Ozzy Osbourne has gone through some pretty painful episodes in just the last nine months of his life, but he says the worst thing he's ever experienced was the fall this past spring that forced him to postpone his farewell tour until next year.
Ozzy had only a few weeks earlier been released from the hospital after a bought with the flu and then pneumonia when he fell on his face at home late one night.
The fall aggravated an old injury in the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's back, dislodging an array of metal rods and resulting in debilitating pain that required emergency surgery. He tells Rolling Stone that he thought he broke his neck.
The Blizzard of Ozz spent the next two months in the hospital recovering. But the pain didn't go away.
"For the first, say, four months, I was absolutely in agony," Ozzy said. "I was in agony beyond anything I every 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. I'm really keeping my fingers crossed."
Within days of the fall, Ozzy's management announced that his tour would be completely postponed until 2020.
Due to a variety of maladies, including a near-fatal staph infection last October, Ozzy hasn't performed once this year, his last concert being New Year's Eve.
In 2003, Ozzy nearly died in an ATV accident in England. The singer broke eight ribs, as well as his left collarbone and a vertebra in the wreck, which also landed him in a coma. The incident was so severe that the injuries followed him to present day.
The resulting surgery in 2003 left Ozzy with chronic nerve pain. He suggests that his now-signature wobble is partly a symptom of the neck and back issues that followed.
This latest stint in the hospital posed its own challenges.
"I cannot describe to you the helpless feeling that I had," he continued. "I had to use [a walker] to go for a pee. I had to have a nurse, day and night. Just being in hospital is enough to drive you nuts. I thank God I didn't paralyze myself when I had that accident. I wouldn't be here now. I would have jumped off the f---ing roof — or fell off the roof, whatever."
Ozzy has been good in recent years about exercising regularly and staying in shape. Last summer, he was buying truckloads of ice for his swimming pool just to keep his fitness routine going uninterrupted.
But the lack of activity this year has decimated his fitness and even caused blood clots to develop in his legs. It's one thing after another.
"It's scary stuff ... From 40 [years old] to 70 was OK and suddenly you get to 70 and everything caved in on me."
Ozzy says he appreciates the support from his friends and band mates during his recovery. He says Korn front man Jonathan Davis and his fellow Black Sabbath co-founder Tony Iommi have reportedly been sending him encouraging texts.
Some song ideas have come to him over the past few month, which he says he's been squirreling away. He jokes that his next album might be called, Recuperation. But for now, Ozzy's heart is set on January.
"My date is January, I hope to f---ing God 'cause I'm gonna go f---ing nuts. We're just keeping our fingers crossed.
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