My name is PreShus, and I was diagnosed with HS at 13.

Being a teenager and already getting to know your body all over again because of puberty, and then on top of the normal changes that you can relate to with all the other teenagers, having something that you can't relate to…you feel different. You start to question, why is this happening to me?

So, finding outlets to help bring in the positivity of it to help you change your perspective is really important with HS. Finding poetry helped me deal with all of the negativity in my mind.

I remember the moment it started. I was asleep and had on a big white t-shirt. It was hot, and I had a pain under my arm, and I wasn't sure what it was. And while I was sleeping, I felt a pop, and I just felt numb, and it felt wet. Turn the light on, my white shirt was bright red under my arm. And I started to freak out, woke my mom up and said, 'What is this?'

I found out after my diagnosis that my father also had HS. Knowing that someone close to me had HS helped with the diagnosis. Knowing that I wasn't by myself…that they could understand the symptoms.

The best way to start the process of handling it is to be honest with yourself. It's okay to not be okay. You have to say that to yourself. You have to let it process and let it sink in. And if you need help, it's okay to ask for it. You don't know until you ask. It's a moment for you to educate as well, to help people understand what's going on.

HS is sometimes a third wheel in the relationship…especially since HS can pop up in areas that are very sensitive. So, if your partner starts to notice that you're kind of lagging behind, or you're not feeling as confident, or you're just not feeling well, it’s better to just say, ‘Hey! This is why I'm not feeling up to it. It's not you, it's literally me.’

I decided to tell my husband about my HS fairly into the relationship.

And he didn't treat me any differently after I told him about it. So I felt comfort from that.

Having HS, it’s interesting when it comes to the diet side of things. So, I’ve been experimenting with different types of food…just trying to figure out what works for me and my husband as well.

One of my quotes is, ‘There are so many people that can do what you do, but there's only ever one you.’ And even though I have HS, I'm still me. And, in some weird way, it's contributed to who I am and how I look at life. So, even though I wouldn't wish HS on anyone, I wouldn't take it away either because it's part of who I am.

We're special in a good way, not in a bad way. People that have HS are cool. They're strong. And they should be commended for that. You should feel good about that.