In February, my husband bought me an iPhone for Valentine’s Day. A lovely gift, but I was really nervous about getting one. For so long I had held out and been one of the few people who couldn’t spontaneously check their email or post on Facebook any time they wanted. I figured I couldn’t have a touch-screen phone with my sweaty little paws, so why even bother to think about it?
I told my husband not to buy one without me going with him to the store. So, we went to Best Buy where they have every phone they carry on display for you to look at and touch. I must have stood there for 20 minutes picking up every single phone that would be an option with our service carrier. I kept wavering between a Blackberry, a Droid, and the iPhone, and then going back to the idea that I didn’t want a smart phone at all because I would end up ruining it from my drippy hands.
So I’m standing there playing touchy feely with the phones, turning them over and over in my hands, pushing all the buttons, sliding out the keyboard on the Droid I was looking at, and swiping my fingers across the iPhone to see if it would actually work. You know what happened then, right? It made my hands sweat even more. I had to walk away so I could try and cool off and get my hands back to a semi-normal state. I could feel my face turning red, too. Fabulous.
When I walked away from the phones, I ended up in front of all the phone cases and accessories. There I found a protective cover called invisibleShield. This is a clear plastic protective cover that goes over the screen of the phone to protect it from scratching and other damage. I also found a case for my phone that I thought would work best. I’d heard of OtterBox covers and some of my friends who had iPhones actually let me hold their phones with that cover on it. It’s nice and rubbery, but I found they made the phone so much bigger than its original size. The case I picked out is made by Belkin – it’s called the Essential 010 for iPhone 4S. It’s a hard case, but it has some texture to it with the raised sections on the back, which helps me to better grip my phone.
After one more trip back to the phone display to touch all the phones again, I decided to take the plunge. Heck, I was halfway there already since I had now gotten the packaging wet from carrying around the screen shield and phone case. And really, how long could I stand there and play with the phones? At one point, my inner monologue said Okay, seriously Maria. Pick a phone and step away from the display. You’re totally overthinking this.
I now have an iPhone and it’s been mostly fine for me to use thus far. There are times when I’m extra sweaty, and for the first few days I had the phone it was worse because I was thinking about it more. The screen shield really helps, and I wipe mine off every few days with a damp paper towel. There have been many times where I’ve left sweat droplets on my screen. When they dry they leave a film and you can see them on top of the screen, but they wipe right off.
Suggestions Before You Get a Touch-Screen Phone
Play with other people’s phones first – Several of my friends have let me hold their phones and play with the touch screens to see whether they would work with my sweaty hands. The more you do this, the more comfortable you will feel with a touch-screen phone. My friend and I were listening to music on her iPhone the other day, and I held the phone in my hand for a good three minutes or so before I had to ask her to hold it again because it was triggering my sweat. She didn’t care that I was getting it wet, but because I was sweating on someone else’s phone it was worse. I’m much better when I only drip on my phone.
Ask the store associate to put the screen cover on for you – I highly recommend the screen cover for people with sweaty hands. If the person who is selling you your phone doesn’t offer in the first place, ask him or her to do it . It’s not a complicated process, but it requires a lot of “hand time” with the phone and making sure it lays smooth. Best Buy offered to do this for me, and since they do so many they are very good at it and it was one less thing for me to worry about.
Test out more than one type of touch-screen phone – There are a lot of models to choose from. You might find you like a Blackberry better, since it still has keys for typing. Some of the Droid models have both a touch-screen and a pullout keyboard, and you might find you like the iPhone even though it has zero buttons/keys on the screen.
Know the store’s exchange policy – Most retailers will offer an exchange policy of some sort when you buy a phone. I think mine was 30 days. This way, I could test out the phone in my normal environments and sweaty situations to see if I could really use it and like it. If I didn’t, I could bring it back within that time frame for something I was more comfortable with.
Try something new– Things can be scary the first time you do them. Scary is okay. It can propel you forward into something you might not think is possible for yourself. Don’t exclude yourself from things in life because you have hyperhidrosis. I know many times this is easier said than done. But in the case of having a touch-screen phone, it’s possible, but you won’t know until you try. You, too, deserve to have and do things people with dry bodies may never even think twice about.
Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle