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Post-Polio Health (ISSN 1066-5331)

Vol. 17, No. 4, Fall 2001
Read selected articles from this issue ...

Emotional Bridges to Wellness
Linda L. Bieniek, Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP),
La Grange, Illinois

Editor's Comments

Transitioning to a Wheelchair: An Exploration of Our Fundamental Fears
Linda Wheeler Donahue, Professor Emeritus of Humanities and President,
The Polio Outreach of Connecticut, Southbury, Connecticut

Cardiovascular Issues of Polio Survivors
Rupert D. Mayuga, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine/Cardiology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois

Addendum to Breathing Problems of Polio Survivors
Polio Network News, Volume 17, Number 2
Judith R. Fischer, Editor, IVUN News, Cypress, California, and
E.A. (Tony) Oppenheimer, MD, FACP, FCCP, Los Angeles, California

Update: Outbreak of Poliomyelitis – Dominican Republic and Haiti,

Acute Flaccid Paralysis Associated with Circulating Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus – Philippines, 2001

Editor's Comments ...

Joan L. Headley, Executive Director, GINI (now PHI)

Twenty years ago in October 1981, our organization hosted its first conference on new problems facing the survivors of polio. Held in Chicago, this important meeting brought together survivors, health professionals, leaders in the ventilator industry, and policy makers. The candid discussions ended the isolation of many and began a collaborative effort that continues today. We salute our founder, Gini Laurie (1913–1989), for her foresight and perseverance.

October is also the time the popular press promotes the flu vaccine for the season that runs from November through April. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that those people who will benefit the most from the vaccine – those over 64 years old and those with chronic (long-term) health conditions – get their shots as soon as vaccine becomes available, which is now. Every year we receive calls from panicked polio survivors saying that they heard that polio survivors should not receive the flu vaccine (most often, after they had).

According to our Medical Advisory Committee, there is no reason why having had polio should preclude a survivor from getting the flu shot. To the contrary, physicians urge their patients to get the vaccine, especially if they have respiratory muscle involvement due to polio.

This fall, I had the opportunity to visit a few post-polio groups and discussions were held, formally and informally, about change. Why do we? Why don't we? Why is it so hard to do? Can we learn to change? This issue offers two honest and related articles. The cover article sets the stage for change by focusing on how we treat ourselves, and the other encourages us to try change.

Other discussions and observations from the fall meetings necessitated the inclusion of an addendum to our "Breathing Problems of Polio Survivors" (Vol. 17, No. 2). One article describes the Equipment and the other clarifies Oxygen Use. These articles are coupled with cogent comments from a cardiologist about our need, as aging polio survivors, to be aware of cardiovascular disease.

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