Here’s a short section of a CNN interview of Michael J Fox done by Sanjay Gupta—about living with Parkinson’s:

“Liberating” is what Michael calls his Parkinson’s! A chance to do something significant with his life! The turning point? The diagnosis. The act of giving a name to his symptoms allowed him to take back control of his life. Wow!

I cried throughout, of course, because Dad’s Parkinson’s was nothing liberating. But the reason it was such a cage, I think, is that it went undiagnosed until the very end. His shaking was written off as “familial tremors” (like his father and brothers who likewise had hand tremors without Parkinson’s) for twenty years, so all his other symptoms—an expressionless face, shuffling gait, forward tilt, drooling, even dementia—weren’t blamed on a disease: Dad had to take the blame himself.

I’m sorry, Daddy. How freeing it would have been to know your body was beyond your control. I think it would have helped your mind to gain control over your brain.

I hope this will convince anyone out there who suspects they may have Parkinson’s to get a thorough neurological examination. Take control of your disease and don’t let it eat up the rest of your life.