Over the next few months, Jericho wrestled sparingly. When he did get back into a more regular schedule on Dynamite and Rampage, he was in noticeably better shape than he’d been. The 51 year promised he would eventually explain to fans what happened, and now he has, with an edition of Talk Is Jericho called “How I Survived A Pulmonary Embolism”.
“I did have what is called a pulmonary embolism. Back on December 7th, I believe, of 2021. I found this out when I was in London, England. I’ve been waiting a while to tell the story. I kind of wanted to wait until some things were settled and figure it out, and make sure that everything is back to where it needs to be, and is back to normal, and is back to the new normal. Pulmonary embolism basically means blood clots in your lungs, and that’s what I had, a whole bunch of them, which are now pretty much gone. All of them are gone, which is great to hear.”
The issue started earlier in the tour, when Jericho “felt kind of a little bit winded”, which he said was “weird” because that never happened. He spoke to his doctor in Tampa about it, who thought it could be blood clots. The doctor scheduled tests for when he got back to the United States, but warned his patient to go to the hospital immediately if he had issues breathing.
That happened at a show in Chester, England. Jericho didn’t want to be hospitalized, and talks about refusing to put on a gown:
“I put on shorts and a muscle shirt and I said, ‘This is fine, I’ll do this’ and they’re like, ‘Sir, you have to put on your gown’ and I said, ‘No, I don’t’ and they just kind of thankfully left me because to me if I put the gown on, that’s more of a permanent stay.”
He did have to stay overnight, and tests determined it was blood clots in his lungs, and at least one in his throat which could have led to a stroke:
“The reason why these are so dangerous is if the blood clot breaks free and gets into your lungs you can have some serious issues. If it breaks free and gets into your heart, you can have serious issues. If it breaks free and gets into your brain, you can have serious issues. So they gave me a blood thinner.”
It also wasn’t safe for Jericho to fly yet, as his oxygen levels were low. Eventually he was cleared for air travel. When he got home, more more tests were done. Those led directly to his weight loss:
“One of the things that is measured is your visceral fat. Well what’s visceral fat? Visceral fat is the fat that surrounds your organs. He said you need to lose some visceral fat. Well, how do you lose visceral fat? Well, you lose weight.
“When I went in there, I was 241 pounds. Now looking back, was I too big? Absolutely. Was I overweight? I guess, but never ever out of shape cardio wise. No, I never was blowing up or anything like that. But I gained some weight after I worked with Kenny Omega at the Tokyo Dome. I was going through a Bruiser Brody phase, and I thought, well, I can be bigger than all these Japanese guys just because of the way things are now. I’m one of the taller guys. Everyone’s a little bit smaller. The Japanese appreciate the bulkier physiques.
“So let me just get a little bit bigger and just beat the crap out of them, which is what I did. It worked out to the point where I had three Tokyo Dome main events. I just never lost weight. Then the pandemic comes and you know, you just don’t even realize it. So I went to the medical weight loss clinic and followed the diet. I wanted to lose 10 pounds. I lost 11 in the first week, and I thought, well, let me just stick with this and see how it goes. I currently weigh 209 pounds.”
While that was going on, Jericho was still on blood thinners, which prevented him from wrestling. He did research on how other pro athletes who need to take the medicine handled them, and learned many stop taking meds 36 hours before competing. That plan was approved by his medical team, and recent tests have shown the clots are going away, so he’s now on a lower dosage.
It’s possible he could be able to stop taking the medicine altogether at some point, but he has learned he’s genetically predisposed to similar clotting issues, so it’s definitely something he’ll have to monitor for the rest of his life.
“I’ll end it off with this, if you guys are having any warnings for anything, please go get checked out.”
“I love you guys and thank you for your concern. And that’s the reason why I wasn’t around and that’s kind of the issues that I had, the medical issues that I had were caused by a pulmonary embolism. So, now you know, and you know how I survived a pulmonary embolism.”
You can listen to the entire episode of Talk Is Jericho here.