Date: Sat, 30 Dec 2000 11:55:02 -0500
From: "Eddie Bollenbach"
My 21 year old has had repeated problems with his ankles. Neither his primary doctor or the sports doc were able to give him any ideas as to what the problem might be, until he told them that I had had polio. Now they say it is a form of arthritis caused by my having polio. Any thoughts, comments, etc.? I am having trouble buying this line.
Dxxxx, you didn't have acute polio (fever etc.) when you were pregnant with your son, right? Twenty one years ago we were clear of the polio epidemics. If your polio infection happened before pregnancy there is no clear path from it to your son's foot problems. I'd really like to know the basis for his doctor's conclusion about your polio causing your son's foot weakness. It isn't plausible given the information you provided.
Also, when you say he has arthritis are you talking about bone and connective tissue degeneration, or soreness in the muscles (like Fibromyalgia), or weakness in the muscles supporting the ankles? Even if your son had polio the virus doesn't directly cause arthritis.
Muscle weakness due to polio nerve damage should characteristically show up on EMG. Has he had an EMG? The doctors at the HMO (or lackeys at the HMO, whichever you prefer) would have a field day denying a request for an EMG test given the theory provided by his physicians.
Lastly, your question did sound Lamarckian, which is an antiquated belief that aquired traits (paralysis from polio) are passed on to offspring. We've known for a long while that the only traits passed on are on genes inside cell nuclei residing in the ovaries, in your case. The polio virus didn't infect your ovaries, and even if it did it couldn't go inside the nucleus of an OOGONIUM (baby talk for egg cell precursor) where the genes are. So it couldn't alter them. If polio altered those genes you probably wouldn't have your son because mutations like that are lethal to the egg. But polio isn't the kind of virus that can do this anyway.
I'm confused as to what his doctors are saying. Hope they aren't as bad as they sound.
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