Sharon Osbourne reveals ‘heartbreak’ over Ozzy’s Parkinson’s diagnosis in Jeremy Paxman’s documentary
Jeremy Paxman’s new ITV documentary Paxman: Putting Up With Parkinson’s, aired on Tuesday night and is available to watch now on ITV Player
and live on Freeview channel 276
Sharon Osbourne has revealed her ‘heartbreak’ over her husband Ozzy’s Parkinson’s disease in a new documentary.
Sharon discussed with Jeremy Paxman the impact her husband’s diagnosis had had on her. She spoke to Paxman, who was diagnosed 18 months ago, in his new ITV documentary Paxman: Putting Up With Parkinson’s.
Paxman also meets with other well known people who live with the disease and speaks to president of Parkinson’s UK, Jane Asher. The documentary also sees Paxman attend an English National Ballet therapy dance class and learn to play bowls.
‘Suddenly, your life just stops’
Ozzy has endured a number of health issues over the years. In June the musician underwent “life-changing” surgery to help with an injury sustained during a quad bike accident in 2003 which left him with lasting damage.
As well as his Parkinson’s diagnosis which he received three years ago, he also faced concerns after contracting Covid-19 in April but has since made a full recovery.
Speaking in the documentary which aired on Tuesday (4 October) night, Sharon told Paxman (via the Daily Mail): “I just think of my husband, and like you, who was very energetic, loved to go out for walks, did a two-hour show on stage every night, running around like a crazy man.
“Suddenly, your life just stops - life as you knew it.’
She added: “When I look at my husband, my heart breaks for him, I’m sad for myself to see him that way, but what he goes through is worse. When I look at him and he doesn’t know, I’m like crying.”
Sharon also revealed that Ozzy uses cannabidiol, known as CBD, to help manage the disease. She said: “Ozzy was always on something, he always loved to dabble with the old drugs.
“But now he takes this stuff at night. What’s this stuff that everybody smokes? Marijuana. It is something from that — Cannabidiol. I’ll bring some over for you, you’ll love it. I’ll bring it back for you, Jeremy. I’ll probably get arrested coming through customs — but that’s nothing new.”
How did Paxman find out he had Parkinson’s?
Paxman revealed he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s after a fall on icy ground while walking his dog.
“The first thing I knew was when somebody was sitting me on a bench. I’d fallen over and I made a terrible mess of my face,” the 72-year-old says on the show.
He continues: “When I was in A&E, a doctor walked in and said, ‘I think you’ve got Parkinson’s.’ And it turned out that he had been watching University Challenge and had noticed that my face had acquired what’s known as the Parkinson Mask. I wasn’t as effusive and exuberant as normal. I had no idea.”
In the documentary, Paxman, who announced in August he was departing the legendary quiz show after 29 years, chats to The Chase’s Paul Sinha, who also has Parkinson’s, about his experience with the condition – which usually starts to show after the age of 50.
“It’s a much more complicated disease than people give it credit for, isn’t it? Because everyone associates it with the tremors,” Sinha says. “But at the moment the tremors are not really part of my diagnosis. For me, it’s the tightness and slowness of movement.”
Researchers don’t yet know exactly why people develop Parkinson’s. They believe it’s a combination of age, genetic and lifestyle factors, causing certain nerve cells to die – meaning the brain can’t produce enough dopamine to control movement properly.
What are the symptoms?
“There are over 40 symptoms, ranging from pain to insomnia to anxiety,” says Rowan Wathes on the show - an associate director of the UK Parkinson’s Excellence Network (parkinsons.org.uk).
“However, people’s experiences of Parkinson’s can vary, and not everyone will experience all of these symptoms all the time.” If you’re worried about any potential symptoms, see your GP for advice.
The ‘classic’ Parkinson’s tremor can start as a small but uncontrollable movement, usually first appearing in the hand before ‘spreading’ to affect the rest of the arm, or down to the foot on the same side of the body.
“There are two common types of tremor,” Wathes says. “A resting tremor happens when someone is still and relaxed, for example when lying in bed. An action tremor happens midway through a task, when someone is trying to hold a magazine or drink from a glass.”
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