Learning To Love Myself With HS (Part 2)
Last updated: April 2023
In case you missed it, check out Part 1 of this series!
I’d be lying if I said that there aren’t times when the pain of hidradenitis suppurativa can completely take you out of commission. I’ve had weeks or months where all I had the energy to do was get out of bed.
And that’s okay! Do what's best for your body.
Gratitude ain't always easy
I also started understanding the importance of showing love to my body for the functionality I did have. I needed to start the process of being grateful for all that my body did for me: carrying me and supporting me, allowing me to walk when I needed to (well, most of the time). Even now, I’m grateful to my body for its ability to heal itself, even if it may have taken multiple surgeries to address my wounds.
Heck, I’m grateful to even be able to get those surgeries to address my HS because, in my experience, treatment doesn’t come cheap. There was a privilege in even being able to see a surgeon and pay the co-pays and down payments for the procedures (or at least be able to set up an installment plan to pay those).
A shift in my mindset
The shift in my mindset to start showing extra love and attention to my body was actually inspired by a video I saw of my queen, Lizzo. In her post, she was speaking to her stomach and thanked it for keeping her alive and healthy. She talked about how her belly deserved the space to breathe and expand and contract and she vowed to listen to her body’s needs.
I thought it was beautiful and it made me take a second look at how I felt about my body and all that it’d been through because of my HS. My body is far from perfect and it may be damaged, but it's still kicking. I can live my life and make adjustments when needed, but my body still does so much for me, even if I can't see it or appreciate that during a flare-up.
The things we learn about our bodies
If I've learned anything from having both HS and diabetes, it's the importance of learning about yourself, learning about your body and learning about your illness. And, of course, it helps to understand your triggers as well as self-care methods for when things get bad.
The terminology of HS alone was even new for me early on. People who had been in online HS spaces much longer than I had were throwing around words and phrases like “deroofing surgery” and “Humira.” When I first understood that I had HS, I had no clue what any of that meant. And that was just wording!
Learning about HS is a process
There was a ton I needed to get in touch with and learn more about to treat both of those conditions and I used to see that as a burden. But now I’m learning to see that with pride (it’s a process, y’all, I’m still working on that).
Not only is there so much research that goes into finding out these things about yourself, but being able to consistently deal with the trial and error of learning about your body while navigating a painful chronic condition that eats away at you is anything but a small feat.
It’s okay to be proud of your progress.
Check out Part 3 of this series!
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