Wednesday, May 03, 2006

There is hope: I went swing dancing last weekend, and I actually had fun! My boyfriend and I took a lesson at Glen Echo Park in Glen Echo, Md. The lesson was set up so you switched partners every minute. I must have danced with about 40 people in the course of an hour. My hands weren't distressingly sweaty, and I noticed that a few people had sweaty palms, but it was no big deal. It was not the grossest thing in the world. For once I was on the other side...the receiver rather than the giver of sweaty palms. It wasn't bad at all. It helped that the dance took place outdoors under a pavilion and that the weather was cool.

Just when I thought I was over the hump...I had another sweaty palm moment. I had to see a physical therapist about some pain in my arm. She held my arm and hand in various positions as she tested my range of motion. "Why so sweaty?" she said. "I have hyperhidrosis," I replied. "My sweat glands are on their own schedule."

"How long have you had it?" she asked. "Since I was around 12," I said. End of conversation. She continued with the testing.

I sensed the PT might have been a little grossed out, and I must admit that I did feel a little embarrassed. But the appointment went on without incident. This is something I might have avoided in the past out of fear my sweaty palms would be noticed, so the more practice I have doing these kinds of things, the better. Sometimes the palms are sweaty, and sometimes they're not. The less I worry, the less likely they are to sweat. It's a medical condition, and it's also a psychological condition. I can't always control when my palms will sweat or not, but I can control how I view the sweating and myself. As I said before: there is hope.

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