Michael J Fox Recalls Watching Back To The Future With Princess Diana
“I was underneath the phone, against the kitchen wall, on the kitchen floor alone with a broken arm, waiting for the ambulance to show up,” he said on Sunday TODAY. “I couldn’t believe the amount of fury I had toward myself for being so careless to do this, and to let down my surgeons.
“I had been so stubborn about being independent, and my family, who’d been so patient during all this. And I couldn’t put a shiny face on it. I couldn’t make lemonade out of this. In fact, I was out of the lemonade business. I just kind of felt more sorry for myself, and I’d never done that before. And I questioned my optimism.”
Fittingly for a man with five Emmy Awards, watching television helped restore his positive outlook on life. He binge-watched old Westerns from the ’50s and ’60s while recovering from his broken arm.
“I kind of realized that this happened before I was born, these shows,” he told Willie. “I’m part of that continuum. I’ll be survived by my reruns. That gave me a little bit of a dash of immortality.
“All these things were connected. And they all pointed me toward how grateful I was for my interaction with my kids. They’re all smarter than me, and all better looking than me, they’re all taller than me. And so I look up to them.”
Fox Says He Was ‘so Scared’ During The Early Years
Accepting his newfound reality, Fox tried to move forward with his life. At home, his young son Sam dubbed his left hand the shaky hand and made a game of it, but at work, it was getting harder to hide. As photographers and reporters anxiously awaited his arrival at the Golden Globes in January 1998, he stalled in the limo as his left arm and leg shook uncontrollably. He asked the driver to take another spin around the block. Three spins later, his medication kicked into effect and he was able to proceed without anyone aware of his secret. He even snagged the Best Actor trophy that night.
It wasnt that he was ashamed of it. It was just that he had to learn how to deal with it on his own. So Fox continued working. Telling whoever needed to know, but mostly keeping it to a tight group.
Those seven years saw a period where he focused on comedies: Life with Mikey , For Love or Money and Greedy . My decision making was ridiculous, he admitted in 2019 to the;New York Times Magazine of the time. It wasnt based on truth.
Looking back on that period now, hes able to admit his vulnerability. I was so scared, Fox explained to the New York Times Magazine. I was so unfamiliar with Parkinsons. Someone is saying your life is going to be completely changed. Yeah? When? He admits he took on projects because of time restrictions and financial pressures since they were inflated in my head, so he chose as many quick successful movies as he could.
Book Excerpt: No Time Like The Future
Im going down. Its a flash fall. Vertical to horizontal in a blink. I twist my head to save my face from collision with the kitchen tile. What the hell just happened? I rise up on my right elbow, expecting to shift my weight to the left and push up onto my feet. Surprise: I cant feel my left arm. As my shock subsides, its clear that I need help. Slithering forward on my belly toward the wall-mounted phone, I am a one-armed commando crawling under the table, across the floor, and through a thicket of chair legs, dragging a sandbag of a left arm that remains unresponsive and unavailable.
The day before the accident, I flew back to Manhattan from Marthas Vineyard, in the middle of our summer vacation. Tracy was concerned about me staying in New York by myself. I was still what we would both describe as a little wobbly on my feet. But Id been asked to do a one-day cameo on a Spike Leeproduced movie, up in the Bronx, and it offered a brief window of independence. Ill be back in two days, I promised. Save me a lobster.
Schuyler, one of our twenty-five-year-old twin daughters, also needed to head back to the city for work, so we traveled home together. She lingered with me for dinner, take-out pasta at the kitchen table. Polishing off the last forkful, she had a question.
How do you feel about going back to work?
I dont know, I guess I feel normal again.
But are you nervous, Dood? All of my kids call me that. Not Dude, Dood.
You May Like: End Stage Parkinson Disease Life Expectancy
Items To Discuss With A Long
Most insurance agents and financial planners have little or no expertise in long-term care planning. Plus, they generally only represent one insurance company. Seek the help of a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist who represents the major companies.
Make sure any agent discusses these topics:
- Partnership:;Most states offer special policies that provide dollar-for-dollar asset protection. The Long-Term Care Insurance Partnership Program might be one of the best-kept secrets in retirement planning. Make sure the specialist explains this program and how it might help you.
- Tax incentives:;There are federal tax incentives available for some people. If you own your own business, be sure to ask.
- Health Savings Accounts:;If you have an HSA you can use the pre-tax money in your account to pay for the premium.
- Asset-Based or Hybrid policies:;These are life insurance or annuities with a rider for long-term care. Careful, only a handful are actually a long-term care benefit. However, one of these policies can provide you with the flexibility of both a long-term care benefit or a death benefit. They are expensive but can be paid with a single premium.
- Health and Family History:;Make sure the specialist asks you detailed questions about your health, family history, and retirement plans. Underwritingcriteria vary with each insurance company. If they are not asking you detailed questions, then find another specialist.
Learn about the top options available by
Finding Optimism With Michael J Fox
Renowned actor and Parkinsons disease research advocate talks about his new book.;
In his new book No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality, actor and advocate Michael J. Fox, talks about how his signature optimism in the face of Parkinsons disease was challenged after a dangerous fall in his kitchen.
On Thursday night, Fox, known for his roles in TV shows Family Ties, Spin City, and the movie series Back to The Future shared that challenge and how he has come out for the better because of it through a virtual event with the Marthas Vineyard Book Festival.
The virtual talk, which had more than 2,400 listeners, featured novelist and Foxs close friend Harlan Coben asking Fox, a seasonal resident of Marthas Vineyard since 1988, about some of his inspirations behind the new book.
Fox spoke candidly, and with a dash of dry wit, about his journey of being diagnosed with Parkinsons in 1991 at the age of 29, to getting risky surgery on his spine, and to recently suffering from a severely broken arm.
Fifty-nine is the average age of someone diagnosed with Parkinsons and I had it for 29 years by the time I was 58, Fox, who is now 59, said.
Foxs inspiration for writing the book began with this extraordinary series of medical issues, after which he began to ask himself, who am I to be an optimist?
Its a wonderful combination, Fox joked.
After a successful six-hour surgery, Fox spent several months learning how to walk again.;
You May Like: Parkinson’s Disease Life Expectancy
A Champion For His Cause
The actor sometimes jokes that Parkinson’s disease is the gift that keeps on taking. In reality, Fox’s illness has helped him give to others.
Since 2000, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research has sought to understand the condition and improve treatment options for the estimated 1 million people in the U.S. who are living with Parkinson’s. The foundation has funded nearly $325 million in research, and supported hundreds of scientists in more than 20 countries and 60 clinical studies. At the moment, all eyes are on a promising surgical therapy involving a specialized brain protein called neurturin, which may slow or stop Parkinson’s symptoms rather than temporarily mask them. In testing, neurturin has been found to help rejuvenate neurons damaged by Parkinson’s, and restore function.
“The attention Michael has brought to Parkinson’s research has sparked a complete revolution,” says the foundation’s chief executive officer, Todd Sherer. “Pharmaceutical companies are more focused than ever on finding treatments quickly, and curing PD is job one for some of the best minds in neuroscience.”
Michael J Fox Broke His Arm And Lost His Optimism
It was the summer of 2018 and the year had already been rough for Michael J. Fox. Now, in addition to managing a progressive disease, he was recovering from spinal surgery and starving for a little time to himself, according to the CBC. But no sooner did he get his wish when he slipped on a tile in his kitchen and fell on his arm, shattering it. Alone and unable to get help, Fox remembered at that moment, he was tired of his when life hands you lemons, make lemonade attitude about his condition. That was the point where I went Im out of the freakin lemonade business,’ he told the CBC. I cant put a shiny face on this. This sucks, and who am I to tell people to be optimistic?’
Fractures are not uncommon among people with Parkinsons. According to the Parkinsons Foundation, the disease can cause changes to a persons skeleton, including lower bone density. In fact, if a person with Parkinsons does less walking and other exercises in which their skeleton needs to support their weight, they run the risk of weaker bones, increasing their chances of bone fractures if they fall. In Foxs case, as he detailed to the CBC. his arm was so badly broken that it needed to be rebuilt. And what about his optimism? That too would need some rebuilding.
Also Check: How To Walk With Parkinson’s Disease
Notable Figures With Parkinsons
Although more than 10 million people worldwide live with Parkinsons disease , the general publics understanding of disease symptoms is often limited to what is seen in the media. Many people only know Parkinsons as the disease that Muhammad Ali had, or Michael J. Fox has.
However, when a household name such as Ali or Fox announces their diagnosis, Parkinsons coverage briefly spikes. While a diagnosis is upsetting, when notable figures are public about their disease, the coverage helps increase awareness and understanding, while personalizing Parkinsons for those with no other connection.
A PD diagnosis is universally difficult to cope with, but with a platform to speak from and fans to speak to, heres a list of notable figures that have helped shape the Parkinsons conversation:
Michael J Fox And The Warning Signs Of Parkinsons Disease
With the debut of his new television series, The Michael J. Fox Show, Parkinsons disease will be put front and center. In a recent interview, Michael J. Fox revealed the early warning signs that had him head to a neurologist and ended up as a diagnosis of Parkinsons disease.
Whether the show becomes a hit is yet to be seen, but one thing it will do is educate viewers about a disease that most people know little or nothing about. Hopefully, the show will prompt viewers to learn more about this disease that today affects over one million adults in the United States and could result in an early diagnoses.
One of the easiest descriptions of Parkinsons disease is given by the National Parkinsons Foundation. They explain that the disease occurs when an important chemical in the brain, called dopamine, ceases to be made. Dopamine helps with body movement and mood. Parkinsons is a degenerative disease, slowly getting worse over time. In many cases, with medical attention, patients are able to live longer than expected. Medications that replace dopamine, as well as other treatments, are given to patients to deal with the symptoms.
Handwriting that has gotten smaller than normal can be a sign of Parkinsons. If cramped handwriting is not due to aging, arthritis, or poor vision, making smaller letter sizes and crowding words together could be a warning sign.
You May Like: Can Parkinson’s Cause Hives
Is There Science Behind This
Science, yes. Magic, no. This method requires regular practice if you want to make lasting, long-term changes to the ways that you think and feel. The good news is that both guided imagery and bilateral stimulation are widely practiced and well-established practices. However, I recommend that if you are still struggling after repeated listening, you find a qualified trauma therapist to continue the work you have already started.
Michael J Fox Tears Up Recalling How His Wife Reacted To His Parkinsons Diagnosis
Its been almost 30 years since the day Michael J. Fox had to break the news to his wife that he had been diagnosed with Parkinsons disease at 29, but the memory of her reaction is still enough to move him to tears.
TheBack to the Future star spoke with Willie Geist on Sunday TODAY about that emotional moment in 1991 with his wife, actor Tracy Pollan, which he also writes about in his latest book, No Time Like the Future.
We didnt know what to expect, Fox, now 59, said. One of the things Ill always love Tracy for is that at that moment, she didnt blink.
And she hasnt since, has she? Willie answered.
No, Fox replied while wiping away tears.
Its not the kinda thing you can do without a partner, is it? Willie, whose father is also living with Parkinsons disease, asked.
Its really great to have a partner, Fox said.
Fox and Pollan, 60, have been married for 32 years and raised four children since first meeting on the 1980s NBC hit sitcom Family Ties, where Fox won three Emmy Awards playing Alex P. Keaton.
Pollans sense of humor has helped Fox endure some difficult stretches with his condition.
Well, Tracys amazing, he told Willie. Shes there in the front lines with me every single day. She never pretends to know as much as I know. And the other thing Tracy does is, if theres something funny, lets get to the funny. Well deal with the tragic later.
Dont Miss: How To Lose Weight With Parkinsons Disease
Don’t Miss: Do Parkinson’s Tremors Get Worse With Stress
Michael J Fox: No More Surgery For His Parkinson’s Disease
Actor Michael J. Fox states that he wishes to have no more surgeries for his Parkinson’s Disease until doctors can assure him that the deep brain stimulation will be more than a “mechanical stopgap” in the progression of his disease. At the same time, he acknowledges how the surgery has been extremely life-changing for so many other individuals with Parkinson’s that it often offers many of them a turnaround in their illness.
In an interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta for CNN, Fox revealed that he was not so fortunate to have that turnaround. Shortly after having the surgery to correct the tremors on the left side of his body, the right side of his body started showing symptoms. Rather than go back in for more surgery, he chose to wait for research to get to a point where it will be curative. Until such a time, he is controlling the tremors and frozen facial muscles with cutting-edge medications that come with their own side-effects, such as those involuntary dyskinesia movements for which he’s become known.
“It’s about being comfortable and me functioning on a day-to-day basis,” Fox told Gupta. He has been living with Parkinson’s for the last 20 years and is very happy where he is in his life today and with what he’s able to accomplish.
Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative, 525-PPMI
To see Dr. Sanjay Gupta‘s conversation with Michael J. Fox, watch the short clips below or visit Dr. Gupta’s blog about the interview.
6275 Lawrenceville Hwy
Advertising And Marketing Opportunities On Ltc News
Drive traffic to your website and find the people interested in your products and services by using LTC NEWS. Plus, you can improve your website’s SEO so more consumers can find you when they search for your services.
There are many marketing opportunities available. LTC NEWS can be an effective way to help you and your business. Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help you market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO -;Advertise With Us | LTC News.
Recommended Reading: Do Parkinson’s Patients Have Hallucinations
He Continues To Believe In An Eventual Cure
When Michael J. Fox created his foundation, he didnt see it existing past 10 years . Why? Because in 2000, he believed research efforts by his nonprofit would cure Parkinsons disease, and so make its existence unnecessary. More than 20 years later, the Michael J. Fox Foundation is at the forefront of research into not only the possible genetic components of Parkinsons but also environmental and aging factors that might impact the disease .
According to the foundations website, for some people there is a connection between developing Parkinsons and being exposed to toxic substances like pesticides or MPTP. Head injuries may for some individuals play a role in developing this disease. By far, however, the most significant factor when it comes to Parkinsons is simply aging since the older a persons cells are, the more vulnerable they may be to harm. Plus, the fact that human genes change during a persons lifespan may also play a part in who develops Parkinsons.
When asked in 2019, Almost 20 years later, whats your thinking about finding a cure for Parkinsons? Fox replied, I still believe in a cure, and he acknowledged the importance of more effective treatments . And his foundations website echoes this idea, stating, Better understanding of the complex genetic, environmental, aging and other factors that lead to Parkinsons would be game-changing in our pursuit of preventive and therapeutic treatment options.