Artie Lange told a source he thought he might die -- two weeks BEFORE the terrifying health scare that landed him in the hospital, Radar has exclusively learned.
Lange, 49, Howard Stern's longtime beloved former comic radio sidekick, underwent emergency surgery on Friday night after performing in Chicago, he revealed to fans in a shocking Tweet, as Radar has reported.
And he blamed his previous drug use for the medical problem!
Lange tweeted about how he cheated death, writing that after a performance at Thalia Hall, "After Chicago gig I collapsed. All the blow & H I've done for yrs blew hole in my nose & landed in my chest...
And now, a source has told Radar that Lange, who has undergone major drug problems, was desperately worried about his health, saying, "Artie told me two weeks ago, 'I'm not in the best shape. I got about a month before I get knocked down again. And this time it might be permanent.' "
The beloved funnyman, who appeared on Stern's radio show for years and also was one of the original cast members of the show Mad TV, stunned fans by tweeting a photo of himself looking very tired in his hospital bed.
The funnyman also explained on Twitter, "It was infected. I was hours from checkin out. They ripped open my chest and got it all. I cheated the devil for the hundredth time."
In another Tweet, the standup comedy veteran wrote, "Now I'm laying in the hospital w tubes in a hole in my chest. They put a permanent IV line in my arm to my heart for long term antibiotics."
Lange also told his Twitter followers, referring to the Judd Apatow produced HBO show called Crashing, on which he appears, "I'm done bullshitting. The Dr says I will be back. Judd Apatow is a saint. I hope to do Crashing Dr told me many other ppl would b dead."
Lange wrote that the doctor told him, "I'm an ox he says. So something keeps me here."
He also admonished his fans to NOT do drugs, writing, "If u fans come up to me on drugs plan on a fight. Pls be strong. My life should be great."
As Radar has reported, Lange was recently arrested for heroin and cocaine possession.
After his failure to appear in court made news, the Hoboken Police Department informed the media that they were not actively looking for Lange, "But if any officers have an encounter with him, whether it is by running his license plate or name, they will see he has the 'Failure to Appear' bench warrant. The warrant is issued by the court and not directly the Police Department."
Lange has been plagued with depression and drug addiction for years.
After Lange's second suicide attempt in 2010, Stern let him go from his radio show because he believed keeping him on wouldn't help in his recovery, as Radar has reported.
From his hospital bed, Lange vowed on Twitter to be performing again at his August 31 gig in Verona, New York.
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