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BethMarie

ACA's 2009 19th Annual Educational Conference

Do you plan on attending this years conference?  

17 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you plan on attending this years conference?

    • Yes
      10
    • No
      7


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I can honestly say, I don't ever remember flailing in my life.....that would be hilarious :laugh::laugh::laugh:

And I did not shove you..... :angry: Your just jealous cause I have better balance :tongue:

Maybe we should of swapped the JD out for some moonshine?

Can you imagine if we had known and taken some Pledge to that bannister....woo hoo.......

WooHoo is right. We might just have gone right out the front doors. :laugh::laugh::laugh:

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Nah, the elevators would of stopped us.....

By the way....does polishing off a gallon of margarita's count? :biggrin::blush:

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First of all, Amy and Higgy it was great to meet you ladies. Neal, I'm sorry that I never caught up with you. After we left the Waverly Saturday evening, my Father suffered a heart attack. He had been feeling bad all weekend. Anyway, he was released from the hospital yesterday and we finally made it home this morning. He's going to be fine, but this is a major wake-up call for him. He has an appointment with a cardiologist Monday morning. Time for some major lifestyle changes!!

Enough of the bad! The conference was incredible!! I think that the most important thing that I took away from the conference was attitude. I saw literally hundreds of amputrees and not one person was "down". There was not one person I spoke to that felt sorry for themselves or was looking for sympathy. I can't tell you how much that motivated me. There really is a full life waiting after an amputation! I just have to complete my recovery and figure out how to go get it!!

Marcia, I haven't forgotten about that Casino trip. I'll be getting in touch with you soon!

Bryan

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I'm so sorry to hear about your dad Bryan. I'm glad to hear that you are home.. How distressing it must of been to be away from home and to have that happen.. Not that it's any better when you are home..just less complicated..(mercy, I just need to insert foot into mouth and quit talking).

At least, your father is on the road to recovery..

It's always tough in the beginning stages of being an amputee.. They build our leg, put it under us and we expect to go and resume full lives as if nothing had ever happened..then when we realize it has changed, for some of us, it can be hard to adjust..

Just make sure that you take it one day at a time, one step at a time if needed.. Slowly but surely you will get where you want to be..There is a future for all of us.... And I think that the conference is always a good reminder of that.. There are more of us than we tend to think there is..

I"m glad to hear that you had a great time.. We look forward to seeing you again....

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sorry to hear about your dad, Bryan. But at least he's home and things will be looking up. I hate that I had to miss the conference again. Just too much going on. Our gang here at HM is awesome and seeing all the people at the conference is so uplifting. Attending my first conference was a turning point for me. I felt normal for the first time in a couple of years.

I look forward to meeting you when you come this way. Prayers and good wishes for your dad.

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We had promised Cat, three years ago, that we would do this.

Ohhhh right blame me :laugh::biggrin::tongue:

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Good to hear that your Dad is better. We all need a wake-up call every now and then.

Sorry I missed you too Bryan. You'll have to come to the next conference and spend more time. It is a great experience.

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Hi all:

It takes me a while before I can get to a computer. So here are my comments and some pics of the ACA conference 2009. This was my second conference.

I remember way back in 2007 at the first conference that I attended, that I arrived a bit late and left a bit early. During that conference, I was extremely busy attending many of the clinics and seminars that I was interested in. Then I was also, a ”newbie” and perhaps had not quite accepted what I was.

I remember watching the people then, on the dance floor, and saying to myself that this looked like something out of some “bizzaro” movie…………….all those people missing a leg or legs, an arm or so, or dancing in a wheelchair etc…….. rocking or line dancing and having a great time.

That was then and this time was now. My intentions were to return this year and attend some of those seminars and clinics that I had missed the first time that I felt were pertinent to me in my case.

This turned out to be not the case……………..

I arrived around 6:00 pm on Wednesday, got my room, went there and got rid of my legs as they were killing me by then, and then headed off to the smoking area outside.

Six hours later, after yacking my head off, I finally made it to bed after midnight. This was to become the major theme of my attendance to this conference. In time, I never did make it to those seminars. Instead, the majority of the time, I was engaged in just talking to God knows how many people.

I met a couple of newbie BAKs and spent hours passing on my comments and opinions in regards to life as a BAK. I spent many hours talking to BAKs who were many years a head of myself and my skills on prots. I spoke to and enjoyed, a couple of women who I did not have the balls to talk to on my previous conference as I did not know then how to approach them because of their personnel situations that were extremely foreign to me.

In 2007, there were four or so BAKs that I remember. Two were “poster” amps for some prosthetic company………… myself and Terry (Kep) from this forum. This year…………I swear, there around thirty (30) BAKs………some new and some old, some in wheelchairs and some on C legs. As well, I saw the first females BAKs that I have ever seen………..this was “strange” to me. However, I talked to them all.

I spent my meal times with the attending members of the HM forum and got to know them better.

Some of the highlights of this conference …..to me………..were:

1. I made many, many new, long time friends.

2. I attended a “sports” clinic for child amputees and was truly flabbergasted and amazed as these children “flew” in the air as they ran, jumped, and whatever on their arty legs……..without collapsing or falling down!!!!

3. For some reason, I learned, after six glorious years as an amputee, a new way to pee from my wheelchair that I will use for the rest of my life.

4. I taught Terry (Kep) from this forum, how to get back into his wheelchair in case he ever bounces out of it.

5. I gave all my experience and advice to a new BAK named Allen from Arizona, to consider on his journey with his new body.

6. I instructed at least thirty people in wheelchairs to reverse their arm rests so that they can wheel better, easier and faster.

7. I have learned that I belong to an “exclusive” club. To belong you only have to lose a vital part of your body to qualify and the price you pay has to be extreme!!!

8. I learned that amputees can really DRINK and can last until the sun comes up…….night after night!!

My experiences from this conference can be summed up by the comments of another………….a young black fellow who lost his leg in Iraq while serving his country……….. “Man I can’t believe this………. It doesn’t matter if your missing one leg or two, an arm or whatever……… black or white……. oriental or whatever……, we all get along and are all the same. It just makes no difference…………..I can’t believe this.”

The ACA conference has been, for me, the best experience of my life, with legs or without. Regardless of my situation, I WILL attend all conferences in the future for as long as I can. I would advise all amputees to do themselves a real favour and go to an ACA conference. It is the best thing that they could ever do.

To my new friends……………..to Ashley from Georgia, to Claudia from Florida, to Greg and “Crazy” Ray from Alabama, to “Higgy” and Neal, Amyskydiver and the rest………………..thank you for allowing me to be part of your lives.

Because of this conference, I am a far better man…………………..and a far better human being.

See you all next year!!!!..............where ever!!!!!

ED

Well…this is my best photo that I took during the conference!!!…..Neal from this forum, had troubles with his back. The first day he paid some masseur big bucks to rid him of the pain. After that expense, he would get any woman willing to rub him down for free!!!

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More........................

A half a million dollar shot of several C leg users. The fellow on the left was from Spain, Heath Calhoun (the best BAK on C legs I have ever met), Jim from the States and new to his legs, the shorter fellow uses stubbies to get around (he completed the two miles walk run in these little legs), Pierre, a newbie, and Cameron Clapp (triple amputee).

ED

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Crap!!!...............I can only figure how to do this one at a time!!!!

ED

Heath Calhoun demonstrating how he gets off a curb to many less skilled BAKs.

From left to right: Pierre (a newbie in plaid), Jim (in black), Heath (red T shirt), Greg from Alabama with his back to the camera, the fellow on the ground (I forget his name) using his stubbie legs (he danced the two step at the gala dance with his wife for the first time in seven years) and a triple amputee (blown up in Afghanistan) from Britain

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Another.........

Myself with a drunken face surrounded by my two friends from Alabama. Crazy Ray (L) and Greg ®…..a BAK from being blown up while serving his country in Iraq.

ED

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One of the meals we had for lunch on day / Neal on the dance floor…………..as usual / A little female Chihuahua, born without front legs, “wheeling” around.

ED

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Nothing like a little bit of one legged music at one of the night parties we had / Greg from Alabama, (a fellow BAK) with his “stash” at one of the night parties / “Higgy, Kep and Neal”

ED

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Terry (Kep), Neal, u/k, “Higgy” and Chad (who we tried to get to join the forum

Myself, ED (eddie103), Terry (Kep), Amy (amyskydiver), Neal, and Ashley “peachygirl??, a new member on the forum. Oh yea, the one legged dancer guy from the conference managed to hide behind us.

I thought this was interesting since I have never seen it before. I think “finishing the pylon to match the socket is a great idea.

ED

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See you all next year!!!!..............where ever!!!!!

ED

Thank for sharing Eddie. GREAT follow up! I look forward to seeing you again!

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Great pics Ed. You would have to post the one of me topless. :biggrin: I did love all those back rubs.

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Thanks for sharing all the great pics, Ed. And your thoughts too. Hopefully, nothing will prevent me from attending next year and seeing all you wonderful folk.

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--and I WILL be seeing Amy in a little more than a month...if she doesn't decide to just stay in Cozumel, where she's at right now. (Hmmmm..... Minnesota or Cozumel... Tough choice there.)

Cozumel in June is NOT my idea of a good time!! (Gasping over the heat and humidity!) I left hot and humid Atlanta, just to step out of the airport and find Minnesota to be equally as hot and humid. Then off to Cozumel where it was even worse! *blech!* Minnesota is now back to a comfortable 70's and I've got a huge smile on my face. Awwwwww . . . I've now been to Coz in April, March (X's 3), June and November. April and June are just too hot. November has the Norte ruining your dive plans. So I will stick with March (or even February).

ill be in minneapolis july 16-20.. san diego august 6-12.. and i fly into moline august 15-18.. if anyone is round there let me know!!

~ ash

CRAP!!! Ashley! I will be out of town the weekend you will be here!!! UGH! I'll be at a resort in Wisconsin for a family (mother, her husband, my granddaughter, my siblings and their offspring) vacation. My mother rented a couple of condos for us so I must go. Bummer on the timing. :sad:

Plus.......... and this is the big one.......I have influence with Amy!!!

I imagine she is coming back...after the heat in Atlanta, Minnesota sounds good... I hope the diving for her is going good with the Pacific tropical storm...

LOL!! You know it, Girlfriend! :laugh:

Thankfully, the weather/rain didn't get to the Caribbean side of Mexico until we were leaving. It was sunny and HOT the entire time diving. I had my laptop with me but it was too hot to fire it up in the open-air lobby and the signal didn't reach our room this time. They typically give me room 101 which is close enough to the lobby that I can get the signal without leaving my room. This time, since it was such short notice, we got a 2nd floor room instead.

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To my new friends……………..to Ashley from Georgia, to Claudia from Florida, to Greg and “Crazy” Ray from Alabama, to “Higgy” and Neal, Amyskydiver and the rest………………..thank you for allowing me to be part of your lives.

Because of this conference, I am a far better man…………………..and a far better human being.

See you all next year!!!!..............where ever!!!!!

ED

Ed,

It was wonderful meeting you and I can't wait until we meet up again next year. Thank you for the wonderful write-up and the great pics. :biggrin:

Amy

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Hello Bryan,

It was great meeting you as well. Sorry I took off so quickly. I kept looking for you later on but never saw you.

I'm REALLY sorry about your father!!! I hope he's continuing to improve.

Take care,

Amy

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Hey, gang...quick question, here: Was there anything put out about WHERE the conference might be next year? (Wherever it might be, I'm hoping to be able to go again!)

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Hey, gang...quick question, here: Was there anything put out about WHERE the conference might be next year? (Wherever it might be, I'm hoping to be able to go again!)

We are still on terminal hold with that :unsure:

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Sorry I missed you guys this year. :sad: I've bitten the bullet and am working 4 days a week. It is good for the budget, but not so good for my social life, lol!

Thanks for sharing photos! Looks like everyone had a great time. I would've loved to do the horseback riding. I'll have to check out the place in MA. I may be going up that way for a family reunion the end of August, if I can get a housesitter.

Hugs to you all!

Susan

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