Hello, my name is Krystle Sutherland and I’m a 38-year-old woman who lives in Edmonton, Alberta. This is my HS Origin Story.
My HS symptoms first appeared when I was 14 and my initial reaction was to hide them because I was embarrassed. It took another five years to get my official diagnosis, first from a gynecologist and later, it was confirmed by a dermatologist. There are 3 stages associated with Hidradenitis Suppurativa and I’m in stage 3. Along with HS, I have depression and arthritis.
Currently, my treatment plan is made up of different options such as surgery, medication, taking a biologic, not eating any dairy and keeping a low glycemic diet. The biggest impact HS has had on my life is in my career. More specifically, it was a comorbidity of HS, my arthritis, that was giving me a hard time with mobility and fatigue.
At the time, I had owed a cleaning and staging company for 10 years, but it was physically taking a toll on my body. Previous to my cleaning days I was a makeup artist and aesthetician. I once had a pilonidal cyst removed, and afterwards I was not able to sit for long periods of time without being in pain which is why I started my cleaning company instead.
I try to stay positive while dealing with the negative feelings often associated with HS by helping others who are struggling with the same condition. I have discussed my condition with my family and friends and am very fortunate they support me one hundred percent.
One major HS Hero in my life is my husband. He has always cared about how I|’m feeling and helps make my life more enjoyable. My HS Heroes team would be some other heroes I know. A tip that I use to help manage my HS that might be helpful to other Heroes living with HS is to get Kenalog injections. I use Kenalog injections and laser hair removal to help maintain my HS and keep flares to a minimum. The laser is great for inflammation and hair reduction. The Kenalog injections help heal any new flares that pop up.
I have had some positive experiences related to my HS. My great experience with HS was when I found my dermatologist and his clinic. Getting a proper diagnosis and receiving a treatment plan was life-changing for me. After 5 years of surgeries, medication, dietary changes, and being on a biologic, I am now in remission and continue to manage my HS daily.
If I could say anything to an HS Hero who is struggling, or a newly diagnosed HS patient I would tell them to educate themselves. By doing this you obtain the tools to advocate for yourself and your treatment, and this will only help yourself in the end.