So many new things

Back in May 2014, I found myself shadowing my mom at her work. She’s a guidance counselor and works with elementary students. I was inspired watching her work and felt it familiar in a way. She helped every student she saw that day and I have to believe she does this every day.

With that experience and a lot of soul searching, I felt compelled to take a look at my passions. I see my passion for helping others in many capacities, including this blog. I discovered that I want to help others for a living.

With much thought, I focused and narrowed down some options. I thought about my Hyperhidrosis and how I was able to overcome this obstacle in many facets of my life. I thought about how it was challenging, but I was able to adapt.

My passion for helping others overcome such difficulties is what led me to decide to pursue a Master of Science degree in Special Education.

I started as a part-time student this fall. It was a difficult decision to decide to go back to school after already earning a bachelors and masters degree, but I know it was the right decision and have the support of my family and friends. I look forward to the future in this new career!

 

 

 

It’s hot in here!

Hi All,

My office at work is extremely hot. Something is broken with the heating and cooling system here and so now we have 3 fans on full blast in the middle of winter!!

What I find interesting is that my coworkers and employees are complaining every day about the heat, whereas, I don’t find it that bad. It almost feels normal to me. I think it’s because I’ve learned so many coping mechanisms with the heat from having HH. I breathe through it, drink a little more water, and try not to think about it. Sure, I still sweat, but I’m not letting the heat bother me.

Do you think you cope with extreme heat a little better because of HH?

Best,

Caryn

 

Life with Semi-Dry Hands

Hi All,

So the knitting project went pretty well. I wasn’t able to actually successfully knit, but the string didn’t come apart and get tangled like it normally would have if my hands were sweaty. My mom is visiting me next weekend and will hopefully help with the knitting part, but overall, I have to say that it was a success for me! I am also interested in learning how to crochet. Back in college, my best friend tried to teach me, but it was so difficult for me to hold the string in my hands. I know that my hands today will be much better for these types of hobbies.

The Iontophoresis is still holding up pretty well. Like I’ve said, the tops and sides of my hands and feet still sweat. I was doing yoga and stretching last weekend with my boyfriend in preparation for a Labor Day Half Marathon, and my boyfriend was really surprised to see the top of my feet glistening with sweat. He was concerned the Iontophoresis wasn’t working, but I told him I’ve been noticing sweating in this area. At least, it’s almost completely dry on my soles and palms. I have to say that in extreme cases of heat and stress, my palms and soles will get clammy. I noticed this while running the half marathon. It’s definitely not as bad as it was before, but it’s there.

Other successes this week: writing out a ton of envelopes- BY HAND! When’s the last time I’ve been able to do that without a towel or other piece of paper gliding under my hand as a smear guard? Also, I’ve been shaking a lot more hands lately- and I appreciate every one 🙂

Keep trying the different solutions out there- I hear that Iontophoresis may not have the same results for everyone. Good luck to everyone, and please stay positive.

All best,

Caryn

He Said, She Said

Today I thought I would give you a little glimpse into some of my conversations with Francis!

While hanging out together with my cat:

Francis: Why is Grace’s tail wet?

Me: Because her tail is resting on my foot.

 ______________________________________

Near the end of a long run together:

Francis: My feet are all sweaty in my shoes. Do you get that too?

Me: Oh, I can’t tell the difference anymore – sweat is my normal.

______________________________________

While holding hands at my friend’s wedding:

Me: Sorry my hands are so wet.

Francis: Every time you say that, I’m just going to hold your hand tighter.

Happy Reading,

Caryn

Photo Booth from Friend's Wedding

Me and Francis- Photobooth photos from my friend’s wedding this weekend!

 

Luann Comic- Hyperhidrosis

Hi All,

This weekend, the popular Luann comic strip mentioned Hyperhidrosis! Thank you to my Aunt (who also has HH) for bringing this comic strip to my attention!

I am so happy and surprised that HH is mentioned, and by name too! I feel like this comic strip just made HH history. So many people read the Luann comic. It was my favorite comic strip growing up!

Greg Evans (Luann creator) was just able to reach thousands about HH. I am so curious what the response is! Thank you!

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All best,

Caryn

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

How to tell Someone you have Hyperhidrosis

Hi All,

I know that telling people about your HH is really difficult and scary. Sweat is a taboo subject at the very least, but it has also proven to have negative connotations in society. So, we hide, conceal, disappear, and avoid doing what we love.

HH creates a physical disability, but also a social one. One day, I hope that HH is a commonly known condition. One way we can help the cause is by telling people about HH.

Every person you tell is one more person with understanding and awareness. Knowing this gives me a little boost of courage. I tell people about my condition for the HH community.

Here are a few ways I have told people about my HH:

1. I find the most effective way to tell people about my HH is in person. Usually, I will wait until I have visual example to show the person, ie. Excessively sweaty hands. I don’t tell just anyone. At this point in my life, I am only telling people who I have known for a while and trust/care about a lot. After some time, I know I can trust my relationship with the person to remain the same even if I open up about HH.

Sometimes, the opportunity will present itself. Maybe the person will notice and ask about it, or you’ll experience an embarrassing situation where there is absolutely no way to hide, or it’ll be really hot out and you are sweating much more profusely and noticeably than they are.

I usually start by saying, “I have a medical condition called Hyperhidrosis. It’s difficult for me to talk about, but I struggle with it every day and I’ve had it my whole life.”

When telling people about your HH in person, you are able to answer questions and have a dialogue about it. You are also able to make sure they fully understand all aspects of the condition and how it impacts your life. Understanding the full impact is very important, as we all know that HH is NOT Just a Little Sweat.

Last, when telling people in person, you are able to see their facial expressions and gauge their reactions. When I email people about my HH, and they don’t respond right away, I can never be sure what they are thinking. By telling people in person, you have a much more immediate and honest reaction.

2. You can email/snail-mail people you trust about HH. I have done this several times. Sometimes it’s just easier to hide behind the computer. I have emailed and sent Facebook messages to some of my closest friends. Some members of my quintet found out about my HH through email. I have also emailed co-workers and old college friends.

I try to write a very open and honest letter describing HH and what it has meant for me to live with it every day. I also mention how important it is that I can be open with them about it from now on. This does not mean that I need to talk about HH all the time. I just don’t want people to be quiet about it and treat it like some secret that I want hidden. That’s not the point. The point is to start feeling normal with our condition.

3. If you want to stay anonymous but still help the cause, tell someone by blogging about HH! That’s how I started. I wrote this blog anonymously for a really long time.

Blogging was and is very therapeutic for me. I used to be so angry about HH, but recently am focusing my efforts more positively. As a result, this blog has helped me and others.

Please feel free to add any other tips for telling people about HH. Have courage and good luck to you all out there!

Caryn

Hyperhidrosis Genetics Study

This past year, I participated in a study conducted by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine on the genetics of Hyperhidrosis.

In today’s e-newsletter from the International Hyperhidrosis Society, I learned of some findings from the study. You can read the article HERE.

If you are living with HH, I encourage you to contact the College of Medicine and participate.

My experience with them was very positive. I was mailed a free kit that included a HH questionnaire and supplies for DNA samples (mouthwash samples).

After the questionnaire was complete and mouthwash samples were collected, I mailed the kit back to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, free of charge.

It is important for your family members to also participate in the study whether they have HH or not because genetics and heredity are being tested.

Thanks for reading,

Caryn

 

What do you say?

Hey All!

I’ve had a great time responding to all your comments from the article, and it’s time to get back to posting! Thanks for your patience!

For some time now, I’ve wanted to write about my palmar HH and what I say or think  about my hands when they are extra sweaty.

Palmar HH is really difficult.
If my hands are extra sweaty and I’m in a meeting, I literally can’t take notes. I can’t even move.

The other day I was in an awfully stressful meeting. I literally sweated through half a notebook- just by holding it.

If the sweat wasn’t enough, I was also super self conscious about my neck and chest blotching and was trying so hard to cover it up.

Other examples of Palmar HH struggles:
If I’m on a hot platform waiting for the subway, I can’t read a paperback book or a newspaper- I can’t even hold it! (Recently switched to Kindle and loving it)
Also, just last night, I was trying to answer emails on my Mac and my sweat was interfering with the trackpad! Can’t catch a break.

Palmar HH is so annoying!

Here are a few things I say about my hands:

My hands are…

1. melting
2. not working right now
3. broken
4. bad
5. a mess
6. not behaving

I’m sure I missed a few.
What do you say about your palmar HH?
Please leave me comments!

Thanks for reading,
Caryn