A Testimonial to E.C. Rosenow’s

Therapeutic Polio Vaccine



Treva Davis and S. Hale Shakman



1.  Background Emails

July 28, 2009 - August 30, 2010

Treva Davis & S. Hale Shakman


2.  STRICKEN  by Treva Davis




Because email correspondence between us tells the  marvelous story of how we had connected six decades following her bout with poliomyelitis, it is incorporated herein in totality. 


This is followed by the text of her story, “Stricken”, in her own words, which was able to be completed with the help of the email correspondence.


The full text of Treva’s story, "Stricken", is also posted separately.


S. Hale Shakman, April 13, 2015

Subject:  Polio Treatment in 1947


Tuesday, July 28, 2009 8:26 AM

From: "Treva Davis"





I had polio in 1947 and was successfully treated by Dr. Benjamin Rappaport. He used his experimental drug on me which had not been AMA approved at the time due to funding costs.


I have found a reference to his work in the following manual:


A REFERENCE MANUAL to essential works and foundations of E. C. ROSENOW (1875-1966) & ASSOCIATES




Would you be able to send me the referenced pages without my having to purchase the manual. I would be most grateful.


Treva Davis

Subject:  Re Polio Treatment in 1947


Dear Treva Davis:


Thank you for your email, and for your confirmation of the benefits of Rapport's poliomyelitis treatment.


Attached is a copy of the Rappaport article (photocopy within MS word document) that was reprinted in the Rosenow compilation.


Also attached is a courtesy (pdf) copy of the book "Reference Manual to ... EC Rosenow & Associates", which incorporates a typed version of the Rappaport article and the entire chapter 6 discussing Rosenow's (including Rapport's) work with polio.


The Rappaport article states that a previous 20 cases had been treated in 1946, thus indicating that presumably you were one of the only four cases he treated in 1947.  These are identified only by age (along with dates, symptoms and treatments). 


The ages listed for the 1947 cases are 11y, 2y, 4½y, and 3y.  Can you identify any of these cases as being yours?  This and any other information/ recollections of the experience would be much appreciated.


Also, did you have any residual effects, or something that might be considered "post-polio syndrome"?


Thank you again for your email, and in advance for any additional information you might share. It was very exciting to hear from you, from the perspective of having studied the Rappaport article closely with the knowledge that, in contrast to the universally beneficial results of this therapy, many others who had polio were not so fortunate.


With kind regards,

S. Hale Shakman

Subject:  Re: Polio Treatment in 1947


Tuesday, August 11, 2009 11:21 AM

From: "Treva Davis"



Dear S. Hale Shakman,


I am overwhelmed with gratitude at your answering my email inquiry. When I sent off my request, I hoped for a response, but not expect one. Thank you for taking the time to provide me with the information I sought. I am writing a story about my polio experience from the point of view of the child who lived it. I am inserting historical information to educate the reader I want the reader to have.


I am the 4 1/2 year old treated in September by Dr. Ben, as the children called him. Dr. Rappaport was far too challenging for little mouths. I remember receiving the injection in my thigh and screaming from the pain, while a nurse held me down by pressing on my legs, causing me even more pain. After the injection and as the nurse carried me to my crib, I remember my leg feeling numb and hurting at the same time. I don't recall pain the next day, but must have slept the rest of the night (I was admitted at night) and the next day, because the boy next to me was eating dinner when I awoke. Of course, I thought it was morning and wondered why he was eating a pork chop, mashed potatoes and peas.


I'm afraid that all the information that I have about my case, is strictly personal and not of much value to you. I remember my hospital room as having half walls and glass windows all around. This type of room allowed the children to see each other. There was a little boy in the crib next to mine. He and I used to have "spit races" on the glass between our cribs. In looking back, I'm amazed we got away with that. There were two older children, a boy and a girl, in rooms across the hall, and I was aware of children in iron lungs down the hall.


My room had one wall with a window to the outside, but it was too far away from my crib to see anything out of it but sky. However, there was a wonderful cleaning woman who would always "forget" to put my crib back after she pulled it out to mop. Then I could watch the boys play football across the street, until someone put my bed back.


I remember that when I was sent home I was ordered to stay in bed for three weeks and to drink lots of milkshakes. I liked the milkshake part of the orders, but I don't think I was very good at staying in bed. I might have stayed there for a week.


I always thought it sad that Dr. Rappaport did not seem to get credit for what my family certainly considered a miracle cure of my polio. When I was young, my parents explained that Dr. Ben could not get the necessary funding to test his polio cure and thereby gain approval of the AMA and FDA. Praise God that his treatment was available to me and other children like me, since it was many more years before Salk and Sabin came on the scene with their vaccinations, both of which I remember having to receive to take, even though I'd had polio. But then, I guess there are/were different types, so perhaps that was necessary.


As for post polio syndrome, I still don't have an answer to that and have quit looking for one. I started to have a lot of muscle pain in my mid thirties, especially in my low back. I tried to get into Froedtert Medical Center in Milwaukee for a diagnosis, but was unsuccessful in getting my insurance company to cover the testing and exam since a neurologist, who in my opinion knew nothing about post polio syndrome, but was approved by the insurance carrier, said I didn't have it. I continued to be plagued by muscle pain and was even declared disabled for about a year after I was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia at age 54. I was also subsequently diagnosed with chronic fatigue. I am actually healthier, in less pain and feel less fatigue, since I retired at age 62.


However, I still have a lot of muscle pain in my neck and shoulders and my buttocks traveling down my leg on one side. I don't seem to have so much fatigue any longer, since I can set my own schedule. And since my fatigue is not getting worse, this may mean I don't have post polio syndrome. I just continue to try to treat the symptoms and not worry about a name for it all.


Thank you again for copies of the research I need for my story. It will make it complete.


Joyfully in His service,




Subject:  Re: Polio Treatment in 1947


Tuesday, August 11, 2009 11:11 PM

From: "Institute Of Science"

To: "Treva Davis"


Dear Treva Davis:


Thank you for your lovely email and all the fascinating tidbits you were so kind to share therein, and please be assured that the "overwhelmed with gratitude" is a mutual and not understated emotion.  That you were able to identify yourself as the 4-1/2 year old child in the chart truly had me tingling and tearing up.


Coincidentally I was also 4-1/2 years old in September 1947, born March 7 1943.


Hoping to read your story when completed; your mention of the kids in iron lungs was particularly striking, as we tend to forget how devastating this disease was for so many.


However your continuing symptoms might be categorized, it is interesting to note that the 1947 chart also refers to pain in neck and back at the time of admission. Further it is noted that the work of EC Rosenow (whose vaccine in the form of antibody had been used by "Dr. Ben") had referred to fibrositis and that of his mentor Frank Billings had similarly referred to myalgia; and further that mutations of a sort of the fundamentally same organism that Rosenow had indicated in the case of polio were involved; so symptoms that had been identified as fibromyalgia could have thus been related to the prior poliomyelitis.  But of course that is neither here nor there as pertains to the continuing symptoms.


In the absence of a specific treatment that is relieving your symptoms, please be advised of the potential of "autohemotherapy" (immediate intramuscular reinjection of one's own blood), summarily discussed at: and


as augmented by the 66 years of experience discussed by Dr. Luiz Moura of Brazil, as posted at:


Dr. Moura discusses one case in particular of leg pain eased by autohemotherapy, and I personally have been relieved of pain in my left thumb muscle/joint over a sustained period of time.  Coincidentally my thumb area is increasingly looking like that (as I recall) of a cousin whose had been deformed as a result of being afflicted with polio as a child (he's in Florida and I haven't seen him for years, but that is my recollection).   In any case a continuing (bi-weekly) course of autohemotherapy has helped me.


Thanks again for your emails.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is any other information on any of this that I might attempt to provide.


With kind regards, and gratitude.



S. Hale Shakman

Subject:  Re: Polio Treatment in 1947


Thursday, August 13, 2009 9:46 AM

From: "Treva Davis"



Dear S. Hale Shakman,


I want to acknowledge that I received your very enlightening email containing your gracious offer to answer questions I might have. I have so much to say and not much time at the moment. I also want to visit the sights you referenced.


Is the first "a" in your last name a short "a?" Do you mind sharing whether you are a man or a woman? Hale is masculine Old English, meaning sturdy stock. Your language discloses that you are highly intelligent and well educated. Are you a research scientist? I am a woman, which may not be evident by my name, as yours is not. The "e" in my first name is a long "e." Treva is the feminine of Trevor and is Welch, meaning home loving.


Regarding your thumb, do you think you were exposed to polio that went undiagnosed?


I am most interested in the autohemotherapy you describe and am anxious to do further research on it at the sites you referenced. I have found that traditional Western medicine doctors have not been much help to me, but those who are considered to be "operating on the fringe" have more useful ideas for treatment. The autohemotherapy is all the more intriguing since my inner voice keeps saying "if you could just get this or that muscle injected with something, the spasm might subside." When I mentioned my personal cure fantasy to my chiropractor, (who has been most helpful to me) he said, "but with what?" Now I know with what. How amazing!


You are a gift from God to me. I cannot help but think that He planned our current exchange a long time ago, and I thank Him.  It will be a few days before I can give your letter the attention it deserves. Thank you again for your generosity in sharing your knowledge and yourself, personally, with me.


Joyfully in His service,



Subject:  Re: Polio Treatment in 1947


Tuesday, August 25, 2009 9:42 PM

From: "Institute Of Science"

To: "Treva Davis" <>


Hi Treva.


The S stands for Stuart which my mother thought sounded nice with Hale (she named me "Hale for Health" and needed a first name with an S; I was named after a grandfather, Schlomo Hersch, thus the initials S H in the Jewish tradition; so my name is health and my work is health - what a coincidence!).  Have used "Hale" and "Shak" on the medical  side, sometimes "Dr. Dad" (


Both "Autohemotherapy" and the "Focal Infection" concept (as relates to the works of Rosenow, thus Rappaport), are not actually alternative medicine, except as alternatives to the current medical fads, but are indeed mainstream albeit historical medical concepts, with more than 40+ items each in the Journal of the AMA and many other legit medical journals.


Both concepts continue to be discussed in the current literature, both directly and indirectly.  For example, autohemotherapy does in fact involve "autologous (intramuscular) stem cell therapy" which is the modern rage; and every antibiotic prescribed in association with dental intervention is an acknowledgment of the importance of the focal infection concept (the role of infected teeth and/or tonsils as a "nest" of infection underlying a range of disorders; tonsils were particularly noted as "reservoirs" associated with polio).


Re my thumb and the possibility of a latent or undiagnosed polio connection, it is possible; however, in any case, all of these chronic conditions have been properly characterized as manifestations of "chronic streptococcal disease -- the Billings Rosenow syndrome" by the great Martin H. Fischer in his landmark book, Death and Dentistry (1940).  They're all in a sense related; the organism that likes to eat us will vary its taste for different organs etc. depending on our constitutional or genetic weakness or opening, and other factors.  I like the analogy of people eating chicken; light meat or dark?  Sometimes you develop a taste for one or the other or it changes; so it is with the bugs that eat us.


Apologies for the slow response; hope this is helpful; please don't hesitate to follow up as desired.


With kind regards and continued appreciation for the contact.



Dr. Dad


S. Hale ("Dr. Dad") Shakman, PhD (History)

Founder and Dean of Historical Research


Subject:  Re: Polio Treatment in 1947


Friday, October 9, 2009 8:21 AM

From: "Treva Davis" <>



Hi Dr. Dad,


First, let me apologize for having dropped out of site for so long. I meant to tell you I was going out of town, but never got to it. Then there were all the vegetables to be harvested, then there was family and. . . . Well, those are my reasons, even if not good excuses.


I want to thank you so much for sharing such valuable information with me, not only to help me write about my experience, but to help me better understand the circumstances of the day and to correct thinking that had been passed down from my parents. I also thank you for sharing yourself with me and giving of your valuable time.


My parents thought that I received Dr. (Ben's) Rappaport's vaccine and that he could not afford the funding necessary to test it for public use. I now understand that it was created and provided by Dr. Rosenow.


Was it Dr. Rosenow who could not get funding, or was that not a factor?


Why didn't Dr. Rosenow's vaccine ever get pushed to the forefront as did Sabine's and Salk's, since clearly it worked.


How can a vaccine (Dr. Rosenow's) work so quickly in a patient? I thought a vaccine triggered the body to make antibodies. If the body is already dealing with the virus that is making them sick, how can more of that virus heal them?


My spinal fluid cell count was 447. I assume that was white cells, correct? Was it possible to count viruses in 1947?


I got 40 cc's of vaccine, which equates to 1.35 oz. I remember the syringe as being quite large. Is this a large dose or did I just have little eyes? I did see in Dr. Ben's chart that some others received higher dosages?


Thank you also for the information on Autohemotherapy. It is a treatment I will be looking into. Hopefully it could correct some chronic leg pain I've been struggling with for years - or even my neck or low back pain. There's so many places to choose from. Ha! I just thank God that he keeps me moving and He continues to gift me with people like you who aid me in my journey. Praise Him for the new pain-free body He'll be giving me in heaven!


I am still working on my story. It keeps getting longer as I add background information. There is so much I want to tell, especially since you've provided me so much material to examine. Although the story starts out as being told by a four-year-old, I'm emphatic that background information be included as asides so that whoever is reading it will receive knowledge of the disease and the times in addition to a experiencing a little girl's sickness. My writing class has tried to dissuade me for this format, but I don't think the story is complete without it.


How interesting that you were named in the Jewish tradition that repeats your grandfather's initials. I never knew of that practice. My mother claimed that my great grandmother read my name in a book, and insisted I was not named after my great aunt Treva, who sadly was an alcoholic, but had a great spirit, none-the-less.


I do so appreciate all that you've shared with me, and again apologize for being silent to you for so long.


Joyfully in His service,



Subject:  Fw: Polio Treatment in 1947


Thursday, October 29, 2009 2:50 PM

From: "Treva Davis"



Hello again,


I'm quite sure you are a very busy man, but I was afraid you might not have received my letter of October 9th, so I am sending it again. Perhaps I went over my question quota.


Gratefully yours,



Subject: Re; your last email and followup: 1,000,000 apologies for late acknowledgement


Thursday, October 29, 2009 3:49 PM

From: "Institute Of Science" <>

To: "Treva Davis" <>


Dear Treva Davis


Yes I did get your email, and it sent me back to the research mode, still ongoing, to trace the development of the treatment you received -- which did directly relate to Rosenow's work on polio as early as 1916.  Still working on it, and will get back to you asap.  Very interesting.


I really do appreciate your probing questions as it is requiring this redig; but it can really be brain-twisting and time-consuming.


Meanwhile, I had a scheduled visit with my daughter in Baltimore, and also was in DC on Capitol Hill and at a couple news outlets trying to stir up interest in Rosenow's successful influenza vaccine (from 1918!) which might help break this Rosenow thing open, because of its ongoing relevance.  At least we're still trying.


Just got back, and enroute have been reviewing Rosenow's earlier articles.


In a nutshell, he was using so-called immune horse serum as early as 1916, with good results, but with reactions.  This work continued through the years with improved results, and in many many cases, over time refining the serum to extract globulins, but still with frequent undesirable reactions. 


Then he developed the thermal antibody and found it appeared to contain the same beneficial globulins that had been in the horse serum, according to extensive skin reaction tests (but without the related unwanted reactions that had been associated with the horse serum).  He then tested it on some polio patients in the 1946 polio epidemic, not long before your group, with successful results, albeit with a different method of dose determination, based on age.


Rappaport treated a group before yours, and then yours, with dose seemingly based also on severity.  Still sorting out the details, but it's very interesting (from a "technical" perspective) in that prior to the advent of the thermal antibody Rosenow's work seems to have progressed on two tracks -- one for polio, using so called immune serum, and the other for all the other disease conditions with which he worked.   With the advent of the thermal antibody the two tracks seemed to merge.  The particular continuing distinction seems to be related not so much to the type of condition (i.e. polio versus others) but rather acute (large doses) versus chronic (small doses) -- I think.  Still digging.


Anyway, that's what I have been doing, and still have some more to do.  Will get the results to you as soon as it's put together.  I think the above is fundamentally correct (and very exciting), but not sure if I'm missing something.  But thanks again for "forcing" me to do it. 


Will also try to more directly answer you email questions once I have a better idea of what I'm talking about.


By the way, where are you located?  Still in the midwest?  I may be back in Chicago next year for a class reunion, perhaps earlier.  I am in Santa Monica CA.  Perhaps someday if we are in the same general neighborhood we can meet directly.  That would be wonderful.


Best regards, and thank you very much for the followup email.  Know that you are very much in my thoughts.



S. Hale Shakman, PhD

Subject:  Re: your last email and followup: 1,000,000 apologies for late acknowledgement


Friday, October 30, 2009 2:29 PM

From: "Treva Davis"



Dear Friend,


Again I am overwhelmed at your devotion to me. I feel so unworthy, but am so grateful for your care and concern.


Now I have to digest what you have just sent.


Yes, I am still in the Midwest. I live in Ottawa (mailing address Dousman) Wisconsin, near Milwaukee. I grew up in Oak Park, IL, which is the first suburb west of the Loop. It might be possible for me to meet you during your time in Chicago. It would be wonderful to meet you as well.


How exciting that Rosenow's work on the 1918 flu could be applied to the current H1N1. My own doctor is not giving the current H1N1 vaccine, since he thinks it hasn't been sufficiently tested. And remembering becoming ill from the swine flu vaccine in the 70s. I'm comfortable with his thinking.


Thank you again for your answers and the energy you are putting into answering my questions. I will wait patiently for more answers.


With gratitude,


Subject:  Re: your last email and followup: 1,000,000 apologies for late acknowledgement


Friday, November 13, 2009 9:42 PM

From: "Institute Of

 To: "Treva Davis"


Dear Treva Davis:


Thanks for your lovely email, and apologies again for taking so long to respond, but at my age (which is exactly the same as yours!) my brain offers more resistance than ever.


The picture emerging thus far is essentially that outlined in my last email (below), with an interesting note that Rosenow first attempted use of the "thermal antibody" in the 1946 epidemic, just before the Rappaport series as per below, because he ran out of sufficient horse-derived serum antibody -- as well as in conjunction with a convincing series of skin test reactions with a range of disease conditions that had indicated the propriety of this approach.


Subsequent to Rosenow's initial treatment of 26 polio patients with this thermal antibody, in 1946, "doctor Ben" Rappaport treated a series of 20 patients also in 1946, and then the subsequent series of 26 patients including you.  I plan to write up the technical stuff in article format, at a minimum to publish on the website and hopefully also elsewhere, but you pretty much now have the essence; so please do not hold up your progress on your project waiting for my further discussion.  I will of course get you a copy of my completed paper, and/or preliminary update(s) if something substantial is encountered prior.


Again, I am equally grateful to you for the contact, as this is spurring a revisiting of Rosenow's work, results of which may even be of service to his great and ever-improving legacy through an even further synthesis commensurate with his spirit and substance.


Meanwhile I have a couple questions for you:


1. Oak Park.  If you went to Oak Park High, perhaps you knew of a Kenneth Lund, who I think was Principal at that time; and/or his daughter, Marilyn Lund, who was my dear friend during Senior year at Northwestern U. (?)


2.  My first cousin Norman Dolin, a few months older than us, was also afflicted with polio (without the benefit of Rosenow's antibody), with some residual effects and now, as with you, seemingly having some revisiting of "post-polio" symptoms.  I have not been in touch as we have lived in various other places, but my brother in Florida lives nearby him and has kept me informed on Norm and other relatives in Florida.


 Question: Would you mind if I forwarded a copy of our correspondence to Norm?  I don't know if any of this will be helpful to him, but, hopefully, perhaps.


With kind regards,

S. Hale "Shak" Shakman,

Subject:  Re: your last email and followup: 1,000,000 apologies for late acknowledgement


Friday, November 20, 2009 8:46 AM

From: "Treva Davis" <>





I got your email, but life is a little crazy right now. Please allow me some time to process it and answer questions.


Thanks, my friend.



Subject:  My absence


Sunday, March 7, 2010 3:21 PM

From: "Treva Davis"



Hi Dr. Dad,


I'm so sorry about my absence from your life, but I am dealing with a lot of "issues" as they say.  I'll give you the capsule version.


This winter I have had debilitating pain in my back, buttocks and legs. I had assumed it was muscle pain, but it was not responding to any treatment. I thought perhaps it was PPS that had finally progressed to a bad stage. Eventually I had an MRI to see what was going on.


Seven bulging disks and foramenal narrowings later I learned that it's nerve pain, which is why pain killers and my TENS unit didn't help, nor were the exercises and adjustments I was getting.


I know that God orchestrated all of this, starting with my pain so that I would have an MRI to reveal a mass on my right thyroid. Things have been moving rather quickly since that discovery on 2/1. My only symptom is fatigue, which I attributed to chronic pain. My neck has only hurt since the biopsy. On Tuesday, March 9th, at 3:00 I will have my thyroid and related lymph glands removed for medullary cancer. (Leave it to me to pick a rare cancer.)


I have not other info as to what stage it is, whether it's metastasized or what kind of treatment to expect after surgery - possibly none, since medullary cancer does not respond to chemo or radioactive iodine.


I am in the Lord's hands and trust His will for my life. I am not afraid and will be fine in His care.


Please forgive my lack of correspondence, but I have only made it to one writing class this year.


I hope you are well and please know that I will return to my polio story and to you.



Subject:  Re: My absence


Thursday, March 11, 2010 7:53 PM

From: "Institute Of Science"

To: "Treva Davis" <>


Dear Treva Davis,


Thank you again for your continued correspondence.


I regret that you have had some difficulties, and further that I was not in a position to be of assistance.  My thoughts and prayers are with you for a speedy and full recovery. 


And as if you might need further encouragement, please be reminded that your story is very important, and could be of great benefit, to many others.


If more convenient than email, please feel free to contact me by phone (1-310-453-7707) if you wish, to say hello or for any other reason.


With kind regards and best wishes,

Dr. Dad aka S. Hale Shakman, PhD

Subject:  Praise God


Tuesday, March 16, 2010 3:51 PM

From: "Treva Davis"

 To: List


Hi All,


I finally got a pathology report today through my oncologist. The margins were clean, it the cancer not metastasized to the lymph nodes. In addition to the medullary cancer, I had a 3 mm papillary cancer on the back of my thyroid, but he believes that is gone along with the thyroid that was removed.


I thank you all for your fervent prayers. I'm sure God was saying, "I hear you, already!"


I see the endocrinologist in early April, but the oncologist said he does not need to see me again. I just need genetic testing to find out if this is just little ol' me mutating or if I have a gene for this cancer.


Thank you all again and again. To God be the glory! Let Him continue to use me.


Joyfully in His service,



Prayer Request


Tuesday, April 13, 2010 8:55 AM

From: "Treva Davis" <>View contact details

To: [LIST]


Hi friends,


I had an encouraging visit with my new endocrinologist yesterday. He said that because there was no cancer found in any of the lymph nodes that were removed my prognosis is good for the medullary cancer not returning. Praise God! Also, since the secondary papillary cancer was so small, we will not have to do chemo or radiation treatment for it. He said I had an excellent surgeon who got all the cancer out and left my parathyroid glands intact, which perform important functions, and helped me retain my singing voice, although it's a bit lower. To God be the glory!


He confirmed what the geneticist said that I am not likely to have a mutated RET gene which could have passed cancer on to my children and grandchildren, but that we should test anyway. The test was done yesterday, but will take about a month for results.

 He and my surgeon will be following up with me in two months and every six months after that to make sure I stay healthy.


The new med for my COPD seems to be helping me cough less, for which (after eight years) I am most grateful. Praise God!


I still need prayer for my back pain, which is pretty severe right now. But I am prayerfully hopeful that the hydro therapy I start this week and the acupuncture I am going to pursue will help relieve my pain so I can pick up my grandchildren, make dinner and "play in the garden" this summer. It's calling me.


I still don't have much energy, but I've had three days without any nausea. Praise God! So I hope it is gone. I now think it was a drug hangover from the hospital. I don't do hospital drugs well at all.


Thank you all for blessing me with your love and your prayers. I have never felt so loved as I have in the past month.


Joyfully in His service,




Re: Prayer Request and Back Pain


Tuesday, April 13, 2010 5:43 PM

From: "S. Hale Shakman, PhD" <>

To: "Treva Davis"


Dear Treva Davis:


Thank you for sharing all this overall good news, with regrets re the continuing back pain. 


On that subject, please be referred for consideration to the procedure known as autohemotherapy, as discussed at


Of particular possible interest on this subject is the following article, published today in the San Francisco Chronicle, describing how the golfer Tiger Woods had used a form of autohemotherapy to overcome his problems with pain:


It is arguably likely that the simple method described at is as, or even more, effective than that used by Tiger Woods, but even that, at $500, this so-called "blood spinning" is far less expensive and less risky than any conventional treatment of which I am aware.


Best wishes to you, and looking forward to reading more of your write-up of your polio experience.


With kind regards,

S. Hale Shakman, PhD

Subject:  Re: Prayer Request and Back Pain


Monday, April 19, 2010 1:11 PM

From: "Treva Davis"



Hello my friend,


Thank you for your constant support. I'm working on the story, but must admit I run out of energy very quickly. Hopefully this will change. I don't tolerate any sorts of stimulants so have to let my body take its course in healing. I get jumpy and twitchy on decongestants and even decaf.


My doctor (I'm now seeing an osteopath) wants to know more about autohemotherapy and who does it in our area. I have printed your article as well as the "blood spinning" article for her to read. She was not familiar with autohemotherapy, but did not put it down simply because she didn't know about it. So far I have not found any practitioners who are familiar with the correct application of autohemotherapy. Please let me know if you have a resource for finding a practitioner in the Milwaukee area.


Today I had my second acupuncture treatment. I had some relief on Sat and Sun, but was back to square one this morning. I go for my first hydro therapy treatment (essentially exercises in a warm pool) tomorrow. The PT has only helped a little. The hydro therapy and the acupuncture are scheduled for twice weekly for two weeks and then we will re-evaluate.


I have high hopes for healing.


Thank you again for your concern and support. I will be in touch.


Joyfully in His service,



Subject:  Re: Prayer Request and Back Pain


Monday, April 19, 2010 6:55 PM

From: "S. Hale Shakman, PhD" <>

To: "Treva Davis" <>


Dear Treva Davis,


Thank you for your email and ever-positive perspectives.


A. Regarding autohemotherapy, apologies for an erroneous link in my last email.  For future reference, the direct link to my summary article on autohemotherapy is:


The current/ongoing works of Dr. Luis Moura of Brazil are notable both for the length of his use (65 years) and range of conditions, as per this transcript which you may wish to forward to your doctor:


In the U.S., MDs & DOs etc. educated before the emergence of antibiotics (and the on-going drug dominant era it spawned) were generally familiar with and often used autohemotherapy in its classic, pure form, i.e., the immediate intramuscular or subcutaneous reinjection of autologous blood.


Therefore any DO, MD or other duly authorized person could perform it; unfortunately it is so simple that they could not charge much for the service, which may also help explain why it (in its pure form) is not more popular currently.


Thus, in seeking a "practitioner" of autohemotherapy per se in your geographic area, please be advised and arguably "beware" of a modern "trend" of sorts to unqualifiedly (and thus I feel improperly) use the term "autohemotherapy" for more complex, arguably less effective, arguably more dangerous, and invariably vastly more expensive methodologies: i.e., practices using the title of "autohemotherapy" or so called (by its advocates) "major autohemotherapy", that involve removal and ozonization, irradiation and/or defibrination of autologous blood, and intravenous reinjection.


Rather, your path of asking your doctor to perform autohemotherapy is much more desirable; thus the widely-publicized safety of the far more complex (thus arguably more dangerous) procedure of blood-spinning may hopefully serve as further assurance that the simple method of autohemotherapy will likewise cause no harm.  It is 100% natural you.


(It is also possible you may find a homeopath or naturopath that already currently uses simple autohemotherapy, depending on the regulations in your area; notwithstanding the homeopaths seeming to tend to want to add some "magical" homeopathic potion, which I would reject.)


B. Re how this relates to our prior commonality, i.e., the Rappaport/ Rosenow connection:


1. Autohemotherapy is not a cure; it merely is taking whatever is in your bloodstream, that which may be relating to the cause of your discomfort, and turning it into a "vaccine" of sorts.  So the treatments will have to be continued, perhaps on a weekly basis as advocated by Dr. Moura, or twice-weekly as advocated (in the case of his vaccines) by Rosenow for chronic conditions (I thus prefer a twice-weekly regimen personally).


2. The question then becomes how to eliminate the problem at its source, which if we are to acknowledge and accept the legacy of Rosenow, must be within the oral area.  In the case of poliomyelitis, within the oral area, the tonsils of affected children were particularly involved, and thus the aftermath of residual infection could accordingly reside in or around tonsillar remnants; however it must be emphasized that the same microbial chronically-infectious forms are also and universally associated with infected areas in and/or around any or all compromised teeth.  Martin Fischer in particular recommended consideration of removal of virtually all teeth after a certain age (which we have passed) in consideration of their invariably-infected status; which recommendation I have accepted for myself.  This is of course a more involved longer-range course of action, but nonetheless one which I am convinced is necessary for definitive resolution.


Hoping this information will be helpful.  Please do not hesitate to ask if there is additional information I may have access to that may be helpful to you or your doctor.


With kind regards,

S. Hale Shakman, PhD

Subject: Thanks for giving me the bird, etc.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010 6:30 PM

From: "S. Hale Shakman, PhD" <>

To: "Treva Davis"


Dear Treva Davis:


Thank you for sending your story "Stricken", and for the cool drinking bird!  Something to come home to, with fond thoughts of your homecoming long ago.


Clearing up a section on your page 3 that you did not have complete information about, i.e., the earlier 1948 article by Rappaport:


Regarding your next-to-last paragraph on page 3, beginning with "I also received a spinal tap ..." [cell count 447]:


The earlier, 1948 Rappaport article reported on a series of 20 consecutive cases, all in 1946, which were the first cases treated by Rappaport with Rosenow's vaccine.  The article notes "This thermal antibody for acute poliomyelitis contains no horse serum, and delayed reactions did not occur."  (Rosenow's earlier polio work, as early as 1917, had involved horse serum [Rosenow, E.C., The treatment of epidemic poliomyelitis with immune horse serum. Preliminary report. Jour. Am. Med. Assn. 69:1074 1075, 1917]).


The later, 1954, article by Rappaport, which is in my book and which you have, reported on 26 cases from 1947 to 1951.  Yours was the third listed in this article, the 23rd overall, which is why the numbers on the cases in the article you have go from number 21 through 46.


Your blood count was the highest of all of the 46 cases reported by Rappaport in the two articles.


The earlier (1948) article did not mention prophylactic use of the thermal antibody; this was only mentioned at the end of the 1954 article, referring here to the 26 cases including yours from 1946 to 1951: "Thirty known contacts exposed by these 26 cases of poliomyelitis were each given 10cc of the thermal antibody and none developed poliomyelitis."


I will mail you a copy of the 1948 article so you will have a complete picture of Rappaport's work with the Rosenow antibody as background/ clarification for your story.


When you integrate this information to your satisfaction, I would be pleased to technically review it again; and when you are ready to make your story public, it would be a pleasure to post it (along with the Rappaport articles) or a link or other reference to it, as per your preference at the time.


With kind regards,

Hale aka "Dr. Dad" aka

S. Hale Shakman


PS: Thanks again for giving me the bird.

Re: Thanks for giving me the bird, etc.


Thursday, August 26, 2010 4:57 AM

From: "Treva Davis"



Hi Dr. Dad,


I was wondering if you were okay. Thank you so much for reviewing my story. I hope it is all you were expecting. Thank you also for all the comments. I will work on incorporating them.


I still have questions regarding the "447 cell count." Are they white cells? Is it 447, literally, or in the thousands (4470). Is the measurement 447 cells per milliliter of spinal fluid? I could not find clear answers to these questions.


Thanks, especially for clearing up the prophylactic use of the vaccine. I thought using it on the kids was considered prophylactic. I never did understand how giving a vaccine to one after he has contracted polio can work. But, well, it certainly did.


Thanks again for your help. I will work on fixing things in a week or so.


On a different note, I am seeing a physiatrist about my back next week. He doesn't do surgery, so hopefully he will give me an objective opinion. I haven't found anyone willing to try the autohemotherapy, but I'm not sure how that can heal pinched nerves anyway.


I think I really could have used it this week when I had neck and shoulder spasms. I told my chiropractor once (before I knew you) that my inner voice was saying, "If I could just have these muscles injecting with something, they might calm down." And he said, "But what?" Now I know, my own blood. We're very conservative here in the Midwest, you know. If my insurance ever changes so I could see my former primary care doc again, I think he would do it. He was always having his procedures rejected by the insurance company for not being approved procedures. Of course, insurance may not cover it. I'll print your article and send it to him.


Joyfully in His service,




PS I'm glad you enjoyed getting the bird.

Subject: Re: Thanks for giving me the bird, etc.


From: S. Hale Shakman, PhD

To: Treva Davis

Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010 4:03 PM


Hi Treva and thanks again for the story, bird and lovely photo and note.  Adding comments in ALL CAPS within the text of your email, below:


--- On Thu, 8/26/10, Treva Davis <> wrote:


I still have questions regarding the "447 cell count." Are they white cells? Is it 447, literally, or in the thousands (4470). Is the measurement 447 cells per milliliter of spinal fluid? I could not find clear answers to these questions.




Thanks, especially for clearing up the prophylactic use of the vaccine. I thought using it on the kids was considered prophylactic. I never did understand how giving a vaccine to one after he has contracted polio can work. But, well, it certainly did.




Thanks again for your help. I will work on fixing things in a week or so.


On a different note, I am seeing a physiatrist about my back next week. He doesn't do surgery, so hopefully he will give me an objective opinion. I haven't found anyone willing to try the autohemotherapy, but I'm not sure how that can heal pinched nerves anyway.






I think I really could have used it this week when I had neck and shoulder spasms. I told my chiropractor once (before I knew you) that my inner voice was saying, "If I could just have these muscles injecting with something, they might calm down." And he said, "But what?" Now I know, my own blood. We're very conservative here in the Midwest, you know. If my insurance ever changes so I could see my former primary care doc again, I think he would do it. He was always having his procedures rejected by the insurance company for not being approved procedures. Of course, insurance may not cover it. I'll print your article and send it to him.







Subject: Re: Thanks for giving me the bird, etc.


 From: Treva Davis <>


Date: Saturday, August 28, 2010, 7:08 AM


Thanks for clearing up some points. I guess I'll give a further explanation of the "447 cells" being high and offer my interpretation as a possible explanation; i.e. white cells per milliliter. It seems reasonable since I found this below regarding spinal taps.


Normal Results


CSF cell count    CSF (cerebral spinal fluid) cell count: 0 - 5 white blood cells (all mononuclear), and no red blood cells


I will send the final version when I get it done.


Thanks so much again.


Joyfully in His service,



Subject: Re: Thanks for giving me the bird, etc.


From: S. Hale Shakman, PhD

To: Treva Davis

Sent: Saturday, August 28, 2010 12:48 PM


Dear Treva Davis:


For your consideration on the subject of "cell count":


Following are a few excerpts of articles accessed through google using keywords from the Rappaport articles:


keywords for search: spinal fluid cell count poliomyelitis


It is noted in the first of these cited below: "Patients who developed paralysis tended to have higher cell counts in the CSF ..."


Insofar as there is variation in the types of cells, as indicated in this brief survey; without additional information one might albeit-intelligently speculate on the composition of,  but could not with certainty improve on Rappaport's specific "blanket" reference to, "cell count".


Best regards, SHS




Routine laboratory tests are usually non-specific. The total white count may be elevated and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) obtained from lumbar puncture usually shows increased cells with a normal or mildly elevated protein level. The CSF cell picture is initially a polymorphonuclear leukocytosis shifting to mononuclear cells with cell counts in the hundreds. Magnetic resonance imaging can demonstrate inflammation to the spinal cord anterior horns.8  Patients who developed paralysis tended to have higher cell counts in the CSF and a higher protein concentration

than patients who did not.




Pre,-paralytic stage -- The most constant finding is an increase in the cell count, which may be as high as 2,ooo per Peabody (19I7) obtained figures of from 36 to 1,980 per, Fraser (1913) of up to 88o per-, and Lyon (I928) of up to I,200 per Counts below 30 per are rare and cell counts below 1o per are considered by Peabody as not occurring at this stage. The cells are most commonly lymphocytes and mononuclears, but polymorphonuclears have been found to be present in half the total number of cases in some epidemics, and may total as high as 50 per cent. of all cells present. ...

First week of paralysis -- A fairly high cell count is still present for the first few days of this week, but there is a diminution in their numbers during this period, and as they fall the number of polymorphs present also diminishes and finally disappears. Thelarder, Shaw and Limper (I93I) found counts of between 50 and 200 per, while Fraser found the polymorph percentage was on the average 34 per cent. of-the total number on the second day, and only 6 per cent. on the third day after paralysis. Towards the end of the week the count often falls below 50- per








About the time of the onset of the paralysis changes begin to occur in the cerebrospinal fluid which are very characteristic, but these can only be fully appreciated if two, r tbree specimens are obtained during the first three weeks of the illness. These changes are: (1) an early rise in cell count, falling to normal by about the end of the second week of the illness; (2) a protein content which is

almost normal until some days after the onset of paralysis, and which rises to a maximum in the third week. These very characteristic changes were first demonstrated by Peabody, Draper, and Dochez in 1912, and have often been confirmed since then.  As to the nature of the cells which cause the early rise,

Howton Merritt and Fremont-Smith state that 80%. of their cases showed a lymphocytic predominance within five days of the onset of the paralysis, although the early counts might consist largely of polymorphonuclear cells. Similarly, Peabody, Draper, and Dochez state that "polymorphonuclear cells, except

in small numbers and probably due for the most part to a slight admixture of blood, were, except in a very few instances, absent after the first week of the disease."


Re: Thanks for giving me the bird, etc.


Monday, August 30, 2010 9:19 AM

From: "Treva Davis" <>



Oh, good grief. Any sort of accurate explanation would be way to complicated for the type of story I've written. I will "fix" the quote back to Dr. Ben's original words.


Thanks for the complete info.


Joyfully in His service,























By: Treva Davis

W390 S3210 Hwy Z

Dousman WI 53118-9548

Word Count 4,437

August 3, 2010






















The Threat


          Although it had been a warm September day, Dad wrapped me in a blanket. “There,” he said, “snug as a bug in a rug.” Then he scooped me up and carried me out of the house.


“Is this the doctor’s car?” I asked, as Dad placed me in the back seat. I don’t want to be in the doctor’s car. I only like places I know.


“No, Tee,” Mom said, “It’s our car.” She was in the front seat.


          “Are we going to Dr. Ben’s office? It’s dark out.”


“No, we’re going to the hospital, because you’re very sick.”


I’d been throwing up all day. I felt hot all over. My neck and back hurt. My eyes were sore and my head hurt, like it was too big. Even though it was nighttime, Dr. Ben came to see me in my bed. He listened to my heart, looked down my throat and thump-thumped on my tummy. Then he put his hand on the back of my head and pushed me forward to touch my forehead to my knees. I couldn’t do it and my knees popped up to my nose all by their-selves.


“Owwww, it hurts!” I cried.


Dr. Ben turned to my parents. “Did you see when I pushed Tee’s head forward ¾ that her knees came up involuntarily? That’s a positive Brudzinski response. I want her in Evanston Hospital right away. This looks like polio.”


The Pain


At the hospital a nurse took me to a big room and put me on a cold, hard table. Big bright lights shined on me and made my sore eyes all squinty. I could see only the people’s eyes ‘cause they had on masks.


I don’t like it here. Nobody talks nice to me. Where’s Mommy and Daddy?


A man with a white coat and a mask on his face held a huge glass tube with a big needle sticking out. That looks like the thing Dr. Ben gives me shots with, but that one’s much bigger. The man started walking toward me, but a nurse turned me on my left side so I couldn’t see the big needle any more. Then she leaned hard on my legs.


Why are you leaning on my legs so hard? It hurts!

Why aren’t they nice to me? They’re nice at Dr. Ben’s office. I’m scared.


Suddenly I felt a sharp, burning-hot pain in my right thigh. I screamed and the nurse leaned on my legs harder.


You’re mashing my legs. It hurts. I don’t want the big shot.




I wailed and wailed, louder and louder and the nurse leaned and leaned, harder and harder.


“Mommy, it hurts! Daddy, make them stop!”


The hurting went on forever. Finally, it stopped and the nurse got off my legs.


My hip aches, where I got the big shot. My leg feels numb, like it’s asleep.


The nurse picked me up, carried me down a long dark hall and put me in a crib.


I’m a big girl. I have a big-girl bed. I don’t need a baby bed. I’m so sleepy . . ..  


        [At age four I didn’t realize the danger I was in. In 1947 there was no cure for poliomyelitis, also called infantile paralysis because it struck mostly children. However, Dr. Ben (Benjamin Rappaport) received my parents’ permission to treat me with an experimental thermal poliomyelitis streptococcal antibody vaccine developed by Dr. E. (Edward) C. Rosenow. The injection I received, in the side of my upper right thigh, contained 40 cc of vaccine (a large dose - 1.35 oz). Dr. Ben, who I didn’t recognize because of his coat and mask, was the man wielding the huge syringe.


I also received a spinal tap that measured a “spinal fluid cell count” of 447, a record high, as reported by Dr. Ben in the 1947 Quarterly Bulletin of Northwestern University Medical School in association with Evanston Hospital, where I was treated. Unfortunately, there is no explanation regarding what cells were counted. Dr. Ben possibly counted white cells per milliliter of spinal fluid to determine the level of infection.


In October 1948 Dr. Benjamin Rappaport was reported in the Journal-Lancet (68:395-7) as having administered the first successful prophylactic polio vaccine. He administered 10 cc of thermal antibody to 30 people who had known contact with 26 of his polio patients. None of the vaccine recipients developed poliomyelitis. However, it is Dr. Jonas Salk and Dr. Albert Sabin who are known for eradicating polio. Dr. Salk, who was financed by the March of Dimes, developed an injectable vaccine in 1955 using killed poliovirus. Unfortunately, a bad batch of vaccine sickened, paralyzed and killed some children, so inoculations were temporarily halted. In 1961 Dr. Sabin developed a preferred oral vaccine using live attenuated (nearly killed) poliovirus, which is still being administered today.


The March of Dimes was a campaign to raise funds for polio research directed by Basil O’Connor on behalf of his friend, President Franklin D. Roosevelt. President Roosevelt was believed to have contracted polio, but more likely had Guillain-Barrè Syndrome, which results in paralysis similar to that caused by polio.]




When I woke up I couldn’t find Teddy, my teddy bear. But I did find Larry, my white llama. Larry had silly ears. They were made of green felt. Everybody knows llama’s ears aren’t green.


Where’s Teddy? I always sleep with Teddy. I need to pet his fur when I suck my thumb. Larry’s not soft ( he’s wooly. 


          I looked around my room. It was little, as wide as my crib, only. Two walls were kinda funny ‘cause they went only halfway up. The top of the wall was a glass window up to the ceiling. I could see the two rooms across the hall and the room next door.


There was one outside window too, but all I could see was a brick wall.


I never saw a room with glass walls. 


I sat up in my crib to see better.


I saw a glass room across the hall with a big girl in a big bed. She was lying down with her eyes closed and the covers pulled up.


I think she doesn’t feel good.


A lady was sitting on a hard chair next to her bed. I think that’s her mom, ‘cause she’s holding the big girl’s hand and her forehead is all wrinkly like she’s worried.


In the glass room, next to the big girl, was a big boy in a big bed. He was lying down with his eyes closed, but no one was holding his hand.


He must not feel good too. Where’s his mommy? I bet he’s lonesome.


I grabbed the bars of my crib and pulled myself up.


My leg hurts.


I looked through the window at the end of my crib.


Hey, there’s a little boy in a crib like mine. He’s eating a pork chop, mashed potatoes and peas. Ick, I hate peas. Why is he eating dinner? It’s morning!


I scooched down in my crib real fast, before he saw me.


            I want my Puffed Wheat. “Mommy? Mommy!

A nurse came real fast down the hall. I could see her through the windows.


          “Are you hungry, Tee?” she asked.


          How does she know my name?


          “Uh-huh. Where’s my mommy?”


          “Your mommy’s at home. You’re in the hospital because you’re sick. We’ll take good care of you so you can get well and go home.”


          “I wanna go home. I want my mommy. I want Teddy.”


          “I’ll get you something to eat. Then you’ll feel better.”


She left in such a big hurry I could feel the wind she made.


The nurse came back pretty quick. She fed me some milk in a little cup. She wouldn’t let me hold it.


I’m a big girl. I can feed myself.


Then she scooped up a gooey egg on a spoon and held it to my lips. I turned my head. 


“Mommy makes my eggs with no gushy part.”


“Just try a little,” the nurse cajoled.


“I don’t like icky eggs!”


“Just try some. It will help you get well.”




The more she coaxed, the louder I cried. Through my tears I saw a doctor walking fast down the hall to my room.


“Is everything all right here? I heard this loud crying and thought . . .,” he trailed off as he took in the scene. 


“She just doesn’t want to eat her egg,” said the nurse.


“You eat that egg, now,” he snapped. “It will help you get well.”


“Waaah!” I wailed, ‘til she finally stopped pushing the slimy egg up to my mouth. I grabbed Larry, hugged him tight and snuffled off to sleep.


Pow Puff


The next morning Daddy came to see me.


“Hi, Tee,” said Daddy. “I thought I’d come to see you before I go to work. How do you feel?”


“I’m not throwing up any more, Daddy. Where’s Teddy?”


“I’m glad you’re better, Tee. I’m sorry Teddy couldn’t come to the hospital with you. If he did, he couldn’t come home again because he’d be full of bad polio germs.”


“Oh. But, Larry’s not soft like Teddy.”


“Well, what if I bring you something soft the next time I come?”


“Okay, Daddy.”


“I have to go to work now, Tee. I’ll see you soon.”


Daddy came the next morning again on his way to work.


“Hi, Tee,” said Daddy. “I brought you a nice soft powder puff.”


“Oh, a pow puff!”


“Oh, I forgot that’s what you used to call them. Mommy sewed a ribbon to it so we can tie it to your crib. That way it won’t fall on the floor and get dirty.”


My pow puff was a big soft ball of fluff, almost as soft as Teddy.


[I now realize that Dad had to drive a long distance to visit me. We lived in Glenview, Illinois, I was in Evanston Hospital and Dad worked in Oak Park. His one-way trip would have been 63 miles, taking more than two hours. Since we had just one car, as was typical then, and Mom didn’t drive, I don’t think she visited me in the hospital; at least I have no recollection of her being there.] 


Making Friends


The boy in the crib next door popped up and knocked on the glass.


“Hi,” he said. “My name is Timmy. What’s yours?”

“My name is Tee. How old are you?”


“I’m five. How old are you?”


“I’m four.”


“Are you real sick?” asked Timmy.


“Yeah, kinda. But I feel better now.”


“I’m gettin’ better too.”


Timmy and I could see each other real close ‘cause there just was glass between us only.


Then Timmy spit on the glass. A big, juicy gob of spit slid down real slow. It stopped on the ledge at the bottom of the glass.


“You do it!” said Timmy.


“Okay.” I spit. My spit wasn’t big like Timmy’s. But it slid down, down, down the glass and stopped at the ledge.


“I’ll race ya!” said Timmy.


“Okay, I’ll race ya, too.” I stood on tiptoes to get as tall as Timmy.


“One ¾ two ¾ three,” Timmy counted. And we both spit. Slowly Timmy’s spit and my spit dribbled to the bottom.


“I won!” said Timmy.


“Let’s race again!” I said. “On your mark. Get set. Go!” We spit.


“I won this time!” I said.  “Oh-oh, the nurse is coming.”


We both scooched down real fast so she wouldn’t know we were havin’ spit races.


The nurse came into my room and felt my forehead.


“What’s the girl’s name over there?” I asked, pointing across the hall.


“That’s Susan,” said the nurse. “She’s very sick.”

“Oh. Who’s that boy over there?” I pointed to the room next to Susan’s.


“That’s Billy.”




“Now you know that you are never to get out of bed, Tee,” warned the nurse. “You need to rest your muscles so they can get better. No one should ever get out of bed.”




Then she left in a big hurry and made that wind I could feel like the other nurse.


Across the hall I could see Billy sitting up in bed lookin’ around, so I waved at him. Billy waved back and said, “Hi.”


“I’m tired of sittin’ in this bed,” grumbled Billy. “I’m goin’ for a walk.”


Timmy and I chimed in together, “Don’t do it, Billy! It’s against the rules! We’re s’posed to stay in bed.”


“I don’t care. I’m gonna do it anyway. Just watch me!”


Billy pulled back his covers and put both his bare feets on the floor. He took two steps with his arms sticking out like he was walking a tightrope.


“Hey, Billy, the mop-lady is comin’!” I said. Billy hopped back in bed quick as a bunny and pretended he wasn’t naughty.


I liked the mop-lady. She gave me a ride in my crib so she could mop behind it. Then I could see through the outside window. I saw boys playing football across the street. When the mop-lady was done, she didn’t put my crib back. She was nice to me.


One morning, when Daddy came to see me, he brought some bubble stuff. It was real fun ‘cause you could make your own balloons then chew ‘em like gum when they got old. He brought some for Timmy too.


“Timmy, do you know how to make bubbles with the bubble stuff?”

“No. Whadaya do?”


“You squeeze the tube and put a blob on the end of the straw. Then you blow it up — like bubble gum. It smells funny, sorta like window cleaner, but you’ll get used to it.” Timmy got blue bubble stuff and I got green.


“Hey, look. We can stick our balloons on the glass,” said Timmy.


“Yeah, they stick.” Timmy and I spent a lot of time making bubbles and decorating our window.


[The treatment for polio at that time was complete bed rest with splinting or casting affected limbs in an attempt to prevent deformity. This practice proved harmful to polio victims because the immobility caused more muscle atrophy and weakness than already may have been present. Fortunately, none of my limbs were splinted.]


[I was spared the suffering that so many children experienced: severe pain, paralysis and even an inability to breathe without the assistance of an iron lung. The poliovirus can paralyze chest muscles that facilitate breathing, including the diaphragm. I was admitted to the hospital on September 20, 1947. My fever was gone on September 24, and I was able to go home on October 5, just 15 days after admittance. Some children were hospitalized for months and some never went home.]


Going Home


When Daddy came to take me home, I got to ride in a wheelchair to Daddy’s car. After we got home, Daddy carried me from his car right to my bed. My room looked sunny and happy to see me. I was sure happy to see it.


 “I got a drinking bird!” I squealed. “It’s just like Dr. Ben’s. Look he’s dunking his beak and drinking!”


drinking birdMy bird looked sorta like a red ostrich with a top hat. He had a long neck, a round head with a pointy beak, long legs and a fat-round body with a fluffy feather for his tail. He leaned over and stuck his beak in a glass of water to get a drink. When he was finished drinking, his head came up and bobbed back and forth for a while. Then he’d be real still, ‘til he got thirsty again. When he started to lean forward, I knew he was gonna get another drink.


“Mommy, why is Paul’s teddy bear in my room?”


“The neighbors gave it to you because they thought it might have polio germs. Remember you played with it the day before you got sick?” said Mommy.


“So I get to keep it?”


“Yes, he’s yours now.”


I’m going to make a chocolate malt for you. Would you like that, Tee? Dr. Ben wants you to drink one every day.”


“Mmm, yes, please!”


 “Now Tee, Dr. Ben wants you to stay in bed for three weeks,” cautioned Mommy.


“Okay, Mommy.”


But I barely stayed in bed for three days. I didn’t feel sick any more.


Since the poliovirus was transmitted by water, food and physical contact, swimming pools were closed and drained during the summers in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease. Since flies were also thought to transmit polio, people were encouraged to kill them by swatting or spraying insecticides, if they could afford them. Theaters were frequently closed and people were told to stay at home and away from crowds. The belongings of children diagnosed with polio were often burned as well as the furnishings from a home with an infected child. Families with sick children often could ill-afford to replace the goods they felt compelled to destroy.


The Aftermath


I appeared to have no ill effects from the polio that struck me down. Thanks to my progressive thinking pediatrician, Dr. Rosenow’s vaccine and my parents’ trust in both of them, I could run, skip and jump as well as any other four-year-old.  When my strength was tested about four years later, I was told I had left side weakness. Even so, I never noticed it or felt my left side to be different from my right. However, as an adult, I began experiencing a lot of muscle pain, which I simply explained away as too much gardening, an injury, being pregnant or using a non-supportive chair at work.


In my mid-twenties, I attributed the spasms in my mid-back to having been thrown off a horse at age 17 and carrying three babies to term. My doctor ordered X-rays of my back, but reported he could see no structural reason for my spasms. I kept raising kids and singing in a band.


In my mid-thirties, the muscles in my lower back seemed to lose their elasticity. When I was bent over, scrubbing a floor or weeding a flowerbed, I could not straighten into an upright position without climbing up something, such as a chair or a shovel. When arising to walk, after sitting for a half-hour or so, I would remain in a stooped over position for several steps, before I could stand erect. Nevertheless, I continued my career at the insurance company, remodeling my house and working in my garden.


In my early forties, I was in a car accident that caused whiplash and a strained left shoulder. Although I seemed to recover from those injuries, a year later I couldn’t lean on the wall across the tub with my left hand to turn on the shower. I also could not turn my head without severe pain in my left upper arm, shoulder and neck. My head tilted toward my left shoulder and my left shoulder became higher than my right. I suffered for years with debilitating spasms in my neck, shoulder and upper arm. After a rough chiropractor brought me to tears adjusting my neck, I resigned myself to living with the pain, the high shoulder and the head tilt. Still, I did not give up my volunteer work. I put my head down and plowed through a sad divorce from my addicted and fallen knight, raised three teenagers, and briefly held two jobs to give them a Christmas. I also found a new career when, instead of a promotion for doing a great deal of specialized work for my company, my position was eliminated.


Gradually I experienced more pain throughout my body and the sensation that more than just my low back muscles were losing their elasticity. If I wanted to change positions, my muscles would only move slowly and grudgingly. I awoke frequently because of the pain or the effort it took to just turn over. The sleep I needed to heal became increasingly elusive.


I wrote about my distressed sleep in 1998.


“When Sleep Won’t Come”


Another night in the popcorn popper,

First on my back, then my right side.

Nope, try the left.

Neck stiff as week-old taffy,

I sample all four pillows available for these special occasions.

None are right for scalp stretched tight as timpani skin.

For a change I hear the end of my relaxation tape.

More covers, less covers.

My precious Prince Sleep fails me like a hard-to-please lover.

At last he comes.

I relax in his arms

For one brief moment

Before bird-chirping dawn.


My neck became so immobile that it was painful to look right and left when driving.  My chronic stiff neck also resulted in numerous headaches. My downward spiral of chronic pain and fatigue continued.


In my mid-forties, I read about a condition called post-polio syndrome (PPS). PPS attacks people who contracted polio when they were young, but who had seemingly recovered. Could this be the name of my condition? I researched symptoms that matched mine to a great extent. I found a doctor at the Medical College of Wisconsin who could diagnose PPS. However, since he was not in my health insurer’s network, I could not afford the evaluation. My insurance company told me that, if I could get an in-network neurologist to diagnose PPS, and then refer me to the Medical College, they would consider covering my costs.


The nature of post-polio syndrome demands that a polio specialist do the diagnosis, so the likelihood of my getting an accurate evaluation was not good.  As I feared, the neurologist I saw did not have much knowledge of PPS. After a painful exam, he deemed that I did not have PPS, but only that something was wrong with my right hip because he couldn’t bend my knee up to my chest and out without my screaming ¾ an inability I had explained to him prior to his exam. I left his office crying tears of pain and frustration.


So the door was closed on my pursuit of a diagnosis at the only medical facility in my area known to be able to evaluate PPS. Since I could not prove that I did, indeed, suffer from this syndrome, I resigned myself to living with my condition and learning, as best I could, how to treat my symptoms.


After the punishment of two more corporate down-sizings, I wrote a cookbook and started my own business, Spice of Life. I taught healthy cooking to people who had health issues or just wanted to have a tasty as well as nutritious diet. I loved to cook and had learned how to eat well by helping members of my family who had health challenges.


Sadly, by my mid-fifties, I had to close Spice of Life because I could no longer work. The pain in my neck, back and legs overwhelmed me to the point of nausea. I was exhausted from lack of sleep due to pain. I often experienced, what I called, personal earthquakes. The room would suddenly spin around me and I’d have to grab onto something or someone to stay upright. The most frightening aspect of my symptoms was my diminished brain function. I couldn’t remember what I did yesterday or ten minutes ago. I was unable to concentrate, had difficulty learning tasks and often felt confused and, frankly, stupid.


My husband, Tom, had to repeatedly teach me the sequence required to start the lawn tractor. I was ashamed and angry at my inability to do something so simple and frightened that I might never get any better. I could no longer understand the two technical manuals that I’d written, one of which was considered the book to have in the employee benefits industry. Too bad my royalties were lost along with my last position.


At age 57, a doctor and a neuromuscular massage therapist diagnosed my pain, fatigue and brain fog as fibromyalgia. At last my misery had a name! Fibromyalgia is described as producing widespread pain, disturbed sleep, and exhaustion from head to toe. It causes pain in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. There is no cure for fibromyalgia, but there is treatment. I set to work researching what I could do to feel better.

I was declared disabled by the Department of Labor, which entitled me to certain benefits, like job counseling to help me determine my wage-earning capabilities. After a year of massage therapy, pain medicine and rest, I was able to return to work. The Department of Labor bought me a supportive, well-padded and adjustable chair for my work place. They also came to my office to provide ergonomics coaching. Although the pain and fatigue have not left, they are improved and easier to live with.


In my mid-sixties, as I once again research post-polio syndrome and record my polio experience, I wonder anew if PPS is the cause of my muscles going into painful spasm or not contracting after being stretched. After all, no one has a definitive cause for fibromyalgia. However, having had polio makes me a PPS candidate. Dr. E. C. Rosenow, the physician and scientist, who developed the vaccine that saved me from paralysis and possible death, also predicted PPS for those who seemed to have recovered. Like fibromyalgia, doctors are not sure why PPS exists or how to eliminate it. But if PPS is what I have, I will once again research what I can do to feel better.


Special Thank You: I would like to thank Dr. S. Hale Shakman, Director of the Institute of Science, Santa Monica, CA, who so kindly answered my numerous questions as I researched this piece. I was excited to find information about my pediatrician, Dr. Benjamin Rappaport, in a book entitled E. C. Rosenow (1875 – 1966) & Associates - essential works & foundations - A Reference Manual, by S. H. Shakman. So I wrote the Institute of Science, who published the book.


When I inquired about getting copies of a few pages from the manual regarding Dr. Ben, I hoped for a response, but didn’t expect one. I thought at best I might hear from a librarian who would simply provide instructions on purchasing the book. Instead, I got a heart-warming response as well as a copy of the entire manual, from the author and director of the Institute of Science, himself!


Dr. Shakman said he was sincerely touched to hear from one of the very polio survivors whose case he had studied. We have developed an electronic friendship since that time and I am most grateful that God put Dr. Shakman into my life to enrich and bless it. Thank you “Dr. Dad.” May God bless your life and gifts to the world.