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Ozzy Osbourne Opens Up on Living with Parkinson’s: “I Feel Like I’m Walking Around in Lead Boots”

"You don't know when you're gonna wake up and you ain't gonna be able to get out of bed"

Ozzy Osbourne health struggles
Ozzy Osbourne, photo by Ross Halfin

    Ozzy Osbourne has dealt with a myriad of medical issues in recent years, including his ongoing battle with Parkinson’s disease and a recent major neck surgery. In a new interview, the metal legend spoke candidly about his various health struggles.

    “You think you’re lifting your feet, but your foot doesn’t move,” Ozzy told The Observer of the toll that Parkinson’s disease has had on him. “I feel like I’m walking around in lead boots.”

    The disease has also led to depression, as well as side effects from his various medications, including short-term memory loss and constipation. “I reached a plateau that was lower than I wanted it to be,” revealed Ozzy of his mental state. “Nothing really felt great. Nothing. So I went on these antidepressants, and they work OK.”

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    Overall, Ozzy explained that the worst thing about Parkinson’s is that there’s no end of the disease in sight. “You learn to live in the moment, because you don’t know [what’s going to happen],” he said. “You don’t know when you’re gonna wake up and you ain’t gonna be able to get out of bed. But you just don’t think about it.”

    As for his neck, Ozzy said, “It got so bad that at one point I thought: ‘Oh God, please don’t let me wake up tomorrow morning.’ Because it was fucking agony.” During the procedure he underwent in June, two metal plates were removed from an earlier surgery. “The screws had come loose, and were chipping away at the bone,” said Ozzy’s wife and manager Sharon in the same interview. “And the debris had lodged under his spine.”

    Ozzy added, “With the pressing on the spinal column, I got nerve pain. I’d never fucking heard of nerve pain! You know when you’re a kid, and you’re playing with snow and your hands get really cold? Then you go in and you pour on hot water, and they start getting warm? And you get those chills? And it fucking hurts? It’s like that.”

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    After making a surprise appearance performing “Paranoid” with Black Sabbath bandmate Tony Iommi earlier this month at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, Ozzy is determined to tour again despite his medical setbacks. “I’m saying to you I’ll give it the best shot I can for another tour. You have not seen the end of Ozzy Osbourne, I promise you. If I have to go up there and die on the first song, I’ll still be back the next day.”

    Through the pain, Ozzy found time to record another new solo album, Patient Number 9, which arrives on September 9th. The LP features contributions from Iommi, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Zakk Wylde, Chad Smith, Mike McCready, Robert Trujillo, and the late Taylor Hawkins, among others.

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