Tag: writing (page 2 of 4)

Hyperhidrosis and Hand Holding

I went to a writing seminar yesterday. The goal was to learn how to become unstuck and stay on course when writing. I’ve been in a blogging rut lately, but I’m sure you’ve already noticed I haven’t been posting for awhile. While I had the best of intentions to complete each post in the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge, it just didn’t happen. For me, it became more about quantity than quality of posts, something I never wish to do with my writing. I know you appreciate a frequency of posts, I really do. But let’s be honest. Sometimes life gets in the way. Life already has enough could’ves, should’ves, and would’ves, so I’m not going to feel bad and apologize for another something that I should’ve done. But I digress.


This writing workshop was helpful, but the way it started out was horrible for me personally. The leader brought another attendee up to the front to explain the first exercise. They were standing and facing each other, so I immediately started thinking, Dear God, if they join hands and start talking I am going to freak out. So what did they do? Joined hands! The leader asked us all to get up and as a meet and greet join hands with others and say, “I am _____. I recognize the writer in you, and I recognize the writer in me.” Really? Couldn’t we just skip that part, stay seated in our personal space, and tell people about ourselves? I couldn’t even remember what we were supposed to say after she explained it. I had to do this exchange with probably 8 people or so, and they had to repeat it back to me, so it was at least 20 seconds of having to extend my dripping hands into theirs. Oh, the agony.


I thought briefly about trying to excuse myself from this meet and greet, or using the excuse that I have a cold and shouldn’t make hand contact. But if I were just to excuse myself, what if it looked like I was trying to be above the interaction? Would the other workshop attendees think, Who does she think she is, refusing to participate? But if they only knew what it’s like to be inside my body.


By the time we were done, I was sweating basically all over because the exchange was such a trigger. I’m really trying to work on my inner monologue in situations like these, but it’s damn near impossible to calm myself down once I know I’m being put on the spot like I was. It’s situations exactly like this that make me want to NOT attend events because I don’t know what will happen. Yes, life is unpredictable, but when you put yourself out there in the first place as a sweater, it’s even more unpredictable and nerve-wracking. I could have done completely without this interaction. I really could have. After I sat back down, I was trying to do some deep breathing to calm down. Does anyone else have the problem after a trigger situation of becoming absolutely freezing afterward? As my sweat was evaporating, it was making me cold. It’s like I have two different thermostats in my body.


After the introductions were over, the leader asked what kind of writing we all did. I used this an opportunity to talk about my blog and how I was raising awareness about hyperhidrosis, a condition that is under-recognized and under-treated. This helped me feel better after my mortifying hand-holding encounters. A friend who came with me to the workshop said he noticed at least two people wipe off their hands after they let go of mine. I’m glad I didn’t see that. That would have put me over the edge and probably made me cry. I can’t help that I sweat, but you can help from being so obvious about drying yourself off after you touch me. Welcome to my world. I deal with this every single day of my life. It’s hard work.


It was mortifying yesterday. Today, I feel more angry about it. Do I have to overanalyze every situation to make sure I can go to it beforehand? Or should I email the instructors ahead of time and ask if there will be any hand holding involved, and if so, exactly what time will that occur so that I can show up after it’s over? Oh, wait. If I show up after it’s over, then that would make me late to the event. And being late makes me sweat, so I guess that won’t work, either. Super.

Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle


Reminder: Hyperhidrosis & The Sketchbook Project 2012

My sketchbook featuring hyperhidrosis is now on tour. Please check for a city and date near you, go visit, and send me some pictures of you with my sketchbook!


Right now it’s in Brooklyn, NY until April 30th.


MyLifeAsAPuddle Sketchbook Project 2012

This is the cover of my sketchbook.

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

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

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




Why I Write About Hyperhidrosis

(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.)

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash


I write about my life with hyperhidrosis because it allows me to live my truth and no longer be ashamed about the way my body is made.  Most people don’t understand what it’s like to literally be uncomfortable in your own skin. It’s something that’s difficult to ignore when it manifests physically and can leave evidence behind that it was there. Hyperhidrosis is not all that I am, but it is part of who I am. It’s part of my story. We all have a story, but how many of us are turning it into fiction rather than non-fiction? Writing about hyperhidrosis allows me the freedom to express myself while also spreading awareness and hope about a medical condition that is under recognized and under treated. If more people talked about it and released the secret and the shame, we might be closer to a cure. There is power in numbers.


I write about hyperhidrosis because it’s free therapy. I can unravel the goings on of my mind with regard to my sweat in an arena that I’ve always loved: the written word. Writing about my life as a puddle makes me more attune to my body and what I can handle vs not handle (at least, not yet ready to handle, although I’m constantly stretching myself). I’ve become more mindful of the things in my daily life that might make for a good blog post. Believe me, I’ve got a running list. It’s hard to blog as much as I’d like to with a full-time job and other things going on. I would love to see the day where I would be able to focus on my blog as my full-time job.


I write about hyperhidrosis because it gives me a sense of purpose. As much as I hate having an excessive sweating problem, maybe I’m supposed to be exactly this way to create a platform to help others. I say this without any sense of ego. I am so humbled by everyone’s support of what I’m doing. I never thought my blog would get so much feedback. So, please keep commenting, following me on Twitter, posting on my Facebook page, and emailing me. I may not always respond, but I read every single one of your comments. Do you know what your purpose is? I never thought talking openly about my hyperhidrosis would be one of mine. I’ve talked about being open to experiences before. Had I never stepped out of my box in the first place to try Botox injections in my hands, I wouldn’t be doing this today.

So there you have it. Truth, Acceptance, and Purpose. What have you “TAPped” into lately?

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



Hyperhidrosis and the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge

Hey everyone – I just wanted to tell you about a new activity I’ll be doing this April. The Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge hosted by WEGO Health. I will be writing a post a day for all 30 days. Wish me luck!

I’ve also created a Twitter account to further spread my message about life with excessive sweating. You can find me here: http://twitter.com/#!/MyLifeAsAPuddle

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

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