Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tumblr, Baking Soda Remedy, & Labeling

If you haven't ventured into the Tumblr world I encourage you to go dabble. Dip your toe in. Start with a quick "hyperhidrosis" tag search. You'll find a plethora of young users reaching out for help or at least a little understanding and acceptance. It's quite magical. I thank the powers that be everyday that I didn't have social media in high school BUT this is kind of awesome.

Here's a message you might find interesting I received on Tumblr:
Wow it just occurred to me to look for a hyperhydrosis tag on Tumblr and found your blog :) It's so nice to see that I'm not alone with this shit (which for me is a curse mostly because of social expectations about 'hygiene' and people assuming sweating means I'm nervous...).  
Anyway, two things that are in my mind:   
1) After experimenting with lots of kinds of deodorants a few years ago I found that putting Soda Bicarbonate powder on my armpits totally vanishes any sweat odor. It works wonders for me.
via Etsy
This is great to hear! I've never attempted to use Soda Bicarbonate or baking soda. I used it recently with my shingles disaster and it worked wonders to relieve itching. Hoorah for a natural remedy and not to mention dirt cheap. All deodorants have curbed my odor in my armpits. However baking soda might be something to consider for my groin (smelly hoohah, ugh), and perhaps my feet. 

Quick Baking Soda Remedies
2) Would you (or your followers) consider hyperhidrosis a disability? Because in a social context it does mean a lot of handicap and embarrassment, also makes some everyday activities more difficult or dangerous to do (eg. handling knives). I'm curious about the views of other people living with this condition.
What are your thoughts? We want to hear from you.

We all agree hyperhidrosis can be crippling. There are examples of people unable to perform their job due to hyperhidrosis who were then able to collect disability insurance. I know this to be true because I was denied disability insurance after having ETS surgery because of said examples. That's a post for another day.

My personal opinion, please by all means disagree in the comments, is if we consider hyperhidrosis a disability we're doing ourselves a disservice. We a creating a crutch for sufferers to fall on instead of empowering each other. We are fully capable of taking care of ourselves with HH. My daily functions are not put to a halt because of HH. They might be compromised. That said, I don't think we can fall in the ranks of those who need special assistance to get by. 

Instead of drawing attention to hyperhidrosis as a disability I would rather we draw attention to HH in general. Educating teachers, doctors, and employers that someone with HH is not excessively sweating because they're nervous or have poor hygiene we're simply being.

What do you have to say?

Monday, November 25, 2013

My Special Skill: Vivid Dreaming

As of late my dreams have been coming to fruition or they've been a foreshadowing of something similar to come. Being a very vivid dreamer has it's hilarious moments but lately I've been a bit startled. A few dreams about work have become reality. Including people being fired and problems with my paycheck. Not exactly uplifting.

Tis the season for panicky dreams.

I stayed the night at the man friend's on Friday. It's not unusual for me to wake up in a minor panic at his place. I drool. This was different. In my dream he found out about my hyperhidrosis on the internet. Midway in I woke myself up and stared at him snoring. He was not about to pop the HH question. 

In the dream I repeatedly asked if he had found my blog and if that was what gave me away. I never found his source. He had a book in his hand, with his finger bookmarking a specific section. The book perhaps described HH and he put the puzzle together himself. He matter-of-factly asked, "Do you have hyperhidrosis?" Then proceeded to say he could find anything on the internet. A topic we've talked about in real life.

Clearly I'm still paranoid about my hyperhidrosis and frankly people finding this blog. I'm confident to say if he asked me I wouldn't panic. I have visions of the topic coming up organically. He's only grabbed for my sweaty feet once and I pulled away. There has been no reason just yet to describe HH. I am not as ashamed or nervous as I once was. It's a process coming to terms with this awkward condition. I just want to break the news as opposed to someone finding my "secret." 

I laughed when he told me people think he's weird. Maybe that was a good opportunity. You're weird? Well check this out...

My friend recently told me to look for progress, not perfection. This dream was simply a reminder that I still have a ways to go. 

How soon have you told someone about your HH?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Roundup

Who is ready to paaaaaaaaarty? Me neither. Actually, I am jonesin for a stiff fancy whisky drink assembled by a hot LA mixologist. Whisky in moderation of course because 1) hangovers suck at 27, and 2) I want to keep the sweat in check tonight. Leave the sweat for after drinks yaknowwhatImsaying?. I'm super lusty for my date tonight. Things are going well with this fella (first mentioned here). Knock knock on the internet wood things continue to progress with him.

Here are some things I like on the web this week:


This is my girl power jam. If you're a Stevie Nicks fan you'll dig Lissie.

I'm eager to bust out my sewing machine. Great DIY inspriration.

There has been an avalanche of listing articles top ten this, twenty things you should know that. 
This was refreshing. 
But seriously, can we put a moratorium on lists?
And in case you were wondering, this here post doesn't fall in that category.

Hold the peppers!

Cheers Y'all!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

ETS Surgery Side Effects

By and large, the post that generates the most traffic to the blog is My Experience with ETS Surgery. You want to know what's up! I get it. I'm a real life example of the surgery working and not working.

My message remains consistent: 
Think twice before having the surgery and question everything your surgeon tells you. 

Think about it.
The original post is rather lengthy. If you're thinking of having the surgery I highly recommend reading the entire post and shooting me an email with any follow up questions you might have. Take off the rose colored glasses, this surgery has it's pitfalls that come along with the glorious feeling of dry hands.

Side Effects of Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy

Warm food or drink induced sweat
The back of my neck and chest sweats when I eat fast, or when I drink/eat anything warm.

Spicy food induced sweat
My face sweats when I eat anything spicy. I used to eat spicy food boldly now I eat it with a bit of concern. My face takes on a slick glossy glow. It's a different kind of sweat. Let me emphasize this, it's my entire face that is sweating. It's a bummer constantly asking to hold the peppers or asking if salsa can come on the side. Mexican, Thai, Korean, BBQ... it can get tricky.

Boob sweat
My boobs sweat a lot more. Changing bras in the summer time is something I've become used to. Constantly checking to see if I have an underboob stain on my shirt is nothing foreign. I've had more than one experience of a girlfriend of mine grabbing a necklace I'm wearing and getting a bit of sweat on their hands. Strange that's happened more than once.

DRIPPING body sweat
I can't walk down the street or up a flight of stairs without breaking a sweat. LAYERS all the time. When I lay out at the pool I am constantly jumping in the water. Sweat? No, no that's pool water. Oh, you're not convinced? Time to jump in again. 

Now that its winter I experience this less but I also haven't been walking around the town much. Two recent examples of dripping sweat: 
One) I walked less than half a mile to a neighborhood restaurant. My entire back was dripping and my boobs were quite damp. A trip to the bathroom and some calming breaths I was able to stop the sweating. If you're a city dweller who loves walking this surgery is going to cause you troubles. 
Two) I was enjoying game night at a friends. I had a hot cider, some heavy foods, and it was a bit stuffy in the room. That reads as a combination for disaster. A friend and I were beginning to catch up and all of a sudden I started dripping sweat. She couldn't notice since it was on my body but I was very uncomfortable. So uncomfortable it compromised our conversation. I wasn't engaged and slightly panicky. 
I cannot emphasize this enough. DRIPPING sweat. Large beads of sweat. My body would sweat before but now instead of my hands dripping my body is. Mostly my back, chest and legs. 

Sweaty knees
When I go for a run or hike I have really weird lines of sweat running down. No one else has legs that look like this. If I'm in a setting that's 65+ degrees just sitting my legs are much sweatier than before the surgery. 

Upper back sweat
My upper back never used to sweat outside of the norm. Now racerback tank tops are my best friend. I also have a good collection of cotton dresses that I can wear under my dresses. Bare upper back anything is rarely found in my wardrobe. 

Slower heart rate
My heart rate is slower. This is more of a positive for the longevity of my heart. 

Considering all the above my hands do not sweat. I cannot deny that having sweat free hands has really changed my life, but I do not live sweat free. It is important to me to share these side effects with you because I was naive and misinformed going into my surgery. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Why Mention Hyperhidrosis on Your Online Dating Profile?

For better or worse my dating life is fueled by the internet. Seriously, what is wrong with people? Does no one in Los Angeles ask people out anymore? Wait a second. What's wrong with me? Before I tumble down that rabbit hole I want to talk about writing online dating profiles.

Even Martha is cool with online dating.

Out of pure curiosity I searched "Hyperhidrosis" on OKCupid. There weren't many profiles that mentioned it but I was a little dismayed by the ones that did. I so desperately wanted to reach out and say, "STOP. Take that off immediately!" 

I refrained as I'm not expert. Although, I have had two relationships develop from online dating and a sleuth of first and second dates. I've been around the internet block.

Always ask yourself, what would Martha do?

To Mention or Not to Mention HH?

You're being your true authentic self. While writing the perfect profile you are compelled to mention that you suffer from hyperhidrosis. Perhaps within the narrative about yourself it organically comes out. The reader has learned a new fact about you. They know what they're getting into.

You might find another person with hyperhidrosis who matches your personality. You understand each other on a sweaty level. When you go to the movies together you sit in peace knowing the other won't go for a hand grab.

You sound guarded. By mentioning "my hands sweat profusely" it really reads, "I told you that I sweat. You can't judge me. You know exactly what you're signing up for." Sorry dude, you sound like you have some emotional walls to tear down and I don't know if I'm willing to help with that. 

Are you over sharing? Did you mention hyperhidrosis AND how awful it can be when your underwear is soggy from merely walking around the mall? I've just blocked your profile. Everyone, no really everyone, has something their insecure about. It doesn't need to be the first thing out of our mouths.  

You might find another person with hyperhidrosis who doesn't match your personality. Just because someone has hyperhidrosis doesn't mean they're your match. Hyperhidrosis has shaped my existence but I am not defined by HH. We all have values, interests, and aspirations in life. Explore those first to see if your partner is a match. 

Would I ever mention HH in my own profile? No. 

Resources for crafting an online profile:

Monday, November 11, 2013

Outfit Trends for Your Sweaty Armpits and Feet

There are a few trends over the last year I have been absolutely smitten with. Any outfit that I can sweat freely in deserves a gold medal. Thank you to the designers, stylists, and fashionistas that have embraced these looks. Little do they know they're helping us out in a major way. 

The Classic Denim Shirt
Miley has some respectable moments.

Since my pre-teen years I've been rocking the denim shirt. Sometimes left open over another shirt, a short sleeved version can be worn over a sun dress in the summer, or a dark denim shirt rocked on its own. I recommend investing in a good quality dark denim shirt that allows for a bit of sweat. Often thick enough so sweat won't show through just like your favorite pair of jeans.

Shop denim shirts:

Booties/ Ankle Boots
Simply adorable.
There is nothing worse than sloshing around in shoes. My sweaty feet rejoice in how easy it is to find socks in all shapes in sizes allowing me to wear fancier footwear. But my toes are beyond grateful for the ankle bootie. My entire foot is covered saving me the embracement of visible foot sweat, and I can wear them day to evening.

Shop booties:

Color Block Dresses
I am so in love with Vince Camuto right now.

Is this real? Is this really happening? There is a dress that is not just black that will allow my pits to sweat on constant stream? Shut up. With black color blocks under the arms these dresses are often intended to create a slimming silhouette. For us that means we can wear a dress with a pop of color without keeping our arms glued to our sides. Throw your damn hands up.

Shop color block dresses:

What are some staples in your closet? Favorite places to shop?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I'm Hot and Uncomfortable

I started seeing someone. It feels weird to say that as we've only been on a handful of dates. "Seeing someone" sounds serious, but there is really no other way to describe what we're doing. We are seeing each other.

Now that I've written this it will fall apart quickly.

From what I can tell he's a good guy that has my sense of humor. I get a sense that I can talk to him about my hyperhidrosis when the time is right. We'll see where things go. 

I had a big confidence break through with him last night. We were in the throws of making out when I became way too hot [insert tasteless joke]. My body was becoming damp and his hands were all over me. He was more or less mopping up my perspiration with his hands. I wonder what he thought of it. I'll never know. I did know though that if we had continued for much longer beads of sweat would have trickled down. The fear of splashes on his hands came over me. 

I must not let that happen. Just yet.

I took control of the situation though. I pulled away subtly, smiled, fanned myself and said, "Hey. I'm really warm, a little sweaty, and kind of uncomfortable. I think I've hit my limit for the night." We starred at each other for a moment. "Sorry, I'm just uncomfortable. Not because of you though. I'm just warm." We starred some more. There was no judgement in his eyes thank god. 

I then diverted the conversation to when we'd see each other next. Everything was peachy king. I did not begin to sweat more out of fear. I didn't panic because I felt bad about stopping the smooches. It was what it was. I went from uncomfortable to comfortable. 

Speak up. It's OK.
Thanks Nick from New Girl for helping me tell this tale.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Goodbye Summer, You Weren't So Bad

Fall is upon us. I can hardly get out of bed in the morning, after all the sun is not even ready for the day at 6:30 am. It's near impossible to emerge from my cozy covers when it's pitch black out. As I drifted off to bed last night without sweaty feet I realized it's been a while since I had to put on socks at bed time to soak up the dampness. It was truly a mild summer.

Look at that nerd geeking out over Chardonnay at the beach in November. 

Was it a mild summer or was I just boring? I played it safe this year. I avoided bars and drank cooler beverages. My social life was filled with familiar faces and places avoiding unexpected scenarios. I went to the beach only once, and I sought out shade whenever possible. Is this what growing up is like? Making a concious effort to make sure I'm comfortable? Maybe.

If You Get Caught In A Heat Wave - Sara's Adult Minded Tips (Even If It Is a Bit Too Late)

1. Stay in the shade. 
Don't worry about getting a tan. You're only going to get wrinkles, sun damage, and a sweat stain out of it. Tell the sun to take a hike.  
2. Drink ice water. 
This one you've heard before but it really does help keep your insides cool and our fucked up internal thermostats in check.  
3. Avoid hard liquor. 
Getting drunk really quick is fun when you're 19, pounding shots of flavored vodka to get the courage to dance on tables. Then you wake up the next morning and see your pit stains tagged all over Facebook. Drink slow and drink less hard liquor so that you wake up worry free. 
An almanac could tell me the highs and lows of Los Angeles. But who has time for that?! I'll say the sun scorched a little less leaving me a touch more dry, AND I took extra caution to manage my sweat. A splendid combination. 

Although I am embracing my favorite time of year with a full heart I can't say that summer was all that awful. I could use another beach day. 

How did everyone else cope with summer? Confidence peaking with cool breezes?