People complete Hell Week with stress fractures, full-blown pneumonia, broken ribs and concussions.
Once the survivors get back to the barracks, they are recommended to sleep on their backs, with feet and hands slightly elevated to help the swelling.
They should drink lots of water: also they should keep an empty bottle next to the bed, since a head call is virtually impossible to perform after what they have been through. Apparently, mistaking one bottle for the other is a common occurrence.
There is a watch posted at the barracks: they check on the candidates every hour for the first day.
After your body has been abused for five and a half days, you go through what is known as “Post-Hell-Week-Depression”.
Simply put, due to the abuse your body has undertaken, your brain has higher priorities than to create emotion-controlling hormones.
Feet are so swollen, you can’t fit your boots anymore. Same goes for your toes. The nerve damage takes between 2 weeks and 2 years to fully repair.
Some candidates lose up to 15 pounds of muscle. You can’t stand more than a minute or two.
You are consistently cold and your body starts shivering uncontrollably without warning.
Another curtesy of Hell Week is sometimes a VGE (Viral Gastroenteritis): a vicious stomach bug you can collect during the numerous surf sessions next to the Tijuana sewage system.
This can carry through after Friday of course, making your recovery even more miserable, if possible.
Most of the candidates sleep 12 to 16 hours straight, others are unable to release enough tension to get any sustained sleep.
The final three weeks of First Phase are devoted to hydrographic reconnaissance and the mechanics of cartography.
– Lello Mascetti