Ozzy Osbourne has revealed that he is battling a form of Parkinson's disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. The rock icon, known as the "Prince of Darkness," shared his diagnosis for the first time with Good Morning America on Tuesday.
Osbourne said everything changed after he suffered a "bad fall" last February. The fall required him to have surgery on his neck, which led to nerve damage and his Parkinson's disease diagnosis. Symptoms generally develop slowly over years, and there is no cure, according to the Parkinson's Foundation.
"It has been terribly challenging for us all," Osbourne told Robin Roberts on GMA.
He was diagnosed with a mild form of the disease called "PRKN 2," according to his wife Sharon Osbourne. Due to his neck injury, doctors have had a hard time distinguishing which of Osbourne's symptoms are due to the surgery, and which are due to his Parkinson's disease.
Osbourne said he suffers from nerve pain that causes numbness in his arm, and a feeling that his legs are "going cold" that has made it difficult to walk.
"There's so many different types of Parkinsons. It's not a death sentence by any stretch of the imagination, but it does affect certain nerves in your body," Sharon said. "It's like: you have a good day, a good day, and then a really bad day."
After his fall at his home in Los Angeles, statement posted to his website on January 21, 2019.for the rest of the year. At the time, Osbourne said he was recovering from "an injury sustained while dealing with his recent bout of pneumonia," according to a
"I can't believe I have to reschedule more tour dates," Osbourne said at the time. "Words cannot express how frustrated, angry and depressed I am not to be able to tour right now."
The postponement has lasted for a year — the longest he has ever gone without touring since he started performing nearly 50 years ago. While recovering, Osbourne has been forced to stay secluded at home.
Rumors of Osbourne's declining health have swirled for years. Some even declared that he had Parkinson's disease — which he denied at the time — while many others said he was on his death bed.
"To hide something inside for awhile, it's hard. You never feel proper, you feel guilty," he said. "... I'm no good with secrets. I cannot walk around with it anymore."
According to Sharon, doctors in the United States have reached the limit to what they can do for Osbourne. The couple are now planning to see an immune specialist in Swtizerland this April.
"We're going to go wherever we can go to seek answers," she said. Ozzy Osbourne added: "We're lucky enough to be able to afford to do that."
For the legendary rocker, taking a break from touring and performing has been the most difficult part of his diagnosis.
"It just means so much to him what he does, he loves to perform. It is the air that he breathes," Sharon said, while wiping away tears. "This is the longest he's ever been home. And it's time for him to get back on the road because he's driving me mad."
Osbourne said he can't wait to get better, so he can get back on the road: "That's what's killing me. I need it. That's my drug today — done all the other crap. Left that by the wayside, survived that, and I ain't going yet, I ain't going to go anywhere yet."