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.