POISON's BRET MICHAELS Opens Up About Challenges Of Touring While Living With Type 1 Diabetes
December 29, 2022
POISON singer Bret Michaels spoke to 95.9 The River's Nick Jakusz about living with Type 1 diabetes and the ensuing challenges for a rock star on the road. Controlling his blood sugar is his primary concern throughout the day, which he monitors through diet and dedication to exercise.
Bret said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I've been a Type 1 diabetic since I've been six years old… The best lesson I got from my parents… A couple of things that my dad said and my mom said. They were, like, 'Look, this is the cards you were dealt. You don't have to love it, but you have to embrace this. You're either gonna be a victim or victorious; there's no in between. You're either gonna choose that you can do this… And we're gonna find a way for you to play football, way for you to play baseball, ride dirt bikes, play music, travel…' And that mentality is what got me through the '80s and '90s and right now in music."
Asked how he manages touring while dealing with the unique challenges that people with diabetes face, Bret said: "In POISON we [were] touring all the time, and solo, it's non-stop. What I've learned to do is… This is the truth… When they see me take a break and someone's doing a bit of a solo… They get a minute. We come out. C.C. DeVille [POISON guitarist] starts a solo. It's actually a chance for me to run back and check my blood sugar. And now with the technology, the constant glucose monitor, it's in my arm, it's injected into my arm. I can test it. I adjust my insulin intake. So I do about five injections a day of insulin, and I just adjust for it and I find my groove."
Michaels added: "I know that sounds crazy, but each diabetic has to find their own groove that keeps those levels controlled, because, if not, it can be devastating."
This past summer, Bret told USA Today that built a mobile gym for the endless hours of road travel between tour dates. He drilled a "big bolt" into the ceiling of his RV for triceps and back exercises and also bolted down a stationary bike, which he rides a couple of hours at a time.
"Rather than eating my way through an eight-hour drive, I put on a movie, lock the bike down, seat belt myself in and ride for the whole thing," he said. "I come from a family that likes to party, but as a diabetic, I have to find more balance."
Back in late June, Michaels pulled out of POISON's Nashville show after being hospitalized for an "unforeseen medical complication." He returned to the stage with his POISON bandmates a couple of days later but canceled his meet-and-greet with fans in order to "continue to rest and try to save all [his] energy" for the group's live performances.
Following his storied run on the highly successful "The Stadium Tour" this past summer, Michaels will embark on his select date "Parti-Gras" 2023 tour with Live Nation starting Thursday, July 13 in Detroit and the legendary Pine Knob Amphitheater. Additional dates include a stop at Michaels's former hometown amphitheater, The Pavilion at Star Lake in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, as well as stops in Gilford, New Hampshire and Camden, New Jersey, to name a few.
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