The Importance of Getting a Second Opinion
Last updated: March 2023
It took me a long time to realize this, but just because someone has the prefix “Dr.” before their name, it doesn’t mean they’re going to necessarily help treat you or make you feel better. Not all doctors are good doctors and that can be a hard pill to swallow. Sometimes you really have to get a second opinion and turn to a new doctor for help.
Doctors don't always know what HS is
It’s extremely sad but from personal experience and stories I’ve heard online and at HS conferences, a lot of doctors are not as knowledgeable as they should be when handling HS. There’s been countless times that I’ve been at a doctor’s office and when I’m asked by the nurse or doctor about whether I have any conditions and I reply that I have Hidradenitis Suppurativa, they look at me confused and ask me what that is. These are individuals that took years of classes, clinicals, and have been working in the medical field for years. How horrifying is that?
That means that HS is not getting taught to medical students. HS isn’t rare. It’s just rarely spoken about. So many people from all over the world suffer from HS and doctors need to know how to handle it and help the patients feel better so they can try to live a normal life.
Before I had any idea about HS and when my outbreaks started getting really bad under my armpits, I went to an urgent care facility. They didn’t numb me enough before opening, draining, and packing the flare. They never once mentioned HS. They only tested for MRSA and when that came back negative, they never said anything else.
Not all doctors are good doctors
A few years after that, I started getting horrible outbreaks again. This time a general surgeon actually mentioned HS, but he never went into detail about how HS can be life-long. He was horrible and should never operate on anyone with HS ever again. He shaved my armpits while I was fully awake before the surgery, operated on both my armpits at the same time, refused to put me on antibiotics after the surgery, tried to cauterize the wounds since they weren’t healing, and then made me feel like a drug addict when I asked for a refill on the pain medicine because of how much pain I was in from these non healing wounds under both my armpits.
Can you imagine if I stayed under that doctor’s care and allowed him to keep butchering me? It’s so scary but not all doctors are good doctors.
We need to advocate for ourselves!
Just because someone went to medical school doesn’t mean they know everything and can help treat you. You have to be your own advocate for your body and if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. If a doctor isn’t working out or is basically just helping you live with your flares and not trying to prevent them, that’s a problem. There’s thousands of doctors out there and on to the next one!
I promise there’s doctors out there that truly care about you and your HS. It just takes a little trial and error and searching to find them. But a good doctor and a good treatment plan will make all the difference and are well worth searching for.
When you need to vent about HS, who do you turn to first?