Ozzy Osbourne says he has known about his Parkinson’s disease since 2003, at the height of his family’s fame on the MTV reality show The Osbournes. One month after revealing on Good Morning America that he was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disorder, the 71-year-old Black Sabbath legend set the record straight on his medical timeline and his postponed tour dates.
In a new interview with Radio.com, Osbourne clarified that the headline-making fall he had in his bathroom last year was not the start of his medical problems. The rocker explained that he found out more than 15 years ago that he has “a mild form” of Parkinson’s.
“Everybody thinks when I had this fall last year, ‘he found out he had Parkinson’s,'” Osbourne said. “I’ve known about Parkinson’s since 2003. I’ve had it all my life. It’s not a death sentence. When I got diagnosed I went, ‘okay.’ I’m not shaking. The one I have it’s called P2. It’s a mild form of Parkinson’s at the moment. ”
The rocker added that his doctor told him that he probably walks by 10 people a day that have the same disorder and “don’t even know they’ve got it.”
Osbourne said the decision to postpone the North American dates for his “No More Tours 2” tour came so he can seek treatment in Europe for excruciating neck pain that has nothing to do with Parkinson’s. The “Iron Man” singer sustained nerve damage in his neck after a near-fatal 2003 ATV accident, and the fall in his bathroom required surgery that triggered the prior damage.
Osbourne told the U.K.’s The Sun he is now in “unbelievable pain 24/7.” While he’s “dying for all the opiate stuff” he can’t have due to past drug abuse problems, he has opted to get treatment in Switzerland for six to eight weeks to help alleviate his pain.
The rocker said his neck pain is by far his most serious health concern, despite the headlines that his Parkinson’s diagnosis made.
“If I had a choice between the Parkinson’s and the f*cking neck, I’d go for the Parkinson’s,” Osbourne said. “I’ve been laid up for a year now.”
Over the past two years, the Prince of Darkness suffered an infection in the hand, pneumonia, the bathroom fall, and subsequent surgery.
Of his postponed tour, Osbourne said he won’t go on the road until he’s 100 percent confident that he can pull off an entire show and not “fall over the first song.” The singer said it’s not fair to his fans if he can’t give it his all on stage. The “Mama I’m Coming Home” singer hopes to resume touring this fall in Europe.
Ozzy Osbourne’s new album Ordinary Man drops February 21.