Saturday, January 15, 2011


Here's Dad's polio leg brace ... one I think he borrowed from Franklin Roosevelt when they were at Warm Springs.

Sigh ...

I am sitting in the Barnes and Nobles, home again to take my shift helping Mom recover from her back injury and give my brother and sisnlaw a well deserved break from the same.

This weekend is the end of the semester both at my bricks and mortar school and for my virtual school students, so it's a tough time to be in a "no internet" house. In the lulls of caregiving, I dash out to McDonalds or B&N to access the net, check on my virtual school students who are desperately submitting last minute assignments and if time and battery allows ... get a post up so you know I am still here on the 3rd rock from the sun.

I'm also spending some time seeking info on Post-Polio Support Groups, Polio Orthotics, and resources available to polio survivors of " a certain age". (Thank you bloggy friend Dani for your great tip a while back!)

My folks are not the kind to ask for help and they don't do the internet, so imagine the resources they are probably missing out on.

I found some good resources, all saved as favorites, and all to be investigated at home where I can plug in and not be bothered by laptop battery symbols flashing ominously.

In a weak attempt to get at least a bit of Florida nature attached to this venting post, I present you with a picture of strong knees that need no bracing.


Dani said...

He is gonna be over the moon if you can snag him a new spiffy brace!

threecollie said...

Hang in there....I hope you can find just what you are looking for.
And the wv is nouncows
I wonder if they are like Holsteins only literate.

Dani said...

If he really wants something jazzy he can get them with different design patterns. My current pair have butterflies and the ones before were tie dyed.
It's just a transfer sheet that they apply when they're doing the molding stage of the brace.

Anonymous said...

Will you let us know if you find resources? Because I know someone who knows someone whose son made it a point of emphasis in his medical training so that he could help his grandfather. I don't know if the young man has a web presence, and we are half a continent away, but. . . I'm willing to attempt to make contact if you don't find someone closer. (You might remember me from a recipe to cookbook request.)

robin andrea said...

A new brace would be so excellent! I can't wait to read about that when it happens!

Caroline said...

My late father-in-law had a very similar brace on his left leg, polio at age 15, I think they are probably the same certain age. He also dealt with Post-Polio issues, there were just the very beginnings of support groups when he passed away in 2000. I hope you find those resources for him and your mother.

lisa said...

Hope you have good luck on getting a new one for him. Don't we all wish we could such strong knees as the bottom picture?!

kathy a. said...

as great as duct tape is -- maybe there's something better out there. yay, internets! support groups or services could be really great, too.

i think we forget sometimes how much vaccines have changed the medical landscape. your dad was probably one of the "lucky" ones who had polio, in that he suvived and has been able to do a whole lot of good with his life, despite that damage to his leg. go, dad!

how's your mom?

Miz S said...

Oh, FC. I feel you. Metaphorically.

I love our parents' generation. They are so stoic and so insistent on making do with whatever they have been doing/using for the last 40 years. Bless their stubborn hearts.

Hang in there, friend.

cndymkr / jean said...

Nice use of duct tape. There has to be a better brace. Right?

Floridacracker said...

Thanks y'all!

I am in a McDonalds drinking a coffee and grading virtual school student work before heading back to PFHQ on a rainy cold Florida winter day.

I appreciate every one of those comments whether you were feeling my pain or just relating because you know/knew someone who survived th is awful disease.

I cringe when I hear that 20% of new parents interviewed were not getting vaccinations for their babies thanks to some bad science well published by celebrity pretty faces.
If you follow the issue, you know what I'm talking about.


At least in Dad's case, Dr. Salk had not perfected the vaccine yet.

Swimming in the San Sebastion River here in St. Augustine with human feces occasionally floating by was almost certainly the cause of his childhood polio.

Ah well, we Pure Floridians are a tough lot.

As are you I'm sure.

Mom continues to mend. Spirits are good.

Wow, this coffee is good. That's almost a post ... and I held back, cause I gotta hit the road.

Be safe.

LaDivaCucina said...

FC, I'm so glad to hear you speak about those dumb, paranoid parents that refuse to vaccinate their children as it was the first thing I thought of when I heard your dad had it. I got into a huge argument with my cousin over it and his paranoia about it and told him he needed to have a word with our Great Aunt, who's in her 80's. I believe that all anyone who has doubts about vaccinations has to do is talk to an older relative about how damaging polio is and they'd change their minds. Fools.

Hope your pops gets his spiffy new brace and your mom recovers quickly.

kathy a. said...

re vaccines: don't know if you saw this piece about how the supposed link between the MMR vaccine and autism was fabricated. not just wrong, but the study was fraudulent. [via stayin' alive.]

as a parent, i thought science fair projects and such were valuable in teaching the scientific method; and those times when the hypothesis did not match the conclusion were particularly valuable. a cornerstone of the scientific method is honest reporting of results. if the results are disappointing, that's just part of the process. then the scientific mind moves on to figuring out why.

when somebody cheats at the science fair to present a better outcome -- junior is going to bask in teh glow of undeserved compliments, and become a worse person. a person less able to perform critical thinking, and more likely to seek glory above truth.

Gail Hunter said...

Hi FC -
Just returned from neurologist - I was his first pp patient. He's learned with me. I made him happy - he had a student sitting in. He asked me how old was I when I got polio. My big chance to tell him he was guaranteed a few more years in practice: I was 25, so there are 25 years of patients behind me! He smiled.

Luckily, I have my Florida: coast to coast series to work on - that keeps me busy and I can relive those happy years aboard both Andiamo (a cutter) and Ambler (an Albin 36.) Ain't memories great! Oh, and I forgot the Virgil P Gibney (my 43' houseboat that was home in Blackburn Bay - happy times!)

I wish your Mom a complete recovery +, and to your Dad, Keep on pluggin'. Every day on this side of the grass is a blessing!

Alan said...

Hope him and Aunt P gets well soon, Dad talked to her the other day cause I know he was concerned about them. Tell them I said hi as well.

Cousin Alan

tervy said...

I'm not a PP; but I do wear a polio brace; it is not nearly as; umm invasive? as your dads. Called a Swedish Knee Cage; many different styles available. Used to stop the knee from hyperextending. Another option I like the looks of is the Townsend Polio brace. Oh, and forearm crutches. So much better than a cane, or walker.