I was 17 when my HS symptoms first developed as a dark red lump on my inner thigh. My doctor at the time had no idea what it was, so he gave me a topical ointment which did nothing. It took 7 years for another family doctor to properly diagnose me.
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I was 15 when my symptoms started, and it took 2 years before a Plastic surgeon diagnosed me. A few years back, I had to quit my job at a poultry plant after 13 years because HS prevented me from having a physically demanding job. In addition, I was burned out from being in pain 24-7.
The pain from HS I’d describe as severe. I take ibuprofen and it eases the pain off a little, but with the constant burning, it really doesn’t help it at all. There are several challenges I’ve encountered living with HS. I don’t have much of a social life and definitely not having a relationship. The constant pain, drainage, and odor cause me not to date at all.
Before I knew I had HS, I’d arrive in hospital and have my “boils” lanced and packed, resulting in missed work and a long healing process. The pain from HS Disease I’d say was agony; it’s the kind that stops you dead in your tracks. There is also the constant worry when you have an active sore of what happens if it breaks and blood is everywhere? I’ve been in that position and it was taxing, to say the least.
I was 17 when my symptoms started, but it took another 6 years to get my proper diagnosis from a doctor at a family practice. She was an amazing doctor who knew what it was at first sight. I work in Human Resources, and for a while HS affected my ability to do my job. I was unable to move my arms without pain. I could barely get myself dressed for work or move my computer mouse because of the pain. It would cause tingling in my arms from pressing on nerves. I’m happy to say though, that is no longer the case!