I have a date! August 5, 2019. It’s marked on my calendar this way: “Big Day”. My first consultation with an OS was on “no-fooling” April 1. My right hip was clearly kaput. Partially bone on bone, with a large bone spur that looked unnervingly like a shark’s tooth, and a bone cyst forming. Bone cyst? That didn’t sound good. The OS said, “Think of it like a bone blister.” My hip muscles clenched sympathetically. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. The handwriting was clearly on the X-ray, but I was not yet ready to move forward with a plan. I already had cataract replacement surgeries scheduled for April 2 and 22, a second opinion to schedule, and logistical questions to consider. Between April 1 and May 1: I was discharged by the ophthalmologist with 20/20 in both eyes (life changing blessing - highly recommend). I lost 10 pounds on an anti-inflammatory diet (“To Quiet Inflammation” or TQI for inquiring minds), dropping my BMI from 34 to 31. I started “prehab” with a physical therapist/coach who is helping me correct the postural/muscular imbalances caused by the dicey hip. I spent quite a bit of time here, on BoneSmart, warming up to the idea of what lies ahead. I consulted with my PCP and PT about interim pain management and sleep. On May 4, I returned to my OS of choice and committed to surgery, and yesterday, received my first choice surgery date. It’s on! My avi, “Ptarmigan”, is in honor of my father, a founding member of the Ptarmigan Climbing Club. Here in the Pacific Nothwest (US), hiking enthusiasts know of the Ptarmigan Traverse. My dad was a member of the group who pioneered that route, which included six first ascents in the North Cascades. If he were with me today, he would say, “this too shall pass” about every upset and setback ahead, and he would permit no doubt about ultimately getting to the summit of this particular climb: getting my life and freedom back. And so...Ptarmigan Takes Flight!