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Had ETS 4 Months Ago, My Story

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Okay, Fellow Blushers and Palmer Sweaters, I have been reading these posts and messages for the past 10 years and now is my first post. I had desperately wanted the ETS procedure right from the start back in 2000 when I'd come across this site. But after reading of the side effects this scared me off, totally disappointed! But with the frequency and the intensity of the blushing that had been increasing in the past recent years I bit the bullet and had ETS done about 4 months ago. My indications were facial blushing and hand sweating. After studying the Lynn/Teleranta chart I'd decided that a cut at the T2 level was in order. This was to supposedly reduce the side effects that would have been there if T2 and T3 were to be cut. After our initial conference the Doc suggested T2 and T3, I declined, it was to be T2 only. Anyway, after the delay of 10 years I went for it by rolling the dice all the way hoping that compensatory sweating would be minimal.

Here is how it went. Upon waking from surgery I noticed immediately that my feet were sweating at a 7-8 on a 1(best)-10 (worst) scale. This persisted for about three weeks and then it went away completely. Compensatory sweating started out immediately to a 1-3 level, 1(best)-10 (worst), but now that we are in the dead heat of summer the sweating has increased to a 7-8 on a 1(best)-10 (worst) level. Accordingly, I have taken to wearing a T-shirt under my outer shirts. The T-shirt will soak through at times but the outer shirt is never affected. Since I'm no longer blushing I view the compensatory sweating issue as simply a nuisance which can be managed. The previous experience of blushing was so horrendous that even with this sweating thing I would absolutely do the ETS again knowing what I do now. Absolutely!

Prior to ETS I'd had a major concern about the mental fuzziness as was being reported by some of the ETS'rs. This was major in that I fly airplanes as a hobby. Well, this fuzziness has not developed.

So, compensatory sweating is the only negative experienced so far. The positives? No blushing, no hand sweating, significantly reduced seasonal allergies and of all things a certain lack of sunburn sensitivity whereas before ETS I was exceptionally sunburn sensitive.

After ETS the facial blushing triggers if not major do not register anymore. I don't feel them nor notice them. The major triggers, those that cause the blindsided major facial blushing reactions do register physically for about 3-5 seconds and then it goes away completely. The feeling is one of "Oh no, I'm going to blush (a little)" but it doesn't happen. The overall sense of the before and after of ETS and blushing is that it was physical inducement versus mental. I suspect that both had a play in it though, one causes the other, but which was first?

Now, a disclaimer! I am only into this 4 months hence the euphoric stage or the honeymoon stage as some have described. Who knows what is in store down the road? But I'll keep you posted as changes occur. It was a gamble to proceed with ETS and it seems to have worked even though the sweating can get significant at times. Again, to me, this sweating is strictly a nuisance. Its well worth the price if the blushing has gone. I am much more relaxed these days.

For those looking for comparisons I'm not a young chicken; early 60's, male, have held rather high profile positions in the past involving constant people contact, 6'3", 190 lbs, and I think a body mass index of 24-25 and athletic and very active.

Furthermore, back in 2004 there had been a posting on this site of an extensive tabulation of followup statistics from those who'd had ETS. This could prove useful to some of you. It can be found here:

http://www.esfbchannel.com/img/forum/results_2004-02-24.rtf

I am very aware of the myriad of disabling side effects experienced by some of you after having had ETS. And I am very aware of the honeymoon period or the euphoric period after ETS and only time will tell at this point. But so far would I do it again? Absolutely and I don't kick myself for having waited 10 years to do it. My decision was only solidified after thorough research and having not made the decision until all doubt was gone. I needed the 10 years for that. The future? I'll let you know as I get there. For now life is very relaxed and relatively stress free.

Perhaps I should change my "Troubled" moniker!

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This post was very well written.

My first thought was; good god, even into his 60’s, he still battles this problem?

You’ve held high positions and seem to be doing well financially in life (i.e. fly planes on your spare time), you are also close to retirement, so why now would you chose ETS? Do you have a significant other or children? I feel that when I hit retirement age, that I will just kick back with my wife in stress free times and enjoy life a little.

Pleases do keep us posted on your thread.

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Hi Johnnyboy and stuckwithme,

The reason for ets? The FB issue had continually worsened over the past 15 years to an intolerable level. It became a daily ocurrance and just about any trigger would set it off. So, ets seemed to be the only answer at this point. The feeling was that if the blushing went away great, but if the side effects became extreme then I'd only have a few more years with which to endure before the 'ol dirt nap came. I do have a significant other and children by the way.

Having an outgoing personality I'd always be placing myself in the triggering situations, not necessarily unknowlingly, but simply because that was how I am wired. Then, when the triggers set in it was like a slap in the face, a total physical put down. Public speaking was enjoyable once prepared for it, but not without anxiety, though. But, caught unprepared in a public speaking situation, watch out. It was a horrendous situation.

Bottom line is that each day was becoming more and more unbearable. So much so that my hesitation about ets went away and as I'd said before I was totally willing to roll the dice. So far so good and I hope it stays that way. The reality is that only time will tell...and for the moment I'm milking it all the way for what it's worth.

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Hmm, I still think it sounds a bit strange, but hey, it's your life. I would never in my life do the operation, no matter. I would rather find a SSRI that works, because obviously they do if you find one that matches with you. It's a psychological problem, because physiologically it is not a problem.

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For a lot of us, including myself, it is psychological and physical. I can turn very red just by bending down to tie my shoes, walking outside in the sun or a number of other ways. So physically, I’m more prone to going red, So the slightest emotional trigger can make me light up.

It’s like 50% physical and 50% psychological.

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For a lot of us, including myself, it is psychological and physical. I can turn very red just by bending down to tie my shoes, walking outside in the sun or a number of other ways. So physically, I’m more prone to going red, So the slightest emotional trigger can make me light up.

It’s like 50% physical and 50% psychological.

Oh, ok. In my case it is 90% mental and 10% physical (maybe). I dont know if I am more prone to blushing than others pysically or if it is just mentally. I think it is 100% mentally, but I dont know. I dont blush very much, I just live of the fear of blushing. To me it seems like a disaster to blush and so I think about it constantly and of course you are going to blush easily...but usually I dont.

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I hope you will continue to feel good, troubled. I had ETS 15 years ago and I don't regret. I also have contact with a lot of norwegians who had ETS at the same time and later. Most of them had a successful operation and they have a much better life to day. Unfortunately some got severe CS, but they can cope with that better than they coped with sweating and blushing.

There will be published a large studie this fall. Among the doctors responsible for the studie is Christer Drott from Sweden, he has performed about 1500 operations. This study will show more exact long-time sideeffects than ever published before. I know there is a lot of statistics used by doctors today, but I have never agreed in the way they do the statistics. One of the reasons I have argued is that they ask the patients two months after surgery and then one year after. As we all know, sideeffects can kick in much later than that. I will keep you posted when the studie is ready for publication. I know they will publish it in The British Medical Journal.

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Thanks for the encouragement, exredface, and also the heads up on the Drott Study, anxiously awaiting.

I't has been about 6 months now since my ETS surgery and all is much the same as reported before. The summertime compensatory sweating remains at the 7 to 8 level of a 1 (best)-10 (worst) scale. We're talking about temperatures in the upper 80 to mid 90 degree F range. Again it is only a nuisance when compared to the facial blushing and palmar seating experienced before, an acceptable trade off. No regrets for having had ETS surgery.

Now, in this thread it has been discussed the causative factors for facial blushing being physical, being mental, or being physical and mental. Here's my theory, simplistic in nature, and certainly open to discussion. ETS is a physical cure and it works most of the time. Mental cures such as CBT and others rarely work. The mental machinations we all inflict upon ourselves when the triggers kick in simply compound what is there which puts the blushing over the top. Also, my family history has a long running issue with facial blushing with at least 3 generations of which I know. So, heredity certainly is a player in all of this. Here's my bottom line. Since having ETS which eliminated the physical response, the mental machinations don't have a chance to kick in. In fact I've tried to get myself into that mental state as an experiment and the mental part just won't go there. Evidently, the mind requires the physical response first. So, facial blushing is, firstly and mostly, physical. Without the physical start, the mental doesn't go there.

Troubled

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Yes, I agree troubled. Blushing start as a pysical problem. One of the reasons I belive that is because of the heredity aspect, the other reason is that ETS is a pysical operation. And as you say, CBT seldom help as a cure. What a psychiatrist can do is to learn you how to react in the situations, but he can't help you stop blushing. Blushing is a reflex we have no control over, I always call it a non-controlling problem. The same goes for sweating, the reaction is in the same nervous system as blushing.

Blushing can after a while become a psycological problem because you always have the fear that you will start to blush. Then it get stocked in your head and it feels like a psycological problem. People have told me stories that they did't even know they blushed before someone told them and at that point it became psycological.

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Okay, Fellow Blushers and Palmer Sweaters, I have been reading these posts and messages for the past 10 years and now is my first post. I had desperately wanted the ETS procedure right from the start back in 2000 when I'd come across this site. But after reading of the side effects this scared me off, totally disappointed! But with the frequency and the intensity of the blushing that had been increasing in the past recent years I bit the bullet and had ETS done about 4 months ago. My indications were facial blushing and hand sweating. After studying the Lynn/Teleranta chart I'd decided that a cut at the T2 level was in order. This was to supposedly reduce the side effects that would have been there if T2 and T3 were to be cut. After our initial conference the Doc suggested T2 and T3, I declined, it was to be T2 only. Anyway, after the delay of 10 years I went for it by rolling the dice all the way hoping that compensatory sweating would be minimal.

Here is how it went. Upon waking from surgery I noticed immediately that my feet were sweating at a 7-8 on a 1(best)-10 (worst) scale. This persisted for about three weeks and then it went away completely. Compensatory sweating started out immediately to a 1-3 level, 1(best)-10 (worst), but now that we are in the dead heat of summer the sweating has increased to a 7-8 on a 1(best)-10 (worst) level. Accordingly, I have taken to wearing a T-shirt under my outer shirts. The T-shirt will soak through at times but the outer shirt is never affected. Since I'm no longer blushing I view the compensatory sweating issue as simply a nuisance which can be managed. The previous experience of blushing was so horrendous that even with this sweating thing I would absolutely do the ETS again knowing what I do now. Absolutely!

Prior to ETS I'd had a major concern about the mental fuzziness as was being reported by some of the ETS'rs. This was major in that I fly airplanes as a hobby. Well, this fuzziness has not developed.

So, compensatory sweating is the only negative experienced so far. The positives? No blushing, no hand sweating, significantly reduced seasonal allergies and of all things a certain lack of sunburn sensitivity whereas before ETS I was exceptionally sunburn sensitive.

After ETS the facial blushing triggers if not major do not register anymore. I don't feel them nor notice them. The major triggers, those that cause the blindsided major facial blushing reactions do register physically for about 3-5 seconds and then it goes away completely. The feeling is one of "Oh no, I'm going to blush (a little)" but it doesn't happen. The overall sense of the before and after of ETS and blushing is that it was physical inducement versus mental. I suspect that both had a play in it though, one causes the other, but which was first?

Now, a disclaimer! I am only into this 4 months hence the euphoric stage or the honeymoon stage as some have described. Who knows what is in store down the road? But I'll keep you posted as changes occur. It was a gamble to proceed with ETS and it seems to have worked even though the sweating can get significant at times. Again, to me, this sweating is strictly a nuisance. Its well worth the price if the blushing has gone. I am much more relaxed these days.

For those looking for comparisons I'm not a young chicken; early 60's, male, have held rather high profile positions in the past involving constant people contact, 6'3", 190 lbs, and I think a body mass index of 24-25 and athletic and very active.

Furthermore, back in 2004 there had been a posting on this site of an extensive tabulation of followup statistics from those who'd had ETS. This could prove useful to some of you. It can be found here:

http://www.esfbchannel.com/img/forum/results_2004-02-24.rtf

I am very aware of the myriad of disabling side effects experienced by some of you after having had ETS. And I am very aware of the honeymoon period or the euphoric period after ETS and only time will tell at this point. But so far would I do it again? Absolutely and I don't kick myself for having waited 10 years to do it. My decision was only solidified after thorough research and having not made the decision until all doubt was gone. I needed the 10 years for that. The future? I'll let you know as I get there. For now life is very relaxed and relatively stress free.

Perhaps I should change my "Troubled" moniker!

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I think that it is physiological and sociological. Because, we are born with this oversensitive sympathetic system, and the way our society functions put us in a situation where this oversensitiveness is a bad thing.

Maybe our genetics are later, maybe nowadays we don't need the sympathetic system anymore. Because today we don't hunt anymore, we think and discuss, why the need of a "fight and flight system"?

That's why I think that maybe ETS could really be the answer for me.

I'm much interested in the Drott's research, where do I find it?

Thanks!

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It has been 8 months since ETS surgery and time for an update. Let me just say that I'm still pleased with the results.

Now, in my previous posts I had rated the severity of the side effects, 1(best)-10(worst, the pre ETS blush for instance). There needs to be a further rating which I've called a "Nuisance Factor" which uses the 1(best)-10(worst) scale. Nuisance Factor relates to the impact the side effects have on oneself throughout the course of day to day activities. This is different from the severity ratings of each side effect.

Compensatory Sweating: It is still with me but with the advent of cooler weather the severity is probably a 4 to 5 on a 1(best)-10(worst) scale. Severity is only one way to look at compensatory sweating. The frequency of the sweating episodes is another and the duration of each episode is the third. In the worst days of the summer months the intensity/severity was a 7 to 8, the frequency of the episodes would be 4 to 5 episodes per day, and the duration of the sweating would range from 10 minutes to an hour. The overall nuisance factor was a 5 to 7. In cooler weather we have now the intensity/severity has dropped to a 3 to 4, the episode frequency is 1 to 2 per day, and the duration is 5 to maybe 15 minutes each.

There are about 4 triggers which produce the sweating; stress, ambient temperature, humidity, and physical conditioning. Only one of those can you control and that is physical conditioning.

Thermoregulation: After having read the posts in this forum I had thought this issue dealt with both hot and cold environments. My experience is only with cold. When the ambient temperatire drops below 70 degrees farenheit I am the first to go for a sweater or a jacket. The onset is somewhat sudden; not the gradual buildup as before ETS. Heat is no issue. Nuisance factor? 1-2.

Facial Blushing: I have had 3 situations in which I felt a blush; "felt" because I don't know if it actually ocurred. It is a different feeling now, a gradual flow from the outer edges of the face inwardly and within 5 to 10 seconds from the start of it, it is gone. Perhaps this is how the non afflicted blush? Nuisance factor is a 1. My feeling is that I don't blush whatsoever.

Handsweat: None whatsoever, none.

Feet Sweat: Pre ETS it was a 3 to 5 severity. Now it is a 1 to 2.

Overall, it remains a pleasure not having to worry about and fret over facial blushing which was my motivator for having ETS. It no longer occupies my mind even in the worst of stressful situations. I can't even produce a blush when I think hard about it. So, right now with the cooler weather my side effect severity rating as said before is 3 to 5 and the side effect nuisance factor is a 2 to 3.

With all of that being said it is very important for anyone considering ETS to view the surgery as replacement surgery, the trading of facial blushing/hand sweat for compensatory sweating, thermoregulation and possibly other side effects. You must ask yourself which of those you would rather live with for the rest of your life. If you can get your thinking wrapped around that then you might consider ETS. If you can't, stay away from it. It is very easy after ETS to sit and stew about the side effects forgetting that you no longer blush or have sweaty hands, believe me. It is a matter of perspective.

Now, in my case given the chance to do it over again, I would do it, no question.

Troubled

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Hi Troubled,

g

Great post, fair play to you for the indepth detail. (I dont have the patience)

Its been 4 months since my ETS operation for FB, and I am still delighted with the results.

I dont notice any CS, I think thats because when I had the sever FB I used to sweat with the anxiety, so now that the FB is gone if I do have a bit of sweating it doesnt bother me enough to even notice.

I have had the tinyest bit of palm dryness, only about once a week, but again nothing to bother me, I just put on some hand cream and its fine.

No regrets at all, just sheer joy to be able to be in any situation without worrying about blushing.

Its very hard to advise anyone to go for ETS but I do think that if you find the right surgeon who is dedicated to helping people for the right reasons your on the right road to sucess.

Continue to enjoy your freedom from the dreaded FB.

Best Wishes

Lightbulb.

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Hallo troubled!

I am glad that you feel the ETS sucsessful. In Norway we have a medication called Egazil, this medicine help the sweat-problem. I am sure a doctor can find out the same for you.

The best thing that has happend to you is that the blushing is almost gone. Three times in one year is not a problem anymore.

I now have a "homeside" where people can discuss their problems and it seems to be very sucsessfull. If there are any norwegian or swedish/danish people here you can read my side at this adress

www.vivisandengen.co

Best regards

Viivi

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Troubled, I'm curious if you looked into electrical stimulation of the sympathetic chain instead of clipping/clamping. I'm in the same boat as you but I'm hoping for a less invasive method with what looks like it could have the potential to be more effective, also with the hope of a true reversal and not a hope that the nerve will heal with clamps taken off.

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Thanks Vivi for the tip on "Egazil". You're correct in that it is not available here in the states. I did a google search on it and a lot of similar type medications popped up that could do the same thing as well as being indicated for a lot of other things. I'll have to look into it more so and if I try one of those meds I'll let you know (and the board) how successful it was.

Abacab - Regarding the electrical stimulation of the sympathic chain instead of the cutting/clamping method of ETS, I did look into it but, couldn't find much on it. In fact at the time there were no practitioners here in the states that I could find. It looks like it has a lot of merit and I hope it is developed so that it would be more readily available.

Troubled

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It's been over a year, 13 months, since my ETS procedure and as I'd initially posted at 4 months I was very pleased with the results. Well, the same feelings are there, nothing has changed about that and I would absolutely do it again.

Here are a few updates:

Facial blushing, the flash blushing at the core of our reason for this forum, is not there at all. But, as I'd mentioned at the 8 month mark I'd had 3 episodes of blushing and now I can add 2 more to that figure since that time. That to which I'm referring is a different blush which seems to emanate from a different physical source. In describing it, it starts at the outer edges, the perimeter of the face, and then slowly works inward. Once it starts working inward, after a second or two, the blush disappears. The event is a very minor reddening of the face, no intensity at all. If I had to rate it on the intensity scale it would be a 1-3 on a 10 worst scale. It is really a non issue and there is no nuisance factor rating as a result. Again, it seems to come from a different physical source, another nerve? Perhaps the "normal" people blush this way.

Thermo regulation was an issue back at the 8 month mark (October/November) and it grew beyond that in intensity to the point it was a problem, intensity of 8-10 at times, couldn't get warm at times. Then, in mid January it decreased very suddenly, like overnight, down to a 1-3 intensity and nuisance rating. It is really a non issue now.

Compensatory sweating had basically disappeared over the winter months, a nuisance factor of 1-2. Now that warmer weather is creeping in that nuisance factor has risen to a 1-3. I sure hope it doesn't get to the 8 rating I experienced last summer. Time will tell. Neverthless, it can be handled and pales (pun intended) in comparison to flash blushing.

Looking back there are no regrets. ETS did what I'd hoped it would, no blushing nor hand sweat. I can handle the side effects. It's a no brainer, I would make the same decision, I would do ETS again.

Anyone going into ETS with the thinking that they may escape side effects would be just kidding themselves. As I've said before, ETS is tradeoff surgery. In my case I traded off blushing and hand sweat for compensatory sweating. (Notice I didn't insert thermo regulation, not an issue) This I can handle, it is well worth the trade.

Troubled

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Hallo troubled!

I am happy for you and I think you deal with your sideeffects in a good way.

The medication I told you about is originally for stomackproblem, I think the correct diagnose is ulser. The sideeffect of the medication is that you "dry out", but this is good thing for us. We also have a band aid for seasick that helps in the same way. The name is Scopoderm. This band aid is like a size of a penny, you put it on for 72 hours, them 12 hours without before you put on a new. Sometimes you have to use two for a better effect. If you google Scopoderm you will find what it containce and then ask your doctor if there are any similar medication in the states. I know the most important containce is magnesium.

Thermo regulation is something that can happen for many years. I had ETS in 1995 and I still experience that my body sometimes are very cold, like I am freesing inside, but this is not a big problem. The thermo regulation can happen even if it is a warm summer day, also in the middle of the winter. But as you say, troubled, it is worth it and we learn to deal with it. The most important thing is to know that theese reactions are normal and that we all have to live with it.

I see that someone on the forum try to arrange a meeting in London. I have done the same in Norway many times, but the problem is that it is just a few of you who dare to come. We have the same problem in Norway, we are now arranging a meeting in June, but so far none has signed up for it. The paradoks is that so many ask me to arrange the meeting, but when the day arrive they don't have the nerve to be there. Since I have been doing this so many times I know that the ones who came are so happy afterwards. It is really a good thing to meet people who have the same problem as you, and I hope many of you say yes to come to London.

Best regards,

Vivi

www.vivisandengen.com

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It's been about 2 years since the ETS surgery so, time for an update. First and foremost, I would do it again and there is no doubt about that.

Here is an update and keep in mind that I'd had ETS performed at the T2 level.

-Compensatory Sweating - This past summer (2011) the sweating increased to an 8-10 intensity level. Noteworthy is that 70% of the sweating was on the right side and 30% was on the left. Don't know the cause of that but could it have been a little bit different of a cut at the T2 level on one side versus the other? Who knows! It's not that noticeable to a person walking down the street though. This 8-10 level of intensity ocurred on 3 occaisions where the sweating was through the outer shirt of the two shirts I was wearing. Other times and most of the time in the summer months the intensity level was probably a 6 to 9 which is significant in and of itself but it didn't seep through to the outer shirt in those situations. Another thing to keep in mind was that this only occurs 3 1/2 months to 4 months a year and it doesn't happen continuously day to day, hour by hour. Probably 1-4 times a day when the temperature rose above 88 degrees. The rest of the year the sweating was 0-4 on the intensity scale. But, in the summer months I'd naturally go for my car that has cloth seats versus my other one which has leather...for the obvious reason that leather promotes more sweating, it's hotter.

-Blushing -There have been no episodes whatsoever. Remenber that I'd had a couple very minor blushes early on but, none now for over a year.

-Feet Sweating - As before it had decreased to what I would say a 0-4 level year round. It's a non issue.

-Hands - Completely dry year round.

There are no other negative side effects of ETS. The positive is that life is a lot easier. The trade off from blushing to compensatory sweating by way of ETS is, for me, a no brainer. The sweating is nothing compared to the blushing.

Let me know if any of you have questions. You can "Private Message" if you'd like.

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