After a few snags and some shuffling of plans, I am delighted to announce that I will be representing Ossur at the Amputee Coalition National Conference this year. This conference is, by far, my favorite event to work. Although my days will be occupied in the confines of the booth, I always leave this event with a sense of renewal and optimism. Imagine how I would feel if I actually attended a seminar or educational activity!
For me, this conference is about empowerment. For a
few days at the end of June, I will be one of many instead of "the only
one." It is refreshing to be surrounded by others in the amputee
community. My prosthesis may garner attention, but it simply because the
onlooker is comparing devices. In one month the hotel will be taken
over by the limb loss community, rendering the four-limbed to minority
I have often remarked that the best thing about living
life as an amputee is the community to which I now belong. At the
conference, it is the norm to see prosthetics whipped off in the midst
of a discussion to point out components and to troubleshoot issues. I
don't have to explain the feelings that arise from a "bad leg day" nor
do I have to try to minimize the aggravation I feel when the phantom big
toe begins to twist. It is wonderful to be completely understood
without trying to provide flowery descriptions of the elusive pains and
frustrations that arise from living with an amputation.
Robby and Scott won't be joining me at the conference. I was hoping
that they would be able to come because I think that they would both
benefit from attending. Robby would especially love meeting with other
children and sharing stories. Of course, the fact that the conference is
held at Sea World this year would have been enough to blow his little
mind! Can you imagine my little fish and koopa lover at Sea World? He
won't make it this year, but I'll certainly scope out the area out as a
potential family vacation in the future.
Although I'll be working
in the booth for the duration of the conference, I'm looking forward to
seeing friends and to meeting those whom I have come to know via the
internet. It will be exciting when I finally get to hug friends whom I
care about yet have never met! If you are going to the conference next
month, please swing by the booth and say hello. Maybe I can take a break
and grab a cupcake with you!