The former Poison frontman was rushed to the hospital last Thursday with a severe headache. Doctors discovered he was bleeding at the base of his brain stem. As of late, he is in critical condition although conscious and slurring his speech. Just prior to this, he had an emergency appendectomy after experiencing stomach pains before an appearance at Sea World.
An intracranial hemorrhage is a fancy word for bleeding in the brain. It occurs when a blood vessel begins leaking or actually ruptures. The most common reason is trauma such as a head trauma, or non traumatic such as an aneurysm that ruptures. Either way, this build up of blood causes increasing intracranial pressure that becomes a medical emergency as it crushes brain tissue or presses against other blood vessels. If not treated immediately, it can lead to coma and even death.
Risk factors include high blood pressure, diabetes, menopause, cigarette smoking, and drinking more than 2 alcoholic drinks per day. Symptoms to watch out for are severe headache (like Bret), dizziness, one-sided weakness, slurred speech, and eyesight changes. Of course, a history of trauma is especially important to know and includes car accidents, sporting accidents, falls, work-out accidents, and any knocks to the head.
I will admit I have watched Bret’s show, Rock of Love, during its second season and I learned quite a bit about this rockstar. First, he was diagnosed with diabetes as a child. Second, many of the episodes involved quite a bit of drinking alcohol. Third, he didn’t appear to take very good care of himself and often stayed up way too late, partying, and choosing lifestyle habits that were maybe not so healthy for his brain…or diabetes for that matter.
So if you, the reader, have these risk factors then please don’t become a statistic and start taking care of your health. First, get your blood pressure checked and make sure it’s consistently below 120/80 mmHg. Next, get checked for diabetes by having a fasting blood sugar test (best under 95) and fasting insulin test (best under 10). Make the conscious decision to stop smoking and really reduce that alcohol. If you are drinking 2 glasses of wine per night it’s too much. Not only is it increasing your blood sugar but it’s messing with your hormones and increasing your hemorrhage risk.
Make the decision today to become a healthier person and wish Bret Michaels the best of luck in his recovery.