Playa lung and who got sick after BM?

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Postby tesstessi » Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:41 am

I got super sick at burning man! I started coughing on Friday, and slowly got sicker and sicker. I thought it was playa lung+exhaustion..but it turned out to be a respiratory infection. I was still traveling (nv-ut-nc-chicago) until the 20th so I didn't get to the doc for a few weeks. By that time I thought I was going to die! I usually avoid frivolous antibiotic prescriptions but I took this one gladly and I was healed! Hallelujah!

I think I caught something at my sister's wedding, my grandmother got sick as well with something similar, and it was compounded by drinking/smoking/not sleeping/dust. Next year I am going to take better care of myself. I still enjoyed the last few days despite being sick, but I was pretty much worthless as far as packing up went.
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Re: Playa lung and who got sick after BM?

Postby cupcakeCunt » Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:36 pm

[quote="ron5657"]I heard its common for ppl to exhibit cold like symptons after Bm. Dust deep in the lungs, coughing etc. Anyone experience this?[/quote]

Definitely got it, much worse this year than last. Most likely bec. I was acting invincible and was not wearing a mask out in the dust storms most of the time (not for very long periods, but obviously enough). I'm coughing up some of the nastiest stuff I have ever seen. An expectorant (like Mucinex) will help, and really important to stay hydrated.

I hope that I remember how this felt next year so I'm not so foolhardy.
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Re: Playa lung and who got sick after BM?

Postby dust devil » Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:51 pm

cupcakeCunt wrote:I hope that I remember how this felt next year so I'm not so foolhardy.


Pre-playa I did some surfing to check out what full-time desert dwellers wear. One of the things I found was the tagelmust, the combo turban/face wrap worn by the Tuareg men of the Sahara:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Tuareg.JPG
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Tuareg2.JPG
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Tuareg_3.JPG
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Targui.jpg

I wear paper dust masks; my companion uses silk bandanas during the dust storms. Neither of us get sick. If you feel artistic get pieces of silk at a fabric store and dye them in flame colors. You won't be as likely to leave your dust protection in camp or not wear it if it makes you look mysteriously veiled instead of looking like a member of a surgical team.
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Postby Joshatdot » Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:00 pm

I was getting the Playa lung coughs while I was there, and continued till yesterday. I took Mucinex D, and all is better :)
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Postby Samsa Bee » Sat Sep 06, 2008 8:54 am

I get playa lung coughs, only because I DONT wear my dust mask when I should!! Stupid of me!! Every year, same cough.....
Next year, Im going to
1> WEAR THE DAMN DUST MASK (bandanas dont work!!)
2> bring some Herbal Cough Syrup/expectorant!!! That stuff is great and has no side effects! You can get it at a health food store, it just helps break up the gak in your lungs, playa cement! I forgot it this year and I wont forget next year. Its right up there with ziplocs and sunscreen!
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Postby ygmir » Sat Sep 06, 2008 9:07 am

A little Tea Tree oil at night goes a long way to help stave off infection and clear airways.......
either on your upper lip, or, mask/bandana, etc......

Be careful if it's full strength: It can irritate sensitive skin and membranes.
Eucalyptus, Menthol,Camphor, all are good, too, either in combination or, alone........Same precautions, though, they can be irritating.......

Don't sleep with a mask or bandana soaked in the stuff. For sleeping, use it quite sparingly. But, when sleeping, it can penetrate sinus/airways quite well and do wonders. I find a little in my mustache when sleeping really helps, if I'm having issues.
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Postby Aiee! It burns! » Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:16 am

Ginger helps. Put some dried ginger powder in your coffee, for example.
Discussed last year, I still think it is Coccidioidomycosis. Get well soon!
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Postby thirt33n » Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:48 am

this was the first year i used my respirator with toxic dust cartridges.
i only used it a few times,...monday evening during the end of the white out day,...i crawled into the back of my truck and put it on for an hour, cried for mommy, and then took it off and my sinuses and chest seemed to really take advantage of the time to recover.

i used it again for other "breaks".

I even plunged under all my blankets and slept with it on after the temple burn. i'll never come without it again.

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huge difference.
i'm no sicker than i was when i got there,.......physically :wink:
blow.
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Postby Intubater69 » Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:59 am

No problems both on and after the burn. Drank plenty of water. had both nasal spray and p. jelly but didnt need either. I used a half-face respirator or n95 during the harsher storms, bandana during the lighter storms. :D
I get to drive the ambulance how fast?!!

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Postby AntiM » Sat Sep 06, 2008 3:21 pm

There is also a cold or flu strain which was going around, hacking cough, sore throat deal. Four out of five of us came down with it; symptoms began showing on the playa and were there for the long ride home.

I've had playa hack and this cold/flu thing is definitely different. Still, the only breathing protection I used was large cotton gauze scarves, breathable and kept the dust out enough I didn't have a single asthma attack but one which was brought on by excessive inescapable sage smudging in all directions the night of the temple burn.
we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . .
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Postby Badger » Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:20 pm

There is also a cold or flu strain which was going around, hacking cough, sore throat deal. Four out of five of us came down with it; symptoms began showing on the playa and were there for the long ride home.


Yep. I can count at least (6) people I know who seem to have the same thing. Not sure it can be attributed to anything playa related seeing as all of them are pretty savvy playa folk who know to wash their hands, no cross contamination of drinking water and food cooler ice, moisturize regularly, rinse eyes, noses, bathe regularly, etc.

At this point I think it's a coincidental thing.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:12 pm

I know one participant who caught it from his wife and kids and first had symptons show up when he was setting up. I remember others getting it, but don't remember who, or even how I found out.
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Postby Zona_the_stona » Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:46 pm

I got the headache, hacking cough, clicking ears & a nasty sinus clog/infection. Some interesting colors come out when I blow my nose. Symptoms began Friday afternoon on the playa and have pretty much just got worse since.
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Postby MikeVDS » Sat Sep 06, 2008 7:41 pm

Someone in our camp was tested for and diagnosed with strep and quite a few of us came down with similar symptoms.
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Postby ygmir » Sat Sep 06, 2008 8:13 pm

yup,
I'm gettin' sick as of today......my campmate was sick up there. sore throat,etc....dang.......
so now, rinsing ears with rubbing alcohol, eyes with boric acid, saline nasal rinse, and, gargle with brandy, ('cause, even if you don't feel better, you don't care)
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Postby brcprincess » Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:02 am

My boyfriend and I both had the same thing - constant mucus going down the backs of our throats, causing a very sore throat for ten days.

Not sure if it's the dust that caused it (perhaps irritated our sinuses)??
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Postby geekster » Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:21 pm

There was some sore throat, deep chest congestion, bronchitis stuff going around the Bay Area before the burn and I know of at least one person who came down with it on playa early in the week. My daughter had it when I got home ... a friend of mine had it before I left for BRC. With all that hugging, kissing, sharing drinks and food and stuff, there is no surprise if it made the rounds through town at BRC, too.
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Saline.

Postby mk-ultra » Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:35 pm

I've used saline spray for the last two years... and I'm underwhelmed by it. As far as I'm concerned, all it does is turn the playa dust in your nose into cement after it dries back out.

I had a friend in high school who had TERRIBLE allergies. He showed me something stupid sounding that his doctor had told him to do: fill your cupped hand with water and inhale it through your nose -- and then plug one nostril and blast it out the other. Repeat on each side until your nose is clear.

Gross? Possibly. Effective? Hell yes. Every time I did this my sinuses were golden for another 12 hours. It takes a little practice (inhaling water isn't something your body really wants to do)... but, damn, it works like magic. MUCH better than just wetting the inside of your nose with saline and letting it dry that way.
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Postby gavmck » Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:33 am

Oh hell yes I am coughing up black stuff
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Postby ygmir » Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:24 am

yeah, the saline nasal lavage works great.
for more comfort, add a small amount of non-iodized salt and a pinch of baking soda to the water, less burn, more clean.....you can google "nasal rinse" and get recipes..........I use a baby ear cleaning bulb and squirt it up my nose, gross, but, effective..........do it until you can taste the water, then, you know it's clean.........
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Re: Saline.

Postby skibear » Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:17 pm

mk-ultra wrote:
I had a friend in high school who had TERRIBLE allergies. He showed me something stupid sounding that his doctor had told him to do: fill your cupped hand with water and inhale it through your nose -- and then plug one nostril and blast it out the other. Repeat on each side until your nose is clear.


LOL Don't use plain water.
In fact the above procedure is best done with a Neti Pot.
Fill it with water and a small bit of salt. Pour it into one nostril and
drain it out the other. switch. Really cleans sinuses well

Best to practice this at home first. Else you'll inhale & gag !!
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Postby mikesieben » Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:57 pm

I'm coughing and tossing and turning now.

Dont feel sick though.

That's the last time i space out a bottle of wine so long... I should be passed out.
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Postby gaminwench » Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:56 pm

Drink licorice tea three times a day for playa lung....
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*cough cough*

Postby honeyfire » Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:23 pm

*laughing* This sounds just like our old in-person or by-phone discussions of Faire Crap...
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Postby jessisandi » Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:25 pm

my boyfriend and I are both still coughing up bits of the playa a few times daily. nothing major. we both used dusk masks and bananas during the storms. but it was expected that wed cough for a few weeks after
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Postby mikesieben » Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:11 am

jessisandi wrote:my boyfriend and I are both still coughing up bits of the playa a few times daily. nothing major. we both used dusk masks and bananas during the storms. but it was expected that wed cough for a few weeks after


Bandanas work better than bananas I find. ;)
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:57 am

But bananas are tastier!


(I must need sleep. A greengrocer's ess almost slipped in there.
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Postby babysnakes » Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:51 pm

[quote="MikeVDS"]Someone in our camp was tested for and diagnosed with strep and quite a few of us came down with similar symptoms.[/quote]

I think I might have gotten that. Felt fine and dandy Monday>Saturday. Sunday on the drive out I started to feel a little bad and then an hour or two later: Fever, chills, full body aches, bad sore throat. I made my driving buddy stop in Reno cause I couldn't handle it. The first convenience store we stopped at I burst into tears before I could pay for my tylenol.

Stayed sick for a few days. No cough, just the other symptoms. I haven't gotten that sick that quickly since I was a kid.
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Postby Cassidy » Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:34 pm

I was just recovering from an illness the week before I went, so I had a lot of antibiotics still in my system (dammit, I was going, no matter what!). It may have saved me from anything cruising to infect a weak immune system? I coughed almost all the way home. It was ok, though, cuz it kept me awake. I was sleep-deprived but once I got caught up on it I was fine. I have a neti pot that I bought last year but have yet to use it. Breathing water just seems so wrong. This year, I got so desperate that I used chapstick inside my nose after rinsing with a baby wipe. No allergens for me out there, just drying dust. Didn't use my inhaler once though.
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Postby Smudge » Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:06 pm

trypical wrote:NETI POT.
works wonders. doesn't keep the dust out of your lungs but it keeps your sinuses kleen!!


Smart water bottle is a little better. It's sealable, squeezable for when you need a little pressure and if your fingers are slippery from all the goobers you're blowing out of your cranium, it won't break when you drop it.

I'd consider the sinus wash more essential than bringing hand lotion.

It feels as good as having a jaccuzi in your head and always helped me breathe better even if I didn't have a lot of brown playa come dripping out of my nose. Kept my smartwater bottle in the same compartment of my hydropack as the water bladder;ie the ESSENTIAL zipper compartment.

And if your nose hairs aren't totally dry and crusted, a clean sinus WILL keep some of the dust out of your lungs.
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