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Category: Hyperhidrosis

Closet Overhaul

Closet Overhaul

Since my surgery nearly three weeks ago, my life has definitely changed.  Inside, I do a little happy dance every day that I go without socks, and outside…well, my wardrobe has changed drastically!

So I decided that in order to really make the change permanent in my mind, I’d have to reorganize my closet.  I do this maybe twice a year anyway, where I throw out old things, things that don’t fit, change out seasonal items, etc, but this time, I was looking to get rid of SO much more:

The pile has even grown since this was taken, but of course I forgot to take pictures.

You’re mostly seeing shoes here.  Lots and lots of boots, especially.  I used to wear a pair of black boots to work every day, so they’d usually get worn down quickly but instead of tossing them, they piled up in the dark corners of the closet.  Now that I don’t have to wear boots every day…POOF!  They’re banished from the closet.

Another thing I got rid of?

Socks!!  This was surprisingly emotional for me…not because I’m so attached to my socks, but because it’s just such a big change from my norm.  I had 27 pairs of white socks clogging up my sock drawer.  I also had a bunch of unopened pairs of tights, leggings & trouser socks, so it felt like I had just gone shopping!

I ended up keeping 15 pairs of socks.  It’s probably still excessive, but hey, it’s better than 27!

And since I was feeling SO good about my “new” wardrobe and all of the things that I could now wear, I gave my closet a bit of a facelift:

Bwahhahaha!  I totally Roy G. Biv’d my wardrobe!

Mike saw it, immediately rolled his eyes and said I’d never keep it up.  We shall see, won’t we??

Basically, reorganizing my silly closet has made me ridiculously happy.  I’ve brought my dresses and skirts to the forefront & relegated jeans and dress pants to the bottom of the closet/the trash pile/the guest bedroom.  Every time I walk in my closet, I feel like getting dressed for the day is just more FUN.  And I definitely feel better throughout the day since I feel happier about my clothes.  Win-Win!

My favorite part of my new wardrobe?

(ignore the scars from flip flops cutting into my feet, kthx)

These shoes!!  If you look closely, they have SPIKES AND SPARKLES on the toes!!  They’re badass and I love them–they were even featured in Nordstrom’s monthly/seasonal/whatever-interval catalogue that we just got, so I feel like I’m on the cutting edge of fashion.  And if I’m ever attacked while wearing these shoes, you’d better believe these spikes will deliver a swift kick to the balls–these shoes could be LIFESAVING.  (just tell your SO that when you drop $130 on them too)

Do you like purging your closet??  I had so much fun doing this and feel SO awesome now that it’s done!

Post-Surgery Life

Post-Surgery Life

It’s been over a week since my surgery and I haven’t written about it.  Honestly, every day this past week I thought about it and just…couldn’t write this post.  It took me awhile to figure out why I didn’t know what to say, and then finally this morning I realized why I haven’t been super-compelled to write about it.

How on earth do I write one single post on something that has changed my whole life? (answer: write a really, really long one like this)

Yes, the surgery worked.  My feet are dry as can be, and very warm to boot.  For the first time in my life, I’m walking around the house without socks on.  In fact, I haven’t worn a single pair of socks since leaving the hospital last Thursday.

I write that, and I certainly feel the impact of how huge that is for me, but looking at it from an outsider’s perspective (no offense, readers–but you’re the outsiders here) it just seems so…anticlimactic.

So I’ll try to explain as best as possible just how incredible this is for me.  I don’t know why I feel like I have to defend my choice–certainly no one has told me “That’s stupid, why would you get surgery for something little like that?” but I feel like they’re thinking it every time I tell my story. I don’t blame them, honestly…the degree to which my feet used to sweat is unfathomable to most people who never really put a second thought into their foot dryness.

I’ve worn a dress every day this week.  Every day!  I’ve never been able to leave the house in a dress, confident that I would be comfortable all day.  Why was it such a problem to wear dresses before? Because in order to wear dresses, women usually wear sandals or some kind of shoe that you don’t wear socks with.  Many people have asked me “why can’t you wear sandals and other shoes…what’s the big deal?” and it’s difficult to explain how uncomfortable it is, but would YOU want your stilettos to have puddles in them?  Probably not.  As for sandals, my feet would drip visibly, which is embarrassing, and the straps of most sandals would also cut right into my swollen, soft feet.

And now…Now I feel like I’m a part of a club of women I always wanted to belong to.  I went to DSW with my mom and for the first time, I tried on whatever shoe I felt like.  I felt a certain…camaraderie…between me and other women in the store as we hunted for cute bargains.  I went to Nordstrom’s shoe department and for the first time asked a salesperson to bring me a pair of shoes that I’d like to try on (before, I was too intimidated).  I felt like I BELONGED in that shoe department and that I wasn’t just the style-less impostor I usually feel like.

Which brings me to the biggest thing of all for me…I finally feel like I can express my true sense of style.  I can go shopping and actually buy the clothes that I would otherwise just wish for.  All my life, I’ve felt limited to the things I could wear because everything required certain kinds of shoes and socks.  Jeans all year round, business slacks at work, boots or sneakers every day since I could wear my thick socks with them.  I felt self-conscious about it all of the time…I wanted to be fashionable and trendy.  I felt like people just thought I wasn’t very stylish, that I was clueless about trends and cute clothes.  Every time a woman talked about her awesome new shoes in front of me, I’d want to hide my own feet since I was stuck in the same boring shoes every day.  Stacy and Clinton (hope you guys are What Not to Wear fans) are absolutely right…looking good makes you feel good, and too often I felt very very “blah” as a direct result of what I wore.

Right now, I’m wearing a flowy grey dress, my bare feet kicked up beside me on the couch with pretty red toenails from my first pedicure.  I feel comfortable.  I feel stylish.  I feel like this is who I was meant to be and I had to hide it for a very long time. What a difference that makes! (it also makes me incredibly emotional and teary to think about)

I hope this is forever.  I truly hope that these results are permanent and that I can live the rest of my life with this kind of freedom.  I had a dream last night that my feet started sweating again, so it is definitely still on my mind that this might not be permanent.  I’m afraid that they will revert back to how they used to be.  But since there’s nothing that can convince me of the permanence except time, I’m going to appreciate this as much as possible for as long as possible.

As for the recovery, I’m doing well.  I was surprised just how exhausted surgery can make you.  I’m not in much pain anymore, but my stomach (where the incisions are) is sore.  I’m improving daily though and hope to be at full speed soon!

If you made it this far, thank you!  I know this was a long post, but I felt it necessary to truly express how much has changed for the better with this one “little” thing.  The more time that passes, the more it amazes me that I will (hopefully) have the rest of my life to enjoy this outcome. It feels so, so good!

One Week From Today…

One Week From Today…

  1. I won’t have to put socks on immediately after I shower because bare feet are sweaty and uncomfortable
  2. I’ll be able to go shoe shopping
  3. I won’t have to hide my socks by wearing boots with dress pants in 90 degree weather anymore
  4. I’ll wear dresses with sandals comfortably, therefore will be able to actually wear dresses
  5. I’ll get pedicures when I want to without being mortified about someone touching my feet
  6. I just might get wild and sleep without socks on
  7. I can buy and wear regular cotton socks when I DO wear socks instead of the heavy-duty hiking/walking/running ones I wear every day
  8. I will never turn down Mike’s offers for foot massages again
  9. I won’t have a farmer’s tan for the first time in my life
  10. Did I mention shoes?  It deserves another mention.  I want to wear a freakin’ flip flop, dammit.
  11. I would agree to have wood floors in the bedroom like Mike wants.  The bedroom is the only place in the house that ever sees my bare feet while I get ready for the day, and carpet is more absorbent/comfortable than wood
  12. When we travel, I won’t have to bring 5 extra pairs of socks with us “just in case”
  13. I’ll go down half a shoe size because they won’t swell anymore
  14. I won’t be intimidated by shoe stores anymore
  15. I won’t freak out when dressing up for an event anymore because I just KNOW my feet will be miserable in *those* shoes.
  16. I will be much, much happier.

All of that is, of course, dependent on how well the surgery goes, but I really really hope that most of these come true.  I hope that my quality of life improves and the recovery process is quick.

What am I most excited about??

Wearing dresses.  Wearing dresses means that I’ll be wearing cute shoes.  Wearing dresses means I won’t have to wear jeans, boots and socks everyday in the summer.  Wearing dresses means that I’ll be confident enough that I won’t carry an extra pair of socks in my purse “just in case.”

And wearing dresses will give me the opportunity to go shopping and beef up my dress wardrobe!

Surgery Doubts

Surgery Doubts

*In case you missed any previous posts on this, I have what’s called “hyperhidrosis” where my hands and feet sweat an abnormal amount.  I’m getting surgery to correct this issue for my feet.  I already had surgery for my hands 11 years ago, but it didn’t work entirely and I might have to go in for a “do-over” sometime after this surgery.*

This past weekend, I got the paperwork for my surgery in the mail.  Holy crap, this is real.  I’m going to have surgery on May 26th.  17 short days away.

Not that I haven’t daydreamed about how awesome it will be to have dry feet and to be able to take my socks off once in awhile, the more pressing concerns right now are “I really really really really don’t want to have surgery.”

Yes, I want the results.  Absolutely.  But flying to LA, spending thousands of dollars, going through getting blood drawn, being poked and prodded at, then finally sent in to a room where they knock me out and cut me open?  Not to mention the recovery process of feeling super groggy from anesthesia and then depending on other people to do things for me?  Gross, gross, gross.  I don’t want to feel so…weak.  Vulnerable.  Exposed.

And I know those are silly, short term things to be concerned with.  I should be more concerned about horrific side effects or something, right?  Well, I’m not without those concerns either.

My first surgery for my hands was much more serious than I anticipated at the age of 13.  I had lung tubes and difficulty breathing, not to mention the sharp “pins and needles” feeling I frequently got while my nerves were adjusting to the fact that they had been severed.

This surgery for my feet is supposed to be less serious of a fiasco, plus I’m sure technologies have improved over the last decade.  But still…six more scars on my torso isn’t exactly fun to think about. (The surgery is not on my feet–the nerves that will be targeted are in my chest/torso)

And then there are the bigger, long-term questions once we find out if the surgery works.  Will it work forever?  Will the clamps they put on the nerves (they aren’t being severed this time) cause complications down the line?  I wouldn’t think so, but even irrational fears are fears.

Some of the hardest questions of all…What if I have sweaty children?  What if I have children that have it just as bad as I did, if not worse?  How could I justify watching them suffer through the taunts and teases that I did, while I’m sweat-free?  Sure, we could eventually put them under the knife, but would they resent me a little as children because I could get fixed and they’re too young to be?

Of course, that brings me to question whether or not I should even have my own children because of the possibility of them being sweaty and miserable.  I was lucky because I was never a shy, introverted child, so I didn’t let my sweat stop me from much, even when I had students AND teachers make fun of my condition.  Other people with this condition are often socially stunted because of how they are treated as children…why would I take that risk with my own child?  Sure, I came through stronger for it, but is that too much to ask of every child?

That last paragraph really has nothing to do with my surgery, but it’s a question that haunts me all of the time:  Would I want my child to deal with this?  To be humiliated by classmates, to not be able to take notes properly because their paper is too wet, to have me put together their science project for them because they’ll smear their own writing?  To have to hide their feet like I do, to always have to think about the uncomfortable feelings of constant sweating?

It’s a lot to take in.  It’s a lot to think about.  These aren’t easy questions.

I am getting the surgery to improve my quality of life, and I’m pretty much banking on the fact that things will most likely be just fine and that I’ll come out of it a happier, dryer person.  I suppose after that, I’ll just have to take things as they come.

It’s still a scary thing, and definitely isn’t something I’m taking lightly.  There will probably be pros and cons to this, like everything else in life.  There are also no guarantees, which is a risk I’m taking.  I guess we’ll have to see if it was worth it.

Any advice on how to calm these nerves before the surgery?  I wish there was a pill to drive out the naggy little doubting voices in my head, for sure!