My Life as a Puddle

Creating hyperhidrosis hope and awareness one drop at a time

Tag: IHHS

Wheels Up!

wheels up

Image Credit: Eva Darron

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I’m leaving on a jet plane at o’dark thirty and headed to Washington, DC! Why? The International Hyperhidrosis Society (IHhS) invited me. I am honored to be a featured panelist speaker at the Patient-Focused Drug Development Meeting for Hyperhidrosis. I will be speaking to members of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), treatment developers and industry innovators. Plus, I will get to meet more of you – my sweaty tribe.

I will be speaking about the impact of hyperhidrosis, and while I’m a bit nervous about it, I’d say I’m more excited as well as humbled by the opportunity. I never imagined I would be blogging about hyperhidrosis, let alone traveling to my nation’s capital to share my story with those who can make the biggest strides in advancing hyperhidrosis treatment options and clinical trials.

Courage, Dear Ones

I’m doing this for so many reasons. Partly to prove to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to. Partly to give a voice to those of you who are too ashamed, embarrassed or scared to speak up . It’s time to end the stigma about hyperhidrosis. The more we speak up, the more reason people have to listen and be compelled to advance toward a cure.

Six years ago, it took a great deal of courage to launch this blog. What would you do if you had courage? All it really takes is about 20 seconds’ worth, and it gets easier after that. Courage is a muscle that can be strengthened. Step by step, inch by inch, you can grow despite having hyperhidrosis. I know it’s hard. I know it’s wet. Been there, done that. STILL doing it.

Help Me Help You

So know that I will be carrying your voices with me when I stand up on that stage. Since I’m doing this for you, there’s a way you can help me, too.

1) Send in your comments to the IHhS about the meeting (link above).

2) If you are one of the silent followers/readers of my blog, take a leap of faith and subscribe.

3) If you’re on Facebook, like my page. I’m also on Instagram. Start liking and commenting on my posts. These are simple things that help me grow my message. All it takes is those 20 seconds of courage.

There is freedom in talking about hyperhidrosis. It’s time to spread your wings.

There is freedom waiting for you on the breezes of the sky, and you ask “What if I fall?” Oh but my darling, what if you fly? ~ Erin Hanson

A special thank you to Dermira, RA Fischer, Brickell Biotech, Hidrex, and private donors who made this landmark initiative possible and sponsored me on this trip.

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 & 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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

2012 Great Nonprofits Top Rated Awards

Have you worked with the International Hyperhidrosis Society (IHHS) in any way, shape, or form? Have you received treatment, gotten additional patient training as a physician, or had your life personally changed by them like I have? The organization Great Nonprofits is a review site similar to Yelp or TripAdvisor. They are honoring the top nonprofits with their Top Rated Awards. If you have been impacted by the International Hyperhidrosis Society, please let Great Nonprofits know by writing a review. It’s a simple process and takes only a few minutes of your time. Visit the IHHS page on Great Nonprofits to get started, and thank you in advance for helping. Together we can find a cure for hyperhidrosis!

 

Read my IHHS review

Read more about my personal experience with the IHHS and how it helped me launch my blog.


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