About This Website
Polio Survivors In The 21st Century
An Ad-Free and Non-profit Website
April 10, 2018-
I have had this domain name since 2006 but recently lost the website from computer programming problems. I discovered the web-builder I was using to maintain the website was outdated and had been discontinued. All things happen for a reason so I suppose it was an indication the old site was in great need of a redesign. I am now in the process of rebuilding from scratch and can't believe how time consuming and complicated it is! While setting up this new site I felt “security” and “privacy" was extremely important. Beside my domain's url was a broken “i” with a circle indicating it was "insecure and susceptible to hackers". I immediately contacted my web-host. They explained to me I needed an SSL Certificate which stands for "Secure Sockets Layer" . Even though this website does not contain confidential information, I felt it should relay confidence to my visitors that this is a safe website. The green "lock" before the URL address sets my mind at ease.
Polio survivors are very important to me because I am one. I felt alone for many years until the internet became a part of our lives. I'm hoping this website will let other survivors know they are not alone and give visitors a reminder of how the polio virus changed lives and the world. This entire website's customization/design and content was placed here by me personally.
Most of what you will read and see will be:
- About my personal thoughts and experiences as a polio survivor. (Please forgive my grammar, spelling and writing skills.)
- Credits given for public domain and non-copyright photographs and videos that helped to make this site possible.
- Articles and clip summerazations from other polio related websites which will include a referral link to those sites.
This site's logo was professionally customized back in 2006. It represents what many survivors are going through with “Post-Polio Syndrome” PPS. It is a person standing with the arrow pointing to a wheelchair. This signifies how PPS has forced many to return to a wheelchair.
I vaguely recall as a three year old I was bedridden for months experiencing excruciating pain. For three months I received excellent treatment at the Warm Springs Foundation Hospital in Warm Springs GA. This life saving hospital was founded by a man who I have admired most all my life. His name was Franklin D. Roosevelt. I was paralyzed from the waist down but with therapy I eventually went from bed to wheelchair and crutches. I was fitted with full length steel leg braces, back support and of course crutches. Some years later I was able to give up the wheelchair and eventually, at age 17, I literally threw away my crutches. As with many of you, "can't" wasn't in my vocabulary and I could do most anything I put my mind to.
As Polio Survivors aged we began to have joint and muscle pain, extreme weakness, cold intolerance, sleeping and breathing difficulties and easily losing our balance. I for one began to fall more often when a knee(s) would buckle for no reason. Some of us began to stumble on a simple thing like a crack in a sidewalk! After numerous injuries from these falls we were forced to go back to crutches and/or a wheelchair. Our good muscles began to weaken and atrophy as the remaining injured and overworked neurons began to die. We tired easily, both physically and mentally. Our condition was quickly reversing itself!
Unfortunately my symptoms of decline persisted. I began to lose most of what I had gained through the years. I would mention the different ailments to Physicians but I came to the realization they knew very little about how post-polio was affecting survivors in the post-polio years. I eventually stopped mentioning any of the symptoms of PPS I was having. Almost every physician I saw began to convince me it was all in my imagination and there was no such thing as post-polio syndrome. Family, friends and co-workers seldom understood what I was going through. To say I felt alone is putting it mildly so I kept my mouth shut. I didn't want it to seem I was becoming a habitual complainer out for pity and sympathy or being a hypochondriac. I suppose I was just wanting them to be patient with me, understanding and encouraging. I began to feel I was being lazy, unmotivated, unsociable and at times, worthless.
As polio survivors, we fought hard to overcome many of the obstacles life put before us. Most of us made great accomplishments because we had faith, determination and believed nothing was impossible. Not only did we have a powerful determination to overcome our limitations but the majority of us were stubbornly independent and felt a strong need to be humanitarians, giving our all to help make life better for others. We had something very special called "empathy".
In our later years there was an enemy within us that began to surface. It came to be called “Post-Polio Syndrome” (PPS) which began to take over our lives. The key word is, "Syndrome". Meriam-Webster gives this definition, " a set of concurrent things (such as emotions or actions) that usually form an identifiable pattern". With PPS and the aging process we began to lose physical and mental strength. We went from walking, back to crutches and eventually a wheelchair.
Life for the polio survivor in the 21st century is a constant struggle against an enemy which we will never allow to take away our dignity, independence and quality of life! Living with the after effects of the polio virus gave us extraordinary “strength” intellectually, mentally and spiritually.
We are survivors!
Thank you for visiting.
James E Davis aka Bubba
"What do you mean, 'If I can'?" Jesus asked. "Anything is possible if a person believes." Mark 9:13-NLT
FDR Was Not An Invalid or Cripple
One man who helped shape me through life was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States of America. His Presidential term ran from March 4, 1933 – April 12, 1945. I have placed this section on the homepage because of the great legacy FDR has given past and present Polio Survivors.
His influence began on me the day I was stricken with the polio virus. As a Christian I can tell you the Lord has blessed me all my life and FDR's legacy was one of many blessings given to me. I believe wholeheartedly most Polio Survivors are humble, kind, and compassionate human beings. We forgive easily and give all we can to help ourselves to help others who are hurting. FDR demonstrated this through his years as a polio survivor.....
Here are excerpts from an article written by Joseph Hartropp for "Christian Today": ".....the three-term serving Democrat who saw America through the Great Depression, World War Two, and faced his own crippling battle with polio. The White House website says that FDR "helped the American people regain faith in themselves". Looking at his life, it seems America's 32nd president couldn't have done that without his faith in God."
Mr. Hartropp stated: "FDR's economics were rooted in the Bible's teaching on social equality and love of neighbor. In his words: "We call what we have been doing 'human security' and 'social justice.' In the last analysis all of those terms can be described by one word; and that is 'Christianity'. Roosevelt used the Sermon on the Mount in support of his vision and quoted the Beatitudes explicitly in his Christmas Eve address in 1939. In the same speech he said:
"Let us rather pray that we may be given strength to live for others." On another occasion he put it thus: "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."
The article went on to say, "Looking into the days to come, I have set aside a day of prayer, of asking forgiveness for our shortcomings of the past, of consecration to the tasks of the present, of asking God's help in days to come. "
"We need His guidance that this people may be humble in spirit but strong in the conviction of the right; steadfast to endure sacrifice, and brave to achieve a victory of liberty and peace."
"Our enemies are guided by brutal cynicism, by unholy contempt for the human race. We are inspired by a faith that goes back through all the years to the first chapter of the book of Genesis: 'God created man in his own image.'...We are fighting, as our fathers have fought, to uphold the doctrine that all men are equal in the sight of God."
Every polio survivor was affected by the virus in different ways. FDR's limitations appear to be very similar to my own but his paralysis was a bit more extensive. Also one thing that may have made a difference is I was a child of almost four and FDR was an adult of 39 at the time of our illnesses. Why do I bring this up? Mainly for the fact I grew up with a great deal of knowledge about him and he gave me a sense of hope because of his great accomplishments.
Recently I have been doing extensive online research for this website. I can't help but disagree with a much of what has been said about FDR. I'm convinced, he was able to rely on his great upper extremity strength to compensate for his weaker lower extremities. Another thing that angered me is the statement, "He couldn't even put his own pants on." Of course he could put on and pull up his pants! It takes effort but I'm confident he could have. I've dressed myself almost everyday of my life and its basically all in the hands and arms. Why am I harping on about this? One word, "Dignity!"
People with post-polio, as demonstrated by President Roosevelt, were/are experts in learning and knowing how to compensate and overcome their limitations. "Yes", FDR did go out of his way to disguise his disability and "no" he was not in denial. He knew beyond a doubt people would focus (tunnel vision) more on his visual appearance and judge him to be an "invalid" and "cripple". Had the public seen more of his physical limitations you can be certain he never would have become President of the most powerful nation on earth!
I believe Polio Survivors and people with noticeable physical disabilities can connect to FDR in ways no one else can. We had to work twice as hard in life to prove to ourselves and others that we were capable of great things and FDR did!
My personal belief is as Polio Survivors, "our bodies may have limitations but our mind and spirit is limitless and life does NOT owe us but we owe life!
James aka Bubba
Seldom have we heard words
like this from any President.
"Did FDR have Guillain-Barre and not Polio?"
Many said he couldn't walk? I disagree! Like me, I'm sure he walked by faith!
I searched for a better copy but could not find one.