I know it sounds totally gruesome, but I was honestly waiting all weekend to hear sad news about Bret Michaels. But it looks like he’s holding on, which must be a good sign. Thursday night, Bret complained of an excruciating headache and was taken to a hospital. Doctors found a “massive subarachnoid hemorrhage” at the base of Bret’s brain stem, and the doctors have been working on Bret ever since. Not knowing a lot about medical stuff, I thought it all sounded really terrible, and that Bret wouldn’t be long for this world.
Bret manager updated Bret‘s website with the most current situation last night. According to the manager, Bret “is under 24 hour doctors’ care and supervision. We are hopeful that further tests will locate the source of the bleeding, which has still not been located. As we all know, Bret is a fighter and we are hopeful that once all is complete, the slurred speech, blurred vision and dizziness, etc. will be eliminated and all functions will return to normal. Everyone at Michaels Entertainment would like to thank all fans and friends for their continued thoughts and prayers through this difficult time.”
Meanwhile, People Magazine has some backstory on what was happening with Bret before he went back into the hospital:
As Bret Michaels continues to be watched closely by his doctors, a source reveals the rocker’s excruciating moments before he was taken to the emergency room.
According to the source, Michaels, 47, said the headache that prompted him to call for an ambulance felt “like [getting] hit in the head with a baseball bat over and over again.”
Often referred to by doctors as a “thunderclap headache” because of the intensity and suddenness of the pain, such headaches are a tell-tale symptom of the kind of brain hemorrhage that Michaels suffered.
The Michaels’s source adds, “Bret is still in ICU. He still has the headache and is heavily sedated.”
A statement on his fan site noted that doctors are still searching for the source of the bleeding.
“In some patients, doctors never find the source,” says Dr. Keith Siller of New York University’s Comprehensive Stroke Care Center. The bleeding could be very small, or the rupture itself can “cure” the source of the problem, says Dr. Siller.
If no source of an aneurysm or an abnormal vein-artery connection known as an AVM is found, “you basically just wait for the symptoms to go away,” says Dr. Siller. The patient typically remains under close observation, as Michaels is, so doctors can monitor for possible complications.
But if the patient is able to speak, “they’re on the better end of things,” says Dr. Siller, noting that physical therapy and speech therapy are often required to make a full recovery.
On TV’s Celebrity Apprentice, on which Michaels is a participant, Sunday night’s episode carried a post-script. Accompanying slow-motion footage of Bret carrying luggage across a tarmac, a voiceover said, “Everyone here at NBC wishes Bret Michaels a speedy recovery.”
Jesus, poor Bret. I really feel for him, and I agreed with most commenters that although Bret probably has some issues with women, he seems like a generally nice and decent guy, grateful for his fame and his fans. I really hope he’s getting great treatment, and that the doctors are able to operate or whatever they need to do.