POISON frontman Bret Michaels spoke to Yahoo! Entertainment about the 10th anniversary of one of his most difficult health years to date when he suffered a massive subarachnoid hemorrhage, or bleeding at the base of his brain stem.
"It's called a Thunderclap, so you can't explain it," he said. "It just the weirdest sound. If anyone's never broken a bone and you hear a sound inside your body, when you hear that sound, it was instant and it was instantly I knew something like it. The pain is like an elephant standing on your skull. That's what a brain bleed does. The pressure is what normally kills you eventually. And so I knew I was in trouble and my adrenaline — after years and years of being diabetic through some horrific situations — immediately my adrenaline was on 10.
"I could barely speak," he continued. "I knew I'd had some form of a stroke, because my face was drooping and I knew it was bad. I got rushed straight down to the emergency room and they knew instantly and they did the MRI. And then I went from that over to [Phoenix's Barrow Neurological Institute], and I don't remember for three days. I came back around to a nurse, and they're massaging your legs so you don't get a blood clot. … I never would have thought that was gonna happen. Like, that wouldn't have been on my plate of stuff."
At the time of the hemorrhage, Michaels was recovering from an emergency appendectomy at his Scottsdale, Arizona home. Moments before he was rushed to the emergency room, Michaels was in excruciating pain, complaining of a headache that felt like he was "getting hit in the head with a baseball bat over and over again," which was said to be a relatively typical symptom of a subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Michaels rose to fame in the 1980s as the singer of POISON, which still tours periodically. He later became a reality TV personality in such shows as dating contest "Rock Of Love" and on "The Celebrity Apprentice". Most recently, Michaels was one of the contestants on Fox's smash hit "The Masked Singer".
Michaels has just released his first book, titled "Bret Michaels: Auto-Scrap-Ography". The book, which is available in both e-book and hardcover formats, is handwritten by the artist, detailing his journey even up to and including his battle with diabetes and the coronavirus.