Polio Place

A service of Post-Polio Health International

family

Discussing the End of Life

From the series, Polio Survivors Ask, by Nancy Baldwin Carter, B.A, M.Ed.Psych, from Omaha, Nebraska, is a polio survivor, a writer, and is founder and former director of Nebraska Polio Survivors Association.

Q: An important topic families tend to ignore is a discussion of those all worthwhile decisions we may have to make at the end of our lives. Knowing that we should discuss it and actually doing so are two different things. Do you have any ideas on this topic?

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Can't Care for My Wife Like I Used to Do

From the series, Polio Survivors Ask, by Nancy Baldwin Carter, B.A, M.Ed.Psych, from Omaha, Nebraska, is a polio survivor, a writer, and is founder and former director of Nebraska Polio Survivors Association.

Q: I have been my wife’s attendant for many, many years. I am getting older and can’t do what I used to do, but it is still expected of me. How I can broach this topic, without her feeling like she is a burden to me?

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Communicating with Grown Children

From the series, Polio Survivors Ask, by Nancy Baldwin Carter, B.A, M.Ed.Psych, from Omaha, Nebraska, is a polio survivor, a writer, and is founder and former director of Nebraska Polio Survivors Association.

Q: As I get older and accumulate more secondary conditions, it is more difficult for me to get around. Do you have any suggestions as to how to communicate my knowledge about my post-polio health to my grown children when they really don’t want to “hear it”?

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A Sister Remembers

Mary Navarre, OP

When Joan L. Headley, the Executive Director of the Post-Polio Health International, asked me to be on a panel of family members of polio survivors at the convention in St. Louis, I was hesitant to do so as it was, and still is, difficult to talk about my life with my sister who contracted polio at the age of 6 – and even more so to speak about her death four years ago at the age of 64.

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The Miracle of the Singing Bunny

Sunny Roller

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. It was 1952 and the couple didn’t even own their first car yet.

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Not Just Polio: My Life Story

Excerpts from the autobiography Not Just Polio: My Life Story of Richard Lloyd Daggett, polio survivor and ventilator user:

July, 1953

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Childcare

Hints for raising children by mothers who had polio

One: I had polio at 23 and was married at 25. I had one daughter and two sons. I wore a white cotton support garment with shoulder straps and laces that expanded with girth. I also wore a right leg brace. Now, I wear braces on both legs, because with time my left (good) leg wore out.

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Guide for Children in Rural Areas

 "Chapter 7: Polio" 

in  Werner, David. Disabled Village Children: A Guide for Community Health Workers, Rehabilitation Workers, and Families. Hesperian Foundation. 2009.

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Pregnancy

Example 1: A 33-year-old lady (2011) who had polio is pregnant for the first time. She describes her acute illness and recovery and requests advice:

"I had polio when I was 7 months old and was paralyzed throughout my whole body. My parents told me that they fed me using a spoon and a dropper. I could not sit up by myself when I was 4-5 years old, so they put pillows around me. I had surgery on my Achilles heel by physicians from the San Diego Children’s Hospital who came to my home in Tijuana. They also gave me braces on both of my legs.

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