A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Summer Disease from Long Ago

This is Sister Kenny my personal miracle worker....Maybe you would like to read more about her. Here's a website...http://www.teachspace.org/personal/research/poliostory/sisterkenny.html
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.



ellen said...

Oh, yes, yes, yes I remember Polio Season and the fear so well.
I was born in Jan. 1942 in Honolulu, just after Pearl Harbor.
We did call it a season and we were not allowed to swim in public pools, go to the movies etc. It was very scary.
I also remember being quarantined for some fairly normal childhood illnesses. I also have vivid memories of my mother cutting up an aspirin in small pieces, putting it in a teaspoon with honey for us to take.
I had whooping cough as a baby, though I don't remember it, I remember vividly my parents talking about nearly throwing me back to one another to get me to breathe.
So many memories of days gone by..thanks. Take care, e.

OhioMom said...

I am a "boomer" ... remembering how we all were assigned different public buildings to report at to receive the flu vaccine ... and thinking what type of medicine comes in a sugar cube ?

coolwaterworks said...

One of my maternal uncles has the polio disease... But i never saw him being limited in any way by his condition...

Thank you Balisha for sahring your story... Mothers and grandmothers are the best! Oh, what would the world do without them? :D

Tam said...

Thank you for sharing your story, Balisha.

I remember watching the movie about Sister Kenny (with Rosalind Russel) with my father and grandmother and talking about those times.

Balisha said...

We are so fortunate that Moms and Dads don't have to worry about this dreadful disease any more. Hopefully those days are past...now they are concentrating on cures for other diseases.Our scientists are such dedicated people often struggling to get the funds to continue their work.