• Health
  • My new normal.

    The long waited appointment with the urologist finally happened and from it, came a mixed bag of both good and bad news.

    The good news? I’ll live.  Ha.

    Nah, let me start with the bad news first. The doctor (Dr. Ruff in Austin, he is AMAZING) said that based on what he surveyed in the images from the CT scan, his conversations with my other doctors, and my symptoms, he said it sounds like I have the dreaded Nutcracker Syndrome. In short, the vein that goes to my left kidney constricted by two larger veins, much like a nutcracker (don’t worry y’alls, my husband’s nuts are safe). There’s blood in my urine but the doctor wasn’t too concerned about that and said it’s actually a common occurrence.  He’s more worried about the pain factor, about my quality of life. Again, based on my research, my pain levels are tepid compared to what some people with the same syndrome go through (think, frequent ER visits and morphine drips) and I told him as such.

    The good news? At this point, due to my low pain and discomfort levels, he recommends I just don’t do anything at this point. I’m going to take a wait and let’s see approach to this whole ordeal. This comes with a huge dose of relief because he explained that the one procedure with the more successful outcome is well, actually moving the impacted vein around. In other words, it’s major surgery involving some delicate parts and I don’t want to do it for as long as I can. Just recently, a woman in my Nutcracker support group passed away from this very surgery because her surgeon cut the wrong vein. Yikes. Yeah, I’ll take a hard pass, thank you very much.

    So I guess this isn’t going away any time soon. I’m grappling with my new normal, the ways my body has let me down but also realize that I’m still luckier than a lot of people in many ways (straiiiinnning really hard here to be Polly Positive here).

  • Health
  • Updates.

    Well, it’s been an eventful start to the year, to say the least.

    First, we’ve had to deal with, you know, those two guys moving into the White House. I along with the vast majority in this country, cringed and have been looking on worryingly. I’ve developed this need to check the news ALL the time and can’t believe what I’ve been reading. The cabinet appointments, that stupid undocumented immigrant ban … you get the idea.

    Also I’ve been having some, well, health challenges. Since last year, I’ve been having some pain in my lower left pelvic area. It’s been getting worse over time, waking me up multiple times through the night, and it got to the point where I started to worry it was indicative of something serious, like cancer. I’ve also been having extreme fatigue – to the point where I was trying to sneak in two, three naps per day – and this weird, galloping heart palpitations. When January rolled around, I decided it was high time that I go and get it checked out with my doctor.

    My primary care doctor said, ‘oh it sounds like it may be a kidney infection or even a UTI.’ She made it sound it’d be an easy fix so I relaxed immediately, dozed through my CT and lower calf scans (I was also experiencing some pain there). So imagine my surprise when the lab results came back, with terms like ‘varicose veins near ovaries, partial compression of renal vein that may be attributed to pain.’ Yo, where’s the kidney infection? I’ll take that over this, please!

    Long story short, I have pelvic congestion syndrome and may also have the nutcracker syndrome. Fun stuff. Treatment includes putting in stents and coils and moving veins around, and at the extreme end, the removal of a kidney. *sighs* I did join a support group for both syndromes and it does sound like that my symptoms are much more milder than most – silver linings folks, I’ll take even the thinnest of the thin ones. Because there is blood in my urine, I’m to see an urologist so I’m very curious about what he’ll say about my scans and test results, and what he thinks the next steps are in terms of treatment and pain management.

    The findings completely knocked me off my feet and I’m slowly finding my way back to my normal. Despite it all, I’m reminded to never take my body, my health or life for granted. Things can change so quickly, and on a dime too. May all of this propel me to get up from bed each day with a purpose and gratitude.