2018 Dedicated to Men’s Health

In 2018 after the election I took a short sabbatical from politics.

I concentrated my energy on my personal health, workout regiment. It is a known fact ( according to the CDC ) only 23.2% of adults over the age of 18 meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for both aerobic and muscle strengthening activity. I believe personal health is a life style and should be listed right under your family and belief in God. It is for this belief I have always incorporated working out into my life style. My particular work out regiment consist of training three to four times a week. During the course of the year in June of 2018, while running on the treadmill I began to have some sporadic palpitations (shortness of breath). In good shape and having a strong male ego, I quickly attributed these short disruptions to improper breathing, eating too close to work out time, and lack of proper rest.

These irregular disruptions continued from June through August, and as always I found reason to ignore them. On August 16, 2018 while at the gym I fell down a flight of concrete stairs. In my attempt to break my fall, I extended my left arm to protect my head and face. While this did prevent me from receiving serious injury. This motion resulted with me completely severing two tendons in my left shoulder. The fall I had taken now required surgery to fix.

Before you have to have surgery, you are required to get a pre surgical exam. This is to ensure you are capable of withstanding the procedure. It was during this pre surgical check I was administered an Electrocardiogram (EKG). During this process it was determined there was something drastically wrong with my heart. I went from needing surgery on my shoulder to needing to see a Cardiologist immediately. (To shorten my story) I was diagnosed with a condition called Ventricular tachycardia.(A condition in which the lower chambers of the heart beat very quickly). This is a condition if untreated can lead to death. I chose a procedure called ablation to remedy the problem. The procedure took approximately four hours, after my heart was as good as new. I was subsequently cleared for my shoulder surgery January 2, 2019, and after six months of grinding rehabilitation it also is as good as new.

I am sharing this story because, we as black and brown men often place low priority on our health, we put off Doctors appointments and ignore symptoms. I was previously included in the same category. Thinking I’m in great shape I made excuses for my difficultly in breathing while exercising. It took me falling down a flight of stairs to be properly diagnosed.

The moral of this story, Black and Brown men if you feel something is abnormal or out of the usual, please get it checked right away. The life you save may be yours.

About peoplefortheneighborhood

Anthony Rivers served his country for 4 years as a United States Marine, upon his honorable discharge, he immediately began his career as a public servant with the New York City Police Department attaining the rank of Lieutenant. After 23 years he retired and now fights and serves on behalf of the community in which he lives.
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