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During Fox's seven years on "Ties," he earned three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe, making him one of the country's most prominent young actors. Goldberg served as co-executive producer with Fox for Spin City's first and second seasons, and Lawrence stepped in during the third. For the fourth seasons, Rosenthal and Cadiff shared duties with Fox.

Fox also had time during his busy TV work to become an international film star, appearing in over a dozen features showcasing his keen ability to shift between comedy and drama. Fox married his "Family Ties" co-star, actress Tracy Pollan, in Together they have four children. Inspired to find projects that his kids would enjoy, Fox has lent his voice to a variety of hit children's films since the early s.

He began as Chance the dog in Disney's Homeward Bound movies.

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In December , he provided the voice of Stuart Little for the Sony feature of the same name, and in the summer of Fox's voice was heard as that of the lead in Atlantis The Lost Empire , his first animated feature for The Walt Disney Co. Though he would not share the news with the public for another seven years, Fox was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson's disease in Upon disclosing his condition in , he committed himself to the campaign for increased Parkinson's research.

Fox announced his retirement from "Spin City" in January , effective upon the completion of his fourth season and th episode. Expressing pride in the show, its talented cast, writers, and creative team, he explained that new priorities made this the right time to step away from the demands of a weekly series. Later that year he launched The Michael J.

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Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, which the New York Times has called "the most credible voice on Parkinson's research in the world. In Fox announced his intention to return to full-time acting.

While the announcement may have upended public expectations, Fox had spoken publicly about finding a drug cocktail that helped him control the symptoms and side effects of his Parkinson's disease well enough to play a character with PD. Parkinson's families and Michael J. Fox Foundation supporters united around the power of optimism demonstrated by Fox's return, hosting more than 2, premiere night house parties around the country to celebrate the airing of the first episode. Fox also continues to thrill fans in his multi-episode guest arc as Lewis Canning, a devious attorney who uses his tardive dyskinesia to his clients' advantage, in the CBS hit drama "The Good Wife" starring Julianna Margulies.

In , he guest starred in "Larry versus Michael J. Fox is the recipient of several lifetime achievement awards for accomplishments in acting, including the Hoerzu Magazine Golden Camera Award and the National Association of Broadcasters Distinguished Service Award. Fox also is the bestselling author of three books, all with Hyperion: Conceptions of self shift over time and differ according to the circumstances in which people are interacting Corbin and Strauss Individuals attempt to maintain control over the self and the situation with the goal of actively shaping the personal experience of time.

In some cases, time seems to pass slowly, for example, when people experience suffering and intense emotions, violence and danger, or waiting and boredom. When people are effectively carrying out complex tasks under pressure, such as when chefs are skillfully preparing meals during a rush at their restaurant or when surgeons are operating on a patient, time seems to pass quickly Flaherty People negotiate temporal structures by influencing the perceived duration of time, by manipulating the frequency, order, and timing of events, and by allocating time to particular activities Flaherty , Interactionism provides an alternative to linear understandings of time.

The latter envisions the past as determining present and future courses of action. Here time is a preexisting structure that shapes individual circumstances Murphy, Arxer, and Belgrave An interactionist perspective, contrastingly, begins from the standpoint of the present. It suggests that people constantly interpret the past and future and attempt to influence temporal experience in light of emergent events. Interpretations of time are at the heart of interactionist theories of the life course and biography Corbin and Strauss ; Holstein and Gubrium , Time is of the essence for biographical disruption and biographical work, two guiding frameworks for researchers studying the impacts of chronic illness on the life course.

Chronic illnesses disrupt normative expectations for independence and able-bodiedness, but research suggests that illnesses are also incorporated into biographical trajectories. Ciambrone finds that the mothers who participated in her study initially considered HIV disruptive, but less disruptive than other life events such as drug use, violence, and separation from children. Biographical disruption demonstrates how people experience breaks in continuity as chronic illness disrupts expectations for a linear, consistent life course Felde ; Murphy, Arxer, and Belgrave The past is symbolically reconstructed, and the future is anticipated, to make sense of events occurring in the specious present.

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Corbin and Strauss , identify four distinct, yet overlapping, forms of biographical work associated with chronic illness:. Contextualizing incorporating the illness trajectory into the biography ; coming to terms arriving at some degree of understanding and acceptance of the biographical consequences of actual or potential failed performances ; identity reconstitution reintegration of the identity into a new concept of wholeness around the limitations in performance ; and biographical recasting giving new directions to the biography.

As people construct biographies, they may use histories differently, emphasizing particular aspects of the life course while overlooking others, depending on the present context. Biographical work helps people to sustain and develop valued aspects of the self. A small body of literature examines the temporal dynamics of chronic illness and their implications for biographical trajectories.

Maines explains that people with diabetes and those close to them negotiate between temporal processes associated with the illness and everyday time structures unrelated to diabetes. When children have diabetes, for instance, regulating insulin levels, administering blood and urine tests, and managing mealtimes alter the temporal dynamics of the entire family.

Corbin and Strauss show how chronic illness impacts the biographical time structures of people who are sick and those close to them. This small body of literature explores how temporal dynamics shape the daily experiences of people with chronic illnesses and those close to them. Spouses reinterpret routine activities to create meaningful biographies in light of disruption.

Second, the symbolically reconstructed past helps to show how caregivers reinterpret memories of their spouses to cope with the present challenges of caregiving. This research follows a symbolic interactionist approach that understands people as active agents engaged in continuous processes of interpretation. Interactionist researchers aim to gather and examine the intersubjective, lived experiences of research participants Blumer ; Prus The purpose of the meetings was to provide support for these individuals by talking to others undergoing similar experiences.

The facilitator granted me permission to attend the meetings. There were about 20 people present at most of them. Attendees seemed comfortable with my presence and welcomed me to the meetings. I acted primarily as an observer at meetings, but participated in informal interactions with participants when appropriate. After each meeting I took detailed fieldnotes. In this paper, I quote these notes directly to demonstrate the data gathered though participant observation. One of the limitations of research with a support group is that it is a self-selecting group.

People with more progressive forms of the disease are also more likely to attend support groups. I conducted eight interviews with caregivers I met through support meetings. From there I asked questions about the ways caregiving has affected their lives. Questions focused on relationships with family, friends, and support services and the ways managing chronic illness has affected daily routines.

I have personal experience with a chronically ill family member and this shaped my interactions with participants. The interview structure was loose, enabling participants to share any information they felt was relevant. In many cases, participants discussed their roles as caregivers in a broader life context by relating it to their relationship with their spouse and their daily life before the onset of illness. All participants lived in or around a midsize city, were white, and had middle-class backgrounds.

Experiences of caregiving differ by gender Calasanti I included female and male participants to ensure that the research represented gender differences in caregiving. I conducted interviews in the location that was most convenient for participants. Five occurred in the homes of participants and three took place in a coffee shop.

Most interviews lasted between one and two hours. One was three hours. In this paper, I use pseudonyms when referring to specific research participants. Symbolic interactionist researchers aim to respect the nature of social interactions and gain intimate familiarity with research participants Blumer ; Prus I chose not to record interviews to fulfill these objectives. I believe the absence of a recorder helped to establish open communication and trusting relationships with research participants while discussing private and emotional topics.

I took detailed notes, quoting participants as directly as possible, immediately after each interview and after each period of participant observation. Participants commented that my research accurately reflected their perspectives. Grounded theory Corbin and Strauss ; Glaser and Strauss guided data analysis. This approach is useful for developing theoretical insights that reflect the reality of the research setting.

Throughout the research process, I carefully read and reread field and interview notes and coded them to identify, compare, and contrast common incidents and themes. Findings suggest that caregivers reinterpret the present, past, and future to negotiate disruptions and to construct meaningful biographical trajectories. The interplay between continuity and discontinuity forms the specious present.

People experience continuity when specious presents overlap. Yet, caregivers engage in biographical and time work to sustain a continuous sense of self and biography while facing unexpected life circumstances. This section discusses three ways participants maintain continuity in light of disrupted circumstances: Margaret can walk with the help of walker, but her vision is poor and she speaks very little. Although she cannot dance any more, she still enjoys attending the dances and seeing old friends.

This is a much-needed chance for James to socialize as he regularly meets friends to go for runs. He had participated in a popular local race 23 times in the past. This year, he was unable to commit enough time to train for the race because of the increased time demands associated with caring for Margaret. Still, continued involvement in them helps James sustain a meaningful biographical trajectory despite the life changes associated with caring for an ill spouse. Caregiving shapes the meaning associated with daily routines and time structures as well as biographical trajectories.

Grocery shopping, for example, presents an opportunity for Margaret to leave the house. If I need to buy some milk, going to the store gives Margaret a chance to leave the house. Getting Margaret out is my first priority. Helping Margaret get ready to go out, get in and out of the car, and get into to the store to buy milk could take an hour. The trip to the grocery store is a success if Margaret feels that she had a good outing. Here James reinterprets the meaning of and time allotted to a mundane chore.

A simple errand, once done quickly and with little thought, becomes an opportunity for Margaret to maintain a sense of normalcy by leaving the house and engaging with others. Susan, another caregiver, maintains continuity by reinterpreting the meaning and by minimizing the time spent on chores like laundry. The excess laundry resulting from incontinence requires Susan to spend more time on housework than one would expect. Susan, however, has minimized this disruption by learning how to do laundry very efficiently. She does not describe this chore as a burden, but rather has developed a sense of pride from her new skills.

The little accomplishments are very satisfying. I just do them, without getting angry or frustrated, or really thinking about them at all.

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Supporting ill spouses, rather than doing things for them, is another way caregivers maintain continuity in daily interactions and activities. Dorothy is still relatively able-bodied. She does not require help dressing, bathing, or eating, but her tremor makes it difficult to cook. This is especially upsetting for Dorothy, an avid chef and baker.

Frank has started to prepare more meals when Dorothy is not feeling well or when her tremor is especially severe. A significant part of his role as a caregiver, however, involves helping Dorothy to cook rather than cooking for her. Frank explained that he stays out of the way, only helping when Dorothy requests it.

If the couple is making an apple crisp, Frank will peel and chop the apples, since this is difficult for Dorothy, while she prepares the topping. This may be particularly challenging when couples have organized their relationships around a traditional gender division of labor. Chronic illness disrupts the temporal rhythms and meaning associated with recreational activities like running and dancing and with daily chores like laundry, grocery shopping, and cooking.

In other cases, it means doing things more slowly to ensure the well-being of an ill spouse, as when James takes Margaret to the grocery store or when Frank helps Dorothy cook. By reinterpreting the meaning of these activities, caregivers try to maintain continuous, meaningful routines and senses of self.

Couples in this sample receive additional help from personal support workers. Accepting help with caregiving responsibilities presents a paradox for experiences of continuity and discontinuity: On the one hand, formal support helps caregivers maintain normalcy by minimizing the labor involved in caregiving and by giving them time to engage in other activities.

On the other hand, it disrupts daily time structures, thereby presenting instances of discontinuity. Here there is a contradiction between the time structures of formalized care and the temporal ordering of the home and the desires of its residents Twigg Personal support workers perform various duties, sometimes helping an ill person bath and dress and at other times helping caregivers cook and clean. Many caregivers emphasized the importance of personal support for them and for their ill spouse. This help enabled them to allocate time to activities other than caregiving.

Support workers come in the mornings three days a week. For a time, support workers enabled Anne and Greg to maintain continuity with family traditions and cherished activities. The couple enjoyed spending time at a family cottage in the summer. Personal support workers would come to the cottage. Support workers can help to maintain a sense of normalcy and routine for caregivers, but their presence may also disrupt temporal structures. Louise remarked, for instance, that a support worker comes to her home to help her husband Ian at 7 a. This means that Louise must be up and dressed, and ready to have someone else in the house, very early.

Louise is also not comfortable leaving Ian alone with a support worker for an extended period of time because he occasionally falls down. Louise does not trust that the support worker will be able to help him. For a while, we had the same support worker come every day. We really liked Jacqueline. She just knew what to do. But the care agency changed. A computer system dictated where personal support workers go depending on how close they were to a number of clients.

This meant that we had many people come here instead of just Jacqueline. The worst was when 13 different support workers came to our house in two weeks. Barbara was also uncomfortable leaving her husband alone with a stranger. She often felt responsible for supervising or training the support workers who came to her home. Doug, another caregiver, experienced discontinuity when his wife Carol moved to a long-term care facility. She has been living in a long-term care facility for several years because Doug does not feel capable of caring for her at home.

He always tries to visit at I try to keep the same routine to make things easier for the staff and for Carol. Sometimes I help her finish her lunch, and sometimes I spend time with her in her room. It still gives me peace of mind to see her every day and to make sure that she is being taken care of.

Seeing Carol regularly and making sure she is well cared for is a way for Doug to maintain some aspects of his former married life. Here caregivers and ill people share their experiences with others who are facing similar challenges. Many people spoke about the physical challenges that they had encountered recently. These included drooling, legs freezing up when walking, and becoming increasingly hunched over. As people discussed their problems, others offered advice and possible solutions. Many of the suggestions people provided to alleviate symptoms or make everyday life easier seemed like small, common sense things.

For example, one person suggested that chewing gum could help reduce drooling because it strengthens facial muscles. At one meeting, a participant shared information about toothbrushes that are easier for people with shaky hands to use. At another meeting, a recently acquired iPad was a major source of attention:. Margaret who can barely speak got an iPad just a few days ago.

With the iPad Margaret can type and communicate with people more easily. She and James are receiving training to learn how to use it. Symbolic reconstructions Maines, Sugrue, and Katovich are a form of biographical work that help caregivers make sense of the past in light of present circumstances. Memories of the past help many caregivers cope with the changes associated with chronic illness. Peter was a successful baker and businessman. He worked as a pastry chef and for airlines. Many of his positions involved creating baked goods, such as croissants, which could be frozen and then cooked in perfect condition.

Susan also emphasized the importance of maintaining family traditions. This was a way to maintain continuity between the past and the present. We had all our children and grandchildren over for a birthday dinner. We had a traditional Swiss meal, as Peter always wants. We started with appetizers in the living room. At one point Peter got up. I thought he was going to the bathroom.

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It turned out he was in bed—he thought that the appetizer was the whole meal! We just ate the meal without him, and afterwards, everyone came into the bedroom with cake and sang happy birthday in bed. Peter may not recognize the significance of birthday celebrations.

In the past, Ian and Louise traveled extensively and were active volunteers in the community. Remembering this helped Louise to cope with the challenges she was facing in the present. We were always best friends, and we stayed best friends. Maybe this would have been different if Allan had dementia, but he was still the same person when he got sick. Allan served as an elder and delivered public talks for the religious group in English and Italian.

Interviews with caregivers demonstrate the revocable and irrevocable dimensions of the past.


Peter had a successful career and enjoyed birthday celebrations; Ian and Louise enjoyed traveling and volunteering; and Allan was active in his religious organization. Interpretations of the past help caregivers create meaningful biographical trajectories in the present. People similarly interpret the future from the standpoint of the present. At the same time, future time projections shape present actions and choices Mische Support meetings cannot guarantee continuity, but they do provide participants a sense of hope for the future.

This sense of hope then influences present experiences. During our interview, Louise expressed concern about her ability to care for her husband, Ian, in the future. Waiting lists are one to two years long, but once a room is available, an individual has 24 hours to decide whether or not to take it. If Ian gets a room, Louise feels it will be necessary for him to move there immediately for fear of missing the opportunity. Louise feels that it will be difficult if Ian gets a room in a nursing home before he really needs one. Here Louise discusses her concerns for a hypothetical future; particularly the uncertainty involved in remaining on a waiting list.

For most of this time she has been able to manage the illness with medication and maintain a relatively active lifestyle.