May, 1999 Meeting Notes

by Fredson T. Bowers, Jr.

The May 15 meeting at the church drew about 55 people and featured physical therapist Linda Wobeskya who has spoken to our group before. She concentrated on the three major symptoms of post-polio syndrome - new weakness, fatigue and pain - describing each and outlining treatment methods.

She spoke at length about exercise, always a confusing topic for most of us. Appropriate exercise should be non-fatiguing so that one does not feel tired when finished, and weak muscles which are already being overused should not be exercised at all. Muscle pain is a reliable indicator of muscle damage so that, contrary to usual wisdom, no pain = gain. Researchers are still investigating how much exercise is both effective and safe.

Fatigue can be managed through the use of assistive devices and pacing one’s activities, perhaps with the assistance of a "pacing coach" with whom you feel comfortable and who can help you to prioritize your activities.

Linda also mentioned how to help your physical therapist understand post-polio syndrome in general as well as your own particular situation by providing as much information as possible. There were a number of excellent questions and knowledgeable answers, and the meeting was followed by refreshments and an opportunity to socialize.

Many thanks to Linda Wobeskya for coming to share her expertise with us. Also, our appreciation goes to the volunteers who helped with refreshments, the literature racks, sound system and cleanup after the meetings.

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