Bret Michaels Speaks Out About Hemorrhage: It 'Sounded Like A Handgun… It Literally Popped!'

Thursday, May 6, 2010  |  Updated 2:07 AM CDT
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Bret Michaels: Hemorrhage Felt Like Being Shot in the Head

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Contestant: Bret Michaels
Claim to Fame: Poison front man who parlayed '80s success into a trashy VH1 dating show
Odds on Winning: Receding

Poison frontman Bret Michaels thought a burglar shot him in the back of the head when he suffered a brain hemorrhage last month that left him in intensive care for nearly two weeks.

The outspoken 47-year-old contestant on NBC's "The Celebrity Apprentice" told People magazine that the subarachnoid hemorrhage "sounded like a handgun, like it literally popped."

"It made my mind go almost blank," he said. "My neck tensed up. I couldn't move my head at all."

Michaels said after he experienced the sensation, he began pacing his living room then asked his girlfriend, Kristi Gibson, to take him to the emergency room.

"I knew I was slurring my words, and I was like 'OK, this isn't a headache. There's something really bad happening,'" he said.

Michaels recalled asking an emergency room doctor if he was going to die, and if he had a chance to survive, he didn't want his two daughters, 9-year-old Raine Elizabeth and 5-year-old Jorja Bleu, "to see me in this condition."

Michaels was recovering from his April 12 emergency appendectomy at the at his Scottsdale, Ariz., home he shares with Gibson and their two daughters when he felt the severe headache.

He was admitted into a hospital April 22 and was later diagnosed with a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which causes bleeding in the fluid-filled spaces around the base of the brain.

Dr. Joseph Zabramski said at a Tuesday news conference that Michaels was expected to make a full recovery.

Michaels will receive therapy and will probably continue to suffer from severe pain for another seven to 10 days as blood pooled under his brain dissolves, said Zabramski, chief of cerebrovascular surgery at the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.

"I'm a believer it's a combination of will and good faith," Michaels said. "Will — and good medical attention — and faith. It just wasn't my time yet. I really believe that. If I had stayed on the couch for another hour, that probably would've done me in. In a weird way, God intervened: The appendicitis forced me to come home for a couple of days."

The magazine said Michaels moved to a physical therapy rehabilitation facility on April 30.

Michaels, one of the five stars remaining on the business-themed reality TV show "The Celebrity Apprentice," said he plans to make a "positive bucket list" and wants to "continue to rock the world, and I want to continue to love my family and be a good father."

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MORE ACCESS ON THESE TOPICS: Bret Michaels - Reality TV - TV - Rock - NBC

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