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Bret Michaels Talks Recovery on Oprah: "I've Done a Lot of Rotten Things, I'm Asking for a Break"

Bret Michaels may be a new man. But he's still the same old Bret. And we couldn't be happier.

So while the recovering, death-cheating rocker has more or less covered all the main talking points about the hows and whys (at least the ones doctors can explain) of his recent brain hemorrhage, there were still a few questions left unanswered going into today's satellite sit-down with Oprah Winfrey.

Like, what was with the bandana in the hospital bed, dude?

"It's like Superman without the cape," he explained. "I said, 'If I'm going out, I want to go out rocking.' I said, 'Leave the boots on, some form of the bandana and a cape...Not in that hospital gown.' "

It certainly seemed to do the trick. OK, it might have had an assist from the team of world-class neurologists at Phoenix's prestigious Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, but we have no doubt that the bandana gave him an edge.

Michaels also chatted to Winfrey about how the harrowing experience, which he will continue to recover from for months to come, put his life into stark perspective.

"It puts things in perspective real quickly, you instantly put into your life what matters the most at that exact time…it is your immediate family, your kids, your best friends. At that point, you're not thinking about anything else. You're not thinking about career, you're not thinking about nothing, you're thinking, 'Let me live through this…The only thing that matters right now is taking care of my family and my kids and thanking God I'm still alive to talk about it.' "

And about the big man upstairs, Michaels said he started a lot of conversations with him, but isn't exactly sure whether the chat was one-sided or not.

"He may have [talked back], I was in…at that point…I think I was doing a lot of asking at that point," he said. "'I know I've done a lot of rotten things. I'm asking for a break here. If you could cut me a break, I promise, I'll be better in the future.' It happened so fast, thinking this could be it, I wasn't prepared for that."

But with help from his doctors, family—particularly his two daughters—and friends, he pulled through.

"It gave me this unsinkable strength," Michaels said. "It gave me this amazing courage."

Some of his Celebrity Apprentice family, including Donald Trump, Sharon Osbourne and Holly Robinson-Peete, even sent special messages into the show.

"He's the sort of guy you cannot dislike," Osbourne said. "He's endearing. He has this great aura. He's so full of life, so up, so happy."

But while Michaels' hospital stay—much of which was spent in critical condition—was far from smooth, it was one particular moment that had him the most fearful. And it's not the one you think.

After he was quietly discharged from the facility, Michaels' doctor, Dr. Joseph Zabramski, held a press conference to explain what the rocker had been through, an explanation which required him to show scans of Michaels' brain.

"I had a fear that he would show this neurosurgeon brain that's big and thick and normal, and then I'd have this little walnut," he laughed. "Oh God, don't show them that. Hopefully the bleeding is spread out and it looks bigger.

"This is a point where size mattered."

As for his recovery, it's going well, but is trying.

"I asked them to up it to two rehabs a day," he said, adding that he is having particular trouble with his lower extremities, but that is "to be expected."

He also still suffers from painful headaches, which may last another month, and a stiff neck. Not that he's letting that get him down.

"It gets better each day. I'm so happy to be here talking to you, to be alive. I'm just appreciative to be here and have such great family around, great friends and a great medical team.

"I'm just happy that whoever's watching over me didn't decide to take me out."

Us, too.

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