Michael J. Fox Reflects On Recent Health Setbacks, Says He’s ‘Happy’ Overall

Michael J. Fox Reflects On Recent Health Setbacks, Says He’s ‘Happy’ Overall

Michael J. Fox said he’s been facing some challenges lately with Parkinson’s, but he’s still generally “happy” with life.

The 61-year-old actor was diagnosed with the degenerative disease more than three decades ago and has opened up about the struggle before. He previously described 2018 as the worst year of his life after undergoing back surgery to remove a tumor and then breaking an arm. 

Now Fox told People magazine during a new interview that his medical issues continued beyond that. 

“It got worse,” the “Back to the Future” star told the publication. “I broke my cheek, then my hand, then my shoulder, had a replacement shoulder put in and broke my [right] arm, then I broke my elbow. I’m 61 years old, and I’m feeling it a little bit more.”

Fox said that even though he’s good at taking things in stride, these setbacks did affect his mood and overall demeanor.

“I was never really a cranky guy, but I got very cranky and short with people,” he told People. “I try to nip it in the bud. I always think of these aides who work with me.”

“And I often say to them, ‘Whatever I say, just imagine I said ‘please’ at the beginning and ‘thank you’ at the end. Just take a second and absorb that I might have said that if I was more myself, but I didn’t, so I apologize.’”

The actor explained that now he’s on the mend and feeling more optimistic.

“I’m coming through where the last of my injuries are healing up; my arm is feeling good,” Fox said. “Life is interesting. It deals you these things.”

One way he handles everything is by setting small goals. Fox gave an example, saying, “The whole mission is: Don’t fall down. So whatever works to not fall down, whether it’s a walker or a wheelchair, a cane, a guy with a belt around my waist holding onto it — I use all those tools.”

“I’m just getting to where I’m walking steadily again,” he continued. “I think it’s cool to walk by myself. It is. It’s fantastic.”

The retired actor said part of what helps him stay positive is thinking about how his moods affect his wife, Tracy Pollan, to who he’s been married since 1988.

“It took me a while to get that it wasn’t just about me,” he explained. “If I break my arm, I’m dealing with my broken arm. But if you’re the person who lives with and loves and supports the person with the broken arm, you’ve got to do everything.”

Ultimately, Fox said he can find joy in life despite living with Parkinson’s. “It’s been a struggle, but I’m happy,” he concluded. “I say that because I hope on some level people can find happiness in spite of what they’re going through.”