Select Page

(Like so many pieces of laundry, morning thoughts aren’t usually organized.)

August 1 -10,  2019

Living with Parkinson’s

Phyllis & Sam Turner ©2019


ALOHA: Adult Loss of Hearing Association
APDA: American Parkinson Disease Association
BBC: Bisbee Breakfast Club
BSC: Bristol Stool Chart
CH: Cynthia Holmes, Ph.D. Neurology
CPAP: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure mask (for Sleep Apnea).
DBS: Deep Brain Stimulation (much improved since Michael J. Fox!)
HEH: Happily Ever After!
HOH: Hard of Hearing
HS: Harvey Stanbrough Pro-writer and mentor (
IBS: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (often associated with PD)
MJFF: Michael J. Fox Foundation
PSG: Parkinson’s Support Group(s)
PD: Parkinson’s Disease
PMD: PARKINSON & Movement Disorder Alliance
P.J.: Phyllis – my wife: SWOMBO (She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed) A contributor and #1 editor.
PT: Personal trainer Tresha,  including daily in-home exercise assignments for PD
TC: Tai Chi Chuan for balance and body health once a week
TCF: The Compassionate Friends (For parents who have experienced the death of a child or sibling.)
WIP: Work in Progress (32º North)  Writing is my vacation!
YISKA: Navajo for Darkness has passed.  (Also the name of a Navajo Sheepdog who barks in Navajo!)

08.01.19: RABBIT! Hope you remembered.

We get letters:

From G.W.

Hi Sam. I don’t think I’ll order Rabbit for lunch tomorrow at Anthony’s . I’ll give the poor thing a clemency hearing instead. I was surprised you had concussions. I’ve had 4, all undiagnosed, and untreated. My first was a Louisville slugger up side the head, thanks to my loving sister. I walked home like a zombie and took a 3 hr nap. I don’t remember anything about it with the exception of a headache. The next two were car accidents, the final a fight at school, that I don’t remember, I got jumped literally. My nose was full of blood, and my puncher had a big ring fetish. It was like being beaten with gold knuckles. I had to go back to school the next day to show he hadn’t done any permanent damage. Lots of the guys asked me where I learned to fight like that, so evidently, I’d held my own- don’t remember. Maybe that’s why my nerves are all messed up. Losing the feeling in my hands, legs, and feet, plus the bone pains daily. Who knows? I don’t know if you’ll make lunch or not, but I promise not to eat a bunny unless they slip one in the grinder every so often.

Thanks for the reassurance.  I know Rabbit will breathe a sigh of relief. Sam

From S.B.

Sam, you are such a joy to read even when you are writing of pain. Your sharing heart is a gift to us all. Thank you for the information, and most of all, for letting us in and letting us know you and Phyllis are thriving despite the challenges.

Thanks, oh Teacher-of-mine so many years ago. P.J. and I appreciate your encouragement. Sam

From H.S.

Good one, Sam. I ran the top of my head squarely into the top of the passage into my storage shed a few years ago. There was no blood, so I didn’t go to the doc with it and haven’t mentioned it to him since. With other problems I don’t think to, but I’ve had a stiff/sore neck ever since. Always wondered whether I cracked something.

Going to a back surgeon tomorrow for a consult to see whether I should have an operation now (while my ticker is relatively healthy) vs. later, when the symptoms of my lower-spine severe arthritis will be worse but my ticker worse too (as in too much worse to operate).

Thanks. Keeping a Journal (I have other journals besides M.M. for my doctors.) reminds me what to tell him/her. I make three copies: One for the doc., one for PJ and one for me. My Neuro, my PC, my Gastro, and my PT tell me that they appreciate them. The Neurologist spends as much time as we need and answers PJ if she has questions. In the past, I had one specialist who wasn’t impressed and suggested that I “skip the notes and write a novel, instead.”  I took his advice and skipped the notes and wrote our third novel. I also skipped him and switched doctors. Sam

From M.H.

Good morning.  Interesting your study and info about PD.  Keep enjoying life.  It’s certainly better to wear out than rust out Hugs.

Yes. That’s what P.J.’s father said.  He lived to be 102. Sam

 I just couldn’t pass this up without passing it along:

What a day, so far. I registered the Matrix for two more years. I was in and out in twenty minutes.  I think that’s a record.

More Letters:

From V.M.

My brain running high as your curb to curb after reading MM!
Mom, her brother Uncle Doc, and their father had PD…
These resonated…
Well water
Chemicals filled the air from crop dusters all around their home in Coolidge.
My thought drying up fast as your curb to curb. Time to ascend to bead heaven!
Love you two!


I know this lady who 
plays with beads
heavenly sent
stringing and tying into exciting
her time well spent
she gathered oohs and ahhs
wherever she went. ~SET

From L.H.

Thanks, Sam. I’m learning more and more about PD from your posts. . .

I was totally ignorant about the subject previously.  Best wishes to you and Phyllis

Read Michael J Fox’s book, Lucky Man. Much has happened in the last 17 years.

I’m having trouble with Dragon right now. Gotta take a break and have lunch.

My sentences aren’t wrapping.  I’ve adjusted the margin, but it doesn’t seem to help. I’ve come back from lunch, and everything seems to be working. Maybe I should have lunch more frequently. Dorothy, the gardener, is here. It’s too hot for her. The humidity is high.

Dragon: everything seems to be working now.

1500: shot 17 arrows. Lost one.  Maybe the gardener will find it. I heard it bounce, so it’s somewhere in the garden. Don’t worry; I wasn’t shooting while the gardener was here. That was just before she arrived.

1845: Sunset sequence on our street in 60 seconds. Plenty of clouds but no rain.

08.02.19: 0530:  80º this morning and humid. I shot 15 arrows for practice. 0900: We walked 50% of Park Place Mall. On our way home, we stopped by Wild Birds Unlimited and bought a month’s supply of seed cylinders and a 25# bird block.1230: Clouds are rolling in from the south. Might get some rain.

1400: Met with my PCP. The hamstring is way too tight! Here’s a view from his 5th-floor office, looking south. He told me to “Keep doing the exercises and take aspirin as needed.” I came home and took a Bayer Aspirin. 1700: Feeling better.

1830: Shot 186/300 scattering arrows all over the target.

08.03.19: 0600: Bought produce from POW-WOW this morning. Ate breakfast at I-Hop. Met Frank and Judy Pettengill and ate with them.  Frank and I opened Pistor Middle School 50 years ago.  He tutored George Babich and me with extra help in Statistics for our Master’s. I would have never made it if it hadn’t been for Frank. He also taught me golf for one summer. After practicing with the wiffle balls, he told me: “Sam, there are six things you have to remember about your golf swing, and you are doing all twelve of them wrong!”

We golfed for five weeks. I got to where I was shooting 72! (Yeah, but that was for nine holes!) I might have done better with miniature golf.

Note to Margaret Ann (who writes Inspirations) and in two or three months will be 93 years young:

If you were a member of the Hopi tribe, you would be called “Grandmother” by all as a form of respect. I don’t know if they differentiated between Grandmother and Great Grandmother.

I don’t know whether they still do, but when I was growing up with my Hopi friends, their grandparents never knew how old they were.  They stopped counting then they became mature (Maybe about fourteen or fifteen?) Therefore, Porter Timeche’s father was just old.  We never asked. He lived in the Hopi House with the family. He was called  “Sammy, The Indian.” (Thinking back, I would guess that he was in his 80’s or older.) I remember him in Levi’s with his red headband and moccasins.

Sammy would run from the Hopi House to the post office every day – down the hill, across the railroad tracks, across the footbridge over the arroyo, through the pine trees, , across the loop intersection, past Babbitt’s grocery store to the Post Office, pick up the mail for the Hopi House and run back.

Either he or Porter played the big drum for the “Indian Dances” each evening at five o’clock, singing evening chants like the Hoop Dance Song, or the Buffalo Song, or The Butterfly Song. Sammy and Porter did the singing. Other members of the family either danced or were in the chorus.

Some of you Mentioned books that you enjoy.  You might like this comment:

“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.”

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher and scientist, most famous for  his shift of science to experimentation. A nod to Margaret Ann for sending this quote.

1500: Time spent reading journals and responses. Mailed our ballots for Mayor at the Post Office. 1700: PJ fixed a colorful dinner with chicken, red bell peppers, green garden leaves, and yellow squash. We watched our recording of CBS-Sunday Morning. The interviews with doctors who want to stop this epidemic of gun violence were moving. The segment on Woodstock (including Charles Shultz’s bird, Woodstock) made the evening worth watching.

08.05.19: 0500: Up and waiting for YISKA to practice shoot at a silver candy wrapper for my centering target.

0900:Facilitated writing group, and discussed the El Paso and Dayton tragedy. Prompt for next Monday: About what are you passionate? and Remembering  Woodstock.

1800: HS calls it “Failing toward success.”  I hope he’s correct.  My archery score for the night was 151/300.  For all my centering this morning, I scattered arrows all over the target.  Even so, I got two 10s.

It rained all evening. This wasn’t as hard as a week ago.

08.06.19: 0515: Yiska under a cloudy sky. at 78º, Still raining. Since last night only 0.6.” We ran errands today until noon.  I fixed a chicken,red pepper, chopped onion, and cheese wrap with guacamole for us. After lunch, I shot 15 arrows grouping in the red at 2 o’clock. PJ’s napping and I am typing. Duh! 1700: We had an enlightening dinner at the Longhorn Steakhouse with Chris Crawford. She was the caregiver to her husband, Fred, who died of PD some years ago. When I was diagnosed, she was the first person I contacted.  She gave us good advice on living with this multi-faceted disease. We had such a good time that we have decided to meet every six months (instead of yearly) just to keep up to date with our progress.

08.07.19: 0830: While PJ was exercising with Tresha, I was visiting my Dermatologist, having a spot biopsied and a few other places zapped on top of my head. (The years of zapping probably explains my erratic behavior). The Crayon bandaid marks the spot. Maybe I can focus on the target better?

In desperation last night, we searched YouTube and wound up watching the 10 favorite dances of Shirley Temple. The follow-up was an interview with her about her later life. It was a good hour spent. To bed by 10 o’clock.

08.08.19: We finally made it to the Tai  class today. Then lunch at the Eclectic café with Lawrence and Richard.

0330: I practiced shooting at the Club. Shooting tighter with one in three in the yellow each time.  Friday is League. Goal: Break 200 again.

08.09.19: Drove PJ on medical errands this morning. I fixed a meatball and squash wrap for lunch.  She took a nap while I wrote a 400- word short story!  THE HOGAN.  I don’t know what happened.  I sat down and started writing.  Bingo! Here are the first two lines: He looked across the valley. There was smoke coming out of a hogan.

If there’s space, I’ll put some more in this issue tomorrow.

1800: League Archery shoot.  159/300.  My last end (of 3 arrows) scored  27/30+.  If I could just do this at the beginning…

08.10.19: 0400: Up and writing. (another 400 words) My short story is getting longer. Made it through the day without falling asleep. 1500: Back from a late lunch at Culver’s. This is twice in one week.  The first was for dessert with Lawrence and Richard.

1500:Writing again. I may change the title.  It feels good to write again. AND I’m not using Dragon this time. Fun to poke the buttons.  Put down a total of 2174 words.

1700: Gotta stop and find a quick-patch roofer. So far, today, we’ve had 1.5” of rain with clouds promising more to come. And there is this:

In 2019, the peak mornings for the Perseid meteor showerAugust 12 and 13 – will be troubled by moonlight. View in the early morning (0200 to 0400) after the Moon has gone down and all the clouds have disappeared, and the city lights are shut off. Look to the north-east.

%d bloggers like this: