Alan Alda, former star of the hit TV series M*A*S*H, stopped by CBS This Morning Wednesday to reveal that he has Parkinson’s disease.
The 82-year-old actor told the show’s hosts that he was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disorder three and a half years ago after experiencing strange symptoms.
“I was having a dream that someone was attacking me, and I threw a sack of potatoes at him,” he explained. “But what I was really doing was throwing a pillow at my wife.”
Alan said he went to go see a doctor after reading in a New York Times article that acting out one’s dreams is an early sign of Parkinson’s. He received his diagnosis soon after.
After living with the disease for some time, the actor finally decided to tell the world about his diagnosis after he noticed his hands shaking during recent TV interviews about his new podcast.
In spite of what many people might assume, Alan said he’s been feeling better than ever since his diagnosis and isn’t “angry” about the fact that he must now live with Parkinson’s.
“Because it’s a challenge, you know? You’ve got to cross the street, there are cars coming. How do you get across 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,” Alan explained. “There are some common symptoms, but mostly everybody’s different, and each day is different from the next. One day you wake up, you think, oh, it’s over, it’s gone. Next day it’s back a little worse. You don’t know what it’s going to be, but the main thing is, there’s stuff you can do, and I’ve been — you know how I look at it? It’s like a puzzle to be solved. What do I have to adapt to to carry on a normal life? And I enjoy solving puzzles.”
Watch the video below to see what else Alan had to say about his diagnosis…
Due to restrictions, this video cannot
be viewed in your region.