EM affecting college decision

Hi everyone, I have a big decision to make and EM is really getting in the way. So I’m transferring colleges this year. Me and my entire family has wanted to move to florida for years. We all are so depressed and tired of the winter. It is never ending. Depending on my acceptance, we may all move to the miami area while I attend the University of Miami. However my biggest concern is my hands and feet. My EM causes red, hot, swelled, sweaty hands and feet. My EM is triggered by heat, exercise, anxiety, and often times nothing at all. It happens all the time in the winter up north. The only time it doesn’t happen is if I’m standing outside in the freezing cold. So part of me is saying, if your condition will happen anywhere, why would you let it stop you from moving to Florida? At the same time, i’m telling myself, if your condition is this bad up north, how will you survive in Miami? I was considering getting the surgery for hyperhidrosis where they cut the cord so the sweating moves to other places of the body besides the hands, however, my hands are literally HOW my body cools down. there is a direct correlation. So i worry that I wouldnt be able to cool down anymore or something. I also don’t know if the red puffiness would go away with the sweating or not if I got the surgery. Anyway, im a very nervous person and I’m going to have EM flares whenever I’m around people/wherever I go. It’s been embarrassing and demoralizing for me even in a northern state. I don’t know if it should stop me from going to Miami. What do you guys think?

I don’t think you should accept that EM has to limit your lifestyle at your age. There are people in this community who have successfully managed their EM with pharmaceutical options, some even achieving complete remission. Have you tried more treatments than those mentioned in your profile? There is a paucity of pharmaceutical based treatments listed.

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Fwiw, I actually had to move from south Florida to up north because the weather made my EM flare most of the time and really severely. (I’m 26 now and I was in my early 20s when I lived there.) From personal experience, I would not recommend moving to somewhere where even winter days are regularly 70/75+ degrees and really humid if heat is a trigger (and if you get severe pain during your flares). However, everyone is different, so it it quite possible you will be equally thrive there!

Have you visited Miami/University of Miami after your EM diagnosis to see how it affects you? I would visit and try navigating around campus like you would on a normal day (and a sleep-deprived one!) and see how it is. That way you know for sure if you can tolerate it or if it won’t work for you.

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Is your primary issue sweating or EM? If sweating is a concern for you, taking propranolol might be worth as shot as it constricts blood vessels, reduces sweating, and helps reduce anxiety. It sounds as if this might be a very viable and low risk thing to try. I am also confused as to what you are asking. Is your family moving or are you just moving to be near them as they move? Regardless, I think living where your EM is minimized is actually an important factor. I used to think cold environments were better for me but in the end learned that keeping my feet warm all the time was crucial and this realization played a very important role in reconditioning my feet to reset a new baseline at warmer temperatures. If your EM is bad in both environments, be with your family. The support and mental health benefits are big for something like this. Lastly, in regards to the surgery. Be careful. Cutting those nerves will be permanent and could also lead to things worsening and lead to other pain and nerve disorders. Those kinds of surgery are very experimental and a huge risk. Seeing as you have only tried a few things, it is much better to save that for last. The idea of solving it with a quick surgery seems nice but complicated disorders like EM don’t work like that. You likely have a generalized autonomic dysfunction and cutting some nerves won’t fix that issue. Approach things from a more holistic and well-minded mindset and systematically try things under the guidance of a doctor, one who preferably does not jump to severing permanent sensory nerves.

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I started my EM journey while living on a tropical island in a home with no air conditioning. A normal night inside my bedroom was 81°F. And surprisingly my overall intensity of flares were less than when I moved back to the States. I now live in South Carolina.

One advantage in the Caribbean was that while barefoot in my home we had all tile floors. even on a hot 88°F day inside those tile floors were a heat sink and pulled heat out of my feet. (Fortunately I did not have burning pain in my hands.) And homes were designed to maximize catching the breeze so the constant gentle air flow really helped.

Out and about there was rarely a reason to wear anything but sandals, flip flops, or the like to anything but work. Loose casual clothing and shorts were acceptable almost everywhere. And all of that helped minimize EM symptoms.

Work was an office job in an air conditioned building. The nature of our work was such that I could kick off my shoes and settle in for my shift at my computer work station.

So living life with EM, even in the tropics, wasn’t so bad. I did eventually develop some other medical issues, probably related to whatever the underlying condition is that is causing my EM, that complicated living in such an environment.

If you decide to go to school in Miami you really should rent an AirBnB for a week during summer and visit. The home style living conditions would let you better try out how you would feel. Then get out and about. Go grocery shopping. Go to a mall. Get out there and see what works and what might be a problem.

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HI There, big decision indeed. I can’t weigh in on the heat issue as personally, I could not go to Miami for a day and survive. (Like the idea of the Air BnB. Also is there a doctor in Miami who will treat you?).

here is my two cents: Is EM the only big deciding factor? I know you didn’t ask about this but will transferring allow you to graduate with less debt than you might accrue at your current school? Which school is better ranked and positioned to get you a job when you graduate? Which has the programs you most want to pursue? Will leaving your current university take away a crucial support network that you will have to rebuild? I ask all this because for many of us, EM is a limiting factor. The idea, then, is not to set you up so that you have more factors - like increased debt or difficulty finding a job - that limit you.

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I would not recommend going to Miami with EM.
I would recommend trying Bob’s protocol, which is using warm to hot water soaks and stopping all cooling strategies. I have had EM in my feet for 6 years and Bob’s protocol has healed my feet about 80 percent. Learn more about this on the Facebook page Fighting Fire with Fire.

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Hmm… I would say it would be best if u could have a trial period. Like enough time to visit (and recover from travel; travel makes my feet flare for a while, ymmv) and see how u do in the heat. I live up north & get the seasonal depression vs heat issue.