The Doctor's Problem Is Our Problem

It is a real problem for Post Polio survivors that most doctors are not current in their knowledge of polio and Post Polio Syndrome. Polio is "irrelevant today" in that there is sufficient illness' that need to be studied  in medical universities and research centers that doctors and students don't have time for "historical diseases", like small pox and polio, that have been eradicated (or nearly so in the case of polio) by vaccines. 

Don't be surprised if your primary physician is unacquainted with Post Polio Syndrome. When you bring the subject up and he seems vague as how to proceed, you have a dilemma of what to do. 

If you get on well with your physician, education him. 
A concise pamphlet for that purpose is available for downloading. It was originally written by Dr. Warren Anderson and the Medical Advisory Board of the Post Polio Program Easter Seal Society of Oregon. It is updated and maintained by the Medical Advisory Board of the Polio Outreach Advisory Counsel, A Working Advisory Council to the Easter Seal Society of Washington.

You may view this pamphlet now:  

PPS Pamphlet, View Now For your printer, download:  Pamphlet, Word Processors (50K Zip)  There are several formats (Word, WordPerfect, RFT, and ASCII line printer). Hand, or mail, a neatly printed copy to your physician, and take a copy to any new doctor you visit. Several other pamphlets and manuals are available on Post Polio Syndrome. Check the Quick Links page for other suggestions, and other PPS websites will have more. 

It may be that your present physician is not interested in pursuing medical information that you provide. This is his style of medical practice. It is easier to change doctors than to change doctor's minds. Start shopping for a replacement.  

[Go to Top of Next Column]

The Evaluation

If you are a polio survivor, it is imperative that you undergo a series of simple tests and observations, conducted by trained medical personnel, to determine your present physical condition. Therefore, your first task is to locate the nearest Post Polio doctor or clinic. Then call and talk to a counselor, and wrangle an appointment. About a month after the evaluation there will be a follow-up meeting with the doctors to discuss the results of the first visit, and you will be given recommendations and help to deal with your situation.  

At this time the way I know to locate a post polio clinic is to make inquiries on the news conferences. Write a message to "All" and state where you are located and that you wish to visit a clinic for evaluation. Sound advice will be forthcoming.  

Whether you currently have symptoms that may relate to post polio syndrome or not, do get an evaluation at a post polio clinic as soon as possible. The information that is generated will be heartening if all is well, and invaluable if there is a problem.  

[Go to Next Page]