"It made my mind go almost blank," Michaels tells People, describing the sensation he felt when he suffered the brain hemorrhage that put him in intensive care. "My neck tensed up. I couldn't move my head at all."
He said the hemorrhage sounded like something "literally popped" in his head. It "sounded like a handgun," he recalls. "I knew I was slurring my words, and I was like 'OK, this isn't a headache. There's something really bad happening."'
Michaels was at home in Arizona, recovering from an emergency appendectomy, when he felt the pain and asked his girlfriend and mother of his two daughters, Kristi Gibson, to take him to the emergency room. Upon arrival, his condition seemed so dire that doctors told him he should probably have his kids brought to the hospital, too.
"And I said in these exact words," Michaels recounts, "'Am I dying? If I'm dying, I want to see my kids, but if I have a chance, I don't want them to see me in this condition.' "
Luckily, 9-year-old Raine and 5-year-old Jorja will have plenty of time to spend with their dad soon enough. The lead neurosurgeon on Michaels' case said Tuesday that the 47-year-old Celebrity Apprentice maybe-finalist "will fortunately make a 100 percent recovery. He's just one of those lucky people."
"I'm a believer it's a combination of will and good faith," Michaels tells People. "Will—and good medical attention—and faith. It just wasn't my time yet. I really believe that.
"If I had stayed on the couch for another hour, that probably would've done me in. In a weird way, God intervened: The appendicitis forced me to come home for a couple of days."
We wonder if Bret Michaels is due for another Big Moment on The Celebrity Apprentice finale...