The legendary actor has been battling Parkinson’s disease for more than 30 years, and his fight has been widely known. Furthermore, he’s become something of a symbol for people fighting the same battle, working diligently to generate awareness and, more critically, funds in the aim of someday discovering a cure.
It’s widely known how the Back to the Future star was diagnosed, as well as the precautions he first took to conceal the news.
At the time, Fox was one of Hollywood’s “it” performers, and his route to celebrity status was well and firmly established.
Despite his triumph on the big screen, Fox’s life came crashing down around him when doctors told him he had Parkinson’s disease at the age of 29. Furthermore, the prognosis anticipated that he would be unable to work for at least a few more years.
Fox has now shared more about those difficult first several years as he tried to accept his new life. He explained in a new documentary how he used to rely excessively on booze to cope with his illness.
The actor, 61, appears in “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie,” which opened Friday at the Sundance Film Festival, and speaks honestly about the habits he acquired in the aftermath of his diagnosis.
Fox admitted to using dopamine medications “like Halloween Smarties (candy)” to mask early symptoms. He tried to hide the tremors in his hand by holding props while on site.
Neither therapeutic value nor relaxation were the reasons he used these pills. There was just one purpose: to conceal, Fox stated in the documentary.
He became a genius at controlling his drug consumption to peak at precisely the appropriate time and location.
Furthermore, Fox resorted to booze to ease the agony and perplexity.
He was unquestionably an alcoholic. But he’s gone 30 years without drinking.
He had been gone for 30 years, but it had not been an easy trip for him. Fox acknowledged his wife and kids for assisting him quit drinking for good in the documentary.
Abstinence would take me far lower than booze had. He couldn’t go away from himself any longer, Fox explained.
One can’t pretend at home that one doesn’t have Parkinson’s since one does. When he is out in the world, he is dealing with other individuals who are unaware that he has it.
Fox would eventually be able to share his condition to the world about a decade later.
The hardest thing to him is restraint, Fox stated. The hardest thing is being trapped and not knowing how to get out. There were times when he thought, ‘There’s no way out of this.'”
Some individuals might see the announcement of his sickness as the end of the world, he continued. But he had a feeling that was only the start.
Fox confessed late last year that he was battling as a result of a perfect storm including his health, a succession of broken bones, and the loss of his mom.
It got worse, he fractured his jaw, then his hand, then his shoulder, had a replacement shoulder put in and shattered his (right) arm, then he broke his elbow, he said.
He is 61 now, and feeling it a little more.
We’re sending Michael J. Fox all of our love and prayers. What a role model he is!