Sir Billy Connolly, 78, is a comedic genius who has made a name for himself by having the impressive talent of finding humour in most things. In a cruel twist of fate though, Billy’s health has made performing impossible and has said he is “finished with stand-up”. Billy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and has made his “brain work differently.” What is the condition and what are the signs to look out for?
The star also admitted he is concerned he has “become a pain in the arse” but credited his wife of 30 years for plumping his pillows for him every night.
He added: “So far, she has never tutted. And she’s a rather attractive nurse. “
Billy experiences “good days and bad days” with his condition, and alongside disturbed sleep he struggles to perform tasks like putting money into his wallet.
To slow the effects of the condition, the funny man takes a slew of medications to help ease his symptoms.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
There are three main symptoms associated with the condition, according to the NHS. These include:
Involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body (tremor)
Stiff and inflexible muscles
As well as these physical symptoms, Parkinson’s disease can also cause a wide range of psychological symptoms.
These can include:
Depression and anxiety
Balance problems (this may increase the chances of a fall)
Loss of sense of smell
For Billy his condition fluctuates, his hearing has deteriorated and while his long-term memory is good, his short-term recall has been erased.
He said: “I think about death quite a lot now that I am 78. I don’t think I’ve got that long.
“There’s a thing that they teach in Buddhism when you see a dead animal in the street – a pigeon, a little bird or a rabbit.
“You say to yourself, ‘That is the way of all life and that is the way it will be for me.’ And it makes you lose your fear of death.”