) exercise (wouldn't it be fun to have go-go dancing cages? just a pet idea!) 2) foot baths (wouldn't it be nice to gift people with vinegar foot baths and lotion application? I know I would have loved that my first year!) 3) low-carb meals for camp members and 4) gifting of low-carb snacks (a few fresh strawberries drizzled with heavy cream, anybody? Oh, helLO! :P

So,

6. If any of that appeals to you, fellow diabetics or low-carb peeps, let's network! I'm overwhelmed by the idea of starting a theme camp, but I'm up for at least beginning to talk about it.... Its name would be Sugar Bitch, we're thinking, given how I tend to be a bit of a proselytizer about these issues... at least, I think that's the kindest word I can use to describe my proclivities... :roll:

So

7. If you want any more input from a fellow diabetic, please do drop me a note. Happy 2014 Burn, diabetics and diabetic lovers!

Best,
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Re: Diabetics on the Playa

Postby GreyCoyote » Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:59 pm

Really good stuff, Soylent Queen! :) Hello and welcome!

You might be interested in reading this thread and maybe share it with other diabetics too: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=30817&p=934894

Hope to see you in the dust!
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