The HS Flare
Life is hard sometimes, isn’t it? My HS tends to be worse with stress, and I’ve had a bucket load lately, which I won’t go into. You just need to know that my HS really flared up.
Id like to show you a photo of just a small part of it, so look away now if you don’t want to see.
With these wounds as I call them, I was working full time on a busy NHS ward. I’d have a smile painted on my face, but run to the bathroom to change dressings regularly. When I could, I’d take painkillers so that I could keep a smile painted on my face. Eventually it got so painful, I asked for help.
Help came in the form of IV antibiotics. Oral ones just don’t seem to help. So, for this I had to have a mid-line fitted in my arm. This is basically a cannula that can stay in place for longer, as the tube goes further up inside your vein. You can’t get it wet though so baths and very awkward showers is all I can do.
Week One of the antibiotic made a difference quickly. The drug is called Ertapenem, its quite expensive apparently but the respite it gives, is priceless. The IV nurses come every day, by this time I couldn’t work as it just got too much. It takes about half an hour to go through the drip. They take your blood pressure daily, pulse, and temperature, just as if you were in hospital. I guess its kind of hospital at home. The nurses are lovely. When I occasionally get upset about my wounds and what it stops me doing, they are so cheery and caring you can’t help but smile.
Week 2 to Now
By week two, I can really see and feel a difference, my pain reduces a lot, and the wounds seem to begin to disappear. My skin becomes pink again and I feel less chronically tired.
I am now on week 5 which should be the last week I think, and I have zero pain, and I know I will have a few months respite. As you will all know, HS creeps back so I just must make the most of it while I can. Luckily, I now have a job where I can work from home more, meaning I can wear comfy clothing and not be running round a busy NHS ward!
I wish I could finish with a photo of perfect skin, but sadly there’s still one ow two holes that stubbornly wont go. Thankfully there is a heap of tips and advice on this website alone – the more tools I have in my toolbox, the less chance Hidradenitis has of taking over and winning. We won’t let that happen, will we?
About the Author
Clare Knighton is a Training & Development Officer from Worcester, England. Clare lives with HS and has done so for the past ten years. She is passionate about helping others to talk more openly about the condition and about improving our wellbeing.