She was a remarkable woman whose methods are still being used today.
Sometimes we older folks talk about the old days. I think many dwell on the old days and don't pay enough attention to what's going on in the world today. That being said, I was trying to remember, this morning, what my first remembrances are from my childhood. I think the first thing that I remember was the move from Chicago to Elgin, Illinois. We lived by the lake and Mom would take me everyday, in the summer, to the beach. She never learned to swim...we would sunbathe. She thought this was the healthy thing to do. I was probably 3 yrs old at the time. My Dad changed jobs and a move was going to be made. We left Chicago and moved into the tiniest house you ever saw in Elgin. Three rooms...just enough for three people. It was there that I first became ill. I was having chills, fever, tiredness, and then trouble walking. The Doctors said...growing pains...she'll grow out of it. Finally I was taken to a new doctor who said it was polio. My mother was sure that I had caught it by going to Lake Michigan. I remember my Grandma coming and she and Mom would put hot packs on my leg....and work with me daily to try to get me up and going. She was my Sister Kenny. Eventually, I was able to walk again and have only a little bit of a crooked leg...one that gets very tired now in later years, to show for this disease. Everyone my age can remember children in leg braces, on crutches, sitting in wheelchairs, or flat on their backs in terrifying iron lungs. The iron lung was for people who couldn't’t breathe on their own, whose diaphragms had been temporarily or permanently paralyzed. There were children who were put into iron lungs for days, months, sometimes years. There are cases today of children from the 1950s still living in iron lungs. I have a friend whose Mom was in an iron lung. I remember all the rest of my growing up years, summers meant always resting after swimming or other physical activity, going to bed in the summer while my friends were outside playing, wearing those awful high top shoes, keeping my leg warm on hot days, having to learn to skip in first grade, not being able to roller skate or ride a bike long after my friends had learned, we avoided crowds during the hot summer, and were scared every time I would be ill. Finally the polio vaccine came on the scene and things improved.We have learned a lot since that time. This frightening disease is not the scare it once was. This is a first summer memory that came into my head this morning. Not a pleasant first memory, but how fortunate I was to have loving people take care of me and help me get better....even when I resented all that hovering at times.