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Post-Polio Health (ISSN 1066-5331)

Vol. 31, No. 1, Winter 2015

 

Is It Post-Polio – Or Something Else?

Bruce Lambert, Hempstead, New York

Post-Polio Syndrome – oh, that devilish master of disguises and confusion!

As a polio survivor, I have been fooled more than once. My doctors, too, even the good ones.

When I first developed post-polio syndrome, I erroneously suspected other causes for my problems. Even a neurologist scoffed at post-polio as unlikely.

But eventually post-polio was diagnosed. Then I made the opposite mistake, blaming post-polio as the root of every new problem. Wrong, again.

Take the example of my right groin, which I injured four years ago. Ever since, it was sore and stiff with limited flexibility. The nagging discomfort drastically worsened last summer as my entire leg weakened. I limped and needed a cane, then two canes. I was alarmed.

From the start, my doctors (an excellent primary physician, two locally prominent neurologists and a pioneering post-polio expert) had assumed my groin symptoms were just another part of my late-effects polio. I accepted their assessment.

They were all wrong, and so was I.

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