It's been a hard year for Ozzy Osbourne. The Prince of Darkness had to postpone the remainder of his 2019 tour dates as he recovered from a bad bout of pneumonia and then later suffered a bad fall, aggravating old injuries.
Ozzy is speaking out for the first time about his injuries in a new interview with Rolling Stone and he doesn't mince words.
“For the first, say, four months, I was absolutely in agony,” he says. “I was in agony beyond anything I ever experienced before in my life. It was awful. I’m taking physical and occupational therapy classes, but the progress is very slow. They say it’s going to take at least a year. I’m hoping that I’ll be OK and ready to go by January [when the tour resumes]. I’m really keeping my fingers crossed.”
Osbourne noted that complications from a surgery after his 2003 quad-bike accident left him with permanent nerve damage, that was only recently addressed after the bad fall that broke his neck.
“I was getting a strange feeling sometimes, like nerve pain going down my arms,” he says. “I used to think it was wear-and-tear from being on the road and didn’t give it a second thought.” The tumble this year made it all worse, forcing him to get the surgery on his spine and neck.
“When they do surgery on your neck, they cut through all the nerves, and it fucked everything up,” he says. “So I’m wobbling all over the place. And since they cut through the nerves, my right arm feels permanently cold.” He likens the sensation to when he would play in the snow as a kid and then warm his hands up too fast: “You’d get a warm feeling in your hands. I wake up with it, and I go to bed with it.” The doctors gave him medicine for nerve pain, which blew his mind. “I’d never heard of anyone needing nerve-pain medication,” he says.
Ozzy is not having a good time with recovery either.
“It’s kind of boring to be honest with you,” he says. “I’m used to getting up, getting on my elliptical and going for an hour or so and breaking a sweat. But I can’t do it. One day, I was doing an hour or two on the elliptical; now I can do just barely half an hour. I go out with a walking stick, and I walk up the road and I’m bushed.” To make matters worse, he’s developed blood clots in his legs — “I don’t know where they came from,” he says — and he’s on blood thinners. “The nurse told me, I have to be careful if I bang myself, because there’s a blood clot and all that shit,” he says. “It’s scary stuff … From 40 [years old] to 70 was OK and suddenly you get to 70 and everything caved in on me.”
Still, he remains hopeful. Osbourne is slowly writing new material to keep him busy, and spending time with family.
His goal is to be back at it in January, when the new dates are scheduled. Read the full interview here.