My Life as a Puddle

Creating hyperhidrosis hope and awareness one drop at a time

Tag: thank you letters

Paper, Pencils, and Pens for Sweaty Hands

The grade school memories I have that involve writing are mostly good ones. Good in the sense that I have always loved writing, both the dreaming up of ideas and the corresponding act of writing them down. Bad in the sense that the physical act of writing was a bit more difficult for me since my hands were more often wet than dry.

 

Paper
In 3rd grade, we began to learn the fine art of cursive writing. This required the use of a Big Chief tablet that was lined with red and blue lines evenly spaced just so in order to perfect our loops, swoops, and curls. While Big Chief tablets are luxuriously soft paper-wise with a smooth texture, they are also a double-edged sword. They are NOT sweat-friendly. When I would place the side of my palm down to write, my sweat would soak through the paper before I could finish writing the next word. If the pencil were sharp enough, sometimes it would tear through the weakened sections where my palm had just been.

 

The combination of my love of hand writing things and having to work around my hyperhidrosis has made me a bit of a stationery snob. I love all things paper, and it annoys me when I have to write on cheap, low quality, scratchy paper. Here are a few of my favorite types of paper products that hold up really well to my sweating and feel very nice when you caress them with a pen (which I prefer over pencils and will be getting to in a minute).

Greenroom Spiral Notebook

Greenroom Banana Paper Spiral Notebook

Banana paper is thicker than normal paper. It’s more absorbent for both ink and sweat, and the edges don’t curl as much.

Pencils
I really dislike pencils. I prefer pens. But most of the time in school (at least until college, anyway), one is required to use a pencil for testing, homework, etc. I typically used mechanical pencils, as they afforded me the ability to avoid the use of the class pencil sharpener that was affixed to the wall. I hated standing in line (another trigger for my hyperhidrosis) and then having to worry about leaving the handle of the sharpener wet for the next person to use. I like #1 pencil lead rather than #2 pencil lead. It’s darker and writes smoother, but sometimes it’s hard to find. In the meantime, here are some of the pencils I like: Ticonderoga velvet finish pencils, Ticonderoga Sensematic Plus mechanical pencils, and

Bic-Atlantis-Mechanical-Pencils

Bic Atlantis mechanical pencils have a rubberized grip.

Pencil Grips
Pencil grips work great for making any pen or pencil more comfortable for sweaty hands. I always have my own pens in my purse or bag so I don’t have to worry about making someone else’s pen all sweaty when I give it back. My pencil grip of choice is made of foam for absorption and has ridges for extra texture and good grippage, like these Ridged Foam Pencil and Pen Grip, 5-pack. The Write Dudes also make these pencil grips, which provide some additional texture to work with:

The-Write-Dudes-Pencil-Grips

Pencil grips help sweaty fingers stay put.

Erasers
The standard pink erasers are okay, but if your hands are really sweaty, you have to be careful how you hold the eraser. Once the tip of it gets wet, it can instead smear what you are trying to erase. I like click stick erasers. They are self-contained in a plastic holder and can be advanced click by click as you go.

 

Clic-Erasers

Clic Erasers are a good option for keeping the eraser dry when correcting mistakes.

Pens
I’ve mentioned that I like to hand write cards and letters to others. Remember my post about holiday greeting cards? My husband will probably tell you I have entirely too many pens floating around the house. In my opinion, one can never have too many pens. If you ever happen to borrow one of my pens, please don’t bend the cap or chew on the lid. I even go so far as to properly align the clip of the lid with the writing on the pen when I uncap it. I’m a bit particular with my pens. I take delight in the little things, like finding my next favorite pen that writes smoothly or offers a shade of orange I can’t find in any other pen. Here are a few that are sweat-tested:

Bic-Ultra-Grip-Pens

These pens are my go-to for everything. I like the way they write, and they have a rubberized grip.

PaperMate-InkJoy-100-Pens

These InkJoy pens by PaperMate are easier to hold thanks to the triangular shaped barrel. Slip a foam pencil grip on them for added grip.

Sharpie-Pens

Sharpie pens are one of my favorites. The ink doesn’t bleed through the paper, either.


Environment Control for Writing
With as many cards as I send to people, the journaling I do, and my quote book that I am constantly updating, I have to create an environment that is conducive to writing. This typically includes being at home, alone, with minimal distractions. I can’t hand write cards in a coffee shop, for example. It’s too much of a trigger usually. I can write my rough drafts there in my notebook, but the pristine handwritten version has to be done at home. I typically sit at my kitchen table to do my cards, where I have the ceiling fan on to generate air flow. If it’s cool enough outside, I’ll also have the sliding glass door open for additional ventilation. I always have a paper towel within reach, too. If my hands get too sweaty, I will place the paper towel over the card or paper so that it rests underneath the side of my hand and absorbs the sweat. Another piece of paper or the back of a notebook (if it’s cardboard) also works well to protect the paper on which you’re writing.

 

Parents, if you can afford it, spend a little extra money on the notebooks/paper/pens/pencils/grips I’ve mentioned to help your kids feel better prepared to tackle the act of writing. If your school has one of those community school supply lists, talk with his or her teacher regarding the pencil and paper/notebook supplies and ask if your child can bring their own set of supplies for these categories. A few simple modifications can really go a long way in improving your child’s confidence despite his or her hyperhidrosis.


Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle

 

My Trip to Ithaca, NY

I went to Ithaca, New York to attend the college graduation of my dear friend and “surrogate brother” Danny. We’ve known each other for a long time. My mom was pregnant with my little sister at the same time Danny’s mom was pregnant with him. I used to babysit him and have watched him grow up to be a remarkable man. He majored in musical theatre, and if I do say so myself, he’s bloody brilliant.

A gorge in Ithaca, NY

One of the gorges in Ithaca, NY

 

Theatre students are a vibrant bunch, and my week-long trip was quite entertaining. I stayed with Danny and his roommate Bruce. At night when we were just hanging out, we watched Harry Potter and endless episodes of The Golden Girls. Those will be some of my favorite memories of hanging out with Danny, the beauty and bonding in the ordinary moments of life. He and Bruce even invented a drinking game based on The Golden Girls!

The Golden Girls drinking game

The Golden Girls drinking game invented by Danny and his roommate Bruce. Love it!

 

When we weren’t out strolling the campuses of Cornell University and Ithaca College, we were either hanging out in Ithaca Commons or visiting the gorges near the town of Ithaca. I was worried how my hyperhidrosis would be during the trip, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

Strolling along the Cornell University campus

Danny and I enjoying a stroll along the campus of Cornell University

 

Danny and I climbed a six-story tree house at the Cayuga Nature Center. If you don’t already know, I am obsessed with trees. I have tree jewelry, tree stationery, tree wall hangings, tree pictures, etc. Trees are more than nature’s beauty. They can be used as a metaphor for so many things in life. When I learned about this tree house, I made it a goal that if I didn’t do anything else on this trip, I would at least visit the tree house. I could feel myself getting a little sweaty as we climbed the tree house, but it wasn’t really enough to make me terribly uncomfortable. It was honestly the last thing on my mind at that point, which was a nice relief since hyperhidrosis permeates my entire life.

Tree house at Cayuga Nature Center

The six-story tree house at Cayuga Nature Center. It's awesome!

 

I don’t think there was air conditioning at Danny’s apartment, but it wasn’t really hot enough to need it.  The evenings in Ithaca in May are blissfully cool, so the only time I really had to worry about my sweating was when I was getting ready in the morning. Thankfully, I was the only one up at that time, so I didn’t have to worry about sharing the bathroom or being rushed. Not that people rush me out of the bathroom. It’s more of an internal thing with me feeling a sense of being rushed. I tend to make myself sweat that way. There was a standing fan unit in the living room, though, so I just used that when it started to get too hot as I was blow drying my hair.

 

I already told you about graduation day and the rash I got on my feet.  That and my sweating as I was getting ready in the morning were really the only two stand-out moments on the trip with regard to navigating my hyperhidrosis. The other main sweat fest was entirely brought on by my own doing. On graduation evening, we all went to a fancy dinner to celebrate. I had written a graduation card for Danny and had it with me to give to him after we finished dinner. I was going to just hand it over, but then I thought, You know, maybe I should get up the guts to read it to him in front of everyone.

Maya Angelou Life Mosaic card

The front of the card I gave to Danny for his graduation. Maya Angelou always says it best.

 

If you know me personally, you know that writing, particularly writing cards to others, is what I know I was meant to be doing on this planet. My blog and hyperhidrosis awareness comes in a close second. After thinking about Danny’s card all through dinner, I had psyched myself up to the point that I could really feel my fight or flight response being activated. This is typical for people with hyperhidrosis, at least for me anyway. Thinking about an event can trigger my sweat, the tingly, prickly feeling on my hands and feet right before they start to gush.

 

I decided that I didn’t want to leave Ithaca with any regrets. If I didn’t read Danny’s card aloud to him, I would most certainly regret it. I patted my inner self on the back for encouragement, and plowed ahead into the moment and memory I wanted to create with and for him. I don’t usually read my cards aloud to my recipient. It’s really hard when you’re “a crier” like me. But I didn’t care if I cried. I cared about really showing Danny what he means to me. I wrote the card, and then I used my voice to convey what I had written. A special thanks to Danny’s roommate, Bruce, who recorded me reading the card. And thank you to my husband, who bought me the genius invention known as an iPhone, which  I was able to use to record this important moment in my life.

 

Here’s the video of me reading my card. I can’t believe I’m actually posting a video of myself. Here goes nothing.

(The sound on the video isn’t the greatest, as it was pretty loud in the restaurant. It might help if you listen to it through some headphones.)

This was one of the best vacations I’ve ever had. The people whom I was with made it so special. And they’re not kidding when they say “Ithaca is gorges!” I bought a shirt that says so. 🙂

 

P.S. You should check out Danny’s website. He’s available for hire and comes highly recommended!


Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle

 

 

 

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

Hyperhidrosis Quotation Inspiration

Life begins at the end of yourt comfort zone.

This card is available from http://quotablecards.com. Love this company!

This quote inspires me because it is exactly what has happened in my own life. If I look back to where I was one year ago, it’s crazy how far I’ve come with regard to how I view myself and my excessive sweating problem. Yes, I hate it on a daily basis, but I am getting better at dealing with it.

 

This blog started as a direct result of how I felt after leaving a symposium hosted by the International Hyperhidrosis Society. I was so inspired that I sent handwritten thank you cards to the executive director and one of the customer service people who was my first point of contact: post-Botox treatment and a bit of Botox gratitude.

 

I almost didn’t go through with the Botox injections. Note: if you ever consider having Botox injections in your hands or feet, do not watch the videos on YouTube. I had myself pretty psyched out by the time I was done watching them, and since I over-analyze everything in my life anyway this just gave me more ammunition. I still went to the symposium, though, and told myself I could still bail when it was my turn if I wanted.

 

But I didn’t bail. I try not to live my life with regrets, so I sucked it up, laid down on the table, and proceeded to let them poke me with 155 injections. Yes, I counted. For someone who has zero pain tolerance, I surprised myself that I was able to get through it. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Botox injections

This is me getting my Botox injections!

 

After my Botox experience, I had such a supreme sense of validation. 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.

 

It’s crazy that I picked this quote. Read this past post about my hyperhidrosis comfort zone. I’m talking about the same thing. Ha! At least I’m consistent. If I hadn’t stepped out of my comfort zone with regard to hyperhidrosis, this blog never would have happened. I had so many doubts. I didn’t know how to operate a blog platform, didn’t know if people would care about what I have to say, didn’t know a lot of things. Yet I did it anyway. And it was worth it.


Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle

 

 

My Pre-Interview Routine

Call me superstitious, but since 2004 I’ve listened to the same song on my way to an interview. I’ve talked about India.Arie before. I learned about her thanks to the Oprah Winfrey Show, and ever since I saw her perform Video on Oprah’s stage I’ve loved her. Her music speaks to the very depths of my soul. She has a song called Strength, Courage, and Wisdom that I’ve used as my mantra any time I need to present my very best self. It works.

Over the years, especially this past year or so, I’ve added other types of music to my interview playlist. I’m really digging gospel and contemporary Christian music for the specific job interview scenario. I don’t listen to it all the time, but there is something about the way black people sing that infuses me with awe and inspiration. (Side note: I’ve always loved soul and R&B music. I grew up listening to Michael and Janet Jackson, Boyz II Men, and Tevin Campbell. Can we talk for a minute? My wedding song was Grace by MeShell Ndegeocello. I’ll give you five bucks if you even know who she is.) I told a girlfriend once over IM that sometimes I think I should have been born black. I already have the “ghetto” booty. 😉 Needless to say, she laughed. But seriously. My music collection is mainly by black artists, with the exception of my boyfriend John Mayer.

So, whatever type of music you listen to, create a playlist of songs that make you feel good and remind you of what you have to offer the world. If you can focus on the music on your way to an interview, you can take some of the focus off of your sweating. You already know you should arrive to your interview a few minutes early, so use some of that time to center yourself. Listen to your best I am awesome, hear me roar song one more time before you get out of the car, take some deep breaths, say a prayer, chant something, etc. Whatever it is that you do, do it. Align your mental state with your intention and the outcome that you desire.

You should already be prepared research-wise for the interview, preferably with some notes jotted down that you can refer to when you’re actually in the interview. Don’t lie to yourself and think that you’re going to remember all of the information you found on the company, what questions to ask them, what the job description is, and scenarios that you’ve been in that can apply to the job for which you’re applying. You’re not going to remember it all, and that’s perfectly fine. Hence the power of the written word! Write this stuff down and help you help yourself.

If there is a bathroom available before I get to the reception desk and no one will see me go in, I always stop. Even if I don’t have to go, I will still use the sink to rinse my hands under cold water to try and calm down the sweating. I also use this as a chance to rearrange my shirt if necessary. If I’m wearing a short-sleeved shirt underneath a suit jacket, I’ll straighten the sleeves and pull them down since they usually get bunched up underneath my extra-wet-for-the-occasion armpits.

Once I’m ready to announce myself to the receptionist or front desk clerk or whomever I’m told to ask for depending on the interview environment, I sit down in the lobby if I have time so that I can adapt to the room temperature. If you’re someone with hyperhidrosis, you’re going to have time. I hate to be rushed for anything. It makes me sweat. So my entire interview process begins way in advance of the time I’m actually scheduled to come to an interview.

The last thing worth mentioning is that since you’ve already jotted down some notes, make sure you bring a pen with you, one that you know has fresh ink and will last through the interview so that you don’t have to borrow one of theirs. I don’t like borrowing pens because I worry about giving them back all wet and coated with a layer of dried sweat. You’ll need a pen to jot down the name(s) of whom you meet if they don’t automatically give you a business card. Letter writing is a lost art. Revive it by sending handwritten thank you cards as a follow up to your interview; emails can be impersonal, and chances are the person who is interviewing you gets enough of them on a daily basis. Don’t crowd their inbox. Take up a small desk residence instead and mail them a smile.


Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle

Holiday Greeting Cards: A Tutorial on Recognition

Here’s a freelance article I wrote for The Vegas Valley Savings Magazine, which is mailed to approximately 42,000 households in the Vegas Valley. I wonder if the Sister Wives will see it?

The holidays have arrived, and with them comes the opportunity to make others feel important. I’m not talking about buying gifts to show affection. I’m referring to validating someone by reviving the lost art of letter writing. Yes, the fine art of sending greeting cards to those who matter most, and maybe even giving some to those along the periphery of your life (eg, neighbors, postal carriers, and those lovely people who collect your garbage). The human spirit longs for recognition; we all want to know that we matter, that we are enough simply by being here.  So why not show someone that he or she matters by giving a card? You can make a difference in the world through a simple act.  Expressing gratitude, humility, love, camaraderie, and a myriad of other things to someone via the written word makes it tangible and everlasting for the recipient.  So how does one go about writing a holiday card? Non-writer types can easily do this by following a few tips.

Go through your address book and also think about those whom you encounter in daily life; make a list of these people to whom you’ll be sending a card so that you know how many greeting cards to purchase.

1. Purchase greeting cards or standard 8½ x 11 paper; if you’re hand writing your message you may select other appropriate stationery.

2. Don’t get overwhelmed by the thought of writing a card. You can easily create a “blanket” message to insert into each card, and then personalize it for each recipient by hand writing a shorter message inside when you sign the card.

3. Think back to what’s happened in your own life or your family’s lives over the past year. Reminisce month by month if it helps. What interesting things did you do, or receive, or were a part of? Did you take any vacations? Go to an interesting place for a business trip? See any concerts or shows? You can craft a few short sentences together and mention these highlights as a 2011 recap. For next year’s cards, keep a running list of these events throughout the year—your message will be nearly done by the time the holidays arrive, and you can reduce your holiday stress!

4. Try to compose an update that will fit onto one-half of an 8½ x 11 sheet of paper. This is a good length that prevents you from rambling, yet it’s long enough to give the recipient a glimpse into the goings-on of your life. When you initially compose your letter, and if you are using a computer, type it using normal 12-point font for ease of reading and revising. Afterward, you can shrink it to fit on half of the sheet by changing the font size and the font type. I’ve had great results using Gill Sans MT Condensed font, 10 point, 1.5” top & bottom margins, and 2” left & right margins; and Vrinda font, 10 point with 1” margins all around. Once the text fits, copy and paste the same paragraph onto the second half of the sheet so that when you print it you can have 2 copies per page, which you will then cut in half.

5. Decide on what type of paper you’d like to print your message. If it’s darker colored paper such as Christmas or Hanukkah colors, adjust the font in the document to be bold for better readability. Print out a test page and then cut it in half to ensure it will fit inside the greeting cards you’ve selected. Once you confirm the fit, print off the proper number of copies you’ll need (remember, if you purchased a package of 20 cards, you’ll only need to print 10 pages of your message). If you’ve handwritten your message, take it along with the rest of your stationery to an office supply store and ask them to photocopy it onto your stationery.

6. Cut the sheets in half to prepare them for insertion into your cards. If you’re feeling fancy, you can use paper edger scissors (aka scrapbook scissors with fancy detail) to create visually appealing borders. Once you’ve cut the sheets in half, use a glue stick to paste them into the blank side of the card.

7. Take some time to hand write a nice message inside the card to personalize your greeting. It doesn’t have to be long. Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2012! followed by We enjoyed visiting you over the summer or any other tidbit that acknowledges the individual will suffice.

8. Keep the United States Postal Service in business! Buy those stamps, stick them on the envelopes, and mail a smile.

Maya Angelou once said, “We all have the power to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”  So don’t think that because you’re not a writer you can’t impact another person’s life.  You have the power to do something true and right and great.  Just put your pen to paper (or your fingers to keyboard if you don’t like your handwriting and would rather print from your computer) and say whatever it is that’s in your heart.  Creating a permanent record like this for someone else reminds us that we are connected to each other through our humanity; it reminds us of compassion; it reminds us of the importance of recognition and documentation of our fellow brothers and sisters.  Don’t use spell check or look for bigger words to use.  Just write.  Find your inner Jane Austen and drop a gem into someone else’s day.  The ripple effects will astound you.

(I encourage you to mail a few extra cards to our wounded soldiers who so bravely serve our country. Just think about the impact if every single one of you reading this were to send a few cards! Please do it. Send them here:

Holiday Mail For Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

All cards must be postmarked no later than Friday, December 9th. Cards postmarked after this date will unfortunately be returned to the sender. This deadline ensures enough time to sort and distribute cards before the holidays. For more information, visit the Red Cross website.)

2010 Christmas Cards

These are part of the cards I received last year. After this shot was taken, I had to start hanging them on another door since I received so many. 🙂


Copyright © 2011 My Life as a Puddle

A Bit of Botox Gratitude

After learning there would be a CME symposium on hyperhidrosis in my area, I had to complete a registration process, fill out paperwork, etc. One of my first contacts was with a support specialist at the International Hyperhidrosis Society. After my symposium and Botox experience, I wrote her a handwritten card. Yes, she was a complete stranger, but that doesn’t matter. That’s part of the beauty. I was able to affect someone whom I’d never met just as much as she was able to affect me.

Dear Christine,

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you for helping me get connected with the patient volunteer aspect of the CME event in Denver this April. When I emailed the IHHS, I was not expecting such a prompt response, yet there was your email in my inbox offering to put my name on the list to receive Botox injections. I am thrilled to report the treatment is working! My life has changed because of it, and because of you. The part you played was integral in getting me the next step of the way on my way to liberation and confidence. Thank you for being awesome at your job and for being the one who replied to my email. You matter, and you should know that you do. I’m now volunteering for the IHHS. Perhaps one day we’ll meet and I can shake your hand- mine will be DRY, too!

I’ve been writing cards and letters for years, and it’s amazing what such a simple act does for me and for the recipient. It becomes tangible evidence for someone that they rock, that their existence matters, that someone cared enough to let them know. Have you heard of the Note Project? It’s about making the world a million times  better. I encourage you to check them out. I’m currently in talks with the Note Project’s founder, Mike O’Mary, about possibly using all or part of my manuscript on the lost art of letter writing for his upcoming book. 🙂


Copyright © 2011 My Life as a Puddle

Post-Botox Treatment: A Short Recap in the Form of a Letter

I hand wrote this letter to the executive director of the International Hyperhidrosis Society (IHHS), whom I met in person the day I received treatment. This is how I was feeling approximately 1 week after I received Botox injections for palmar hyperhidrosis (HH).

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to you and your staff for organizing the CME symposium on HH and for giving me a chance to receive free treatment. When I arrived and saw the signage proclaiming excessive sweating and read all the stories about people just like me, it was incredibly validating. I felt like the symposium was created just for me and was all about me. I could finally sit in a room and sweat without any worries, while at the same time listen to experts who are pioneers in the field and who offer treatments of hope. I met another attendee whose husband had ETS and now has CS [compensatory sweating] as a result. She and I got to talking, and when I told her about the mental and physical turmoil I go through on a daily basis, she was moved to tears. [For example, I told her stories about my high school proms and hating dress clothes because they’re not sweat friendly, and what happens when I go the doctor’s office.]

Being able to stand there and talk openly with her, and then with the other patient volunteers, I felt like I had met my tribe. On that day, in those 2 rooms, for those 8 hours, I stood in my truth and was liberated. Sweating was exactly what I was supposed to be doing; for the first time, I was comfortable in my sweating glory. I was one of the last patients to be injected, and Dr. [Sweat] was fabulously wonderful. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to go through with it after watching the injection videos, [Note—if you are someone who is easily grossed out and can be influenced by visual images, I do not recommend watching these videos prior to getting treatment. In this case, ignorance really is bliss.] but desperate times call for desperate measures. I faced my fear and came out on the other side better than I was before.

While I hope and pray the Botox works, if it doesn’t I still know I am bigger than my circumstances and refuse to be reduced by them. When I left the symposium that day, I felt like a million bucks. A palpable shift occurred within me that was rather unexpected. You, and the IHHS, GET IT. And you got me. April 30, 2011 was more than just a CME symposium and an opportunity for treatment. It was about validation, courage, strength, and being seen and physically touched by all of you without having to worry about what you thought of my sweating. Maya Angelou once said, “Beauty and strength can be found in adversity.” I thank you deeply for helping me on my way to find mine.


Copyright © 2011 My Life as a Puddle

Welcome to Hyperhidrosis—My Life as a Puddle (and other adventures)

Hi. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. This is a first for me–living my life out loud and online–so please be gentle. I do appreciate constructive feedback, though. Until I am more comfortable in the blogging world, I will be posting everything using the pen name My Life as a Puddle.

So, what prompted this blog? I had been thinking about it for awhile but was further convinced I should step out on faith after 2 incidents occurred. 1) I applied to be in a prestigious memoir writing workshop. Over 60 applications/manuscripts were received; out of the list of students that had to be capped at 12, I was #13. So close, yet so far. Had any of those students canceled, I would have been in! My manuscript is titled Caught Between Jane Austen & Twitter: A Manuscript on the Lost Art of Letter Writing. Some of the comments from the review panel included: sincere, unique format, good mass market appeal, intriguing idea. A friend of mine said 13 is a good number to be, as it’s right on the precipice. She also said to keep my ears to the ground and be open to awareness. She thought my manuscript could be the beginning of something else, like teaching others how to chronicle the lives of those important to them via the art of micro-writing a thank you letter. My friend is very wise, and things are unfolding just like she said they would. (More about the writing blessings coming my way in a later post.)

2) I attended a Continuing Medical Education (CME) symposium on hyperhidrosis a few months ago where I was fortunate enough to receive free Botox treatment for my palmar hyperhidrosis (I also have plantar and axillary HH). While the Botox only worked for a short period of time, I walked out of that symposium feeling like a million bucks because I had conquered my fear and endured approximately 160 needle injections. In. My. Hands. So even if it didn’t work, I knew I had done something really big for myself and could be my own best advocate for my health. In addition to conquering my fear, the entire symposium was complete validation for me and the way my body works. For the first time in my life, I stood in a room and could do exactly what I was supposed to be doing, which was sweating. The International Hyperhidrosis Society GETS it, and they got me. The physicians and nurses who administered the Botox treatment said I had the best case of palmar hyperhidrosis they’d seen all day! For once, I could be proud of my sweat. Those people, in that room, on that day, changed my life. So how could I not walk out of there dreaming about blogging so that I could further begin to live my truth? (Again, more about this story later.)

So, that’s it for my first post. Please bookmark my page and come back soon. If you have any questions/blog topic ideas/general feedback, please comment or contact me. I have a Facebook page that I’d love for you to “like” (Hyperhidrosis—My Life as a Puddle), or you can email me at mylifeasapuddle@gmail.com.


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