Shared peer advice from polio survivors about what works for them.

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Brian Tiburzi

Spirituality has been variously described as a person’s relationship with God, the holy, or the whole; beliefs about the meaning, purpose, or mission of life; feelings of interconnection with the universe or all living things; commitment to values, ideals, and altruism; and being open to the mystery of existence. Spirituality is not necessarily associated with religious membership, but is related …

Positive Attitudes

Brian Tiburzi

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 …


Brian Tiburzi

Indicators of coping were first described by Beatrice Wright (1982). Coping individuals focus on what they can do, rather than on what they cannot do; play an active role in their lives, rather than respond as passive victims; and participate in areas of life seen as worthwhile and meaningful. Problems are perceived to be manageable, rather than overwhelming. Personal problems …

Maintaining Health and Wellness

Brian Tiburzi

Good health is being the best that one can be – physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally and socially. Polio survivors do not need to constantly struggle from one health crisis to the next. While some health problems require professional assistance, your loved one can manage others. In addition to seeing appropriate health professionals to alleviate and manage the late effects of …

Lifestyle Changes

Brian Tiburzi

Making certain lifestyle changes is reported by polio survivors as the most effective treatment for the late effects of polio (Yarnell, 1998). Almost everyone who adopts such changes achieves some relief of symptoms (Westbrook & McIlwain, 1996). The change most recommended is the adoption of energy conservation techniques, which may involve the elimination, reduction, or modification of various physical activities. …

More Worry as I Age

Brian Tiburzi

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: The older I get, the older my friends and families are, and it seems that they have one illness after another. Then there are the kids and grandkids, all with …

Partner Abuse, Part 2

Brian Tiburzi

“Promoting Positive Solutions,” From Post-Polio Health (Volume 30, Number 4, pages 8, 9, 10). Part 2. Dr. Machell addresses female to male and same sex partner abuse: Intimate partner violence (IPV) isn’t just about male perpetrators and female victims. Men can be abused by a female partner. And in same-sex relationships men are abused by men and women are abused by women. Abuse …

Don’t Tell Anyone About Your Polio

Brian Tiburzi

“Promoting Positive Solutions,” Post-Polio Health, Volume 28, Number 3, Dr. Stephanie T. Machell Question: I found out I had polio when I was 55 years old. My mother’s explanation was that “the doctor told me not to tell anyone.” Can you help me understand why this was told to parents? Answer: Your experience is not an unusual one. I’ve had many clients who …

“They just want me to be like I was.”

Brian Tiburzi

Post-Polio Health, Volume 25, Number 4, Fall 2009. Dr. Stephanie T. Machell is a psychologist in independent practice in the Greater Boston area and consultant to the International Rehabilitation Center for Polio, Spaulding-Framingham Outpatient Center, Framingham, Massachusetts. Her father is a polio survivor. Question: I am getting weaker and my friends and family encourage me the find “the answer” and get …

Tired Husband: Guilt and Talking about It

Brian Tiburzi

Post-Polio Health, Volume 25, Number 4, Fall 2009. Dr. Rhoda Olkin is a Distinguished Professor of Clinical Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco, as well as Executive Director of the Institute on Disability and Health Psychology. She is a polio survivor and single mother of two grown children. Question: “I recently attended PHI’s 10th Conference in …