Hi my name is Lori, I am soon to be 50 and I have HS. Up until 5 years ago, I would have an occasional abscess on various parts of my body, mainly the blind pimple acne on my face or inner thigh. I just thought it was normal. All is good. Life is normal. Or so I thought... Well, I can actually pinpoint the events in my life, 5 years ago, that brought my HS to rear it’s ugly head ….Hormones and Stress! In 2014 at 45 years old I started down “Menopause Lane”, my husband lost his job and we had to move. Yep,my world went into a hormonal stress filled tailspin! I developed an abscess (I named Felicia) in my groin area, right on the dreaded panty line. I thought, “Ok. it’s just an Ingrown hair”. I dealt with it. After 6 months of epsom salt baths and hot compresses it kept draining and refilling I realized that it wasn’t just a normal ingrown hair. I knew something wasn’t right. By this point, it was so painful that I sucked it up and went and had it looked at. I was told it was cellulitis. Was given antibiotics and sent home. The antibiotics did nothing. (Felicia did not leave!) A few months later, another abscess formed. (Cindy) I went to the ER to be told it was a bartholin cyst. They lanced Cindy, I was given more antibiotics and sent home. (Felicia did not leave!) A few more months go by, by this point Felicia tracked over to my right vulva and blew that girl up! So I’m living in severe pain, oozing, smelly and exhausted from dealing with alien invaded girl parts. Are you still with me? Here’s where it gets interesting. I finally get in to see my gynecologist and she takes a look, the first words out of her mouth are “Damn! That’s huge”. OMG, I was mortified!!! She does a culture of Felicia and gives me yet another round of antibiotics. And guess what they did? Yep! Nothing! The culture comes back normal. Now it’s mid-summer 2018, and my painful abscess (Felicia) has not only blew up my girl parts, she’s grown yet another friend. (Tiffany) Soooo I put my tail between my legs and again go back to my gynecologist, who admits me to the hospital for a 3 day stay, the infamous negative culture and Iv antibiotics. Again it does nothing! I go home and Tiffany decided to make an exit a week later. In the meantime, the gynecologist herself calls me with the results of the culture and suggests more antibiotics and to wait a few more months to “See what happens”. Are you kidding me?! I had had enough!! Damn you Felicia! I asked (more so demanded) to be referred to another Dr. that would be able to help me. She referred me to a gynecological oncologist. The gynecological oncologist diagnosed me with Hidradentitis Suppurativa in 3 seconds! I swear, I am not kidding! It honestly was that fast! I was scheduled for partial vulvectomy surgery before leaving the office. Holy Crap, after 4 years of dealing with Felicia, I finally had a diagnosis!! Surgery in January was more extensive than planned and recovery took longer than expected. I finally got to say…. “Bye Felicia!” Disclaimer: Surgery isn’t a cure for HS and it’s not for everyone. Names used in my testimony are strictly fictional. *You know your body, you live in it! If something isn’t right, keep pushing and challenging medical doctors until you get answers!