Hello everyone, my name is Ana. I’m a 21 year old woman who lives in Portugal and I have HS Disease. This is my story…
My symptoms first appeared when I was 12/13 and I went to numerous dermatologists, but they did nothing for me. I was only diagnosed with HS this year at the age of 21. My diagnosis took almost a decade to receive, and it was a doctor at the emergency who gave it to me. One day I met a cardio/pulmonology technician who did an exam and noticed the scars on my chest and she immediately recognized the HS because it turned out that she had it too.
There are 3 stages associated with HS Disease and I’m in stage 2. Along with my HS I have been diagnosed with heart problems. My current treatment plan for HS is a combination of Antibiotics and various creams, but nothing really helps. That’s why I’m starting Humira on January 11 of 2022.
The areas of my life that living with HS has impacted the most would be my career (I’m currently in college taking Nursing) and my relationships. I try to stay positive while dealing with the negative feelings often associated with HS by attending Therapy, which helps a lot. I also have the help of my friends, family and my boyfriend to try and stay positive. I’ve discussed my condition with my family and friends. At first I was ashamed to talk about it, but not anymore.
I think I felt ashamed because I was just a teenager and wanted my body to be perfect. Now, at the age of 21 and being a nursing student I can understand better that HS is a disease just like others, and there is no reason to hide it. Now, my family helps me a lot and understands my condition perfectly.
The Hero in my life that helps me get through the extra hard days is my Mom! I’m still learning how to manage with my HS, but a trick I try to follow is to eat as healthy as I can especially avoiding milk and sweets. A positive experience I’ve had that was related to my HS was when I met with other HS patients my own age and it was a beautiful experience of learning and sharing. In June 2021 I participated in an international Instagram live between Portugal and Brazil where we discussed the differences between both countries like the health care system and the available treatments.
If I could say anything to a fellow HS Hero who was struggling, or a newly diagnosed HS patient it would be that you are strong and beautiful no matter what, don’t let this get you down.