Hello, I am a 14-year-old female from Edmonton, Alberta and I would like to remain anonymous while sharing my story.
The first time I experienced HS symptoms was at the age of twelve, but I thought it would go away so I ignored it and didn’t do anything about it. It took me a little over a year to tell my mom and nearly two years before I actually went and saw a Dermatologist. The assistant that was working for the Dermatologist asked to see my affected area so I showed her and right off the bat she said that I had HS. I am in stage 1 but it can sometimes vary between stages 1 and 2.
I have a thyroid issue which led me to gain a lot of weight and I had to start taking medication for that but it did not seem to interfere with my HS. I was extremely shocked when I realized that to try and heal my HS, I had to stop consuming dairy products and decrease my sugar intake. In the beginning, it was difficult but I did get used to it so now I am fine going without any type of dairy products. Sometimes I can’t control the flare-ups and I will have severe pain which will lead me to take medication for the pain. However, currently I do not experience any pain whatsoever.
My food habits have changed the most since being diagnosed but some hobbies that I participate in have also been affected. For example, I do Taekwondo and when we run around it is sometimes uncomfortable for me. When I have gym class at school, I have to pull myself together even if it’s uncomfortable, but if I am in pain I will just try to take it slow.
To try and stay positive while dealing with the negative feelings often associated with HS, I usually try to distract myself by watching one of my favourite shows and I also ask my mom for advice on what to do. The only people who know about my HS is my family and when my friends ask why I can’t eat dairy, I just say that I have a skin condition. One of the reasons why I choose not to tell my friends is that I am afraid that they will not understand and that they may find it weird… even though it really isn’t.
One tip I would tell someone who has recently been diagnosed with HS is that if you have pain, to acknowledge it instead of putting it aside and ignoring it. If I could say anything to an HS Hero who is struggling, I would tell them that I know it is hard but to keep fighting and they will get through it just fine.
A hero in my life would be HS Heroes because when I started following them, it made me feel appreciated and welcomed into the community. It has given me a very positive feeling to just know that I am not alone.