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Bret Michaels: “When you know something is wrong you need to get to the hospital right away”

By HERWriter Guide
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Bret Michaels appeared live via satellite from Phoenix on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on May 19 to discuss his medical emergency and subsequent recovery. This was his first public appearance since his April 21 subarachnoid hemorrhage. Michaels talked about the “thunderclap” effect of his sudden brain trauma. “It sounded like a small handgun went off in the back of my head,” he said. “There was no lead-up at all. It just exploded.”

(For an explanation of subarachnoid hemorrhage see: http://www.empowher.com/news/herarticle/2010/04/26/bret-michaels-subarachnoid-hemorrhage-explained )

Michaels said he immediately asked his girlfriend to drive him to the hospital for emergency care, and learned “When you know something is wrong you need to get to the hospital right away.” He said the pain was like a 10-times-over migraine, and when he got to the hospital he just wanted to sit in the car, which would have been a mistake. Instead he was rushed into immediate diagnostic procedures, stabilized and then transferred to the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, one of the top centers in the world for brain injury and illness.

"My life didn't flash before my eyes," Michaels told Oprah about his experience. "It wasn't like, all of a sudden, a rerun of my life. What happened was, I got very sad. I went into completely just asking God, 'You have to let me through this.' "

In a video segment, Barrow’s Dr. Joseph Zabramski said Michaels' condition was very serious when he first arrived. "I tried explaining to him what we would be doing, and he was really unable to stay awake," he said. "It's really quite a miracle that he's done so well." Zabramski said it's still unclear exactly what caused the hemorrhage, but added: "The chance for re-bleeding is really no higher than anyone else in his age group. I think this is more common than people realize."

How common is this? It affects about 30,000 people a year in the United States. In emphasizing the importance of getting care immediately Michaels said “There was a gentleman there who waited too long and he didn’t make it.”

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HERWriter Guide

Update May 24, 2010

From the Associated Press:

NEW YORK — Bret Michaels says he's not 100 percent healthy yet but is looking forward to going back on the road and performing.

Despite life-threatening illness, the 47-year-old rocker appeared on the season finale of "The Celebrity Apprentice" on Sunday night and was rewarded with $250,000 for charity.

The Poison frontman's appearance had been in question after he suffered a brain hemorrhage in April and was hospitalized recently after what doctors called a warning stroke. He faces surgery for a hole in his heart.

In an appearance Monday on NBC's "Today" show, Michaels says that he's not back "100 percent yet" but that he's going "to do a show and see how it goes."

He says "I'm ready to rock and we'll see what happens."

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/ent/celeb/articles/2010/05/24/20100524bret-michaels-says-hes-not-100-percent-healthy-yet.html?source=nletter-entertainment#ixzz0osETm8kK

May 24, 2010 - 11:40am
HERWriter Guide

Update May 20,2010
Bret Michaels is back in the hospital after suffering a warning stroke known as a transient ischemic attack. (TIA). Tests have also shown he has a hole in his heart or patent foramen ovale. (PFO)

Michaels was readmitted to the hospital this week after suffering numbness on the left side of his body, predominately his face and hands which doctors described as a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) or warning stroke. While MRI and CT scan tests were being conducted, Michaels also received a Doppler Ultrasound of his legs and lower abdomen looking for blood clots and most importantly an Ultrasound Bubble Test of his heart was conducted which proved positive for a Patent Forum Ovale (PFO), a hole in the heart. Dr. Zabramski (Bret’s neurosurgeon), Dr. Becker (who ordered the test), Dr. Cook (who conducted the test) and Dr. Frey (Director, Outpatient Stroke Program) all confirmed the results.

Dr. Zabramski states "There is no doubt that the positive Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) is devastating news to Bret and his family. The good news is that it is operable and treatable and we think we may have diagnosed the problem that caused the Transient Ischemic Attach (TIA) or warning stroke; however we feel it is highly unlikely this is connected to the brain hemorrhage he suffered just a few weeks earlier. Once again it is great that he quickly reacted to the severe numbness and got to the hospital immediately."

Dr. Zabramski continues, "I realize Bret wants to make a full recovery so that he can be active with his family, attempt to attend the finale of Celebrity Apprentice and especially get back on the road to continue making music. Without a doubt he is very determined to get healthy and make a 100% recovery. Medically speaking it is a fantastic attitude both mentally and physically for him to have. However, Bret's brain and body are not quite 100% yet, especially with the hole found in his heart. Further tests will be conducted throughout the week and I will have more information next week as to how this Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) will be treated. For now, Bret will be treated with outpatient care which includes a daily injection of Lovenox (a blood thinner to reduce the chance of blood clots) and blood tests."

Bret's rep, Janna Elias, states "Bret wants everyone to know he cannot thank you enough for all of the well wishes, prayers, and good vibes you have sent his way. Even though these last few months have been tough on him and his family, especially this most recent setback, he is in good spirits, great medical hands and is positive and hopeful that everything is going to be OK. He is up, walking, talking, continuing his daily rehab and very happy to be alive but he has made it clear he is sick and tired of being in the hospital and is ready to rock again."

May 20, 2010 - 4:35pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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