The Polio Paradox: What You Need to Know

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9780446690690: The Polio Paradox: What You Need to Know
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Polio is a disease of paradoxes, the major one being that although the threat of the ``dreaded disease'' ended with the Salk vaccine in 1954, many polio survivors are now experiencing the onset of ``Post-Polio Syndrome'' (PPS), new but related symptoms which may include chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, intolerance to cold, and more.

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Outlining a program equally useful for those suffering from CFS, fibromyalgia ME, or post-polio sequelae, The Polio Paradox enables patients to overcome the emotional issues surrounding the disease and begin a helpful regimen of long-term self-care. Using simple diagrams and illustrations, along with plenty of references to medical studies the world over, Dr. Richard Bruno has written a straightforward guide that deals with both the physical and social concerns these illnesses raise.

The first section of the book outlines the recent history of the poliovirus, and how it affected, and continues to affect, several generations. From childhood agonies to adult experiences of extreme fatigue that worsen when patients attempt to stay active, every stage is examined, with a special focus on both how the virus works and how surviving the disease often resulted in a host of social stigmas. In blunt, often humorous prose, Bruno outlines recommendations to aid in dealing with recurring symptoms.

Admonishments like "walls, furniture, and spouses are not assistive devices" and "brake before you break" are aimed at helping patients develop a reasonable exercise program in combination with curtailing exhausting activities and gaining an understanding of how to live with a chronic, potentially debilitating illness. Supplying both a historical perspective and a healthy dose of practical support, Bruno offers an excellent and thorough introduction to the world of post-polio management. --Jill Lightner

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Dr. Richard L. Bruno lives in Englewood, New Jersey.

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