This is My Story

United States
The whispers began around 4th grade. I couldn’t go a day without my teacher or another student asking why my hands were wet, why my shirts had armpit stains, or why my white shoes were yellow. I thought it was normal- that it was just part of being me, that sweating that much just happened. I had seen a commercial explaining hyperhidrosis when I knew instantly that’s what I had. I searched Facebook for a support group where I confirmed my self-diagnosis through the images and experiences there. It wasn’t until I was 16 when I mentioned it to my doctor; he watched as I flipped my sandal over and a full puddle spilled onto the white tile flooring. The first thing they recommend was Botox, but I definitely couldn’t afford it. He wanted to try out medications, but the support group I joined recommended iontophoresis, my Dr. had never heard of it. He put in the order and insurance covered the rest. I used the machine, after about 2 weeks of 30 minutes a day I was dry. After about 3 months, I couldn’t do it anymore. It was way too much emotionally having to “fix myself” as a young teen. I went back to my doctor and requested medication for my palmar, plantar, and axillary hyperhidrosis. They started me on robinul with no luck. Once again per my support groups advice, I asked for a specific medication: oxybutinin. After a few dosage adjustments, this medication has completely changed my quality of life. I can write on a piece of paper without it ripping, confidently touch another person, and not have to worry about my hands slipping behind the wheel. Hyperhidrosis has always defined me, but now I define myself.