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I'm am writing on behalf of my role as primary caregiver for my deceased husband Hayward Spangler. We visited the post polio clinic in 2007. Hayward belonged to polio Epic in Tucson AZ
He contracted polio at age 14. He was 76 last year.
Please describe how polio has changed your life.
Polio paralyzed Hayward's left arm. Muscles throughout the body were partially atrophied. He had a problem in his right hand. He had problems with writing and any task that required opposing the thumb and forefinger or middle finger. Up until 2007 he had adapted well and retired from a 34 year career with the USDA as a research scientist. His research required manual dexterity. He suffered a fall and hit his head in 2006. He gradually declined after that. Suddenly he appeared to have a serious cognitive decline come on in January 2007. He lost physical function as well. He was treated for sleep apnea and had hyperbaric oxygen treatments in the office of A Tucson neurologist. Those treatments considerably helped his physical function. After discontinuing the hyperbaric oxygen,the physical problems returned after an extended period of time. I hired home care givers to help him with all addl. for 2 years. He had memory problems and difficulty with speech. He had had excellent speech therapy and behavioral optometry, but still could not communicate well. Last July I transferred him to assisted living because he was rebelling with certain caregivers and having frequent falls.. Medicare assigned him a wheelchair that he would use intermittently. The chair was a convenience, even though he was able to stand and walk. He could find his room easily and used his feet to propel the chair. The facility was an Alzheimer locked unit offering directed care with roomy hallways.I visited him often. He recognized me and other family members, children and grandchildren until the day he died. I was shocked. I had no idea he was close to death. He ate a Thanksgiving meal with me. The caregivers fed him as he could not wield utensils. He died on December 7, 2014. Just 3 days after he refused food and drink. I know that polio factored in to his decline. I did everything I could to help him. His obituary is at this link. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/tucson/obituary.aspx?pid=173423950
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