spankmypirate (spankmypirate) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,

Michael J Fox: ‘Every step now is a frigging math problem, so I take it slow’

Michael J. Fox recently sat down for an interview with The Guardian (via video chat) to talk about his life and career. A few major points:

  • He is now 59 years old, which is considered to be the average age for a Parkinson's diagnosis. He has been living with the disease for 30 years.

  • He had to undergo surgery in 2018 to remove a tumour on his spine, which was actually unrelated to Parkinson's. One day, when he was alone at home, he fell over and smashed his upper arm so badly it required 19 screws. The recovery from the surgery was extremely traumatic because Parkinson's made it difficult for his fragile spinal cord to cope with the aftermath, and he fell into a depression:  “There is no way to put a shine on my circumstance,” [...] “Have I oversold optimism as a panacea, commodified hope? In telling other patients, ‘Chin up! It will be OK’, did I look to them to validate my optimism? Is it because I needed to validate it myself? Things don’t always turn out. Sometimes things turn shitty. My optimism is suddenly finite.”

On Trump, Parkinson's, and lockdownCollapse )Source

His new book is called "No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality". The interview is long but worth reading.
Tags: canadian celebrities, health problems, interview

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god that sounds rough :/ and it was so incredibly disgusting when Frump mocked the reporter, I almost forgot about that in the midst of all his other atrocities.
Let's give this man his flowers while he's still alive. He's an amazing and strong human.
Ugh I just want the best for him, even questioning his own optimism and how it affects other people, like not everyone thinks compassionately for others in that way.

Bless him though, I'm interested in reading his book!
Wow, read this line and suddenly started crying: "My optimism is suddenly finite.”

Love his honesty and being open about all his changing and conflicting emotions. Living with something like Parkinson's for 30 years is truly a marathon and must be a rollercoaster of emotions.
My aunt-in-law has Parkinsons and she just had this amazing surgery done. She basically has a battery pack installed, and got some fancy Iron Man chip in her brain, and it's calmed down a TON of her shakes. It's been such a relief seeing her have some peace. She's a seamstress so her hands are essential to her hobbies. Also shout-out to her for being in her sixties! I love her so much.
DBS? It's truly amazing
Yes!! It's a miracle.
this is a really good interview, thanks for sharing
He is a superman. I was diagnosed with MS only 6 years ago and I am even among milder cases and bad days are sometimes really, really bad. I can't imagine 30 years of 'being brave' since MS (except progressive type) is the same: you don't die from it, but with it. I love this man so much, I think about him often. I don't know another celebrity disabled and outspoken for so long.
Damn it, it's sad this funny, lovely guy has been living with this terrible illness for so long. More than half his life and it started before he was 30? 😔

And then there are people like f. e. C. Manson who grow old with almost no health problems.
I feel I’m coming to terms with my mother having a debilitating disability. Even tho she was never helpful to me when it came to mental health, I try to remind myself that she has a lot that weighs on her everyday and to just be patient.

Most people with super young (>40) parents don’t know what it’s like to watch them deteriorate before your eyes.
I absolutely love him and I can’t imagine the pain he’s been going through for three decades. A period of time when he should have been in the prime of his life was stolen from him. He and his family deserve everything good. Once he finally leaves this earth, it’ll be a horrible day.
Since everyone is sharing Parkinson's stories, my mom was diagnosed in 2008 and got DBS in 2015. Her gait is pretty bad, balance is okay, and the DBS helped out with her tremors a lot. Her voice sounds so weak now but i don't know if that's from Parkinson's
There’s no way I get up in the morning and mock orange people.

lmao i wasn't expecting this
I can think, I can communicate and I can express affection. What else do you want?

Damn. Dude is amazing.
I love him ❤️
Damn I knew he had it for a long time but not almost as long as I've been alive!

[On what he says about still being able to communicate]Parkinson's reminds me of MS, which both my mom and (not blood-related) aunt had. What Michael says "I can move. I can think, I can communicate and I can express affection. What else do you want?" is so incredibly well put. Watching members of my family struggle with MS was so rough. My aunt had the "classic" symptoms of mobility issues and shaking that made her eventually wheelchair bound and need help with eating. (Otherwise she would shake so bad her food flew everywhere.) My mom on the other hand had other parts of her brain scarring. Her short term memory was badly affected and she often forgot where she was. We now think this was one of the things that led to her diagnosis of Early Onset Dementia (which is dementia before 65. my mom was around 60 when she was finally diagnosed) as well as her unregulated sarcoidosis which was definitely cutting some oxygen off from her brain.

Anyway, I say that because one day the two of them were having lunch when we were up to visit, and they candidly talked about their MS. Mostly their differences. Even though my aunt was stuck in a wheelchair and needed my mom to help feed her, they both agreed that she had it better than my mom. My aunt could still communicate and express herself. She still had her "mental faculties" as she put it. She was able to enjoy her grandchildren coming over and talking to them. My mom could move around a lot better, even until the end, but she couldn't remember hardly anything even before she had full-blown dementia. She would forget what she was talking about halfway through a sentence and abandon projects she had been dead set on doing years ago. My mom said she would switch places with my aunt any day and my aunt was like "oh hell no." That was really eye opening to see. As long as you have your brain and some way to communicate, that's really all you "need"*

*with the caveat you have a support system and means to help take care of you of course.
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