In case you've ever thought alcohol isn't as dangerous as hard drugs like meth, heroin, or cocaine, think again. It's alcohol that has completely destroyed the health of this mother of four, who, at 35-years-old, looks much, much older, and lives in a nursing home with round the clock care due the ravages of alcoholism. Sadly, she is dying and her four children will never have a mother.
Beverley Pickorer has liver disease and suffers from seizures and jaundice. You can see just by looking at her what alcohol has done to her. She appears to have only one tooth left. She has jaundice. One hand appears to be paralyzed. And she has the skin tone and texture of an old woman.
Beverley's partner, Anthony Howard, says that Beverley's problems with drinking started in her early 20s. At her peak, she was drinking 24 cans of beer a day, plus a bottle of pear alcoholic cider. And that was just the morning. She would then apparently go to a local pub in Shiregreen, England. Then she'd come home and drink 16 more cans of beer. Absolutely staggering!
Howard says he just got used to seeing booze in her hand and didn't think much about it. It's astonishing to me if she managed to take care of her children at all, but apparently now all of them are in foster care. Ugh, horrible. So sad.
Most people are able to drink alcohol without it turning into this, but you just never know. You don't know if you will be one of the ones who drinks yourself to death.
Pretty much everyone I knew drank heavily in their early 20s in college -- myself included -- and it just never occurs to you that it could become a deadly habit. I never thought about whether I would be one of the unlucky ones who simply couldn't turn off my craving for booze. Very luckily, I was one of the ones whose interest in alcohol decreased drastically with age, and now I look back in shock at how much I could pound down at age 21. Could never do that now, would never even want to.
Genetically, Beverley was cursed.
In Britain, experts say that liver disease is on the rise in people whom no one would even consider alcoholic -- the mom who drinks a bottle of wine a day ; the businessman who has three martinis with lunch. All of it can unwittingly be more than the liver can handle.
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One study says that even one drink a day can increase your risk of cancer.
I have nothing but sympathy for Beverley and her partner and children. She is paying the ultimate price for something she just could not control. Tragic.
Do you ever worry you drink too much? Have you ever seen anyone ruin their health with drinking?
Image via ddb and kdw/Flickr