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Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox Summary (Question and Answer)

Chapter Seven

CHAPTER SEVEN – Like a Hole in the Head
1 238 In March, 1998, Fox was due to undergo surgery for PD. The operation did not offer a cure, but it did promise to try and alleviate the symptoms which now included a tremor which dominated Fox’s entire left hand side of his body. Whilst there were many medical and logistical issues and concerns that such an operation raised, what seemed to be paramount in Fox’s mind and how did he go about achieving this goal? Among all of the medical and logistical concerns that undergoing surgery involved, Fox seemed to be most concerned with ‘secrecy’. Accordingly he had booked into a nearby hotel and would only arrive at the hospital a short time before his operation. He had chosen a time and location which would offer the actor privacy and, as a final piece of insurance, he had hired a private security agency to handle the event and minimise the chance of word getting out.
2 243 It wasn’t long after Fox returned home from filming The Frighteners in New Zealand, that he was contacted with a view to him starring in a new Gary Goldberg comedy. Whilst Fox was excited to work with the man with whom he had enjoyed such success with Family Ties, Fox was sceptical as he wanted to do something completely different to the family based comedy genre which he had been type cast in ever since. In the end, the project Goldberg had in mind was indeed very different. What was the name of the show and did it prove to be the success that Fox hoped it would be. The show was called Spin City and was about the political ups-and-downs of the mayor and deputy mayor of New York. It proved to be a major success.
3 246 When Fox had contacted Dr. Cook about the surgery, he had offered two reasons for wanting it. The first was that Fox was finding it increasingly difficult to hide the symptoms of PD from the audience of Spin City, and the second concerned his young son, Sam. Dr. Cook was sceptical of the first reason arguing that television series come and go, but concluded that “A lot of people can be on TV, but only one person can be our kid’s father’. What had Fox told Dr. Cook to make him reach this conclusion? Fox had explained to Dr. Cook that, given how violent the tremors had now become, even the simplest paternal activities such as reading to his son had become almost impossible.
4 250 Dr Cook outlined the operation to Fox, his mother and Tracy. The operation was going to be very serious and there was the chance of something going wrong which could lead to any number of consequences ranging from paralysis to death. At the end of the Doctor’s explanation of the procedure,  Fox asked the doctor why he thought it was that Brain Surgery above all else, even rocket science, is thought of as one of the hardest of human feats. What was the doctor’s response, and how did it make Fox feel? The doctor responded by saying, ‘No margin for error’. This response appealed to Fox who thought that it encapsulated the issue perfectly. However the more he thought about how perfect the answer was, and the implications it had for him, it made him feel increasingly nervous.
5 253 The operation proved to be a great success, and the tremor, which now ran right the way down Fox’s left hand side of his body, had improved significantly as a result. Just two days after the surgery Fox was cleared by Dr. Cook to fly to the Caribbean with his family to enjoy some rest and relaxation. Despite the success of the operation, there was now something new which was concerning Fox. What was this? Fox was indeed grateful that the tremors down the left had side of his body had been brought under control, but he now noticed, for the first time, that he was experiencing the start of tremors in the right had side of his body.

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