Ozzy Osbourne recently underwent hand surgery, forcing him to cancel four concerts on his No More Tours 2 Tour. It turns out the surgery was part of his treatment plan for a potentially deadly staph infection.
“I didn’t feel sick, so I was cracking jokes,” he told Rolling Stone of his visit to the emergency room, which came after his thumb had suddenly swollen to the “size of a fuckin’ lightbulb” following a show in Salt Lake City. At the hospital, doctors told him he actually had three separate staph infections in his thumb, one of which spread to his middle finger.
Osbourne explained: “The doctor said, ‘I don’t know if you realize, Mr. Osbourne, this is a very serious problem you have.’ Sharon said, ‘Would you stop fucking making jokes?’ So I said, ‘Well, it’s my hand.” But “they’re all extremely, deadly serious about it,” he recounted. “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.’”
The doctor suggested Osbourne could have gotten a staph infection from simply shaking someone’s hand — something the rocker says he does probably 200 times a day on tour — and “cut all this stuff out,” Osbourne said. “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 fucking kills you. It may sound fucked up what I’m saying to you, but he was really concerned about checking my blood.”
Osbourne, who spent almost a week in the hospital, was treated with antibiotics and found solace in eating ice cream as he recovered. He was then discharged and told to soak his hand in a special soap twice a day, for 10 days.
Osbourne rescheduled the October concert dates he had to call off. The new dates include: July 20 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, July 23 at Mattress Firm Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, Calif., July 27 at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, Calif., and July 29 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
“I’m going to make those shows up next year,” he said. “It could have been a lot worse. I could have been dead.”