Wednesday, August 10, 2011

International Doctors in Alcoholics Anonymous 2011 Tucson, Arizona

Every year in early August, IDAA holds it's annual conference.  IDAA is an organization for any doctoral level health care providers.  That includes doctors, dentists, veterinarians, psychologists and others, men and women and their families.  The program began with Alcoholics Anonymous but now includes anyone in a 12 step program for addiction as well as family members in Al Anon.  There is an Al a Dude, Al A Teen, Al a Twenties program run by Gerry Moe from Betty Ford for children young and old affected by their parents disease of addiction.  The conference includes AA meetings running side by side with Continuing Medical Education given by the greats in the field of addiction. There are banquets for the new comers, banquets for celebration and break out meetings for groups like psychiatrists, anesthiologists, gays and lesbians, women doctors, cyber doctors and indeed any sub category that for a time wishes to meet together to discuss their peculiarities as well as their similiarities to the whole.
This year the meeting was held in Tucson.  Everything about it was a glowing testament to the city, JW Marriott and the volunteer organizers. I love Tucson!  JW Marriott Starpass Resort and Spa was spectacular.  I thought I'd died and gone to heaven , the hot side of heaven for sure.  Coming from the rain forest of BC in a particularly wet year of flooding for Canada, the rich desert  ecosystem, cactus, quail, road runners, little wild pigs related to racoons and desert mule deer was a delightful change.
I slept in for the 5 km run, duly noted by my gorgeous Al Anon friend Bobbi but I did love hiking the nearby Starr Pass Trail when she was probably sleeping in with her husband, Tom.   My friend Art had brought moose jerky from his bow hunting in Wyoming and when we weren't discussing neurology we were swapping tales about hunts,  ATV's and Campers. Meanwhile Carole and Tom were discussing literature at the table and their children. A neurosurgeon was particularly amusing story teller.It was especially good to see Dick and John, both of whom I'd met by circumstance at other conferences in the year since the last IDAA meeting. Randy always makes me laugh.  I even had a chance to meet Hans from Switzerland.  There were others from Canada, from Australia, Britain, Germany and Brazil.  .  I miss Hank and LeClair and now Denny and Earl. Each year a fine friend seems to pass to the 'meeting in the sky' and we celebrate their passing in memory.  Graeme touched my soul, yet again, with his honesty. Beth and Judy made me feel more human.   I loved the laughter and the tears.  Our banquet speaker, Bob, had me transfixed while the spiritual speaker on Sunday morning touched my soul  It was a moving learning liberating meeting and I actually still had time  for the  finest of dining,  exciting shopping in Tucson, and horseback trail riding with Spanish Outfitters.
Next year the meeting is in Orlando, Florida on the Disney properties.  I'm already looking forward to it.  DSCN9492DSCN9490DSCN9481DSC 0251DSC 0238DSC 0220DSC 0208DSC 0197DSC 0231DSC 0206

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