Denise Drysdale reveals health battles

"I used to run on adrenaline." A string of health battles has plagued legendary Ding Dong, but she is now looking ahead.

Denise Drysdale is on the improve after a series of health problems over summer, revealed in an interview on Studio 10.

Drysdale, 70, was on a 3 week Caribbean cruise with friend producer Pam Barnes when she felt pain in her leg.

“I immediately said to Pam, ‘I think I’ve done my knee’ and ended up in a wheelchair,” she told Sarah Harris.

She flew home to Australia for a knee replacement. But blood clots developed on her knee, before headaches and loss of sight.

Doctors discovered a detached retina and revealed if she had waited another day for treatment she may have gone blind.

“I will never ever take (sight) for granted again…when you haven’t got it, it’s frustrating, it’s debilitating.”

During months of recovery (or “house arrest” as she joked), she was then hit by an infection with lumps on her head, requiring repeated intravenous antibiotics.

On New Year’s Eve she then discovered a lump on her breast, which thankfully turned out to be a cyst.

“I was relieved,” she told Harris.

But the struggles also took its toll on the TV legend at one stage conceding she has not felt like her usual bubbly self.

“I didn’t.. and I still don’t to a certain degree.. I just feel not well..and a smaller version of myself.

“I was terrible..,” she said of her months of battles. “I was really down for the first couple of months.. I was really emotional.. whenever I spoke to anyone on the phone I’d just cry. You do think, what am I going to do with the rest of my life?  I did think if I got any worse, I don’t think I could cope with it.

“I used to run on adrenaline and I don’t think I’ve got any left. I just wore the machine out. I’ve been really lucky and everything that has gone wrong has gone wrong at this time for a reason. For me to take stock of how I was conducting my life.”

Drysdale is now wearing glasses and limping, but determined to look ahead and plans to be back on Studio 10 next month.

“Hang in there if you are not feeling 100%,” she said to fans. “I love you and if I can get there, anyone can get there.”

6 Responses

  1. I’m sorry to read that Gaz. I always enjoy reading your contributions. I’m sad to read of Denise and her health issues. She is one of our most enduring and endearing performers. 50 years pretty much 🙂

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