I'm a polio survivor, an officer of the board of the Michigan Polio Network, Inc., and a volunteer in a specialty postpolio clinic. As such, I'm happy to see such an authoritative journal as Nursing2007 addressing postpolio syndrome ("Managing Postpolio Syndrome Pain," Controlling Pain, December 2006).*
Although no one in the United States has contracted naturally occurring paralytic polio since 1979, at our clinic we see many immigrants with postpolio syndrome (PPS)-some in their late 30s-who contracted polio before coming here. In addition, someone who lived with a person while he had polio may have contracted a mild case of polio without realizing it, putting him at risk for developing PPS.
Patients with PPS may not get appropriate treatment because they're misdiagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. All polio survivors must find a knowledgeable neurologist or physical medicine doctor for a thorough baseline evaluation to develop a treatment plan. Please continue to print articles about polio and PPS because many health care professionals and the general public need this information.
-BONNIE E. LEVITAN
Grosse Pointe, Mich.
*Individual subscribers can access all articles free online at http://www.nursing2007.com. [Context Link]