Late last night the wrestling world, and all of its fans, were shocked by the news of the passing of The Ultimate Warrior. When it was first tweeted out by Triple H many of us wondered if it was even real. In this day and age we have seen many people hacked on twitter, but as the night went on more and more tweets were coming out and it was confirmed.
It is being reported that The Ultimate Warrior collapsed outside of a hotel in Arizona. He was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead. The cause of death has not been announced yet, however, a heart attack is the most likely cause as of right now. Many of you who know me, and have read my work, know that I have a background in medicine. I have worked for over 7 years as a paramedic and I am currently studying medicine in college. With that being said, and looking back at the last few days of The Ultimate Warrior, the signs that he was sick were all there, especially in his final appearance last night on Raw.
The first thing that I saw was the way that he was breathing. It appeared to me as if he was making a conscious effort to inhale and exhale. The second thing I noticed was the amount of sweat that he was having. Were these really symptoms or just something that happens? The breathing could easily be explained as an emotional response and not a physiological one. The fact that Warrior was back in a WWE ring had to be emotional which caused his adrenalin to spike. Adrenalin can easily account for those symptoms. However, shortness of breath and diaphoresis (massive sweating) are two symptoms that make everyone in medicine focus on a cardiac event. Adrenalin, especially in someone with a heart ready to stop, just makes everything worse.
I was asked by a friend last night if it was possible for someone to have a sense that they are going to die. I told him that it was. In emergency medicine we know that if a person looks really sick and says they feel like they are going to die then they usually are. Knowing this and listening to the last words we all heard on Raw make this very eerie.
“Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe their final breath.” Less than 24 hours later, his heart and lungs both did. Is it possible that he had a feeling that he was going to die? Is that why he said those words? That is for you to decide. Personally, it really wouldn’t surprise me that somehow he knew something was going to happen.
The Ultimate Warrior is the first of my childhood wrestling heroes to have died. Yes, I know many wrestlers have died over the past 20 plus years but I was never a huge fan of them like I was with the Ultimate Warrior. A few days ago I wrote about how the streak ending killed my inner child, but now that one of the wrestlers I idolized has died it really puts things into perspective. The streak was just a business decision. It was not life and death.
The Ultimate Warrior is survived by his wife and two young daughters. The children aspect of this is what I really relate to. I could see just how much he loved his daughters while he was at the Hall of Fame on Saturday. I can’t even begin to imagine what impact this has on the kids. I am a father. I love my daughter more than anything in the world. Without question I would sacrifice anything in my life, including my own happiness for my daughter, and I could tell Warrior would do the same.
His death tonight hurts me, but not in the way that you would think. I am sad he has passed, but what really hurts is the fact that I finally realized how short life really is. After all the years working in emergency medicine and being surrounded by death, I became numb to it. It was no big deal. I also still have the stupid ass macho attitude that I can overcome anything that happens to me. At times I think I am Superman. The truth is I can’t, and I am not especially when I do things to myself to just cut my life shorter. I finally realized that at any single moment in time my life could end, and I don’t do anything to help myself. I smoke, I am fed pain killers for a shoulder injury, I eat like shit, and drink like shit. At any moment my heart could stop from a blood clot or I could have a stroke due to the nicotine raising my blood pressure. My liver could be failing as I type this due to being on narcotic pain killers for almost a decade.
His death tonight has made me realize just how much I need to be here as long as I possibly can be for my daughter, future wife, and future children I may have. It made me realize that I need to get my shit together so I can walk my daughter down the aisle and play with my grandchildren. It made me realize that I want to live for as long as I possibly can because for the first time in my life I have realized I have far too much to live for.
Rest in peace, The Ultimate Warrior.
**When his cause of death is officially announced, we will update this page.**