The Oklahoman just had a really interesting article up on polio support groups in Oklahoma City:

Oklahoma City polio support group helps residents understand disease

I freely admit to forgetting the real-world side of my research, at times. Especially for diseases like polio, which have been eradicated in my country since before I was born– my study/interest in them is purely academic. Its not ‘real’ anymore– its a very interesting chapter in a history book.

This article was enlightening. Polio is not just something that happened long ago in a galaxy far, far away. There are people who are still suffering from the aftermath of polio infection right here in Oklahoma City. The gentleman they chose to interview for the Oklahoman article, Frank Thurber, is just wonderful– 6’7″, full basketball scholarship for college… and then he got polio.

Six months before the vaccine was released.

God damn… all the kids who got sick right before the vaccine came out…

*sigh*

It was really interesting to read his (obvious) take on the vaccine:

“It would just be criminal not to vaccinate your child in America,” he said.

When the polio vaccination came out, people around the world celebrated.

“I kept thinking, ‘The generations that aren’t going to have to mess with this stuff – isn’t that wonderful? The mothers and fathers that are not going to see their children go through this.'”

And his perspective of the iron lung is something that I had never thought of before. When I see those pictures– row after row of little ones trapped in those iron boxes… terrifying, horrifying… but not to Frank:

The iron lung would help pull a patient’s chest muscles outward, which would help the patient’s ability to breath, Thurber said. It wasn’t painful but actually comfortable.

“When I see an old report on polio, and I see the iron lung, I have a warm feeling for it because it saved my life, as it did millions of others,” Thurber said.

Wow. That is a really positive way to look at things.

Comments

  1. #1 MikeMa
    March 26, 2012

    Remarkable how short the memories are as people are claiming they want exemption for their children so they are not forced to vaccinate them. Polio may not be a threat in the US today but HiB, measles, and the other child killers and maimers are on the rise as the result of science, math and statistics illiterates.

  2. #2 Charl
    March 26, 2012

    A friend’s dad had polio. I remember being very small and asking why he had a hunch back, a limp, and an odd voice (he bit part of his tongue off while he had polio). He’s had post-polio problems since I was a teenager. Why you would want to risk that…

  3. #3 Lsuoma
    March 26, 2012

    George Carlin, who only died quite recently, used to discuss in one of his sketches the fear of polio when he was a child.

  4. #4 dustbubble
    March 26, 2012

    “Polio fucked up my body a little bit. The left-hand side got a little screwed. Feels different from the right.”
    Neil “Shakey” Young

    “The secret to Mitchell’s daring guitar work is that she uses more than fifty different tunings. Mitchell devised the alternate tunings to compensate for a left hand weakened by childhood polio.”
    His friend Joni too, age 9. She nearly died of measles before that even.

    I remember kids with caliper irons on their legs at school.

  5. #5 Wookie Monster
    March 26, 2012

    My mom caught polio at age 4. The vaccine was available in the US at the time, but not yet over here. In her later childhood she used to have nightmares of being trapped in a tube that made strange noises, because one of her roommates in hospital was an iron lung patient. (And a few years later she witnessed her sister coming down with mumps encephalitis.)
    My mother was one of those who seemed to have recovered completely, only to have post-polio bite them in the backside decades later. My childhood and youth were very much affected by her suffering and slow decline into wheelchair dependency and heavy duty pain meds.
    Did she get us kids vaccinated? You bet she did. We got pretty much every shot she could get hold of.
    Anti-vaxers can go DIAF.

  6. #6 D. C. Sessions
    March 26, 2012

    I remember standing in line — looooong lines — to get the “sugar cube:” oral polio vaccine, when it first became available. $HERSELF was one of the test subjects for the IPV, back before the Francis field trial.

    And the current occupant of the house my family lived in when I was born (60 years ago) is one of the youngest members of the post-polio support society in the USA, much like your basketball player.

    It’s very strange trying to imagine the world that the antivaxxers live in, where measles is a harmless disease and polio is nothing to worry about. Because to me (and don’t even think about mentioning them to my mother!) they’re the reason I grew up with kids who were deaf, blind, partially paralyzed, or just not there when school started in September.

    I grew up afraid of them because I saw, up close, how my parents were terrified of them.

    And now they’re (mostly) gone. Including that sucker that’s totally gone — I’ve got the scar on my arm from the vaccination to that one and am glad that it’s one thing y’all will never have to worry about.

  7. #7 augustine
    March 27, 2012

    “Antivaxers are obviously not suffering from post-polio syndrome”

    Yep. What’s your point? Don’t get vaccinated. Don’t get polio? That’s pretty much what happens. Are you suggesting something much more dire? Would you like to expound on risk factors for paralytic polio or would you prefer to pretend that every single individual has the EXACT same risk? Could you also explain the dynamics of diagnosing polio vs. acute flaccid paralysis during 1955 and why it’s such an accurate diagnosis? How old are you again? Are you a doctor or a a student? How long have you been a doctor?

    http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/sebin/m/b/meier.pdf

    Next, we said, the diagnosis of polio is tricky, but
    we need to have the entire country’s physicians
    participate, because we can’t look over every case
    where there’s some kind of paralysis. So physicians
    reported the cases they thought were polio according
    to the protocol, and we accepted those cases. Now,
    about half those cases were probably not polio at all,…

  8. #8 augustine
    March 27, 2012

    Half the case they THOUGHT ( doctors) were polio were NOT polio. Did you get that? Do You understand what that means?

  9. #9 augustine
    March 27, 2012

    Do you understand how diagnosis changes can effect the changes in the effect of a vaccine?

  10. #10 augustine
    March 27, 2012

    Do gothic school chicks understand the natural history of polio virus in a population or do they assume the assumptions of their teachers?

    Could you give us an accurate natural history of polio virus for the last 500 years to assure us that the vaccine is without short term or long term side effects and is soley responsible for ridding the world of acute flaccid paralysis?

  11. #11 augustine
    March 27, 2012

    How many conscientiously informed educated non-vaccinators have come down down with paralytic polio in the U.S. in the last 20 years, ERV? How many? How many in India have gotten vaccine derived paralytic polio in this year alone? How many, ERV?

    Can you tell me what my 2 daughters risks are? CAn you? I don’t think you can. In fact i KNOW you can’t tell me but I’m sure you’ll tell me that i indiscriminately need to get government/university/pharmaceutically approved vaccines.You’re so smart.

  12. #12 Wookie Monster
    March 27, 2012
  13. #13 dean
    March 27, 2012

    “Can you tell me what my 2 daughters risks are?”

    Their primary risk is that they have for a father a congenital liar who apparently ignores their health.

  14. #14 Poodle Stomper
    March 27, 2012

    Don’t feed Augie. Augie is an idiot that is best starved of the attention he clearly craves.

    My roommate in college had a polio leg, despite having been born long after polio was eradicated from most places. The part of India where he was born and raised still had outbreaks and he contracted it. It’s sad how many idiots forget what life was like before vaccines. As Paul Offit stated in several of his books, vaccines are the victims of their own success.

  15. #15 David
    March 27, 2012

    @7 – 11

    That freaked me out a bit. I mean this is some kind of modern, western HYSTERIA – in response the the succesful NEAR ERADICATION of risk of horrible disease.

    Is this reflective of ‘educated and informed’ opinion?

    I presume you have read those tables by now and calmed down, and being educated and informed, put your energy into something far more useful, like campaigning for traffic calming mearsures or something, and I guess you will have a zero tolerance for your daughters ever drinking, playing contact sports, horseriding, stepping out the house…

  16. #16 cynical1
    March 27, 2012

    Little piece of trivia for you, Abby. The inventor of Ziagen (abacavir) was an (American) polio surviver born before the vaccine. She has since passed away but I worked with her for a number of years. Very smart lady. Maybe her childhood disease inspired her to work in antiviral research.

  17. #17 Prometheus
    March 27, 2012

    augustine@#11

    I’m assuming you are a troll. If you are not…

    “How many conscientiously informed educated non-vaccinators have come down down with paralytic polio in the U.S.,ERV?”

    The question assumes there is such a thing as a conscientiously informed educated non-vaccinator.

    Res ipsa loquitur. All non-vaccinators are deranged careless ill informed monsters who should have, as the penalty for risking the well being of their children on a hipster fad, chair restraint while a sadistic taxidermist replicates the effects of small pox and polio on the clay of their own uselessness.

    By the way…

    “Can you tell me what my 2 daughters risks are?”

    To be rendered orphans if they infect my pre-vax newborn daughter with a disease preventable by their scumbag complete failure of a woo peddling anti-father.

    Does that clear it up for you pseudo-intellectual pretentious pop culture noisy shitheel?

  18. #18 David
    March 27, 2012

    @ 11

    Oh and for any more fretters, vaccine related polio is a very rare – (initially 1: 2.5 million?) thing, now not found in the western world.

    It is a sad unforseen consequence of poor hygeine in some countries making the oral vaccine not safe where wild strains can easily mix. It is not some hidden danger built into the carelessly made evil poison that is the vaccine. It is an enviromental problem that unfortunately makes the cheaper and easier form slightly problematical.
    Experts here will know more.

  19. #19 augustine
    March 27, 2012

    Prometheus

    To be rendered orphans if they infect my pre-vax newborn daughter with a disease preventable by their scumbag complete failure of a woo peddling anti-father.
    Does that clear it up for you pseudo-intellectual pretentious pop culture noisy shitheel?

    Are you threatening to kill me? You seem to have worked yourself up into an emotional, irrational, unreasonable hissy.

    First of all, how would you be able to determine if your “pre-vax” daughter became infected by failed medical vaccine cases or simply my daughters? I would like to know the pragmatic nature of that. Or would you just throw critical thinking out of the door and assume?

    What makes you believe that all infections are bad? What about subclinical infections that result in lifetime immunity? Would you kill me for that(given that you could even prove the above)?

    And not vaccinating does not equal infectious or sick.That’s uncritical propaganda that you’ve bought into. If you’re that paranoid of germs and so cocksure of vaccines then perhaps you should get all of your childs vaccines immediately to make sure she is “good to go”. Multiply that by 10,000 because she can handle the antigens according to the “go to” vaccine experts. It’s near 100% safe and surely that many vaccines they’re bound to protect her. YOu can do this you know?

    Prometheus, you have become delusional and unhinged about mass vaccination. No more making up deadly, highly unlikely, hypothetical scenarios. No more making vigilante threats for said make believe scenarios.

  20. #20 Prometheus
    March 28, 2012

    “First of all, how would you be able to determine if your “pre-vax” daughter became infected by failed medical vaccine cases or simply my daughters?”

    New Born infant before sheduled vaccinations=pre-vax.

    You don’t get a virus from a vaccine unless something is profoundly wrong.

    You don’t get a virus from a vaccine you haven’t had unless you are part of a profound congenital idiot’s fantasy.

    You are demonstrably that brand of idiot.

    Again, hope I cleared that up for you.

    Not vaccinating your children puts us all at risk by creating polka dot problems and compromise herd immunity .

    It is a proven established consequence of your behavior that everyone is at far greater risk because of your decision.

    If my baseless decorous decisions in contravention of all credible scientific medical and historical wisdom injured, maimed or killed your daughters, what fate would you have in store for me?

    A harsh letter to the times?

    What a pathetic excuse for a father you are.

    Who is your pediatrician?

    Madame Blavatsky?

  21. #21 augustine
    March 28, 2012

    Prometheus

    New Born infant before sheduled vaccinations=pre-vax.
    You don’t get a virus from a vaccine unless something is profoundly wrong.
    You don’t get a virus from a vaccine you haven’t had unless you are part of a profound congenital idiot’s fantasy.
    You are demonstrably that brand of idiot.
    Again, hope I cleared that up for you.

    Once again you assume and you’re wrong. Let me clear it up for YOU. Apparently since you assume that vaccines are 100% effective you made the error that I couldn’t possibly be referring about vaccine failure in someone who has been vaccinated but infected your daughter.
    Your immature emotional logic is on par with kill’em n hang’em mob mentality.

    So now that you’ve been shown the error in your hot headed ways I’ll let you try again. What pragmatic way can you tell if your hypothetical scenario was caused by a vaccinated persons or my unvaccinated perfectly healthy daughters?

    I’ll give you the answer when you fail to satisfy the reasonable question.

  22. #22 Prometheus
    March 29, 2012

    augustine@#11

    “I’ll give you the answer when you fail to satisfy the reasonable question.”

    Sorry to have mistaken your fantasy.

    So to recap…. if my infant daughter, prior to reaching her vaccine schedule for a dread disease contracts said disease, it will probably be from an individual who contracted it from a defective or defectively administered vaccine rather than transmission from an “100% organic” child of a father hip to big PhARMA’s master plan to get rich by killing us.

    Did I grok your riff righteously this time dude?

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