Exciting News!

Two Sundays ago, my boyfriend and I set out to run a half marathon in Central Park, NYC. We have been running together for over 4 years and we have run one half marathon every year since.

Little did I know, this race was very special.

My boyfriend had secretly gathered all of my closest friends to cheer us on during the race. At the 5th mile, I saw a bunch of signs with our names written on them. Francis pulled me over to them on the side of the course. At first I was really confused but then I caught on to what was happening.

My boyfriend had planned a proposal!

And I said YES!!

He completely surprised me and took my breath away. It was the most perfect and loving proposal.

It was also very special because he involved both of our parents and they traveled to the city to see us that day!

I later found out that Francis had been planning the proposal since May. He didn’t plan having the water station nearby and empty cups on the ground or the newscaster who caught word of the surprise from my friends! These things made it all the more memorable.

After the proposal, we had enough energy and happiness to finish the race. The next five miles felt like we weren’t running at all! We did find it challenging towards the end, but all the aches and pains were worth it!

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Sorry to keep you in suspense, folks

My quintet-mates were incredibly supportive and positive when I told them about my HH, of course!! Their responses were so genuine and they are proud of me for what I do as a HH awareness advocate. I guess I had no doubt in my mind that they would react that way, although I was still scared to tell them. I feel relieved that everyone in my group knows now and I feel closer to everyone too!

Tell Someone about HH- Challenge!

Hi All,

Now that you have some tips for telling people about HH, I present you with a challenge: Tell someone new about your HH this week!

Telling people about my HH has made me feel more comfortable in my own skin and has helped me cope with the emotional aspects of the condition.

I am less anxious when I go to rehearsals with my quintet because they know why I need to use a towel sometimes. I am less embarrassed and self-conscious as I sweat uncontrollably in the hot summer sun when I’m out with a friend because they know I can’t help it.

Now, I want to hear from you!

Please leave a comment about a time you told someone about your HH.

How did you do it?
What was their reaction?
How did you feel?
Did your relationship with that person change?
How is your relationship with that person now?

Good luck, and as always, thanks for reading!

Caryn

Riverdance anyone?

About 5 weeks ago, I started taking Irish Step dance lessons.
I used to dance (tap and jazz) and I have always loved “rhythmic” dance.
Anything with a tap on the shoe to make percussive noise, I’m there.
Maybe it’s the musician in me.

I’ve always been interested in Irish Step, especially hard shoe.
Right now, since I’m a very beginner, I’m starting with soft shoe.
This means, there aren’t any percussive sounds.
The shoe is a soft leather with no taps on the bottom.

Anyway, I was so excited for my first class!
I hadn’t taken dance in years, and was happy to start again.

As soon as I got there, panic hit me.
Have you ever seen Riverdance?
All of those dancers hold hands…like the whole time!
Why didn’t I think of this??

I’m ready to bolt, but wait and give it a try.

Thank goodness, this class is different!
It’s more “solo” Irish Step.
There are other people in the class, but we just keep our hands down at our sides.
Haven’t had to hold a hand yet!

This experience brings up an issue that many HH sufferers stress about.
Have you ever wanted to do something but didn’t because hand holding may be involved?

I used to be a gymnast.
Okay, I was 5.
But I could pull off a mean cart-wheel!

Recently, around the time of the last Olympics, I read the results of a HH survey asking:

“What would be the worst Olympic sport for people with HH, what would be the best?”

Overwhelmingly, the results were:
Worst: GYMNASTICS | Best: SWIMMING

Can you imagine gymnastics with HH?
The uneven bars? The balance beam?

I don’t believe I quit gymnastics because of my HH.
I think I was just being a kid and didn’t want to do it anymore.

Sometimes, I wish I would have continued.
But I cannot imagine I would have any success due to HH.

I love dancing, but I would never take ballroom or salsa.
I used to want to clog dance.
My sister took it and I really enjoyed watching her.
But I wouldn’t ever dance ballroom/salsa/clogging because there is hand holding involved with some steps.
Why would I voluntarily put myself in that position?

Happy Reading,
Caryn

Cheese and Sweat

One of my favorite foods is cheese. I have always loved all types of cheese*, even if I have never heard of it or tasted it before.

Recently, cheese has become somewhat of a hobby for me.
I enjoy going to cheese shops downtown and watch it being made (free samples!). On Saturday’s, I go to the farmer’s market in Union Square for fresh cheese. For Christmas, Francis got me a mozzarella cheese making kit! We just made a 1 pound ball of  mozzarella the other day. Long story short, I am really interested in learning all there is about cheese.

Three days ago, Francis challenged me to incorporate my love of cheese into a HH blog post.

My first response was an unconvinced, “Yeah right, maybe cheese reduces sweat.”

So, the next day, just for laughs, I googled: Cheese and sweat
The first website that came up was this:
http://www.sweatblock.com/foods-that-reduce-sweat/

What do you know! Cheese can reduce sweat!

Apparently, it’s the calcium in cheese that is a temperature regulator. Similar to drinking water, calcium will regulate your temperature and you will tend to sweat less.

Other calcium-rich foods to try are: low-fat yogurt, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, almonds, and baked beans. Check out the rest of that site for other foods that can reduce sweat including milk, fruits and veggies.

Thanks, Francis! Mission accomplished, achievement unlocked 🙂
More cheese for me!

Caryn

*The only cheese I have found I dislike is American Cheese.

Computer Keyboard with a Built in Fan?

I was very frustrated at work today. I’m not sure if it’s hotter in my office or if I’m just stressed, but my hands have been constantly sweating. The sweating was really irritating me as I typed on my computer keyboard.

I decided to do a Google search to try to find a computer keyboard with a fan positioned at the hands. I have a fan on my desk now, but it doesn’t help much because the airflow is not able to reach my hands.

What I found was a gamer keyboard. What an ingenious invention!

Gamers’ hands get sweaty, and they may not even have HH. The fan is built-in to the upper left hand side of the keyboard and keeps your hands cool as  you type.

I’m not a gamer, but I still want this keyboard! I wish that general keyboards would start offering this fan option. I don’t need all the other fancy “gamer” features.

Check the keyboard out HERE.

                                             

Sweat and Chicken Wings

Hi All,

I recently received a question from a reader about how HH impacts my dating life.

Well, from my previous entries, you all know I’ve been in a long term relationship for a while.

My boyfriend’s name is Francis and we have been together for 4 years. We were long distance for a while, but now we are happily in the same city- New York City!

Although my boyfriend and I are now very comfortable with each other, my HH still plays a big part in our relationship. Just the other night, I asked him again (for the umpteenth time): “Are you sure my hands don’t bother you?  “It’s not gross when I touch you?”

Thankfully, Francis has always been fine with my HH. I am lucky to have found him!

Other than the physical aspect of HH, he understands when I get very frustrated and emotional due to HH limitations. I try to be calm, but sometimes I can’t help it. He talks me through it or gives me a hug.

Francis is also very supportive about my goal to help others like me with HH. He encourages me to blog and to talk to people. It feels really good to trust that Francis isn’t grossed out by my HH and he is someone I confide in all the time.

We don’t let HH limit our relationship. We go out, stay in, watch movies, go to dinner…we are a pretty normal couple. If we’re talking about HH, it’s usually about ideas for my blog or ideas for future non-profit organizations for people with HH. We don’t like to let HH bring us down, although it’s okay to feel sad sometimes.

My advice to you is: Don’t settle. There is a guy or girl out there who will be accepting of your HH and you deserve to have that person.

And you never know- that person may just have HH themselves. Or a version of it.

I will go out on a limb and say that Francis has secondary HH. Secondary Hyperhidrosis is different from mine (primary) because it is caused by something. For example: taking certain medications, being overweight and/or having other medical conditions can cause overactive sweating. Francis’ cause happens to be spicy food.

The first time I noticed the sweating was when we ate chicken wings together at a dining hall on our college campus. His forehead had broken out in a sweat and had started dripping. The back of his shirt was starting to get wet.

I felt more comfortable mentioning the sweating because of my own condition, and Francis told me that it always happened to him when he ate spicy food.

Since then, this has been a normal and frequent occurrence. We both really like Thai food, and sometimes it can get spicy. He will sweat right there in the restaurant, and sweat way more than me! His forehead will sometimes get really sweaty and he has to go through a bunch of napkins to mop it up.

I have never had a problem with spicy foods and sweating, so I don’t really understand that aspect of overactive sweating. However, I know that Francis has a much better idea of my HH through these experiences.

I recently asked him if he made social decisions based on his spicy food sweating episodes. He said that he probably wouldn’t eat anything really spicy out in public, but it doesn’t bother him too much if he sweats just a little bit since he really likes spicy food.This is similar to people who suffer from primary HH because we make social decisions based on our HH all the time.

Francis did not know what HH was before he met me. I didn’t know he had sweating tendencies when eating spicy food. Since we started dating, I have slowly taught him what it means to live with HH. I know he still learns new ways I am limited by the condition, but he has a much better sense of what my life has been like.

If it’s any reassurance for the future, I notice that my sweating has decreased when around Francis because I am now more comfortable and relaxed around him. Dating always made me nervous, and nerves will create more sweat.

Don’t hide your HH. If it comes up, talk about it. HH is a big part of your life and a big part of who you are, whether you like it or not. The right person for you is going to love you for everything you are.

All my best,

Caryn