Ozzy Osbourne's Thumb Was the 'Size of a F—— Lightbulb' Due to Staph Infections in His Hand
Ozzy Osbourne recalled how his doctor told him, "You get another staph infection, and you could die"
Ozzy Osbourne didn’t realize he had a serious medical problem until his thumb was 10 times bigger than usual — “the size of a f—in’ lightbulb.”
The legendary rocker, who underwent hand surgery at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center earlier this month, recalled how he “freaked out” when he discovered his right hand had swollen up after contracting a potentially deadly staph infection.
“I didn’t feel sick, so I was cracking jokes,” he recently told Rolling Stone about his trip to the emergency room due to three separate staph infections in his thumb, one of which spread to his middle finger.
“The doctor said, ‘I don’t know if you realize, Mr. Osbourne, this is a very serious problem you have.’ [Wife] Sharon said, ‘Would you stop f—ing making jokes?’ ” Osbourne recalled, laughing. “So I said, ‘Well, it’s my hand.’ ”
However, Ozzy quickly noticed that he was the only one joking about his injury. “They’re all extremely, deadly serious about it,” he said about his doctor and his wife. “I judge it based on the expression and the body language of the doctor. If he comes in with a really solemn face, I go, ‘Oh, OK. My time to go is up.’ ”
On Oct. 6, the father of three announced his hospitalization with a photo of himself in a hospital bed with one hand resting in a bandage and the other hand holding an ice cream cone.
Describing his surgery, Osbourne remembered the “agony” of getting the flesh in his hand cleaned out. “I could hardly move. I really had no energy,” he said.
“They cut all this stuff out. Even with the numbing stuff, it was agony. It wasn’t pus, but it was the stage after pus, when it gets in the blood and goes in your body and f—ing kills you,” he said. “It may sound f—ed up what I’m saying to you, but he was really concerned about checking my blood.”
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As for how he contracted the infections, Osbourne recalled how meeting his fans may have affected his health. “The doctor said to me, ‘Can you remember talking to someone and shaking hands?’ Well, I do that meet and greet at the gig and I must shake f—ing 200 hands a day. He said, ‘That explains it,’ ” he said.
Osbourne spent less than a week in the L.A. hospital before he was discharged and instructed to soak his injured hand in a special soap twice a day for about 10 days. Throughout his recovery, his mind was focused on his concert dates, which he eventually postponed due to his surgery.
“I said to Sharon, ‘What the f— am I gonna do for the gig?’ Then the doctor said, ‘You must be f—ing crazy. You get another staph infection, and you could die.’ He said, ‘One’s enough. You’ve got three individual ones,’ ” he said.
Though he had to cancel multiple shows, Osbourne is grateful for his health. “I’m going to make those shows up next year,” he said. “It could have been a lot worse. I could have been dead.”