Another Year With Hidradenitis Suppurativa
As we begin 2023, I can’t help but to reflect on my past and contemplate a future, like many people do during this time. I am currently ending 2022 with many flares. Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) does not take a break, even during the holidays.
Prioritizing myself and my health in 2023
I am not someone who believes in or follows resolutions for the new year. I find that I set myself up for failure. However, while looking back at 2022, I definitely recognize how I have neglected myself. 2022 has been a difficult year for me, with many highs and lows. Through it all my health has suffered. Catching COVID, a terrible ear infection, and multiple colds has wreaked havoc on my HS. So I have decided to make some changes in 2023, and to at least try to follow a new plan.
My commitment to myself in 2023 is to prioritize myself and my health. Some may call that a resolution, but I prefer to think of this as a promise to be a little more selfish.
The word “selfish” has a bad rep, but I think we spoonies need to be a little selfish. Prioritizing our health, safeguarding our energy, and respecting our bodies is the only way to survive.
My plan to put myself first
I plan to do this in 2023 with a strategic plan (because honestly I love a good plan).
- Following my treatment plans, not only my HS treatment but for my other conditions as well. I’ve realized health is holistic; everything is related. This includes following through with medical appointments and taking all of my medications.
- Saying “no” to things that I don’t want to do, to preserve my energy for things I want to do and to take care of my mental health.
- Taking my FMLA time at work when I need to, instead of pushing myself and making my flares worse.
- Make an effort to spend time with family and friends. I tend to push people away when I am feeling ill, but I want to make a real effort to lean on my support system and learn to accept help.
- To learn how to find joy in everyday life by finding new hobbies, exploring new opportunities, and making changes in my life that promote my own happiness.
Part of having HS, and any other chronic illness, is facing your own mortality at times. I often think about how my HS may pass on to future children and how the risk of comorbidities and skin cancers are increased. It can be overwhelming, however those things are out of my control. Through lots of therapy I am focusing on what I can control. What I can control is my mindset, how I take care of myself, and building a life that works for me at this moment. Ironically, the cliches can be true.
Another year, same HS
I feel as if I have no choice but to approach my chronic conditions with positivity and hope. HS sucks. The flares and accompanying pain are absolutely miserable. But I have lived with depression and a negative mindset for so long, I don’t want to make myself more miserable than I have to be.
I’m also a huge proponent of empathy. I’m skilled at empathizing with others, so it’s time I give myself the same treatment. It’s not perfect, and neither am I, but I can at least try. So for 2023, I will try. I can try to prioritize my health and be a little selfish. No resolutions; instead it’s a commitment to myself and a promise to at least try.
Where did you first hear about hidradenitis suppurativa?