Wow, what a long day

Published 4:06 am Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The headlights of passing cars flashed intermittently, piercing the darkness of the night. Our day had begun early, and Mike and I were both ready to see our mailbox come into view, but many miles still lay ahead of us.

Our day at UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, made me more aware that my hip surgery was coming up in just a couple of weeks. Time has a way of sneaking up on me, and I have a lot to do in the next few days so that will make time move even faster.

The concern and care we received there was top notch, and I felt more at peace with my decision to use this facility than ever. It was comforting to know that my surgeon had performed thousands of hip replacements during his career.

When I met his resident who will be assisting during the surgery I realized he looks a lot like my son who is also in medicine.

“You know you look a lot like my son. He is a surgical nurse in California,” I told him.

“Really. Well he must be good looking!”

“He is. He looks like his Mama!”

We laughed and joked until the surgeon came in. We were cutting up so much that I apologized to Dr. Siegel who smiled and replied, “No, I’m enjoying it.”

We headed home after seeing many different healthcare and office personnel with tons of information. I am thankful that I have written information for backup because it was hard to process everything we heard. One thing that permeated the entire day was the efficiency and professionalism of everyone we met.

At the end of the day I sat in a chair waiting to have blood drawn. The sweet girl stuck me in one arm and had no success; she wriggled the needle around and couldn’t get more than a trickle. When she removed the needle, blood practically spurted out! Go figure, but the other vein cooperated nicely. Before it was all over, we were both laughing almost uncontrollably. She gave me a big hug as I walked out and said, “You are going to do just fine.”

I left to wait the last two weeks with confidence. I realize that the staff was only doing their jobs, but they went the extra mile to do it not only with excellence, but with kindness and humor.

My red Camry is continuing down the highway with my hubby at the wheel. He never complained one bit because of our long day, although I know he must be tired. We had a class today along with others who have replacement surgery scheduled during the next few weeks. Everyone there had their spouse with them except one man who was alone. It made me feel sad for him, but also thankful for Mike sitting quietly by my side.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at