My Disease Turned Me Into An Advocate For HS
Last updated: May 2023
I remember the first time I noticed something was wrong. I was only six or seven years old, and I had a small bump on my inner thigh. It didn't hurt at first, but over time it grew bigger and more painful. Eventually, it burst open and oozed pus and blood. I was terrified and didn't know what was happening to me. My mom eventually took me to see a doctor, who diagnosed me with HS at the age 13. They explained that it was a chronic skin condition that would cause these painful lumps to form under my skin, and that there was no cure. I would have to learn to live with it.
Avoiding activities to hide my HS
Over the years, I had to deal with flare-ups that would come and go. Sometimes they would appear in my armpits, other times on my buttocks or groin. Each time, they would be incredibly painful and would often burst open on their own, leaving me feeling embarrassed and ashamed. As I got older, I became more self-conscious about my condition. I didn't want anyone to see the scars and marks that HS had left on my body. I would avoid going swimming or wearing certain types of clothing that might reveal my skin. I felt like I was constantly hiding something.
HS was always lurking in the background
Despite all of this, I tried my best to live a normal life. I went to school, made friends, and even started dating. But HS was always there, lurking in the background, waiting to flare up at any moment. Eventually, I decided to seek out more information about my condition. I talked to other people who had HS, joined support groups, and read everything I could find about it. I learned that I wasn't alone, that there were millions of people around the world who were struggling with the same thing.
Embracing my condition
Armed with this knowledge, I started to feel more confident about myself and my condition. I realized that HS didn't define me, that it was just a part of who I was. And while it wasn't easy, I made a conscious decision to embrace my condition and not let it hold me back. Today, I still struggle with HS, but I'm much more comfortable in my own skin. I've learned to accept myself for who I am, scars and all. And while I still have bad days, I know that I have the strength and resilience to get through them. I advocate and model as I am to show others it’s okay to be yourself.
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