LOS ANGELES - Bret Michaels, singer with the rock band called Poison, thought a burglar shot him in the back of the head when he suffered a brain hemorrhage last month that left him in intensive care for nearly two weeks.
The outspoken 47-year-old contestant on NBC's "The Celebrity Apprentice" told People magazine that the subarachnoid hemorrhage "sounded like a handgun, like it literally popped."
"It made my mind go almost blank," he said. "My neck tensed up. I couldn't move my head at all."
Michaels said that after he experienced the sensation, he began pacing his living room then asked his girlfriend, Kristi Gibson, to take him to an emergency room.
"I knew I was slurring my words, and I was like: 'OK, this isn't a headache. There's something really bad happening,' " he said.
Michaels recalled asking an emergency-room doctor if he was going to die. He said that if he had a chance to survive, he didn't want his two daughters - 5-year-old Jorja Bleu and 9-year-old Raine Elizabeth - "to see me in this condition."
Michaels was recovering from his April 12 emergency appendectomy at the Scottsdale home he shares with Gibson and their two daughters when he felt the severe headache. He was admitted into a hospital on April 22 and was later diagnosed with a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which causes bleeding in the fluid-filled spaces around the base of the brain.
Dr. Joseph Zabramski said at a news conference Tuesday that Michaels was expected to make a full recovery. Michaels will receive therapy and probably will continue to suffer from severe pain for another seven to 10 days as blood pooled under his brain dissolves, said Zabramski, chief of cerebrovascular surgery at the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.
"I'm a believer it's a combination of will and good faith," Michaels said. "Will - and good medical attention - and faith. It just wasn't my time yet. … In a weird way, God intervened: The appendicitis forced me to come home for a couple of days."