Maytag Moments

Living with Parkinson’s

(Seemingly insignificant activities become challenges with PD)

Sam and Phyllis Turner ©03.01 – 03.15.3021



  Carolyn in Kansas  

Great pictures and memories. 

Thanks, Carolyn. It’s good to have a working camera.SET

Here’s a better shot of the flower.  Still can’t name it.

From Serene in La Posada:

I read every word, even the quote from MAA. 

We used an icebox after Jim and I were married in 1948 but eventually had a wringer washer, which was a great improvement over the scrub board. These memories require younger folks to use a dictionary.

You Turners be well. I think of you, Sam, and PJ fondly. We had our second protective injections Saturday.

THANKS, Serene:  We had an ice house next to the RR Station where fifty-pound blocks were loaded into the tops of the passenger cars for the evaporative coolers. Boy! Does that bring back memories! In 1945, when I was nine, my dad and the baggage clerk loaded a block on top of a case of soda – Coke, Root beer, Orange, and Grape – into the trunk of our 1938 Chevrolet. He covered the ice with gunny sacks.  We parked on an incline at Hilltop before mounting Indian horses for the fourteen-mile ride into Havasupai Canyon. On the third day, we rode out in the heat.  When he opened the trunk, the ice had melted around the bottles, and water was dripping out of the back of the trunk. We still had to chip some of it away to get to the bottles.  I loved that ice-cold grape soda! SET

1600: Finished watching a Davis Phinney Foundation video clip on Cognitive Symptoms. Can be found on YouTube, also. When I don’t lose the website, I’ll include them. 

1630: Had excellent chicken and vegetable dinner.  Found the Parkinson’s clip on YouTube. Watched two minutes to be sure it was the correct one. NO CAPTIONS! I couldn’t “capture” them. Bummer! Better if I stream it on my computer. Watched two more episodes of MSec.  We are in the final season. 2100: to sleep.

My favorite coffee mugs were taken with PJ’s Apple cell.

03.02.2021: 0400: A string of appointments today. 1000:PJ got a haircut.

1130: Andrew (from Allstate) attached a mileage monitor to both cars.  I can get a printout whenever I choose.  1200: I set up my laptop for PJ and we attended the Parkinson’s “Team” support. Excellent exchange of ideas. Dan is a drummer! He learned from Dave Brubeck! Tomorrow, I’ll get PJ headphones and a microphone that will cut down the echo.  And I have to return to Quick Fix to have them place a new battery (Yes, this is the second one!) in my cell. 

I also need to get more seed cylinders for the birds. I have two “stations” for them. Eight cylinders will last a month. The entertainment we receive each day is worth it.

Frequent visitors are Pyrrholoxia and the Northern Cardinal, Lesser Goldfinch (as long as we have Nijer seeds in their feeder stations), the House Finch, Albert’s Towhee, many sparrows: Black-throated, House Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow.

We can usually hear the Cactus Wren before it arrives early in the morning. We also see the Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, and Phainopepla (rarely).

 On our walks at Udall Park, we often see the Vermilion Flycatcher.  We’ve also seen it at Agua Caliente Park, but not in our yard. The Ladder-backed Woodpecker and the Gila Woodpecker are common visitors.

Once in a while, the Greater Roadrunner drops by for a lizard which he bangs on the patio bricks before he carries it over the wall. It’s always exciting to see the mother Gambel’s Quail every spring with the thimble-sized babies following in line across the patio.

Yes, we do have doves: the Mourning Dove and the White-winged Dove are the most common.

On rare occasions, a Cooper’s Hawk drops by for a surprise meal of a dove. 

All you need are pictures.  There’s a goal I can accomplish, once my cell is working.

1900:  We are in the final season of Madam Secretary (now called Madam President!).

2100: To sleep.

03.03.2021: 0600: Slept late. 0900: Breakfast. Excellent information on whether or not you should consider DBS. (Deep Brain Stimulation) From hallucinations to dementia and cognitive problems with Q&A at the end. This is well worth viewing the 40-minutes or so. Presented by APDA.

See why I call this Maytag Moments?  As my day is interrupted with one item or another, I plug it into this journal.

1900: Joe and Bekah are in Vail, Arizona headed home from Chicago! We’ll see them this weekend!

Good Morning, Vincent! 

Ana F. grows Sunflowers!  This is the first one of the season. All part of Vincent’s family.

03.04.2021: 0500:  Many thanks for the start of this day, Ana! SET

0800: Sit/stand/walking exercises with Abbie at BodyCentral. 1400: 1500 steps at ParkPlace Mall for watch repair. My cell phone is done for. I need a new one. We watched three episodes of Madam President. We’re almost finished with this series. To bed by 2115.

03.05.2021: 0445: Sit/stand stretches.Bike for ten minutes.

From Jeanne Austin, Texas: And then there was the time my grandmother took the train to Nogales to shop.  While she was shopping in a department store, Pancho Villa attacked the town.  (November 26, 1915) She and other customers were quickly hidden in the department store and she had to stay overnight.  She wrote about this in her journal.  Of course, her family was frantic when she didn’t return on the train, but Nogales was under siege.

This, my friends, is why you keep journals.  Maybe you think nothing happened this past year.  Write about that “nothing”.  When your descendants read about this “nothing,” it will be “something”. Thanks, Jeanne. SET

1900: Still plowing through Season 6 of Madam Secretary/President.

2130: To sleep.

03.06.2021:0400: Good Morning!. 0830: PT with Tresha working on marching and stretching. My left arm sometimes swings correctly.

1120: Took a two-hour nap!

1400: Finally finished the last two episodes of Madam Secretary/President. I would say that it had a satisfactory ending.

03.07.2021:0430: Starting the laundry.0700:  Watched St. Francis in the Foothills UMC church service 0845: Preparing breakfast. 1020:Joe, Rachael, and Bekah stopped by for a visit. Rachael helped PJ with her new headphones for her computer.  Bekah catches us up on her future study plans for her Master’s.  Joe thoroughly checked my cell and we have a tentative meeting for Monday evening to take it into a T-Mobile shop for repair and/or (probably) the purchase of a newer Z model. All this activity with four people with four cameras and almost two hours of catching up and no one remembered to take pictures!  DUH!

03.08.2021: 0415: Stretching and working on sit/stand. Ugh! As I’ve mentioned in previous MMs, I’m keeping track of my sleep hours. PD tends to affect the sleep patterns (less sleep). Last night, I was in bed by 2110. Asleep in ten minutes or less. I’m awake anywhere from 0315 to 0400.  I try to avoid the habit of taking a “thirty-minute nap” in the afternoon.  Thirty minutes can become two hours.

0800: BodyCentral with Abbie. PJ with Sam (Doctorate in PT). : Stretching Sit/stand. Ugh! 0800: PT with Abbie.  Worked hard on knees to stand. Still touching the box to stand. Almost, but no cigar! 1000:Wrote a 468-word memoir of a 4th-grade teacher I had at Grand Canyon. (This was a challenge to Marilyn J. to write about a teacher.)  She had one in the 8th grade that looked like a mad eagle.  The kids called him Hammerhead.  The challenge was to write a less than 500-wood memoir. No time limit. Even with interruptions, I did it in just under an hour.  Thank goodness for speakerphones and CaptionCall. NOT thankful for RoboCalls.

1050: Rushed to TFCUBank to clear some glitches in our computers and cell phones and deposit some checks.  Got home and still can’t access my account!  I’m to call back in an hour.  It’s 1600, now.  I’ll do just that. Another hour and I got access, thanks to the central office! We had a salad for dinner. 

Spring is happening.

03.09.2021:0500:  Started the laundry.

 Speaking of doctors, for the most part, we attend each other’s appointments. Since both of us are HOH (Hard of Hearing) we help each other understand what is being said. Plus, PJ reminds me of questions to ask or vice versa. We can keep on the “same page” of information. Until my Parkinson’s diagnosis in 2018, I didn’t realize how important having a team of professionals is. We have been fortunate in having excellent health care. As an example of my being 180º off in the understanding of the father’s role, when Julie (our oldest) was born, while PJ was in pre-delivery, I understood that reading to the mother might be relaxing.  I started reading The History of the Pipe.  I didn’t understand why she wouldn’t be interested. She was not a happy Mother-to-be! Julie was born at St. Joseph’s Hospital when Catholic Sisters were still active members of the staff.  Three years later, Amy was born at Tucson Medical Center. 

Thinking back, one of the first of our “extended family” doctors was Dr. Leroy Goedecke, DO. He encouraged me to participate in Husband-Coached childbirth. I was present at Joe’s birthing at Tucson General Hospital (closed in 2004) and Robert’s birth in our bedroom along with Dr. Goedecke and a midwife. We became successful business members in the Amway Corporation, flying in his plane to the White Mountains, Yosemite, Navajoa, and San Carlos, Mexico. When Lee retired, PJ and I were devastated not only from losing our Primary Care Doctor but finding a new “family” member. 

Dr. Mark Bassette, DO. came close to filling that void. In 2000, he recommended I see a specialist for the possibility that I might have Parkinson’s.  I do not remember this specialist’s name.  (It’s just as well.) 

We drove to Northwest Hospital where I waited for the Neurologist to diagnose me. I never visited his examination room.  Instead, he met me in the hall and had me walk down the hall and back and pronounced: “You don’t have Parkinson’s. Probably a pinched nerve in your neck.” Total time: less than three minutes!  That was it. Nothing else. Instead of getting a second opinion, we continued with Dr. Bassette who manipulated our bodies as needed and we felt fine.

By 2018, our Physical Therapist, Tresha Dunn, noticed that my gait was uneven and recommended that I see a Neurologist.  What a difference! Dr. Rodrick Anderson, MD. Board Certified in General Vascular Neurology, met PJ and me in his examining room. He gave me the equivalent of a drunk driver’s test and had me walk down the hall. We spent close to forty-five minutes discussing my symptoms. He even asked PJ if she had questions.  “You have early-on Parkinson’s, Sam. I recommend that you continue with your exercising and we’ll watch your progress.”

After that meeting, I called our good friend Chris C., whose husband had died with Parkinson’s a couple of years earlier. Among other suggestions, she advised that we attend PD support groups. It was in one of these support meetings that I began to realize that I needed to be a part of a team of PD-related “family”. Included in this team, besides the professionals, are the many support group members and authors like Michael J. Fox’s Foundation including his four books, his most recent There’s No Time Like the Future published in 2020, and the Davis Phinney Foundation webinars.

Here is my current team in Tucson, Arizona:

Jackie Carmargo, NP, Gastroenterology

Ayesha Javed, MD  01.29.2021: New PCP:

(Nicole & Peggy: support staff)

7901 E. 22nd St. 520-694-8400

Rodrick Anderson, MD, Western Neuro

03.29.2021 (next appointment with Neuro)

Cynthia Holmes, Ph.D. facilitating

Parkinson’s lectures, and support groups

(twice monthly).

Tresha Dunn, (Private gym) PT Parkinson’s Movement Specific

Abbie Wright, DPT (BodyCentral) Parkinson’s Movement Specific

Senait W. Dyson, M.D., Dermatology & Dermatopathologist

David Killian, MD, Urological Assoc. of S. Ariz.

Dr. Gregory Moss Associated Dental

6565 E. Carondelet 520.733.9225

Advisor Emeritus: Dr. R. Leroy Goedecke, D.O, Retired.

03.10.2021:0500: Writing Pages 4 through 7 and answering email. Did some sit/stands. Peddled the bike for ten minutes. Spent the day working on financial records. Watched the news. 2100: To sleep.

03.11.2021: 0500: Knees are tired, today.  0800: PT with Abbie. Friday is her last day at BodyCentral as she graduates with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy! We wish her many blessings and a successful career. Sit/knees/stand: Close but no cigar. Another week of practice and I may be able to do it. Stride is better. 1300: I have a twirp in one of the bedroom alarms. I need to change the battery. PJ is asleep.  When she awakens, she can hold my legs when I take the unit down and change the battery.  1430: I’m sorting financial forms. I usually have this done during Rodeo Weekend.  Since we didn’t have a rodeo this year, I’m off schedule. 1100: Stopped by Mostly Books for a book that I ordered last week. Shoot Your Novel by C.S. Lakin Cinematic Techniques to Supercharge Your Writing. The afternoon is spent sorting files. 1730: We ate Caramelized Onion Chicken while watching President Biden’s speech to the American People. Encouraging.  Sorry, no pictures for a couple of more days. It’s been a while since we have watched Whose Line is It Anyway? After the News, we enjoyedone episode.

2120: “To sleep; perchance to dream…” Act III, Scene I. You know who said it.

03.12.2021: 0500: I’m on the bike again. I have to strengthen my knees.

0530: I saw part of a rainbow in the northwest! It lasted ten seconds. No camera.

0820:Good Morning, Megan. With your watering can taking care of your front plants.”

0825: SWOMBO is up.  I have her cereal ready.  When we eat, I’ll take a break and put another birdseed cylinder up. 0830: Al and Dexter walked past on their way home. Maybe PJ and I can take a short walk this morning? The high will be in the 60s. 1100: Park Mall 1200 steps. Tired. Finished files in the afternoon.

Honey Mustard and Bacon Beef Meatballs:

 2030: Tired – to bed early. IBS -Took ½ Imodium

03.13.2021: 0500:  Disturbed sleep last night. This is what we found in the morning!



03.14.2021: I spoke to my cousin in Clarkdale, Arizona.  Mingus Mountain got all the snow, but Clarkdale in the low foothills only received rain.

We cleaned off the Buick’s windshield and drove to Thresha’s for PT as it was still snowing.  Steven and Richard arrived a few minutes after us. On page 9 is the result of the weather.  0830: For you who live in snow country (Flagstaff), this is nothing.  But Tucson can go years without enough to make a snowball.

1100: Catalina Mts. Two and a half hours later, the snow has stopped at the 3800 ft. level.

A Pyrrhuloxia (left) pays its morning visit to the feed cylinder.

Being one day older only matters

if you are a banana!

~ Hallmark Shoe Box ~

  1. Catching up…. those haircuts are great! I’m just got my second one in 11 months. The stylists are only getting…

  2. Thanks Anne. I’ll keep the beard short and the top shaved. Much less of a problem. Back in the 60s,…

  3. What awesome haircuts. You both look tres chic!!!

  4. Yeah. Swombo wouldn’t have recognized me except she witnessed the whole episode. Good to talk with you, yesterday. Next time,…

  5. Happy birthday to Rob in heaven! When we talked yesterday I didn’t realize it was his birthday. Big hugs! And…