Six years ago, I suffered a serious stroke due to plaque blockage in both carotid arteries. Doctors gave me probability of four years without surgery and recommended immediate surgery to my left carotid. That surgery—which itself added significant risk—and care could extend my probability to ten years. But they warned that the right side, also with significant blockage, would not improve on its own, even with medication. Regular monitoring would determine when I needed additional surgery on the right carotid. After success of the first surgery, I accepted the hope of ten probable years with gratitude. I joked about 2025 as my expiration date.
A few weeks ago, I reported for my annual doppler scan. The vascular surgeon after reviewing the results said, “You look fine. I don’t need to see you again.”
“You mean until next year?” I asked.
“No, I mean you don’t need to come back, ever.”
I reminded her about the right-side blockage.
“Well, both carotids are completely clear now. Chance of any difficulty in your lifetime is remote. You never have to come back.”
“Except for checkups?”
The doctor showed some frustration. “Occasionally these things happen. No more checkups. I never want to see you again!” I left before she called security.
Immediately, I realized, No more expiration date! At least none due to my carotids. I hope you’ve received such good news sometime in your lifetime.
Afterwards, being Drew, I wondered what had happened. Has God miraculously healed me? Do I have a God-given quirk of genetics that caused my body to correct itself? Did God-motivated change of eating and exercise habits make a difference?
I don’t have those answers. But I’m certain God was involved somehow. And I believe that God guided me to take the steps I could; the surgery, satin drugs to prevent further plaque buildup, plenty of exercise, and avoiding saturated fats. Maybe God wants to do miracles more often than we realize but expects us to do our part first. That includes preventative medicine.