An “oldie, but goody” 20-minute video of polio survivors discussing how they manage new physical issues…See more here.
PRESCRIPTION FOR PAIN (1990)
New pain, muscle weakness and general fatigue are common complaints of post-polio individuals who fought polio once and won, but are now reluctantly having to return to rehabilitation after a 30-40 year reprieve… Read more here.
WE CAME TO SEE THE ELEPHANTS (1990)
We were at a wildlife reserve in southern India waiting to see the elephants. As I gazed at the aqua blue mountain lake ahead of me, I was suddenly surrounded. A trace of fear bullet-shot through my veins. Gone as fast as it came, most of the fear vanished to leave me gazing up at seven Tamil Nadu women draped in full native garb… Read We Came to See the Elephants
RECOGNIZING TYPICAL COPING STYLES OF POLIO SURVIVORS CAN IMPROVE RE-REHABILITATION–A COMMENTARY (1991)
Frederick M. Maynard, M.D. and Sunny Roller, M.A.
…many polio survivors in the U.S. have actively been seeking professional help for a wide range of new physical problems, commonly referred to as the late effects of polio. Often, these persons require re-rehabilitation in order to continue their accustomed social roles. In our experience at the Post-Polio Program of the University of Michigan Medical Center, we have come to recognize among polio survivors three distinct patterns of emotional reaction to the need for re-rehabilitation. These patterns appear to result from characteristic styles of living with a chronic disability. We propose a model for categorizing polio survivors that is based on our observations. Although it is limited by over-generalization, we have found that polio survivors themselves have verbally validated our proposed categories at many post- polio conferences. Read entire article: Coping Styles
STAY WELL!: THE POLIO NETWORK’S MANUAL FOR A HEALTH PROMOTION PROGRAM (1991)
Michigan Polio Network. Sunny Roller, M.A. and Frederick M. Maynard, M.D., eds.
A hard copy may be obtained by contacting Michigan Polio Network.
Karl Menninger once said that “attitude is more important than facts,” and as a support group leader, I think his idea is accurate and applicable…Read more here.
ADAPTING TO ADAPTIVE EQUIPMENT ON OUR OWN TERMS (1994)
A presentation at the International Post-Polio and Independent Living Conference, St. Louis, MO
Adapting to adaptive equipment isn’t something any of want to do if we had our druthers. But staying in control of our lives and as liberated as humanly possible is something all of us can choose to do in our own way, in our own time, and on our own terms. Read more here: Adapting to Adaptive Equipment
HEALTH SPAS–CAN THEY SLOW THE PROGRESS OF DISABILITY? (1994)
In November 1992, we visited and stayed at three Bavarian health spas. We observed [and tried] sample treatments and asked questions about the unique European techniques and methods of support for helping people who are growing older with chronic neuromuscular impairments to stay well and prevent new disability. What could we learn and apply to our country? Read entire article here…Health Spas
RECOVERY FROM ORTHOPEDIC SURGERY (1995)
Having just finished a strenuous two-day training program and carrying a heavy book bag, my crutch tip hit some water and I hit the ground, smashing the wall, clanking a wastebasket, knocking the wind out of me, fracturing my leg. Read more here.
FAMILY REFLECTIONS: A DIALOGUE WITH MY MOTHER (1995)A presentation at the Polio Update Conference, Bethesda, MD
Is there someone in your life you’d like to talk with about the history of your polio experience? If there is, why not do it while there’s still time? Dialogue with Mom
HEALTH PROMOTION FOR PEOPLE WITH WITH CHRONIC NEUROMUSCULAR DISABILITIES (1996)
To avoid depression and reduce stress, people with the late effects of polio must be continually encouraged to use creative approaches to reduce their physical problems, many of which may be preventable…Polio survivors and our counterparts who have similar disabilities justly desire and deserve to maintain lifestyles that are as fully functional, diverse, and independent as possible…Read this book chapter click here: Women w Physical Disabilities
To purchase this book, Women with Physical Disabilities: Achieving and Maintaining Health and Well-Being, edited by Danuta M. Krotoski, Margaret A. Nosek, and Margaret A. Turk, go to An Interesting Book on Amazon.
WELLNESS FOR POLIO SURVIVORS — A RESEARCH REPORT (1998)
Two hundred women with polio took part in a study to test the effectiveness of a holistic wellness program at the University of Michigan. Final results showed that after a workshop of this length, awareness of good health practices increased, but a longer experiential program would likely be needed to demonstrate actual physical changes or improvements. This was the study’s halfway report. Read more here.
WELLNESS PROGRAMMING FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING CENTERS (2000)
Today individuals with a variety of disabling conditions from polio, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and spina bifida are not only flourishing, they are living longer than ever before. But as they live well into their fifties, sixties and beyond, they are at high risk for developing new debilitating secondary conditions. Many of these conditions are preventable through self-management tactics that can be taught in health promotion workshops. Currently several of these workshops are being offered at a few medical centers and Independent Living Centers (ILCs) across the country. Because these programs transcend the traditional medical model by promoting self-empowerment to achieve life-long high levels of wellness and independence, greater numbers of our nation’s ILCs may soon begin to consider and embrace this important new role: to sponsor and provide community-based wellness programs. Read more here,
Denise G. Tate, PhD, Sunny Roller, MA, and Barth Riley, PhD
Nearly one quarter (21.3%) of women in the United States are disabled–28.6 million. Although women with physical disabilities make up a large segment of our population, information is sparse about their characteristics, the barriers they face in their daily lives, their special problems and health care needs, and the quality of their lives–as individuals and as a group. In a culture traditionally dominated by non-disabled men, women with disabilities are devalued and forced to subsist invisibly along the perimeter of life…Physical Medicine and Rehab
REFLECTIONS ON SEPTEMBER ELEVENTH, COPING WITH THE LATE EFFECTS OF POLIO AND THE VITAL IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD BLUEBERRY PIE (2001)A speech delivered to University of Michigan medical students and the Troy, Michigan Post-Polio Support Group
We have all experienced the alarm, confusion and fear as a country under siege. We as polio survivors have also experienced the personal alarm, confusion and fear since the news came out almost twenty years ago about the late effects. Our bodies have felt the blows of age combined with gradual, yet early muscle and nerve breakdown. We did not expect it. In a sense, nature itself has terrorized us…Read more here: Refelections on 9-11
SELECTING A PHYSICIAN (2001)
Osler’s words remind us that a doctor must focus his/her skills toward healing of disease and the promotion of health. The effective physician must also possess the knowledge and the skill to educate and motivate patients to achieve higher levels of wellness. In turn, being a wise consumer is a basic foundation for receiving good health care. Read more here.
TO REAP THE REWARDS OF POST-POLIO EXERCISE (2002)
In this year, 2002, we know more about exercise for persons who have polio than we did fifteen years ago. There have been a variety of studies conducted by superb and caring scientists, along with numerous personal accounts from polio survivors, themselves, which warrant a new way of thinking about exercise. Read more here.
FROM VISIT TO VISION: A NEW DREAM FOR GEORGIA WARM SPRINGS (2003)
The American vacation is often a frenzied adventure exploring an enticing new cityscape or pastoral panorama. Once there, breakaway travelers, including those with disabilities, see-see-see, do-do-do, run-run-run, (or roll-roll-roll), then rush back to home and work, grateful for the chance to slow down and recover from vacation! These getaways can be fun-filled and a great change of pace, but they are not necessarily the most restorative, nor are they always the best for one’s overall health…Read more here.
It is said that when people experience a physical loss, they often use spirituality to make sense of it all. In particular, when people experience a new physical disability, they often use spirituality to make sense of it. As physical losses emerge, perhaps spiritual gains will nurture us into a new life meaning, a renewed sense of hope, and a transcendent deepening of the soul…Read more here.
POST-POLIO, MENOPAUSE, AND AGING: 13 MAJOR STUDY POINTS PROVIDE NEW KNOWLEDGE, CLUES FOR CARE (2004)
One thousand women with polio openly disclosed their menopause secrets with researchers at the University of Michigan…Read more here.
LIFE IN THE RETIREMENT LANE: OBSERVATIONS FROM A ROOKIE (2005)
So it goes once again, as has often happened in life as a polio survivor, I am creating my own life role descriptions, ignoring the norm and any false societal assumptions, and then helping the people around me understand and share my self-determined personal definitions…Read more here Managing Post Polio
For Managing Post-Polio: A Guide to Living and Aging Well with Post-Polio Syndrome, click here…
WE ARE STILL HERE (2005)
A presentation to honor Dr. Jonas Salk who was the esteemed guest at the 50th anniversary of the polio vaccine’s stellar success, University of Michigan, April 2005
“As we celebrate the stunning success of the polio vaccine today, I am honored to help commemorate the anniversary by sharing a very personal perspective with you…” Read more here.
Did you know that The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California has a website especially for polio survivors? It’s a place to exchange information and communicate with each other. Click on the logo below…
STUDY EXPLORES HOW CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES MAKE FRIENDS: HOW CAN PARENTS AND SCHOOL PERSONNEL HELP? (2006)
Pamela Thomas, Sunny Roller, Ann Scharnhorst, Sean Cunningham, and Seth Warschausky
Research has shown that children who do well socially in their elementary school years will perform better academically and have better social skills as adults. For children with physical disabilities, the challenge of developing friendships can be significant, especially if there is limited access to a range of social activities. In addition, there is evidence that children with disabilities are at risk for social isolation as a result of the stigma that society attaches to a disability and the lack of peer understanding about disabilities. Aware of these issues, researchers are asking, “What can parents and educators do to help produce sociable children who, in the midst of long-term disability, will enjoy committed companionships?” How Children with Disabilities Make Friends
MENOPAUSE CHARACTERISTICS OF WOMEN WITH PHYSICAL DISABILITIES FROM POLIOMYELITIS (2007)
Claire Z. Kalpakjian, Elisabeth H. Quint, Denise G. Tate, Sunny Roller, Loren L. Toussaint
With advances in health care, women with physical disabilities are living longer than previous generations and are making the transition through menopause in greater numbers than ever before. Of the 30 million women with physical disabilities in the United States, more than 16 million, over the age of 50 years, are constituting a large and growing population of women who have been relatively understudied in regard to their psychological and physiological experience of menopause. Women with physical disabilities in general have long been neglected in rehabilitation research and little is known about their menopause characteristics and the synergistic effects of physical disability and the menopause transition. Read more here: Menopause
AGING WELL WITH POLIO (2007)
Statistics show that we now have the same life expectancy as our non-disabled friends. How do we…face this time in life with hope and optimism? Wth the hypothetical “gift” of longevity, will our pain increase, our function decrease, our finances dry up and will we end up depressed , abused and lonely? Read advice from our “wise elders” here…Aging well
When minds and spirits open up, so do doorways and staircases which can either figuratively or literally lead to new heights in lovely places. Europe isn’t easy.
Well, life isn’t easy, but friendship makes all things better. Read about this Adventure in the Alps.
Her bright blue-eyed pre-kindergarten daughter lie flaccid in a hospital bed, almost completely paralyzed from polio. Now 60 years ago, that horrifying summer polio epidemic had swooped this young family into its vile clutches, never to fully let go during their generation. Read more here. (Scroll down once you are in the link)
Moving several steps beyond re-rehabilitation, retreats offer ongoing wellness approaches that promise to improve overall health and quality of life. Read more here.
EVER HAD A POST-POLIO “CO-INCICLE?” (2014)
When things look bleak, the memory of “co-incicles” can strengthen us, bring us back to the positive and improve our outlook for the day. When remembered regularly with awe and gratitude, they may even have the power to encourage us through new post-polio difficulties and dangers. Read more here. Ever Had a Post…
LET’S CLINK OUR CHAMPAGNE GLASSES (2014)
“We must SEE the delicious beverage – then TASTE the lovely wine – FEEL it on our tongue – SMELL the sweet aroma from the glass – lastly, we need to use our fifth sense so we ‘clink’ the glasses and HEAR the delightful sound …”
It’s time for us to have a wonderful party – a celebratory bash – to raise our glasses and communally toast having had polio. Three cheers for polio! We will clink together; then we will drink together!
For the complete essay, click on this link: Clink!