Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Making Peace with Polio - Passion for Spaulding

At my husband's new job, he has a flexible health spending account which I learned I could use for massage sessions and for my Aquatics Therapy sessions at Spaulding Rehab as long as I had a letter of medical necessity.

I must say that even though Dr. Darren Rosenberg who heads the Post Polio Clinic in Spaulding Framingham and I might not have always agreed on my healing path, he has been there every step of the way to support me on my journey.

Here is what he wrote in the letter of medical necessity:
I am overseeing Ms. Mary McManus for Post Polio Syndrome, a chronic neurological condition. Due to Ms. McManus' history of paralysis due to polio, she suffers from upper and lower extremity weakness and pain. In order for Ms. McManus to prevent further decline and preserve her current level of independence, I deem it medically necessary for Ms. McManus to have Massage Therapy as well as Aquatic Therapy.

I am doing extremely well for a 60 year old with a history of paralytic polio. I live a full, vibrant and active life. But from time to time, I have reminders of polio - tremors, fatigue, weakness especially on my left side, coordination and balance issues that manifest as I challenge myself with strength training and finding my aquatic strength through the Aquatics Therapy program at Spaulding Rehab. Yet I have a heart full of gratitude and realize how fortunate I am to have been able to heal physically, emotionally and spiritually. This past weekend was a very busy weekend. Thursday evening a trip to Target to stock up for our water table stop. Friday grocery shopping. Saturday a joyful 7 miles and more grocery shopping. Sunday - water stop for L Street. Yesterday and today I have needed to take naps and I do notice that my system needs time to reset. Sometimes I do forget and get ahead of myself but rather than fight to overcome what is happening or experience frustration, I feel a beautiful sense of peace with the residuals of polio that manifest from time to time in my body.

And that brings me to the subject of my passion for Spaulding. Spaulding was there for me in October of 2006 when I was so frightened of what was happening to my body, mind and Spirit. I was a proverbial hot mess and had no idea what my future held if I had a future. Spaulding was there for me as I crossed the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and now again through the Aquatics Therapy Program.

I was in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel celebrating Spaulding and the Race for Rehab Team on 4/15/13 and now I want to be there for Spaulding to raise money to support two of my friends' Boston Marathon run and fund raising efforts.

With 75 days to go, we are counting down and getting ready to Sing Boston Strong at these two phenomenal fun(d) raisers to benefit Spaulding Rehab:

Karis' Karaoke for a Kause happening on 2/20/14 from 8:00-10:00 pm at the Limelight Stage and Studios at 204 Tremont Street Boston. Suggested minimum donation is $20 and you receive a Take a Chance ticket to be entered to win an autographed Tom Brady Jersey. And don't worry if you're too shy to step up to the mic, we'll have plenty of people singing strong. Cash bar and appetizers. If you are unable to join us, with a minimum donation of $35, we'll enter you in the drawing to be held on 2/20/14. Read Karis' story on her fund raising page and make your donation today. Silent Auction Items include autographed books by Bob and Lee Woodruff, A Cape Getaway Weekend, Celtics and Red Sox Tickets, Gift certificates to Stapleton Floral Design and Marathon Sports.

An Evening of A Cappella to Benefit Spaulding Rehab happening on 4/4/14 at Boston University. Terpsichore, Boston University's premier all female a cappella group will be your host from 7:00-9:00 pm at Sleeper Auditorium located at 871 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA. The evening features performances by Terpsichore, the BU Dear Abbeys, BU's In Achord and Bostonality, a post collegiate a cappella group. Minimum suggested donation is $10. Make your donation to Greg Gordon's fund raising page and in the comments section note that it is for the benefit concert.

It's been an incredible 7 year healing odyssey since I took those first very tentative steps at Spaulding Rehab's Post Polio Clinic. Now that I have found my strength, and made peace with polio, it's time for me to help give back. I hope you will join me!

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