My mother - polio survivor
My beautiful mother was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland. She contracted polio, in her right leg, in 1947 at the age of 2. A born fighter, she endured many surgeries, and would spend months at a time in the hospital.
Because she would be in the hospital for months at a time, she had difficulty keeping up with her school subjects. After months away, the school would throw her back into class, and expect her to keep up. When she couldn't, they attempted to put her in a special education school. Her mother refused. Polio didn't affect her mind! My mother continued in her classes, worked extra hard, and despite being picked on and ridiculed by the other kids, continued on in her regular classes, but polio continued to affect her body.
She continued her schooling, until the age of 15, when she had to leave school to go to work to help support the family. She went to work in a whiskey factory (she was in Scotland!) She continued to work, helped provide for the family, and became president of the local union. When she became pregnant with a beautiful baby boy, she spent over a week in labor, weakening her body, and causing her to spend weeks in the hospital, because her leg was so weak she couldn't walk. The doctors didn't understand what the stress and trauma would do to her body, because of the polio. Polio continued to affect her body.
She continued to work for the whiskey factory, until one night in a pub she met a "big yank," in the US Navy. They spent every moment they could together, until the "yank" deployed 6 days later. 6 months later the "yank" sent the women he fell in love with, at first sight, a one way ticket to the states. He didn't notice that she walked with a limp. *she stole his heart when he asked if he could sit next to her and she responded "it's a free county, sit wherever the hell you want!*
My mother went on to have 2 more kids. After I was born, her doctor told her, her body wouldn't handle the trauma of child birth anymore. If she wanted to continue to walk, I would be the last child she should have. Polio continued to affect her body.
When I was 5 or 6, Mom had surgery to straighten her toes. She had pins in her toes, because they were curling under. This amazing, strong woman had a weak leg, walked with a limp, but never let polio define her. She worked hard, ran after us kids, and she loved to dance!! Polio continued to affect her body.
Then the post polio hit. She was around 50 when her body began to ache all the time. It wasn't just her leg, it was her whole body. It hit hard, and affected the things she loved to do. By 53 she quit her job, and was on full time disability.
Since then, She has had a knee replacement on her left knee, because it had overcompensated for her right leg for so many years. She was in a rehab facility for almost a month, because her right leg was too weak to compensate for the left, while she was recovering. A few years later, she had to have her right knee replaced, which was another long recovery. Polio continued to affect her body.
People don't understand post polio. Many doctors are uneducated about what post polio is, and how it affects the body later in life. My mom is in constant pain. Not just her leg, her whole body. From research I have done, post polio continues to attack the body. Deteriorating muscles in the whole body. Weakening the muscles. Causing constant pain.
The strongest woman I have ever known, is now unable to go places with her grandkids, because she can't walk very far. She misses lunch dates with her friends, because she is in too much pain to get out of the house. She struggles to walk up the stairs, so she chooses to stay home. She isn't able to dance anymore.
Fortunately, my mom has a doctor that researches post polio, and tries to find ways to help her. Fortunately her doctor believes the pain she has to endure every minute of every day, and gives her medicine to help take the edge off. Thankfully she cares about her quality of life, and does what she can to help.
There is no cure for polio. There is no cure for post polio. There is nothing the post polio sufferer can do to stop the progression of post polio. As bad as polio was, post polio is 100x worse. The pain of post polio is real. The deterioration of post polio is real.
Thanks to modern medicine, polio is now a preventable disease and has the potential to be erradicated. Polio should never be a new diagnosis today. We have a vaccine that will prevent polio. Why anyone would make a decision to not vaccinate their child against polio, is beyond me. I have had to watch the progression of this disease in one of the people I love most.
Polio is preventable. Please vaccinate your children. Please help vaccinate all children. No one should ever watch their loved one suffer the wrath of polio/post polio in this day and age. If you did, you would understand the desire to see this horrible disease eradicated, so no one would ever have to suffer this pain again.
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My Mother has lived with
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Your mom is so strong, thank
Polio is preventable. Please
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