The story of Marija
I’m turning 21 this year. I was born in the eighth month, with a series of complications, where the doctor told my mother, “Mother, your child is not good for anything”, and since I was a child, I countered, so I beat the doctor and survived. However, when I was discharged from the hospital, my parents were told that some anomaly would appear during puberty. That’s how it was, 7 years ago, I had sudden pains in my stomach. Everything pointed to appendicitis, so it was also removed. Two months after the operation, the pain returned. I spent a year being examined by a gastroenterologist, surgeon, nephrologist and urologist before finally being diagnosed with biliary dyskinesia. On July 6, 2017, a cholecystectomy was performed. From July to September I was pain-free, only to have the pain reappear. I remember the second day of the excursion, my friends to whom I couldn’t explain that I shouldn’t walk fast, and the fact that I was chasing after them escalated my pain. It was very difficult to explain that at the age of 15 you are not allowed to do anything, and that you are not the same as your peers. That excursion was a turning point, a turning point that no matter how hard it was, no matter how bad I was, I would show that I can do much more than healthy people. After the appearance of that pain for the second time, he started a series of tests. On NMR in 2018, signs of primary sclerosing cholangitis and aneurysm of the left renal artery were observed. The doctors were scared of an artery aneurysm, so they referred me for further diagnostic CT, which showed Nutcracker syndrome – circumaortic renal vein ring. As a high school student, until then I had never heard of the Nutcracker and I took it completely frivolously, so I focused on examining the liver, because one of the doctor’s sentences was “within 5 years you will end up with a liver transplant”, which for me, a seventeen-year-old girl at the time, was juice. Further examination with the best liver surgeons confirmed that I officially do not have a liver problem. After that, the Corona virus pandemic followed, and all tests stopped. In 2020, I graduated from secondary medical school, as the best in the entire generation, with numerous awards and recognitions. I enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine in Nis, started studying, socializing, took exams, passed complicated anatomy, all that sounds great and perfect, but… the pain was present 24 hours a day. In July 2021, after passing the exam, I noticed swelling in my joints and severe nausea, of course I attributed it to the stress surrounding the exam. That’s how August, September, October passed, and in November I got the corona virus. After overcoming Corona, the symptoms worsened, but I did not take them seriously again. I continued my studies normally, won awards, wrote my first scientific paper in histology, prepared for the congress, studied, socialized. I didn’t want to allow myself that I was actually bad. In March 2022, I crossed the corona for the second time, a week after that, the disease actually hit me. I came back from the university where I was from 11 am to 6 pm, I felt tired, but I ignored it and went out to drink coffee with my best friend and to finish a few things about the congress. Returning to the room, I measured the temperature, which was 38.4, and she did not sleep the whole night, the temperature was accompanied by severe stomach pains. I went through a series of tests, I received painkillers, of course with the thought that it was some kind of virus, and that I was not bad, and that I should continue with my activities. After returning from the congress, with my symptoms that were constant, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, stomach pain, I decided to send my findings abroad and see what solution they have for my Nutcracker. I’m still under examination, I still have severe pain in my stomach, it’s been over 2555 days since the pain first appeared, since it’s been there with me, and it doesn’t want to leave, and give me some relief at least for a little while. Regardless of everything, I am waiting with a big smile for the operation, which will make my life easier. I’m not angry about the Nutcracker syndrome, even more so I’m happy that he chose me, I’m the only one in my country who has the same, we spent good and less good times together, regardless of the problems he caused, constant hospitalizations, strong drugs, two surgeries (for now) together with him, I was chosen as the best student in my generation in high school and elementary school, I entered the faculty, I worked on my first research paper, I participated in the organization of the congress of pediatricians, an active member of the Association for Preventive Pediatrics of Serbia, elected in one of the five first-year students of all faculties in Serbia as a scholarship holder of the Studenica Foundation, successes and failures. I’m aware that if it weren’t for him, maybe these successes wouldn’t have happened, but after 7 years of fighting with him, I think it’s time to part ways, and for him to let me realize my dreams.