Michael J. Fox has opened up on living with Parkinson’s Disease and how he’s attitude towards his doctors has changed over the years.
Speaking with reporter Dan Primack, Fox said that after years of living with Parkinson’s he’s developed a keen sense of how to deal with the progression of the disease.
“When I go see a doctor there’s no question who the expert is. I’m the expert, because I’m living it,” he said.
Fox, 56, added that he’s learned to live with the reality of his situation and keeps his head up by focussing on his charity, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and their work to find a cure for the insidious disease.
“It’s not a nebulous cloud of doom that hangs over my head. It’s a set of challenges and there are rewards in meeting those challenges,” he said.
The beloved actor first started showing signs of Parkinson’s Disease in 1991, but wasn’t diagnosed until a year later.
He kept his diagnosis a secret for seven years and has previously said in his 2002 book, Lucky Man, he spent much of that time in denial.
Fox said he spiralled into a pit of anger and denial after his diagnoses, drinking heavily and relying on alcohol to get him through the day.
After a year, his wife of 29 years Tracey Pollan confronted him and he joined Alcoholics Anonymous.
The actor told Haute Living last year he thinks of Parkinson’s as the “gift that keeps on taking” but has learned to manage his condition day to day.
“The biggest problem I have now is balance. That’s kind of tricky because you fall down a couple of times at 55 and you realise that you’re not 25,” he said.
While he still appears regularly in movies and television shows, Fox spends much of his time advocating for further research into Parkinson’s Disease.