My name is Rounak and I’m a 26-year-old man from Edmonton, Alberta who has HS Disease. This is my HS Origin Story.
I was thirteen when my HS symptoms first started, but I never sought any help as I was too embarrassed to tell anyone at that age. I finally told my family doctor when I was nineteen, and two years later, at the age of twenty-one, I received my official HS diagnosis. It was a dermatologist in India who diagnosed me when I was there visiting my family.
There are three stages associated with HS and I’m still in stage 1. I have a few sinus tracts and have had seven surgeries. My current treatment plan is that I’ve been prescribed Minocycline. It’s doing an okay job, but I still get a flare-up every now and then. Living with HS has impacted every area of my life. I was a Pipefitter for the past seven years and I had to quit because I was taking too many days off. Also, winters were very harsh with all the clothing I had to put on.
When I have to deal with the negative feelings that are often associated with HS, I turn to my family. I have a beautiful wife and an amazing mother who understands what I go through to the best of their abilities and support me whenever I need it. I look at my pain as another challenge that I have to deal with in life and I’m not a quitter, so I keep pushing.
Only recently have I started talking more openly about my HS because it is a part of me and it is here to stay. Not everyone understands, but I can’t blame them if even doctors are behind as well. I do have a hero in my life that helps me through the hard days and that is my wife. She takes care of me by bringing hot compresses in the middle of the night when I can’t move because of my pain. She supported my decisions of quitting my Pipefitting job and helped me get a new job at her workplace.
A tip I use to manage my HS that might be helpful to other Heroes would be that conscious eating habits will save you from a lot of trouble. It has worked great for me but we all know everyone is different with HS so do what you feel works for you.
One positive experience I’ve had related to my HS was when I found my current Dermatologist. Compared to everyone I had met with before him, he was very well informed and he definitely helped me understand this condition a lot better.
If I could say anything to an HS Hero who was struggling, it would be to just believe in yourself and know that you got this! Wear it like a badge and don’t be ashamed of it. Remember you didn’t choose to have it so you also don’t need to hide it. We are Warriors and if we deal with this pain on the daily, then there’s nothing that can stop us!