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Bret Michaels -- 'Setback' in Recovery Process

4/27/2010 7:31 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0423_brett_michaels_BN_TMZ_03Bret Michaels' reps confirm that the rocker suffered a "setback" in his recovery from a brain hemorrhage -- and he may now be at risk for seizures.

According to Bret's people -- test results show Bret is experiencing hyponatremia, a side effect from the subarachnoid hemorrhage which is caused by a lack of sodium in the body. The condition can often lead to seizures.

But despite the setback, doctors are still hopeful Bret will gradually improve, "as the blood surrounding the brain dissolves and is reabsorbed into his system, which can be a very painful recovery and take several weeks to months."

Bret's reps also report that the rocker "remains under 24-hour observation in the ICU and is in positive spirits. He is responding well to tests and treatments."

Bret was first hospitalized for the hemorrhage last Thursday night after complaining of a massive headache.

145 COMMENTS

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31.

Woot    

Bret, you get through this, doggammit! I will NOT have you leave us early and that is THAT!

1578 days ago
32.

wtf    

R.I.P Sean Michaels!

1578 days ago
33.

schoen1    

That's too bad. I hope he recovers. He seems like a nice guy.

1578 days ago
34.

Chaoscam    

Hold on Brett you can kickass on this you will come thru it ok. God Bless Rock on!!!

1578 days ago
35.

LadyN    

I really hate to be negative but I have two close family members who have had brain bleeds. Both miraculously survived the initial bleed but one suffered setback after setback and never made it out of the hospital. It was gut wrenching. The other was in for several weeks but is OK barring some numbness on the left side and slightly slurred speech.
Knowing what I know about brain bleeds, Bret being upbeat or even really conscious beyond slightly at this time is HIGHLY unlikely. I am not sure why his father is saying what he is saying but he should probably get to his son's side because things could end abruptly at any moment.
This setback isn't really one. It's very common. However, you don't just give a patient sodium. You have to reduce the swelling in the brain that this affliction caused. That will require medication and probably surgery for a shunt to be inserted to drain the fluid building up. When people have swelling on the brain, they become unresponsive. They don't talk or interact. When the swelling goes down, they start to become more aware again.
As far as seizures go, everyone who has a brain bleed is put on seizure medication. It is a given that they are at risk for seizures. The lack of sodium is more dangerous because of its ability to cause brain swelling than seizures.
I know that a lot of "spokespeople" are saying Bret is conscious, talking, in good spirits, etc, but, after seeing what I saw TWICE, I know that a few days after a brain bleed, you are in anything but "good spirits". Progress is slow, setbacks are common, and the patient is basically unaware of what's going on. My sister had a small bleed, caught quickly. She doesn't recall anything from her 8 week long hospitalization except a few little tidbits. She had no setbacks but still was not in any shape to hold a phone conversation a day or two after the trauma.
I think some of what we are hearing is PR. I am not saying Bret is dying or anything of the ilk, but I do believe he is in a worse place than we are being led to believe. Having said that, he CAN recover if no other bleeds present themselves. Swelling can be managed and electrolytes balanced. His diabetes will make it hard for doctors but they should know what to do. The next step is whether to insert a main line or feeding tube so he can get nutrition as he heals. He will not be able to eat solid food in his condition.
He has a long, long road ahead. The only thing we can do as fans, as human beings, is to pray that nothing else goes wrong and that the blood reabsorbs and, when it does, that Bret's brain has not been severely damaged. He could be OK with just minor issues or have severe issues. They will not know until swelling and blood are completely gone. He's a fighter.
I am hoping for the best but believe that the rosy picture they are painting of Bret being conscious and in good spirits is not entirely accurate. His father should get on a plane and see for himself. WHO is his heath care proxy? Trust me, they need to be there. Decisions need to be made immediately in these situations.
I continue to pray for Bret. He has age on his side and he has been in good shape - barring his diabetes. He's a fighter. But without the best care and a lot of luck, things can go downhill fast. I so hope they don't.

1578 days ago
36.

Dan da man    

That will teach him to wear a bandana too tight!!

1578 days ago
37.

Rhonda    

Commenter #30.... YOU SUCK!!! Put a fork in YOU loser, I'll bet you are a broke fatty and balding.



You probably always wished you could be like Bret. I'm sure your obituary will read: Fat, ugly bald loser! And... he has TWO daughters dummy.



Can you say L for loser. Climb back into your hole mole! uggh!

1578 days ago
38.

Honey    

36. I share your skepticism about the positive reports. A close relative of mine had a brain bleed, and it was grim and ugly. Diabetes and a history of hard living can't help his chances either. One the upside, however, I read that the bleed is in his brain stem, and that might be better than if it were in his frontal lobe or something.



I wouldn't wish this condition on any person or their family. It's a hellish thing to go through. I do hope he recovers, but it's likely he will suffer some permanent damage no matter what.

1578 days ago
39.

TMZDude    

...and he has and can afford the BEST health care that money can buy. Lucky him.

1578 days ago
40.

Sarha    

R.I.P.

1578 days ago
41.

chris    

You are slow TMZ.com -- CNN reporting that he just died.

1578 days ago
42.

jim    

he's family is on the way to his bedside, but his family has come to the conclusion to pull the plug rest in peace are beloveded friend

1578 days ago
43.

LadyN    

I have two close family members who experienced the exact same thing Bret did. The lack of sodium in the body leads to swelling, in this case, on the brain. That swelling will cause him to become much less responsive and even unconscious but only until the swelling goes down. That is done by adjusting his electrolytes as well as a possible shunt in his brain to drain fluid. This situation isn't really a setback. It is very, very common in those with brain bleeds.



However, the fact that people are saying he is in good spirits seems to be a huge stretch. After a brain bleed, which is essentially a stroke, most people who survive are barely with it for a long time. My sister doesn't even recall the first several weeks after hers which was minor comparatively. The blood has to absorb and that takes time but the bigger issue is whether he will have another bleed. Many do and that could spell disaster. Bret's in very critical shape right now and, with diabetes hindering his recovery, he needs our prayers more tha ever. If he gets through this critical time, the damage done by the blood on his brain could be anything from slight to severe. In the case of my family members, one was slight in that she only has minor slurring and minor numbness on the left side. The other family member never made it out of the hospital. I am praying for Bret and hoping that things settle down but I suspect you will be reading more up and down stories for weeks to come. These things are never simple and, just as you think everything is OK, something else crops up. But he's strong and he's in relatively good shape. He's a fighter. I just hope wherever he is, has the very best doctors and testing because it is vital to keep everything in balance while the blood slowly absorbs. Seizures are common and he should already be on seizure medication. It's a true miracle that he is even conscious - if he really is - because this situation is anything but simple or easy to treat and it is rare that anyone would be talking, remembering everything, and joking as his father said Bret was. I hope that is true but knowing what I know, I am thinking maybe part of that is wishful thinking. (I hope not but...)



Pray for Bret. He has a LONG way to go...

1578 days ago
44.

Lisa    

No one necessarily cares specifically about Bret Michaels, but no matter who it is for the most part it's sad. I think its much more pathetic that some people don't care at all. He has a family and kids just like most people and it is sad to hear about someone going through so much pain. It's not his fault the media plastered it all over the net. I hope he has a full recovery if for nothing else for his children. He may not have lived the most ordinary life but he isn't known as being a bad guy in hollywood either so I wish him all the best.

1578 days ago
45.

JEC    

God bless Bret. Praying for his full recovery.

1578 days ago
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