Hating Your Embraced Imperfections

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I've had hyperhidrosis my entire life. I know this. Everyone knows this. I have made adjustments accordingly since I was a child. I know that I can't wear shoes without socks. I know that I freeze to death all summer and winter long. I know that I feel drained after sweating through my clothes and socks. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is put on socks, because I know if I don't, I will not only be drenched within 3 minutes, but I will leave puddles all over the floor and slip. I can't wear cute capris cause I know that my footwear needs will not be cute to match. I had life-changing surgery (in whatever year now cause I can't remember) to stop my hands and underarms from sweating and it was in the top 3 best decisions I have ever made in my life, though my hands and underarms are now starting to sweat more. This is just how things are. This is how my body works. It is a major part of who I am.

I am dancing with a modern dance company right now, and as is the standard, the director would like us to dance barefooted. This fact scares the shit out of me. I've only danced barefooted twice in my life, once in high school when we did this awesome lyrical piece to a Mariah Carey song and on the DAY BEFORE THE RECITAL, Mrs Atwater asked us to cut the feet off our tights to dance barefoot. This sent me into a panic, but I did it, and I baby powdered my feet beforehand. It was unpleasant, but I did it. When we did Dido, Queen of Carthage with Camenae, my character was barefooted, and I bought little dance paws to wear. I was barely onstage and it was ok, but again, I hated it and froze. So for weeks, I've been trying to find a way to make this work for me. If I am previously wearing socks, and I take them off, within seconds, I will have beads of sweat all over the sides/tops/bottoms of my feet, so I would try going to rehearsal without socks. In the cold weather. Didn't work. I would wear little socks and pull them down slowly throughout rehearsal. Didn't work. Last night, I was determined to go barefooted the whole night, and I sweated all over the floor, and froze so badly I couldn't wear enough clothes. My toes were numb, and I was drenched from head to toe.

This morning, I googled "hyperhidrosis surgery for feet." When I had my surgery, they couldn't alter the amount of sweat produced from my feet--just hands and underarm. For years I've said that if they came up with a way to fix it in feet, I would do the surgery as quickly as I could. Now, today, I didn't really delve into massive research, but I stumbled across a site that said that the best ways to treat it in feet were: topical antipersirants like Drysol (did this for years, hurts like hell), botox injections (never tried this, but it is super painful and super temporary, plus, my feet are an important part of my career, so I can't risk messing with them), and the ion shock therapy thing (which I also did for years, and post-surgery destroyed my machines with a hammer per my dad's suggestion. It was very therapeutic.) Then this article essentially said 'do not attempt surgery for your feet. It is extremely dangerous and the complications are irreversable.'

Well, shit.

Now, I know this just puts me right where I already am, but it does make my heart sink a bit. This problem will never be fixed. It will always be this way.  I look at people who can go barefooted or wear nice heels and I experience oodles of jealousy (and I try to not be a jealous person), and I wonder--I try to imagine--what that life is like. To be able to not be drenched all the time. To not have swollen waterlogged feet. To have my body temperature regulated. My brain cannot fathom what this dry-foot sensation is like.

And I mean, that's ok. I am super healthy otherwise! And so many people have such worse problems that I have. But it does make me sad to know that I am unable to do this simple thing that others take for granted, and there is nothing I can do about it.

1 Comment

I'm sorry. That is a thing that I take for granted that I'll try not to anymore. In the meantime, have you spoken with the dance director about your situation? I'm sure if you shared with him that this is a real condition you have and could make dancing dangerous for you and everyone else, s/he would understand and let you put on some discreet footwear?

PS don't be mad you don't wear capris. Nobody really should be wearing capris anyway.