On Sunday I was the speaker at a state-wide gathering of polio survivors. There were about 90 in attendance and I had a chance to chat with many of them before and after my talk. It is unusual to be with a group who all understand exactly what polio is, as well as the effects of post-polio syndrome (PPS). I felt a sense of community – the kind you get at a large family reunion. We came from different backgrounds but we shared an experience that was central in our lives.
Despite the abundance of new weakness, swallowing difficulties, fatigue, and other PPS symptoms, these folks were upbeat. Polio had not defeated them the first time around, and it isn’t going to beat them now, either.