my medical miracles

Recently, I had two medical miracles. Really. No, I am not delusional or taking hallucinogenic drugs. Two serious and severe medical issues that I had mysteriously resolved themselves, without medication or surgery.

Here's the story ...

Years ago, due to painful peripheral artery disease (PAD) in my leg, I could not walk more than 50 feet. I had a stent surgically implanted in my left leg. For seven years everything was fine. I was able to walk the equivalent of six football/soccer fields daily. Then, in 2016, I started having severe calf cramps in that leg and was only able to walk less than half of my usual distance. After a short distance, or going uphill, I was forced to stop due to the constant severe pain. I went to the doctor who sent me to a cardiac surgeon. The surgeon scheduled an ultrasound and after receiving the results told me that the stent was no longer working; it was totally blocked, known as an occlusion. He said that he could not open, repair or replace the stent. There was no medication that would help. If the situation got worse he said I would have to have bypass surgery on my leg, an invasive complicated procedure. I was not pleased. And I could no longer walk a reasonable distance. The surgeon suggested that I walk every day, as far as I could. He hoped that, in doing that, maybe the blood flow in my lower left leg would "find another way through the blockage". Huh? That didn't sound possible. Or probable. I went home, a bit distressed. I started my "medical walking" the next day. It was difficult. It was painful. I could not walk very far. I walked as far as I could every day for a month. My leg was not improving. Then, suddenly, one day in March, I was able to walk my old distance, double my current distance. I was able to walk as far as I used to, with no pain, no calf cramps! What happened? I did not do anything different. I resumed walking the equivalent of six football fields for a week. I was able to walk up the steep hill near my residence. No pain. No problem. How did this happen? Why was I suddenly doing so well? Was my leg fixed? Did it fix itself? I was stunned. Was I cured? Was it a medical miracle? I notified my cardiologist and my primary care physician. They did not know why or how I was suddenly cured. I researched this online and found nothing which explained the sudden medical restoration of my blood-blocked leg. I decided to accept the wonderful news and enjoy my new found health and freedom. I decided that it was, indeed, a medical miracle.

The second medical miracle has to do with prostate cancer. An indicator of possible prostate cancer is a rapidly rising PSA number. PSA is a chemical in a man's prostate gland. A man of my age should have a PSA number of under 4.0. My PSA had been rising over a couple of years and was now 22.2. Not good. Too high. A biopsy was indicated. A prostate biopsy is an invasive uncomfortable procedure, which for weeks often produces blood in your urine, feces and semen. Ugh. I was scheduled to have the biopsy in April and was trying to get used to the idea that I probably had prostate cancer. On the day of my biopsy I went to the urology surgery suite. In the end, I refused to have the biopsy. I wrote about what happened: Booties and Booty. Read that and then come back here and continue.

After I refused to have the prostate biopsy, a few weeks later I had an appointment with my primary care physician. I was due to have lab tests (including a new PSA test) and did the lab tests on Wednesday, in time to have the results when I saw the doctor the following Monday. On Monday, I went to the doctor, resigned to being told that my PSA number was still high (over 22), or had gotten even higher. I was resigned to being forced to undergo the prostate biopsy. The doctor informed me that my current PSA number was 7.8. Lower. MUCH lower. It had dropped from 22.2 all the way down to 7.8. "What?" I exclaimed. "How could that be?" I was shocked. Stunned. I had him double check the number. He did. He showed it to me. PSA Total = 7.8. I got happy. Very happy. "Wow! Now I don't have to have a prostate biopsy!!! Maybe I don't even have prostate cancer!" I had dodged a bullet! A big bullet. My PSA number was in a more acceptable range, requiring no surgery, no medication, no treatment. How did that happen? How did my PSA number go way lower? WHY, after steadily rising for years, had it suddenly dropped so much? No one knew. I looked it up online and found no clear medical answer. I decided instead to happily accept the good news, the great news. I decided that, indeed, this was yet another medical miracle!

Do I believe in miracles? Now I do. I had TWO medical miracles - in one month!