Alan Alda's Life Hasn't Stopped After Parkinson's Diagnosis
When asked about his Parkinson's diagnosis, 82-year-old "M*A*S*H" star Alan Alda said to "CBS This Morning", “I’m not angry. It hasn’t stopped my life at all.”
Alan Alda revealed his battle with Parkinson’s’ disease for the first time on July 31, 2018, letting fans and the rest of the world know that he was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease over three years ago.
This revelation has been devastating for many fans. Alda is most known for his beloved portrayal as Army Captain "Hawkeye" Pierce in the TV show, "M*A*S*H", which is one of the most timeless television shows in U.S. history. However, since his diagnosis, Alda has maintained a positive attitude. He said to CBS, “I’ve had a full life since [my diagnosis]. I’ve acted, I’ve given talks, I helped at the Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook […] It hasn’t stopped my life at all. I’ve had a richer life than I’ve had up until now.”
Alda noticed that his thumb was twitching while he interviewed with multiple media outlets. In his own way, Alda said he decided to talk about his diagnosis because he knew that his fans and followers would begin to wonder about him and his health.
Alda said he first got tested because he began acting out his dreams. “I was having a dream that someone was attacking me, and I threw a sack of potatoes at him. But what I was really doing was throwing a pillow at my wife,” Alda explained. He also learned that one of the first signs of Parkinson's disease is a twitching thumb.
Everyone with Parkinson's disease experiences it differently. Every day is different from the next and symptoms happen gradually. Alda discussed that he is taking boxing lessons three times a week, and he plays singles tennis a couple of times a week as well. It's safe to say that his diagnosis doesn’t keep him down.
Alda also hosted the PBS series “Scientific Amerian Frontiers” and in 2005 he was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the Aviator. He is well-aware that Parkinson's is a disease that changes all the time and will eventually leave him unable to work, but he also knows there are things he can still do.
Alda doesn’t feel sorry for himself and continues to have a positive outlook. When asked about his attitude, Alda compares his diagnosis to a puzzle and a "challenge." He said, "It like a puzzle to be solved. What do I have to adapt to to carry on a normal life? And I enjoy solving puzzles."
He also emphasized, “You’ve got to cross the street, there are cars coming. How do you cross the street? You don't just sit on the pavement and say, well, I guess I'll never cross the street again. You find a way to do it."
This is the typical Alan Alda attitude that we all know and love.
Read on to learn how Alan Alda is handling his diagnosis.
Photo source: Alan Alda and Robert Alda/CBS Television