The purpose of our trip, as always, was a visit to Shriner's hospital for our yearly check in. In the past, we've had consults with an orthopedic surgeon, a neurologist, a PT, an OT, and orthotics. We've talked about things like hips, and gait, and AFOs, and drugs, and surgery, and and and. Everything we've had questions or concerns about, they've offered assurances or advice - never faltering from the advice given to us at home but still nice to have their expert opinions.
This year, however, it was decided that our time at Shriners has run its course - more so a decision made by them than by us, but we can't argue with them. The long and short of it is the boys are doing amazingly well. They are getting excellent care in Canada from doctors that our Shriner's docs know we like and trust. They are doing as well as can be expected for both of their severity of CP, and Shriner's doesn't feel like at this point they have any more they can offer us. Given the expense of hospital care and travel it's not something any of us can justify any more. Bittersweet, really. Happy - because the boys are doing so well they don't need the "expert opinion" anymore. Sad - because mom and dad love the assurances that "expert opinion" gives us.
But, we know we are in good hands in Victoria. Did we not feel that way, we would have expressed that to our Shriner's team and they would have continued seeing us, I have no doubt. So we say goodbye to the Shriner's chapter of the boys' lives. They made it clear we are welcome back at any time should things change, but we need to be hopeful that will never be required if the boys continue along the strong and healthy path they seem to be headed.
On a travel note, that means we will no longer be heading to Portland every year. No, no, let me take that back. We will no longer be heading to Portland with children every year. Just the adults however - that culinary adventure planning is already in the works. We love that city and are sure that with and without kids, it won't be long before we return.
In the interim, we had an amazing trip full of memories, as always. Here's a few photos to tell the story of the trip...for a larger album click here.