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Forums > Social Discussion > "Firebreather's Lung" or ARDS

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Article moved to here
EDITED_BY: Malcolm (1194320079)


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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MillenniuM
MillenniuM

Hyperloops suck

Member Since: 10th Jul 2003
Total posts: 595
Posted:Thank you. You just convinced me not to learn how to firebreathe. beerchug Is the danger still there for fire eating?

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Valura
Valura

Mumma Hen
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Member Since: 25th Apr 2002
Total posts: 6391
Posted:I love you mike!! thanks for the information...


TAJ "boat mummy." VALURA "yes sweetie you went on a boat, was daddy there with you?" TAJ "no, but monkey on boat" VALURA "well then sweetie, Daddy WAS there with you"

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Mike that is incredible. Mind if I put it up on other boards I am on as well? Thank you so much! Let me know when you get that article done as well.
Thanks again!

Pele


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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UCOF
UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel

Member Since: 17th Apr 2002
Total posts: 15414
Posted:Pictures???

eek


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Dunc
Dunc

playing the days away
Location: The Middle lands
Member Since: 19th Aug 2003
Total posts: 7263
Posted:sheeesh...that's rough. You've happily saved me from ARDS L i g h t n i n g so cheers buddy beerchug Although in a weird fasion I now have more respect for firebreathers knowing just how dangerous one single situation can be.

Let's relight this forum ubblove

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:One thing I forgot to mention is aterm that Pele et al may have heard: chemical pneumonitis. (Pronounced: "New-mo-nite-uhs.") It may also be called hydrocarbon pneumonitis. In older terminology, the word "pneumonia" might replace that.



The words "chemical" and "hydrocarbon" are pretty self-explanatory. "Pneumonitis" is an inflammation of the lungs. (The suffix "-itis" means "the inflammation of.")



ARDS is a syndrome, meaning a collection of clinical signs and symptoms. The cause of ARDS is often a pneumonitis, but it can be a viral pneumonitis, tuberculous pneumonitis, chemical pneumonitis, aspiration pneumonitis (caused by sucking food and/or saliva into the lungs...which generally happens in severely mentally incapacitated patients), etc. It can even happen after severe circulatory collapse due to trauma or heart failure (I won't bore you with exactly why).



Hope that clarifies things a bit.



Oh, and Jon, ARDS is not gory. I'll just post microscopic diagrams and X-rays.



In fact, here's one right here: X-ray



Actually, the "Normal" they post isn't normal, but it's close enough for our purposes here.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Pele,

Post it wherever you want; just credit me.

M, there is danger from fire eating if you accidentally inhale with the torch in your mouth, but the risk of ARDS is much lower. You'd just burn your trachea, which is very painful and possibly life threatening (if it swells and closes off). However, the recovery would be much faster and the long-term damage probably not as severe.

The danger from fire eating is much more under your control and the risk is lower. But it is NOT safe.

You can reduce your risk by:
-Being sober and well-rested
-Practicing a lot
-Using cool-burning fuels
-Not smoking (which weakens your entire respiratory tract)


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:I always feel horrible when Pele has to walk up my 6 flights of stairs to my apartment. frown

Or maybe she's just breathing heavy because I'm so darned good looking. wink


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:One more thing. The mortality of ARDS is 40-60%. Not terrific odds.

Fire breathers tend to be young and healthy, which probably helps.

A bit...

So yes, you can die. You can die quite horribly.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Quote:
One more thing. The mortality of ARDS is 40-60%. Not terrific odds.

Fire breathers tend to be young and healthy, which probably helps.

A bit...

So yes, you can die. You can die quite horribly.



Most of the fire breathers I know are actually over 40, to tell you the truth.
Hmmm....makes me feel more lucky.

And I can fill in all the fun and horrific details of what happens when you have a trach tube and your lungs keep filling with fluid...and you are awake.

Breathing becomes stifled, feels like weights on your chest. A respiratory therapist comes in and hooks up a suction tube and inserts it through the trach and directly into the lung, and proceeds to suck everything in your lung out...secretions, air, tissue...
There are no words for the pain. I have had a child and will say, that hurts more.
Then, of course, there is the drainage tube which goes into the back between the ribs and into the lungs directly, to aid in draining. I couldn't lay on my back because of the pain. And the fact that I was awake when they did it, and saw the scalpels and such didn't help matters any.
The other things not covered in my article or by Mike...

The fact that I developed a pancreatic infection from it which made my stomach feel like it had rocks in it and hurt to touch even in the smallest degree.
The fact that one of the symptoms of your body fighting any infection is by raising the body temperature. Mine stayed between 105 and 108 for weeks. My memory is much worse than before I went in the hospital.
Or how about when the air tube that goes between your lungs and the machines comes unhooked and you realize you can not breathe no matter how hard you try...and your lungs feel like a deflated balloon...the absolute terror that happens before help arrives. Mine popped off so often I eventually figured out how to hook it back up myself.
Or not being able to talk because the tubes in my throat did not allow air to pass over my vocal chords...and I was sooo tired that I didn't have the strength to even write. I still have my attempts. They are funny and sad all at the same time.
Or the pain that comes from having iv's in each arm and having scar tissue build up around them and having to have them move.
Or the humiliation of having people do everything for you, including bathing and toiletting clean up.
I had to learn to swallow and failed my first test which is this...they put food coloring in pudding. You have to eat 2 spoonfuls of it, but swallowing the way they tell you too...and it hurts. Then they suck out your lungs...again...to see if the colored pudding comes out. On me it did. Physical pain and disappointment were insane.
Or how about the fact that the fuel I inhaled burned my vocal chords and my voice is permanently changed.

Or how about the fear that takes over when you leave the hospital, hoping that you don't stop breathing in the middle of the night because there are no beeps or buzzers to go off.
Or changing the bandages for weeks over the gaping hole in my throat, and worrying everytime I coughed, sneezed, breathed hard because the wound would bleed and they said it wasn't supposed to.
How about the humiliation of not being able to walk 2 sidewalk blocks (literally the length of two concrete blocks) without panting, being in serious physical pain and chronically fatigued.
How about the pain and anguish that family goes through having to watch, and help, and wonder during all that time...and how it nearly ruined many of my relationships. That I couldn't live alone with my son after the accident, and I couldn't work so I lost our house and have to file bankruptsy not just for medical bills but for all the household bills that couldn't get paid because I was out injured, and not elligible for disability.
I had to live with friends for 7 months because I was homeless and not well enough to work.

And that for the rest of my life I will be yawning in these gulping stages because the scar tissue in my left lung does not expand properly.

Yeah. None of that was in the article, and it won't be in a medical journal.
It effects much more than the body and for alot longer than the hospital visit. You don't walk out to a happy shiny life.

I was one of the lucky ones. After reading everything written by Mike, by myself, by others...and now reading the high mortality rate...I ask anyone who wants to try this, are you positive you would be so lucky as well?

And NYC...at this point, I am tremendously proud that I can make it up those blasted stairs! Please don't feel bad. I might pant but it doesn't hurt and it does away and to me it is a milestone in my recovery. A year ago I wouldn't have even made it. Next year, I will be doing them double time! wink Besides, I like following you up them! It's a good view wink hug ubblove

Thanks again Mike for this incredible thread and all your work and research into the technicalities of it. The more we understand the (hopefully) easier it will be for a doctor to battle it for someone else. kiss ubblove



Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Pink...?
Pink...?

Mistress of Pink...Multicoloured
Location: Over There
Member Since: 6th Apr 2002
Total posts: 6140
Posted:That brought me to tears Pele. hug

I am never trying firebreathing. I know accidents can happen in any aspect of my life...but i am not going to go out looking for them.

I find it remarkable how amazing you are to go through it all. hug

ubblove


Never pick up a duck in a dungeon...

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_VT_
Your Face!
Location: el paso, tx
Member Since: 15th Jul 2003
Total posts: 1173
Posted:Thank's mike for the info! I thought about takeing up fire breatheing for a while and thought against because of the ramifications. Now you have given me one mmore reason not to do it. Pele: I can't say i have sympathy for you,for you made the decision to breathe fire knowing the dangers. But, I can say big up's for you and the intestinal fortitude (guts) you have to deal with your recovery. also thank you for letting not only myself,but evryone who reads your article the dangers of fire breatheing.

P.s. Pele, even though it sound's like i'm doing a good job at it , I'm not trying to be mean or hurtfull in my above remark. I have much respect for you as a person and as a performer. I send much love your way! ubblove ubblove ubblove ubblove ubblove ubblove ubblove ubblove


Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism - how passionately I hate them!
-Albert Einstein-

Peanut butter... It fills the cracks of the soul! -Paul Blart-

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:I feel sorry for Pele. She didn't have any idea that that could happen. Nobody could without having gone through medical school. And even then, I can't even comprehend what it must feel like.

-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Kyle McLean
Kyle McLean

Living it up
Location: Brisbane/Berlin
Member Since: 3rd Jul 2003
Total posts: 364
Posted:hug
Wow.

Thanks for posting the info Lighting!!!

Pele,
It is very brave and very kind of you to share so fully what you had to go through. I hope your journey to recovery will go on and that you can get all of the healing that you need. I'm sure making your story known will prevent many folks from going down that same road. I know it's up to people if they want to do it or not, but I think so many have NO idea of the risks invovled.
Thank you so much. Shine on...


Contact without dance is like sex without wiggling.
A) it does feel as good
B) it does not look as good on film

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vanize
vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas
Member Since: 21st Aug 2001
Total posts: 3899
Posted:Keeping in mind that the following question is coming from someone who had long since decided fire breathing wasn't for him before this trhread or Pele's accident ever occured, as I know my lungs are even more fragile than most people's...

quick question:

I know fire breathing with alcholhol is more dangerous than with parfin from the "blow back" aspect - ie. setting your face on fire - but what about from the ARDS aspect? I would guess alchohol vapor in your lungs is not as dangerous as petrolchemicals, no? Just curious in an acedemic sense since I can envision (non fire breathing related) accidents involving alchohol in the lungs and am wondering how seriosly the threat of ARDS should be taken in a case like that.


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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Blackass
Blackass

Blueass
Location: Edinburgh badger set
Member Since: 7th Aug 2003
Total posts: 183
Posted:Wicked.

Thanks to both of you guys (Lightening and Pele). I've got to give a fire breathing safety talk on Monday and was wondering how to get it across in the sense of "Look you fools, you're going to die, I'm a censored idiot and even I don't fire breathe any more". Now I'm not sure how I'm going to cut the talk down to 3 hours biggrin

Thanks again - and every one stick to juggle it's safer.


---------------------------------
Breathing fire doesn't look good on the resume - Everclear

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bluecat
bluecat

geek, level 1
Location: everywhere
Member Since: 15th Dec 2002
Total posts: 5300
Posted:thanks guys.

can't reiterate more and morea and more and more how bad for you this is.

after all 4 of the 4 firebreathing members of te POOKa (now down to 1) have had lung problems, 2 hospitalized....

frown

R


Holistic Spinner (I hope)

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Ali-bird
Ali-bird

member
Location: London
Member Since: 19th Jul 2002
Total posts: 102
Posted:L i g h t n i n g - I'd like to post that on another board as well, how would you like to be credited? Or I can just link back to this thread if that would be preferred?

I had no clue there was such a possibility in fire breathing. I've considered it a few times, mostly when I've been wasted and seen someone else do it and thought it looked cool. Fortunately my self preservation gland always kicks in and I've never tried it, straight or otherwise, and I certainly won't be now.

Pele grouphug HUGE respect to you. And thank you for sharing that with us.

Ali xx


Why is it that everthing which is fun is illegal, immoral, or fattening?

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ugoAgogo
ugoAgogo

member
Location: Brighton / Canterbury
Member Since: 5th Apr 2003
Total posts: 112
Posted:Lightning , now it all makes sense, i didnt know what happened

what you descibed in ur post has happened to me, and has since been a constant reminder never ever to do it again,

i was under psycedelic influence , nieve and stoopid and it felt like my lungs had been filled with concrete that was slowly expanding. dont fire breath. i tried it at glasto last year with poi and the wind blew back into my face like it had before. that was enough. dont do it. ever.



mad2 mad2


ERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. . . . . . . . . . . . . ZAP

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Quote:
I know fire breathing with alcholhol is more dangerous than with parfin from the "blow back" aspect - ie. setting your face on fire - but what about from the ARDS aspect? I would guess alchohol vapor in your lungs is not as dangerous as petrolchemicals, no? Just curious in an acedemic sense since I can envision (non fire breathing related) accidents involving alchohol in the lungs and am wondering how seriosly the threat of ARDS should be taken in a case like that.



I know that alcohol is very irritating to all tissues, and I can't imagine that something as delicate as the alveolar wall would take it too well.

But I don't really know. I don't know that a case of alcohol aspiration pneuomonitis has ever been described. I'll look, though.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Ali,

Anyone should feel free to post it wherever. Just credit me (and link back to the article if possible). And put as part of the post that any other copies should be credited to me and linked back to me.

It's not that I'm an egomaniac, but I feel like I should claim responsibility for writing such a post.

But I will write a proper article when I'm not being flogged to death by school. Which will be in 9 weeks...


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Puck Dallas
Puck Dallas

member
Location: usa, Dallas, Tx
Member Since: 10th Apr 2004
Total posts: 23
Posted:Other added issues not just dealing with the lungs are commonly chemical burn and skin allergic reactions. Just think what this does to you gums. Cout your gums kids. Normaly the people I work with recomend using barrier cream to give your skin a layer of protection. If you use enough paraffin in a performance keep in mind that the mouth and tounge do also process the fuel through skin contact and can also commonly cause diareah. I heard somewhere that it can also aggravate heart problems. There was this old school guy that would swallow fuels and water and would get a candle really going and then put the fire out with water that he had previously ingested. He was a regurgitator. He died of a heart problem and I think I remeber them mentioning that his occupational hazards contributed to this. I wish I could rember his name. It was black in white footage though. Your body ingests the fuel one way or another. fyi

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Charles
Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland
Member Since: 27th Jun 2001
Total posts: 3989
Posted:(takes off his moderators cap)

Quote:
Cout your gums kids



Puck, do you really think that's an appropriate issue considering the above posts?

Somehow chapped lips and stinging gums just don't even seem worth mentioning, compared to what's above. in fact, I would prefer to use them as a deterent than offering ways around it.


HoP Posting Guidelines
* Is it the Truth?
* Is it Fair to all concerned?
* Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
* Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

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vanize
vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas
Member Since: 21st Aug 2001
Total posts: 3899
Posted:actually Charles, I think (?) Puck Dallas was trying to point out that fuel is absorbed through your gums and other mouth tissue and may lead to allergic reactions, possibly gum cancer, and other complications such as intestinal troubles and heart disease.



It's not really off topic - at least not compared to the way most threads are anyway. And offering a small suggestion that may or may not help in this one regard really isn't out of line is it? (that is if "cout" means "coat", and it is a suggestion for some minimal protection against fuel absorbtion thru the gums). I don't think it is inappropriate or out of line per se, unless we are deciding to use this thread to condemn firebreathing altogether and make it a taboo subject for HoP.



I mean, sure firebreathing is very dangerous, and I myself won't do it (decided that years ago without even trying it once), but is that where this is going?


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:The thing about cancer is that cancer doesn't really scare people. I'm not sure exactly why, but I think it's because:

1) Cancer happens to old people
2) Cancer won't happen to me
3) By the time I get cancer, there will be a cure

That's my own personal theory.

There's something about diseases that smother you to death and that can happen to young people that tends to scare people a bit more.

So I don't bother with cancer and I just cut to the chase.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:Dunno... cancer scares the heck out of me. Looking at my family, I'm pretty sure that's how I'm goin out.

Aside from NOT doing things that cause cancer... are there any preventative measures that one can take to decrease the likely hood? Aside from not being a chemistry teacher. biggrin


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Well, get plenty of antoxidants in your diet. Lotsa broccoli, cauliflower, brussles sprouts, etc. Also, get plenty of fiber as there is some evidence that that can reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Also, do not:
Expose yourself to hydrocarbons like fire fuel
Work as a chemistry teacher
Live in an urban area
wink


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Rovo
Rovo

(the person actually known as Chris Bailey)
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Member Since: 30th Jul 2003
Total posts: 544
Posted:I decided not to start a new topic because this topic is about fire breathing and its dangers. I have read Pele's "Season in Hell" and this post so i realize the dangers in fire breathing. Anyways this past Friday night there was a small rave at this castle near where i live. I didn't have the funds to go but a few of my friends did. Well yesterday i ended up talkin to a friend that went to that party and she told people were spinning fire and fire breathing. Which disappointed me reatly since i didn't go. She also told me that the guys doin this were letting other people breath fire without any experience or knowledge of how to do it the dangers associated with it. Plus all these people were highly intoxicated some not just drunk. I think people should be a little more responsible instead of lettin a group of girls try something that could cause serious injury to them just to make themsleves look better or increase their chances of gettin with them that night.

Peace, Love, Circles

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:It's real simple:

Someone's going to get hurt.

Someone is going to get sued for it.

Karma. It's real; it works. meditate


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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squarefish
(...trusty steed of the rodeo midget...)
Location: the state of flux
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2002
Total posts: 403
Posted:Lightning,
forget about getting sued, what happens if someone dies after you've shown them how to fire breath? Culpable negligence, manslaughter, what? confused2
-M-


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