The following was first published in the May 1998 Rancho Los Amigos Post-Polio Support Group Newsletter and is reprinted here with kind permission of the author, Mary Clarke Atwood and the Rancho Los Amigos Post-Polio Support Group.

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CONTROL YOUR DESTINY II
with Dr. Jacquelin Perry
Reported by Mary Clarke Atwood

Rancho Los Amigos Post-Polio Support Group Newsletter - May 1998
Editorial assistance by V. Duboucheron, J. Perry

We deeply appreciate Dr. Perry's willingness
to respond to the questions on the following page:
ASK DR. PERRY


World renowned polio specialist Dr. Jacquelin Perry was the featured speaker at the Rancho Los Amigos Post-Polio Support Group meeting on December 6, 1997.

Since retiring after 40 years of dedicated, full time county service, Dr. Perry continues her work at Rancho but in a new capacity -- as a volunteer. Because she continues to believe that post-polio syndrome is under-treated by the general medical community, the Rancho Post-Polio Clinic remains open and she continues as chief of Post-Polio Services. Dr. Perry also volunteers as medical consultant for the Rancho Pathokinesiology Lab. When the opportunity arises for her to speak at worldwide conferences or lectures, Dr. Perry uses the occasion to educate other medical professionals about PPS. We appreciate this annual opportunity for her to educate us, the polio survivors.

As time passes it is becoming more and more clear to Dr. Perry that we as polio survivors have more control over our future than anyone else. Therefore, she chose to repeat last year's title for this talk, Control Your Destiny. This presentation was based upon questions submitted to Dr. Perry by newsletter readers.

ADVICE   Don't Push

At least half of the 1.5 million people who had polio have post-polio syndrome. Nothing has been added, PPS is a loss of function. The problem is that a survivor's lifestyle now exceeds his physical ability.

Dr Perry advises, "Don't push the system". She believes a polio survivor can control loss of function by controlling overuse of muscles. The way to do this is by making lifestyle changes, modifying activities, and pacing.

Polio survivors should know their own muscle strengths and plan accordingly. A study by Agre related to exhaustive fatigue confirms that:

So it becomes necessary to make lifestyle modifications. Dr. Perry advises patients to:

  1. Figure out what you don't have to do.

  2. Get others to do the heavy work.

  3. Break up work periods with rest periods.

  4. Don't pride yourself on working harder.

  5. Pain is a sign of injury and overuse so just don't let it happen. Figure out what causes your pain and don't do it again.

HOW YOU CAN HELP YOURSELF

Dr. Perry's general activity guideline is that a polio survivor can do anything as long as it causes

  1. NO PAIN and

  2. NO FATIGUE that lasts longer than 10 minutes

If you are experiencing new weakness, fatigue, or pain you can help yourself now by changing your lifestyle and pacing yourself.

Survivors can control their destiny by avoiding muscle overuse strain. But Dr. Perry cautions: "Polio survivors who overuse muscles will lose strength."

We deeply appreciate Dr. Perry's willingness
to respond to the questions on the following page:
ASK DR. PERRY


Reprinted from Rancho Los Amigos Post-Polio Support Group
Newsletter
May 1998
© Rancho Los Amigos Post-Polio Support Group Newsletter
and Mary Clarke Atwood

The Rancho Los Amigos Post-Polio Support Group meets the 4th Saturday, from 2:00-4:00 in Downey, CA.
Contact: RanchoPPSG@hotmail.com for more information.

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