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Well joining us right now is Jerry West former NBA player.
And doctor Erica.
-- -- -- who is director of the clinical electro physiology.
Laboratory at saint Vincent's Indianapolis.
-- gentlemen thank you both for being -- us and during the reason you would have decided to get involved.
In atrial fibrillation.
Is because you suffered from that in and did it shorten your career in some regard I think you're retired.
At age 36 and 1974.
Well no I didn't -- my career but certainly the impact of my career.
The at that point point in time I had not been diagnosed with with this problem I wasn't diagnosed till I was forty.
And the symptoms that I have.
Today I had -- -- Napoli.
Shortness of breath.
-- time being tired.
During the course of the game.
And when you're.
Very well conditioned those things I thought every player -- those those moments because they go away they went away very quickly.
I was -- I had a lot of energy and I really didn't get tired but.
I was always.
I thought that was -- that your body would feel that way when you're exerting yourself at a very high level.
But when I became a forty and I became an executive with the lakers that's when the problems really occurred and I knew what was abnormal I couldn't enjoy the games.
The same symptoms over there and irritability lack of sleep.
Almost everything to keep things that would be detrimental to being involved in the sport were so emotional because.
You're not gonna have any task somebody's gonna win and somebody's gonna lose.
And when when when -- look back to those days -- wish I would have known earlier because there wasn't really.
Look at that as much as it is today in this carefully.
There's much more information out there today and my involvement.
My involvement with this -- -- -- dot com.
Has been really enlightening for me because I'm hopeful that the an age when people.
Start to feel differently about their body in particular even being their hard some of these.
Problems last year.
That they can go out and look -- at -- dot com which is a lot of information.
About a real media.
There you can tell your story and I'm here was doctor Patel -- who we'll talk a little bit of -- more about the evaluation of this on this web site.
So it's interesting that we can have a lot of more information this point in my life.
Yeah -- mention the website again www.
-- half stats.
Talk -- us about the risk factors of a -- how common is this.
Yes well thank you very much for having us on.
This is a very major problem nationally it's the most common rhythm disturbance in the heart.
The estimates I think they're low ball or about two and a half million Americans have it.
The problem is a lot of people haven't don't know they have it so.
It's probably at least three and a half to four million people my own estimated and the symptoms are some of the ones Jerry mentioned.
Rapid irregular heart beating.
Feeling at that.
He just plain washed out a lot of -- tell -- -- can't get the energy to do any thing sleepless nights shortness of breath.
-- or unfortunately nothing and the reason why nothing is bad.
Is because if there are risks to this rhythm and in addition to just not feeling good.
There -- stroke -- heart failure risk increased mortality.
So if you one thing you can do for yourself on this AS that dot com site is there's actually -- -- -- -- there.
It lets you take a little -- of the test and see if you haven't even known risk factors.
The most important thing out of all this is to get the diagnosis get it early.
Get it right and get the treatment do you need to feel better.
And the treatments are keeping you in normal rhythm and for many people like Jerry West is great careers he had it sort of scary to think how much.
Better would've been -- he -- in normal rhythm all the time.
You can get help.
Get a diagnosis get to see a specialist.
Check out the web -- -- -- your opportunities and did it get get into -- better part of your life.
Yeah and cherry on.
Look even beyond your playing days you knew then went on to coach the lakers for a while many were the general manager you led the lakers to seven.
Championships then you became.
The general manager.
For the grizzlies and you bet you've had a very.
Active post player life.
How is this impacted you and what do you do to really reduce your own risks.
Well obviously for me -- it's it really is uninteresting story and that's why I'm here to share with people to understand that you can do with this.
But you do have to maintain a certain kind of lifestyle you -- have to maintain.
Medications you have to be careful with -- -- -- with medication you have to have your blood levels.
-- because you're taking medication for but I think the thing for me as a player.
I thought it was normal for me and and once -- became diagnosed and had a better awareness of what I was facing unless I took care of myself.
And more importantly.
Visited a a person who had expertise and -- in this area.
-- the more risk I was going to be to have some kind of something catastrophic happen to me.
But dealing with the stress and the pressure was a thing that was.
It was almost got a funny I mean -- I would even go to the movies winners important game -- when he go to the game couldn't stand to watch him knowing full well.
Then we had great teams.
That we're going to be able to win has been a -- a lot of time in a parking -- talking to people parking lot.
You'd be shocked to send the crazy things that I did to try to relieve the pressure -- not water watching the games.
And then it really was manifested during the playoffs -- it was time the year that we wanted to -- We have built teams that were capable winning championships and you lot of good fortune.
Injuries to key part of that and that's when I got to the point I said to myself I can't do this anymore my -- I just can't do it.
Because there wasn't farm and I didn't feel very good about myself but I didn't like the way I felt -- -- -- -- slept very little.
And I just needed to get away from the pressure of it which seem to manifest its problem.
-- -- your teammates backing your play daisies to comment about how restless.
You know you always were.
And maybe maybe were experiencing it even even back -- at an early age.
Well I have a question I have -- when I was reporters absolutely no question the same symptoms I had.
But again I was fortunate I had tons of energy I mean -- I did not get tired.
But it would it would you would really lady -- with your breeding at times we almost felt like your hyperventilating.
And that that became a problem sometimes that I think they get to go through that and overrun but obviously more adrenaline and -- Your body you know it feels like.
You feel like Superman I'm sure when you're playing competing and so it would -- it was not as magnified as was.
When I wasn't competing and I know that it was really got to be a problem with me later -- -- Using the lakers as the executive vice president when I became president of the grizzlies.
The same thing again occurred in probably left the game a little bit -- and I should've.
Because I felt I had more to -- I didn't wanna take the risk that I was putting myself -- greater risk for problem.
I'm afraid we're out of time but doctor -- -- -- and Jerry West.
Thank you both for sharing your story again I want to mention a web site.
We -- -- dot com and there is the website right there.
Go to it if you think big you know you're experiencing some of the this -- is that Jerry West has been described in the doctor has discussed.
And you can find out more about it in which you can do to alleviate some of the risks.
Jerry West thanks for the memories -- I gotta tell you made my childhood growing up so much fun to go down and watch you when Elgin Baylor and feel -- rich and won't hazard and the whole gang and you know and will join the team and boy a lot of but a lot of fun watching you play over the years in and thanks so much for that.
Well thank you are really enjoy it and competing and doing things in life it's fun you have to learn how to compete at something here -- competing in different arena today.
Thanks again gentlemen good luck to you.
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