This is a series of little personal and professional snippets, vignettes, from the IASP Congress, held in Montreal Aug. 29-Sept 2 2010.
Lost luggage (again..)
I got back Friday afternoon (Sept 3), minus my luggage, lost somewhere in the bowels of Toronto airport by Air Canada in connector flight limbo, for the second time in 4 months. It has yet to arrive - the first time it was lost by Air Canada as I came home from Brazil, it arrived the next day. This time the wrong bag appeared at the bus station. Someone else must be in Air Canada luggage hell with me, our suitcases delivered to each other. This is getting very stressful. No more Air Canada for me I'm afraid. I'm already going through a mourning process more severe than should be necessary - especially once I realized I had packed my notebook FULL of scrawled notes taken at all the presentations. That really sux. The clothes? Meh. The shoes? Meh. Replaceable. But the two hard cover books, a dental pick, favorite scratchy Japanese bathing towel, MUCH harder to replace; the bamboo back scratcher that was my dad's before he died, and the note book (!) - irreplaceable!
The Melzack reception
It was the first time I'd ever been to an IASP Congress, ever. I knew they occurred but this time I wanted to go specifically to attend the reception for Ron Melzack. I not only was in the same room as he was, but I got to meet him, shake hands, and have a picture taken with him and the other members of the CPA Pain Science Division who attended. The photographer is a retired neuropathologist married to a Canadian pain physio we know, who said he'd email the photos but hasn't so far. When he does I'll post one. This event is the highlight of my life so far.
John Loeser presented a slideshow of Melzack's life and work, lots of photos of his childhood, family, vacations he was on, people he met and worked with, with lots of hair and without, all the way from age 10 to now. I was previously unaware Melzack had written books of stories of the indigenous peoples of the far north. He was there with his wife in her wheelchair, gracious and charming, shorter than I had expected. There were probably close to a hundred people gathered, beautiful food, plenty of wine, lots of huddle around the guest of honour.
I really wanted to say hello to him, saw that there was sort of de-reception line had formed as he tried to make his way out the door into a larger foyer for a planned photo with his "family" of grad students. I walked over and waited a turn. When he got to me it was clear on his face he had never met me before. He extended his hand anyway. I rapidly introduced myself and reassured him we had never met previously but that I was very pleased to meet him, that I was with the physiotherapy Pain Science Division, that I wanted to thank him for his life's work, that it was already having a large impact on my profession and that if I possibly could I would want all PTs in the world to become conscious neuromatricians. I asked him if he would be willing to have his photo taken with those of us from PSD who were there, and he graciously nodded. And then it happened, out in the lobby, after the more official photos were taken.
A SomaSimple thread was started while IASP Congress was happening, to which we posted highlights (and some photos) when we had time.
More to come. Much more.