family

Health is Wealth

On Tuesday night (2/5/19), after The YBO Radio Show (which is every Tuesday from 8pm – 9pm on 104.1 Riverwest Radio or www.riverwestradio.com), I left the radio station to head to the grocery store. This was roughly around 9:30pm or 9:45pm. When I got home, I seasoned the steak that I bought and put it in the oven. During this time, I was on the phone with someone having a conversation and suddenly, I felt like I was about to faint. My heart was racing fast and my body started to get chills. I thought that perhaps I was hungry and just needed to grab something to eat. There were ice cream sandwiches in the freezer, so I grabbed one and drank a Gatorade. I still didn’t feel too well, but eventually, after my body settled down, I was able to go to sleep.

The next day, I immediately went to the doctor. I told them what happened and they starting to run some tests. They drew blood and requested a urine sample which all came back fine. Then they tested my heart which was fine as well. The nurse checked my temperature and then my blood pressure. My temperature was normal, but my blood pressure was through the roof. The reading was 184/98 and the average blood pressure is 120/80. I had no clue on why it was so high. The doctor prescribed a water pill to take in the morning to help lower my blood pressure and suggested I get a physical done right away. I was so angry at myself because this was the first time I had to take medication besides for a cold. Needless to say, I did as the doctor suggested.

The following day, I went to work. I felt okay, not 100%, but okay. However, that changed throughout the day. Near 10:00am, I felt like something or someone was standing on top of my chest and would not get off. I could hear my heart beat and see it thumping through my chest. I started to feel weak again. “Is this what a heart attack feels like?” “Am I having one now?” Normal people would have left work, but I thought I could tough it out and I did. After work, I went back to doctor to let them know that it felt like my heart was about to explode out of my chest. They did another blood pressure reading, and it was higher, 194/114. They gave me some medicine to calm me down, which mildly worked, and ran some more tests. They concluded that it was my blood pressure that caused the pain. The doctor prescribed some more medicine which makes it two pills that I am on.

Today, 2/8/19, I went for my physical. They checked my blood pressure and it was down, but still far beyond the target blood pressure goal. “Diet and exercise is the key Mr. Thompson and I am upping your dosage. You are too young!”

With that being said, I am on a mission to live as long as I can. Even though this is “whack”, I see the blessing in disguise. Once I achieve my goal, I can help others with my testimony. I can’t lie, part of me was scared. Could I have been over dramatic? Yes, but this is new for me and I don’t want to die young. So, I choose life and I am determined to shed these pounds, in which I’ve already lost 6 just by changing my diet slightly.

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The "EX"perience

In my early twenties, I was in a serious relationship for about three years. We met towards the end of our freshman year in college. My friends and I went to a neighboring college party where I met her. Something about her intrigued me. I don’t recall what it was, but I do remember someone throwing up on her and I came to the rescue. After getting her cleaned up, we exchanged numbers. In the beginning, like most relationships, things were good. We were getting to know each other and after a short while, we fell in love. Within two years, I wanted to pop the question. Before I did however, I asked her dad for his daughter’s hand in marriage along with consulting her mother and brother. I even asked the dog. They were thrilled and so was I once she said yes.

A year into our engagement, I found out that relationships were a lot of hard work. We moved in together while she was working a full time job along with going to school and I was working part time trying to finish school as well. During our sophomore year of college, our majors changed drastically. She went from wanting to be a doctor to a chef while I changed from wanting to be an electrical engineer to studying business marketing. Eventually, she decided that she wanted to take a semester off and work full time while I was still working part time and going to school. Unfortunately, that dynamic shift in our relationship took a toll on us. Even though I was productive, she felt as if I wasn’t working hard enough. She thought that I should take a year off of college to work full time and to help with the bills. We argued about that a lot. I didn’t want to stop because I was sure about my major and wanted to finish.

 Moving into my junior year of college, I was able to take on a full time job because my class schedules were more flexible. I could work in the mornings and take classes at night. The relationship seemed to get back on track. She enrolled in school again to be a chef. I could see the passion in her eyes when it pertained to cooking. Whatever she learned in class, she would try it out at home. The meals were great and I love it. Things were looking up, however, in my bliss, I didn’t realize that there was someone else moving in. She became more distant and wanted to go out with her new college friends. Most of the times, those outings didn’t include me. I trusted her, but something wasn’t right. She began to lie about who should would be hanging out with and where she would be going. I found out it was a guy from class that she was going out with alone. Angry, I asked for my ring back and to my surprise, she quickly obliged. After that, I never saw her again. Our ending was bitter and still until this day, we have not spoken a word to each other or follow each other on social media. It’s finally all behind me.

Every man has that one woman that broke their heart. The one woman that we were most vulnerable and the most honest with. Our past EXperiences helps shape us to be the men that we are today. Learn and grow from it and then move on.

Care to share your EXperience? Comment below and don’t forget to subscribe to the post.

Ac·count·able

The dictionary defines accountable as, “required or expected to justify actions or decisions”. Last year, I sat with a group of men that shared some of their personal stories. I listened as one man shared that he had a drinking problem and was on the brink of losing his family. Coming home from work, he would get a drink to relax his mind and fall asleep. Then he would wake up and go out with his friends to drink again. It made him angrier and more irritable. Arguments were started with his wife until one day, she gave him an ultimatum. Either get cleaned or she was gone.

 

Fearing that he might lose his wife, he went to get some help. While at an Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) meeting, he listened to the stories of other people. A lawyer mentioned how they would show up to court smelling like alcohol. The drinking became so bad that they were eventually disbarred. Other husbands talked about losing their families to drinking. After hearing these stories, the man knew that he needed to make a change. It started with him recognizing the problem he was causing in his life and marriage. Now over a year sober, his marriage is stronger. Drinking uncontrollably ripped him of his manhood. He became irresponsible and inconsiderate. If he didn’t acknowledge his actions, he probably would have lost his wife and his battle with alcoholism.

 

Learning from his story, I had to come to terms with my own irresponsibility. I met a woman a couple of years ago, towards the end of my senior year in college. We were just friends at first, but we developed a sexual relationship. I’d used to call her over to my apartment to watch a movie and have sex. It was fun and enticing. Over the course of our “friendly” relationship, I started to notice that she developed feelings for me. She would get clingy and upset if I talked about other women in front of her. I did my best to be upfront with her and told her that I’m not looking for a relationship. In fact, I was willing to cut the sex out. Understanding my position, we continued having sex.

 

For sometime, the situation was perfect, but slowly and surely the questions about a relationship came back. Irritated, I told her we shouldn’t have sex anymore. She became upset and started to believe I was having sex with someone else. I wasn’t, but she was willing to do anything I wanted. Guys at her office would try to talk to her, but she would tell them that she had a boyfriend. I started to feel guilty. I felt like I was robbing her of a true relationship. Ultimately, I cut all communications off and stop interacting with her. Last year, I reached out to her to apologize. I shouldn’t have taken advantage of her heart and I should have been more responsible in understanding her feelings. My honesty was appreciated, but I broke her heart and she didn’t want to have anything to do with me. I assumed that if I told her my position upfront, then I was clear of all wrong doing, but I took advantage of her. It was wrong and I lost a friend.

 

Being a man means being accountable for your actions. It’s about not blaming others, but taking control of yourself. Whether it is in our careers, friendships, romantic relationships or family, we have to recognize the roles that we play.

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