Life 2 The Limit


worse case scenarios

Life 2 The Limit might sound like paradise island, but in fact, there is nothing further from the truth. Aside from the obvious challenges of food, water, sun exposure, lack of sleep and group dynamics, there are some real dangers facing the 10 brave adventurers such as poisonous plants and animals, both on the island and the sea.

worse case scenarios

Postby joestarke » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:02 am

Hi all,

as part of our mental preparation, i would like to initiate discussion around things that could go wrong while we are on the island. the goal of this is obviously not to scare anybody or be a "downer" but rather to help us to think through the dangers before hand so if they do happen, it won't be the first time we have considered them. my hope is that we will begin to develop detailed responses to each so that everyone will know what needs to be done.
while the list of potential events obviously includes "medical" things like illness or injury, these are not the only situations i hope the team will consider. amongst others, i would suggest that we consider difficult inter-personal issues that might come up, failures to secure the sort of food we expect leading to extreme hunger (with its associated frustration) and, particularly, serious events that may occur at home involving family or close friends at a time when we will have limited contact and not be able to help in the way we might like. further to this last point, i am developing a document outlining each person's preference for which events occurring at home they would choose to be made aware of. remember, we will be in isolation on the island and contact from those at home will be non existent. ideally of course we hope that there will be no reason to break this isolation, but i would ask that everyone consider what exceptions they would like to make to this rule. this may be a very individual thing, but it will obviously help adelle as she will be managing contact from home and will need to be able to decide whether or not to break our isolation.

so, i ask that everyone outlines 3 worst case scenarios and offers input on what we can do to prevent their occurrence and how we might respond as individuals and as a team should they occur. i hope this will then lead to further discussion and development of the initial suggestions.
i realise everyone is very busy with final preparations but i hope we can get this discussion going, even if we only manage to finish it once we are together as a group.

my 3 scenarios:
1) someone falls from a height sustaining a head injury and with a decreased level of consciousness at some distance away from the main camp. this is a very difficult case medically because head injuries can lead to numerous very dangerous consequences including seizures, difficulties maintaining an open airway and obviously a very real chance of death. such an event would also require a well coordinated response from the team to move the person to a place from which we could evacuate them and the evacuation itself would be very challenging. assuming i was not the patient, i would need to accompany the person which means i would be off the island for a period. there would of course be the psychological consequences for the rest of the team and the family of the injured person.
ideally, the best is to avoid such a situation entirely by avoiding risky behaviour. should something like this happen, the team will need to work together, assisting with treatment, helping to move the person, coordinating evacuation and supporting one another. we will also have to have in place a well thought out evacuation plan to ensure the injured person can get the treatment they need as soon as possible.

2) while we are on the island, a family member or close friend of one of the team falls seriously ill or dies. there may be delays in the news being transferred and frustration on the part of the people back at home that the team member is not where they "should" be i.e that they are not helping or rushing back to be at home. the team member may be not only very upset, but also angry with themselves for being away during such an event. this has the potential to impact relationships with other team members. if the team member decides to leave the island, this has consequences for fund raising and for the remaining team members. also, due to our remote location, there may be considerable delays before the team member is able to get home, potentially leading to further distress and perhaps missing key events (funerals etc). there is little we can do to prevent events like this. we can however think them through and discuss them with our families in advance. as i said i am designing a document to clarify what individual team members want to happen in this event. in addition, we obviously need to be supportive of the person whatever they may decide to do.

3) two team members make a decision to become intimately involved on the island. for whatever reason this relationship then breaks down. the reason this can be so difficult is the potential animosity that such an event can generate, not only between the individuals involved, but between others in the team who may be inclined to "take sides". now of course people are free to do whatever they want and perhaps this may seem like a "private" issue, but in a small group in an isolated setting, events like this can have a dramatic impact on team functioning. we will already be under a great deal of strain and it doesn't take much to tip the balance. now perhaps it is impossible or even ridiculous to try and prevent something like this, for it could easily be something truly special and long lasting, what do i know. i raise it only so that it has been thought through in advance.

ok, so those are my 3. i invite feedback and additional scenarios and discussion from the team.

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Re: worse case scenarios

Postby lduthie » Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:08 am


Great points and well thought out post.

1.) I agree that head/spinal injuries are a huge risk. I think that we do need to all agree to a "safety code" while on the island. So for instance, if someone is taking a serious risk, I think the group should not feel bad insisting that the person stop. You know, a cease and desist order....maybe followed by a citizens arrest.... ;) No, but seriously, nothing is bound to create tension faster than some group member worrying about the safety of another member and being told to "mind your own business, I know what I'm doing" or some other such type thing. Not that I think anyone on the team is as inconsiderate as this, but I do know that when hopes are high, or perhaps thinking is a little impared by hunger that we might be inclined to bravado. SO, I think that if we all agree before hand that certain things are just too risky, and we have some sort of process to help each other adhere to this agreement, then we will be safer, and in the event of an accident, there might be less feeling of "if only we didn't let him/her do that!!"

2. Obviously, I have to dicuss the "in event of emergency" issue with my family, but knowing them as I do, I think they would want me to keep going. So I personally think that I will opt for no bad news, prefering to find out when I can actually do something about it. I know that I would lose my ability to be rational and pleasant with the group if I knew, and yet I think I'd be upset by leaving too. Obviously the loss of a family member is devestating, but dealing with it a couple weeks later probably wouldn't change much.

3. Personal issues: well, I don't know about you, but I feel that the decision to have an intimate thing on the island is personal business in that I think it's the responsibility for other island members to NOT take sides, no matter who does what. That said, if two (or more??) people decide to give it a go, I think they should do so with the understanding that is most likely WON'T work out, and that it's most likely just a lark. That said, no reason you can't have fun, just don't bank on it working out in the real world, cuz people are usually VERY different when they're not around their family, friends, work, home routines etc.... And if one is going to pursue as little something-something, I would recommend to choose wisely, so to speak, becuase I think once you've dipped in the proverbial ink, there's no switching horses mid stream... (how many more overused cliches do you think I can manage -more than you can shake a stick at?(so the tally's at 3 so far?))

I've thought of one other thing too...
Email is not the ideal means of communication, but judging from the what I can tell, we are all fairly outspoken people with our own ideas. Not to say we're stubborn, but we just have our points of view. I am going to be interested to see what organic social "heirarchy" comes up. I am aware that there will probably be some sort of group leader, and I am all for that, but I truly hope that some weird group polarization doesn't pop up. Maybe we need to try to devide the leadership role up somehow so that everyone feels they have a niche. Sort of like we did with the forum. But devision of the role is important or you might end up with...... to many chiefs, not enough indians......(4) I feel lucky going into this becuase I think that we all bring something great to the table, and I look forward to learning from everyone in the group, both as individuals and as a group. I wouldn't want anyone to feel like their strengths are being overlooked or underappreciated, that's all I mean by this idea! :)

Well, that's my two cents .....(5) ;D
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Re: worse case scenarios

Postby joestarke » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:29 pm

great Lisa, thanks for the input (and the cliches haha) am looking forward to hearing from others and please everyone submit additional scenarios/situations, no need to only discuss those i have raised - i want this to be wide reaching and encompass eveyone's concerns.
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Re: worse case scenarios

Postby Mattatkinson » Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:54 pm


Food for thought.

1. I'm not going to run these type of scenarios through my mind. We have a doctor, a well equiped emerg kit and people with EMS experience, much more than available on most wilderness trips. I believe we are more than capable to deal with any medical emergency that we encounter. I also believe that the 10 people participating are aware of their capabilities and limitations and would not engage in overly hazardous activity without having weighed the risks before hand.

2. Have addressed this issue many years ago. My family is more than capable of dealing with issues including death. Unless absoulutely required I would continue the Challange.

3. Put boys and girls together and... I would hope that a island romance would last at least 30 days. People in love or infatuated are happy and aggreeable, both good things. dejected suitors causing problems -grow up. Again It appears that the we ten people are self aware, experienced, mature and hopefully beyond petty bickering and survivior type alliances. With so many type A or alpha overacheiving personalities we will have our share of drama on the island, hopefully leaning more to a sitcom.

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Re: worse case scenarios

Postby joestarke » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:02 pm

great matt thanks for the input,
certainly i hope things are as you say.
i am really hoping to hear from eveyone around this stuff and i encourage everyone to generate as many additional scenarios as possible. i.e. please don't confine the discussion to the existing three, my hope is for everyone to raise those things about which they are personally concerned.

looking forward to it.
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Re: worse case scenarios

Postby Mattatkinson » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:53 pm

Hey Joe,

Just reread my post. I probably came across as glib and impassionate, nothing of the sort. I was trying to say that after 10 years of training for MCI and disaster scenarios along with actual incidents on the fire department and years of dealing with backcountry incidents I personaly have come to a place were I feel I'm mentally prepared for most anything we encounter. Not all may have had the experience to understand the ramifications or these types of events.

Allow me to back up, I think running through various Worst Case Scenarios is a very good idea.We should go through as many as possible on the forum and even at the staging area going through everyones roles and responsility.

1. A shark attack (small reef shark) when two people are out on a improvised raft while fishing. How do we signal the others? Get him or her back to shore while minimizing others exposure to danger. I don't want to see a whole bunch of restraining rules, but as per LIsa maybe we institute some basic guidelines such as 3 people minimum on potentially hazardous details, etc. One that is obvious but needs to be understood is that In the event of a medical emergency we should all be aware that you are completely in charge and that you will designate roles, no questions asked.

2. Everyone needs to address this and establish guidelines with their families. As an example I have a aging mother that lives by herself in addition to the fact that my children are involved in potentialy dangerous sports. I have spoken to my brothers and family on what to do if something happens while away.

3. I'm not sure there is anything we can do or should do about island romance. One would hope we act accordingly and in the best interest of the group.

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Re: worse case scenarios

Postby Huenu » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:53 pm

Hey team,

This is a great topic of discussion - thank you Joe for starting it. I'd like to comment on your raised issues first as they are pretty good ones, and then if I think of any others later, I'll add mine at the bottom.

1) You all raise very good issues when it comes to dangerous situations on the island. I tend to lean towards Matt in that I think we are pretty well prepared and safer than most wilderness trips if you think about it so I don't want to create a sense of fear amongst the team that we could die or watch someone die (even though this IS a real threat, I know). But it's so hard to plan the unexpected (and whatever injury/illness happnes will most likely be unexpected) that maybe we should rest in the knowledge that we are well prepared and that we are all sensible, smart people and will do the best in any emergency situation. Having said that, I do think it's important that we have a good session where we all discuss possible situations and general practicises we should adhere to. For example, those tiny whistles that you bought... Maybe we should use fishing line and make necklaces and ANYONE that leaves base camp to go anywhere, should always wear one. We should have whistle signals for distress, emergency, etc. I don't know... just a few basic beep noises that we can identify from afar. Then maybe certain rules like fishing in X spot must be done in threes or a basic one such as swimming always in twos or more, etc. These we can discuss as a group before we go. Going over the first aid kit is obviously also going to be incredibly important and there we can discuss the more typical injuries/illnesses we could encounter.

2) I have given this some thought and I am pretty sure that I will not want to find out about anything happening back home, even if it was the death of a family member. I think that staying on the island with this knowledge would ruin the potentially huge positive impact it could have on my life (plus I'd feel incredibly guilty staying on!) and leaving to attend a funeral or go to hospital would firstly be a huge decision for me to take and secondly, part of me (I think) would probably always regret it. I see this as a once in a lifetime opportunity and personally, I have put so much effort into it that I could not bear the thought of leaving half way through. Moreover, I haven't talked to my family about this yet but I am almost 100% sure that none of them would want to see me leave (or stay in the knowledge) so I think I have their support. But I will share with them this discussion right now - it is certainly very important and we should all do the same with our families. Of course, all decisions should be respected by the team members - no matter what people decide to do. These are very personal and important issues.

3) I can't lie... my office has serious bets going around this issue! ha ha. However... my two cents around romantic relationships on the island is that this isn't what L2TL is about. Of course everyone is free to do whatever they want and I won't judge anyone by whatever they end up doing, but personally, I would not want to get romantically involved with anyone. Why? Because I view this month as a unique opportunity to grow spiritually, to do a lot of soul searching, self evaluation, life evaluation, etc etc etc and I think that having someone running around in my mind would definitely distract from what I really will go there to do. I am not interested in that for the month of April to be honest and if I do happen to develop feelings for someone, I will try and keep the 'nitty gritty' till after we are off the island. In any case, if it's going to last, isn't it better that we get to know each other first and wait? ;) Spoken like a true good girl he he... but the truth is still in there, isn't it? Maybe for guys this one will be a bit tougher but I don't know... my general feeling is that I'd prefer for us to treat each other as family and really good friends than lovers and all the risky stuff that that would involve. That's just me anyway...

So... what else? I guess that worst case scenario in my mind is if the group splits up. I think that as long as we stick together and support each other as a team, we can overcome almost anything. However, I also know that this experience has the recipe for conflict written all over it too... simply because we will be very irritated many times, we don't know each other well and we won't all get along like a house on fire (I mean... it's just impossible) and and and... you know all the reasons. So, I'm not saying that I expect everyone to be best friends with everyone else for 30 days, but I do hope we don't develope a serious war between two or more people. That could ruin many things, least of which is the potential to actually have some fun and a good time - also my ultimate goal if possible this month!

Having said that, I am really very confident that I have chosen 9 of the most wonderful people I ever could have chosen. The past few months of interaction with all of you via email, phone and personally have really shown me that, and I am sure that if we all put our best foot forwards, this can be the most incredible month of our entire lives. So... let's do it!

I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom.
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Re: worse case scenarios

Postby MayaBlix » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:47 am

Hey all -

Great replies, and great perspectives on everything discussed.

Here are some of my worst case scenarios:

1. Joe gets seriously ill and has to travel off the island, and we are left without a medical doctor.
This thought has buggered my mind for a while, considering that we have no back up other than basic/advanced first aid skills. I know we're a fairly clued up gang of people, but I fear that we have a false sense of safety in Joe, which could disappear at any point in time, should something happen. That's a realistic scenario that I have been thinking of.

2. Someone in my immediate family dies.
Regardless of what anyone else choses to do in this situation - I would definitely like to know if someone dies and will definitely leave the island immediately. This is not a reflection on how I value our L2TL experience as we all consider this a once in a lifetime thing, but for me family comes first of all things in life, and I would want to be with the ones who mean the absolute most to me in, once again worst case scenario, a tragic event of death. We're talking mum, dad, sister here....and well, for me they are the most important if I have to 'chose' where to spend my time.

3. Someone has an anaphylactic shock in Joe's absence
Hopefully those who know of existing allergies have notified Joe already and precautions have been discussed. I know that we will be exposed to a variety of unknown potential allergens, and my worry is that someone will have a reaction if and when Joe is, let's say, taking a hike on the other side of the island. I know, this is stretching it, but hey, we're talking worst case here. I have a slight fear of any 'sudden' injuries which require immediate attention, especially situations where time is limited.

When it comes to some of the other things which have been discussed above, re. romantic relationships forming, group dynamics etc, I truly believe that we are a group of adults who will be able to consciously use communication as a survival tool on the same level as fishing gear and knives. I also believe that being able to 'snap' out of it, not hold grudges and start from scratch with an open mind on a daily basis is going to make a big difference in relation to our day to day bickering (and there will be some). I also believe that allowing each other space and getting off of each other's backs in the heat of the moment is a natural way for some to deal with things. We all know ourselves well, and it is important that we communicate, constructively, how we 'work' best.

Anyway, it's late and I have to go to bed, but as Lisa would say....'those are my two cents'.

:) Maya
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Re: worse case scenarios

Postby Kristen Kaethler » Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:47 am

Great scenarios Joe, and all the input is fantastic :)
I think we all know there are many situations that could arise on this trip and some will be harder to deal with than others. Also some situations may seem like a big deal to some, and like nothing to others.

There are two scenarios that I have thought of:
1) If we come to a situation where one of us needs to leave the island for medical reasons (like severe dehydration, heat stroke, infection, etc.) but does not want to or is unwilling to. We are adults and hopefully will understand that if a decision has been made that one of us has to leave it is for our own well being and safety. I know that Joe has been tasked with making that final decision, which is a very hard job. Physically I think we ll understand the risks of untreated infections, broken bones, dehydration, starvation etc. Psychologically after putting in 10, or 20 days it may be very difficult for that person to leave, they may feel like they can handle it, like they have to hard to get there, like it is their choice and not Joe's or the teams. I know it seems silly, but psychology can work in strange ways when you are under physical and emotional duress. This person may feel angry, sad, conflicted, like they have failed, like they aren't tough enough, you name it. It is a very real possibility and I think if we can think of ways we can support that individual to help curb the anxiety and emotions that go with having to leave it might make things easier.
2) The other one I have thought of is what to do if there is a situation where the team is under the impression that one of us should leave the island because of psychological/communication issues (rather than health ones) i.e. severe confrontation with other group members, others feeling uncomfortable because of someone's behavior, violent or aggressive behavior etc....
My belief is that we won't come up against these issues, we are a group of intelligent, ambitious and hard working individuals. We have all shown over the last few months that we are very capable in communicating with one another.... BUT I thought I would put it out there because at the end of the day we truly don't know how we're going to react to all the unknowns we will come up against. Dire situations can cause people to act in very different ways than they normally would.
I think as we have all said a number of times and Maya has reiterated in her notes: We are all adults and we know how we work. The more we communicate openyly and honestly the less issues we will have. And remember, we are here together and our best option is to support and help one another and work together as a team wherever possible.

Then on the other issues that have been identified:
1) Head and spinal injuries are obviously very scary in any situation, and on a remote island with little medical care available they can be even more devastating. So I think we all need to be careful, to examine our surroundings before we attempt, climbing, diving, swimming, fishing etc... to minimize as many risks as possible. We cannot predict all that will happen, but we can approach our situations with knowledge, caution and care.
2) If god forbid, someone in my family should get hurt or die I have made the choice that I do not want to know until I leave the island. This was a hard choice for me to make, and I may have to deal with the emotional consequences later, but I have made that choice. This challenge is an opportunity of a lifetime for us all and we all have different reasons for doing it. It is incredibly important to me and I am fully committed to it. I want to push myself to the limits and I want that opportunity to go as unscathed as possible. I love my family and friends and I will ensure they are all aware of my decision and why I have made it.
3) On the romance thing, I have to giggle a little because my friends are already making bets on who hits on who, who kisses who first, etc...
My feelings on it are this: We are adults, and I don't think anybody chose to apply for this challenge so they could "hook-up" on the island. That being said, feelings are feelings and we can't help who we like or want to be with and so on. We will come across some very stressful situations, and feelings develop under strange circumstances. If team members decide to become intimate with one another that is exactly what it is, intimate. Therefore, I don't really think any of the rest of us should really have anything to say about it. But, should you decide to be with someone and it goes sour, that is between the two of you as was your relationship. We are all mature enough to understand the possible consequences. So if we have everyone in our minds and are respectful of the group and what that means to our 30 days together I don't think this should be an issue.
4) If Joe is the one who gets hurt....I have thought about this a lot as well. I think Joe will give us as much information as he can on how to help one another in this situation which will help. Nonetheless, if Joe is gone we do not have him there any longer to judge other indiviudals' medical conditions, so we definitely have to consider that. We need to educate ourselves and one another as best as we can to ensure that we are as prepared for everything as we can possibly be and try not to put all our eggs in one basket so to speak.

That's it for now, but keep the discussion going.....very interesting.
Kristen Kaethler
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what happens if joe is injured

Postby joestarke » Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:54 pm

thanks guys the imput really is great.
so i wanted to add some responses to a few things.
firstly the very real possibility that i could be injured: i hope with a careful approach this will not happen, but if it does, it is a risk i have gotten used after quite a few years of being the only doctor in some very remote locations. y will all only be expected to do what you are capable of, but on that note, i plan on making sure you are all pretty capable! everyone has done a first aid course, and i have sent you all an additional guideline today. on top of this, we will do some further preparation once we are all together, and i am happy for this to continue once we are on the island. for example i will teach you all how to give an intra-muscualr injection of adrenaline in the event of anaphylaxis - it is pretty streaightforward and a real life saver. in the medical kit there is also a wilderness ,medical book which is written with non medical people in mind. it explains assessment and treatment step by step and would be very useful indeed for your guys to help me.
on the question of someone needing medical help while i am out of camp. this is also something which has come up on my previous expeditions . in those situations my movements were restricted to within 15 minutes of camp, so i am quite used to that. i am happy for us to do something similar again if it will make people more comfortable. provided nobody will feel that by doing so i will be unable to do my fair share of the needed work - i will for example be able to take care of camp related things like water filtering cooking, fire management etc but not fishing on the other sid of the island.
in addition, we will definitely need to spend time on emergency signaling and what different peoples' roles will be in an emergency (i.e. stetcher carriers, communications, medical assistant) and we can work these out based on peoples experience and preference. as i said, i have brought whistles for everyone and we can go through some basic signals
i think the concern about the group "splitting" is very real. this has nothing to do with an assessment of anyone as an individual, but rather that situations like this can do funny things to people - and remember we are still animals on a very real level, and when under strain that "primal" side which includes a strong impulse to ensure personal survival at any cost, can easily come through. i think the best way to avoid this is to be aware of the possibility and to work regularly at strengthening our relationships with everyone else in the group rather than confinging ourselves to the people we get on best with, this can be as simple as making sure to have even a brief conversation with every team member at least once a day, find out how they are doing what they are working on, successes and failures that day, how can i help etc. as has been said, no one need feel that we have to all be best buddies but we should be able to get on and communicate with one another even if we don't particularly like one or other person.
a more difficult scenario which has been raised is the questions of several people feeling that another team member shoudl leave because of conflict/personality clash. this would really be a tragedy but i think it is important that it has been raised. i think we can avoid this by being open to hearing from those around us as to how our behaviour is affecting others, as well as being willing to point things out to team members at an ealry stage before the situation has deteriorated to such an extreme degree.
on the question of a medical need for evacuation of someone who is resistant to leaving. this would also obviously be enormously difficult and i won't take this sort of decision lightly, but please remember that as important as what we are doing is, as important as the fund raising and adventure is, none of it is worth your life. we will be in a potentially precarious position the entire 30 days but, it will be easy to be complacent or to think, "help is just an hour away". that doesn't mean that we can take a chance when someone has a problem that requires more advanced medical review - i.e. i think it would be foolish to "wait and see" before evacuating someone. remember that if you leave the island for a medical reason, you ARE allowed to return though there will be fundraising implications - as recently outlined by Huenu in an update of the rules - i.e. after your return, from that day onwards all funding goes to charity rather than being split - please correct me here Huenu is i have gotton it wrong.

thanks again for all the input, lets keep it rolling in!
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