The Presence of Polio

Spring-ThawReblogged from Journeys

I have spent much of the past few months addressing Polio related issues. Working with a Polio knowledgeable therapist has helped me revisit the illness and its aftermath, understand some of the new challenges I, and other Polios face, and acknowledge some of the losses associated with Polio. The therapist has given me information to read and poked sore areas of my psyche with skill and kindness.

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Polio Over Coffee

Coffee -at -BarrioThis morning I spent 45 minutes or so in our local bakery. That, of course, generated a journal post.

The other day I was speaking with the Polio Psychologist at Spaulding Rehab. As we were chatting she asked how it was to find myself aging more rapidly than my friends, and for this to have been of rather sudden onset. I considered this question as I sat in the bakery, surrounded by people much younger than myself, one of whom was clearly temporarily disabled. (The psychologist insists, rightly enough, that everyone who is not disabled is “temporarily able.” Continue reading

Sofa Journeys

Winter-EveningThis winter’s ice and cold, along with some Post-Polio and other health issues, have kept me pretty much at home except for work. The majority of my journeys have been through books read on the sofa, where I’ve been curled up in an electric blanket.

Recently the psychologist at the Polio clinic suggested I read Breath, by Martha Mason. This is a memoir written by a woman who at age twelve contracted Bulbar Polio; she spent the rest of her life in the iron lung, dying in 2009. She is believed to hold the record for most years spent in the iron lung, 61. Her story puts my own Polio experience into perspective; although I spent a week or so in the iron lung, I am unlikely to have to return to it (a fear I share with many of those who used the iron lung). Continue reading

The Olympics, Polio, and the Medicine Wheel


This is a reblog from my Dreaming the World blog.

I am an elder, and as such I am given the task of teaching and supporting the young. On the Medicine Wheel of this lifetime I am in the Northwest, the place of honoring the challenges of my life, understanding them as best as I am able, and sharing what I have learned with others. Perhaps you will share your thoughts about the thoughts I offer below; I would greatly value that. Continue reading

Just another addict


Cynthia Coleman is a very thoughtful person. Her grip on the human condition is firm and her heart compassionate. Here she writes about the real suffering caused by addiction. `

Originally posted on Cynthia Coleman's Blog:

addictionAbout a year ago a smart and cheeky piece on addiction changed my perspective.

The last time I thought about taking heroin was yesterday, wrote Russell Brand in 2013.

Sober and drug-clean for a decade, Brand talks with self-deprecating humor about his addictions.

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Life At the Interstices

Museum of Science, BostonLast week’s post now seems lifetimes ago. The past week has been occupied by an outpatient surgery, and as my surgeon predicted, I have been slow to recover. The surgery lasted about an hour and the effects of the anesthesia and trauma will likely last a couple of weeks. This is day five and the fog remains thick, although it lifts periodically. I have a couple of more surgeries coming up as both wrists need carpel tunnel repair due to overuse, the classic Polio challenge. Luckily they require only regional anesthetic so the recovery should be considerably easier. Continue reading