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Why I Can Look Back at My Chronic Illness History and Smile

I needed an autotransplant.

My left kidney had restricted blood flow because of a greater than 90% compression of my left renal vein from a condition called Nutcracker syndrome — which, funnily enough, and to my mother’s great amusement, was diagnosed around Christmastime and treated about a year later, also in December. I mean Nutcracker at Christmas? Come on! Plus, my case was so “textbook,” the IR (interventional radiologist) who did my venograms said he would be using my footage from my procedure to teach people/students what Nutcracker syndrome looks like. So, silver lining of sorts?

Anyway. Autotransplant. They move the affected kidney — because of the renal vein constricted between the aorta and the SMA, hence the name, Nutcracker

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