19 June 2020

Published June 17, 2020 by rochellewisoff

Like us on Facebook 

The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

CLICK!

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 100

A STROLL ALONG THE BEACH

My seventy-four-years-young grandmother walks beside me with a slight limp.

“Did you have an accident when you were a girl, Nan?”

“Polio.”

“Why aren’t your legs deformed like the kids in those old films?”  

 “I was only five at the time.” Nan’s eyes mist. “My mother defied our doctor, who wanted to shackle me with steel braces, and took me to one of Sister Kenny’s treatment centers. There they wrapped my legs in hot wool and forced me to exercise.”

“Didn’t that hurt?”

“Like hell.” She grins and skips toward the ocean. “Last one in the water’s a rotten egg.”

 

CLICK FOR MORE

100 comments on “19 June 2020

    • Dear CE.

      I, for one, am grateful for polio vaccine that became available when I was but a toddler. I learned of Sister Kenny when I read Alan Alda’s autobiography “Never Have Your Dog Stuffed.” He was stricken with polio when he was 7. His parents took him to one of Sr. Kenny’s controversial treatment centers. What a pit doctors pooh-poohed her methods, isn’t it?
      Thank you re my story. 😀

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • I looked her up. She wasn’t a real nurse, but self taught. She was in the military. G.K. Chesterton was a self taught unofficial journalist and philosopher too. Maybe it was really common during their era

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Larry,

      ‘Tis true, she wasn’t a trained nurse. Nonetheless, she saved so many children from a life of braces and wheelchairs. Among them, Alan Alda, Martin Sheen and Dinah Shore. Thanks to her, occupational therapy has rehabilitated others with disabilities. Glad that you looked her up. 😉

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • I think polio needs to be talked about more often. Devastating for victims. I cringe every time I hear the anti-vaccine mob because I think polio. Be cautious with new vaccines (fair argument) but the old ones are generally safe.

    Great story. Sounds like nan was a blast to be around.

    Like

    • Dear Susan,

      This is indeed based on facts. Sister Kenny had to fight to have her treatment acknowledged despite her many successes. Nan is fiction, but she represents a host of others who didn’t have to be confined to braces or wheelchairs. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • A bit of history I didn’t know, including that Alan Alda had polio and his Sister Kenny’s type treatments for his recovery (from the Wikipedia article you referenced). Nice story and I’m sure grandmother will be skipping on the beach for years to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    What a fabulous story to share… Goes to show, doctors don’t know everything and trained nurse or not, she had an instinct that she stuck to and helped so many. Cheers to the pioneers who stay far away from the naysayers!

    Shalom and lotsa skipping to the ocean love,

    Dale

    Liked by 1 person

  • Well done, Rochelle.
    I too lucked out during the polio days, esp since our next door neighbor had it (he recovered well) and their house was quarantined. That is how learned the meaning of that word. I can still see the sugar cube, best shot I (n)ever had, and I had many.

    Bill
    PS: my lap pool opens Monday and I have a reservation. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Bill,

      The sugar cubes, thankfully, came into being before I was finished with vaccinations. 😉 Today I am grateful for those dreaded polio shots.

      Glad you’ll soon be back in the swim. No one understands the depth of that joy like another swimmer.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle,

    I was at school with a girl who’d had polio. If only Sister Kenny had treated her, rather than doctors, she wouldn’t have had to suffer having her dominant hand twisted around at an odd angle and locked there permanently. She was an amazingly positive, clever, brave and kind girl — a bit of a hero to me, really. Thank you for reminding me of her.

    Thanks for introducing Sister Kenny to me in your illustrative and moving story. You are so good at your little histories.

    All best wishes,
    Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sarah,

      Polio was such a devastating disease, wasn’t it? I’m grateful for the vaccine. But what a pity doctors wouldn’t listen to Sister Kenny. How many more children could have lived normal lives, free of braces and crutches?

      Thank you for your generous comment. So good to see you here. 😀

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Rochelle, I love the story. I’ve heard of Sr. Kenny, but did not know much about her amazing work.

    I think the photo is one of the most frightening ones you’ve used, and I have to admit that I’m searching for the connection between the photo and the story? What am I missing?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Anyone who lived in a place called Nobby is all right with me. I enjoyed your story. Your grandmother seems to have been one of the lucky ones. Another amazing contribution to the betterment of our world by someone I’ve never heard of.

    Unfortunately, this is my takeaway. I’ve heard of polio but didn’t know what it was. It conjures a vague image of kids in leg braces. I clicked the poliomyelitis link on the Sister Kenny page. This jumped out and slapped me in the face, “Poliovirus is usually spread from person to person through infected fecal matter entering the mouth.” WHAT?????

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Nobbin,

      I missed the part about polio’s relationship to fecal matter. At any rate, I’m glad you liked my story. Apparently there were quite a few lucky ones that doctors refused to recognize back in the day. Thank you for your affirming comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Josh,

      I was two when the vaccine became available. To me, polio was a shot I had to be dragged into the doctor’s office for. 😉 My brother and I were lucky. So many children weren’t. Thank you re my story. I’m with you on not living in my own time. 😉

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Great story of another lesser known piece of history — not the Polio, which many know about, but the treatment that saved some bigger suffering and could’ve saved more. I know people who were not so lucky. PT and OT would not be what they are today if it weren’t for her, I think.
    Nicely done!
    Now, I’d SO want to skip into the ocean!
    Na’ama

    Liked by 1 person

    • Na’ama Y’karah,

      It’s a pity Sister Kenny’s not more widely known. But she was, after all, untrained and, worse, a woman. She did as much for the medical profession as Jonas Salk with the (thank God for it) vaccine. Thank you for your affirming comments as always.
      I’d love to skip to the ocean and dive in. 😀

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

      • Indeed! There was a story just the other day about Marty Goddard, who invented and advocated for the Rape Kit, and yet was erased from history and her contribution forgotten (and the co-opted by a man, how unsurprising). We have a long way still to uncover and celebrate the many contributions of women, and you are doing a good service to all of us unearthing some of those!
        XOXO
        Na’ama

        Liked by 1 person

  • Now where’s the “Love” button when you need it? I followed the link to the article about Sister Kenny. Sounds like she was ahead of her time. You bring me another outstanding person from history. Thanks, Rochelle!

    Liked by 1 person

  • My son was born with bi-lateral talipies, club foot, both of his feet pointing inwards. Instead of invasive surgery he was lucky enough to receive the Ponsetti treatment, which is the manipulation of the bones when really young rather than breaking and setting. Every week we would go into Birmingham Children’s Hospital, to have his legs stretched and moved into a position nearer normal, then set in plaster for a week. Every week we would return, the plaster would be removed, his feet manipulated and re-set. This went on for 6 months. Then he was given boots and a bar to hold his feet in place, he wore this contraption 24/7 until he was 3, then he wore it just in bed until he was 5. He had a small operation on a tendon after that and now his feet are as normal. He’s the fastest runner in his year, and has a mean right foot in football (you say soccer, incorrectly!) The National Health Service is a wonderful institution and needs protecting, i fear this government has other ideas.

    Like

    • Dear Shrawley,

      All I can say is “Wow!” I have a good friend who was born with clubfoot. She has quite a few horror stories and a lot of ongoing issues. Kudos to you and the NHS. Thank you for sharing your story.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Such an inspiring story in this day of fear and dreaded disease. The story of polio has much to teach us. I like historian Jon Meecham’s treatment of it on his podcast Hope Thru History. May there be a Sister Kenny out there, ready to alieve the worst aspects of the current threat with innovative treatments, and soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Funny how the word polio used to strike fear and dread. I still rememer classmates with calipers. My father was an anti-vaxer in today’s terms so I remember those times vividly. I’d not heard of Sister Kenny, but there’s always rooms for new and diverse treatments in my book. Nice one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Sandra,

      I was still pretty young when the vaccines were made available. The words “polio shot” used to strike terror into my heart. 😉 Now I see a doctor who says, “if it works, do it.” I think she would’ve supported Sister Kenny. Pity more didn’t. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Ronda,

      In Alan Alda’s autobiography he recounts how painful the treatments were. Nonetheless, that pain was nothing compared to being crippled for life. Definitely worth it. thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Neat story! I’m sure your parents remembered those days when polio was a devastating illness and an outbreak had occurred. Dad most certainly remembered. Yes, Sister Kenny marched on and kept on! Good stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Kent,

      Alan Alda, Martin Sheen and Dinah Shore were/are walking tributes to Sister Kenny’s method. I’m sure with two young children in the height of the Polio pandemic, my parents remembered. For me I remember the dreaded polio shots, being drug into Dr. Cohen’s office by mom and Aunt Edith. Muchos thank you.

      Shalom,

      Cuzzin Shelley

      Like

  • After watching the movie about her, I was amazed that she stuck to her guns and continued to make it a lifetime work. I am old enough to remember the sugar cubes and took them in school. Great educational story.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Querida Rochelle,
    A well documented story of an illness that affected so many.
    My hubby was one of those victims. His strong and way-ahead-of-her-time
    mother wouldn’t hear of him never walking again. Praise her strength and
    fortitude. He does have a slight, very slight limp but he can walk and overcame
    the disease.
    Hope you have a wonderfully safe and peacefil weekend.
    Abrazos y Carino, mi amiga
    Be safe … Be healthy … Be happy
    Isadora 😎😍

    Liked by 1 person

  • A lovely tribute to Sister Kenny, Rochelle. I remember when the polio vaccine was developed. I was in grade school when I took it. One of my best friends was given the task by her mother to message here youngest brother’s arm affected by the disease. He was left with no effects.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Suzanne,

      I remember both the shots and the oral vaccine. I was so happy for the latter. 😉 So many children were stricken. In retrospect I’m grateful that neither my brother nor I came down with it. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

    • My brother, twenty years older than me, had whooping cough and my mother said it scared her half to death. It seems every generation catches something that doesn’t yet have a vaccine. I caught mumps when I was an adult and my children caught chickenpox. —- Suzanne

      Like

  • Speak to me so I know someone's reading me. (Your comments brighten my day.)

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google photo

    You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Addicted To Living

    learning from one crazy experience to the next.

    saania2806.wordpress.com/

    Philosophy is all about being curious, asking basic questions. And it can be fun!

    Invincible Woman on Wheels

    Conquering the World

    This, that and the other thing

    Looking at life through photography and words

    Kelvin M. Knight

    FLASHES of inspiration. SHORT deliberations. STORIES for all.

    Na'ama Yehuda

    Speech Language Pathologist, Writer, Blogger -- musings, anecdotes, stories, quotes, life lessons and growth

    Diane's Ponderings

    Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

    Jellico's Writing Nook

    A cup of coffee and a quiet morning respite to write

    Penz-o-Paula

    Paula Shablo

    Sarah Potter Writes

    Pursued by the Muses of prose and poetry

    Sammi Cox

    Author Aspiring

    Neil MacDonald Author

    A writer's journey

    Autumn Leaves

    For those who enjoy fiction

    Native Heritage Project

    Documenting the Ancestors

    Living In Eternity

    If Eternity Is Forever, Am I There Now?

    Rereading Jane Eyre

    Author Luccia Gray

    zicharonot

    Catskills Memories, Genealogy, travel and commentary

    e.l. dalke: survivor

    a journey of fractures, in my own words

    Creativity for You

    Posts about creativity from Thomas Ward, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Alabama.

    WHAT PEGMAN SAW

    a weekly flash fiction prompt inspired by google maps

    Lori Ericson, Author

    An author's perspective of mystery and more.

    Alyssa Davies

    You Can Never Be Overdressed or Overeducated

    Write already!

    Write, write, write...

    The Off Key Of Life

    Or….Identifying The Harmless Unhinged Among Us.

    %d bloggers like this: