Polio and Post-Polio Syndrome…Problem Solving


In the introductory section of Three Quick Steps there are some good Medscape references to polio and post-polio syndrome (PPS). From my perspective, the after- effects of polio were more difficult to deal with than PPS.  Polio and PPS taught me a lot about problem solving throughout my life. From the day I looked out from my bed in the polio hospital ward (August 1952) and saw all the kids using braces, crutches and wheelchairs, I knew then this was not for me. I decided right away I may have to use them temporarily for assistance, but not for long. Strange how this came to me so clearly…maybe Mr. Normal (see book) whispered this to me. For example, when I got home, instead of using braces and crutches, I literally crawled everywhere! The result being my right arm became stronger and my leg muscles strengthened and allowed for some critical ligament/muscle transfers. I learned at an early age not to be afraid of  unconventional solutions.

Once I was up on crutches I just knew this phase was temporary and I  was going to get rid of them. The day I stopped using them was a non-event. I just got up to go to school and left the crutches in my bedroom.

Getting myself able to play doubles tennis required careful analysis of what I could and could not do. For example, if I had set my hopes on singles tennis I would have been very disappointed. How I got to play doubles tennis very competitively required innovative thinking, persistence and keeping track of the details. The phrase…”The Devil is in the details” sure fit this challenge.

Lastly, it very important to carry a positive ‘can do’ attitude. If you fail, get up and try again. A positive attitude will give you another chance.


Jane, John and Bob  1971

Family 1970
Robert, John and Jane


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An Inspiring Account of Struggle and Recovery