It was a special day

Published 5:04 am Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Occasionally things work out even better than we hope for, and today was one of those special days for me. It has been two months since Mike and I made the trip to Birmingham for the hip replacement surgery I had put off for such a long time. Today, I went back for my final checkup and got the good news I had been praying for. Everything looks great!

Now, I won’t sugarcoat things for anyone who is contemplating a joint replacement; it takes a while to get back to normal. Rehab is necessary, and sometimes feels like a necessary evil. But when all is said and done, rehab helps tremendously in the final outcome.

Some days I didn’t want to get out of my chair to exercise, but having physical therapy felt like having my own personal cheerleader. I think part of it was being among other people who were going through similar experiences. It gave me encouragement to keep on trying when I was able to talk and laugh with others who understood my challenges.

Today all the hard work and time in prayer paid off big time.

The waiting room at UAB Highland filled up quickly. The coffee at our hotel didn’t satisfy my taste so I sipped the strong Starbucks that we picked up on the way over. Mike and I chatted quietly while I posted a picture and Facebook message for our son’s birthday. “Bettye Miller” came over the speaker, and I cringed. After all these years I still wondered why in the world my mom chose to use my middle name.

I obediently answered the call and had my hip x-rayed. Soon I heard my name again, and this time Mike and I were ushered into an examination room to wait for Dr. Siegel, my surgeon. Since my new improved bionic hip was implanted in the space where my well-worn one once sat, I have been able to enjoy so many things. After my surgery the other hip’s joint pain has almost totally disappeared also.

Dr. Siegel entered the room with a huge grin and hearty greeting.

“How are you feeling? Do you have any questions for me?”

We talked about my progress, and to my delight Dr. Siegel suggested that I put off the other hip surgery since I was doing so well. I had been thinking the same thing, but was unsure of the response I would get from my doctor if I suggested it.

The ride home has been wonderful. I’ve been thinking of all the things I can do again. The first thing I’m planning when I get home is a bike ride. I’m going to hop on the back of Mike’s Roadstar and take a little spin. I was told to take it easy, and I will. But there are not many things that compare to the sun shining on my shoulders, the wind in my hair, and loud pipes rumbling as we ramble through the back roads.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at