Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How much can one person sweat? A lot.

I was going to tell a funny story about me first stuffing toilet paper - which didn't work so well - and then paper towels into the front of my underwear in an effort to soak up the excess sweat and make it look less like I peed myself. Ok, so that was the story, and it is pretty funny, I guess, but it's also felt kind of humiliating at the time.

Today I went out for my book club and then my flu shot and even though I brought two separate top changes (each with two shirts), it wasn't enough. I sweated through all of them - all six shirts - in the five hours I was out of the house. I should have brought pants changes, too, because my jeans were soaked on the waistband (and the aforementioned front) and wet throughout. Then again, I suspect that I could have lugged a suitcase full of clothes and I still would have sweated through them.

I wasn't even sweating because I was hot. No, I was a normal temperature, not even feeling the least bit warm, and when I started sweating I got cold and stayed that way, which probably caused me to sweat even more. If I do anything at all other than just sit down - and sometimes even then - I sweat. And I'm not just sweating under the arms or on my feet: my back, shoulders, arms, abdomen, and head all sweat profusely.

Sometimes I sweat less if I take percocet even if I know that I'm not going through withdrawl from the pain patches, but that's not a practical solution. Interestingly, I don't sweat at night. My sheets never get soaked and I don't wake up because of this. It's a problem only when I'm awake.

I don't know if I'm actually sweating more now - that it's become worse than it was - or if I'm doing more and so it's worse. Either way, it's having a serious impact on my life. I don't want to go anywhere because I know that I'll need to change once I soak through the clothes I'm wearing. When I do go out, I try to be out only a short time and then rush back home because I'm cold and wet. We've got a Christmas party coming up and I'm dreading it because it's embarrassing and uncomfortable, sweating this much. I leave a wet mark on chairs and cushions just about everywhere I go. And Ian finds it unpleasant to hug me or even hold my hand because my back and hands are almost always wet.

I talked to my family doctor about this before and he said that it's just menopause. I understand that but I just can't live this way. My surgeon referred me to a dermatologist about the warts on my shoulders (that have started to spread down my chest) and I'll talk to that doctor when I see him/her in two weeks. Maybe they can help - a dermatologist treats skin conditions, and maybe excessive sweating is a skin condition.

I just want some relief from this. Walking around with paper towel (or worse, toilet paper, which shreds when wet) stuffed down the front of my underwear because of the sweat isn't something anyone should have to do.


Tibcat said...

How frustrating that must be for you! Surely there is something amiss - not just menopause. Hopefully you will find some answers with the dermatologist.
Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

I hope the dermatologist can help or at least refer you to someone who can. My guess would be that the sarcoidosis is at least partially to blame. Have you tried any of the moisture wicking clothing? Getting the moisture away from your skin may help to break the cycle or at least make you less cold.

Robin said...

That sounds terrible to live with! I hope the dermatologist can help or at least refer you to someone who can.

And sweat wicking clothing is a very good idea. Runners wear fabrics like that I think.

Chantelle said...

Thanks for the suggestion about the dry-fit clothes. I have a few and I think the sweat overwhelms them because they get wet and feel clammy and cold.

The best thing I've worn is a dry-fit bonded to a merino wool exterior - I have a long-sleeved shirt and long-underwear out of that stuff that I used to wear for curling.

The wool absorbs the extra moisture (it can take a third of its weight in moisture). I have a hard time wearing wool by itself (even merino) because it makes me itchy.

Hmmm.... maybe a dry-fit thing with a wool something on top might work.

It hadn't occurred to me that the sarcoidosis might have something to do with this but it makes sense that it would.

I really, really hope that the dermatologist can help, or at least send me to a Dr. House who can figure out what's going on.


Allison said...

Wow, that sounds super un-fun. :( I was going to suggest wool, but it looks like you've already thought of that.

MEC has some great merino long-underwear that are super soft and light-weight. So you could try those under another layer of heavier wool (good thing it's winter!).

manchester fat acceptance said...

yes on the sarcoidosis, though it didn't occur to me until Anonymous pointed it out. if you do a google search it will come up. there are treatments too.


Kaylen said...

Have you tried Drysol I wish I'd known about it when I was a teenager since I was *so* self conscious about how much I sweated.