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