Concerts in the Summer

The summer is getting hot here in NYC! Sometimes it feels like my Iontophoresis treatments are not working as well, but I am going to attribute that to the heat. My hands have been sweating a lot and I’ve pretty much given up on my feet. My feet sweat terribly but it doesn’t bother me as much because I stopped wearing open toed shoes a couple of years ago, and wear socks or peds with all my shoes. I’ve been able to cut my Iontophoresis treatment time in half! When my fiance is with me, he helps work and monitor the device so I can treat both hands at the same time. 20 minutes of treatment is a lot better than 40 minutes!

A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate to play with an orchestra at Merkin Hall. During our rehearsal a few hours before the concert, the stage was impossibly hot and humid. The heat made my hands constantly sweat. I had my yellow towel with me, but it wasn’t helping! Every note I played on my flute made my hands feel mushy and like I was breaking my instrument. I knew at that moment that I would not be able to make it through the concert without a towel, but I couldn’t bring my yellow towel on stage. Orchestra members wear all black during performances, so I needed a black towel so it wouldn’t stand out. I actually went to a store between the rehearsal and concert to find a black washcloth. After searching the entire store, the best I could find was a dark blue. I bought it and brought it on stage with me that night. It was helpful, but by that point, the AC was working a lot better and I didn’t need it as much. At least I now own something that I can bring on stage with me in the future. The concert was a huge success and I can’t wait to play with them again!

Caryn

Advertisements

Iontophoresis Devices and Insurance Reimbursement

Hi all,

I hope you are enjoying the warmer weather now that winter is officially over! It was a very long and tough winter here in NY. Now that we are experiencing higher temperatures, our sweatiness is really being put to the test. I’m continuing with my Iontophoresis treatments once per week using the R.A. Fischer device. My hands are slightly clammy at times, but overall they are doing well.

I was recently introduced to another Iontophoresis device that is worth a look. Find info about it here: Hidrex TWI 

This company also offers Insurance Reimbursement Assistance that can be found HERE.

All best,

Caryn

Iontophoresis Trials

Hello all,

I’m back! After my 100th blog entry at the end of last year, I needed a little break. It’s time to start writing again!

I hope your new year is off to a great start. So far this year, I’ve been busy with new projects in music, Just a Little Sweat, my career, and wedding planning! I imagine this will be a very exciting year for me and I’m looking forward to sharing with you along the way.

In the meantime, I’ve been wanting to talk with you about my Iontophoresis treatments, but I have held off for a few reasons:

1. I never told you that my hands started sweating again back in October although I continued with regular treatments until December with no results
2. I wasn’t sure if I had become immune to the Iontophoresis treatments or if my machine had stopped working
3. I wanted to see if I could do anything about it

I’m sorry that I never told you about this, but I have good news to report now.

When my hands started sweating again, I emailed Bill Schuler from R.A. Fischer (the company my Iontophoresis device is from). He told me that he had heard of this same occurrence from other customers in the past and suggested that I take 1 to 2 weeks off from treatment and start again. I took the time off, and then started up with the initial treatments in January (every other day for 10 treatments). I am happy and relieved to report that it was successful! I am now seeing positive results from the Iontophoresis treatments and use it once a week.

I wanted you all to know about this in case this ever happens to you with your Iontophoresis treatments. Try taking some time off and start from the beginning again!

When my hands started sweating again, it was really discouraging, especially because it was immediately after I got engaged and people were taking my hands to look at my ring. I was really upset about it and scared. Iontophoresis had been so successful with my palmar HH and I was worried that I had lost the one treatment that had actually helped.

I’m happy I can report good news!

Have a great day and thanks for reading,

Caryn

100th Blog Post – Three Years of Just a Little Sweat

Today is a very special day for Just a Little Sweat as I am celebrating two major milestones in the life of this blog. It has been exactly 3 years since I wrote my first post for Just a Little Sweat. Today, I share my 100th!!

3 years of Just a Little Sweat

As I sit here at my desk, writing this entry with the help of my favorite yellow towel and fan, I wanted to first say how thankful I am for all of your support in Just a Little Sweat. If you take a look back at my first post on December 5, 2011, I write about not being sure if I wanted to make this blog public. Talking about HH is really scary, even if it’s over the internet! However, you all accepted me and this blog with open arms and have provided as much support to me as this blog may have supported you. Over the course of 3 years writing for Just a Little Sweat, I have met countless people in cyber space – people from all over the globe and all walks of life. I am honored to have met you, to have learned your stories, and to have had the opportunity to respond to your all your comments and emails. Thank you for your positive feedback, your strength and optimism in the HH community, and for lending an open ear to my stories.

A lot has happened in my life in the 3 years since starting this blog. Let’s take a look back at some of my posts as I remember the highlights:

To celebrate 3 years, I looked back at my 100 posts and chose my top 5. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Caryn’s Top 5 Favorite Posts from Just a Little Sweat

5. The HH Super Villain??
I love it when HH appears in pop culture. It’s not proven that the character has HH, but I’m pretty sure he does 🙂 I’m cheating by linking this additional post, but I can’t resist. Check out another HH reference in pop culture in a Luann Comic.

4. What HH has taught me
Every now and then, I return to this post to remind myself of everything I’ve gained because of HH – patience, strength, courage, tolerance and pride in myself.

3. I posted my Blog Site on Facebook
Writing this entry and actually following through with posting it on Facebook was a huge step in my life. I’m proud of how I brave I was in this moment and still think my letter to the Facebook community provides a great introduction to awareness of HH.

2. Sweat and Chicken Wings
This post was a response to a question about my dating life with HH and how coincidentally, my fiance has secondary HH when he eats spicy food like chicken wings. I write: “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.”

1. How My Blog Got Its Title
I just posted this entry this week, but it is my favorite. I remembered my initial goals for this blog were to help connect the HH community and explain HH in a way that was relatable to people with and without HH. Advocating universal awareness of HH has always been important to me. Thank you for giving me courage to advocate for our community and for being advocates yourself!

Although the time seemed to fly by, so much has changed and I am very happy to be where I am now in life. I’m looking forward to many more years of sharing my stories with you and listening to yours! Thank you again for your support and as always, for reading!

All my best and Happy Holidays,

Caryn

How My Blog Got Its Title

I started this blog three years ago with the intention of it becoming a platform to connect the HH community and a place to explain our condition in a way that was relatable to everyone – people with and without HH. To be honest, this blog started as an outlet for my growing frustrations with HH. Three years ago, I was struggling because my Robinol tablets had stopped working and I was living in very warm conditions during the summer in NYC. I was upset that there was little to no awareness for our condition and frustrated by the fact that I felt like I couldn’t talk about it because sweat is pretty much a taboo subject in our society. I didn’t think it was fair that people living with HH couldn’t feel comfortable talking openly about their condition and I felt as if we were forced to live in silent suffering. HH is a medical condition. Whether you were born with it or developed it later on in life, HH is nothing you did wrong and it’s not something you could control.

Three years ago when I was thinking of potential names and goals for this blog, I was really hitting a road block. It was not until I heard people out there say, “It’s just a little sweat, how bad can it be?”

There it was. As someone living with HH, I never wanted to hear that.

I decided that I could start a blog to explain HH in a way that showed all aspects of the impact HH has made on my life – physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. Three years ago, there were a few medical blogs and websites about HH, but I felt the HH community (and the rest of the world!) was lacking a personal account of the everyday experiences, feelings, and encounters of someone living with this condition. I wanted to raise awareness and support for all the challenges we face and all the obstacles we overcome.

So, this is how my blog came about and it’s exactly how it got its title, Just a Little Sweat. Once you read some of the posts, dig a little deeper and spend a day in our shoes, you’ll find out that it’s anything but.

Lessons for my high school self

I’ve had HH for almost 28 years now and I think I’ve learned a thing
or two. If I were to travel to the past and meet up with my high
school self, I would share what I have learned.

I approach my high school self. I am in the band room, my second home.
I know that at this point in my life I was slowly starting to tell my
closest friends and teachers about HH. I had a love for playing the
flute, but struggled with my hot, sweaty hands. I also had
difficulties in school, taking tests and writing essays with paper and
pen.

“You inspire me because you are brave. You have talked about HH openly
with your closest friends. You give me hope that people are accepting
and understanding. I hope that you continue to share your stories
about HH with those closest to you.”

I know that once I hit college, I started hiding my HH again. I barely
told anyone about it until my junior or senior year. I can only
think of 5 people I told in college- none were teachers. I think
telling people about it and talking openly, even with a few people, is
so helpful and a real coping mechanism.

“People aren’t paying attention to you and your HH as much as you
think. You may feel that your sweat is obvious and feel anxious about
it, but chances are other people really have no idea and can’t tell.”

People with HH are amazing at hiding it even though it might not feel
like it. I went through college and grad school without any teachers
knowing I had it. I just took a deep breath and did what needed to be done.
Easier said than done, but I’ve learned to at least try to stop worrying about
what people think.

“Don’t give up and follow your passions.”

I didn’t let HH hold me back. I found ways to modify the activities I
loved or talked to someone about it for advice. I have played the flute
for 19 years. All I needed was a fan, a hugely absorbent towel, great
musician friends, and sometimes a tub of cold water to stand in.
I’ve learned to make do with what I have.

“Although it might sound cliche, I promise that it does get better.”

Since graduating high school, I’ve had 10 more years of experience with
HH. I’ve learned different coping techniques, tried new treatments, and
helped the HH community grow. I know there is help and support out there
and have seen it first hand.

I am proud of my journey with HH and am happy that I have learned with it
and from it. I know that I can’t really share what I have learned with my high
school self, but I can share it with you.

How would life be different without HH?

Sometimes I wonder how my life would be different without Hyperhidrosis.

I wouldn’t have to worry about the little things like greeting someone new with a handshake or writing with a pen on paper. I wouldn’t have to worry about holding a newspaper, either deteriorating the paper with sweat or coming away with print on my hands. I wouldn’t have to worry about holding onto a subway rail, taking change back from a cashier, accidentally touching someone’s arm with a cold and wet hand, or leaving an embarrassing hand print behind. I wouldn’t have grown up with other kids not wanting to hold my hand during square dancing in gym class or as their line partner to go to the lunch room. I wouldn’t have had to avoid certain things growing up like playing clapping games with my friends or braiding each others’ hair.

Sometimes I think about life without HH and how normal it would have been. I wouldn’t have had to be anxious about my underarm sweat stains reaching the hem of my shirt, or going to the nurse’s office several times a week just to avoid my embarrassment. Maybe I would have continued taking gymnastics lessons. Maybe I would have joined clogging dance with my sister where there is a lot of hand holding.

Life without HH seems so normal and it’s something I’ve envied for a long time. But thinking of life without HH sure has a lot of maybe’s and  what if’s.

What I do know is that I really can’t imagine my life without HH. It is a part of me and it is a part of who I have become. Without HH, I would have taken all of the above for granted. I feel fortunate that I don’t.

HH has made me a stronger person. It has given me pride in accomplishing even the smallest of tasks. HH has also made me an observer and someone who cares a lot. It has given me an understanding and appreciation for all people.

So how would life be different without HH? I’m not quite sure.
But I think life with HH has made it better.