Polio...whats your experience?

Well, I’m writing a speech to be delivered friday. The topic is “Polio Eradification and what it means to us today” It’s to be delievered to The Rotary Club, and I know they’ve put in a lot of time and money to elimate polio. I’d like it to have a touchy touchy impact and I have 0 persnal experience with Poilio, so I thought, why not open it up to the sweetest most educated mass group of people I know?

So, Polio… Whats your experience??

Any ideas for my speech?

I used to help take care of a guy who had had polio. I’m working on a good post to describe him and what it was like to take care of him and to care for him. This isn’t going to be an easy or quick post. I’m working on it.
I’ll have it up ASAP.

the most recent case in ireland was in a man whose infant had just been vaccinated. he obviously never had been, or it had failed to take.
he caught it from the baby’s nappies (diapers).
sad story :frowning:

** ClairificC **- There’s a great article about worldwide polio eradication in this month’s Smithsonian. Some wonderful photographs.


I remember my Mom & Dad talking about how it was when they were kids. It was very scary to them, that they might get it, and very sad were the stories they told about the crippled boys & girls. It seemed like a mysterious thing to me when I was small. There were some older people around town, you would see up on the Square or around town; you could tell they had been afflicted by Polio. It always creeped me out.

My first husband had a friend whose Dad had been crippled by it when he was a child. He had to expend so much more energy getting around than normal folks did. I almost couln’t bear to be around him (squeamish, I was).

Something weird about my second husband: if one of the kids would refuse to do some chore, he would shout “well it ain’t like you got Polio or somethin !!” I always thought that was a little tacky.

That’s my experience with it.

Famous people who had polio

My maternal grandfather had polio when he was younger, mostly confined to one of his legs. His shin was bent, and the leg was withered. His walking was affected, and he had a very noticable limp.

My Aunt (maternal grandfather’s daughter-in-law) had it as well, and the remaining effects were also confined to one of her legs. When she buys shoes, she has to buy a left and right of different sizes, and one of her legs is noticably smaller in girth, but not in length, so no limp.

As an aside, my grandfather had a unusual sense of humor. At a dinner at his house, my uncle’s father-in-law was reading my aunt the riot act. My grandfather was quite pissed off at this, as my aunt was on his “nice people” list, and reasonably so. My grandfather shouted “Don’t you talk to my Daughter-in-Law that way!”.

Things were strained after that point, but I don’t remember anyone being too upset about not seeing the guy. He was a bit of a tyrant, and my grandfather was a bit of a smart-ass when he wanted to be. I seem to have inherited his sense of humor.

I don’t get the joke, Wonko

feels very stupid
My husband’s aunt had polio, but not very bad. If you weren’t told about it you could probably not notice.

One of my parent’s best friends had a daughter who contracted polio ( just a few months before the vaccination went nationwide.)

Her one leg was as thin as a stick, the other was normal and overcompensated for it, thereby being muscular.

It never slowed her down. She was an executive an Anheiser-Busch, very active in her church and community and a genuinely very, very nice person. She left her job at AB to take on a role at her church. When I was younger, I thought this was career suicide and pure insanity. Now, I understand alot about loving what you do in life means a hell of a lot more than earning money.

My mother had polio when she was about 8. I think she had a fairly mild case, but still, she tells me she was out of school for about a year with it. She has stories of physical therapy where she’d lie on her back and they’d move her legs back and forth. She didn’t like that much.

She’s not crippled, nor does she walk with a limp. One of her calves, though, pretty much looks like it hasn’t grown since she was a kid. It’s very skinny, and her foot on that side is a size smaller than her other foot. She says that if she’s on her feet for long periods of time that her leg might hurt a little. However, it’s never really stopped her from doing anything - she took and taught dance classes most of her life, bicycles, takes aerobic classes, etc.

I had polio when I was 3 or 4 years old, but apparently it was a mild case, and I recovered. I don’t have any lingering effects that I know of, other than that I am slightly knock-kneed, but that may just be me. I still had to get the shots and eat the sugar cube when they came out. I really don’t remember much about it, except the downed palm trees and flooding [from a recent hurricane] when I left the hospital. And my mother told me that I had scared the nurse a little by reading off the letters on her cap: ‘I-S-O-L-A-T-I-O-N.’

My great-uncle had polio when he was a kid in the 1930s. He was equipped with all the braces and whatnot, and wasn’t too steady on his feet. One day, as he was coming in the back door after school, he fell down the basement steps. He suffered brain damage, and is now pretty mentally impaired.

It’s a sad story, but he’s a great guy. And he’s quite independent despite having had to bounce from relative to relative his enitre life.


I had a co-worker who’d had polio as a child. She is pretty severely disabled. She has no use of her left arm at all, and it is very atrophied. She would pick the hand up with the other hand and place it on whatever she was working on like a paperweight. Her left leg is also very atrophied and she wears a brace and a special shoe. She has a very hard time with any stairs, etc. She could have easily given up and used a wheelchair, but she didn’t want to, and probably won’t until she’s so old and weak she can’t. She loves pretty clothes and shoes, but has to be careful what clothes she buys because of the brace, and shoes must be very sturdy and able to be fitted with the thick sole to allow her to walk. I would say it had a pretty darned severe affect on her life, but at least she wasn’t paralyzed to where she couldn’t breathe on her own, or work, or get around…

My Uncles’ father-in-law, was my aunt’s father, so in essence my grandfather was telling his daughter-in-law’s father how to address his own daughter.

Thank you all for all that, it was immensly insightful. Especially Scarlett’s page, and what I dug up from that. Wish me luck for the next 2 days. Tommorow it gets approved and then friday it’s presented. Whooo hooo, Polio eardication here I come…