Living With Polio
A positive attitude about health and wellness is maintained by becoming an active participant in one’s health care, planning an individualized program, accepting the fact that some aspects of life will change with age, and believing one can control one’s health.
Attributes relevant in maintaining a positive mental attitude include:
- Optimism and hope. Believe that things can be better and hope for relief or improvement in the future.
- Control and self-direction. Take control over the disability experience and willingly direct one’s life. Plan ahead for the future.
- Commitment. Commit to something, such as religious groups, civic duties, hobbies, family, work. Stay involved and curious.
- Closeness or intimacy. Engage in personal and group relationships.
- Good health. Tend to a proper diet, appropriate exercise, and rest. Avoid excessive drinking, smoking, and other potentially dangerous social habits.
- Feelings and perceptions. Avoid guilt, anger, hostility, fear, anxiety, and feelings of low self-esteem. Perceive life and life events as challenges rather than threats.
- Flexibility and adaptability. Be willing to reorder priorities.
- Humor. Look for humor, especially in one’s own situation.
- Openness. Accept whatever comes along in life without blame and by forgiving people and oneself.
Excerpt from PHI’s “Handbook on the Late Effects of Poliomyelitis for Physicians and Survivors.” © 1999