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).