During my early years, I was never really bothered by my hyperhidrosis. It did not seem to hinder me much except when writing at which time I had to either keep wiping my hands down on whatever I was wearing or use a paper to cover the page I was writing on. It was only terrible during exams as I was not allowed to bring in extra paper to cover the answer sheet.
At this time, I relied on my uniform, which worked really well in drying my hands. It also helped that the color of the uniform was dark green and did not leave marks. The down side to wiping my hands on my clothes in general was that it tended to leave the color of the clothes on my hands, especially dark blue jeans or black ones. My hands would be stained either dark blue or black. But I did not really mind this either.
My condition, I have never viewed it as an illness, started bothering me later, in my teenage years. When I went to high school, it became more noticeable than before. It could be because I was dealing with people my age who took an interest in anything that did not seem normal. The constant wiping down of my hands always triggered questions and also the fact that my books always seemed wet when taking down notes drew unwanted attention. I never explained it to anyone though, choosing to ignore the questions and stares because I didn’t want to share what I never really understood myself.
At this time, I took to myself, choosing not to socialize, instead reading novels during recess and lunch time. By so doing, I avoided sharing my condition with others in class. Somehow, I had convinced myself that knowledge of my sweaty hands and feet would render me an outcast as I would be treated differently from everyone else. I had seen this happen with one girl in my class who suffered from sickle cell anemia and some other disease. She was sickly and missed classes quite a lot due to her illness.
People shied away from her, choosing not to befriend her because of her sickness. She became my best friend at the time because I saw what everyone else seemed blind to; a funny young girl my age, just as smart and full of life. When she and I became friends, some people actually came up to ask me why I was friends with her and didn’t I know she was sick?
To which I always responded, “I like her, she is a nice person and just as smart as you and I. her sickness has nothing to do with who she is as a person.” this always got me a weird look but I didn’t care. I had a friend; someone I knew wouldn’t judge me based on my condition. We were friends till she left school due to her illness. She was unable to finish the school year and just did not come to school one day and that was the last I ever heard of her.
To be continued…