'It's Hard To Manage It Out There': Daisy's Endometriosis Caused Her More Grief On 'All Stars' That It Did In Season 4
The first time Daisy Richardson played 'Australian Survivor' she kept her endometriosis under wraps from most of the competitors.
The travel agent was concerned that her painful chronic illness would be seen as a weakness among her tribe so she kept quiet and smashed her way through the physically taxing game for a full 41 days.
Returning to play again for 'All Stars', Daisy didn't have the luxury of anonymity but soon realised that being able to openly talk to her tribemates during her pain flare-ups was much better than going it alone.
"I was really lucky because everyone knew because I’d come out from season 4 and I was really upfront and honest with my tribe about what was going on," she told 10 daily ahead of the 'All Stars' premiere.
Endometriosis affects more than ten percent of women in Australia at some point in their lives and is a disease where the cells (endometrium) lining the uterus move to other parts of the body.
It can cause painful periods, bowel and bladder symptoms, and pain flare-ups in the lower back and thighs and pelvis.
Unfortunately for Daisy, the endo symptoms she experienced during 'All Stars' were much more intense than they were during 'Champions v Contenders'.
"It actually caused me more grief on 'All Stars' than it did on Season 4, which was crazy. I think because my body was like, ‘whoa, what’s going on?’ we had food for six weeks and went back to our normal routine and now you’re starving me again!" she told 10 daily.
She continued on to explain that she had "some real drama with it, which was really disappointing".
"It’s really hard to manage something like that out there," she said, explaining that she's normally managing the chronic illness in a number of different ways when she's at home.
"You’ve got the luxury of changing your lifestyle at home because you do have the shops up the road and the chemist up the road, exercise classes and massages whenever you want to go," she said, adding physio and specialist sessions to the list.
But in the brutal world of 'Australian Survivor' -- all of those pain management plans are completely inaccessible.
"When you’re stuck on a beach with 11 other people and all you’ve got is rice and beans and not even fire, there’s not much you can do to counteract it," Daisy told 10 daily.
While contestants have a professional medical team on hand if things get serious in Fiji, things are a bit trickier when it comes to unpredictable pain flare-ups.
"They wait until you really, really, really, really need it," she said, adding that "there’s not just Panadol on tap where they’re handing it out from their back pocket.
"There is a medical team but it needs to be bad enough that you need to ask to see them and they’ve got to come out to the beach," she said.
Daisy's Vakama tribe were overwhelmingly supportive of looking out for her when she experienced some of the painful symptoms of endometriosis, but she said tribe mate and challenge beast Locky Gilbert stood out.
"Locky was super super supportive in all my flare-ups, he was probably the one that looked after me the most, I was really grateful.
"I think it’s super cool, it shows how far we’ve come that males are opening their eyes to these female reproductive diseases and are really starting to understand what we’re going through," she added.
Awareness of the often misunderstood and misdiagnosed disease (it can take between 7-10 years for a correct diagnosis) has gradually increased over the last five years with celebrities including Lena Dunham, Padma Lakshmi and Mel Grieg speaking publicly about their experiences.
Most recently, 'I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here' star Erin Barnett opened up about living with endometriosis and PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), describing how painful and expensive it can be to treat the disease.