Survivors Writes

Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.


 A potpourri of melancholy musings from polio survivors


“Oh, I was 150 pounds of rompin', stompin' hell, I'll tell you. I'd wrestle with my kids, I'd do 100 push-ups a day. Now, I can't even play with my grandkids. My arms are so weak, I'm afraid to pick them up,''
“People who've had polio know more about the disease than the students graduating from medical school these days,''
Unlike the use-it-or-lose-it philosophy used for other ailments, post-polio sufferers are taught to “conserve it to preserve it.'' “If you over exercise, it'll make you weaker. Fatigue is the enemy. Like the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race.''
“It's frustrating to realize you're not normal anymore, It's like getting really old really quickly. Something that would have taken me 15 minutes will now take 1-2 hours."
"we overdo it because we want to prove we are as good as others."
“I finally had to let go of pushing on and give myself a break. It was not easy to "give in" to PPS and I continued, stubbornly to work full time for much longer than I should have. I have no regrets but had I known what PPS involved I may have tried earlier to move into the slow lane - who knows?”
Polio Life
Free as the breeze as a butterfly be
Happy and sad
Forever I'll be
Happy cause you're here with me
Sad cause love can no longer be
Happy, sad and free am I
For all the world no longer cries
It came, it went it left its mark
All crooked, gnarled but free am I
Happy, sad, no longer ensnarled
Electric legs on batteries do run
Catch me if you can
If not so sad then happy I'd be
To ride, to glide, forever free
What is this what's left its mark
Once gone now rears its ugly head
For shame I'm not, life lived was full
Until the dread of polio instilled
It has returned in all its kill.
By Sylvia Smith