More Irish Dancing!

Hi All,

I’ve been taking Irish step dance classes every week now since February and I continue to love it more and more. I even added on a hard shoe class, so now I’m taking 2 hours of Irish step a week!

Recently, my teacher invited me to a free introductory class for team Irish Dancing called Ceili. This looks really fun, but it features hand-holding with your team while you dance.

Tomorrow is the class and what a great time it is to test out my “new hands”!

I never would have considered this type of dancing if my hands were still sweating profusely- although I have to say I’m still pretty nervous! I just hope my sometimes clammy fingers don’t get in the way!

I have finished the initial treatments with the Iontophoresis device, but Bill Schuler from the R.A. Fischer company suggests I still treat my hands and feet once a week. After a while, I can gradually increase the time between treatments. So, maybe I will do a treatment tonight if I have time, just to be safe for tomorrow!

Check out the type of dance I’m going to be doing! Looks fun, right? Wish me luck!

Thanks for reading,
Caryn

Further Experiences with Iontophoresis- Success!

Since my first treatment with the R.A. Fischer Iontophoresis device, I have been able to work the device myself without help. If you work the machine yourself, it will take 40 minutes, even if you are just treating your hands.

While by myself, I use one tray for my left foot and one tray for my left hand. I am then able to work the machine with my free right hand. After 20 minutes, I repeat with the right hand, using my left hand to work the machine.

Generally, I will only feel a little discomfort when using the device with the vibration sensation. However, I have felt pain during a few treatments. Sometimes my hands or feet will feel like they are burning. When this happens, I immediately decrease the milliamperes until I feel comfortable again.

The pain may be caused from excess tap water in the tray. The extra water by my wrists causes some pain and I noticed after the treatment that my skin near my wrist turned red and it was also itchy. After the first treatment, I even noticed a little swelling. The swelling went down within a few hours. I have also experienced a red line along the entire side of my hand, from where the water level rested. You can see this in the picture below. Don’t worry- the red irritation goes away. My hands were fine by the next morning.

R.A. Fischer president, Bill Schuler, suggests if switching charge midway through the treatment causes discomfort, I can switch every other treatment instead. So far, I haven’t had a problem switching mid-way through.

Bill also suggests that you use the machine every other day for the best results and that results are most commonly seen after 6-10 treatments. After that, I read that you may use the machine as needed, usually once every 2-4 weeks.

Although the NYC heat is doing its best to work against me, I am seeing results with the device. I have even tried to will myself to sweat and am unsuccessful. Is this too good to be true?

I still feel the same sensation as when my hands and feet did sweat.  My hands and feet get very hot and tingly, but my palms and soles of my feet are dry. The sides of my fingers and feet will get clammy but I think that is because the water in the trays does not reach that area. This doesn’t really bother me. Also, I am happy to report that I have experienced no compensatory sweating from Iontophoresis!

I have finished initial treatments but I am going to keep an eye on my progress and will continue to devote my time to the machine when needed. I will keep you posted, but so far, I recommend this machine to people with HH!

All best,

Caryn

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Irritation from the Iontophoresis device. This goes away fairly soon.

My First Experience with the Iontophoresis Device

A couple of months ago I was offered an opportunity to try an Iontophoresis machine for my Hyperhidrosis. The makers of the R.A. Iontophoresis device loaned me a prescription machine- the MD-1a Galvanic Unit! I have been working with Bill Schuler, R.A. Fischer president and long-time supporter of the International Hyperhidrosis Society, over the phone and via email for tips and coaching and updating him of my progress.

What is Iontophoresis, you ask?

Defined from the R.A. Iontophoresis website: “In cases where antiperspirants are not effective, a physician may recommend “Tap Water Iontophoresis” for treatment of palmar or plantar hyperhidrosis. In medical terms, iontophoresis is defined as the topical introduction of ionized drugs into the skin using direct current (DC).”

My first experience with this machine caused a lot of anxiety. I opened the case and saw a lot of wires and many booklets and sheets of paper with instructions.

Francis and I read through all the directions, we set up the machine and prepared the trays with tap water. This being the first time, it took us about an hour before we actually turned the machine on. I’m glad we went through everything thoroughly because I felt that the machine could be dangerous to me if something was set up incorrectly. Francis used to work for the American Red Cross and I was happy that his medical instincts took over as he carefully made sure everything was hooked up properly. He let me focus on calming my nerves. I already knew the general idea of the device as I had tried Iontophoresis about 10 years ago with no success, but this machine looked a lot more intense.

I opened the case to find that it conveniently slides apart to become two tap water trays. One metal plate rests in each tray and a cloth goes on top of the plates to avoid any direct contact with the skin. Each plate is connected by a wire to the main device where you change the level of milliamperes. The instruction booklet said that you should aim for setting the device to 12-18 milliamperes.

Finally, after making sure everything was hooked up correctly, I was ready for my first test with the device. Each of my hands rested in a tray on top of the cloth covering the metal plates. We were ready to turn the machine on.

Although I knew the machine was safe, I couldn’t help fearing that I would somehow be electrocuted and pass out once the power button was switched on. I could feel knots in my stomach and my breathing was fast. I was really nervous.

During the first treatment, Francis was responsible for working the device and changing the level of milliamperes. He counted to three and he turned the machine on.

Phew- I was okay!

Francis gradually increased the milliaperes to 12- we didn’t go any further than that on this first try.

What I noticed most was vibration. The vibration was pretty severe during my first try- vibrating my fingers, palms, wrist, and half-way up my forearm. If the sensation was getting to be too much, I asked Francis to lower the milliamperes slightly.

The vibration sensation was not painful, just a little uncomfortable.

After ten minutes, it is instructed to gradually decrease the milliamperes to 0, reverse the charge, then gradually increase again between 12-18. This lasted for another 10 minutes, and then my treatment was done for the day!

I was happy to find that the treatment wasn’t painful and that I felt safe. The treatment takes a lot of time, but I was able to watch TV during it. Watching TV also helped keep my mind off of any discomfort I felt with the vibration sensation.

I was also relieved that Francis was with me for my first treatment. He was very supportive and protective of me and made sure I was feeling okay.

After the first treatment was over, he wanted to try the machine to see what I was feeling! I let him try it very briefly, and we only went up to about 6-7 milliamperes. He could feel the vibrations from the plates.

This really showed me how much he supports me and that he was willing to step into my shoes, so to speak. His actions spoke largely about his character.

Stay tuned for another entry about my other treatments with the Iontophoresis device!

Best,

Caryn

Carrying case for the R.A. Fischer Iontophoresis device. The case comes apart to become two tap water trays for the treatments.

Carrying case for the R.A. Fischer Iontophoresis device. The case comes apart to become two tap water trays for the treatments.

The milliamperes are adjusted on this device during treatments.

The milliamperes are adjusted on this device during treatments.

During my first treatment, I treated both of my hands at the same time because Francis was adjusting the milliamperes on the device.

During my first treatment, I treated both of my hands at the same time because Francis was adjusting the milliamperes on the device.

 

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

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! 🙂

Happy Reading,

Caryn