My name is Lori Holcomb and I have had HS since 1997. I first started experiencing “knots” under my left armpit when I was 19 years old. I had just given birth to my second child. I had no idea what was causing the knots to form but they were manageable at the time. They were small and didn’t last long but they would always return.
Over time, they progressed into larger knots covering a larger area. I would often go to the emergency room seeking pain relief and often being prescribed antibiotics without proof of infection and told to bathe more. No diagnosis was given until I went to the emergency room in September of 2002 at the age of 25. By this time, the knots under my left arm had sinus tracts and I was also experiencing knots under my right armpit and in my breast region. An intern told me I had Hidradenitis Suppurativa and an attending physician confirmed the diagnosis.
Since obtaining an official diagnosis, I have gone through years of antibiotic use, Nd-YAG laser treatments, Accutane, Remicade, Humira, too many I&D’s to count, and surgery. I had wide excision surgery on my breast region removing 7 pounds bilaterally of HS diseased tissue back in November of 2007. This surgery was botched and I developed MRSA afterwards. It took years for the incisions to close and some never did until I had surgery again in December of 2017 to repair the damage and also wide excision under the left arm.
I’ve battled MRSA 4 times and Pseudomonas infection twice. I also have fibromyalgia, hypoproteinemia, and multiple drug allergy syndrome. I have chronic anemia. I am not undergoing treatment for my HS at this time since most dermatologists recommend biologics and I am unable to take them. My HS is managed by my primary care physician and my wound specialist.