Posted on Wednesday December 30, 2020
Amigo User Tim Brown
Amigo User, Tim Brown is a polio survivor, and for the past 25 years, has been living with Post-Polio Syndrome. This syndrome comes with the weakening of original polio-affected muscles and persistent aches and pains. Those with PPS need to find a daily balance between remaining active while not overdoing it. The pandemic lockdown caused Tim, like many of us, to become much more inactive. After a couple of weeks of sitting around, Tim realized that he had unknowingly become accustomed to inactivity. He knew he needed to continue to use his weakened muscles to avoid further atrophy.
After noting his problem, he made the conscious effort to get out of the chair and get moving. It took some effort to become more active again, but Tim frequently began to roam around the house and yard. When the house and yard became a bit limiting, Tim began to cruise the neighborhood on his Amigo. Tim enjoyed taking his mail to the mailbox and walking the dog. (Or being walked by the dog, he is never quite sure!).
An added advantage to traversing the neighborhood on his scooter was the ability to say hello and chat with neighbors. Ease of social interaction while distancing on his Amigo was a highlight to Tim’s 2020.
How Tim made the best of 2020
Another highlight of Tim’s 2020 is his Post-Polio Support Group, where he is the facilitator of a fifty-some member roster. From May through September 2020, the group had a full meeting schedule, complete with guest speakers. As the pandemic lingered and changing executive orders prohibited normal indoor meetings, the group canceled each meeting month by month. As summer passed, there was always hope that something would finally improve, allowing their group to meet again. It became clear the group would probably not be together for the remainder of 2020 when Tim cancelled the August meeting.
Trying to avoid canceling the rest of 2020 events, they arranged a safe outdoor meeting where the group typically gathers. Tim describes the meeting as a “bare-boned no frills get together. We were all pleased to have made an effort to wear masks and safely sit outside renewing acquaintances.” The PPS group enjoyed this outdoor format, and most of the attendees wanted to repeat the experience and chose to meet again in late September.
In addition to outdoor meetings, the group has been involved in an “Ask the Doctor” zoom webinar. Living up to their group’s purpose, supporting one another, they did not let the pandemic prevent them from gathering.
Tim Brown’s 2021 Outlook
As Tim looks forward to a much happier new year and to the possibility of gradually returning to something approaching “normal.” He finds that this year’s lesson is an old one: “Where there is a will, there is a way. No matter what happens, we will find a way to move forward.”