Daily Archives: October 23, 2015

World Polio Day

Dad always described it as the most terrifying day of his life.  Mom almost never spoke of it.

June 1949.

“We had a toddler — Beth was just beginning to walk.  Mom was expecting another baby in December.  It should have been time to celebrate.  Instead, suddenly, I was rushing my wife to the hospital.  I didn’t know what would happen.  I feared the worst.”

Dad had every reason to fear the worst.  Polio can cause death or total paralysis in a matter of hours.

In the U.S. in 1949, more than 40,000 cases of polio were reported, and nearly 3,000 deaths occurred from the horribly contagious, devastating disease.

My mother spent the end of her first trimester and much of the second in the hospital, encapsulated in an iron lung.  An iron lung enables the patient to breathe by using vacuums to force air into and out of the lungs.

Wikipedia Image

Wikipedia Image

Poor mom also received constant electric shock therapy, up and down her body to stimulate the muscles and keep them from atrophy.  Thankfully, the treatments worked.  Not only did my Mom survive, but the combination of treatments she received enabled her to live a normal life — without the paralysis that impacted so many of the disease’s victims..  In fact, to look at Mom, you couldn’t tell that she was a polio survivor.

It was only in photographs that anything appeared amiss.  Mom had always been a beautiful woman — but she was unwilling to have photos taken of her right side — because the camera picked up the remnants of polio’s paralysis.

Mom at my wedding.

Mom at my wedding.

You can bet that as soon as the Salk Polio vaccine was available, Mom and Dad lined up the five of us kids, including my brother Bob, who was in that iron lung with Mom, for those shots.  Because the old adage is true:  An ounce of prevention IS worth a pound of cure.

Saturday, October 24 is World Polio Day.  It is a day that celebrates the incredible progress scientists have made against this horrible, debilitating, deadly disease.

In recent years, many folks have forgotten the devastating effects of these diseases.  Forgotten just what the costs of these disease are — to the individuals infected with them, and to society.

Vaccines are developed to prevent — TO PREVENT! — devastating diseases.  Polio.  Rubella.  Mumps.  Measles.  The safety profiles of the vaccines is excellent.  Far better in fact, than the safety profiles of the most common OTC meds we all pop at the drop of a hat, or the hint of a headache.


Filed under Adult Traumas, Crazy family members, GET VACCINATED, Health, Mom, Mom Stories, Vaccines

Legally Blonde

This may be as close to a “Get Out of Jail, Free” card as we can get!

With this post, Lorna of Lorna’s Voice shows those of us with only Google-oriented photography skills just how to stay out of jail! Whoo Hoo!

Thanks Lorna!

Lorna's Voice

Oh, who am I kidding? I could never be here. My hair is too short. Oh, who am I kidding? I could never be her. My hair is too short.

If you’re like me (and who wouldn’t want to be like me…well, okay, don’t answer that), you enjoy fun and interesting pictures to adorn your fun and interesting bloggity blog words.

I mean, what’s a post without pictures?


Boooorrrring. (Unless you’re Stephen King, and I’m guessing he doesn’t blog too much).

I knew the man couldn't be writing all the time. But wait. Did he write the song he is playing? Probably. I knew the man couldn’t be writing all the time. But wait. Did he write the song he is playing? Probably.

But what if you’re like me and are photogenically-impaired?

No. No. No. I didn't mean that you are poppy-faced ugly. I meant you can't take good photographs. No. No. No. I didn’t mean that you are poopy-faced ugly. I meant you can’t take good photographs.

What if you have to rely on other people’s images to help your blog visually pop?

You (and by “you,” I might actually mean “me”) could get into a hurt locker full of trouble.

In this country…

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Filed under Humor