They’re like fucking Pokemon – gotta catch ’em all.

Yes guys, gals and non-binary pals – i have yet another condition to add to my ever growing list.  Hidradenitis Suppurativa.  Sounds exotic, yes?

It’s not.

My armpits flared up again towards the end of last week, which concerned me so off i popped to the doctor for about the 5th time in 2 weeks. It was a different doc this time and after she’d had a good ol’ rummage in my pits, she was 99.9% certain that it’s not my lymph nodes, but HS instead. She’s said that the lumps are within the skin, not deeper down like glands would be. Which is kind of a good thing?  I mean, with my Dad’s history of Lymphoma, it’s always super worrying to have anything going wonky with my lymphatic system.

So, i have another 7 days worth of antibiotics to take 4 times a day, and if it doesn’t help then i have to go back to see the Doc and probably get referred to a Dermatologist.  In the mean time, she have me some tips to help whilst the antibiotics do their thing: gentle exfoliation if i’m shaving, using brand new razor blades when i do shave, keeping my pits moisturised and using a gentle alcohol based toner if i have one.  My armpits now have a better skincare regime than my face.

TMI TIME: Doing some research into HS, it does make sense as a diagnosis.  I’ve been getting what i thought was ingrown hairs Around my lady parts, but actually reading up on HS, it would make a lot more sense that that is was that.  I NEVER have ingrown hairs either around my foof, or under my arms.  The one and only ingrown hair I’ve ever had was on the back of my right calf in about 2001 when i used an epilator for the first time. It ended up being so infected that i had to have it drained and dressed. It left was was a literal hole in my leg.  But other than that, I’ve never suffered with ingrown hairs.  So it would seem that I’ve been living with HS for much longer than just the past 3 weeks.

With the advice from the doctor and new antibiotics, hopefully i can keep it under control.  I’m also fortunate to have a friend who’s sister has been living with HS for years (well, fortunate for me, not for her), although hers is pretty extreme. None of my lumps and bumps have become abscesses as yet, so i could myself lucky.

I’ve also discovered some rather interesting things whilst researching, and some offer some real promise for getting a definitive diagnosis for what kind of arthritis i have, but i’m going to write about that later in the week when I’ve done some more reading.

If anyone who reads this lives with HS and has any advice, please do leave a comment below, or drop me an email: angryoldspoonie@gmail.com.  I’d appreciate any advice or pointers!