Friday, August 15, 2014

Michael J Fox Didn't Know Robin Williams Had Parkinson's

When Robin Williams' wife told the world yesterday that her husband was in the early stages of Parkinson's Disease, Michael J Fox Tweeted that he was stunned that he didn't know about the diagnosis. Apparently since Robin Williams had frequently supported Michael J Fox's charity over the years he thought Robin would come to him or talk to him about the diagnosis. Fox has previously said that the diagnosis made him depressed and that he spent a year drinking alone when he found out he had the disease and that it took him a long time to come to terms with it. I wonder if that diagnosis just became too much for Williams to take. This is a guy who lived for physical comedy. Ad libbing and improv and thinking on his feet and trying to be as wild as he could during his comedy. Maybe the thought of not being able to do what he considered himself the best at doing would limit him somehow and combined with his depression and relapse was just too much for him to handle.

64 comments:

sugarbread maker said...

Sad buddy

Bacon Ranch said...

I thought he had just been diagnosed? Early stages?
Ugh..too many stories trying to make sense of a very very sad thing.

sandybrook said...

Finding out you have a dibilitting disease puts people over the edge. Fox shouldn't be surprised. I bet only Robin, his doctor and his wife knew this while they were figgering out what they were gonna do and how to treat it.

AJ said...

Just sad. So very sad.
Dealing with a diagnosis like that is so very hard to wrap your head around knowing that your life will never be the same.
RIP Robin I truly hope you have found peace.

helen smith said...

I had a friend this summer who couldn't live with a diagnosis she received that would cause her to go blind and she committed suicide. In the past 5 years I've had too many close people choose this permanent option. I was angry at my Uncle, he was the first. But now I have more empathy and I only wish there was a way to reach them before they get to that decision.

Bacon Ranch said...

Oh wow helen

A thousand hugs to you

AJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Its just U said...

It's all so very sad. I'm still very upset by it all. I can't comprehend someone as full of joy and humour being so hurt and alone inside that he felt that suicide was the answer.
I hope I never feel that way.

Last night in Dublin there was open air screenings of some of his movies. There were tears and laughter and at the end everyone stood and clapped and cheered. I think that's the Robin Williams we all want to remember, the talent and the joy he inspired.

Tricia S said...

I'm not so sure I would have disclosed this quite so..quickly, if I were his wife, in ionly so much as it might send the wrong signals.....as if, thee are no options but suicide...I do think he had so much other depression related sorrow and this diagnosis couldhave been ...just too much..hopefully Michael J's amazing journey can give people more hope and less despair.

Renoblondee said...

This is all too sad. That poor man and his family.

helen smith said...

Thanks BR.

LottaColada said...

So much speculation. I am glad though that his wife was able to put this out there on her terms without a tabloid spreading the rumor first.

Tricia S said...

@lotta..good point

sugarbread maker said...

Tricia I think his wife wanted the public to stop blaming his children and ex wives.. mostly Zelda.

Meanie Rhysie said...

Tears.

I don't know how I'd react to such a diagnosis but I don't blame him or others who choose not to "fight the good fight". I think, with such an illness, we should have the right to choose how we want to deal with it. Yes, I'm talking about legal assisted suicide.

AJ said...

I am so sorry Helen.
Hugs.

Tricia S said...

@ SM...good point as well

Bacon Ranch said...

I thought Z was his daughter?

All Lace no Leather said...

I'm still heartbroken over his death. I agree with Sugar.

MISCH said...

We will never know…

AJ said...

If there can be any positive outcome from this tragedy, perhaps it will be an awareness of depression as well as life altering & debilitating diseases like Parkinson's or others like MS and such.

sugarbread maker said...

Zelda is the daughter but twitter trolls were attacking her and his 2 ex wives and blaming them for his death. Not the 2 sons only the women. I think 3rd wife was trying to take heat off Zelda..poor girl.

AJ said...

Until you've had to deal and wrap your ahead around your own body failing and betraying you, it's a hard concept to comprehend.

Jessica Larson said...

Robin was close friends with Christopher Reeve, they went to Juliard together, he saw first hand what can happen to you. Probably didn't want to be remembered that way.

Zelda's his daughter who was really getting attacked by trolls.

I think his wife was trying to show their was alot going on, and that they were dealing with. Just because someone is famous doesn't mean you know them.

Karen Williams said...

My mother died from Parkinson's. It was a long, slow journey and heartbreaking for her and the family. The early stages are almost invisible to the outside world, but as it progresses, it becomes nastier and nastier. My mom never had the tremors associated with Parkinson's - medication controlled that - but mental confusion, hallucinations, extreme weight loss (from 160 pounds to 80 pounds), falling which lead to many E.R. visits, altered personality -- horrendous. The medications used to treat the disease can produce side effects as devastating as the Parkinson's itself.

I can understand why a diagnosis would trigger fear and depression. It's a journey into the unknown and it can last decades.

Research continues, new treatments are developed and hopefully a cure some day.

Robert said...

Or possibly he just decided "to hell with it." It was his decision to make. He made it.

Zoe Cialite said...

Parkinson's is a bitch and a mean one. God-forbid that I get it at some point because it is a death sentence. Someone I loved deeply had it and it made his life a painful struggle. Every single day. Medications help but the side effects are sometimes worse than the symptoms they were supposed to treat. Bouts of hyperhidrosis (or profuse sweating), which would require the patient's caregiver to change his shirt constantly and give him Gatorade to prevent dehydration. Eight shirts in a span of 90 minutes, in the case of my beloved J. Plus, there are the visions of insects and other frightful animals coming out of the TV.

Robin is at peace now; that's all that matters.

shudupdee said...

enty: i wish you would use this platform to make a quick link story about what is happening in ferguson right now. this is happening in our country, and i feel many are not aware because it is not being broadcast on traditional media outlets. please google ferguson

Wahoowifey said...

@Meanie I'm completely with you. My mom has been going blind for years and will be completely blind in a short few and she is single and a bleak future and frankly I'm surprised she hasn't done "it" yet. As much as I love her and don't want to lose her...I think I'm the only person that just thinks if she wants out, let her out...who am I to make her want to stay and suffer like she is. I want her to be at peace no matter how she gets it. I can tell you now she is completely miserable and it breaks my heart and there is truly nothing I can do to help her. Trust me I've tried...to no avail.

Meanie Rhysie said...

@Wahoowifey. I'm so sorry. (((hugs)))

Erin B said...

I left E on last night after their afternoon SATC, & I saw the beginning of E News. I don't usually watch it, & what I saw pretty much confirms why. They scoured old interview clips to find signs of Parkinson's. They played an interview with SMG & him about "The Crazy Ones" & pointed out signs their experts found. It was gross.

Sherry said...

My condolences Helen.

Cheryl said...

I'm not surprised that he didn't tell anyone. My best friend has MS, the slowly progressing kind so she will probably have a good long life. Her husband is an attorney for an MS charity that has a huge fundraising gala every year. She has not told anyone at the organization because she doesn't want to be the poster child for the group.

Sherry said...

IJU that sounds lovely and bolsters my belief that his passing has been such an international sensation. It's been a huge loss.

Wahoowifey said...

@Meanie thank you :)

Wahoowifey said...

@Erin...that is absolutely vile! I'm soooo glad I didn't see that. F'n disgusting. They should be completely ashamed!

Anothergrayhare said...

My FIL has Parkinsons and the medications he is on do not cause hallucinations or sweating. His decline has really slowed since they got the right mix of medicine and a timing device to ensure he takes it as prescribed. Our biggest problem was his wife not acknowledging he had it and refusing treatment for the first few years. He would have been much better had he began treatment sooner, but it has been awful to watch him become stooped over, his walk become a shuffle, his hands freeze into claws that are pretty much useless, unable to dress himself, all in the last 5 years or so. The confusion comes and goes, but for the most part he's pretty good for mid 70s. But still, not something I would wish on anyone, let alone Robin Williams. RIP.

Sherry said...

My hearts go out to all here who've experienced the devastating effects of Parkinson's.

I know several people who do have and have had Huntington's. Also a suck ass disease. My friends husband committed suicide because of it. I'm sure it probably still haunts her.

Yes, we should allow people the dignity to choose a peaceful exit when they've completed the journey as far as they feel they can go.

auntliddy said...

I guess Robin just thought, this is it, I just cant. Mb he thought of richard pryer or mohammed ali, and just said, i just cant. Im already fighting addiction, depression, panic attacks, im just too tired. Rest in peace, you splendid human, its your right and you deserve it.

auntliddy said...

Its just- ahhh, the Irish, they know how to celebrate a life. Kudos.

Brenda L said...

I have feeling a Parkinson's diagnosis was just the icing on a big Problem Cake for Robin Williams. I think he was brave to choose an ending he wanted.

Its just U said...

Cheers ladies. We do death well here.
Robin Williams was crazy popular here. The morning after his passing there was a huge mural painted on one of the biggest shopping areas of the city. It has become a kind of shrine. People just need something tangible that they can see, touch and acknowledge.
I've never seen the death of an actor affect so many people.

Mama Ray said...

My father informed us about 20 years ago that if he is ever diagnosed with Alzheimer disease (which runs in his mothers family) that he would want us to know that he would end his life and that he loves us all & hopes we understand that & forgive him.

Alzheimer also runs in my husbands family. We moved next door to help his Grandpa to care for his Grandma when we were first married & had just had our first baby. We cared for her for the last 5 years of her life & brought our very young children to see her daily. We were able to keep her at home which was important to her. When she was initially diagnosed the doctors told her husband & adult children but not her, as all of her siblings had passed of this tragic disease. Before telling her they slowly began removing anything from the home she might have used in case she became suicidal when she learned she too was destined to suffer the same fate. It broke my husbands heart to see her in those final stages.

Lastly, my husband's other grandpa had Parkinsons & had to move in with my in laws eventually. I will never forget him saying it was so hard that you are a man once, but a baby twice, as he felt so embarrassed about needing help eating, wiping, etc.

I agree people should have the right to make that decision for themselves. Still heartbreaking to imagine.

Sherry said...

Mama Ray, nice to see you again and thank you for sharing.

My MIL has dementia (I know everyone knows that, I've mentioned it enough). It's getting harder and harder for her to feed herself and she's asking to go home and who owns the house where she lives. It's getting to the point that they are thinking about full time care because they simply cannot get her enough for home care and they feel a memory care center will engage her more without her being combative. It's a crappy way to go as you've stated..An adult once and a baby twice.

Yoj said...

@helen smith
@Karen Williams
@Zoe Cialite
Please accept my sincere condolences

__-__=__ said...

I wish Robin had been kinder to himself. It saddens me when I see and read some of these interviews with others and hear about him being tired when I know how important just a good night's sleep can be to health. Seattle has an outdoor showing of Hook next Friday. I can't imagine the crowd.

fancyscreenname said...

**

Lil P said...

I was thinking along the same lines. It wouldn't be classed as suicide if there was a way to decide to die with dignity. We are kinder to our pets than ourselves sadly

Zach said...

TMZ is saying the diagnosis was a factor but not the sole cause. Sure. But who really knows anything? Frankly, the wife waited an agonizing few extra days before making this revelation.

Zach said...

I mean that I don't know how credible ANY source is that isn't Robin himself.

bluebonnetmom said...

I agree. This shut everyone up quickly. It was just too much for him. People who saw him in the last week said his wife was helping to steady him and it was obvious he was not well. Beyond sad about it.

auntliddy said...

Ive been thinking and thinking why we are all so so upset about death of ribin willams. I think we loved him so much that we thought our love was a protection for him. With all the love coming his way, that should have protected him. And so i wonder, why didnt my love protect him? Why didnt all of our live keep him safe? Would that our love had those powers. Would that out love cld hv saved him.

Count Jerkula said...

I switch from sadness to respect. Suicide because of depression, financial reason or relationship problems is deplorable. Suicide so you can go out on your terms, when health is failing, be it Parkinsons, cancer, AIDS, etc, I have no problem with.

The fact that Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide is still illegal shows how unevolved we really are.

warmislandsun said...

Robin, I loved you so much. You were a light in the dark sky. When I was little I knew, just knew I was going to marry you. Rest in peace, humble soul and know you are loved.

CT-Hilltopper said...

@Anothergrayhare

My father had Parkinson's. He was much like your FIL. Once he was on the proper meds, he stopped shaking, but he had waited so long to get treatment in the first place that his fingers and hands were pretty much useless. He died in his late 80's of a stroke.

I loved Robin Williams. We will probably never know what influenced his final decision. I just hope that the miserable people who have been making problems for his wives and daughter burn in hell. I don't know how these people sleep at night.

Anothergrayhare said...

@CT, thanks for your comment. My FIL never had the shakes, but I'm glad to hear your father lived until his late 80's, I'm hoping my FIL will last that long, as mentally, he's doing well now. Take care.

MissMoPR said...

I don't usually read comments, but I skimmed thru these and I didn't see anyone mentioning this: so, in that BI where he was on the plane "shaking because of withdrawals", it wasn't withdrawals but Parkinson's. Just thought I'd put it out there for Enty, M.D.

FS said...

*Late comment that no one will read*

Enty, there is no proof, only speculation that RW had lost any aspect of his sobriety lately. If you have proof, please share it.

For all the people discussing depression with concepts like loneliness and lack of love or whatever, please consider PAIN as a contributing factor. There is a lot of pain associated with depression, whether its physical pain in your body or pain in your head from the emotions, the voices, the imbalances, whatever the hell it is because everyone is different, its PAIN. And sometimes, you get to the point where you will do anything to make that pain stop. I know this from experience.

It's why some people cut, or drink, or get high, or have way too much sex.

So perhaps RW committed suicide because he wanted to the pain to stop, but we will never, ever know what his particular type of pain was.

Zoe Cialite said...

Thank you & blessings to you & the ones you love.

Yoj said...

@FS
I read - and was moved.
You write very eloquently about something that I still struggle to put into words.
Thank you.

FS said...

Thank you for your reply, Yoj. Peace love light and hugs to you.

fouxdafafa said...

@MissMoPR I keep thinking about that BI through all this and that's the conclusion I also came up with. He may had been suffering from early symptoms, or maybe not. But it's kinda shitty for the person to assume that it was withdrawals.

WUWT? said...

MissMoPR: I thought of the airplane blind too. The shakes and sweating described in the blind (as I remember it) that was intended to make us all think relapse are now just symptoms of the illness.

I also remember seeing a televised stand-up bit he did in which I briefly noticed a shake in one hand before he clenched it in his other hand. My grandmother had Parkinson's but when I saw his tremor, I didn't recognize it. Instead, I actually thought, huh, he still gets nervous onstage? Then I thought of my brother-in-law, for whom anti-depressants cause a shake, and I hoped it was just medication (or nerves). It was very pronounced, but very, very brief, and as soon as his wife acknowledged the Parkinson's, I thought of that shaking hand and can't believe I didn't see it for what it was after watching my grandmother suffer through it for years.

Trashaddict said...

I just watched "Robin Williams at the Met" on YouTube. The last 5 minutes or so of that hour-plus marathon are basically a love letter to his son, Zak. I'm so sorry for his kids to have lost this wonderful man, and sorry he was in such pain. Peace, Robin. I hope there is some kind of heaven for you.