December 8, 2023

The basketball legend talks candidly concerning the lengthy street to his atrial fibrillation analysis — the signs he dismissed and the denial that nearly killed him.

“I went to a baseball recreation.”

That’s how NBA Corridor of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 76, came upon he had atrial fibrillation (AFib). Two years in the past he attended a Los Angeles Dodgers recreation, and “each time I attempted to maneuver from one place to a different, I’d get additional tingly fatigue and out of breath. And I did not perceive it.”

This wasn’t the primary time. Abdul-Jabbar had been coping with related signs for some time and downplayed them as a result of they’d been delicate and got here and went. However now he admits they’d been getting worse over time and the ballgame was the worst but.

His enterprise supervisor was with him and insisted Abdul-Jabbar go to the hospital. He refused, after all – this was only a passing factor. He lastly relented, nonetheless, and as soon as on the hospital he acquired a fast analysis: AFib.

In an interview with WebMD CEO Bob Brisco, Abdul-Jabbar mentioned, “We won’t defeat one thing if we won’t even acknowledge that it exists. The denial side of it’s a killer. It is no huge deal, it should go away, after which it would not go away. You are the one that may go away.”

Video Transcript

This transcript has been edited for readability.

Bob Brisco: It is our privilege to have as our visitor this morning Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It’s possible you’ll know him as an athlete. He is additionally an writer, a screenwriter and activist, and a well being advocate.

Kareem, we’ve got you with us at this time to speak about atrial fibrillation (AFib). Why are we speaking to you about AFib?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Effectively, I am somebody who has needed to take care of AFib. Only a couple years in the past, I used to be coping with it and it was not enjoyable, particularly as a result of I did not know what was occurring to me.

Brisco: Can you are taking us by way of that? How did you uncover that you’ve it?

Abdul-Jabbar: I began to note that I used to be having shortness of breath, and at varied instances, I felt lightheaded and drained although I hadn’t been doing something. I went to a baseball recreation. I acquired to the Dodgers recreation. And each time I attempted to do one thing, to maneuver from one place to a different, I acquired additional tingly fatigue and out of breath. I did not perceive it. My enterprise supervisor noticed what I used to be coping with and instructed me I used to be going to the hospital and I used to be like, No, I do not wish to try this.