BLOG - HOCKEY & HEAVY METAL

JULY 1, 2013 • 08:30 AM

I WANT TO SHOW YOU ALL MY WARES

Yes, I’m actually wearing a white shirt. Really.

This was quite the weekend. I’m now back home from home from the Amputee Coalition’s annual national conference, which took place in Orlando this year. In their own words, the AC’s mission is “to reach out and to empower people affected by limb loss to achieve their full potential through education, support and advocacy, and to promote limb loss prevention.” Well...that definitely works. The get-together consists of meet-ups, seminars and social events, and lots of prosthetics industry manufacturers and providers set up booths in a big convention hall alongside a wide variety of disabled athletic, activity and support organizations. It’s a lot of information and product and access to folks in similar situations, and rather smoothly, it’s also geared toward family members of amputees as well.

Ironically enough, even if this sort of event had existed in the mid 1980s right after I became an amputee I probably would have done everything possible to get out of attending, let alone come to it with family members. Chalk it up to the usual suspects of denial and teenage aversion to 99% of everything, but honestly, the Amputee Coalition would have have needed to book Metallica to play their “Master Of Puppets” album release show at the 1986 convention to have gotten me to turn up. But in 2013 I’m now here (and happy to be here) as a model for Ottobock, who are the developers and manufacturers of the Michelangelo hand that I wear on a day-to-day basis. It’s the ne plus ultra in myoelectric hands, and I was one of the first people to get one when it launched last year after a 7-year development process. It was a real game changer for me from day one, and I was able to get very proficient with it reasonably quickly because I practiced using it obsessively. Over time word about that made its way to Ottobock, who decided that it might be a good idea to bring me to the Amputee Coalition National Conference to demonstrate its use and talk about its benefits to potential  users.

Rather than wait until the end of the post, I’m giving my shout out to the Ottobock people now since you won’t skip over it here. Take a bow Byron Backus, Sharon Baldauf, Eric Fregger, Gary Hooks, Karen Peters, fellow model Kate Ross, Leslie Pitt, Linda Williams, and (pictured) the absolutely amazing Bambi Lombardi, who made this possible. Thank you. You guys are most excellent company.

So here I am, hanging out at the Ottobock booth, stylin’ and profilin’. Woo. It didn’t take too long before I had a relatively quick rap down about the Michaelangelo’s speed, its multiple thumb settings, its floating wrist and how unbelievably lifelike it looks - numerous people mistook me for a prosthetist and didn’t realize I was actually wearing a Michelangelo until I pointed it out. And when I started asking people about their back stories and fielding their questions, it didn’t take too long before I started to be the person who was really benefiting from the conversations. They brought back a lot of memories of those first few years after my accident (i.e. the high school years) and how difficult the adjustment was. All of that happened so long ago that sometimes I forget how much was involved, and how much my family went through as well. After I got out of the hospital there was rehabilitation, scarring, revision surgery, phantom pains, anger, frustration, denial, confusion, body image issues, self-esteem issues, self-confidence issues and the problems that came from having my two favorite activities (playing guitar and ice hockey) taken away from me overnight. It made me feel fortunate that I happen to be living in this era where prosthetics are advancing at such a rapid rate (the last 10 years have been huge) and it made me grateful that I’m now at the point where I’m actually able to provide a little bit of hope and encouragement to those in the early stages of recovery from an amputation. I could go on for hours about who I met, what I heard and what we talked about, but instead I’ll say that being able to send a few folks on their way with some much-needed good vibes made the entire trip worth it. For real. But in the interest of fairness, the aforementioned inner teenager gets the last word: it still would have been cool if they had, like, gotten Metallica to play the closing party on Saturday night. Maybe next year?

ARCHIVE

DEAD & COMPANY | DECEMBER 31, 2015 | LOS ANGELES FORUM | “SCARLET > TOUCH > FIRE! OH MY…OH MY GOD!”
January 1, 2016

DEAD & COMPANY - DECEMBER 30, 2015 - LOS ANGELES FORUM - I HAD A HARD RUN
December 31, 2015

DEAD & COMPANY | LOS ANGELES, DECEMBER 2015 | PRELUDE: FROM THE WATTS TOWERS TO THE FABULOUS FORUM
December 30, 2015

DEAD & COMPANY - LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 28, 2015: ONE MORE SATURDAY NIGHT, AND PROBABLY NOT THE LAST ONE
November 28, 2015

DEAD & COMPANY - LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 27, 2015: FROM FEAR AND LOATHING TO NEARLY FLOATING
November 27, 2015

8-BITS SUMMER SEASON, GAME 6: MAYBE I SHOULD BE RUSTY MORE OFTEN
August 23, 2015

GD50: FARE THEE WELL, THE RECAP - 11 FINAL THOUGHTS
July 22, 2015

GD50: FARE THEE WELL, NIGHT FIVE: ALL THE YEARS COMBINE
July 7, 2015

GD50: FARE THEE WELL, NIGHT FOUR: THE NINETIES, AND A 239th BIRTHDAY
July 5th, 2015

GD50: FARE THEE WELL, NIGHT THREE: THE SLAMMIN’ LATE SEVENTIES
July 4, 2015

GD50: FARE THEE WELL, NIGHT TWO: THE EARLY EIGHTIES, MORE OR LESS
June 30, 2015

GD50: FARE THEE WELL, NIGHT ONE: TREY SILENCES THE HATERS, AND THE SET LIST IS A DREAM MADE REAL
June 28, 2015

THIS DARKNESS
June 27, 2015

8-BITS GAME 14: JUNE GLOOM
June 27, 2015

8-BITS GAME 13: THEN CAME THE LAST DAYS OF MAY
June 27, 2015

8-BITS GAME 12 - FEAR, PART IV: FREEZE
June 26, 2015

8-BITS GAME 11 - FEAR, PART III: WITCH HUNT
June 26, 2015

8-BITS GAME 10: FEAR, PART II: THE WEAPON
June 25, 2015

8-BITS GAME 9: FEAR, PART I: THE ENEMY WITHIN
June 24, 2015

RUSH - R40 OPENING NIGHT - BOK CENTER - TULSA, OK
May 9, 2015 • 2:34 AM

KYLE RAMBEAU DOMINATES THE ALUMINUM LEAGUE, AND UNFORTUNATELY THAT’S A PROBLEM
April 23, 2015 • 8:41 AM

SUBSTITUTION BLUES
March 23, 2015 • 9:15 AM

WHEN GOALIES ATTACK
March 11, 2015 • 6:46 PM

MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL
March 6, 2015 • 8:33 AM

8-BITS, GAME 4: A LONG WALK ON A SHORT PIER
February 23, 2015 • 6:38 PM

8-BITS vs. THE CANADIENS: WE BLEU IT
February 13, 2015 • 3:08 PM

DRAGON SLAYER
January 20, 2015 • 07:22 PM

TOP SHELVED
January 16, 2015 • 02:28 PM

8 MONTHS GONE, 8-BITS ARRIVAL
January 09, 2015 • 05:43 PM

THE LOS ANGELES SHARKS, GAME 3: “I SCORED?”
April 11, 2014 • 08:16 AM

KISS ALIVE IV: THE KISS ARMY DEFEATS THE ROCK HALL
April 09, 2014 • 10:01 PM

KISS ALIVE III - THE LOS ANGELES KISS
April 05, 2014 • 10:37 AM

KISS ALIVE II -- THE (VERY RARE) ACOUSTIC SHOW
April 04, 2014 • 09:10 AM

KISS ALIVE
April 01, 2014 • 07:14 AM

BACK TO SCHOOL, PART 3 OF 3: THE FIRST CLINICAL TEST
March 28, 2014 • 06:44 AM

BACK TO SCHOOL, PART 2: MEET THE SFSU CREW
March 25, 2014 • 08:36 PM

BACK TO SCHOOL, PART 1 of 3: WELCOME TO SFSU
March 23, 2014 • 08:14 PM

CONCERT REVIEW: TOOL WITH SPECIAL GUESTS YEAHMAN & THE BRAHS
March 18, 2014 • 02:23 PM

LA SHARKS GAIN A 3-3 TIE, BUT THAT’S NOT ALRIGHT
March 12, 2014 • 07:15 PM

HOCKEY & HEAVY METAL WEEKEND, PART 2 - THE LOS ANGELES SHARKS
March 06, 2014 • 06:54 PM

HOCKEY & HEAVY METAL WEEKEND, PART 1- MANOWAR: NONE MORE METAL
March 04, 2014 • 08:38 AM

WHO NEEDS DRUGS AND ALCOHOL WHEN YOU’VE GOT SPIRITUALIZED?
February 17, 2014 • 09:16 PM

THE LAST SKATE?
February 5, 2014 • 08:10 PM

“THIS IS THE LAST SEASON...IT’LL BE ANNOUNCED TOMORROW.” -Joe McGrath, GM, Charlestown Chiefs
January 14, 2014 • 07:04 AM

OUT ON A LIMB
NOVEMBER 11, 2013 • 06:47 AM

THE NEIL PEART PRACTICE PRINCIPLE
NOVEMBER 4, 2013 • 08:23 AM

RUST BUILDUP
OCTOBER 15, 2013 • 06:25 AM

PERSEVERANCE, THY NAME IS ORANGE GOBLIN
OCTOBER 10, 2013 • 08:08 PM

I HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO
SEPTEMBER 20, 2013 • 05:00 AM

THE BATTLE OF SAN BERNARDINO
SEPTEMBER 14, 2013 • 08:14 PM

PUR-PAK, MACCA...AND ME? WAIT, WHAT JUST HAPPENED?
SEPTEMBER 12, 2013 • 07:48 AM

ROSALITA! SKATE A LITTLE LIGHTER!
SEPTEMBER 3, 2013 • 09:28 AM

TRUST YOUR EDGE - EVEN IF YOU CAN’T DO BACKWARDS CROSSOVERS
AUGUST 6, 2013 • 04:19 PM

THE CUTTING EDGE
JULY 23, 2013 • 05:00 AM

TAKE HOLD OF THE SKATES
JULY 17, 2013 • 09:13 AM

I WANT TO SHOW YOU ALL MY WARES
JULY 1, 2013 • 08:30 AM

IN THE HI-FIDELITY FIRST CLASS TRAVELING SET
JUNE 28, 2013 • 08:04 PM

A SUDDEN GUST OF GRAVITY
JUNE 25, 2013 • 02:25 PM

FIRST STEPS
JUNE 18, 2013 • 03:30 PM

HOCKEY REDUX
JUNE 14, 2013 • 08:00 PM

GOLDEN GODS AND HEAVY METAL
MAY 09, 2013 • 09:49 AM

SURFERS ON A TIDAL WAVE
April 29, 2013 • 10:57 AM

SEALFIT CHALLENGE: MISSION SECURED
April 22, 2013 • 08:39 AM

MODERN DAY WARRIORS
APRIL 18, 2013 • 10:15 AM