At the age of 86, Alan Alda, who rose to fame as the dramatic sitcom MASH’s wartime doctor, is now regarded as a veteran of Hollywood. But in 2018, the adored actor disclosed that he had received a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis three years earlier.
Today, Alda is talking openly about the “greatest difficulty” of having the ailment and how, despite how his goals have remained the same since being diagnosed, his perspective toward life has changed.
Please read on to learn more about his Parkinson’s disease case, the element he finds most difficult, and what he’s doing to slow the disease’s progression.
Alda was given a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis in 2015 after this peculiar symptom was discovered.
Alda came upon a report from 2015 that highlighted a peculiar Parkinson’s symptom that some of their patients displayed: they were prone to physically acting out their dreams while they were still asleep, a condition known as REM sleep behavior disorder.
In 2020, Alda admitted, “I realized I had done exactly that.” “In the dream, I threw a sack of potatoes at the person I had imagined was attacking me. A pillow was thrown at my wife.
So, believing that I had Parkinson’s disease, I visited a physician and asked for a brain scan. Alda insisted on having the scan even though the doctor discouraged him from doing so because he had no normal symptoms. “He called me back and said, ‘Wow, you got it,’” the actor claims.
The “greatest challenge” since his diagnosis, he claimed, had been this.
Alda claims that since getting his diagnosis, he has lived a “full life”: he has kept up his performance, launched a well-liked podcast, and treasured the extra family time he was able to spend during the pandemic’s quarantine period.
When asked what the most difficult part of having Parkinson’s was, Alda offered a quite mild complaint: “Tying shoelaces can be difficult with stiff fingers. Imagine playing the violin while clad in mittens,” the speaker said.
The actor resolves his problems rather than forcing happiness or languishing in pessimism. Being positive or negative about everything is meaningless.
We only have uncertainty, so you have to learn to surf it, he remarked. The good news, he continued, “is that I’m growing more confident that I’ll always be able to find a solution.” “I’m more certain than ever that life is constantly changing, evolving, and reinventing itself.”
He asserts that the progression of his Parkinson’s “may be slowed.”
Seven years into his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, Alda told People he still feels wonderful and is doing well. I’m feeling great and moving on, he reportedly stated to the source. He said, “I’m doing everything I can to stop Parkinson’s disease from progressing, which can be halted with effort.
He spends a lot of time working out and getting physical therapy, as well as “preparing for my podcast, chasing the geese off my grass, playing chess with Arlene [his 65-year-old wife], and bingeing on Scandinavian TV series.”
He continues by saying that his ongoing welfare depends on the activity. Alda claims that in order to preserve motor control, he exercises physically by walking, biking, and jogging on a treadmill.
I frequently dance to music. I learn how to box from a man who has had Parkinson’s treatment. I perform a full-body workout designed specifically for this condition. It’s not the end of the world if you get this diagnosis.
He wants people to realize that a Parkinson’s diagnosis does not spell certain death.
Alda claims that in order to tell a fresh tale of what a Parkinson’s diagnosis can entail, he decided to be open about his health.
“One of the reasons I talk about it in public is to eliminate some of the stigmas because I know individuals who have recently been diagnosed who feel like their lives are gone, and they’re startled and devastated,” he said.
“It’s a common reaction to become depressed, but it’s unnecessary. Things can be a lot worse, but your life isn’t over. You die with it rather than from it.”
The Marriage Story star maintains a positive outlook on life by laughing whenever possible. “Laugh! Laughing is beneficial. That is one of the most significant advantages of this [pandemic] isolation. My wife and I are laughing as we’ve never laughed before.”
“When you laugh, you expose yourself. You are not safe… Yet vulnerability provides so many benefits. You let the other person