Thank you!

Hi All,

I wanted to thank you for reading the article posted by the International Hyperhidrosis Society this week! This article has been a very positive experience for me and I feel like it connected the HH community even more!

Thank you for your emails, comments and supportive words. Reading through all of your messages has been very powerful and emotional.

I identify with you all your stories and am just like you- trying to live as “normal” of a life as I can with HH.

Please continue to be strong and have the courage to tell someone new about your HH today. We can all get through this together.

I hope you all enjoy your weekend and stay cool! ๐Ÿ™‚

Best,

Caryn

I was featured by the International Hyperhidrosis Society!

I wanted to share some exciting news!

Today I was featured in an article in the International Hyperhidrosis Society eNewsletter! Sharing my HH story with others has been a really rewarding experience and I thank the International Hyperhidrosis Society for giving me the opportunity to share with so many of you!

Please click HERE to read the article.

The International Hyperhidrosis Society is a fantastic support site for people with Hyperhidrosis. They share a wealth of information including HH education, tips for coping, stories from others with HH, deals and discounts on sweat-helping products, research studies, treatment information, a comprehensive search for doctors, ways to get involved and more! I have had a really positive experience communicating with them in preparation for this article and always find their website helpful. Please check it out!

All best, and stay tuned for an entry about the Iontophoresis machine that was just donated to me from R.A. Fischer iontophoresis devices !

Caryn

 

It’s that time again…

This week in NYC, it has reached almost 80 degrees! Too hot for me already!

I’ve been really struggling with my work clothes and shoes. I need to be able to dress light, but not sweat through everything. Walking has already become a pain- wearing flats without socks. I am slipping, squishing and sliding. Today, I was smart and am wearing my cotton ped socks with my flats.

I caved this week and bought another fan for my desk at work. This one I put on the floor, directed at my feet.

Now I have one fan on my face and hands and one on my feet. Hopefully this will help keep my entire body cool this summer!

I am definitely considering moving somewhere where it is in the mid 50s all year round. Suggestions?

Good luck out there, and keep drinking water!

Best,

Caryn

Sweat on Command

Earlier this week, my boyfriend Francis was visiting me at my apartment.
We were in one of our silly moods and when we both noticed that my hands were dry, he challenged me to make them sweat.

I went silent.

Francis said, “You know- you should practice your super power.”

“Shhh- I’m concentrating.”

Within 10 short seconds, my hands were glistening with sweat.
“Here, feel” I said, as I put my hand on his arm.

Francis was pretty impressed. I was too.

I knew I could probably sweat on command, but I had never really tried it.

All I have to do is think about my hands getting warm and they start tingling.

I like how Francis called it my “super power.” I hope one day I can use my power for good.

If only I could control the sweat and make them dry on command.

Oh well- maybe with practice I can! ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy 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 ofย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚
More cheese for me!

Caryn

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

ETS Surgery, Part 3- Compensatory Sweating

I was penciled in at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital to get the ETS (Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy) surgery in December 2011.

I was all for it at first- too frustrated with living with myself. Every day, struggling with the smallest of tasks.

All of my friends and family seemed pro-ETS. They just wanted me to be happy and live a better life.

At the last minute, I cancelled my appointment.
The reason being the potential side effects.

I began reading horror stories of compensatory sweating. Stories where people began sweating all over their bodies, much worse than their hands had ever been.
Some stories were about people who didn’t leave their houses anymore, couldn’t wear their usual clothes, or refused to hug their loved ones. Many stories were about people who became depressed.

My boyfriend, Francis, started to worry about this surgery. He wanted me to be happy, but he didn’t want me to change. He thought the potential side effects were way worse than what I was currently dealing with. We both didn’t want to risk the compensatory sweating.

My hope is that the surgery continues to improve with a lower risk of compensatory sweating. If this happens, I will most likely get the surgery.

Until then, I am living the best I can.

Best,
Caryn

Hand Holding in Schools

I’ve had a goal recently to start working with children and HH. I want to go into the schools and educate teachers, nurses, parents and students about HH.

One goal is to adjust lesson plans to remove activities that require hand games or holding hands with other students. This could include activities in gym class such as dancing or certain types of tag, classroom games of getting to know each other, and/or holding hands with a buddy when walking down the hall.

I remember as a child going through Elementary school especially, other students didn’t want to hold my hands because they were wet. At my young age, I still didn’t know what was going on with me. I didn’t know I was different from other kids. It was confusing and hurtful when people would call me gross.

I feel that as an alternative, schools could start by making these activities optional and the buddy system could be altered by using a rope to hold on to, instead of someone’s hand.

Ideally, by educating about HH in the schools, teachers will know what to look for in HH sufferers and be able to address the condition with the student and parents. If teachers find a student with HH in their class, their lesson plans could be altered accordingly and special attention could be given to the child. For example, I know that I struggled a lot writing with pencil and paper in class or working on art projects. The teacher would be able to offer the student additional time to complete projects, and offer alternatives such as: going to a separate room to take tests, give the child a paper towel or cloth, let the student write with pen, etc.

Recently, I spoke with a friend of mine who is currently earning her music education degree. She wants to be a music teacher in public schools.

When I spoke to her about my idea to remove hand holding from schools, she disagreed. If I understood her correctly, her theory is that children need hand holding to feel safe and connected to others. Also, if someone in the class had HH, it is the teacher’s responsibility to let the other children know that the condition is not a big deal, and that holding the person’s hand is okay.

I see where she is coming from, but I just cringe when thinking back to when I was a kid. It was really painful to feel different and gross.

What do you all think?

Smelly

Hi All,

It’s time to get a little real here.
I know that sweat itself doesn’t smell.
If this is news to you, it’s true.

Sweat doesn’t smell, but the bacteria on your body will break the proteins of sweat and cause a smell.

A few days ago, I was in a meeting and I was sweating a little more than usual.
I had another appointment soon after the meeting and was worried I wouldn’t make it out of the meeting on time.
When I was excused from the meeting early, I didn’t want to get up before everyone else because I had a feeling I was going to trail a bad scent.

So I stayed put until everyone left.
This experience just brings up something else that I and people with HH have to deal with.

I’m paranoid and self-conscious.
I don’t know if I really did smell, but my mind was telling me that I did.
HH really effects your mental state of being.

To try and help the smell, wear more absorbent fabrics. Cotton always works will for me.
It is also very important for people with HH to shower often (once a day is fine) and maintain good hygiene.
When I was younger, I would buy scented hair products and body sprays to mask the smells of my HH. I’m sure I put too much on all the time!
Now, I buy scent-free laundry detergent because I think the smell of HH mixed with scented detergent is worse!

If anyone has any other suggestions, please feel free to leave them!

Best,
Caryn