My Life as a Puddle

Creating hyperhidrosis hope and awareness one drop at a time

Becoming Comfortable Enough to Talk About My Hyperhidrosis

Validation was the catalyst for me to start being more open with people about my condition. While my closest friends and family members already know about it, to be able to share my life with others on a larger scale like this occurred after I attended the symposium on hyperhidrosis back in April and received my Botox treatment. Like I mentioned before, that entire day was complete validation for me. I didn’t feel any shame about my sweating, nor was I embarrassed or uncomfortable about standing there doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing: dripping. (I’ve since thought about referring to this as my super power. Look at me! I can make my own rain drops!) For the first time in my life, I felt like I had met my tribe. It was pure, unadulterated validation on the part of the International Hyperhidrosis Society and the attending physicians who administered the Botox. I conquered my fear of the needle injections, spoke openly with another attendee about how hyperhidrosis affected me, and was allowed to bask in my personal sweating glory for the entire day. I was actually flattered when the physician who treated me said I definitely had THE BEST case of palmar hyperhidrosis he’d seen all day.  In that room, with those people, one day my soul just opened up.1

 

It’s hard to put into words exactly how I felt as I left that day. I felt like I could conquer the world, like there was hope for me, like I could finally stop living behind a curtain of daily activities avoided or somehow altered in an attempt to mask my sweating. I dared to believe that something inside me was superior to circumstance. Maya Angelou says, “Beauty and strength can be found in adversity.” But in order to find it, you must go through it. Yes, grace can be found amidst the pain and suffering, amidst the physical manifestation of the sweat and the emotional turmoil we experience because we were made to be a little more wet than most. Maya Angelou also says, “We are more alike than we are unalike.” I think as a sweater, I am better able to relate to people and be more conscientious of how I treat them and what I might say to them. In a strange way, this sweating problem I have makes me more of who I was created to be. For the most part, yes, it’s physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and professionally debilitating, but it is who I am. Everyone has a story, and this is mine. Because I am who I am, I feel that I can better understand others and relate to adversities they might be experiencing and bridge the gap to validate them and their experiences. Everyone has situations in which they might feel debilitated in the ways I’ve mentioned above. As much as I hate having HH, I also wonder what I’d be like without it. And don’t get me wrong. I am still actively pursuing different treatments to treat my condition, but it is not the be-all and end-all for me if nothing ends up working.

 

As a result of my experience at the symposium, I have launched this blog to raise awareness and now several writing opportunities have come my way. I am moving forward and embracing them even if they might take me out of my comfort zone. And people with HH definitely have a comfort zone in place! I’m doing some freelance writing for my church as well as an organization called Time Out for Women, I’ve been selected to be a book reviewer and will have my own book blog on Book Trib, and I have the absolute honor of writing an article for the International Hyperhidrosis Society’s upcoming newsletter, and I now volunteer for the organization, too. I have aligned myself with my intention, and that is authentic power.

 

If you have hyperhidrosis, or know someone who does, embrace it. Yes, it affects our lives in ways we don’t like, but if we can live freely with it and realize there are treatment options and hope, we can create positive change. So be ready for a revolution. Your revolution.2

 


1. From the book One Day My Soul Just Opened Up by Iyanla Vanzant

2. Adapted from Roots of She’s facebook link that coincidentally came up as I was writing this post.

Copyright © 2011 My Life as a Puddle

6 Comments

  1. Carolyn Rodriguez

    September 15, 2011 at 0:00

    I love that you have this blog. I don’t know too many people who have HH this is a great way to hear how other people deal with it. I have facial HH and believe me it is horrible. From the time I get up in the morning till I go to bed, I am sweating. There is never a time that I’m without my “sweat rag” or a papertowel. I constantly have the AC on and at work even though we have an air conditioned office, It can’t be cold enough for me. People here at work have their sweaters on and I have my desk fan going on all day!! I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this, and hopefully one day, they will find either a cure or a better way to deal with it.

    • Thanks for reading my blog, Carolyn! I, too, have a desk fan at work and have it on most of the time, especially in the morning when I first arrive. My HH seems to be worse in the morning and it takes me awhile to adapt to my office temperature.

  2. Thanks for devoting your time and energy to addressing this topic. I was tempted to start a blog of my own about HH. I’m one of those lucky folks whose sweating is not isolated to face, or armpits, or hands, or feet. I experience the joys of the “full-body drench,” which can really make life miserable. It’s nice to hear that I’m not the only one who finds a room with still air to be a danger zone. For people who sweat from head to toe for no apparent reason, HH really can be a disability. This is especially true when dealing with people who don’t know you or your condition. Again, thanks for sharing your experiences, tips, and insights.

    • Thanks for sharing your story, BJ! Yes, dead air is my enemy. I’ve had some full body drenches over the last week or so while on vacation, which I’ll be blogging about soon. It’s hard to fully enjoy my vacation when the sweating is manifesting and it’s all I can think about. It makes me tired and cranky sometimes, and I was ready to have a minor emotional breakdown a few days ago over it.

  3. I was suffering with excessive sweating for a long time and recently started using 1-2Dry. Believe me when I tell you I never really had luck with a deodorant- they are really just geared to odor. The pads I use absorb the sweat and it lasts all day – I sometimes just change the pads twice a day just because I am really OCD about preventing any stains. I found an option and hope you guys do too!

    • Thanks, Tina. If the product only says “deodorant”, then that’s exactly what it will do: de-odorize. Look for products that say “antiperspirant”, as they will act on the actual sweating problem. If you have HH, those that are marketed as “clinical strength” contain more potent ingredients. And always remember antiperspirants work better when applied to clean skin at night before bed.

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