When former Nascar driver Brian Vickers was in his 20s, he dismissed lung pain and shortness of breath as having a few too many glasses of wine the night prior.

But the now-37-year-old wants others to know that paying attention to your body can save your life. Though Vickers delayed going to the ER for about four days during that episode, when he arrived, doctors diagnosed him with deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, a life-threatening health emergency. DVT would take him on and off the race track several times as it continued to plague him for years to come.

“I’ve seen a lot of people and I’ve talked to a lot of people, and they make excuses and they kick that cannon,” Vickers said. “That was a mistake I made in the beginning, and it’s something I’ll never make again. Something I always encourage my friends or anyone I speak to or when I do interviews is: If you think something’s wrong, just go to the ER.”

Read the full article on FutureOfPersonalHealth.com.