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IgA Nephropathy (IgAN)

Paul B.

Adults

Paul Billedo is a 31-year-old Filipino-American who was diagnosed with IGAN in 2018 and it changed his life in many ways. Although he has to make many changes, he feels very grateful that he now responds to treatment and that he is part of a great community where he can give and receive support. It has indeed been a rollercoaster of a journey for Paul and because he had such a varied journey, he has experienced many feelings ranging from hopelessness and most recently, gratitude. Paul’s diagnosis seemingly came out of nowhere. After enduring 20 pounds of water weight from the waist down and doing 4 weeks of blood tests, he finally got diagnosed with IgA Nephropathy. He then became acquainted with a wonderful nephrologist who graciously explained everything to him: including his feelings, her feelings, their relationship, and treatment options. Paul recalls when he underwent a biopsy procedure and remained in the hospital for 24 hours so that his medical team could ensure that he had no internal bleeding. This moment made his health condition seem very “real” to him.

Throughout the 5 years of being diagnosed, he has endured various stages of medication. In the very beginning, he was on Lasix to decrease the 20 pounds of fluid as well as Prednisone, Lipitor, and Prilosec. Before starting said medications, his doctor explained to him what the medications are and ensured that he was okay with being prescribed them as there are not many medications that have been created for his diagnosis. After her explanation, Paul agreed to Prednisone. Fortunately, tolerated the medication very well. As Paul was on this medication for a year, his doctor wanted to wean him off Prednisone due to the possible long-term effects it can have on the body. Along with his medical team, Paul was able to decrease the Prednisone to a very low dosage and was able to be in remission for about 9 months, before he relapsed…

Paul is now taking 2mg of Tacrolimus and going strong! Due to the effectiveness of his new treatment and his current health status, Paul is now able to finish his teaching credential to become an elementary school teacher!

Due to his relapse, Paul and his medical team decided on increasing his dosage before weaning it down again at much way lower rate as well as completing more blood work. However, after about a year, he relapsed again and decided to not go as low on the third attempt. Fortunately, after the third phase, the medical team got the dosage as low as possible without relapsing.

Luckily during his 4th year with IGAN, his doctor asked him if he would like to try a different Medication and that’s when she introduced Tacrolimus. Paul is now taking 2mg of Tacrolimus and going strong! Due to the effectiveness of his new treatment and his current health status, Paul is now able to finish his teaching credential to become an elementary school teacher! It has been difficult for Paul to chase his dreams because of IGAN and the various symptoms, however, he has learned to continue persevering because it is beyond worth it to him. He is indeed worth it, regardless of his diagnosis. Though he does, at times, lose grip of his eating habits, drinking habits, mental health, and physical health; he remains optimistic. Furthermore, Paul recognizes this will be a forever battle and due to this, he has trained his mind to be prepared for anything.

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IgA Nephropathy (IgAN)

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