He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s when he was just 29 years old. After three decades of fighting in the most brutal sense of the word, Michael J. Fox had to be operated on for a spinal cord tumor. And despite everything, he kept saying that the only pathological thing in his life was his unwavering optimism.
Or, at least, I thought so, until one day in 2018, without knowing how, he fell in the kitchen. More than the 19 nails and the metal plate that had to be installed in his arm, his spirit hurt, his desire failed him for the first time. He seemed to be healing from such a rare ailment: he was running out of breath to stay alive.
For the first time. “I am no hero. I have been through hard times and difficult experiences, but I have always managed to accept life as it has come. Until now, their conditions have always seemed acceptable to me. But I’m kind of numb, tired. Optimism, as a mental framework, no longer works for me,” says the actor in “There is no better time than the future” (Libros Cúpula), the volume of memoirs that has just appeared in Spanish.
The actor, a legend for “Back to the future” and “Family entanglements”, faced the writing of the book from bitterness.
The Canadian actor started a foundation with his name moved by the idealism of finding improvements in the treatment of the disease that had been diagnosed as a sentence.
Of the quixotic nature of his companies in general, it is a good example that, at the age of 40 and with Parkinson’s disease on the rise, he became hooked on playing what is perhaps the sport that requires the greatest precision and control of movements, golf.
It often takes him fifteen tries just to get the ball on the tee (the piece that supports it before each shot) while joking about the good results of the occupational therapy he regularly attends. That’s how the actor faces seventeen nightmares in order to have a good hole to take with him as a souvenir.
“Golf preys on your weaknesses and shames you for having the recklessness to pick up a club,” the actor explains, but also says, “Playing golf requires the same mental toughness that I use to deal with Parkinson’s. Both realities overlap in everything that refers to arrogance and humility, deceit and desire, futility and endurance”.
Do you know what word is defined to talk about the category of a golfer? Handicap, which in English also means disability. With those kinds of stark comparisons, Fox has always been able to cope psychologically with adversity, a skill he has developed over time.
However, his penance is absolute. He suffers from neurofibromyalgia, whose symptoms are “weakness in the extremities, intense pain in the sciatic nerve and a burning sensation in the abdomen, like wearing a sandpaper sweater“, a disorder that affects how the brain perceives pain signals.
He talks about admissions to the hospital, interrupted vacations, daily frustrations and how Tracy, his wife, always puts her good side even in the successive setbacks of the actor’s recent life.
“It is possible that he stands with one foot on one side and the other of the same void. I am probably the only person in history who has come out in the same year in the cover of ”Rolling Stone” magazine and the ”AARP” (the geriatric association of the USA). Not in vain, I already have 58 tacos”, he writes with a sense of humor.
His world has long since stopped expanding, but rather is contracting, in every way. He is filled with guilt and disappointment that he is worse off than his own octogenarian mother. The consequences of his domestic accident are terrible.
“The pains have worsened and the falls have increased and become more dangerous. The last injury has been disastrous. I will have to learn to walk again,” he writes sunken.
And continues: “One of the Parkinson’s problems that I had not considered, and even less talked about, is cognitive impairment: memory loss, disorientation, delusions and dementia“.
In his story, the actor directs a question to a person who is next to him. But it turns out that person is not there. The painkillers for his surgical intervention and his usual medication for Parkinson’s provoke hallucinations that grip him: “My version of the Parkinson’s psychoses could not have been more real.”
To make matters worse, the actor faces the progressive inability to remember the dialogues in the productions in which he continues to obtain roles, such as the series “The Good Fight” and “Designated Successor”. “I decide that the time has come for my second retirement. If this is the end of my career, so be it.”
The smell of “Mary”
During those months, Fox’s story is that of a defeated man, perhaps defeated forever. But as in all good American stories, redemption comes when we least expect it. Reviews of the removed tumor are very satisfactory. With the pressure removed from the spine, his mobility improves surprisingly.
With an enormous effort, it recovers capacities. “I realized that fear had hijacked me. The weight of anguish was dragging me down,” he says remade. The actor has lost his sense of smell and almost completely his taste:
“ In the context of all the losses I’ve suffered over the years, it’s the least of my problems. Even so, for a guy who is in the 58 tacos in the middle of a rock concert, being able to enjoy the smell of ‘maria’ would be nice, if only out of nostalgia. I don’t smoke, but who knows, I might get caught up in a proximity trip while I wait for my own psychotropic meds to kick in. Actually, I’m thankful for everything. For every fracture and every wrong turn.”
Ashley Johnson is the lead reporter for Globe Live Media on things related to Entertainment, Lifestyle, and Music. Being a fitness enthusiast, her background involves growing up in Beverly Hills, where She often interacts with famous Artists and also talks about their ways for a Healthy Lifestyle. She is in fact a profound Yoga student. You can be well assured about the authenticity and quality of Lifestyle, Health, and Music reports published by her. She is a part-time gamer too, so she will also cover the gaming section of Globe Live Media every now then.