Changing lifestyle may become necessary as the effects of PPS begin to develop.
To maintain a sense of well-being, one must keep a positive mental attitude to health. This attitude can be developed by planning a program that meets an individual’s needs and changes in lifestyle.
Group counseling with other PPS people may help develop an acceptance of lifestyle change. The most important factor is to realize that you are not alone. Maintaining ones values, likes and self-worth will facilitate the process of developing positive mental attitudes. Finally, it is important for physical and mental well-being to have a balanced routine of work, rest and recreation.
“Mastering the Art of Coping in Good and Bad Times”
Written by Linda Edgar, R.N., Ph.D.
This book presents the 7 most effective ways of coping in a simple, easy-to-learn and understand way. The major coping skills are: ways of thinking, mindfulness, relaxation and imagery, goal setting, problem-solving, communication, and social support. For people who had polio, isn’t it interesting? Available in English only for the moment.
Available at the cost of 20.00 $. For more information please contact us by email or by phone.
Adjustment In Lifestyle
Changes in lifestyle may become necessary as the effects of PPS begin to manifest themselves. New signs of weakness, pain and fatigue may require the PPS person to adapt to a different lifestyle. For example, a person who was once ambulatory with walking aids may now have to rely on a wheelchair for mobility. Not all adjustments are this major. Sometimes the person only has to allow for more rest periods or cut back on the number of hours of working, etc.
L’Association québécoise de la douleur chronique (AQDC) (Quebec Association for Chronic Pain) has a mission to improve the condition of people suffering from chronic pain in Quebec and reduce their isolation.
The Ten Commandments Of PPS
10 “commandments” have been developped to deal with the after-effects of polio.
The Post-Polio Institute and The International Centre for Post-Polio Education and Research. Dr. Richard L. Bruno et Dr. Nancy M. Frick. Juin 1999.
To read this article, click here.
Some helpful hints include :
Make realistic goals.
Plan a basic daily and weekly schedule (not too rigid, but flexible enough to respond to body needs).
Identify priorities – these are the activities that are unavoidable and/or pleasurable (demanding activities should not be scheduled for times when you are most tired).
Use of aids such as crutches, braces or household adaptations may facilitate daily function.
“Post Polio Syndrome : The Australian Experience”
FILMS. 2005. Polio Network Victoria. English.
Australians who had polio are looking for strategies that can help them manage PPS. These group discussions are divided in eight short videos, available on Youtube.
To watch part 1, click here. [6:10 min.]
To watch part 2, click here. [4:17 min.]
To watch part 3, click here. [6:34 min.]
To watch part 4, click here. [3:28 min.]
To watch part 5, click here. [4:50 min.]
To watch part 6, click here. [4:58 min.]
To watch part 7, click here. [7:02 min.]
To watch part 8, click here. [5:14 min.]
The importance of one’s sexual identity and personal intimacy with the partner/spouse should not be underestimated. An important fact to acknowledge is that acute polio and PPS do not have any effects on the reproductive system, pot–ency and/or sexual enjoyment. If any problems arise, the PPS person should not hesitate or feel embarrassed about consulting a specialist in this area.
One important fact to consider is that there is no simple relationship between the severity of a disability and the degree of psychological impairment. Many people have lots of physical disabilities and their psychological dispositions remain unaffected. One must also consider the wide range of individual reactions to disabilities and their attitudes as well as their adaptability towards the disability.
Common reactions to disabilities are :
Introversion, spending time alone. Many PPS people may feel they are inadequate compared to the “normal” population.
Increased anxiety, stress. This usually occurs because the individual with new symptoms may be afraid due to minimal medical knowledge and awareness.
Frustration/depression. This is evident in some PPS people who had acute polio and are now faced with new disabilities that cause a great deal of emotional turmoil.
More subdued. Often seen in PPS people whose independent functioning has become impaired.
PPS is psychologically traumatic because :
The symptoms arise unexpectedly
The cause is unknown
There is a lack of knowledge and understanding in the medical community
There are feelings of isolation and desperation as the PPS person searches for answers; feeling of devaluation may occur.
PPS psychological sequelae can be divided into four stages that may or may not overlap :
The first stage is one of mourning, which is a normal feeling. This may result in a PPS person rejecting the use of shoe inserts, braces, wheelchairs, respirator, etc.
The second stage consists of devaluing physical appearance. This means placing more importance on emotional, personal and psychological aspects and less on appearance.
The third stage deals with enlarging the scope of values, i.e., awareness that values in work, study and leisure are more meaningful than the value of the physical body in judging self-worth.
The fourth stage deals with learning to value their potentials within the limits of a disability rather than judging themselves in relation to the “full function” population.