Briana H.

Adult, FSGS

My name is Briana and I’m 39 years old. I was diagnosed with FSGS in 2003, but I started showing signs of the disease during my first pregnancy in 2000. During that time I was young, and really ignored the warnings from the doctor because I didn’t feel sick. After my second child in 2002, I was still feeling fine so I went on with my life.

Later that year, after an annual physical, I got a call from my doctor wanting me to see a nephrologist. I didn’t know what type of doctor that was, but I scheduled it anyway. It was at that time that I found out I had stage one FSGS and needed to start treatments. I began high dose steroids and immunosuppressive medication. The steroids made me blow up to 300 pounds and caused me lots of pain. The doctors weren’t monitoring my pain very well, so I took myself off the medication and found a different doctor. He maintained my kidney disease for 13 years with all the medications they had available for FSGS.

Unfortunately, last year things got bad; I went into renal failure and began dialysis. I have now been on dialysis for a little over a year. I am also on the transplant list at Georgetown University Hospital. It has been difficult adjusting to life on dialysis, but with my family on my side and God as the head of my life, I can get through anything. I also do videos of what it is like to be on dialysis live on Facebook so I can encourage others near and far who are possibly on dialysis. This is a help for them and therapy for me.

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