Morgan Freeman and Fibromyalgia
There was a recent interview with Morgan Freeman in Esquire Magazine. I love Morgan Freeman as an actor. The Shawshank Redemption, Seven, Kiss the Girls, Lucky Number Slevin, and of course Batman! These are just a few of the movies Mr Freeman has shown his talent. He gives the reporter the impressions of his life discussing his family, his property and hobbies. There is even a portion of the interview where his eldest son joins the conversation.
The part of the article that stood out to me however was when he mentions that he is a sufferer of fibromyalgia. It is not the focus of the article, however there is a small section outlining the pain he deals with on a regular basis.
“”I’m very concerned about longevity. I don’t want to die because I’m stressing over bullshit. There’s lots of shit to do, so when I have a chance to do less, to do nothing, that’s what I do.” He says something else, low and guttural, and once again, I cannot hear him. He grabs his left arm, winces through what appears a supreme flash of pain.”
“Every so often he grabs his left shoulder and winces. It hurts when he walks, when he sits still, when he rises from his couch, and when he missteps in a damp meadow. More than hurts. It seems a kind of agony, though he never mentions it. There are times when he cannot help but show this, the fallout from a car accident four years ago, in which the car he was driving flipped and rolled, leaving Freeman and a friend to be pulled from the car using the Jaws of Life. Despite surgery to repair nerve damage, he was stuck with a useless left hand. It is stiffly gripped by a compression glove most of the time to ensure that blood doesn’t pool there. It is a clamp, his pain, an icy shot up a relatively useless limb. He doesn’t like to show it, but there are times when he cannot help but lose himself to a world-ending grimace. It’s such a large gesture, so outside the general demeanor of the man, that it feels as if he’s acting.
“It’s the fibromyalgia,” he says when asked. “Up and down the arm. That’s where it gets so bad. Excruciating.”
“This means Morgan Freeman can’t pilot jets the way he used to, a hobby he took up at sixty-five. He can no longer sail as well. There was a time when he would sail by himself to the Caribbean and hide out for two, three weeks at a time. “It was complete isolation,” he says. “It was the best way for me to find quiet, how I found time to read.” No more. He can’t trust himself on one arm. He can’t drive, not a stick anyway, not the way he used to — which is to say fast, wide open, dedicated to what the car can do. And he can’t ride horses as much, though once he rode every day.”
Morgan Freeman is a role model in the entertainment industry. Watching him as an icon on my television I would never guess he suffered from such excruciating pain. He has had to give up so much like many of us with this condition have had to do (What I am only now coming to terms with having to do). The writer of this article describes his pain as very visual. It was an obvious fact even before the cause of it was stated. I wonder if when diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Morgan Freeman’s associates thought he was crazy. Treated him like it was all in his head. I doubt it. He’s Morgan Freeman, he can feel whatever he wants. If Morgan Freeman was the one to tell me I had Fibromyalgia, my response probably would have been “That sounds awesome!”.