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Polio Essay Essay

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❶For a moment I am lost in despair.

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The PLV machine weighed The new PB ventilator is only 4. Not having to take the old heavy ventilator in and out when we travel made my wife Elaine very happy. We did try out traveling with the new ventilator when we went away for some weekends as well as a 10 day trip and all went well. It took some time to get used to my new ventilator. But I am thankful I can sleep comfortably at night now with my "hi tech" breathing assistance.

July, My mother drove to the hospital to visit almost every afternoon and both parents came in the evening. I was their youngest child, and I was very, very ill with bulbospinal polio, the most severe form of this disease.

I learned later that, in addition to polio, I had a life-threatening case of pneumonia. It was probably more difficult for all the parents. Imagine entering a room filled with these huge metal tanks. The tanks are making their whooshing sound.

All you can see are heads sticking out one end of each tank, and you know that one of these heads belongs to your child. My father began a daily journal of the events surrounding my illness and hospitalization. I believe this journal was his way of coping with the strain and sadness he and my mother must have endured.

Hershey examined him and gave us an order to take him to the CD building at the General Hospital. They asked us a lot of questions and gave Richard an examination. Arrived at the hospital at 2 p. He showed us the difficulty he had moving his arms. We returned home somewhat apprehensive. Miller called and said Richard developed some difficulty breathing and they were planning to put him in an Iron Lung later in the evening.

He called again about He explained they put Richard in the Lung as a precaution and to save his strength. We went home feeling pretty low. Called the hospital at 9 a. The nurse said Richard had a quiet night and that we could see him. We went right over and visited with him for 10 minutes. He seemed in good spirits, under the circumstances, and was comfortable. Talked to one of the Drs.

After that they can determine the extent of nerve damage. There is nothing to do but wait for two or three days for the answer. They will be anxious days for us.

Went to the hospital again in the evening. Richard is a very sick boy. I left work at noon. Went home for lunch and we went to the hospital. The nurse was working on Richard when we saw him. Still a very sick boy. We returned to the hospital at 7 p. We were rewarded with the first hopeful sign. Richard seemed in good spirits and the nurse said his temperature was down a little. We came home clinging to that slim thread of hope. Came home for lunch and went to the hospital. The nurse was working on Richard so we had to wait in the hall a few minutes before we could see him.

He is very sick but the Dr. He also told us that Richard has a better than even chance to pull through. Returned to the hospital at 7 p. Richard was asleep when we went in but the nurse awakened him.

He seemed glad to see us. I treasure this journal. My parents always encouraged me in whatever tasks I undertook. Living with them was certainly to my advantage. Not just because they could provide the assistance I needed in daily activities, but because we enjoyed doing so many things together. I know I would not have traveled as much, nor had as wide a spectrum of experiences, if it were not for them. In this respect, I have been blessed.

My parents were also responsible for how I dealt with polio. My father had a positive, no-nonsense attitude. After all, she was my mother. But even she expected that I live my life positively. I have been so fortunate. The county had the resources to give the best medical care possible. With additional funding from the March of Dimes, the county built Rancho Los Amigos, the largest and most up-to-date treatment facility for respiratory polio patients in the nation.

Rancho gave me the finest rehabilitation available and continues to monitor my pulmonary health. I was asked once by a television reporter what I thought my life would have been like had I not contracted polio.

You make decisions based on the information you have and the circumstances at the time. I find this statement embarrassing. It took me by surprise. Now I tell them, as politely as possible, that bravery has nothing to do with it.

Bravery is when a person consciously puts their own life in danger to save or protect someone else. A person who happens to have a disability has not made a conscious effort to be disabled.

They still have the desire to live as full a life as possible. Just like everybody else. They feel that they were encouraged, even pushed, to go out and make an active life. They feel this is why they are having trouble now. On the evening of November 3, , three year old Carol Rosenstiel, her braces hidden under her pant trousers, her wooden crutches digging into her underarms, stood on the platform of Grand Central Terminal in New York City, a huge suitcase by her side.

Her father, Iz, gathered Carol into his arms and held her tightly. Crying, Carol clung to Iz as he handed her over to her Aunt Mary, who had volunteered to accompany her, and the two boarded the train.

Warm Springs, Georgia, home to the nationally renowned polio treatment center founded by Franklin D. Carol was my mother, who contracted polio in at the age of two, leaving her permanently paralyzed from the waist down. The first inhabitants were Native Americans, who believed a great spirit lived in the earth, stoking the fires that warmed the springs and healed their battle wounds.

Most people who came to Warm Springs had nothing but fond memories: But for Carol, her most cherished memories were of her special friendship with FDR, who helped shape her personality and remained a source of inspiration to her throughout her life. A few days later, on November 8, he traveled to Georgia where nearly a thousand townspeople greeted him at the train depot. As his train pulled into the station, he stood on the platform, both arms clenching the railings, as a sea of onlookers proudly welcomed him to his home away from home.

Although his visits always engendered excitement, as the newly elected governor, Roosevelt embodied the notion that a disability is an obstacle than can be overcome, fueling the optimism that engulfed Warm Springs. Carol met FDR in the pools a few days later. She recounted their meeting, handed down as family legend by Aunt Mary, in a series of journals she wrote in the decade before her death in Our exercise tables were next to each other and, being the new girl in town, he greeted me with a warm hello and asked my name.

Yet what struck her most was here was a man who seemed to not feel a hint of self-consciousness about his impairment. As a result she found her own spirits were lifted. Devastated by the thought of raising a disabled child at a time when society viewed people with disabilities as outcasts, Evelyn spent days on end secluded in her room, leaving the care of her daughter to hired help. Thus, at an early age, Carol learned that others retreated in the face of her disability, and soon she began to believe, like her mother, that she was somehow flawed and deficient as a result.

Circumstances were such that Aunt Mary and Carol were renting a cottage across the road from FDR, and soon Aunt Mary began spending her evenings playing cards with the governor-elect and his social secretary Missy LeHand.

Carol often spent time at his cabin at the start of the evening, and noticed how FDR, never short of words, drew others in around him. Family lore has it that Roosevelt became quite fond of Carol, probably getting to know her better than most of the children at the center because of the proximity of their cottages. As other patients gathered around, FDR peppered them with questions, and engaged them by throwing balls and playing other games.

As he ventured from the side of the pool, a swarm of children, including Carol, followed, climbing up on him, pushing him under water, all the while laughing with delight. Later that afternoon, after talking to local farmers in the area, FDR stopped in town to buy ice cream for Carol and all the other children, who rushed in their wheelchairs and braces to greet him as his hand controlled car climbed its way up to the Meriwether Inn, the central meeting place at the center.

Roosevelt cheered me on loudly and lustily through the race. You can do it. Come on — I know you can do it — try harder. She soon began to believe that the power resided in her to ease the awkwardness of others, most importantly of her parents, and gain the acceptance she most needed, by hiding her own self-consciousness around her disability.

Like FDR, she learned to conceal all feelings related to her disability, never once speaking about the emotional and physical challenges she faced, not even to those she felt closest to. And like FDR, she adopted a very gregarious demeanor, deflecting curiosity about her disability by focusing on the needs and wishes of others.

Although both Carol and FDR paid a high price for appearing as if their impairment was nothing more than a minor impediment — including bouts of depression and a lack of intimacy with those around them — it helped them both to be accepted in society at a time when most people with polio rarely ventured outside of their homes.

Fortunately, FDR not only provided a model for how to ease the emotional side of having a disability but also the physical. Practicing his walking on the grounds of the rehabilitation center, Carol noticed how he always walked alongside somebody else, holding on to his or her arm with one hand and carrying a cane with the other, thereby giving the appearance of only slight impairment.

With his legs held in place by his braces, he shifted the weight of his body onto his arms and slowly hitched each leg up and forward, smiling broadly while keeping his head up.

Although this was no doubt a tiring and burdensome way to walk, - one that would unknowingly come back to haunt patients years later in the form of post-polio symptoms - seeing FDR made Carol realize that the rewards were worth it.

For not only was FDR totally accepted into society, but he was able to achieve the unimaginable. She became a concert musician who performed at Carnegie Hall and recorded with Igor Stravinsky. Carol returned to the rehabilitation center in December , where she stayed for 5 months. She eagerly anticipated seeing her old friend, asking Aunt Mary every day when he would come. On a bright sunny afternoon, the two of them joined the flock of patients in front of the Meriwether Inn, awaiting his arrival.

When FDR pulled up — behind the wheel of his Plymouth roaster, a long convertible with the top down — Carol and Aunt Mary rushed to greet him. Carol giggled as he exited the car, trailed by other patients. These would be their last days together, as he was not at the center during her two subsequent visits as a child. Roosevelt was my hero, as indeed he was to all children and undoubtedly adults as well who were crippled.

The world will not easily forget the special tilt of his chin and all the resolve, courage and determination that made it so unforgettable. That tilt, I believe, had a very special meaning to those of us who shared his personal fate of living with substantial physical impairment, determined to meet the considerable challenge of living our lives fully and well, despite our physical limitations.

Their relationship, however short, impacted Carol throughout her life. Although while I was growing up my mother never uttered a single word to me about her disability, she proudly displayed the photo and letter from FDR in her music room, where it continued to serve as a source of inspiration for her.

When I think about my mother — her gregarious personality, her ability to put others at ease by never mentioning her disability, and her ability to draw other people to her — I think of our former president, who had such a lasting influence on a little girl. Lessons from My Mother.

To learn more about her and her book, visit www. Nutrition and Post-Polio Lauro S. This is the story of my personal journey to learn more about nutrition. The path I followed and what I discovered along the way are specific to my body, my nutritional needs and my disability. Some of the principles I learned may apply to others, but the particulars relate only to me. I would no more recommend you follow my specific diet than I would urge you to take someone else's medication.

If you want to change your eating habits, please do it under the guidance of a licensed nutritionist. That's what I did. As it turned out, the nutritionist I worked with had a special interest in chronic disease, although she was unfamiliar with post-polio syndrome. Before going to her, I held what I considered was a traditional but "enlightened" view of nutrition. In other words, I was eating the kind of diet typically recommended in the medical literature and by the experts for a year-old male with my medical history.

What I quickly discovered is that "enlightened" is not always smart. When I was in residency training many years ago, I attended a lecture by an eminent nutritionist who said males should restrict their intake of "visible" eggs to one or two a month; so I reduced mine to maybe half a dozen a year.

Then there was the issue of girth control. In the interest of watching my weight, I tried to avoid snacks and sweets, except on special occasions. Fortunately, I don't have a very sweet tooth, so this adjustment was not all that difficult. And so it went.

Over the years, I cut out greasy foods, then lightly fried foods, and finally even lean, red meat. By the time I saw the nutritionist for my first appointment in February , my diet consisted, more or less, of the following:. Sounds pretty healthy, right? That's what I thought. Well, my nutritionist did not agree. When I returned after the first week with a diary of everything I had eaten and the amounts, her comment was, "This is incredible," and she didn't mean it as a compliment.

As it turned out, she thought almost everything I was doing was wrong. The bananas and orange juice were 'empty' calories, the soft drinks were a sugar fix, and my lunch was skimpy at best. In short, I was on a starvation diet, in her opinion, which she calculated at calories per day. Well, if that were true, I asked, why wasn't I losing weight? Her explanation was that the body makes certain metabolic adjustments to accommodate different caloric intakes.

But it wasn't the caloric intake that bothered her so much. My biggest sin was the small amount of protein I was eating about ounces per day.

Anybody would be on that diet," she said. I, of course, thought instantly to myself, "Is this the cause of post-polio syndrome? Are we all just eating the wrong diet? The short answer is "no. The main goals of my new nutritional plan were to increase the amount of protein, increase the number of calories, avoid the empty calories of orange juice and soft drinks, and finally, cut back on that nightcap.

While all of this was going on, I spent a fair amount of time at the library reviewing what's known about protein metabolism and what would be particularly relevant for polio survivors. Here's some of what I learned. First, proteins are in all human cells. In fact, they form the basic building blocks for each cell, its metabolism, and life itself.

Second, proteins are made from amino acids, and new proteins are being made synthesized and broken down degraded each day. This protein turnover applies to muscle cells, as well, which are constantly synthesizing new protein every day.

Some of this new protein comes from what we eat and some comes from "re-built" protein using amino acids already in the body. The third thing I learned, and most important for persons with post-polio syndrome, the largest "consumer" of protein in the body is muscle. All of this means that for the muscles to have a fighting chance to maintain or increase their strength, there has to be a generous amount of protein in the diet.

We are not carnivores by chance. Knowing this, I changed my views on meat and other protein in a jiffy. At the same time, I relaxed my attitude about calories, as well. In summary, I experienced a "nutritional makeover. It has been almost a full year since my dietary epiphany. I now eat lean meat regularly, along with nuts, fish, eggs, oatmeal and anything else with protein.

I do not eat fruit for snacks as much, and most days, instead of a soft drink, I drink a home brew fortified with a protein supplement. My daily intake of protein has more than doubled to at least 12 ounces per day and my total calories are now somewhere between per day. My weight is essentially unchanged. The best part is that my "good" arm, which used to be tired all the time, feels stronger, gets less fatigued at the end of the day, and seems to recover faster when it gets overworked.

Is this a "cure-all? I still get intense fatigue in the afternoon. My tank of gas is totally depleted by the end of the week. I'm still searching for new ways to pace myself to conserve what energy I have.

Is my new diet healthier living through healthier eating? Will it work for others? What I have learned for sure, is that sensible eating under the guidance of an experienced nutritionist, is good advice for everyone.

Acute polio and its evolution: Returning from 34 months in the southeast Pacific as a GI to my home in Akron, Ohio, I was entitled to four calendar years of a university education funded by the GI bill.

I enrolled at The Ohio State University OSU and while rooming with a high school friend who was completing his last year of medical school, was given advice-- after joining him on several clinical rotations--to finish the pre-med requirements and use up the educational entitlement in medical school.

As a fourth-year medical student, I was looking ahead to a residency choice, considering anesthesia, pediatrics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, radiology and psychiatry. It seemed logical to defer the final choice until I had experienced these rotations during my internship at Philadelphia General Hospital. My post-MD hospital year began with obstetrics and gynecology, followed by orthopedics, ENT, endocrinology and, by the time I needed to make a selection, I was still confused, so I flipped a coin and it came up psychiatry.

I applied for and was accepted in a program at Indiana Medical School. My choice seemed appropriate until my rotation on psychiatry in December. It was a disaster! As soon as I reported to the service, I was directed to an isolated, high-security room with a locked door, solid except for a small grill. When the door slammed shut behind me, I was imprisoned with a hypomanic patient who was manacled to the bed. Two hours later, I was able to attract the attention of an orderly and be released.

I called Indiana and cancelled the residency, too late to apply for another. A Paralyzing Fear Kathleen A. The event, polio at the age of six in , is at once an intimately personal experience, and at the same time a unifying event that binds all polio survivors by a shared experience. We are all unique individuals as polio survivors, yet one moment in time unites us - the moment the polio virus changed our bodies and therefore our lives. Regarding my personal reaction, there were some flashbulb memories, the kind of memory that is like a picture, as if the instance remembered was not in the past but a present experience with vivid details long lost in the past.

There were the hot packs, too hot for the nurses to touch so they handled them with tongs, the confining heat when first wrapped and then the prickly, damp wool as they cooled off. The haunting rhythm of the iron lung, and my hair being tugged by the rubber neck band as I was pulled in and out of it several times a day. For me, at the age of six, the hair being pulled was the biggest trauma of the day.

How little I knew of the future struggle to come, with each year a new challenge, some successes, some failures, but all in all, a very long road ahead. I showed a preview of the film to a support group that I chair.

My eight year-old, red-haired, niece was with me for the meeting. At one point I looked over at her, as she was intently watching the film, and was struck by the realization that my parents had to see their red-haired little girl being put in the iron lung and then they had to leave the hospital to go home and raise four other children who were as confused and bewildered as I was by the events surrounding that late summer in As I looked at my niece, I wondered how I could possibly handle her being paralyzed and further how I could cope with the sad faces that waited at home.

Life was changed for all of my family and I deeply respect their ability to handle this overwhelming illness with love and caring.

At the community level, polio as an epidemic has some unique features from other paralyzing illnesses. It was not an individualized event in the epidemic years; it was a public event that brought fear, compassion, and prejudice all at once.

In my city of 40, to 50,, it was posted in the daily paper who was hospitalized with polio that week. As the film showed, siblings suffered from being banished from friends, not out of hatred, but out of fear. However, as a child, it does not matter why you are ostracized; you just feel the hurt and go away.

In the s there was not the support group concept that would have helped siblings, family and survivors cope with the emotional confusion that was nearly as crippling as the physical disease. It brought it back like a flash, like I was there. As each individual shared their story, I felt less alone in my struggles, and I hope it is healing in the long run as buried pain can never heal.

I also found the presentation well done and the narration excellent. It was the approach of the s, and the stereotypes it created live on. I would have liked the film to comment on this issue, but it was an historical documentary, and in that narrow definition, did its job well. The problem I most take issue with in this documentary regards the ending of the film. As an historical document, the film ends as if the story of polio is only an historical one. As all polio survivors and their families and friends know, just as the polio vaccine has ended one chapter of the history of polio, post-polio syndrome has opened another chapter.

The end of this new chapter has yet to be written. Without public knowledge and support, the final chapter is in jeopardy of a less than optimal ending. As we celebrate the stunning success of the polio vaccine today, I am honored to help commemorate the anniversary by sharing a very personal perspective with you. Fifty-three years ago, when I was four years old, I almost died from polio. During the acute phase, I could only move one finger.

The rest of me was completely paralyzed. Back in the s that disease was certainly spectacular. Or it left its permanent trademark on so many of us. Polio left me using two leg braces, a pair of crutches and a back brace.

My struggles when growing up with a disability were certainly continuous. Back in the s, she taught me that my attitude about polio was much more important than its physical effects on me.

The power of self-determination and social support far out-weighed the power of disability. In fact, we as polio survivors must gratefully celebrate today the astounding amount of social support we received from a fully energized s American community that wanted to save our lives, help us breathe and walk again and succeed in life in unprecedented ways.

Because rehabilitation and eradication efforts were so effective, for thirty years polio survivors blended into society. Polio was so horrible that nobody anywhere in our nation really wanted to think about it anymore, especially those of us who had it. I went to school and started a professional career. The disease was gone, and collectively those of us who had polio were also gone from the national consciousness—almost like medical dinosaurs, fading phantoms of a past era.

Everybody waved good-bye to the phantoms as we all went on with life. But then 22 years ago, when I was years old, once again spectacular polio returned to leave an unwelcome trademark. Debilitating new pain, weakness and fatigue forced me into a whole new series of health care system expeditions. After seeing five different doctors it was concluded here at the University of Michigan Post-Polio Clinic that I had what is now known as the post-polio syndrome.

These post-polio symptoms affect half a million polio survivors today in the U. Now I need to use a wheelchair more often. The fear, alarm, sadness and rage I felt at having to fight polio once again are characteristic emotions shared by polio survivors across the country as they too have faced greater disability after 30 years of physical stability.

We felt betrayed by childhood physicians who unknowingly told us that not much would change as we grew into our late life years. So we all had to quickly adapt to these unexpected new issues—health care providers, policy makers, medical researchers, polio survivors, their families and friends.

And we continue to do so today. The World Health Organization estimates there are up to 20,, survivors of poliomyelitis in the world right now. We are the second largest disability group in our country next to those who have had a stroke. Because of our history and our large numbers the struggles we have encountered with our physical losses have paved the way for a variety of scientific and social advances.

Thousands of children with polio needed rehabilitation in the s. In the s the disability rights and independent living movement leading to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act started at the instigation of several polio survivors including Ed Roberts and Judy Heumann.

They knew our society could do better at addressing the environmental and attitudinal barriers toward disability that were truly handicapping a significant portion of our population, in fact, when you think about it, all of our population.

They taught me that not only was my attitude important, but breaking down the external barriers in our communities is absolutely imperative. In the s the vigorous grassroots movement to address the disabling late effects of polio was energized by thousands of polio survivors in partnership with their health care professionals. Out of this sociopolitical movement, emerged the now twenty-five year old organization for polio survivors and their health care professionals called Post-Polio Health International.

Groups like PHI have promoted networking, advocacy, education and new scientific research that have stimulated the way we think about neuromuscular disease. Because of this, new medical management techniques have been adopted to prudently help those who are facing progressive disability or fast-track aging from a variety of neuromuscular impairments such as spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy or spina bifida. This post-polio movement will help many people who have similar disabilities in generations to come.

These programs enlarge and honor the disability paradigm to view people with a wide range of disabilities not as objects but as ingenious producers of knowledge whose common history has generated a wide and rich variety of art, music, literature, and science that happens to be infused with the experience of disability.

As we celebrate the annihilation of the disease called polio today, we recognize that there is much left to be done. With the large generation of aging polio survivors at the forefront, public policy makers need to address many other instrumental needs of polio survivors.

These include the new early retirement requirements of adults who will be aging with a lifelong disability, which will also help so many baby boomers who are aging into a disability. We cannot let our social security system collapse. Medicare and Medicaid need to get stronger. Issues of health insurance coverage for personal assistance, health and wellness activities, long-term health care and assistive technologies are important to address.

Housing and transportation opportunities need to become more affordable and accessible. These are all public health issues that need to be addressed in public policy arenas and the private sector through organizations like March of Dimes and Rotary International. Let us celebrate the fact that huge numbers of us who have been living with the effects of polio for over fifty years have quietly figured out how to thrive and make substantial social and political contributions in a non-disabled world.

We also recall the luminosity of Franklin D. Getting polio is mostly a thing of the past, thank goodness, but we who had polio are alive and have been here all this time! We are with you! Now that our average age is about 65 years, as we look back, we know that we have experienced the issues and challenges of physical disability with a longevity and fullness never before known in the history of mankind. I believe that we as polio survivors have within us, both individually and collectively, a wealth of knowledge and insight that can help others grow and flourish.

We still have so much to contribute, which, thanks to the ongoing compassion and concern of all of us…we will do. Her bright blue-eyed pre-kindergarten daughter lie flaccid in a hospital bed, almost completely paralyzed from polio. Now 60 years ago, that horrifying summer polio epidemic had swooped this young family into its vile clutches, never to fully let go during their generation.

Devastated, Marj, her husband, Art, and their toddling one-year old son, Scotty somehow got a ride back and forth to the urban acute care hospital every day to see Sunny.

Throughout their frightening earliest bedside visits, they knew death loomed all around. Children with polio were dying in the beds nearby. Would their firstborn little girl live or would she die with the others? Sunny will be okay. The doctors say she will need about nine months of rehabilitation now, likely followed by several orthopedic surgeries and years of physical therapy. But she has survived! What would make you feel better? A cuddly and cheerful bed-friend with a music box inside to hold close and sing to her in this humorless hospital.

Do you believe in miracles? I have seen miracles, felt the presence of encouraging and comforting angels and have encountered many spiritual inspirations.

They are often what helped me get through my tough lifelong encounters with polio. Marj left the hospital that afternoon determined to make Sunny a singing bunny. She found a stuffed toy rabbit at home in a box of playthings. She figured out that she could snip a slit in the fabric, dig out a little filling, and then find a small music box to sew into the bunny.

But in searching through all the toys, she found no music box anywhere in the house. So, determined to get to the shops before they closed, she swooped Scotty up, lowered him into his baby stroller and bustled half a mile downtown to buy a music box. Sunny must have a singing bunny! But after searching the shelves and inquiring in every promising shop downtown, she was left bereft. What could she do now? And this mama knew that right now, a singing bunny could be the one special buddy Sunny needed to keep her company through the grueling months of stinky hot packs, painstaking physical therapy and learning to walk all over again with orthopedic braces and crutches.

Bewildered, Marj plodded along the sidewalk toward home, mindlessly steering her son straight ahead in the baby stroller. Suddenly a sparkle in the grass caught her glimpse. It was a little music box that someone must have been dropped or thrown away.

Amazed and delighted, she snatched it up and wound it up. Dingling a tune, it worked! Racing home, Marj washed the newfound treasure off and carefully stitched it into the awaiting stuffed rabbit. Together Marj and Art delivered the new singing bunny to Sunny the next day.

And that bunny stayed close and served its purpose as part of the family for years to come. She taught me that there are unexplainable events in our lives that help us get through. And just as Mom shared her account with me, I believe that we may very seriously want to consider sharing our life experiences with the children and grandchildren in our lives. Who we are and what we have experienced in life can offer young people a sense of their genetic heritage: Recording our life experiences might be a wonderful project to do in our support groups.

Together we can begin to encourage one another to document our personal stories either in writing, on audiotape or DVD. Each person might write a comprehensive memoir or just one or two short stories. The support group could invite a guest professor from a local college to help members learn about how to write effective memoirs or successfully record oral histories.

The group also might want to engage a local media specialist to help certain members create quality DVD recordings. Support group members could choose to compose short autobiographical stories that teach life lessons or illustrate personal values. We could document individual experiences about overcoming the odds or taking risks that either paid off or failed. We could tell about the role of people we encountered throughout life that either helped us succeed or who were desperately difficult and discouraging.

We could write at home, and then bring the stories to group meetings to share--even engaging each other to constructively critique the writings for diction and syntax. As polio survivors, we have a rich legacy to leave. We have experienced life from a unique and important perspective.

Please don't notice only our disabilities. They are the first thing that you see, but they are not the most important thing there is to know about us. We hope that when you see us you will say to yourself, "Here's somebody like me, who may have some abilities, interests or aspirations similar to mine.

I wonder if there is anything I can do to help keep the disability from standing in the way of their realizations. Please don't exaggerate our disabilities or suppose we're all alike. People have shouted at me as though I were also deaf and talked to me like a child as though I had never grown up.

Or, because I'm in a wheelchair like their grandfather who just died, they think they know all about me. We hope that you will think when you see us, "Here is somebody who has something interesting to say if I will stop and listen.

And something interesting to do if I'll give him or her the chance. Please don't think of us only as people who cannot do things.

We are just people who cannot do some things the regular way. I cannot walk from here to there, but with a good wheelchair I can still go from here to there. A blind person cannot see the words in a book, but with Braille can read the book. We hope that when you see us you will not say to yourself, "How sad that this person can't do the things I like to do or go the places I like to go or work where I do. What kind of training or special equipment or ramps are needed, so that he or she can also do the things I like to do or go the places I like to go or work where I work?

Please don't deny our disabilities or treat them lightly. They are something very real to us with serious, permanent effects on our lives. We hope that you too will acknowledge the difficulties we face and pitch in to help us remove the barriers and problems.

If we are discouraged, encourage us not by distracting us to think of something else but by showing us practical ways of coping. Please feel with us our grief and anger and frustration. Often the best way of handling such feelings is to get them out in the open where they can dissipate. Don't take as personal insult or rejection what we might say or do in your presence on such occasions. Instead of just telling us to shut up or to cool it, show us you understand and empathize with our point of view.

But if we persist in bemoaning our losses, make your encouragement practical. Point out to us all the things we can do. Help us find a goal for our lives that appeals to us and which we can attain even with our disabilities.

Then as our friend show us how to reach that goal. Please don't think that we are all inferior and depressed and would rather stay with our own kind. Sometimes this is true, but if we manifest fear or hesitation or distrust or believe that we cannot do a lot of things, it is usually the result of bitter experience. The reach and spread, however, has been reduced in these areas over time.

The WHO hopes to achieve the complete eradication of polio by Polio, in its most severe forms, can cause paralysis and death. However, most people with polio do not display any symptoms or become noticeably sick.

When symptoms do appear, they differ depending on the type of polio. Symptomatic polio can be broken down further into a mild form, called non-paralytic or abortive polio, and a severe form called paralytic polio that occurs in around 1 percent of cases. Many people with non-paralytic polio make a full recovery. Unfortunately, those with paralytic polio generally develop permanent paralysis. Non-paralytic polio, also called abortive poliomyelitis, leads to flu-like symptoms that last for a few days or weeks.

Paralytic polio affects only a small percentage of those invaded by the polio virus. In these cases, the virus enters motor neurons where it replicates and destroys the cells. These cells are in the spinal cord, brain stem, or motor cortex, which is an area of the brain important in controlling movements. Symptoms of paralytic polio often start in a similar way to non-paralytic polio, but later progress to more serious symptoms such as:.

Post-polio syndrome describes a cluster of symptoms that affect up to 64 percent of all polio patients. It occurs several years after polio has passed. On average, post-polio syndrome occurs 35 years after the infection.

Post-polio syndrome is a slow, progressive disease. There is no cure, but it is not infectious or contagious. Polio is often recognized because of symptoms, such as neck and back stiffness, abnormal reflexes, and trouble with swallowing and breathing. A doctor who suspects polio will perform laboratory tests that check for poliovirus by examining throat secretions, stool samples, or cerebrospinal fluid.

IPV consists of a series of injections that start 2 months after birth and continue until the child is 4 to 6 years old. This version of the vaccine is provided to most children in the U. The vaccine is made from inactive poliovirus. It is very safe and effective and cannot cause polio. OPV is created from a weakened form of poliovirus.

This version is the vaccine of choice in many countries because it is low cost, easy to administer, and gives an excellent level of immunity.

However, in very rare cases, OPV has been known to revert to a dangerous form of poliovirus, which is able to cause paralysis.

Polio vaccinations, or boosters, are highly recommended for anyone who is not vaccinated or is unsure whether they are. Because there is no cure for polio once a person develops the virus, treatments are focused on increasing comfort, managing symptoms, and preventing complications.

This can include bed rest, antibiotics for additional infections, painkillers, ventilators to help breathing, physiotherapy , moderate exercise, and a proper diet.

Historically, a person who developed lung paralysis due to polio was placed into an iron lung, a device that would push and pull chest muscles to make them work. However, more modern portable ventilators and jacket-type ventilators are now used instead.

Humans have observed the effects of polio for hundreds of years, if not thousands. The relatively recent history of outbreaks in both the United States and Europe has led to an allocation of resources with which to fight the disease. Throughout history, polio epidemics have led to the deaths of many thousands of people around the world. In , for example, over 6, people died of polio in the U.

However, it wasn't until that Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine, which has led to the widespread prevention of poliomyelitis. Although polio has essentially been eradicated in the U. The polio virus usually enters the environment in the feces of someone who is infected.

In areas with poor sanitation, the virus easily spreads from feces into the water supply, or, by touch, into food. In addition, because polio is so contagious, direct contact with a person infected with the virus can cause polio. Individuals who carry the poliovirus can spread it via their feces for weeks, even if they have shown no symptoms themselves. The virus stays within the intestines, before spreading to other areas of the body. Eventually, the virus moves into the bloodstream where it can spread to the entire body.

As is the case with many other infectious diseases, people who get polio tend to be some of the most vulnerable members of the population. This includes the very young, pregnant women, and those with immune systems that are substantially weakened by other medical conditions.

Anyone who has not been immunized against polio is especially susceptible to contracting the infection. However, other methods of limiting the spread of this potentially fatal disease include:.

Be sure to receive a vaccination before traveling to an area that is prone to polio breakouts. Article last updated by Adam Felman on Mon 11 December All references are available in the References tab. Characteristics and management of postpolio syndrome. Jama, 4 ,

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- Polio Virus Introduction The polio virus which causes poliomyelitis in humans is an enterovirus which belongs to the picornavirus (small, RNA) family. Polio virus is rapid, acid-resistant, stable, highly tissue specific and consists of a single-stranded, positive RNA.

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(Polio Vaccines) There are two vaccines: the oral polio vaccine and the inactivated polio vaccine. "The oral polio vaccine was invented by Albert Sabin in " (Polio Vaccines) It is a weakened, live virus, which can be taken orally.

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Pulse Polio Pulse Polio is an immunization campaign established by the government of India in to eradicate poliomyelitis (polio) in India by vaccinating all children under the age of five years against polio virus. This project deals with the ways to fight poliomyelitis through a large scale immunization programme, co-operating with various international institutions, state governments and Non . POLIO Essays: Over , POLIO Essays, POLIO Term Papers, POLIO Research Paper, Book Reports. ESSAYS, term and research papers available for UNLIMITED access.

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Essay about Polio Virus - Polio Virus Introduction The polio virus which causes poliomyelitis in humans is an enterovirus which belongs to the picornavirus (small, RNA) family. Polio virus is rapid, acid-resistant, stable, highly tissue specific and consists of a single-stranded, positive RNA. Polio research papers examine the infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. Polio research papers trace the history of the disease and its irradication in the United States. Paper Masters can custom write a research paper on Polio that focuses on any aspect of the disease, from the medical manifestation to the historical significance of its irradication.