Don Dokken admitted he didn’t expect so much “trauma” to follow his recent spine surgery, but he added that he hoped to be fully recovered within a year.
“I’d say it’s like one percent a day improvement,” Dokken told The Classic Metal Show in a new interview. “My hand or my arms has nothing to do with my singing. I can go onstage and sing. I’ve now become a leftie. … I’m right-handed, man. And it’s a learning curve when you have to do everything with your left hand. … It’s a bit weird. … The right hand and the arm, honestly, it’s probably gonna be a year before it’s back. But that’s better than never.”
He noted that his biggest problem is that he’s “lazy,” meaning he found it challenging to keep up with the busy therapy regime he’s supposed to follow. “But I’m doing it,” he said. “I have no choice. And luckily, I have such great people around me, between the 8 million doctors and my family and everything, pushing me to lift weights and get on the bike and walk the dogs and get out and do something, just to kind of build up my body strength.”
You can listen to the interview below.
Dokken added that not being able to play guitar is the “biggest sadness” after 50 years with the instrument. “I can only think positive and hope that someday I’ll get to play guitar again,” he said. “So I’m just gonna go out and tour and sing. And everything is good. Every day I wake up and things are a little bit better. I can do this, or I can do that.”
He explained that he “never expected” to endure “so much trauma” as a result of the surgery. “But then I see stuff on the internet, like I’m on my deathbed,” he said. “I’m, like, no, actually, I’m driving and hiking with the dogs. I’ve got my cane. I’m out there and about. It was a bit of a shock, honestly, when I came out of surgery. Who goes into surgery and wakes up and they’re completely paralyzed? It was a bit of a shock.”