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S05.E03: The Serpent

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42 minutes ago, cooksdelight said:

Prescription meds for minor issues are supplied

That's quite a definitive statement.  I am curious how you know that for sure. 

I don't think birth control pills are quite the same as a med used in treatment.   It's only a guess but I could see birth control pills allowed on a show of a finite time limit like survivor or N&A..but not for an undefined time limit like this.  My guess is also that meds for cholesterol or Blood pressure may not be permitted either, but I dont know for sure.  At this point they may make certain concessions for the sake of the show.  Esp. with   returning contestants where their pool of participants is limited.  

I can only assume that all participants must be cleared by their own doctor as well as a production doc.  And I'm sure they sign away alot of rights to hold production liable to just about anything, considering the tremendous risks of bear attacks, snake bites, etc.etc etc.  

  People who face physical challenges often go above and beyond--even to extremes-- to defy what others may see as a limitation.    I don't blame them!    Apparently flare-ups are part of MS but are not predictable, and not life threatening per se.  There is the tap-out option.  

12 hours ago, cooksdelight said:

My friend who has the disease said she’d never go on a show like this, she’d rather spend her time with family

This challenge is not for everyone..MS or not, so I don't see the correlation here.  We all have different ideas about what it means to "live"

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I know several people who were on reality shows, Survivor, Naked & Afraid. If they have medicine they take on a daily basis, it is in the med tent (which we never see) and they go there daily to get whatever they are taking. Medicines for blood pressure, even insulin. I’ve never thought it was smart for producers to put someone on a show when they are on regular medicine doses, as the stress level is a lot higher than when you’re at home.

Yes, they do sign a very thick non-disclosure agreement, and contract to not blame production if something happens to them. That all started after season 1 of Survivor when one of the contestants tried to sue. They go through medical and psychological evaluations. 

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I could be remembering incorrectly, but I recall something on one of the History pages that talked about what they were allowed/not allowed to bring that led me to believe no prescription medications were allowed. 

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25 minutes ago, AZChristian said:

Why would you need birth control pills on a show called Alone?

Birth control pills stop your period, it would definitely be something the women wouldn't want to deal with in the wilderness.

ETA: Thinking of this I think there has to be a way to do that by injection, with the med checks, 'cause I can't imagine how dangerous it might be for the women to be around large predators while smelling of blood.

Edited by dgpolo · Reason: to add
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14 hours ago, AZChristian said:

Why would you need birth control pills on a show called Alone?

Birth Control pills are used for many reasons not related to menstruation. The estrogen in the pill can benefit people with a variety of problems.

I would be surprised if people brought personal meds with them. Many medications require that you take them with food and many of these folks are not going to be getting enough food to be able to take their meds. This show is different then Survivor and the other reality shows. Medical checks on the contestants on a regular basis but it is not a daily check and it is not on a regular schedule. So there is no one to provide the meds once a day. Also, the premise is very different.

It is Nicole's choice to compete or not. I am glad for her that she feels healthy enough to be able to compete. I might think she is bat shit crazy to go some place where she cannot get the medicines need to treat her MS but it is her life and her call. I just think it was very risky for the Producers to send her out there because you don't know if something is going to go wrong and go wrong fast. And, selfishly, I want to see people out there who are in a good position to go the distance. Nicole is not in that position. She needs specific plants in order to control her symptoms and a certain amount of food for her body to stay healthy enough to deal with the MS. We knew she could not get the plants she needed and there was no way for her to get the food to win. I suspect her VI tap out was more she was out of food and knew that her symptoms would kick in soon so she tapped before that happened but that is my speculation.

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I confirmed with a friend, if you are on prescription medication and you are on one of these shows, you have access to it from the medical team. It’s never, ever shown on TV. I don’t know why someone with health issues requiring medication would want to be on this show. Nicole has shown us how dangerous it can be.

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On 6/29/2018 at 1:16 PM, ProfCrash said:

100% agree. Nicole is not the person in that clip that we have seen. The blanket covering in that clip is totally different then her sleeping bag and the evacuation urgency was missing. Also, there was no plane involved in her rescue, she went out in one of the big yellow cars. I was thinking it was going to be Jessie with the pit viper this episode and was happy that it was not. So something urgent happens. It might be like the slip that caused the back injury last year, which was urgent, or it might be something worse like a pit viper attack. I am leaning towards more of a back injury type deal because I think something more serious would have leaked.

caught that also about the blanket, also it shows them loading near the waters edge, Nicole was at her shelter not the water when she was loaded up. I too think a pit viper will be the emergency evac we'll see :)

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On 6/29/2018 at 3:26 PM, HurricaneVal said:

Because Sam is one of those people who think that food=meat, or food=pancakes, not food=vegetables, fish, greens, invertebrates, bivalves, or insects.  I am not surprised he made (that we were shown, he may be fishing like crazy, but I doubt it) one half-hearted attempt at fishing, then gave up to see if if could find some flat meat at his dead fall traps.  This is exactly how he worked in Vancouver Island.  I was actually surprised to hear him say he caught two fish on VI, since during his original season he made a huge deal about not liking fish.  He went far as a picky guy, but he was basically a slug--his dead fall traps were very close to his slapdash shelter, and that's as much energy output he put into a day. 

I laughed my ass off when they went from Sam's pathetic attempts at fishing, to, Jesse's?  Randy"s? entirely successful breakfast fishing expedition, and then the brag about how they get a fish just about every time they poke a hook into the water.  It may be the location, but I think it has more to do with Sam not liking fish or fishing, so he doesn't actually put forth any effort into it.

Nicole going home early was almost a given.  She didn't look very "built up" with personal fat reserves--her face in particular looked rather thin just going in.  Then her MS is always a crap-shoot:  will it kick in or not?  I have several friends with MS, and they all have different symptoms and triggers, and different treatments, but universally they say that stress and exertion can exacerbate or accelerate episodes.  Long before Survivor, Mark Burnett used to have a show called The EcoChallenge where teams raced across challenging terrain (like down the spine of New Zealand, where the beacons of Gondor were lit in the LoTR movies) in kind of a survival mode.  As I recall, the teams had to be mixed with both men and women, but there could just be a token woman or token man on any team.  There was a minimum amount of equipment they had to have, and some optional equipment, so choosing between protein bars or extra carabiners was a real debate, since each leg was an unknown.   In one of the races, the sole female member of one team called for a medical extraction because she had really bad ovarian cysts, and one was rupturing.  Which, yes, horribly painful, and nothing I'd wish on anyone.  But also?  Why the hell did she commit to the race knowing her risks?  She also hadn't shared her condition with her teammates, so they were pretty pissed about being disqualified for something that could have been prevented.  Mark Burnett was pretty pissed, because of the liability to his company and that she'd essentially lied on her paperwork about existing medical conditions.  It was an ugly scene.

I worry about those pit vipers that keep getting mentioned as a constant danger.  Some folks are just striding around (even barefoot!) or rummaging through the tall grass without a care in the world.  Others are being very cautious, and they seem to be the ones who see the snakes.  Are the snakes actually all over, or just in particular areas, so those who don't seem to be paying attention don't really need to be paying attention?  Or are they just dumb?

I loved EcoChallenge!! One of the first "reality" shows that was actually reality. 4 team members who had to agree when to sleep. I was amazed how they found their way around. Back to topic - Sad for both Nicole and Carleigh.

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On 6/28/2018 at 8:59 PM, LittleIggy said:

Good on Jesse bagging the grouse with an arrow. I don’t think we ever saw anyone hunt successfully with arrows before. Now we’ve seen it twice this season.

I thought the same thing, after four seasons of worthless bow & arrow talk, last week we got a grouse, now this week another grouse and a snake. Three kills after four years of nothing!

 

This might relate to this speculation/possible very minor spoiler:

Spoiler

The long delay between seasons might signal that this competition goes for a very long time. With multiple people catching lots of fish AND finally being successful with bow hunting, this might be true... we could be in for a long stay!

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Eco Challenge

Robyn Benincasa was may favorite  team member on Eco Challenge now motivational speaker.

Ian Adamson did Eco Challenge, Raid Gaulioses, X Games and does outdoors production stuff.

Remember when Mark Burnett wasn't a bazillionaire he used to make an appearance at the Eco Challenge Finish Line in the early years?

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I like Nicole’s upbeat attitude and but as a health care professional that has cared for people with MS, I find it irresponsible of her and the show runners to risk her health and well being . It can be difficult to get MS into remission under the best of circumstances. 

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On 7/1/2018 at 5:09 PM, AZChristian said:

Why would you need birth control pills on a show called Alone?

They are also taken for other reasons sometimes. 

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On 7/1/2018 at 10:27 AM, seasick said:

That's quite a definitive statement.  I am curious how you know that for sure. 

I don't think birth control pills are quite the same as a med used in treatment.   It's only a guess but I could see birth control pills allowed on a show of a finite time limit like survivor or N&A..but not for an undefined time limit like this.  My guess is also that meds for cholesterol or Blood pressure may not be permitted either, but I dont know for sure.  At this point they may make certain concessions for the sake of the show.  Esp. with   returning contestants where their pool of participants is limited.  

I can only assume that all participants must be cleared by their own doctor as well as a production doc.  And I'm sure they sign away alot of rights to hold production liable to just about anything, considering the tremendous risks of bear attacks, snake bites, etc.etc etc.  

  People who face physical challenges often go above and beyond--even to extremes-- to defy what others may see as a limitation.    I don't blame them!    Apparently flare-ups are part of MS but are not predictable, and not life threatening per se.  There is the tap-out option.  

This challenge is not for everyone..MS or not, so I don't see the correlation here.  We all have different ideas about what it means to "live"

"tremendous risk of bear attacks? There's about  10 per year, in all of Asia, and about that many in all of N America. you are 10,000 x more likely to be attacked by a man or dog(s) Literally. You are far more likely to be maimed/killed by a bad reaction to an insect biter or sting than any sort of snake.  THE threat here is all about injuries, (usually self-caused) and starvation. There's been a couple of self-caused poisonings, Brandt drinking untreated water and Ted eating rotten fish. I"m amazed that nobody's been outed by tooth pain. That's quite commonly a problem when there's no such treatment for months on end. I literally wouldn't have taken a step on Vancouver Island without at least one walking stick. That place is horrific to move thru for more than a few yards.

Edited by beatu
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On 7/2/2018 at 12:31 PM, Charlesman said:

I thought the same thing, after four seasons of worthless bow & arrow talk, last week we got a grouse, now this week another grouse and a snake. Three kills after four years of nothing!

 

This might relate to this speculation/possible very minor spoiler:

  Reveal hidden contents

The long delay between seasons might signal that this competition goes for a very long time. With multiple people catching lots of fish AND finally being successful with bow hunting, this might be true... we could be in for a long stay!

why would you think that? Hitting anything with an arrow is SUCH a big deal that if anyone was doing it, it would be on the show. The 5 hits Dave's talked about have been the ONLY hits he's had. He's burning an extra 500+ calories per day walking around trying to score more with an arrow,  guaranteed. He's going to starve out soon. He has not aquired 5000 calories with his bow, guaranteed. Making netting for a few days would let you score 5000 calories more per day, every day.

On 7/1/2018 at 4:12 PM, dgpolo said:

Birth control pills stop your period, it would definitely be something the women wouldn't want to deal with in the wilderness.

ETA: Thinking of this I think there has to be a way to do that by injection, with the med checks, 'cause I can't imagine how dangerous it might be for the women to be around large predators while smelling of blood.

ever heard of a "diva cup" ? women install it inside during their monthlies. it fills up, they remove, empty it and replace it. Nothing shows, even on naked/afraid.

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On 7/1/2018 at 5:09 PM, AZChristian said:

Why would you need birth control pills on a show called Alone?

Birth control pills are really poorly named. :)

Yes, they can be used for birth control, but a *lot* of women take them for other medical issues. They help treat or prevent: endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, ovarian cancer, menstrual-related migraines, and a host of other conditions. At least one survey has found that more than half of women who take birth control pills do so for reasons other than birth control. Actually, most of the women I know who took them (myself included) took them for other reasons. 

That said, the logistics of not only making sure there was a supply for the contestant but also that they took the pill the same time every day (necessary to be effective) sounds daunting in a rugged environment with individuals several miles apart. I have difficulty seeing that happening.

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2 hours ago, simplyme said:

That said, the logistics of not only making sure there was a supply for the contestant but also that they took the pill the same time every day (necessary to be effective) sounds daunting in a rugged environment with individuals several miles apart. I have difficulty seeing that happening.

Medical staff checks on each contestant at the same time every day. We don’t see that, but it happens. 

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15 minutes ago, cooksdelight said:

Medical staff checks on each contestant at the same time every day. We don’t see that, but it happens. 

That's not what one of the producers said in an interview last year.  I was always under the impression that the medical checks are not that frequent, and are not done on a regular schedule.  

From the producer interview:

The contestants are checked regularly: “It’s weekly,” Witt said, “until we get way, way, way down, and once we get into the day 45, day 50, day 60, and in some past seasons, way beyond that, simply because there’s no medical precedent for that sort of survival sitation with the lack of food, we cut it down to three or four days.”

However, a contestant’s health might change that frequency during the competition.

“If we hear from a participant, or feel in talking to them, that they don’t feel that they’re doing well. We can check in with them more often,” Witt said.

Also to keep things fair in a competition that’s about isolation, Witt said “we don’t allow the participants to communicate with the medical teams in a way that has anything to do with non-medical things.”

They discuss symptoms and injuries, but “nothing about, Hey, who won the Super Bowl yesterday or Happy Thanksgiving. We try to keep the unnecessary pleasantries away simply to maintain that authentic, alone experience,” he said.

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Thanks for the clarification. I guess I am used to Survivor where the medical tent is right there on site and they go over to get any medicines they need to take on a daily basis. I would guess on this show, with birth control pills, they’d give the women their week’s supply.

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On 6/28/2018 at 11:14 PM, humbleopinion said:

All that perkiness to mask that Nicole wasn't as strong/healthy as her first go around.

Even if she was on her MS meds, her body may not have been as strong as she was on VI.

Or as a fan favorite the producers thought a little Nicole is better than no Nicole at all.

2 women out for medical reasons...

Brad tapped because his tummy rumbled....

Brad is a perfect example of most people his age. He needed to go find his "safe" place. What a puss!!!

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18 minutes ago, BrendaNitt said:

Brad is a perfect example of most people his age. He needed to go find his "safe" place. What a puss!!!

TL;DR version:

I don't know that I would blame it on his age. I mean, Sam and Brad are the same age. His age didn't help, though.

Longer:

I certainly don't think his age helped him at all, as at 24 he's presumably had significantly fewer experiences to mature and develop his independence and self-reliance than most of the rest of the cast. But I don't think it was the whole problem.

Brad was the only person out there with less than 24 hours of experience on the show because his brother tapped. Excuse me, his brother was "medically evacuated" *eyeroll* on the first day. Brad was the hiker and had pitched a tarp, but I don't think he even got to spend the night. So no experience building a shelter, catching fish, making traps, etc. So really, this was his first attempt against people with more experience and it was in Mongolia, which seems to be rather tough in the food procurement arena. It's like if this were a video game, he skipped the normal version and started right in on the extra hard version with less food and meaner monsters.

So he struggled with food, as several people have, and I imagine he felt overwhelmed due to his lack of experience and the hunger. And when I say lack of experience, I mean both life experience and show experience.

So I wouldn't really knock people his age. There are some fantastic, tough, intelligent ones out there, and it's not like most 45-year-olds are well suited to this show either. But it certainly didn't help the situation, no.

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7 hours ago, simplyme said:

TL;DR version:

I don't know that I would blame it on his age. I mean, Sam and Brad are the same age. His age didn't help, though.

Longer:

I certainly don't think his age helped him at all, as at 24 he's presumably had significantly fewer experiences to mature and develop his independence and self-reliance than most of the rest of the cast. But I don't think it was the whole problem.

Brad was the only person out there with less than 24 hours of experience on the show because his brother tapped. Excuse me, his brother was "medically evacuated" *eyeroll* on the first day. Brad was the hiker and had pitched a tarp, but I don't think he even got to spend the night. So no experience building a shelter, catching fish, making traps, etc. So really, this was his first attempt against people with more experience and it was in Mongolia, which seems to be rather tough in the food procurement arena. It's like if this were a video game, he skipped the normal version and started right in on the extra hard version with less food and meaner monsters.

So he struggled with food, as several people have, and I imagine he felt overwhelmed due to his lack of experience and the hunger. And when I say lack of experience, I mean both life experience and show experience.

So I wouldn't really knock people his age. There are some fantastic, tough, intelligent ones out there, and it's not like most 45-year-olds are well suited to this show either. But it certainly didn't help the situation, no.

Great post. That is one of the most thoughtful explinations for why he tapped. The rest of us fell into the wuss catagory but your points are valid. It is possible that the brothers would not have lasted long in their first outing had the other one made it to camp. I think the winners of that season were their age, or close to it. 

I have to admit to chuckling at the “Kids today” posts I see all over the place. People have been complaining about kids becoming soft since there were kids. Rock and Roll was going to be the end of society. Elvis and the Beatles were dangerous influences. Gen X kids are screwed because so many were latch key kids. Kids today are soft and too attached to devices. 

I am still in the wuss category but with the caveat that they would have tapped early in his first season and never been invited back. 

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1 hour ago, ProfCrash said:

I am still in the wuss category but with the caveat that they would have tapped early in his first season and never been invited back. 

Oh, I'll agree with that. I think both he and his brother were in over their heads even on the first season. I just think age was only one factor and someone else the same age could have a much better skillset and better mental preparedness.

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nobody is catching "a ton of fish". The best day anyone had, you can bet your butt, is Randy catching 9 little half lb fish. That's just 2.5 lbs of edible flesh, at  650 calories per lb, ready to eat. That's nothing, he needs twice that much, and they need it every day. Every last one of these people have averaged losing 1/2-1 full lb per day. They have all just starved. That's why they dont preserve anything.  They need to eat it all NOW,  just to have enough energy to do anything at all. They're dumb for not being in ketosis before they go, and for not taking the stuff out of which to make netting.

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