I was diagnosed with Minimal Change Disease and IgA Nephropathy in late July 2013. I gained 48 pounds the week before being admitted into the hospital.
There is no history of kidney issues in my family, so I thought that what I was experiencing were normal abdominal pains. I thought the weight gain was related to my diet and exercise regiment, because gaining weight was my main goal. As the days passed, it got harder and harder to walk around. I had had enough by the following Monday; I could not handle the pain. I woke up that morning knowing that something was seriously wrong. I had to push myself every single step I made from when I got out of bed until I got to work and was able to sit down.
After I got to work and sat down, I could not get back up without exhausting all my energy – and that was just to walk around. Next thing I knew, I was in the emergency room with a doctor over me saying my kidneys were going to fail in 72 hours without beginning IV treatments immediately. That turned into an extremely long hospital stay where I was given numerous intravenous treatments to control my kidneys, as well as several days of testing to determine what I had. I was diagnosed with Minimal Change Disease and IgA Nephropathy (Berger’s disease) as well.
None of the medications I was given really worked. I was finally discharged and put on outpatient treatments of Prednisone, several diuretics, and ace inhibitors.
Even now it feels like a roller coaster, depending on the weekly dose and if it has been adjusted. The side effects from the high doses of steroids do take a toll on one’s everyday life. I attempted to begin exercising again but complications occurred after a few days. I hope to be able to live my normal, everyday life as I did prior to my diagnoses.