My Life as a Puddle

Creating hyperhidrosis hope and awareness one drop at a time

Author: My Life as a Puddle (page 1 of 13)

I’m On an Oprah Website!

I’m thrilled to announce the O Mag Insider website is now live. You can find me listed under the Writers, Media Mavens and The Complete List sections. Please head over to this beautiful site where you can learn more about me as well as meet my fellow Insider friends. Thank you to the team at O, The Oprah Magazine for all the work they did to create the site. I am honored to be part of this group!

Also make sure to check out the sweepstakes & contests page – some really cool stuff is up for grabs!

O Mag Insiders - The Inner Circle of O

Eeeee! I’m featured on an Oprah website.

 

Hyperhidrosis Fears

hyperhidrosis fears my life as a puddle

(Image Credit: Francisco Galarza)

When it comes to your hyperhidrosis, what are your fears about being excessively sweaty? There are many things those of us who have this condition worry about. While I may not be “afraid” of some of these things per se, they do make me think twice about how I might be able to prepare in advance. Here are some of mine, in no particular order:

  • Walking barefoot on someone else’s wood or tile floors and leaving sweaty footprints behind
  • Shaking hands when meeting or greeting someone and then watching in shame as they wipe off their hand afterward
  • Networking events and having to shake multiple hands multiple times
  • Holding a baby and getting him or her wet
  • Crossing the street with a child and losing my grip on such a little hand
  • Being able to safely lift and move furniture
  • Carrying a stack of handouts around the office and then passing them out
  • Applying lotion or sunscreen and not being able to wash my hands immediately afterward
  • Going through airport security

I can think of a million others, but I want to hear from YOU. What are your hyperhidrosis fears? What does your sweating make you worry about? Leave me a comment below!

Missed Me on the Radio?

My Life as a Puddle on Unlimited Realities with Lisa Zimmer

Missed the live radio show? You can still listen! (Image credit: Juja Han)

Grab a cup of coffee, put your earbuds in, and sit back and take 15 minutes for yourself today. If you missed my live radio debut last week on Unlimited Realities with Lisa Zimmer, you can listen to the archived version. My portion starts around the 18-minute mark.

I was a bit nervous doing the show, but I think that’s normal the first time we do something new, isn’t it? I strategically prepared myself and had a few paper towels next to me to absorb any drippage. Once I started talking, though, it got easier for two reasons.

First, I am passionate about hyperhidrosis education and awareness; I will do just about anything in the name of it. Because I live with excessive sweating, I know it like the back of my hand (see what I did there?) so it’s become easier to talk about it over the years.

Second, although I haven’t met Lisa the show host in person yet, her warmth and compassion shines through in her voice and her vibe. I immediately felt comfortable talking with her. She intuitively knew what to say to make me feel right at home like we’re old friends, like when she said this:

I love pioneers. Pioneers are my gig, and you’re a pioneer. – Lisa Zimmer

After the show was over, I had a moment. I cried. Cried because this stupid condition that I have and am trying to coexist with actually got me to where I am today – an advocate, a pioneer, a writer who is using my voice to let the world know that we are more alike than unalike, but that it is our differences that make us unique and give us a light to shine on the world. My light just happens to shimmer and drip.

I cried because if it weren’t for Lisa J. Pieretti and the International Hyperhidrosis Society, I would still be suffering in silence and feeling like a freak.

My life changed in April 2011 when I attended the IHHS symposium in Denver as a patient volunteer. Lisa, her staff, and the dermatologist who treated me that day understood what I was going through. They didn’t shrink back in disgust when they touched my hands and feet. I walked out of there that day – hands swollen and sore from the Botox injections – feeling like I needed to do something. Why? Because of validation.

This is how the IHHS made me feel that day:

So please, be a good sweaty friend and hop on over to Blog Talk Radio to listen to my voice and learn more about hyperhidrosis. And remember, you’re not alone in your sweating angst.

(A special thank you to the team at O, The Oprah Magazine for recognizing my passion and selecting me as one of just 50 #OMagInsiders nationwide. Through this year of adventure, I’m meeting and connecting with some wonderful people, one of whom is Lisa Zimmer. I am forever humble and grateful for this opportunity.)

Hyperhidrosis + Unlimited
Realities with Lisa Zimmer

Unlimited Realities with Lisa Zimmer

(Update: Listen to the archived version here.)

Hi friends! I’m getting ready to make my debut on the radio this week – Thursday, May 25 at 11:30 ET! That’s right, I will be live on-air discussing hyperhidrosis on the amazing show Unlimited Realities with Lisa Zimmer.  The show is a three-part approach: to inspire, to inform, and to empower. I will be joined by fellow #OMagInsiders Amy Boyle of Amy Boyle Photography (inspire); life coach, author and speaker Joshua Perez (empower); and the host of the show Lisa Zimmer, an emotional/intuitive educator and motivational speaker.

I will be second in the lineup, so if you don’t hear me right away, please stay tuned. I love the title of the show, don’t you? If you would’ve told me a year ago that I’d be on the radio educating the world about a condition that affects 5% of the world population, I never would’ve believed you. So please share this blog post with anyone you think might like to listen. If you’re a reader of mine who has been afraid to talk about your excessive sweating publicly, here’s a way for you to do so through me. I’ll be your voice.

Details for listening are in the image above – click the Blog Talk Radio link on Lisa’s home page. Please join me in spreading my message of hyperhidrosis hope and awareness one drop at a time. A special thank you to the team at O, The Oprah Magazine for selecting me as one of their 50 inaugural OMagInsiders. This opportunity has led me to Lisa Zimmer and the radio gig. #yearofadventure

P.S. Can’t listen live on May 25 at 11:30 ET? No sweat! The show will be archived and available for download.

Pinch Me! My First O, The Oprah Magazine Package

My #OMagInsiders welcome box from O, The Oprah Magazine has arrived! Let’s all take a moment and bow our heads.

#oprah #yearofadventure #ups #whatcanbrowndoforyou (sponsored)

My Life as a Puddle #OMagInsiders

Because Oprah has deemed this her Year of Adventure, I am doing the same. Part of adventure is taking risks, which I’ve been doing with my blog since its inception in 2011. I started My Life as a Puddle after my first experience with the International Hyperhidrosis Society. Validation was the catalyst for me to start being more open about my sweating condition. And isn’t that what we all want? To be seen and feel connected with others?

With that idea in mind, I put on my brave girl outfit (okay, I was dressed up for a work event that day and just left my dress on), put on a fresh coat of lip gloss, and embraced my dorkdom so that the team at O – and you, the lovely person reading this – could meet me virtually and hopefully be inspired by 1) my enthusiasm for a woman and her brand that I deeply love and 2) my willingness to put my excessive sweating front and center to create hope and awareness one drop at a time. Happy viewing, friends.

When we find the courage to share our experiences and the compassion to hear others tell their stories, we force shame out of hiding, and end the silence.

~ Brene Brown

 

See that towel over on the left? I totally forgot to use it to wipe off my sweaty hands mid-video. LOL

Hyperhidrosis and O, The Oprah Magazine #OMagInsiders

Sweaty friends, last week I got an email that nearly gave me a coronary. Let me tell you all about it, as it really made my hands sweat!

Several months ago, I submitted an application to O, The Oprah Magazine to become part of O’s Inner Circle. I’ve been an Oprah fan since I was about 10 years old. I’d come home after school and watch The Oprah Winfrey Show religiously. I own the 20th anniversary DVD collection. I cried while watching the last episode of her show. I’ve seen her in person twice – once in Denver and once in Houston. And when the first issue of O Magazine came out in 2000, I was the first person to purchase a copy from my local downtown newsstand, Woody’s Newsstand.

#OMagInsiders MyLifeAsAPuddle

I’ve saved every one of Oprah’s What I Know for Sure columns, the last page in each O Magazine. The top left is the first page from her 2000 inaugural issue.

I’ve been an O Magazine subscriber since day 1. My subscription is paid up through 2019! When it comes to Oprah, I don’t mess around. She has been a tremendous source of inspiration to me, and her magazine has some really inspiring content that helps me to live my best life.

So, last Thursday I received an email with the subject line “Welcome to O’s Inner Circle!” It read,

After reviewing over a thousand submissions, we’ve selected 50 of the most influential,  engaged, and enthusiastic fans of O, The Oprah Magazine to join O Mag Insiders: The Inner Circle of O for the next year – and you’re one of them!

OMG, you guys! I immediately started texting my best friend, my hands dripping all over my phone the entire time, to tell her my exciting news. While I’m not sure what this opportunity fully entails just yet, I am incredibly honored to be selected as one of the magazine’s #OMagInsiders. I do know that I’ll be posting on social media and here on my blog on a regular basis, so you’ll be seeing lots more about this very soon. While I will try to blend these posts together with my normal hyperhidrosis content, I may not always be able to do that.

I’m hoping this journey will manifest into meeting Oprah this year. Can you imagine?! If this happens, my hyperhidrosis will be on center stage. But I’m okay with that, because it’s a great opportunity to educate Oprah and others about a medical condition that affects 3% of the world population. As Maya Angelou said, “I can be changed by my circumstances, but I refuse to be reduced by them.”

I am incredibly humbled and thankful to begin my adventure with O Magazine. Life is about the journey, not the destination, and when you pursue joy and dare to believe that something inside you is superior to circumstance, the universe will conspire in your favor.

#OMagInsiders MyLifeAsAPuddle

A quote in Oprah’s handwriting excerpted from the program I received at The Life You Want tour in Houston.

Underarm Treatment Study: What to Know Before You Go

Hello sweaty friends! Check out the facelift I gave my blog. It’s much more modern looking now, don’t you think?

Last week I told you about the new underarm treatment study that’s currently enrolling participants who have axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating in the underarms). I’ve been to the dermatologist in my area twice now for the initial screening, and there are several things I took note of that will help you as you begin your own clinical trial process.

This was the first time in my life I was actually hoping I’d sweat really bad!

1. Stop Wearing Antiperspirant Several Days Before Your First Appointment

You will undergo a sweat test, and this first appointment when they do it is crucial. If you don’t meet the sweat measurement protocol at visit 1, you won’t qualify for visits 2 – 4, which are also pre-screening visits. The day of visit 1, you’ll arrive between 7 and 11 am with clean-shaven underarms (at least for the ladies; men, I’m not sure) and wearing no deodorant or antiperspirant. They’ll place cotton pads under each arm and measure the amount of sweat over a 5-minute period. Once they remove the pads, they are placed in a vial, capped, and then the weight of the vial is measured. I believe the protocol is 150mg total (how they can measure sweat in milligrams is beyond me – I think it should be grams or milliliters, but I’m no scientist) between the two underarms. Note: it’s okay to wear plain deodorant for the several days approaching visit 1. The day of the visit you will wear nothing.

2. Wear Proper Clothing

I arrived in a short-sleeved dress, leggings, and a cardigan. Since my armpits were covered by my dress, I had to wear a paper vest from the waist up. Now, normally doctor’s offices and paper gowns get me really worked up and sweaty, but this time it wasn’t happening. Crazy, right?

Before I changed clothes into the paper gown, I had already been in the exam room for about 30 minutes answering questionnaires and giving some medical history to the staff. There was plenty of time for me to adapt to the temperature of the room and calm down a little bit. Plus, the staff were really nice and made me feel very comfortable, reducing my fight-or-flight  response that those with hyperhidrosis normally experience. Because of this, I was not sweating under my arms like I thought I would. I was actually cold sitting there in the flimsy gown.

We attempted the sweat test a second time after I slipped my cardigan on over the gown and sat there for a few minutes. I tried to think of things that would make me get riled up and sweaty, so I pulled out my phone and started texting Lisa at the International Hyperhidrosis Society. She’s the one who told me about the study, so I started angrily typing to her that the sweat protocol was outlandish and would reduce the number of participants these dermatologists would get. My hands were nice and drippy after that, and apparently it got my pits wet enough, too. The round 2 sweat test was successful, and I qualified for visits 2 – 4.

underarm study paper gown

My paper gown was soaked after the underarm sweat test.

So, ladies, wear a tank top and a long-sleeved button up shirt or a cardigan, that way you don’t have to do the paper gown and can keep some of the heat trapped inside to produce an adequate amount of sweat. Guys, I’d also recommend a tank top undershirt if you have one, layered with a button down shirt so you can keep both on as well. They just need to be able to access your underarms to place the pads.

3. Hydrate Before Visit 1

If you pass the sweat test, you will then have blood drawn; ladies will have a pregnancy test via urine performed if they are of child-bearing age. I didn’t know this, so my veins weren’t exactly plump and ready for the nurse. Make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids the day before and the morning of visit 1 so that your veins are primed for the taking and you have to pee.

blood draw

Be prepared for a blood draw if you pass the sweat test at visit 1.

4. Seat Yourself Strategically

Visit 1 is probably the longest visit you’ll have. The staff will go over your medical history, you’ll meet the dermatologist, perform the sweat test, have blood drawn, etc. I was there for nearly 2 hours, and most of the time I was sitting on the exam table on that horrific crinkly and noisy paper. So imagine what it’s like sitting there that long on hard vinyl with a thin layer of paper over it. Absolutely no air flow. Combine that with the leggings I was wearing (which don’t normally make me sweat), and you have the perfect recipe for a puddle.

And I can’t believe I’m about to post this picture on the Internet, but here you go. This one’s for my sweaty homies.

sweaty exam table at doctor's office

The exam table after I sat there sweating for almost 2 hours. Waahhh!

 

So decide where you’re most comfortable sitting, but also think about what will make you sweat the most, because for once you do want to be a wreck in order to qualify for the clinical trial. There was a chair in the exam room, so after I was dressed I moved to the chair to finish the appointment.

Up next, visit 2. Stay tuned for more sweaty adventures. And, if you haven’t called 866-72-SWEAT to enroll in the study, what in the sweaty hell are you waiting for?! Join me, and together we can find an effective treatment for hyperhidrosis.

New Hyperhidrosis Treatment Study Now Open

Hello friends! I got a call a little while ago from Lisa Pieretti, the Executive Director of the International Hyperhidrosis Society. She gave me the scoop on some very exciting news, and it’s up to us as the hyperhidrosis community to speak out and participate in order to advance treatment options for those who suffer from excessive sweating.

I am excited to announce a new hyperhidrosis treatment study is now open and actively recruiting sweaty participants. 😀

Twenty-five dermatologists in the United States have joined this study to investigate a topical gel for underarm sweating. So, if you have hyperhidrosis in other areas of your body like I do, please note this study focuses on axillary hyperhidrosis. The good news is that I sweat excessively in my pits, so I am eligible to participate.

Study Criteria

hyperhidrosis treatment study

Image used with permission from IHHS; courtesy of Grow My Ideas

  • You must have excessive sweating in your underarms (aka axillary hyperhidrosis)
  • You must be 18 years of age or older
  • You must be within easy commuting distance of your study site location

How to Enroll

hyperhidrosis treatment study

Image used with permission from IHHS; courtesy of Grow My Ideas

Call 866-72-SWEAT (866-727-9328) to speak with the lovely people manning the phone lines. They will ask you a few questions, enter your responses into their database, and then forward them to the participating dermatologists who will then follow up with you.

I was the first one to call the phone lines for this study! I’ve spoken with the dermatologist’s office in my local area and have my screening appointment this week. For the first time ever, I am really hoping I sweat profusely so that I can qualify for the study. Maybe I’ll skip my antiperspirant all week. I like to live on the edge.

Study Locations

Norfolk, VA 23507 North Miami Beach, FL 33162 Warren, MI 48088 Carmel, IN 46032
Miami, FL 33025 Nashville, TN 37215 College Station, TX 77845 San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
Wellesley, MA 02481 Coral Gables, FL 33146 Salt Lake City, UT 84117 Encinitas, CA 92024
New York, NY 10128 Rockville, MD 20850 Austin, TX 78759 Los Angeles, CA 90045
Plainfield, IN 46168 Hunt Valley, MD 21030 Houston, TX 77056 San Diego, CA 92123
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 Fridley, MN 55432 Greenwood Village, CO 80111 San Francisco, CA 94117

Well, what are you waiting for? Call 866-72-SWEAT (866-727-9328) now. The sooner you do, the sooner we can find a cure for hyperhidrosis. And remember, this condition affects 5% of the world population. You are NOT alone!

Special thanks to the International Hyperhidrosis Society for keeping me informed and to Albert Ganss, creative genius behind the graphics used above. You can find him at Grow My Ideas.

Carpe Lotion for Sweaty Hands and Feet

(sponsored)

I’ve tried nearly everything to treat my hyperhidrosis. So when I came across a new product called Carpe Lotion for sweaty hands and feet, I was excited to try it. At only $14.95 a tube with a love it or it’s free guarantee, I figured why not?

Carpe Lotion tube

Ingredients

The lotion is made with eucalyptus oil, which dries the surface layer of your skin as you apply it. The active ingredient, aluminum sesquichlorohydate, soaks into your sweat glands to calm them down. When I tried the lotion for the first time, I was skeptical about whether it would actually work. I’ve been told by a dermatologist that I have the worst case of hyperhidrosis he’s ever seen. Once my little package arrived in the mail, I tore into it and was ready to find some dryness.

Application

The makers of Carpe Lotion suggest you apply it about 10 minutes before you think you’ll need it. I was at work the first time I used it, and my sweating is usually the worst first thing in the morning. I washed my hands and applied a pea-sized amount just like the directions suggested. As I rubbed my palms together vigorously, they started to smell fresh and clean from the eucalyptus oil. I waved my hands back and forth to help dry them off, as applying lotion to my palms is a trigger for me and makes me want to sweat more. Once my palms were dry, they had a slight coating on them, but it wasn’t anything too strange.

Results

About an hour later, I noticed my palms looked dry and cracked, even though they actually weren’t. In fact, my hands were so dry I almost WANTED to put lotion on them, which is abnormal for most people with hyperhidrosis.

hands after Carpe Lotion application

My hands after applying Carpe Lotion.

The lotion lasted through several hand washings, and it continued to provide me with dryness the whole day. I’ve also experimented with applying it at night before bed, just like the International Hyperhidrosis Society recommends for underarm antiperspirants. Why? Because your body temperature drops overnight, and the active ingredient can be better absorbed into the skin to form the “plugs” that block the sweat ducts.

I also experimented with applying the lotion while in public. I’m sitting at a coffee shop blogging right now, so I whipped out the Carpe Lotion tube from my purse and, gasp! applied lotion to my palms without the aid of a towel or sink nearby. This, of course, made my hands sweat as I was rubbing them together. It took me a little bit longer to get my hands dry again, but now they’re just fine, and I can feel the layer of product on my skin. I am dry typing this as you read. Yay!

I plan to try this on my feet next, so I’ll let you know how that goes.

Conclusion? Carpe Lotion works, and it’s affordable. Mad props to co-founder Kasper for discussing the product with me and inventing something that, I’ll be damned, actually works. You rock!

Hyperhidrosis & Pedicures

The Travesty of the Situation

I’m 36 years old and have never had a pedicure. Preposterous, right? Not for those who consistently worry about their sweaty feet! I’ve been afraid to let someone touch my feet because 80% of the time they are sweating. However, my best friend decided it had been long enough, so she treated me to my first-ever pedicure. So, nervous yet excited, I let her lead me into a situation that was outside of my comfort zone. I recommend doing one thing every day that scares you, so today this was it for me.

life begins at the end of your comfort zone

I had no idea, but at most spas the person giving you a pedicure wears latex gloves, so they can’t even tell that your feet are sweating. This was so reassuring for me, as I didn’t have to apologize in advance for the way my body behaves.

Adapting to the Environment

I sat down in the chair and placed my feet in the basin of water. It was lukewarm and had a spa bubble thingy in it to help generate a whirlpool of relaxation. Then I noticed the chair I was sitting in had a remote control peeking out from the back corner. I started messing with it and realized it was a massage chair. Let me tell you, these things are heavenly. I laid back and let it do its thing, all the while still worried about what would happen when it was time to take my feet out of the water.

whirlpool pedicure

My feet in a whirlpool pedicure for the first time ever.

After about 15 minutes, the lady came over and placed a towel on the ledge at the base of the chair. She gently took my feet out of the water and placed them on the towel. We all know that towels are a sweater’s best friend, especially terry cloth towels as they tend to be more absorbent. I felt comfortable with my feet on the towel, since my sweat was supported in a sense.

She gently patted my feet dry and began applying a gel that helps slough off callouses. If you’ve never had this done before, prepare to be appalled. I thought my feet were in pretty good shape, but when she took a cheese-grater-looking thing to my heels I wanted to vomit based on how much of my skin was coming off. It didn’t hurt when she did this; it was just a different type of feeling on my heels.

Getting Up Close and Personal

Once my feet were scraped clean, she trimmed my cuticles and shaped my toenails. She didn’t have much toe maintenance to perform, since I’ve always trimmed and painted them myself for fear of my stupid hyperhidrosis grossing other people out. Then she reached for the nail polish bottles I had picked out when I first walked in – a beautiful teal green like a peacock’s feather followed by a topcoat of gold glitter for extra sass.

img_4988

Adding a finishing touch of polish after she slipped my flip flops back on.

Keep in mind she still had her gloves on, so I had no fear that she would discover my wet secret. Here’s the shocker, though: MY FEET WERE DRY, PEOPLE. I know what you’re thinking, ’cause I was thinking the same thing. I’ll be damned. I can do what normal people can do. I leaned over in my seat and looked at my BFF.

“Dude. Why did you let me avoid this for so long?!” I said.

“Right? I told you!” she laughed.

That Little Limiting Voice

How many things have you avoided because of excessive sweating? How much in life are you missing out on because the voice in your head convinces you that you can’t do it?  It’s time to tell that voice to STFU. I walked out of the salon feeling so relaxed and powerful. I had conquered a fear of mine. It may seem small to some, but it was huge to me.

img_4990

A pedicure calls for new sandals, complete with Summer Soles insoles!

So here’s my challenge to you: go and get a pedicure, guys and gals alike. I haven’t quite worked up to a manicure yet, and I’m not sure I will. The polish chips too quickly on my hands, so I’m not sure it’s worth it for me. But the pedicures definitely are, especially if you get a glittery topcoat. Mine lasted almost a month, and I’ve gotten a second pedicure since. The second time the lady noticed my feet were sweating, but I just brushed it off and said, “Yeah, my feet sweat a lot.” I’m sure I’m not the first person she’s encountered whose feet were a little wet.

So, go do it and then leave a comment below letting me know how it went.

Cheers, sweaty peeps!

P.S. Use the code IHHS for buy one individually packaged pair, get one free at summersoles.com. You’re welcome, and thanks to the International Hyperhidrosis Society for partnering with them.

 

 

 

 

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