Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning man?

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IsBurningManTiring
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Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning man?

Post by IsBurningManTiring » Fri May 10, 2013 1:07 pm

Bought ticket to burning man for first time and later got a herniated disc, and have a bunch of restrictions about moment for next 6 months including
- no weight lifting above 20 pounds (about 10 kgs)
- no bending
- good 8 hours sleep
- lots of water
- no jerky movements
Is it prudent to attend burning man under these conditions? I bought the ticket alone and have no known friends going. I was planning to start contacting groups, but could not due to sickness. Suggestions? Comments?

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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by MyDearFriend » Fri May 10, 2013 1:16 pm

Burning Man is potentially fatal; it says so on the back of your ticket. You May Die.

So, if you want to be prudent: stay home. If you want to push your boundaries, expand your mind, and change your life while risking same: come on!

Seriously, there is no dimension in which Burning Man could be construed as "prudent," even for the able-bodied. :?

Think about the reason why you bought the ticket, and calculate what you would be willing to risk for that. If the answer is, "Not much," then, please stay home.
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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by Earthwalker » Fri May 10, 2013 1:23 pm

IsBurningManTiring wrote:Bought ticket to burning man for first time and later got a herniated disc, and have a bunch of restrictions about moment for next 6 months including
- no weight lifting above 20 pounds (about 10 kgs)
- no bending
- good 8 hours sleep
- lots of water
- no jerky movements
Is it prudent to attend burning man under these conditions? I bought the ticket alone and have no known friends going. I was planning to start contacting groups, but could not due to sickness. Suggestions? Comments?
Oh man, that bolded comment totally ruins it, b/c I hear there is a lot of jerking at BM. In fact, I don't know how you survive at all with out any jerking motions. I perform jerking motions at least once a week to stay "regular"

From what you describe, it sounds like you should be in a nursing home. Seriously though, 8 hours of sleep and lots of water (i.e. no dehydration)? That right there seems to rule it out. Even if you narc yourself out on hydros all week, when you get home you're going to wish you were dead.

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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by Earthwalker » Fri May 10, 2013 1:24 pm

PS- this is probably in the wrong section.
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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by Captain Goddammit » Fri May 10, 2013 1:34 pm

And now for a real answer...

If you have your logistics handled so that no strenuous labor is involved with camp setup, then I see no reason why you couldn't go.
If you were gonna build a dome, wrestle big water jugs in and out a truck, etc., you'll have to rethink how to do it.
If you were gonna roll up in a motorhome, camper, trailer, RV of any sort, there's no issue there you wouldn't already have at home.
If you have a friend or two that will do the parts of camp setup you can't, you're golden.

As far as being on the playa in general once your own living logistics are set up, there's nothing you have to do that will be a problem. If you can't walk much or ride a bike, try to camp as close in as you can, and wherever you are, you'll be in Black Rock City, which is better than being anywhere else! PM me a week or so prior to the event, I'll give you a cruise all around town on my mutant vehicle. All that requires is the ability to sit on a comfortable couch and drink margaritas and have my first-mate hostess attend to your every need. She's even a nurse. I'll even have a second real-life nurse driving it.

I've had back issues before, and one way or another, I'd figure out a way to go!
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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by Savannah » Fri May 10, 2013 1:47 pm

IsBurningManTiring wrote:Bought ticket to burning man for first time and later got a herniated disc, and have a bunch of restrictions about moment for next 6 months including
- no weight lifting above 20 pounds (about 10 kgs)
- no bending
- good 8 hours sleep
- lots of water
- no jerky movements
Is it prudent to attend burning man under these conditions? I bought the ticket alone and have no known friends going. I was planning to start contacting groups, but could not due to sickness. Suggestions? Comments?
You are right to be uncertain. I pretty much spend my entire Burn lifting things over 20 lbs (drinks and friends mostly) not sleeping enough and making tons of jerky movements. :) Is Burning Man tiring? Yes, it is. It is the most tiring--if exhilarating--vacation I know of. If I had a bad back I'd (personally) still go, but that's because I've been before, and know what to expect. I'd book space in a friend's RV. Do you own or can you rent an RV or trailer? That will prevent having to set up a tent, and you can build a tarp off to one side with a few minutes' help from a campmate.

It can be difficult to get 8 hours' sleep at the Burn; no one can promise you that. (If I get 6 hours, I consider myself some sort of wizard. Then again, I'm a light sleeper who persists in using a tent.) It's noisy, especially near the Esplanade, 10 o'clock, and 2 o'clock.

Camps are still taking members. See the 2013 Theme Camps. Theme Camps are not first about serving their members, rather, they band together to provide an experience to the community. Some provide group shade and other benefits (from few to many) but they will want a fee and probably some work. If you can't setup or teardown with your physical limitations, you might be able to clean or bartend or run activities. If you volunteer to run activities, it should be stuff that you're knowledgeable or passionate about.

Making friendships with locals can help. See "Regionals" at the top right of the main site. Join lists in your state and nearby. Go to regional events. Check Facebook for Burners in your city or state. If you meet someone & get along like a house afire, maybe you'll find an RV share with someone. See 2013 Shared Resources and http://rideshare.burningman.com now and later on.

If you have a budget that permits RV-shares and camp fees and/or are good at networking locally, this might be doable.

Oh--and if you decide to remain on ePlaya and chitchat and eventually want a name change once your question is answered, send a private message to Trilobyte. :)
Earthwalker wrote:PS- this is probably in the wrong section.
True. Thread moved to Q&A Tips and Tricks.
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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by Earthwalker » Fri May 10, 2013 2:04 pm

Gosh, fine, serious answers. I was feeling Friday snark.

I wholeheartedly agree with what CG and Savannah alluded to. If you get in on a camp where you have an RV, and the campmates are having fun, but not blasting dubstep 24/7, and you make friends with these people to the point where they really care about your well-being, then yes, you'd probably be fine. From everything I've read though (haven't been yet) this is a VERY hostile and inhospitable environment. And the only way to make it through alive (let alone comfortably) is if you can be just about entirely self-reliant (one of the 10 principles). I'm sure though if you have friends to assist, it can be a communal effort.

In fact, in the spirit of Captain Goddammit, maybe one person per day from ePlaya can volunteer to help you out in some way. So, if you need some sort of assitance, please speak up. I will gladly do anything I can to help out.

Cheers and good luck
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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by AntiM » Fri May 10, 2013 4:45 pm

Earthwalker wrote:Gosh, fine, serious answers. I was feeling Friday snark.
Rule of thumb: at least one good serious answer before unleashing the snark beast. Just one way we play nice. Mostly.

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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by Dr. Pyro » Fri May 10, 2013 4:46 pm

If all else fails, give me your ticket and I'll have fun for you. I swear.

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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by AntiM » Fri May 10, 2013 4:52 pm

Another strategy is to join a village where you'd be camping on your own, but have others at hand to assist should you need it.

My back actually tweeked my first year (not a herniated disc, structural issues). I could barely walk, and it pinged out on me all the way out by the trash fence. I still can't ride a bike 12 years later. However, I don't have to set up camp and myLarry hauls me around.

One year we rolled out for Burning Man on a Sunday; I had just finished radiation on Friday. I slept a lot, napped at a camp with a chill space and a swamp cooler most afternoons. Again, I had help. Oh, and a hernia from a second surgery I'd had that year. And so on. Lots of folks who aren't strong and healthy attend, with support.

We have plenty of time to figure this out. It can be done.

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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by EspressoDude » Fri May 10, 2013 4:59 pm

Have a back-up/evac plan and a reliable buddy that can help or evac you without a 2 day camp teardown.

Drink lots of water, calcium pill/milk/ice cream or root beer floats

I had similar issues from events at the burn. got to the point I could not get up out of bed without pain at +8 level. Emergency service wanted to take me to REMSA tent for eval which entailed a bumpy ride in a 'mule'. Two results would have been (1) lay down and relax or (2) medevac to Reno @$60,000. I declined all, told them I would rest where I was, and check back the next day. Which was a whole lot better

Also get some 'scrip pain relievers and muscle relaxers. Take Calcium and magnesium every day
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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by FIGJAM » Fri May 10, 2013 5:13 pm

I've got a herniated disk.

This will be my 4th year on the playa and I do it solo! 8)
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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by Sic Pup » Fri May 10, 2013 5:30 pm

Has "prudent" ever been muttered in conjunction with Burning Man before?

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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by Ugly Dougly » Fri May 10, 2013 5:43 pm

As above, there ain't no "PRUDENT" in Burning Man.

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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by ygmir » Fri May 10, 2013 5:55 pm

I have one herniated, and to collapsed disks. Of course, it's been a while, but I do know what you are going through.
take it easy, stay hydrated, use your NSAIDS, keep helpers near, listen to your body.
I had to wear a "corset" for two years, with metal bars for support. but it worked. Think about a few things like that, to bring, would be smart.
Use good posture!! it's amazing how that helps.


good luck
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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by Earthwalker » Fri May 10, 2013 6:21 pm

AntiM wrote:
Earthwalker wrote:Gosh, fine, serious answers. I was feeling Friday snark.
Rule of thumb: at least one good serious answer before unleashing the snark beast. Just one way we play nice. Mostly.
Copy that. One from me, or just in general?

Sorry if I came off as a dick. Not the intention.

Good luck!!!
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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by Earthwalker » Fri May 10, 2013 6:27 pm

My brother in law has horrible back issues. In Cali he relies on his medical marijuana, but Nevada isn't that progressive. Prior to the card he used to throw back a shit ton of hydrocodone. (and which seems healthier, I ask you Mr politician). For muscle relaxer I believe he uses trazedone. It seems to work well. Plus it easily breaks into three parts so you can easily adjust dosage
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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by EspressoDude » Fri May 10, 2013 6:28 pm

ygmir wrote: I had to wear a "corset" for two years, with metal bars for support. but it worked.
with a skirt and high heels? sunbrella?
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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by ygmir » Fri May 10, 2013 6:29 pm

EspressoDude wrote:
ygmir wrote: I had to wear a "corset" for two years, with metal bars for support. but it worked.
with a skirt and high heels? sunbrella?
and commando.
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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by EspressoDude » Fri May 10, 2013 6:31 pm

butt, of corse
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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by Ugly Dougly » Fri May 10, 2013 6:44 pm

Check in with a chiropractor before you go under the AMA butcher knife.
You can do it, you just gotta know you limitations and get lots of massages. Words to live by, generally, I do wot.

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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by theCryptofishist » Fri May 10, 2013 7:22 pm

Savannah wrote:Some provide group shade and other benefits (from few to many) but they will want a fee and probably some work.
I have my own limitations and one thing I can provide is the morale enhancing snack for the people doing the actual heavy labor. I don't cook, so it's salami, and cheese, and theoretical hummus for vegens, and crackers, and pickles, and things like that. There is almost certainly something that you can do while others sweat. The Booby Bar domes needed a map to put them together. So, the map reading function could fall to you. Think of stuff like that. And respect that other people are working hard. (Respect, not fawn.)
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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by Savannah » Fri May 10, 2013 7:40 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
Savannah wrote:Some provide group shade and other benefits (from few to many) but they will want a fee and probably some work.
I have my own limitations and one thing I can provide is the morale enhancing snack for the people doing the actual heavy labor. I don't cook, so it's salami, and cheese, and theoretical hummus for vegens, and crackers, and pickles, and things like that. There is almost certainly something that you can do while others sweat. The Booby Bar domes needed a map to put them together. So, the map reading function could fall to you. Think of stuff like that. And respect that other people are working hard. (Respect, not fawn.)
Great example. My friend M has some physical things she's dealing with and can't set up her own tent on an annual camping trip she takes (not the Burn) but she pre-arranges for friends to set it up for her, & in return she shows up with a picnic lunch. Everyone's happy.
Earthwalker wrote:
AntiM wrote:
Earthwalker wrote:Gosh, fine, serious answers. I was feeling Friday snark.
Rule of thumb: at least one good serious answer before unleashing the snark beast. Just one way we play nice. Mostly.
Copy that. One from me, or just in general?

Sorry if I came off as a dick. Not the intention.

Good luck!!!
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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by Oldguy » Fri May 10, 2013 8:38 pm

Seriously, watch out for the rock-road once you turn off the pavement. The first mile or so is made of rocks...not gravel. It will shake the shit out of you, if you ain't careful. You might even have to walk in the first mile to save your spine...no joke.
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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by Drawingablank » Fri May 10, 2013 8:42 pm

The real bottom line is - with a bit of planning, anything is possible. While help setting up is normally easy to come by, if traveling alone plan for something you can handle alone.

Generally, it is possible to go all week without doing anything to endanger your ________________ (insert your health issue here). Just avoid activities you would avoid in the default world.

But remember accidents can and do happen - last year I fractured my wrist climbing into my truck (while relatively sober).

I always spring for travel insurance in case I need an evac to Reno or something - the few dollars it costs is well worth not being faced with an enormous ambulance / airlift bill.
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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by Earthwalker » Sun May 12, 2013 12:16 am

I thought I could edit my post, but perhaps it's been too long....

What I wanted to do was change"trazedone" to "flexeril" as my recommendation for a muscle relaxant
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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by mulch » Sun May 12, 2013 7:16 am

So did you have an operation? If you had surgery, by Sept you should be fine except for heavy lifting, if it's gonna work.

I've had a successful spinal fusion for that so I sympathize with you.

If not, if you are doing better by then, then you should be fine except for heavy lifting. if you are not doing better, well.... either suffer at home wishing you had gone or suffer in the desert making the best of it. If its not better by then, you are looking at learning to live with it or considering some type of surgery. For me when I had so much trouble, long car rides were worse than doing things.

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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by FIGJAM » Sun May 12, 2013 7:56 am

The first few months were the worst.

By the time I talk to the surgon, he said the latest stats showed that 3 years down the line the results were the same whether you had the surgery or not.

So I did'nt get it.

7cm herniation and I feel fine now, but I'm now very careful of my back.

That does depend on the extent of the herniation.
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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by trilobyte » Sun May 12, 2013 7:34 pm

You should probably understand this:

It is not prudent for people to attend Burning Man.

Anyone. Ever. Even the healthy ones. The environment is harsh, and at times actively trying to either cause you hardship or outright kill you. Even if you're in a posh RV and have indentured servants to do all the hard work for you, you're going to have a difficult if not impossible time with 4 of the 5 things on your list. The one you have the best chance with, drinking lots of water, is up to you but will be made tougher because you'll need to drink more water than you typically drink in a day. A high altitude desert can be a little deceptive, you don't feel yourself getting dehydrated as easily as a typical desert, the elevation and breeze generally serve to evaporate the sweat as it reaches your skin. You can totally do it, you just need to be persistent. You can probably deal with all the other issues too, it's mostly a function of powering through the pain - but you are talking about a fairly serious back injury, aggravating the condition could have lasting/permanent consequences.

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Re: Newbie, got slip disc, is it prudent to attend burning m

Post by MyDearFriend » Fri May 17, 2013 6:54 am

trilobyte wrote:You should probably understand this:

It is not prudent for people to attend Burning Man.

Anyone. Ever.
This, OP, this is what I was trying to tell you. No snark, no humor, no attitude; just the truth. "Prudent" and "Burning Man" are incongruent.

Again I urge you to think about why you bought your ticket. What do you seek? And, granted that you will not find what you think you are looking for, what is the journey worth to you?
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