Meet Carrie from East Central Ohio. This is her sweaty story.
On what areas of your body do you experience hyperhidrosis?
It was always my hands and feet since birth, but after having the endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) surgery the compensatory sweating (CS) is everywhere – trunk, back , head, scalp, face, chest, etc.
How did you discover that your excessive sweating is a recognized medical condition?
I saw an episode of Phil Donahue in the 1980s and there was a physician on the show talking about hyperhidrosis and ETS – I couldn’t believe it . I had felt like I was the only one in the world that this was going through this .
How does your hyperhidrosis impair your daily life?
It is so debilitating. I am always so uncomfortable. It’s really embarrassing to go anywhere. I always have to put the window down in the car, I am always sweating, and my body does not thermoregulate like a normal person’s does.
Do you avoid certain things because of your sweating?
Yes, definitely. Touching people is so awkward, especially at church. Holding babies – and I LOVE babies, but it’s super embarrassing when you hand the baby back all wet. Cash exchange at the store and that look you get as the cashier hands you your change into your sopping wet hand. Always having to take an extra change of clothes. Basically everything I do is affected by hyperhidrosis.
What treatments, if any, have you tried?
Certain Dry, iontophoresis, every antiperspirant on the market, and finally ETS. It has been a nightmare. I was so excited about the surgery! Finally my terrible sweating would stop. I had the surgery in San Antonio, Texas in 2000. My hands were initially dry for about a year or two, with a little sweating but not nearly as bad; my feet never stopped sweating.
Then the worst happened – the compensatory sweating. The horrible side effects began – sweating all over my entire body, fight or flight responses are a mess, I could go on and on.
Is anything working for you to help you cope with your hyperhidrosis?
Nothing has worked successfully for me. However, because of you, Maria, and your blog My Life As A Puddle, I have found many others that suffer from Hh, and I don’t feel so alone anymore. It’s comforting to have others who can relate and talk about this. [Thank you for the kind words, Carrie. You are definitely NOT alone.]
What’s the worst thing about your hyperhidrosis?
What do you think is the biggest misconception when it comes to hyperhidrosis?
That we sweat because we are nervous – we are nervous because we are sweating. [Great quote! I actually said this as #4 in my article with SELF Magazine – 10 Things People With Hyperhidrosis Wish You Knew.]
What would you like to see in the future when it comes to treatments for hyperhidrosis?
I would love to help find a cure so that other people, especially children, never have to go through this .
If you could tell the world only one thing about hyperhidrosis, what would it be?
Please bring more awareness to hyperhidrosis. It is truly a debilitating disorder and needs to be recognized as such.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about your sweaty story?
Hyperhidrosis has affected me in every aspect of my life, beginning in childhood with nobody wanting to hold my hand to being a student and sweating all over the desk and ripping the papers I was trying to write on. I’ve struggled with dating, self esteem, and discomfort. However, I have been truly blessed with a wonderful husband and two awesome sons who have never judged me or acted “grossed out” as most people do.
Do you have a sweaty story?
I’m opening up my blog to the larger hyperhidrosis community. If you’d like to be featured, please fill out the form on my Contact Me page. In the subject line, enter Guest Post. Not a writer? No worries! I can edit your story, send you questions to answer to create one, or you can record a video.