Sunday, August 5, 2018

Reno Nevada after IDAA

I loved Cheryl’s Sunday Morning Spirituality talk. Hope and redemption.  Then it was farewells, hugs all round.  Maybe another whole year before seeing people that uplift and sustain me.  We talked of attending other meetings, so many had, a similar one in Melbourne next year, the annual one of the British Doctors, New England doctors and Western conference.  I must make room for this in my schedule if only to keep perspective. Judy smiled knowingly at me when we talked of detaching from the politics of the profession.  So much has been about recognizing our fears.  Aging and the proximity to dying has touched me in ways I’d not noticed before.
My missionary doctor friend organized a workshop on trauma. I didn’t know where to begin.  An ER doctor was unable to get the image of one gunshot wound in LA out of his head. He’d seen so many stabbings and gunshots but this one touched him. I keep seeing thelittle girl who overdosed with her boyfriend last year, taking a year off from college.  He lived. She died. The face on the disease
I’m sitting here in the Reno Outdoor Cafe Campo. It’s on the Riverwalk and gives are really special face to the city.  The main street is casinos while here is this witness to elegance and fine living. The promenade.  Truckee River. A lovely stream with rapids and boulders, yet here and there some depth.  No doubt a happy place for some species of fish.  Hanging potted plants are all  along the way.  A Latin busker sang a sweet song while a young man jogged past the well dressed young lady pushing her baby buggy.
The sun is hot here.  The city has let artists paint the outside of buildings. Across the way a pretty wall of clouds and sky. More eye candy. A many faceted whale is sculpted  in a deep dive a long way from home in Nevada.  
The city is known for it’s restaurants and cuisine. Staying at the Peppermill Resort I loved all the meals they prepared. The smorgasboard brunch with John was a treat with Mexican and Chinese offerings beside the roast beef and all day breakfast items..  Obviously gamblers like to eat too.
The gambling machines in the airport when I arrived were a surprise but then later I told a friend that I expect every home in Reno has it’s own gambling machine shrine. The city is to gambling what Napa is to wine.  
My work with addiction skews my view. Mostly 80 to 90% of people can enjoy pleasurable activities without stealing from their grandmothers or selling their bodies for cash in the pursuit of pleasure to fuel some activity.  Dr. Nady el Guebaly, founder of the International Society of Addiction Medicine spent his life time studying gambling seeking to prevent those small few who simply couldn’t stop. It’s a deep field for research with advances occurring all the time in the study of genetics, Neuro chemistry, social and psychological factors. 
It’s nice sitting here reflecting on all the other activities that occur in a major city regardless of the primary industry. Here tourism is increasingly important but once the town was a centre for ranching and hub of migrations and transportation. The bridge a ways down had a sign recording the history of the development of Reno in the Gold Rush days as a resting point and transit point on the way to the California mines.
I”m just thankful to have been here.  The IDAA conference has taken me to so many American cities I might otherwise not have known. I love these settings of IDAA and the resorts.  Lake Tahoe is close and many chose to take a dinner cruise on Friday evening.  I tried to arrange a horseback ride with Heavenly Hooves but they were booked a week a head.  Sierra Adventures also was booked full, the popularity of the outdoor adventure that apparent.  
I’d only stopped in the past passing through Reno driving from Western Canada down to California.  I was travelling with a wife and Mustang car then but would love to come through here on my Harley. There’s that Wild West flavour here and Hollywood made it’s share of western movies in Nevada at one time.
The airport is calling now.  It’s been a great conference and I’m thankful to Reno for being here to host such events so well.  Till next I come, hopefully with more time and a motorbike or kayak.  

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