Vague health scares and extremely questionable diagnoses seem to eternally plague Vicki Gunvalson, but when it comes to her daughter, Briana Culberson, the diagnosis is real. Last year, The Real Housewives Of Orange County star revealed that Briana had been diagnosed with Lupus, a chronic auto-immune disease that can target and damage any part of the body.
Briana hasn’t discussed Lupus or her symptoms much on this season of RHOC, but Vicki shares that it’s been a tough ride for her. “Lupus has affected part of her heart, it’s literally something every other week,” says Vicki, adding that Briana’s immune system has been compromised as a result of the disease as well, which opens her up to viruses.
Visiting the doctor regularly has become commonplace for Briana, who has been sharing the Bravo screen with her mother since she was a teenager. This year, Briana seems to be the only woman left who will regularly film with Vicki (because, hey – mom clause!), so she’s had to film quite a bit.
After a health scare last year that involved a dirty scalpel – which Vicki claims Briana “almost died” from (!?!) – the road has gotten considerably less rocky. But Briana is still struggling to balance work, family, and health – not to mention her very high maintenance mother, who constantly uses her as a sounding board for trivial, ongoing TV drama.
Vicki tell Page Six that Briana is currently working at a surgical center but “doesn’t like it.” (I’m sure Briana’s place of employment will be thrilled to hear this publicly stated, Vicki! Wowza. #MomOfTheYear) Vicki adds that Briana, who’s a nurse by training, is still “finding her way with what she can do with it, her health. She wants to work, she wants to be a nurse, but she’s limited.” Briana also has her hands full raising two young boys, though Vicki does help out in the grandma area.
“She’s a trooper, she’s young, she’s got age on her side,” offers Vicki, who notes that many people live with Lupus, are ultimately okay managing their symptoms. Given her long-suffering calmness in the face of Vicki’s on-camera whining, one can guess Briana is also managing her sanity like a champ. Plus, since her husband, Ryan, finished his time in the Marine Corps recently, she may have more help at home.
The silver lining? At least Briana doesn’t have to deal with poor health and a shady a$$ stepfather stand-in at the same time any more. Plus, if everyone refuses to film with Vicki for good, maybe RHOC will just splinter into an assortment of random spinoffs, and Briana can finally get that GOOD Bravo paycheck!
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Photo Credit: Bravo