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

May 1 – 13, 2019

Living with Parkinson’s

Phyllis and Sam Turner


APDA: American Parkinson Disease Association
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!
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
PJ: Phyllis – my wife: referred to as 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)  I write every chance I get.  Writing is my vacation!
YISKA: Navajo for Darkness has passed.  (also the name of Sara’s Navajo Sheepdog who barks in Navajo!)


05,01.19: Yiska – of course!  PJ has a URI. She is taking preventive measures. No exercise this morning.  I spent a total of three hours (maybe four hours) on hold communicating with my television provider DISH. I did take a break for an hour and practiced archery at the club shooting a few arrows. I’m waiting for my new sight which is on order and was supposed to be there today, but it wasn’t. This sight of course will guarantee that I’ll hit the bull’s-eye. HA!. I took my old recurve bow to show to Tom. The curve of the lower limb has lost its shape.

“You can hang the bow on the wall as a trophy, Sam.”

The last time it was used was 1960. It spent 20+ years in a garage in Clarkdale, Arizona, and another 20 years in a storage shed in Tucson. It’s a wonder that it isn’t a pile of laminate dust.  I’ll take his advice and mount it on the wall somewhere. It’s a beautiful, gracefully recurved Bear Cub bow. When I get it mounted I’ll take a picture of it for all of you to see.

05.02.19: So much on our plates today. I only have one doctor appointment at 1400. We both have an appointment at the house today at 10 o’clock which will take a couple of hours. 0800:Ed came to replace a valve for the south garden.  While we were at ACE we bought material for a new kitchen shelf for PJ (and me) so we can access the storage bowls easily. PJ slept in her chair keeping her head up. She could breathe easier. 1300: I got so caught up in reading Tales of the South Pacific that I read right past my 2 o’clock appointment. I realized it an hour later and called the clinic immediately. They worked me in. It’s a complement to James Michener’s writing. That’s what every author hopes the reader will do: get so caught up in the story that he/she can’t put the book down. The last time that happened to me I was reading Harvey Stanbrough’s Wes Crowley Saga.

Simple.  Only two trips to ACE and many minor adjustments.

1300: PJ finally gave in and admitted that she should see a doctor. (This is three days after I told her to call Dr. Bessette.)  We are lucky. Friday afternoon after lunch, I called his office.  Amazingly, I got an answer on the third ring.

“We have an opening at three-twenty”.

“I’ll take it.”

1500: It was so good to see our PC. Dr. Mark Bessette again.  He listened to her heart.

“Yes I hear some rattling in there. I’ll prescribe something that will take care of you so you can go up to Flagstaff.”

1800: She took her first six Methylprednisolone (each tablet contains 4 mg of the Stuff!) -as directed- plus the Levofloxicin two hours later. We didn’t watch the news. We read our books. She has already finished Home, Julie Andrews auto-biography, The early years.

I read another short story of Tales of the South Pacific.

PJ’s pills are taking effect.

05.04.19: 0430: YISKA! Winter has past: The sky is already light and by 0500, the Sun is just hitting the tops of the palms. I fixed myself some hot ginger tea and worked some of the grapevine runners over each other forming a natural (if you don’t count the wires) canopy.

0745: The temperature is up to 74º.  I sat on the patio and (finally) read Margaret Ann’s INSPIRATIONS  for May. Talk about a vein of gold!  She presents a treatise on thoughtful communication (Conversations of the Heart) complete with different stages of listening. Active listening and/or reflective listening which reminds me of the listening I do when I edit my writings.  (Reading orally what I have just written – even here on this page – I hear my voice asking is that what I meant to say in that tone? With that inflection? Will the reader know that I am smiling when I say this sentence?

When I am finished, I hand it to SWAMBO (My lovely First Reader.) and watch the expression on her face as she reads the page. Does she smile when she reads a passage that is meant to cause a smile? Does she get the drift of what I’m putting into words?

Later, Margaret Ann asks “the talker to focus on what he wants to say without rambling.”  HA!  Now there’s a challenge.

Margaret Ann studied a painting (Water Rocks Blooms by Serene Rein) that follows a different line of “listening”. It requires access to a new vocabulary of “Velcro words” (words that stick out, that catch your attention): brilliant, showing movement, diagonally, varieties of color, dancing, greeting, nods, ferns growing up, growing upside down, fringes, dangle, formations, formed blossoms waving clump, clumps of large flowers, pods, anchoring, point of interest, memories, emotional energy, questioning, reproduce those feelings.  All of this is called inventorying a work of art.  For some people, it’s stopping with an uh-huh, and moving on. But for others who stop and study it for a moment or longer, they become part of the artist’s experience.

The same thing happens to the reader when they become part of the story.

Among other things today we attended Sabrina’s final performance for this semester at the Gaslight Youth Theater. She played Princess Jasmine.

Princess Jasmine talks to her brother and cousin after the play.

1830: Our close friend, Dr. Lee Goedecke stopped by after work and we took him to Ba-Dar for Chinese Cuisine. He assisted Phyllis in the birthing of Number One Son (Joseph) at Tucson General Hospital (now The University of Arizona Cancer Center). Six years later, he again attended PJ as she gave breech birth of Number Two Son (Robert) in our bedroom. Yes, he still practices in Tucson and Casa Grande.  He manages to find time to visit Cabo San Lucas for deep-sea  fishing. He’s taking part of his family to Scotland and Ireland later this year. (PJ wants him to adopt her for that trip.)  It is always refreshing to meet with him.

05.05.19: 0500: 62º this morning as YISKA occurred. PJ is sleeping in this morning. The meds are working. We are getting increased responses from so many of you. Thank You!  So far, we have five persons who have some form of PD. Welcome to all of you.  The circle grows larger. Feel free to write a comment if you wish.




Rep. Tom O’Halleran

It was great to meet with NAU student Bekah Turner at a reception in Washington, DC where her research poster was being displayed. She was selected in a national competition that promotes undergraduate research.

And so, dear friends, another milestone will pass this coming week.  The celebration will be recorded for the next edition of Maytag Moments.

Blessings to all.

Sam and Phyllis

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