Friday, May 7, 2010


I should be blogging about this award that I got from Miss Angie (I will try to do it tomorrow Miss Angie), but I just don't feel like it today. I looked at my BEING ROBIN post to see if any of the things on my "regret" list felt like they really wanted to jump onto the paper today. Nope. Not really. Then I thought about my doctor appointment on Monday with my primary care doctor. The appointment itself wasn't all that significant; it was mostly to catch her up on my appointment with the specialist.

While I was waiting, there was one of those Health magazines in the lobby. It was a slim magazine. It had a short article on Michael J. Fox and an excerpt from his book. He has been living with Parkinson's for 19 years now. The excerpt was fairly short and his spirit (now) is amazing. I tried to imagine what it must have been like in the beginning when his career was still "on top." Who didn't love Michael J. Fox? If you didn't love him from FAMILY TIES, then he grabbed you with the BACK TO THE FUTURE TRILOGY, and if he missed you there, he got you with SPIN CITY. And there were lots of other movies thrown in, if none of those managed to snag you. He was on top with SPIN CITY when the Parkinson's just made it impossible for him to maintain that pace.

I remember reading that it started out with trigger finger. I'd never heard of it before I read that. What is that I thought? Your finger just gets stuck. Non- bendy. First symptom of Parkinson's for him was trigger finger. He was 29 years old and the world was his oyster, except that he had trigger finger. Of course, other symptoms slowly revealed themselves, and eventually he had to quit SPIN CITY and Charlie Sheen took it over. Charlie Sheen isn't Michael J. Fox. To be fair, no one is Michael J. Fox but the man himself.

I could be wrong, but I bet he spent some time engaged in some anger about having Parkinson's and questioning God and fate about the why of it all.

"It may seem hard to believe, but it's catastrophe that offers the most promise for an even richer life. This is the gateway to the good stuff. In other words, you never truly know which way the wind is blowing until the shit hits the fan."
— Michael J. Fox

Then, he dug in and learned all he could (he said that in the excerpt) because you can't conquer something you don't understand.

This might sound crazy to you, but I believe that Parkinson's needed Michael J. Fox. Parkinson's needed a Face. Michael J. Fox has raised more money for Parkinson's than anyone else (as an individual). He has also promoted more awareness, understanding, and compassion of this disease than there was before. And Michael J. Fox remains optimistic. I think it is inherent to his personality, which is all part of the Grand Design, and I think that Mr. Fox is starting to see how important his role in this thing is. I don't think he's asking "why" anymore. I think he knows.

At the end of the excerpt he quoted Christopher Reeve, and it drove the feeling home for me.

"Chris[topher] Reeve wisely parsed the difference between optimism and hope. Unlike optimism, he said, 'Hope is the product of knowledge and the projection of where the knowledge can take us."
— Michael J. Fox (Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist)

Sometimes an illness, a disease, or a debilitation needs a Face in order for people to feel compassion. Superman had to become a paraplegic in order for us as people to look at people in wheelchairs differently. It changed his life journey. And, in turn, he changed the lives of so many others for the better. I wonder when his internal switch flipped to know that he wasn't cursed, he was one of the chosen ones?

You can click here to see an interview with Michael J. Fox about Parkinson's and his new book.


  1. Thank you for this inspiring look from the positive side of life's challenges. You know I needed that today.

  2. No worries, I haven't managed to blog about your award yet either! :)

    Keep on being awesome!

  3. Hi Robin!
    Following you back! Thanks to Miss Angie! Glad you like my "Italian Ice" I have to go and read your posts...they look awesome so far!!
    Nice to meet you!!

  4. He is a pretty amazing man.

  5. I really want to read more of what he sounds like he had very similar attitudes to you and I. I have not posted this on my blog and do not plan to, but I have been out of commission with another herniated disc. I have been thinking about you a lot and I know how hard it is to be in pain so frequently. Take care honey.

  6. Nice post..much deeper than mine.
    As Nancy REagan once said...A Woman is like a tea bag, you don't know how strong she is till you put her in hot water..
    i agree.

  7. What an inspiring post. I always adored Michael J. Fox...and indeed, what you say is true, sometimes illnesses need a "face". As you know, my husband has MS and sometimes the way he appears to the world (brave, stoic, a real fighter) is a different story to the pain and suffering inside.

    Michael is a hero, as are all the other chronic sufferers who put up with their lot in life so bravely. An example to us all I guess!

    Take care of yourself.

    PS sorry haven't got round to your award yet (but I've been having a "riot" if you know what I mean). I wanna do a mother's day thingy and then straight to your award.


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