Name me a painful long-term health impact of being lost at sea.

This is for a fellow writer. Her character is a male in his early 60’s. At the age of 50 he and a bunch of other people were stranded for 30 days at sea, and he was the leader-ish type who made a bunch of sacrifices so that other crew & passengers (notably a 6 year old kid) could survive. She wants some painful long-lasting health problem, preferably with consistent joint pain as a symptom, to strike him now.

I’ve suggested gout (theorizing that maybe excess stress on the kidneys due to dehydration contributes), recurrent malaria, and myalgic encephalomyelitis. What other options are there?

Heck, give him chronic renal failure due to acute dehydration, which caused a lot of his kidney tissue to stop functioning, giving him only partial function with rehydration.

He can be on dialysis if you want. Or he can be post renal transplant and have complications from that.

She had said there were periods of dehydration followed by water, as they collected and purified rainwater on board. So that’s a damn good idea, right there. Thanks a bunch!

You can throw into the plot the scene where the kid’s so thirsty he can’t resist drinking sea water, which dehydrates him much faster than the others who refrain.

Hahaha! I think she’ll like that one.

Glittering eye, and albatross phobia.

And a tendency to pray well. :stuck_out_tongue:

Not trivial at all is acute sunburn and chapped skin for the exposed skin compounded with festering sores on the not exposed areas due to constantly being immersed in saltwater. The skin may not ever recover from this. Go into your kitchen, scrub your skin raw with a brillo pad, then pour salt water on it–repeat for 66 days.

Suggested that the writer read the following: http://www.amazon.com/Adrift-Seventy-six-Days-Lost-Sea/dp/0618257322.

Most libraries will have it, it is a non-fiction story of a man adrift for 66 days; on the NY TImes bestseller list for weeks.

J have read it and it is a harrowing read.

And melanoma is a distinct possibility.

one of the characters needs to be named Johnson.

I think that’s the tale she mentioned partially getting the inspiration from. Strange that I didn’t think of that one myself- an acquaintance of mine voluntoured in El Salvador a few years back and sunburned her lips so bad that to this very day a lot of dentists can’t or won’t treat her.

Though one big thing is that she insists on a ten-year delay between them being rescued and whatever condition affecting him. I’d presume the sunburn would affect him continuously. Qadgop- would the kidney damage possibly have such a delay, or would that be continuous too?

I’ve just got word that they were too far out to sea for mosquitoes, so recurring malaria is out. As of right now she’s kept kidney damage, joint damage (her character was beaten before they were all set adrift, and then did a bunch of pulling and rowing and such) and myalgic encephalomyelitis on the table. I think the only reason she turned down the sunburn suggestion when I mentioned it to her was to avoid being too similar to Adrift.

Read Francis Chichester’s Gipsy Moth Circles the World about a man in his sixties circumnavigating the globe in a singlehanded sailing vessel.

Naturally, Chichester was much better off for survival and comfort than a bunch of castaways, but it’s kind of alarming to read what he went through just from the inevitable bumps and bruises of handling a small craft in varying sea and storm conditions.

Your friend’s protagonist could end up with various persistent or recurring tendon/ligament/bone spur/whatever issues just from being battered and beat by his vessel and its contents. There are lots of heavy and/or sharp things in a boat, and nothing that’s not fastened down stays put in rough weather, including the crew and the passengers.