July 01, 2011

Of alcohol, foie gras and a big fat liver

My last job was in the wines & spirits industry … for a few years I was marketing a popular brand of whisky. The job was fun … entertainments, night clubs, grand events, fine dining, overseas trips and of course, plenty of alcohol. I must say I did enjoy the few good years and when I left the industry, some of my friends were quite surprised why I gave up a good job. Well, there were many reasons … it is a long story so to speak. But I can tell you one of the many reasons was my health.

You see, I used to be a person who tends to over indulge … to me whatever worth doing is always worth over doing. And working in the wines & spirits industry, I frequently went across the line, over indulging myself in alcohol. When I start to drink, somehow I just cannot stop … really, I only have myself to blame for not being able to exert strict control on my drinking habits. Away from work, I always kept myself active in competitive racket games, swimming, running as well as other outdoor sports.  I used to run 12 to 15km non-stop easily … but at that point of time, I could barely do 3km. My physical fitness was affected and my health began to deteriorate … slowly I felt that I was not as fit as I want to be.

Something was wrong … a medical check-up soon showed that apart from losing my stamina and experiencing sporadic irregular heartbeat, I also have an enlarged liver … a lot larger than it should. Somehow it reminds me of an article I read about foie gras … the fat juicy liver, a gourmet cuisine that melts in your mouth. Hey, do you know that people in this business force-feed the geese with high carbohydrate feed and cramp them in cages so that their livers swell up with fat, growing to a few times its normal size? The liver is then harvested and expensively served in fine dining. To many it is a delicacy but really it is just basically a disease-damaged organ called fatty liver (just like my liver at that time). Though I was not cruelly force fed but high alcohol consumption was the main culprit of my enlarged liver. You probably read about it before … something called alcoholic fatty liver disease.  

I knew I have to get back in shape … I have already lost capacity of one of my lungs (smoked one of my lungs away) and the injurious effects of alcohol started affecting my liver. I had another good reason to quit the wines & spirits industry … and I did. It has been more three years now and a recent medical screening showed that my liver is working just fine now without the alcohol (well not totally without alcohol … occasionally a couple of beers) and my lungs capacity increased. I am glad I am physically better now to be actively playing competitive badminton, trekking and other outdoor activities. This old car may have a few loose screws here and there after running for almost half a century but overall, (after a bit of overhauling) the major parts of the engine are performing just fine.


David Ang said...

Good for you Sheik! Bravo.

Donna said...

It's great that you realised, stopped the drinking and smoking and got yourself back in gear before the effects of over-indulging became too late to reverse. I hope you have recovered well from the accident. Take care.

Stone Shiek said...

Hi Dave ... yes, it really good that I quit soon enough :)

Donna ... I am now up and running already ... but not riding the motorbike anymore. See you around Donna :)

Heather said...

Yay for your good lifestyle choices! Sometimes quitting a job is hard, I did it too once, but for my mental health - which sooner or later will result in poor physical health too.