Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Yellowed Out

This isn't funny. But it's a segue that's strangely appropriate. I talked about Big Bird last time - just to clean the palette of mortality rates before the weekend.

Well ... an article from the Daily Mail featured what looks like a human Big Bird yesterday. Gack!! The pic's below - and I'll probably take it down shortly because it's tacky, exploitative and kinda gross.  So if you're eating, you might want to skip this one.

Patricia Murphy is a 45-year-old British woman who basically threw her life away with her recycled wine bottles. She suffered from alcoholism for years and was drinking about 350 units every week. The maximum recommended intake in the U.K. is 14 units per week for women - 21 for men. (A unit is 7.9 grams of alcohol - or one standard drink. Doctors always like to be posh, don't they? Like 'drink' isn't fancy enough for them?)

Anyway, Ms. Murphy had been to A.A. meetings and rehab in her life, but she never could kick the habit. Until ... she turned yellow last year and was admitted to hospital with cirrhosis of the liver.

Cirrhosis - also called alcohol liver disease - kills between 10,000-25,000 people in the U.S. every year. In the U.K., deaths from cirrhosis have increased substantially since 1960 - about 85% for men and 45% for women, probably partly due to the fact alcohol consumption has doubled in that time.

The liver performs more than 300 vital functions in the body - including processing alcohol. When the organ is taxed beyond its capacity, failure is the result and one of the symptoms is jaundice - or yellowing of the skin and eyes.  At the time, Ms. Murphy was given a 5% chance of survival. The good news is, after ten weeks of treatment, she made it out alive and seven months later, she's still sober. Plus she no longer looks like a human Big Bird.

On a lighter note, Lindsay Lohan was bright-eyed and bushy-maned getting out of her schmancy Malibu rehab clinic yesterday. Now she's off to spend some time with her sober living coach. So hopefully the possibility of her turning yellow from liver disease has been dramatically reduced. Though I imagine we'll still see her turn orange from the occasional fake tan.

Here's the full article  about Ms. Murphy and her surprising recovery. And as threatened, the scary pic! (Incidentally, the way it worked out today, this woman's picture is right across from my photo!! It looks like a before/after shot or something! And I don't know which is which! Anyway - I DON'T LIKE IT!)


           e                 At death's door: Patricia Murphy, last November, when her organs shut down as a result of cirrhosis of the liver and she had developed blood poisoning