#Medx 2015 – A First “X” Perience for me……

What an exciting event, #Medx at Stanford in Palo Alto California was for me.  This was my first ever trip to California, and my first ever trip to make a personal patient story about caregiving and the vulnerable.

I arrived in California a day prior to #medx after a couple of travel delays and a bit weary – but excited to dive into the deep end of the #medx pool.  Unfortunately there was so much going on in the deep end – that I was only able to take a part of it.   But here are my thoughts.

First of all meeting Hugo Campos,   12041542_10152985024236222_1333550876_owho has his own very important patient story was a thrill for me.  Patients are their own best Voice (also for their loved ones, and their voice is becoming magnified through conduits like Stanford and #medx.  It was an honor to meet Hugo who was our Epatient advisor – and a huge help to me personally.  Thanks very much to all who paved the way for me and others in the conference, like @abrewi3010 Alan Brewington @hurtblogger – Britt, @afternoonNapper Sarah Kucharski and so many  who went out of their way to support, inform, take by the arm and encourage many of the epatient community.

It was marvelous to attend the Epatient Supper and hear each one relate the reason why they were there – it basically put us all on the same level – as every one of us was and is a patient – despite the background that brought us there.  There were medical students, a pharmacy student, and even parents of children with rare or unusual conditions.  We applauded each speaker – realizing that none of us are alone  We may feel isolated but the gathering at Stanford soon brings you to realize that “your Story” is what brings you there, and “every story” is from a Patient – and that the Patient Voice matters.

I was able to participate in a day conference prior to #Medx that dealt with design for patients,  “Behavior – Change for Health”  It was a fun day of working with other delegates in groups – and try to see different ways to approach problems for patients.  Thankfully that conference eased me into the Medx experience and everyone had a laugh and got along like they always knew each other.12037922_10152983949521222_1624263664_o

The exciting start to #Medx began Friday morning early and I followed everyone out to the shuttle, unsure just what I was jumping into…but really glad I was getting this opportunity.  As a senior I figure that every day I get to do something new is a good day.  I wore my #WalkingGalleryJacket – courtesy of the amazing Regina Holliday  @ReginaHolliday and was glad that several people asked about the story on the back of my jacket.

Brunch was served, the day was getting started and I still managed to slide into my seat a bit late – I was dealing with my travel, lack of sleep and despite the wonderful help of Stanford Volunteers (who were always available) I often was a bit late.  Unfamiliar territory is always challenging…but I did make it through!

It was inspiring to hear Dr. Larry Chu speak about why #Medx exists, why Epatients are valuable and inspirational guests at this conference – and indeed I did feel the warmth wrapping us all together from various parts of the world.  I was fortunate to meet Charlie Blotner @CBlotner_ and also Meredith Hurston @Meredithhurston among so many wonderful attendees who I cannot begin to name individually here.

From the Wellness Room – where you could relax, rest, and sip a cold drink – to the ever busy occupied conference room – where the action never stopped – where speeches were made, and panels discussed every aspect of patient care, the importance of details like family support, medical records, caregivers, specialists, and how to make it all work together better  – #Medx was energized.  As a multi – tasker I was having a hard time keeping up, and certainly didn’t want to miss anything – but of course, I did miss a few things – but every moment counted.

It was unique to have a special lawn party outdoors with fabulous food and lots of conversation happening.  Seeing familiar faces like Colleen Young @Colleen_Young and Colin Hung @Colin_Hung from Toronto  – really helped.

It was also amazing to meet in person long time Twitter pals Alicia Stales  @stales , Amy Berman @NotesOnNursing  Pam Ressler @pamressler @JBBC Marie Ennis O’Connor, Lisa Gualtieri @lisagualtieri , Stacey Tinianov @cofeemommy and so many more.

As a first time attendee this event was spectacular.  So many ideas on display, 3-D machines creating a full molar tooth with roots, another machine creating parts of a hand extension – a sort of glove type hand covering that gives more grip and functionality to a patient who requires it.  Unless you go yourself, you really can’t understand it.  Dr. Chu and his staff were very evident – always making sure things ran smoothly, available to ask questions, and I felt at ease.

I must say that the food venues were top of the line, with snacks brought out several times a day – cookies, cobblers, ice-cream, and always drinks, coffee and tea on hand.  We were armed and ready to run to the next session.  The breakfasts and noon meals were splendid and kept us going.  Kudos to all the staff behind the scenes who did so much for us all.

I left Medx feeling a bit under the weather, seems like a lot of us picked up a bug.  But despite that one negative – I would recommend Medx highly to all.

It was an experience I won’t forget – and I am so honored I was able to participate and meet some of my heroes.  The down side is that there were many people I never got a chance to say hello to.  But who knows what the future will bring.

I was able to share Medx with the world via Twitter and Facebook, also the new medium Periscope.  It was fun teaching others about the App, including Dr. Brian Stork, @StorkBrian and Dr. Kunmi Sobowale @KMsob – we had a great laugh and I was able to share a couple of Periscopes with the online Community

The Power of Engagement = Priceless

The Power of #Medx = Undeniable

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