wings and things

I am so cool!

I feel the heat terribly and, as some of my friends may remember, a couple of summers ago, I developed a condition called “pompholyx“.

(Warning: if you click on the above link you might be grossed out by the pictures, just as I was by the condition).

Anyway, since one of the triggers is excessive perspiration, which I vividly remember my dad having and now it’s obviously my turn, I made a big decision. Air conditioning!

I pretty much live in my writing room, which used to be Gar’s bedroom (Anthony’s mother). Anyway, her 1970s air conditioner died last year, so last week I made the call and the aircon. guys and the electrician installed it this morning. It’s not a particularly hot day (only in the mid-20s C), but as I waved my saviours goodbye, I was already dripping, despite wearing a sweatband.

And now? Ahhh, the bliss of being so cool and the comfort of knowing that when the temperature hits 40 degrees (any time soon as summer approaches), I will have a safe haven! Okay so, in the big scheme of things, pompholyx may not seem like such a serious condition but it drove me quite mad for months a couple of years ago.

I was reminding our doctor the other day and he immediately looked at my hands where, during a funny little heatwave last week, the blisters had begun to appear.

Me: You can’t see them now – I scratched them off and it wasn’t that bad.

Doctor: Mmmmm.

Me: But I can feel them coming back – the blisters. So I think I might need botox to stop me sweating? I read about that possibility.

Doctor: No. I’ll order some blood tests; it could be hormonal.

Me: Yes, of course, but I don’t think it’s just menopausalish because I perspire a hell of a lot more than any of my equally menopausal friends!

Doctor: Mmmmm.

Me: And remember how we discussed cranio-facial hyper-hydrosis, or whatever you call it, last year? That’s me! It’s just my face, head and hands – the rest of me sweats normally.

Doctor: Mmmmm.

Okay so the doctor doesn’t do the mmmmmm thing loudly but it’s definitely a component of our conversations, with a chuckle here and there. I much prefer the mmmmm.

Anyway, as the young aircon. guys were leaving, I apologised for the peacock noise (it’s spring, so they are yaaaaawking constantly). One of the guys said ‘They are so cool!’

I agree and here are a couple of shots of Prince minus his back view!

As this beautiful white peacock does his twirling, fanning, wonderful dance, his feathers muscle their way into the breeze and sing:

I am so cool!


No sweat!

In order for this post to make sense I need to remind people that last summer I developed a condition called ‘pompholyx’. It initially announced itself on the sides of each of my fingers in the form of tiny blisters that, due to their itchiness, I scratched, so for weeks, then months, I battled with blistered and/or scabbed hands (and, oh yeah, my left foot).

It nearly drove me mad and none of the various cortisone or anti-fungal creams worked very well. I researched my condition and found lots of gross photos and horror stories of frustration posted by other sufferers, all of which I showed my doctor. One common denominator, in terms of cause, was excessive perspiration: hyperhidrosis.

During the Australian summer, temperatures often reach/exceed 40 degrees C which means that for several months of the year people tend to look rather moist, including me. Then, last summer, my perspiration went into overdrive and my hands, head and face became rivers of volcanic overflow so much so that, if I shook my head the way a dog does everyone near me would be sweat-splattered. The worst thing, though, was my blistery hands; the little blisters would become huge blisters and, yeah, they leaked too. I felt as if I had been catapulted into some sort of science-fiction parallel universe where the sweaty people were excluded. In other words it is a very embarrassing condition.

When winter arrived (autumn is almost unnoticeable here) the relief was enormous for me. As the rain poured and poured, I stopped pouring and my hands nearly healed. But then (a couple of months ago) summer came back and so did the hyperhidrosis and pompholyx.

Interestingly, this second bout has seen a worsening of the HH but a diminishing of the PX. But I went to my doctor regarding both and he is going to research how we can stop this embarrassing, excessive perspiration. Good.

I then went to a podiatrist who looked at my left foot (the sores resemble burns) and she recommended an over-the-counter antiperspirant called ‘SweatStop’. Well, I couldn’t find that exact brand but I did find a few products containing the active ingredient aluminium chlorohydrate so I bought them.

Well, it WORKS! Once applied to the affected areas, it stops the sweat glands somehow. It’s a bit uncomfortable and has made my previously sweaty hair dry and brittle and my hands dry and scaly but it’s a hell of a lot better than dripping my way into every single day.

The most hilarious thing about this is that Anthony’s Parkinsonism has affected his internal thermostat so severely that he is ALWAYS freezing, even in the middle of summer! The first thing I do when I visit him is to turn the air conditioner off, put a jacket on him and then a rug on his knees, by which time I would ordinarily be oceanic with perspiration. Now I’m just a little bit drippy!

No sweat!