August 28, 2012

WCSA2012 - #1 – Getting here.

I wish there was a better way to cross six time zones. Six hours, 25 percent of the day and equal to the six hours of sound sleep I get on a good night – that’s a lot that’s lost in a transatlantic flight.

 That said, we made it to Rome, site of the Tenth World Congress on Sleep Apnea. WCSA is one of several international sleep meetings occurring on various schedules to bring researchers in the field of sleep together to report on their work.

 The last time I attended this event was 2006 when it was held in Montreal. I missed the meeting in Seoul in 2009.

 Unlike the nine earlier sessions of the WCSA, this year’s conference has the distinction of including patients as a part of the event.

 The work of having this happen began three years ago when I learned that the 2012 meeting would be held in Rome.

 I wrote to the organizer to ask if an international gathering of sleep apnea patient groups could take place during the conference. It took a while to hear back, but the WCSA planners accepted our request.

 I had the green light and now my challenge was to connect with my counterparts in different countries to get them to attend.  It took some doing, but by the end I succeeded in recruiting representatives from the Netherlands, Curaçao and Italy.

 The roundtable discussion was scheduled, the agenda put together, and so I flew into the Eternal City. We had arrived in more ways than one.

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