Tag: excessive sweating

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

ETS Surgery for Hyperhidrosis

Some of you have asked why haven’t I had endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) surgery. ETS is a very serious medical procedure that most people with hyperhidrosis turn to as a last resort for relief. There are pros and cons to this procedure, and the side effects, especially compensatory sweating (CS), are real and do occur. I spoke in person to someone who had ETS performed when I went to a hyperhidrosis symposium. We spoke for about 20 minutes, and he was sweating through his black T-shirt the entire time. He came to the symposium seeking Botox treatment for relief from compensatory sweating. While his original sweating had been cured, he was still suffering from the side effects of ETS surgery.

 

Because compensatory sweating can be worse than the original sweating, many people are now turning to subdermal laser ablation (SDLA) for secondary relief. SDLA typically is not covered by insurance and can range in price, with the upper end being around $10,ooo. For a treatment that isn’t guaranteed to work. I’ve also spoken with someone who has ETS and is now trying SDLA; she, I believe, is going through multiple rounds of treatment in an attempt to stop the compensatory sweating in her trunk area.

 

Only you can decide whether ETS surgery is something you want to pursue. Like any medical procedure, there are risks and benefits. The hard part about ETS is that you won’t know whether the treatment will work until after you’ve had it. They say the CS can lessen over time, but for me, this is a side effect that would be worse than my original palmar and plantar hyperhidrosis. I already experience CS on my back after having Botox. I am not willing to subject myself to a procedure that is not guaranteed to work, is a serious medical procedure, and would most likely make me sweat in a different area of my body that could be more socially and professionally debilitating and harder to hide. I don’t want to have to worry even more about the types of clothes I can wear, completely sweating through my clothes and drenching a seat, or the damaging emotional impact from sweating even worse than I already do. I deal with my inner monologue enough as it is. I don’t want to give it the surround sound IMAX experience.

 

Once the nerves are ablated from ETS surgery, there is no going back. ETS is a permanent procedure. There have been no effective ETS surgery reversals reported. If you are considering ETS, please do your homework. Pay attention to the sources from where you are gathering information. Most search engine results will tout the awesomeness of ETS surgery. Of course they will. They want your money. Find a physician who is connected with the International Hyperhidrosis Society (IHHS) using their Physician Finder. These physicians are IHHS-approved and will have better knowledge about hyperhidrosis. They have an arsenal of information and other treatments for hyperhidrosis besides surgery.

 

I’m not saying there aren’t successful ETS procedures performed. Some people do have great results. Only you can decide whether ETS is right for you.

 

To understand more about where I’m coming from regarding ETS surgery and how my body has responded to the treatments I’ve tried to stop my excessive sweating, you can read my post Reflections on Botox.


Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle

Hyperhidrosis Time Capsule

If I were to make a time capsule about my life with hyperhidrosis that wouldn’t be opened until 2112, I would include a series of items.

 

Video
My video would be a personal documentary about who I am and what it’s like to live with excessive sweating. I would chronicle a day in my life and detail the things that trigger me to sweat. Just the idea of recording myself-or having a camera crew around to do it for me-makes me sweat. I would charge ahead with it anyway for the greater good of enlightening other people about what it’s like to literally feel uncomfortable in your own skin. I’ve talked about how my sweaty day begins with getting ready before.

 

I would also use this video to explain that despite my physical problem of sweating, there has to be something good that will come out of it. We all face adversity. How we respond to it is a choice. I choose to have hope. Hope for a cure, hope that I can make a difference in the world by sharing my story, hope that others will no longer feel alone. Remember when I wrote about my favorite poet, Maya Angelou? She said, “We are more alike than unalike, my friends.” So, whether you have hyperhidrosis like me and travel through life as a puddle, you’re someone who has felt ashamed of who you are, you don’t like your body (or maybe you even loathe it), or you don’t yet know that you matter, that you are enough exactly as you are, you are no longer alone.

 

Paper
Also included in this time capsule would be paper copies of all of my blog posts as well as all of my reader comments that you have so kindly taken the time to leave on my blog. The beauty of paper–and the irony of how much I love real paper considering how awesome I am at ruining it with my palmar hyperhidrosis–is that it is everlasting. There’s no computer or software compatibility or latest version to download. It’s just there, unadulterated, true to form. I love hand writing cards to people, especially when they help me with my hyperhidrosis. Read about my post-Botox gratitude.

 

Photos
Since we’re talking about this time capsule being opened in 2112, I won’t be there physically to demonstrate my raindrop superpower.  These photos would be of my sweaty hands and feet and how I have an uncanny ability to ruin clothing and physically leave behind ringlets of salt from my excessive sweating. These photos would also explain my Botox adventure. I’d also love to include photos from my fellow sweaters as a physical representation of the power of community. We are designed for relationships and interactions.  C.S. Lewis said, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” This is so true. Although I’ve never met most of you who read my blog, I feel like we already know each other through the commonality of our hyperhidrosis. Rock on!

 

Music
The following songs are just a snippet of how I’ve been able to reconcile my life as an excessive sweater.

Free Me by Joss Stone

This Is Your Life by Switchfoot

Strength Courage & Wisdom by India.Arie

 

Finally, I would cover my time capsule in some kind of fabric, probably jeans, as they seem to be the most sweat-friendly and absorbent fabric in my life. For those with palmar hyperhidrosis, fabric and texture is important. We have enough trouble keeping a firm grip on things, so I’d make my time capsule something that I myself would be able to hold without having to worry about it slipping from my hands.

 

If you’re new to my blog, I’m very excited that you’ve found me! Thank you for reading. To catch you up to speed, here’s a crash course on what I’m doing:
What is hyperhidrosis?
About my blog
To My Readers


Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle

 

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