Playa Lung ??!!??!!!???

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

Playa Lung ??!!??!!!???

Postby Donita » Fri Sep 10, 2004 2:37 pm

:(

Can one get an allergy to playa dust?!!!
I have this incessant COUGH now, ever since I was up there.
Seems there is still dust everywhere...no matter how much
I clean and wash. Tonight I HAVE TO wash all of my pillows
because when I get near them I start coughing even more.

I'm wondering what ARE the affects of alkaline dust in the lungs?
Hmm???.....

*cough cough cough*
User avatar
Donita
 
Posts: 687
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2003 8:01 pm

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Sep 10, 2004 2:47 pm

It can be very irritating. Think of what it does to your feet--and that's got to be less sensitive tissue than what you have in your lungs. Do you have any other pulminary issues? My husband's been airlifted out TWICE for asthma and we left early before it happened again. Depending on insurence coverage and your relationship with your doctor (and how bad it is) go get it checked out. Since it's Friday afternoon, maybe wait until early next week. But rest assured that for asthmatics at least, it can be an irritant.
User avatar
theCryptofishist
 
Posts: 37425
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:28 am
Location: In Exile
Burning Since: 2017

Postby Donita » Fri Sep 10, 2004 2:58 pm

Dang, I was afraid of that. I do have pulminary issues. I get bronchitis nearly every other year -- usually in the winter, though. I work in a hospital, so maybe I'll just head on over and get a chest xray...

The patients ALL DAY have been saying, "You really need to go
get that checked out!"
User avatar
Donita
 
Posts: 687
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2003 8:01 pm

Postby Donita » Fri Sep 10, 2004 3:03 pm

PS: Thanks!!
User avatar
Donita
 
Posts: 687
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2003 8:01 pm

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Sep 10, 2004 3:16 pm

I hope it works out for you. Last winter my doctor gave me something called (avert eyes all e-playans who do not wish to read testamonials) pulmachor, an inhaled steroid, that did wonders for my yearly post-viral cough. I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on e-playa, so I can't say if it's appropriate, but for reliving pulmonary swelling it's wonderful!
User avatar
theCryptofishist
 
Posts: 37425
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:28 am
Location: In Exile
Burning Since: 2017

Postby Lydia Love » Fri Sep 10, 2004 3:48 pm

my cough and fucked up throat are just beginning to heal up. I still sound like hell but *less* hell.

I called my condition "Playa Foot in Mouth Disease".
It's all about the squirrels.
User avatar
Lydia Love
 
Posts: 1569
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: Seattle

Postby Desi Arnaz » Fri Sep 10, 2004 3:49 pm

I coughed up playa for a couple of days after I got home. Seemed to get better after that, hang in there. It's never happened to me before but the dust was of course much thicker this year...
User avatar
Desi Arnaz
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 10:53 am
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA

Postby inkyboi » Fri Sep 10, 2004 6:11 pm

Lydia Love wrote:my cough and fucked up throat are just beginning to heal up. I still sound like hell but *less* hell.

I called my condition "Playa Foot in Mouth Disease".


I lovingly call it "hooker-voice."

And I still sound like a pack a day hookah!
User avatar
inkyboi
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2003 6:25 am

you're lucky

Postby shaktiqueen » Sat Sep 11, 2004 11:51 pm

My playa lung has turned into pnuemonia. I ran out of my inhaler on the playa but kind of stuck it out even though by Saturday I was pretty sick.

I missed the temple burn because I couldn't breathe well enough to walk or bike out there and really didn't need to add lots of smoke to my already overworked lungs.

Got home......and kept getting sicker and sicker and the cough went deeper into my lungs and now....pnuemonia.

Next year I am taking at least five inhalers and wearing a mask at all times. :(
User avatar
shaktiqueen
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 1:03 am
Location: los angeles

Postby Meep » Sun Sep 12, 2004 1:49 am

I'm thinking my 'walking costune' is going to include Bedouin-like veils on top of the dust-mask. I have a variant of asthma, but generally, it's triggered more by cold than by dust. No sense taking chances, though.
User avatar
Meep
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 10:17 am
Location: Tucson, AZ

How about playa nose?

Postby Laynel » Sun Sep 12, 2004 3:03 am

What a relief that others are having some sort of symptoms as well. Mine has all been in my nose and throat, its been really bad, but seems to finally be getting better. Yay! 8) [color=cyan][/color]
Laynie
Laynel
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2004 2:56 am
Location: Reno, NV

Postby shitmouse » Sun Sep 12, 2004 11:54 am

about 5 years ago i came back with a mean cse of playa lung.
it was BRUTAL.

it lasted about 3 weeks, then slowly sludged away.
i then purchased silk for head/face wraps for the following years and it made 5 happiness happen.
-b
=-=-= \<>/ =-=-=
User avatar
shitmouse
 
Posts: 487
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 8:31 am
Location: sf

Postby Meep » Sun Sep 12, 2004 1:24 pm

For those that need dye-able light silk or gauze for veiling, I highly reccommend www.dharmatrading.com. I'm getting everything from my yurt canvas to my veilingmaterial to dyes and mordant to cloth for my batwings to.... yeah. ::squeaks and wanders off to look at all the Dharmapretties!::
User avatar
Meep
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 10:17 am
Location: Tucson, AZ

Postby Laynel » Sun Sep 12, 2004 1:25 pm

Too funny, I was just thinking about what I could do for next year to still look fun/cute/good and protect my nasal passages. Headwraps was almost exactly what I came up with! Silk works well? Thanx for the tip!
Laynie
Laynel
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2004 2:56 am
Location: Reno, NV

Postby shitmouse » Mon Sep 13, 2004 2:45 pm

Laynel wrote:Too funny, I was just thinking about what I could do for next year to still look fun/cute/good and protect my nasal passages. Headwraps was almost exactly what I came up with! Silk works well? Thanx for the tip!


yes, silk works very well, in several layers. we prolly wrap about 10 - 12 times around.

thanks for the link meep.
-b
=-=-= \<>/ =-=-=
User avatar
shitmouse
 
Posts: 487
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 8:31 am
Location: sf

Postby robbidobbs » Mon Sep 13, 2004 4:51 pm

What's a cathea...

1 yard square of unbleached muslin:
1000's of years of technology...
worn by millions of people...today...
to keep dirt out of their lungs.

How to wear:
fold diagnally, place fold side on hairline, slide to about 1/3 way.
pull "short side" under chin, pull "long side" under short corner, and wrap long side around neck -- over the rest of the cloth in back.
adjust, and tie in square knot on side of neck.
tuck in sides at the temples -- will look like a nun, and will help cover your tender forehead.
Tuck under chin in clear weather, pull one side up to cover mouth in dirt-storms. This should fit snug, but not choke you. BTW: it can take practice in heavy winds.

There, now you look like a Taliban.
They wear these too.

Cost: one dollar.

http://www.tznius.com/cgi-bin/tying.pl
for creative ways to wear the same scarf
User avatar
robbidobbs
 
Posts: 2112
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Pottie Central
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Dept of Over-Engineering

dreaded playa lung

Postby dana » Mon Sep 13, 2004 6:02 pm

As a burner/physician, 'playa lung' has become my current fascinoma. The question is whether playa dust inhalation only results in just short term upper respiratory irritation from dust, or are the particles of dust small enough to end up in the alveoli where they might cause pnuemoconiosis. No way to tell yet, and I'm not trying to make people paranoid, just a little more cautious than what I'm seeing.
In terms of the acute cough people get with fever etc. that sounds like just a bronchitis that your Dr might treat with antibiotics, inhaler and possibly prednisone if you're very wheezy. If anyone has gotten a CBC with a differential I'd be curious if they have higher numbers of eosinophils.
As far as long term exposure to playa dust, and pnuemoconiosis, that might just be showing up (if at all) in some of the long term burners who never used a mask for ten years plus. If any of you creaky old timers who have never worn a mask, have gotten a chest x-ray recently, I'd love to see what the radiology report showed - especially re. "fibrotic changes, nodular infiltrates or calcification of hilar lymph nodes." I have to admit that a good part of my own paranoia comes from the process of building my own house, during which I'm doing all the stone work. The diamond blade I use to score my stone creates a cloud of the real deal, and it reminds me too much of the same density as playa dust - ie. fine enough so that it floats easily in the air without settling very fast.
The bottom line is : wear a good two band dust mask suitable for drywall work. Fabric won't filter the particles that have the most dangerous size. Use your fabric to cover your mask if you're worried about looking more stylin. Viva la playa!
User avatar
dana
 
Posts: 507
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 9:39 am
Location: Boulder,Colorado/Northern California

Postby robbidobbs » Tue Sep 14, 2004 11:49 am

My problem is that WAY too many times I would be talking to newbies while on poop patroll, and they'd be wearing nothing on their face. That's just plain stupid. A couple times, it was during/after a dust storm, and there was another one coming. When in this situation, you just need to sell them on the idea of coming up with something, and a bandana/scarf is so much better than nothing at all. And possible in the immediate.

"See that wall of beige over there, yah, that's going to be on top of us soon. Oh, you have a party to go to, well get some cloth on your face."

The practicality of a scarf just makes too much sense in the chaotic life of the playa. I wear my scarf on my buttpack at all times. I consider it "gear." It also keeps my hair under control, the sun off my face/neck, the boogers out of my nose, and takes most of the dust off my windshield. Try that with a mask.
User avatar
robbidobbs
 
Posts: 2112
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Pottie Central
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: Dept of Over-Engineering

Asthma with no problems ever

Postby PantyMechanix » Tue Sep 14, 2004 3:06 pm

I know it kinda strange, because I know so many people that have had Playa Lung problems as well as sickness because their pores get clogged with the shit, but I have asthma and have had it bad all my life. I go out to the playa and never have an attack. I don't wear a mask, but shower regularly. Maybe it's the air and lack of allergens. I never even have to use my inhaler, even if I smoke. Maybe I should bring some playa home in a back, it even doubles as hairgel.
PantyMechanix
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2003 9:29 pm

Postby Lydia Love » Tue Sep 14, 2004 4:53 pm

6 years and no problem whatsoever - I've never bothered with a mask.

7th year. Ugh. Cough, sore throat and sinuses and a lost voice.

I'm just starting to heal.

I won't make that freakin mistake again.
It's all about the squirrels.
User avatar
Lydia Love
 
Posts: 1569
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 8:01 pm
Location: Seattle

Postby Tay » Tue Sep 14, 2004 10:15 pm

I have asthma and was terrified of the dust before I went, but basically I've been fine. I do wear a dust mask and tend to put it on when most around me aren't wearing one.
Last year I bought one of these :

http://www.allergycontrol.com:80/store/ ... 26EHUL9WF8

It's kind of expensive, but you can replace the filter and I've never looked back. It's much easier to breath through than any thing else I've tried - including a bandana and it's a bit of a playa fashion statement as well. I'm suprised I haven't seen more of them. If you really suffer out there - as I do in the default world - I'd try one.
Tay
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 9:23 pm
Location: Hermosa Beach, CA

Postby JezebelinHell » Wed Sep 15, 2004 2:20 am

I've got mad crazy playa-cough this year, because not only did I neglect my dustmask most of the week, but I also quit smoking right after I got back (and I smoked a LOT). So, now I'm coughing up dust, tar, nicotine, additives, phegm, and god knows what else. Oh, and I sounded like a pack-a-day hooker for about a week, but my voice is almost back to normal now.
"The future is a whore, she promises herself to everyone."
--Poe
User avatar
JezebelinHell
 
Posts: 762
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2003 3:29 am
Location: Reno

Re: dreaded playa lung

Postby ubu » Wed Sep 15, 2004 4:06 pm

dana wrote:As a burner/physician, 'playa lung' has become my current fascinoma. The question is whether playa dust inhalation only results in just short term upper respiratory irritation from dust, or are the particles of dust small enough to end up in the alveoli where they might cause pnuemoconiosis. No way to tell yet, and I'm not trying to make people paranoid, just a little more cautious than what I'm seeing.
In terms of the acute cough people get with fever etc. that sounds like just a bronchitis that your Dr might treat with antibiotics, inhaler and possibly prednisone if you're very wheezy. If anyone has gotten a CBC with a differential I'd be curious if they have higher numbers of eosinophils.
As far as long term exposure to playa dust, and pnuemoconiosis, that might just be showing up (if at all) in some of the long term burners who never used a mask for ten years plus. If any of you creaky old timers who have never worn a mask, have gotten a chest x-ray recently, I'd love to see what the radiology report showed - especially re. "fibrotic changes, nodular infiltrates or calcification of hilar lymph nodes." I have to admit that a good part of my own paranoia comes from the process of building my own house, during which I'm doing all the stone work. The diamond blade I use to score my stone creates a cloud of the real deal, and it reminds me too much of the same density as playa dust


dana, can you parse some of the technical jargon you are using here. for example, what is pnuemoconiosis? what are fibrotic changes, etc.?
ubu
 
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 7:24 am
Location: aethernity

Re: dreaded playa lung

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Sep 15, 2004 4:44 pm

ubu wrote:dana, can you parse some of the technical jargon you are using here. for example, what is pnuemoconiosis? what are fibrotic changes, etc.?



[pneumo- + Greek konis, koni, dust + -osis.]pneumo·coni·otic (-tk) adj. & n.


pneu·mo·co·ni·o·sis (nm-kn-ss, ny-)
n. pl. pneu·mo·co·ni·o·ses (-sz)

A disease of the lungs, such as asbestosis or silicosis, caused by long-term inhalation of dusts, especially mineral or metallic dusts.

Source: The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary


Main Entry: pneu·mo·co·ni·o·sis
Pronunciation: "n(y)ü-mO-"kO-nE-'O-s&s
Function: noun
Inflected Form: plural pneu·mo·co·ni·o·ses /-"sEz/
: a disease of the lungs caused by the habitual inhalation of irritants (as mineral or metallic particles) called also miner's asthma, miner's consumption, pneumonoconiosis; —see BLACK LUNG, SILICOSIS

Source: Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.

pneumoconiosis

n : chronic respiratory disease caused by inhaling metallic or mineral particles [syn: pneumonoconiosis]

I tried googling "Fibrotic Changes" too but couldn't figure out how to keep the words together. I'd guess that it's changes in the fibroids of the lung.
User avatar
theCryptofishist
 
Posts: 37425
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:28 am
Location: In Exile
Burning Since: 2017

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Sep 15, 2004 4:47 pm

Silicosis is what killed (or part of what killed) Dori Seda, who as far as I know wasn't a burner, but was darn cool enough to have been. (And was certainly a San Francisco artist of the 80s in the best possible way.)
http://www.lambiek.net/seda_dori.htm
User avatar
theCryptofishist
 
Posts: 37425
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:28 am
Location: In Exile
Burning Since: 2017

playa lung, what???

Postby dana » Sun Sep 19, 2004 4:35 pm

Thanks crypto. That pretty much covers it.

As far as the radiographic changes, that's going to be the technical terms that the radiologist is going to be using if they see any signs suggestive of pnuemoconiosis. Think of an infected wound that won't heal up - it just keeps laying down more scar tissue which is similar in a way to what happens to lungs subjected to chronic irritation from dust. It shows up on an x-ray as white streaking, as the normal alveoli start collapsing and are replaced with more fibrous junk.

Again, I'm not trying to make anyone unduly paranoid. The key question is one of how much of a load are you getting, how big are the particles of dust, and even what shape are the particles? (Part of the reason asbestos is so bad is that the particles are sharp enough to actually skewer the macrophages - a kind of white cell that tries to snarf up the particles.) This is all just a possibility that I'm considering and would like to watch as long as I'm coming to BM. (I must admit that I'm real impressed by those full-on, white-out dust storms that occur on the playa.) I'd also be interested in finding out that long term, no-mask burners are getting completely normal x-rays.
It's interesting that people with asthma are finding that they sometimes do better on the playa. I think that's totally due to that fact that they are away from their usual allergic triggers - Kids, don't try snorting playa dust at home, do it at your neighbor's house!
User avatar
dana
 
Posts: 507
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 9:39 am
Location: Boulder,Colorado/Northern California

Postby BAS » Sun Sep 19, 2004 8:39 pm

Slightly off topic, but...

One of the people who is planing on going to Burning Man with us in 2005 has been getting chemotherapy, which has resulted in holes in his lungs (a dime sized one in the right, and a diamond shaped pattern of pinhole sized holes in his left, if my information is correct). Any ideas if this situation would cause him problems out on the playa?

(Unfortunately, he is the type who would go anyway, determined he could "out tough" the playa dust..., which is why I am asking, since he wouldn't.)

Incidentally, he is the one who has acutally been to Burning Man at least a couple times before, the last time in 1995 or 1996, IIRC. (I am not suggesting that the holes in his lungs are in any way connected-- they appeared with the chemotherapy, and it would seem that the cancer he has is an inherited condition.)


Just wondering if I should be worried.


Brian
"Nothing is withheld from us which we have conceived to do.
Do things that have never been done."
--Russell Kirsch
User avatar
BAS
 
Posts: 4220
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 7:46 pm
Location: Wisconsin
Burning Since: 2006

risky shit???

Postby dana » Sun Sep 19, 2004 10:55 pm

BAS -
I believe people should take any risks that they're willing to take responsibility for. One thing about cancer or any other situation where you face your own death, it tends to change your priorities. Why shouldn't he do what seems important to him? It's like safe sex - wear protection and you should be fine. A dust mask is pretty simple. I brought a bunch of extras and gave them away.

I say - if you can see it, don't breathe it.
User avatar
dana
 
Posts: 507
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 9:39 am
Location: Boulder,Colorado/Northern California

Postby BAS » Tue Sep 21, 2004 8:14 pm

dana--

I am okay with calculated risks. I just don't want to see him need to be airlifted out or anything.


Brian
"Nothing is withheld from us which we have conceived to do.
Do things that have never been done."
--Russell Kirsch
User avatar
BAS
 
Posts: 4220
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 7:46 pm
Location: Wisconsin
Burning Since: 2006

chemo/playa lung

Postby dana » Wed Sep 22, 2004 10:20 am

BAS -
OK, sorry I'll try to be more specific. Does he have significally decreased functional lung capacity, does he require supplemental oxygen, etc.?? If he's normally cruising around pretty much doing whatever he wants without signifigant problems breathing, he should be fine. Lots of people go to the playa with serious asthma, sleep apnea, even cystic fibrosis and seem to do OK wearing masks from what I've gleaned so far. But if he's the kind of guy that refuses to take care of himself, he could be a serious liability. A lot of people's immune systems seem to take a beating on the playa. (See my post on "playa injury not healing.") Chemo and radiation therapy are pretty brutal, and leave the body in a very diminished state. Lots of rest, water and good nutrition might be just as important to him as a mask. I like those EmergenC packets to provide a little nutritional boost on the playa (or any time I feel drained.)
Hope that helps. There's a pretty sweet set-up for emergency services through REMSA? I think it is. They'd be happy to just check him out if he's feeling rasty.
User avatar
dana
 
Posts: 507
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 9:39 am
Location: Boulder,Colorado/Northern California

Next

Return to Q & A Tips and Tricks

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 2 guests