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JohnnyV

ACA Conference 2008 Review

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Cheri, I'm having to do a "bit" of editing to adher to the forum rules!!!!!!!! ;)

And in some cases, I'm awaiting "payment" before I reveal these shots. :o :unsure:

LOL... So, I'm to assume the coconuts did make an appearance after all? :lol:

Coconuts aside, it was great to see you again this year Kep!

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ACA Conference report

Well, after looking forward to the event for several months, the night before we were to fly out to Atlanta from central Oregon, we both came down with killer, energy sapping summer colds. We couldn’t back out at this point though, so on Wednesday the 18th we flew to Seattle from Redmond, Oregon, then to Sunny Atlanta. Of course, we had to go through airport security in Redmond. Always an exciting event for an amputee.

Once we landed in Atlanta we had to make our way through the airport to the baggage claim area which was several miles and many days travel from the gate we landed at. That’s an exaggeration of course, but I would recommend taking the train to get to your baggage if you want to have any energy left for checking in to the hotel.

We caught the A & M limo to the Waverly Rennaissance and encountered the first of many fellow amputees. Bob from Santa Cruz, California. He was a returnee and filled us in on several things to expect from the conference.

The hotel is beautiful, and right up front I’d like to give kudos to the friendly, efficient staff. They couldn’t have been more accommodating and professional. The one negative is that the hotel is over twenty miles from the city of Atlanta and if you are planning on doing some “Atlanta stuff” you had better bring lots of cab fare or plan to rent a car. Since it was my first time, I hadn’t arranged for a car because I didn’t know how much of our time the conference would take and wasn’t really too keen on navigating a strange busy city in my spare time.

We ate at the Medici restaurant in the hotel since it was late (for us) at that point and we didn’t want to try to find anything in the area at that point. It was a good decision because they have very decent fare. Our palates weren’t too particular at that point because of the colds so it worked out fine.

Over the next few days we encountered several inspirational people who made me feel downright lucky to have the level of amputation that I do, and also several who reminded me how important it is to take care of the remainder of the limb I have because it can be taken away by infection at any time.

I also experienced exactly the kind of thing I had been hoping to experience during the trip, which was to meet and hang out with people who have been through what I have and are simply living their lives the best they can. Also, when we went to the pool for a swim, EVERYONE there was an amputee, (except for my wife) not just me. That was very cool.

Unfortunately for our diets, we discovered that the nearby Cumberland Mall has a PF Changs and a Cheesecake Factory right across from each other. There is also a Deli that I can’t remember the name of that has great sandwiches and an intriguing looking steak house out by Changs. There is no movie theater at that mall and we never investigated how close the nearest one was. You can choose to stay at the hotel all day each day if you want and will be just fine if you’ve loaded up your day with conferences, which I guess is part of the point of going.

We mainly enjoyed rubbing elbows with other amputees at the lunches and at the Saturday night party. I did get to meet and chat briefly with a few of the nice folks from this forum. Always interesting to hang a face on to a screen name.

Two of the seminars I attended, the gait analysis and the government job availability class, were great. I was pleased to learn that I had a good gait, but disappointed somewhat that Bob Gailly didn’t do the analysis. I had heard about him from Santa Cruz Bob and he couldn’t say enough good things about what he will do for you. Come to think of it, after having lunch with Bob from Kansas, I realized that every guy except me at that conference was named Bob. Just kidding. Still dopey from the cold and the over the counter medicine.

Bottom line: I would heartily recommend the experience of attending this annual conference at least once. If the number of returnees from previous conferences is any indication, there are many who agree. It’s appealing on so many levels that it’s something that has to be experienced to be appreciated. If what Neal said in a previous post is true, that the conference will be coming out West in the future then I am there for sure.

I am going to try to attach a photo from the Saturday night luau of my wife and I. If it doesn’t work, just imagine two people in Hawaiian shirts having a good time in front of some uncannily realistic artificial palm trees.

post-1571-1214271453_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for all the posts on the conference. I am sad that I missed this year but now that I have a new job I'll be able to make it next year. I'm planning already!

Caroln

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Here's one of Jon, Tammie and me at the Luau. Otto Bock sponsored the photographer for all attendees. I think it's a pretty good pic for those computer generated things.

JonTammieandNeal2008-1.jpg

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Was there a chance to do a "group" photo of everyone this year?

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No, Cheryl, there wasn't a group photo this year.. There were many of us, scattered out all over..

At different meals, there were about 8 of us from the forum.. JohnnyV was pretty busy and just didn't have time this year to manage a group photo...(What about those payments Johnny? ;) ;) )

It was really a pleasure meeting and spending some time with some of the first timers from the forum...

Hopalong/Lorrie, BethMarie, KenCor.... it was a pleasure to meet all of you...

Lorrie, I'm sure that you will be hearing from me soon.....

Beth, I hope you and Emma made it home safe and trouble free..

KenCor, feel better, I hope your cold's go away quickly..(and that it didn't pass on :blush: )

Time for everyone to rest up.....

Did anyone loose any coconuts? Or, did any one find any? I guess the right question would be, what grows under a coconut? :lol: :lol: :lol:

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No, Cheryl, there wasn't a group photo this year.. There were many of us, scattered out all over.. At different meals, there were about 8 of us from the forum.. JohnnyV was pretty busy and just didn't have time this year to manage a group photo...(What about those payments Johnny? ;) ;) )

It was really a pleasure meeting and spending some time with some of the first timers from the forum...

Hopalong/Lorrie, BethMarie, KenCor.... it was a pleasure to meet all of you...

Lorrie, I'm sure that you will be hearing from me soon.....

Beth, I hope you and Emma made it home safe and trouble free..

KenCor, feel better, I hope your cold's go away quickly..(and that it didn't pass on :blush: )

Time for everyone to rest up.....

Did anyone loose any coconuts? Or, did any one find any? I guess the right question would be, what grows under a coconut? :lol: :lol: :lol:

A group photo would have been nice this year, but it was logistically difficult to try and orchestrate with everyone’s geography. We will have to try again next year. Thanks for sticking up for me Higgy, and I already gave at the office!

I got to meet for the first time:

AnnieRUH and husband Cris from Montana,

BethMarie of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan,

Hopalong (Lorri) from Indiana,

in addition to seeing all of my friends from past conferences:

Kep - Griffin, Georgia (The check is in the mail)

Neal - Tulsa, Oklahoma

Higgy (Tammie) / Jon - Bath, IL

Krazy1200 (Karen) - Orlando, Florida

fivestringcooper (Jerry) - Gerrardstown, WV

SusanI - New Jersey (Hope that we can get together in August when I go to AC)

Cheri - California (Wish that we had more time to hang out this year)

BMT Barb - Wisconsin (Nice coconuts Barb)

I don't remember or missed seeing:

Skully Cat - WI.

Kelly & Carl, Skully's friends, (Wisconsin ?)

What ever happened to:

ebtalley - Sacramento,CA?

I didn't lose any coconuts, but you had to be there. :blush:

I am still decompressing. :wacko:

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Hi Everyone!

Another great conference! :D I got in on Wednesday night, and it was great to have dinner with Johnny V. , Tammie and Jon. It was nice to feel included. Beth Marie and Emma and I roomed together and that was great also! Helped me not miss my Labbies so much!

Thursday I spent most of the day at the Support Group session and helped a bit with setting up the Benchmark booth, mostly rolling t-shirts :rolleyes: . I also did the gait analysis clinic where they video you and that was great feedback. Thursday night I had dinner with my Benchmark buddies including my prosthetist and physical therapist and a few other patients.

Friday had a nice breakfast and did some technology sessions and checked out the exhibits. Was able to meet Karen and Cheri and check out their great sockets. Thanks much for sharing! Can't wait to try out my new socket that I should get next month. I danced in George's class, and also helped out at the First Volley session with Sara.....

Did Bob Gailey's clinic on Saturday, and really worked hard. I have a lot more work to do if I want to get stronger.....Johnny V's performance at the dance was fun. He looked cute as a rapper! Spent time with Lorri and realized we had a lot in common. It was fun to talk and compare notes. :P

Had fun hanging out outside. Loved the wheelchair caravan, lol. It was also nice to spend time with Neil & Kerry.....Kerry, I hope you get a chance to get in the pool. :)

It is so nice to meet everyone and spend time together and check out what shoes or socket or leg someone else is wearing, and to say, gee, I'm really doing pretty good, all in all. Being at the conference helps me feel more "normal". I met many super people and hope that I will be able to come back next year!

Hugs,

Susan :D

PS Hope everyone got home safe. I'm visiting with a friend in NC and will be home Thursday.

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Cheri, I'm having to do a "bit" of editing to adher to the forum rules!!!!!!!! ;)

And in some cases, I'm awaiting "payment" before I reveal these shots. :o :unsure:

:o :o :o { Does someone need to hide for acouple days? } :ph34r::ph34r:

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Welcome back everyone glad it was a good time.

Glad you got there Ken.

Well done Neal on holding up the bar :rolleyes:

Get enough Tshirts this year JV? :lol:

Hope within the next few years to see you all again.

Or maybe you might all come down here for our conference......now wouldn't that be fun :lol:

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All this talk about coconuts; let me see if I can shed a little light on the subject for those of you who might be scratching your heads and wondering. This is FivestringCooper and BMT Barb.

ACA2008001.jpg

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Or maybe you might all come down here for our conference......now wouldn't that be fun :lol:

That would be a blast Cat. When is your conference scheduled?

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Cheri, I'm having to do a "bit" of editing to adher to the forum rules!!!!!!!! ;)

And in some cases, I'm awaiting "payment" before I reveal these shots. :o :unsure:

:o :o :o { Does someone need to hide for acouple days? } :ph34r::ph34r:

Actually Ann, there are some shots that I just couldn't edit enough to put here.

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Cheri, I'm having to do a "bit" of editing to adher to the forum rules!!!!!!!! ;)

And in some cases, I'm awaiting "payment" before I reveal these shots. :o :unsure:

:o :o :o { Does someone need to hide for acouple days? } :ph34r::ph34r:

Yep........ I think so........................... :rolleyes:

I think there might be a good case for some extra payments too!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Santa!!!!!!! :lol:

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Get enough Tshirts this year JV? :lol:

Hope within the next few years to see you all again.

Or maybe you might all come down here for our conference......now wouldn't that be fun :lol:

I swore off T-shirts after going to a 'Say No To T-shirts' support group. :lol:

We hope to see you again as well.

I would love to travel to attend your conference. Let us know when it is.

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Or maybe you might all come down here for our conference......now wouldn't that be fun :lol:

Please let us know the dates asap so I can purchase the tickets before they become comparable to the price of a small battleship due to the rising cost of airplane fuel. I've been looking for an excuse to go to Australia for about 40 years now. That would be even better than having the conference in my backyard. Might even slip over to New Zealand for a few days also since we're in the neighborhood.

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Hi All,

It was such an amazing conference for me. I even "showed off" today by almost running to a lunch I was late for--people I work with were amazed. It is taking Emma some time to get use to moving that fast again. That part was great, but what was even greater was meeting so many of you and being with people just like me. :D I am a very visual person, so it is great to be able to put names and faces together.

Thanks to all of you who were so nice and helpful to me--and Emma. I can't wait until next year.

Peace and many thanks,

Beth Marie

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Or maybe you might all come down here for our conference......now wouldn't that be fun :lol:

That would be a blast Cat. When is your conference scheduled?

Yes......... it sure would be fun....... and I already have the t-shirt and bag!!!!!!!!! :D :D

Bless her heart, my lady Mel had one waiting for me when I got home.....More Shirts!!!!!!!! :)

Our Aussie friends were sorely missed, as always...as well as our disco queen and her escort..

It was posted on the big board, I think... but I have forgotten already.. too busy trying to catch up from being gone...

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Next year's conference dates are June 18-21, 2009. That one is straight from the horses mouth in Knoxville, so if it changes, it's not my fault....

Ken, I hope that helps you........

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Next year's conference dates are June 18-21, 2009. That one is straight from the horses mouth in Knoxville, so if it changes, it's not my fault....

Ken, I hope that helps you........

Hi Higgy. Nice meeting and chatting with you at the conference! I was actually referring to that hinted at, yet mostly mythical conference that Cat was arranging down under. That would be a good time because I've always wanted to go down there.

Cheers,

Ken

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yet mostly mythical conference

It's still only mythical :rolleyes: ......but ONE day for sure

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