My Life as a Puddle

Creating hyperhidrosis hope and awareness one drop at a time

Tag: Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge (page 1 of 2)

Hyperhidrosis on Pinterest

For your viewing entertainment, here’s a hyperhidrosis pinboard I created on Pinterest.

 

 

Hyperhidrosis Top 10

Here’s a list of the top 10 things I can’t live without with regard to my hyperhidrosis.

 

10.  Carpet or rugs. As much as I like a cool floor underneath my feet, if they are sweating walking can become dangerous. Slip and Slide is for outdoor summer adventures, not indoor daily movement.

 

9.  Thick, wrinkle-resistant notebooks for writing. I really like Jordi Labanda and Greenroom, both available at Target.

 

8.  Writing instruments. You will never see me write with a pencil. I hate them. I need a good pen, not only for its ability to write on damp paper, but because I LOVE hand writing letters and cards to people. I like writing things in general and even look forward to all of those forms you have to fill out at doctors’ offices and places of business (as long as I can fill them out in advance). My favorites are Sharpie pens, Bic Ultra Round Stic and Velocity 1.6mm bold, and Le Pen by Marvy Japan.

 

7.  Natural supplements. I am continuously experimenting with different combinations of things found in nature to see if they will help me cope with my sweating and calm down my central nervous system. My current regimen? Nature’s Sunshine brand sage capsules, Nerve Control, and Super GLA, as well as Hyland’s Calms Forte.

 

6.  Time. If I feel rushed or arrive late to something, it makes me sweat. I am ridiculously and overly prompt – not a bad trait to have.

 

5.  Baby wipes. I use these immediately after applying sunscreen or lotion if I am not near a sink to wash my hands right away.

 

4.  Secret Clinical Strength antiperspirant

 

3.  Summer Soles shoe inserts to place inside my shoes. Use the code IHHS to get one pair free when you buy one pair.

 

2.  Jeans! They are my go-to item for clothing because they are comfortable and absorb the sweat from my hands when I need to wipe them.

 

1.  Air conditioning or a fan for cooler air flow, and cooler weather. Summer time and the livin’ is definitely NOT easy!

 

(This post is part of the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge hosted by WEGO Health. I will be writing a post a day for all 30 days. You can learn more about it here: http://info.wegohealth.com/HAWMC2012.)


Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle

Wedding Day Hyperhidrosis

This post was inspired by one of my readers who is getting married soon. She asked for advice and tips on how to cope with excessive sweating on such a big day. So, here you go. I did most of these myself, but also came up with a few new ones as I’ve thought about it over the years. These can apply to both females and males.

 

Point an electric fan toward the alter- who cares if people can see it? This was hands down my saving grace during photos and the ceremony. Appoint a bridesmaid (or a groomsman), ideally the one on the far end who would be closest to the fan, to make sure it’s properly angled toward you at all times.

 

Carry a handkerchief in your hand, and/or a backup one in your dress/tux if possible; if you fold it small enough, it’s hard to even see it in your hand. I had to hold one during my vows, but it was totally fine.

 

I took a Xanax about an hour before the ceremony to relax (if you’ve never taken this, experiment way beforehand so you know how your body will react); plus, you’ll need a doctor to prescribe it.

 

A shot or 2 doesn’t hurt, or maybe a small glass of wine, or a mimosa as you’re getting ready if you’re super nervous like I was. I wasn’t nervous to get married, I was nervous about being the center of attention, standing up in front of a church full of guests, and having it trigger my hyperhidrosis.  I don’t advocate being drunk on your wedding day, obviously, but a drink to help take the edge off would not be unwarranted in my opinion. But, if you don’t drink even for special occasions, then ignore this one (especially if you’re under the age of 21 on wedding day).

 

I wore white ballet-type flats with the socks that are specially cut for flats so you can’t see them.

 

If your hyperhidrosis affects your groin area, you can wear men’s boxer briefs under your dress. Not exactly sexy, but they help keep your thighs from rubbing together and the sweat from potentially dripping if it’s really bad. I also talk about how boxer briefs might work well underneath skirts, too.

 

I specifically planned my wedding date around the weather, and it was thankfully a nice day with a breeze and wasn’t overly hot.

 

Have your florist (if you have real flowers) wrap/weave/sew a washcloth or piece of fabric into the handle of your bouquet. My flowers were fake and my mother-in-law sewed a towel around the entire plastic handle for me. Funny part of the story- the surgical towels my gynecologist had in the office were the color of my wedding flowers, so he let me have one to help me cope with the sweat! Hey, whatever works, right?  If you read my post How You Can Help Someone With Hyperhidrosis, you’ll see a picture of my sweat-friendly bridesmaid bouquet from when I was in a friend’s wedding.

towel-wrapped wedding bouquet

My hyperhidrosis-friendly wedding bouquet

 

Summer Soles: I didn’t know about these when I got married 7 years ago, but I did use them in my heels for my bridesmaid dress. They have wool and suede versions. The wool is more absorbent and they stick right inside your shoes. Go to sweathelp.org to find the coupon code for the Summer Soles website- I think it’s for BOGO free. My blog post about those, and other things, is here: Sweat-Friendly Products & Techniques

 

Make sure the limo or whatever car you’ll be in is properly cooled down prior to entering it. Same goes for the church, the reception site, etc. I’ve even offered to pay my friends for the extra electricity I generate when I make them crank the air conditioning.

 

Have a bag of ice or an ice cold water bottle nearby. Place it on your wrists and neck to help cool your body temperature.

 

Certain Dri liquid:  Again, with this one I’d start practicing now. The liquid makes me itch really bad, but I forced myself to do it for about 2 weeks leading up to my wedding. Use it at night on your armpits, and then by 2 weeks’ of use you should be used to it enough and have it built up that it will help with the underarm sweating. I have since switched to Certain Dri solid at night, and I can use that without any itching whatsoever. In the morning, I use Secret Clinical Strength, which is a great product.

 

Have a mini-bag or purse that you have at the reception with baby powder, extra handkerchiefs, deodorant, and any other personal items that help keep you dry. Bring an extra pair of socks if you go the ballet flat route.

 

Utilize your bridesmaids/groomsmen! If it’s hot out, ask them to wave a fan in front of your face. So, maybe buy some paper fans in advance? Not like you’re a queen/king and high maintenance, but if you need help on the most important day of your life, do not be afraid to ask for it! If they are your friends/family, they will step up to the plate.

 

And, most importantly, trust that you can get through this day. Yes, you may sweat, but God will help you get through it. You will feel so much love and excitement around that you may not think about sweating as much as you think you are going to. Leading up to it you will, but when you are in the moment it won’t matter as much. But be best friends with your handkerchief, and rock it out.

 

You could even talk about your HH at the reception if you want! Had I been like I am now when I got married, I may have given an impromptu speech to educate my guests and take the pressure off of myself. Once I talk about it, I find I don’t have to worry about it nearly as much.

 

If you’re getting married and have hyperhidrosis, you can do it! Do not let your excessive sweating get in the way of all the happiness, excitement, and social interaction that you so deserve.

My Hyperhidrosis Theme Song

I’ve loved this song by India.Arie since the first time I heard it. She is definitely on my top 5 list of artists. I saw her in concert last summer and have been listening to her since about 2003. She is part of my pre-interview routine, and when I started my new job I was asked what song described me. I chose this one. I can relate more than just my hyperhidrosis to the lyrics.

I also appreciate the still photo in this video of India. I like the way her hands are posed, as if she’s holding her chin up no matter what happens, while her other palm is clearly visible and ready to support her.

Inside my head there lives a dream
That I wanna see in the sun
Behind my eyes, there is a me
That I’ve been hiding for much too long
‘Cause I’ve been too afraid to let it show
‘Cause I’m scared of the judgment
That may follow
Always puttin’ off my livin’ for tomorrow

It’s time to step out on faith
I gotta show my face
It’s been elusive for so long
Freedom is mine today

Gotta step out on faith
It’s time to show my face
Procrastination had me down
Look what I have found, I’ve found

Strength, courage and wisdom
It’s been inside of me all along
Strength, courage and wisdom
Inside of me

Behind my pride there lives a me
That knows humility
Inside my voice, there is a soul
And in my soul there is a voice

But I’ve been too afraid to make a choice
‘Cause I’m scared of the things
That I might be missin’
Runnin’ too fast to stop to listen

It’s time to step out on faith
I gotta show my face
It’s been elusive for so long
Freedom is mine today

Step out on faith
It’s time to show my face
Procrastination had me down
Look what I have found, I’ve found

Strength, courage and wisdom
It’s been inside of me all along
Strength, courage and wisdom
Inside of me

I close my eyes and I think
Of all the things that I wanna see
‘Cause I know now that I’ve opened up my heart
I know that anything I want can be

So let it be, so let it be
So let it be, so let it be
So let it be, so let it be
So let it be, so let it be

Strength, courage and wisdom
It’s been inside of me all along
Strength, courage and wisdom
It’s been inside of me all along

Now every day I pray for
Strength, courage and wisdom
Strength, courage and wisdom
Inside of me

I found it, I found it
I found it, I found it

Dear 16-Year-Old Me

My Life as a Puddle, Age 16

Ok, fine. Here's a picture of me from my junior prom.

You will be placed in many circumstances where your hyperhidrosis will start acting up. Like, really bad. Stay strong and just sweat through it. It’s not your fault you were born this way. It takes courage to be exactly who and how you are, to “astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness” as Maya Angelou once said. Because of your hyperhidrosis, you have a unique slant on your observations of the world. You know what it’s like to feel like a pariah, an outcast, different, literally uncomfortable in your own skin. Use this knowledge to help free others.

 

Never apologize for or over-think your caring and loving ways. It’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all  (Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem In Memoriam). People will push you away because they don’t know how to receive your love. Love them anyway. While people can and do change, “when people show you who they are, believe them. The first time.” (Maya Angelou again. I love her. My brain thinks in Maya Angelou quotes.)

 

Some friends will come and go just like the seasons do. Embrace those seasons and glean everything you can from them. Don’t beat yourself up when those friends shed their leaves and blow away. Rake up the memories, stockpile them for the future, and weed your own garden to prepare for the next spring of renewal.

 

Say what you need to say. Don’t censor yourself in your letter writing or when you tell someone how much they mean to you. Stand up for what you believe in. Don’t play Switzerland and be neutral. Have an opinion, be well read and educated, and be able to justify why you believe something. Knowledge is power. Never stop learning.

 

Believe in miracles and the law of attraction. Find your faith, live it, grow in and through it. Believe that when you shine your light on the world great things can happen. Don’t let anyone dim your light. If they want to add to your brightness, fine, but there will be no dimming. Find your passion and fling yourself toward it. Embrace your sweet spot of everything involving the written word.

 

We all have a story. By finding the courage to share yours, you can let others know they don’t have to hide their secrets, either. The truth will set you free. So tell your story! It is in the sharing where we connect.

 

Curly Girl Designs image by Leigh Standley

I have this poster framed and signed by Curly Girl Designs creator Leigh Standley.

 Visit another favorite card company of mine, Curly Girl Designs.

(This post is part of the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge hosted by WEGO Health. I will be writing a post a day for all 30 days. You can learn more about it here: http://info.wegohealth.com/HAWMC2012.)


Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle

Keep Calm and Carry a Fan

(This post is part of the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge hosted by WEGO Health. I will be writing a post a day for all 30 days. You can learn more about it here: http://info.wegohealth.com/HAWMC2012.)

 

Keep Calm and Carry a Fan

Make your own poster at http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/

Hyperhidrosis Speech

(This post is part of the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge hosted by WEGO Health. I will be writing a post a day for all 30 days. You can learn more about it here: http://info.wegohealth.com/HAWMC2012.)

Today’s prompt was to write, either in script style or dialogue, about an awesome conversation I had this week. It was between me and my brother. I went home for Easter and he was telling me about a speech he had to write for one of his college classes.

Brother: “So I have to write a special occasion speech for my speech class. It’s due tomorrow.”

Me: “Way to wait until the last minute, dude. So what are you going to do it on?”

Brother: “I don’t know. I was thinking about doing an ode to my DVR, but I don’t know if I can stretch it out long enough to meet the 2 minute requirement.”

Me: “I love my DVR. I don’t know what I ever did without it.”

Brother: “You should help me think of a topic. ”

Me: “You could do it on me and how awesome and courageous I am to live my life as a puddle.”

Brother: “Can you write some stuff down for me as an outline so then I can practice it a few times?”

Me: “Sure, but you have to video tape it and mention my blog several times so people can read it. You can help me spread awareness about hyperhidrosis!”

So, my brother is doing a speech about me. If he actually does videotape it, which I doubt he will since the professor isn’t requiring this one to be recorded, he would probably kill me if I posted it on my blog. But I’d love to have a copy as a personal keepsake.

Random thought: I guess I’m more old school than I thought. Video tape it? As in, VHS? LOL. How about record it with your iPhone and post a link to YouTube? This IS the 21st century.


Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle

 

Hyperhidrosis at Work

(This post is part of the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge hosted by WEGO Health. I will be writing a post a day for all 30 days. You can learn more about it here: http://info.wegohealth.com/HAWMC2012.)

 

I’ve been at my new job as a medical writing web specialist for two months now. In addition to it being a new situation that triggers my hyperhidrosis automatically, I am facing a huge learning curve with regard to websites, content management systems, HTML, and the general landscape of web terminology. Writing for the web is very different from writing a blog, essay, print piece, etc. For the past two months I have been on information overload with a plethora of things running through my brain. By the time Friday rolls around, I am worked.

 

Along with all the new concepts I am learning are the tutorials I’m getting for how to do things on my computer. Depending on whatever program I’m working in, someone will have to show me step by step what to do. You know what this means. I’m at my computer with someone either standing over/behind me to explain, or sitting next to me as I mouse around the screen. This is a necessary step in the process, and I am not complaining. It’s helpful to be walked through everything, even multiple times, until it clicks in my brain and becomes intuitive. However, it’s a huge trigger for my sweating, and I end up soaking my mouse pad. I actually had to remove the wrist rest that was near the mouse because I sweat on it so much it started to gross me out. It would never completely dry, so I just threw it in a desk drawer.

 

I did bring my 4-inch desk fan to work. I use it mainly in the morning when my hyperhidrosis is at its worst. Is yours always worse in the morning? I wonder if it’s because I’ve only been awake for a couple of hours by the time I get to work. My body temperature might still be going back up from having dropped during my sleep cycle. But my office is always hot in the morning since the door has been closed all night, so who knows. It takes me a good 30 minutes to adjust to my office temperature.

 

I’ll be honest. These past two months have been a real struggle for me when it comes to my hyperhidrosis. I’m already out of my comfort zone and feel overwhelmed trying to learn my job, but my hyperhidrosis is making it so much worse. Some days are better than others, and I do have dry segments of my day, but they are definitely few and far between. I’m taking copious notes on a daily basis, but half the time they are sweaty notes. I was on a conference call one day and my fingers stuck to the pages of my notebook. I was holding it open with my left hand and writing with my right hand; every time I picked up my fingers they would make a sound.

 

One day, I had to go offsite for a business meeting. I was carrying a file folder with me, and by the time I got there my fingertips had turned blue! I should have known better than to use a blue file folder. I looked like I had been Smurfed. When I left the meeting, I strategically picked up my notebook first so it covered most of my grip, then the file folder, and then my pen so that my thumb would only touch the pen, not the file folder. I learned my lesson quickly after that. If I’m going offsite, I bring the new messenger bag I told you about. Good thing I was doing some forward thinking. That bag is essential for me when I have to carry things around offsite at work.

 

sweaty palm

A wet start to my work day

sweaty notepad

My notepad after taking notes

 

Greenroom Brand Notebook

This notebook is available at Target and is sweat-friendly. I switched to this notebook after the above image happened.

 


Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle

 

Hyperhidrosis Haikus

(This post is part of the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge hosted by WEGO Health. I will be writing a post a day for all 30 days. You can learn more about it here: http://info.wegohealth.com/HAWMC2012.)

 

Today’s writing prompt is to write a haiku. Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry. It doesn’t rhyme and usually consists of 3 lines of verse: 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables. Here are a few I came up with.

 

Cool breezes I like
You can take the warmth away
Dry I aspire to

Take me as I am
Or don’t embrace me at all
I’m my worst critic

What if my puddles
Could one day save the world?
It would be worth it


Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle

 

 

 

Finding Hyperhidrosis in Art

(This post is part of the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge hosted by WEGO Health. I will be writing a post a day for all 30 days. You can learn more about it here: http://info.wegohealth.com/HAWMC2012.)

Calling Batman by Miroslav Petrasko

Calling Batman by Miroslav Petrasko

 

Study this image for a moment before you begin reading.

Today’s post is an ekphrasis post. Yeah, I know. What the heck does that mean? Ekphrasis is “the graphic, often dramatic, description of a visual work of art. In ancient times it referred to a description of any thing, person, or experience. The word comes from the Greek ek and phrasis, ‘out’ and ‘speak’ respectively.” Thank you, Wikipedia. The directions were to visit flickr.com/explore and write about the image on the page. This is the image that popped up. I didn’t search for anything.

 

If you know me personally, I am a word nerd. I actually enjoy looking at the dictionary and pondering over words. The Greek origins of the word ekphrasis, “out” and “speak,” are perfect for me and my hyperhidrosis. I am finally speaking out about something I’ve held inside for so long. The longer you keep something inside, the deeper it digs into your psyche. Are you still hiding your excessive sweating and its accompanying mental and emotional tribulations? Try telling just one person. See how you feel afterward. The truth will set you free. State the facts about your hyperhidrosis, and then state the truth.

 

For me, it was finally saying yes, I was born this way. I have an excessive sweating problem that is uncontrollable. Those are facts. But the truth for me was that I was tired of feeling held back because of my stupid sweat. I was tired of feeling awkward in social situations. I was tired of feeling like I wasn’t good enough for exactly who I am. News flash: I am good enough. So are you. As hard as it is to move forward with hyperhidrosis, it is possible.

 

I’m not down below the surface of the water anymore. I’m above it, trying to let my light shine and reflect to others the power of possibility. Everyone can be changed if they open themselves to experience. Stop clenching and hiding your hands, feet, armpits, wherever it is that you sweat. Open them wide. Let the drops fall into the water below and blend with the earth.

 

There’s a bridge to the other side. It may be a long walk, but you can journey over your self-made water and get to the other side. You’ll be able to see where you’ve come from, never forget it, and use it to shine. Water reflects for a reason. See those points at the top of the tower? I’ll be up there. Waiting for you.


Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle

 

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