I contracted polio aged about 2 in Sydney in late 1952 or early 1953. I am an identical twin, but my sister did not contract the virus. It was picked up by a medico uncle, who noticed I kept falling over. Its impact seemed at the low end of the spectrum, and I rarely mentioned polio as I was growing up, especially as there were so many people in those years with obviously severe physical effects. Though my calf muscle was less developed in the affected leg, I played sport through school and was active. In my late 20s I developed scoliosis and back problems, and between 1980 and 2005 I had four lower back operations. I developed foot drop and have had to wear a splint permanently on the affected lower leg. Over the past 16 years, experiencing only minor pain, I have continued to lose muscle mass in both calves, despite being as active as possible and doing regular exercise including walking and swimming. At 67 I now walk with difficulty and need assistance as my balance is badly affected. I only recently found this photo amongst old family slides. It is so encouraging to have found the Polio SA and Polio Australia registers, with their rich resources, and the photo showing the caliper on my leg will help my discussions with the health professionals I increasingly need to deal with.
Submitted by Caroline Treloar