SAPP Saskatchewan Awareness of Post Polio Society Inc.


SUZANNE'S STORY


If paralysis infantile means polio, then September 30, 1947 I went to Ste Justine Hospital in Montreal. I stayed there until October 9. I was three years old. They told to my family I had this sickness.

Many years after, I was 14 years old, in February 1959, the Health Department vaccinate all the children in my school except me because I had already the polio. Then February 19, I got sick with fever and a cold. Every time I tried to walk my leg wouldn't support me. The February 21 at Notre Dame Hospital after a lumbar puncture they declared that I had polio. The virus touched only my right leg. They transferred me to Pasteur Hospital where I spent six months. After days on the first floor because I was contagious, they move me on the 4th floor where Dr. Maurice Mongeau with help of physiotherapists was trying to make my leg work again.

First I received these hot treatments the first month and after I was going to the pool for the exercises. It was very painful. Following this I began to do exercises with weight-spring . I was going to bike 20 minutes every afternoon. Every morning, I was going to school to finish my Grade 8.

I was a very bad patient. I didn't listen good the teacher. I read all the books in the library. I was fare from home, therefore; visitors were rare. The staff was very nice. The older ones were allowed to watch T.V. late if Dr. Charbonneau was not aware of it. I was feeling free there. The six months there were great. At the end of August, I passed ten days in the Rehabilitation Center to outfit me with shoes and braces. Also I went home with a cane.

Why it was very interesting? They brought us to the Forum for the circus. During the summer, we went to the beach in a pique nique. I went to my sister wedding in June. In July, I went with a nurse to her house by bus in Anjou.

Outside the hospital, I felt my problem while inside the hospital I felt myself. In September, I went back to school. I felt different. Teachers set me apart. At home every thing was fine. My family never considered me different. My brothers tried to make me skate on the river, but it was too hard. I was able to slide.

After two years, I left my cane and braces in the closet. In my mind I always thought I was different. It was unconscious but really present. After my teacher training I taught in my town for four years. I decided to go in the third world country. It was the best experience of my life. Over there nobody ever asked me what my problem was. One thing, It's always been adults asking this stupid question never children. I know now after this experience that I went away to prove to myself that I was able to do it.

My handicap never stopped me from travelling alone. I had been working in Louisiana, Toronto and now I am in Saskatchewan. I never has time to get married. In 1988 to 1994, I was living with a man but the polio never was a problem.

I used to cross country ski but no anymore. Since August 1994, my leg has given me some trouble. I had an inflammation of the nerves in my right leg. I was not able to hold my ankle but I saw Dr. Hader and Sankaran with no success. In November, I saw Dr. Donat and told me that i had an inflammation to the nerves. I went to get reflexology with essential oils. My leg was feeling stronger, my ankle gained some strength but still not like before. I don't have any pain. In May 95, Dr. Donat gave me protein. I was allergic to it. I received just one time. I can't say it help.

At the same time my relationship ended, I went through menopause, I wondered if my sadness was related to those conditions.

Now I feel better, I use a cane for shopping, going to walk for long time and I have never fallen again in winter. I don't use high heel shoe any more. I feel more comfortable in a covered shoe with good support. If I don't eat too much acid food, I feel better. The acidity gave me pain to my nerves. Why ??

I went to study computers and secretary courses for one year. I was like a young girl. I hope to find a job and begin a new career. I feel young again.
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