After suffering an aneurysm 5½ years ago, singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell says she still has trouble walking.
"Just inching my way along," Mitchell, whose profound and poetic songs include "Both Sides Now," "Big Yellow Taxi," "Help Me" and "The Circle Game," told her friend, Academy Award-winning filmmaker and music writer Cameron Crowe, in the U.K. newspaper The Guardian. "I'm showing slow improvement but moving forward," the 76-year-old music icon said in the interview, published Tuesday.
"Yeah, because once again I couldn't walk," the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer continued, alluding to a bout of polio she had suffered at age 9. "I had to learn how again. I couldn't talk. Polio didn't grab me like that, but the aneurysm took away a lot more, really. Took away my speech and my ability to walk. And, you know, I got my speech back quickly, but the walking I'm still struggling with."
Turning more hopeful, the eight-time Grammy Award winner and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient said, "But I mean, I'm a fighter. I've got Irish blood!" she added with what the newspaper called a long laugh. "So you know, I knew, 'Here I go again, another battle.’ "
On March 31, 2015, Mitchell was found unconscious in her home and rushed to a hospital. Three months later, her representative, Leslie Morris, responded to rumors of the star's condition, saying in a statement: "Joni did in fact suffer an aneurysm. However, details that have emerged in the past few days are mostly speculative. The truth is that Joni is speaking, and she's speaking well. She is not walking yet, but she will be in the near future as she is undergoing daily therapies. She is resting comfortably in her own home and she's getting better each day. A full recovery is expected."
In response to Crowe, 63, asking, "Does the muse still speak to you?," Mitchell replied, "It hasn't for a while. I haven't been writing recently. I haven't been playing my guitar or the piano or anything. No, I'm just concentrating on getting my health back. You know what? I came back from polio, so here I am again, and struggling back."