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65th "Unhappy Anniversary"

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  • 65th "Unhappy Anniversary"

    Today is what I have called my Unhappy Anniversary. 65 years of Polio paralysis. In case anyone's wondering what the early years were like back in the day: I attended an elementary school specifically for the 'handicapped'. Students were bussed there from all over the big city, and it was very difficult to form after school friendships, but got a good education there. We were later bussed from that school to the one high school in the city that had a ground level entrance and an elevator to all floors. Again, good education, but this was a high tech school that had students from all over the city. No after-school activity for me as I headed to the bus immediately after last class of the day.

    A paralyzed kid in those days had to be able to independently get ON and OFF the school bus in order to attend school. Those who could not accomplish this went on home instruction. Really! In my case I had to wear braces from waist down on school days. I was wheeled from home to bus in front of my house, and given one boost up to the first step at the rear door of the bus. Since there were two railings there, I had strong arms and was able to lean to the side to hike up each braced leg, getting up those big steps. Each step had a rubber "lip" that used to catch the toes of my shoes. Once inside I used the vertical grab-poles of the (city) bus to get to my seat in the right rear corner of the bus. By the time I got to school two hours later I was nauseous for another hour from the bus gas fumes, especially when a window was open.

    A mentally retarded girl with epilepsy was seated right near me on the bus so I could call for help if she began to seizure. She was a sweetheart who frequently asked me to "Tell me a story". She knew I liked sports cars and called me when she spotted one near the bus. Every Wednesday the bus attendant would have the bus stop at a candy store where those of us with a nickel could get something.

    In college, I lived in a dormitory 4 blocks from classes and wheeled around by myself. Wore no gloves in the Winter slush as once the pushrims on my 45 pound E & J wheelchair got wet there was no ability to grip them.
    Thankfully, voc. rehab. paid my tuition and dorm costs. No questions asked. No hoops to jumb through.

    I've been very fortunate with a career, a fine spouse (T-10 para), and family and friends. Truthfully, except for one or two road blocks, I would not change a thing.
    Last edited by triumph; 08-10-2014, 10:55 AM.

  • #2
    Blessings and salutations on your "Unhappy 65th," triumph!
    MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions


    • #3
      Congrats on 65 years of survival!! You must be one tough cookie!!

      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


      • #4
        Congratulations. When in high school I was one of the students who helped carry a classmate who was a polio quad up and down the stairs. In my senior year I became an SCI quad and was considered too disabled to qualify for even home instruction. I could not write or open a book. Two of my neighbors had polio and most of the rehab they got was done by their parents. Polio kids really had it rough in rural areas.
        You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @

        See my personal webpage @


        • #5
          Your handle Triumph, says it all.
          I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.


          • #6
            Thanks for your comments! I want to add that since finding CareCure I have found so much helpful information. My heart goes out to my fellow members - by sharing I renew my strength.


            • #7
              I can only say that I was relatively fortunate to sustain my injury in 2004. So much has improved for the disabled relative to the times described.
              When I read these accounts I'm embarrassed when I start to feel sorry for myself!