Nuts To The Monster – Matty’s Hidradenitis Suppurativa Patient Story

Pretty well every kid gets it whether he or she wants it or not. Acne is a torment to pretty well every teenager that has ever lived before and that will ever live in the future: it’s just part of life. Sadly, I was no exception to the rule and back when I was in my teens, my back would be an interesting network of bumps and looking back at it now I’m reminded of a snooker table.

When I was younger still, I got a few boils and we all thought nothing of it really. My mom was awesome. She got me soaking in hot baths I remember and ensured there was almost as much salt in the water as you find in the Dead Sea: it worked. The boils that bobbed up periodically would rupture and go away and with the rupture would come relief.

Let’s fast forward to 2009. I was 38 years old and had a good job working for a major financial institution. I was for the most part meeting expectations there but something began happening a few years earlier that began to wreak havoc in my life. My acne I thought was gone for the most part began to resurface in 2003 and by 2009 I was struggling with visits to the hospital and on top of that, my job was at risk because well… the monster would keep me home.

Feverish and sore sometimes I’d still show up to work and sometimes I’d have to leave early because I just didn’t feel good at all.

It was November of that year when I found out what I had. Since I can never remember how to spell the name of the monster, I found I had HS.

When I found that out, it made keeping my job a lot easier and as a result… I love paper trails to bits but that’s another story.

I was put on antibiotics by the doctor and reluctantly took them for over a year. I was happy at the time because I finally had a name and once you find out what something is it somehow makes dealing with it easier.

I left my place of employment in March of the following year not because I got fired for high absenteeism but because my then partner of 9 years got a job out west in Saskatchewan in her field of choice and who was I to stand in her way?

Away we went to the prairies, cold weather and the worst year of my life for a variety of reasons. Not only was it just too cold there with temps reaching a bottom of around -50 Celsius but the antibiotics began to work havoc along with helping my HS. My stomach began to pay the price and as a result, I became a mess in unfortunately more ways than I’d care to talk about here in this article.

It wasn’t pleasant not being able to get across town to get home from eating out because I had to make a pit stop but since you might be eating while you read this: we’ll leave that alone.

I began to do some research on this condition and found out about the amazing benefits of zinc.

“Couldn’t hurt” I figured so I got some zinc citrate and took the dose that I figured would work for me. Something interesting began to happen. My flare ups were less and soon, I found that what was a raving problem became a dull roar.

I chose to stop taking my meds and actually brought them back to my doctor when I returned to Ontario from out west explaining what had happened and why I was returning my meds to him.

He told me to hang on to them just in case and so I did but ended up discarding them soon after my visit.

The other interesting thing that happened was that due to other conditions which I discuss on my blog, I changed up my exercise program and eventually went from lifting heavy weights to doing bodyweight only exercises. I noticed something else. A little bit more freedom from the grip of the monster.

How come? I wondered as I researched and exercised. I wondered for a little while while I was studying for my Canfitpro personal trainer’s course: Canfitpro being a division of ACE Fitness.

I figured that it was likely because the lymph was moving around a little more and incidentally, before I knew what this monster was I found that when I’d exercise, I’d experience a flare up that would vary in severity.

When you exercise, things move around and that in itself isn’t a bad thing but it can be problematic when you have a skin condition like HS.

Sweating is something your body will let you know it doesn’t like much if you have HS but you can or at least I managed to beat HS at its own game by using supplementation and strangely enough… exercise.

Just a sidebar that you might want to hang on to if I may? I think weights are a little over rated and I love bodyweight exercise because pretty well every exercise is a compound exercise meaning you’re making use of 2 or more muscles at the same time. The more muscles you work the better chances you have at speeding up the processes that help to burn off fat and produce more cool hormones that can make you feel just awesome!

Hey, I not only have gotten a handle on HS to some degree but also have begun to beat a little hormone imbalance. I can tell you that if you figure out how to control the monsters (including HS) you’ll live a happier and more fulfilling life.

I was starting to get things on my arms for a while and since I’ve started doing the things I’ve been doing I’ve noticed huge differences: one of which is feeling younger. My libido came back and it’s possible you to could maybe experience that: that’s a cool feeling. You feel alive again.

HS can seem to zap you of energy and once in a blue moon I still do have “those days” but they’re far and few between.

I’m sharing my story in the hopes someone reading it whose going through a period of hopelessness and despair will find a sense of hope.

There’s an old saying that goes something like this. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” and my goal in writing this story is to give you some kind of hope that not all is lost as it seems.

What worked for me may not work for everyone but it’s worth a try. If I didn’t try it I’d still be ruled by the monster but because I tried, I got em by the short and curlies and I ain’t done yet.

I got a long way to go maybe but don’t we all? HS is serious make no bones about it but for me, so is my resolve to live a normal life in spite of it.

It’s partially because of HS that I became a personal trainer, not the only reason but a good one of a couple.

Hey, if you want to read more about me and find out more about my story, check out my blog and drop me a line. The link is at the bottom of this article.

I’d love to hear from you and hey… Just a little word in closing if I may?

It never hurts if you’re going to try something to let your doctor know about it because he or she may have some input that might be useful to you. Even if you do something different from what they think you ought to do, you’re not doing it blindly or hiding it. If your doctor knows what you’re up to he or she might still be able to guide you along the way.

I hope my story has helped you out and hey… Even though it might seem like it, you’re not alone. Lots of others are experiencing the same thing you are and this group and site exist to bring all of us HS sufferers together so we can encourage one another so eat it all up and get as much encouragement as you can.

Hey… I don’t look great but I’m gettin’ it done! If I can do it… anyone can. Remember, it’s always wise to consult your doctor before engaging in any exercise program or if you think you have a medical issue that is causing you concern.

That said, why not drop me a line and say hi at


By M.Z Sereda



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