ORIGIN STORY – ASHLEY
Hello everyone, my name is Ashley and I’m a 31 year old woman from Toronto, Canada and I have HS Disease. This is my story….
My symptoms first appeared at the age of 22. I remember automatically thinking that it was something related to breast cancer. I sought medical attention right away, but that started 6 years of ins and outs at different doctors’ offices and specialists, but no one was able to help me. It took until I was 28 to be referred to a Dermatologist clinic that specializes in HS, and that is where I got my proper diagnosis. I consider myself very blessed to have been referred to this Dermatologist.
HS Disease has 3 stages of severity and I have stage 3. After my diagnosis we started Humira right away until 9 months later when I found myself battling severe medically induced psoriasis. My body was being attacked in all the worst areas imaginable. My treatment plan then changed from Humira to Taltz, which my body also didn’t react well with. That was why I stopped taking Taltz and am currently trying Skyrizi. I’ve only been on it for a couple of months so we are still trying to see how my body will react.
It’s hard to answer the question what areas of my life has living with HS impacted the most as I find HS took it all away from me. Dancing is my biggest passion and even with a flare I will do my best to NEVER stop. HS has taken a lot of me but my passion for dancing will never be one of them!
I’ve told family & friends & also talk on social media about having HS. Some family members understand that it’s a severe disease but don’t fully understand HS (as it’s very confusing). Other family members just don’t get it & nothing you say or do will make them understand. Friends, I only have 2 (which are all I need) and they understand to the fullest & I’m blessed with them both.
My HS Hero is my wife Tanya. She really does get me through every day. There are times where she needs to lift me out of bed, dress me, bathe me, help me walk and hold me just so I can cry. On the days that I’m immobile, she works overtime and I’m beyond grateful and blessed for her to be a part of my life.
A tip I have that I use to manage my HS, and I can’t stress this enough, is a warm/hot bath with Epsom or Himalayan salt. If I have a flare this is almost guaranteed to drain it. A positive experience I’ve had related to my HS was meeting my Dermatologist. He is a blessing, and goes above and beyond to make sure I’m well taken care of and I have all my medications all the time. I definitely got lucky with my Doctor.
If I could say anything to a HS Hero who was struggling I’d say don’t let this break you! As hard as it will feel, keep your spirits high and get ready for the fight of your life. Keep your head filled with more positive thoughts than negative & remember this is NOT your fault.