There are numerous ways to become a ‘statistic’ in Holland: the wrong kind of magic mushrooms, falling into the canal after indulging in one too many ‘self-medicating’ cannabis smokes, sky-high cholesterol from eating all that cheese, breaking your neck on the cobble stones and/or the ever-present construction work, or the odd bomb threat (see 25 June blog) . . . However, I swear that two of the most dangerous health issues I’m finding are passive smoking, and avoiding crazy cyclists who only have two speeds – lighting fast and stop. Stepping out in the streets of Amsterdam can be a serious health hazard!
However, off I toddled to another interesting day of session presentations. I decided on the “Aging and Comorbidity” sessions which included “Aging and Muscle Function Including Sarcopenia” by Jan Lexell, “Osteoporosis” by Helena Burger, and “Medication for Comorbidities – Effects in Post-Polio Syndrome” by Lise Kay. All three sessions were really interesting and I have included photos of the key slides for each. All presentations will be available on the Conference website in due course, so keep a look out for them.
The next round of sessions commenced with John Tierney giving his presentation on Self Management of the LEoP - Seeking government and private funding support: The Australian experience, followed by “Painting the same picture can prove better clinical outcomes” by Hilary Boone, who I had also seen speaking at the PHI Conference is St Louis, then “Illness experiences of people with PPS” by Minne Bakker, and finally, “Learning from the past: Polio survivors experiences prior to the creation of the British National Health Service” by Karen Smith, standing in for Anita Atwal.
The day finished off with a series of research studies connected to intervention methods which were of limited interest – mainly due to the fact that the first two sessions showed no benefits to the intervention methods they were studying, which is the funny thing about research – even no result is a result!
Polio Australia poster (L) and related slides (R) – the latter presented at the St Louis Conference
Click each image to download a PDF copy
As with all the other poster presenters, I had to stand next to mine for an hour to discuss the project with anyone who was interested. My poster focused on the survey results of the four Australian Polio Health and Wellness Retreats held 2010-2013 with regard to the increase in ‘Health Literacy’ of the participants. So, of course, I was dragging everyone to see mine, which was neatly tucked away around a corner . . . They were mainly the other poster presenters, but at least I got to explain what it was all about. I think people left knowing a bit more about it, and those people were reasonably impressed with the concept of the Retreats. Best you can do, really.
However, the highlight of the day would have to be the Conference Dinner. I made sure I was sitting on a table away from the Aussie contingent so I could schmooze with a few people I didn’t already know. The food was pretty good generally, but the dessert was sensational! (see photo!). Then the band started and people slowly but surely got up to dance or wheel themselves around the dance floor. It was an absolute hoot! I’m sure there are photos somewhere that should never see the light of day, but will probably come back to haunt me one day . . .
The only glitch in the evening was the pre-dinner drink session, which was in a narrow room with no chairs and cram-packed with the 350 or so delegates – half of whom have physical difficulties. Not sure if someone didn’t read the memo about this being a post-polio convention!
But all that was forgotten by the end of the night and it appeared that a wonderfully good time was had by all. I know I certainly had a ball, although it’s VERY late/early morning as I’m writing this, so must go get some shut-eye.
Last day tomorrow (today) – stand by . . .