this for my whole life, so I was really optimistic and hopeful that this could be the solution I was looking for. It calmed me knowing that it was going to be gone forever,” he says. “I remember waking up and I was really out of it. Then when I looked at my hands and realized they were dry, I was so relieved I went right back to sleep.” Lynn’s relief was also palpable. “It was nerve wracking for me to hear that they had to deflate a lung and book a hospital room just in case one of the lungs didn’t reinflate. That was a little intense,” she laughs. “The wonderful thing was that when Dr. Levy was done in the operating room, he came out and spoke to me. Then, when Dr. Fairbanks was done, he came out,” she continues. “The personal contact they had and the informative nature that they used were truly exceptional. It really calmed me to know I had these two wonderful surgeons operating on my son.” A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE Cole’s surgery was performed in October 2022, and within six weeks he was playing basketball again. Best of all, he was living his life in a way he hadn’t for as long as he could remember: without sweaty hands and with a newfound confidence both on and off the court. “My daily life is so much better,” he says. “Before the surgery, any time I had to step outside my door I faced the worry and embarrassment of having to shake someone’s hand. It demotivated me from greeting people and having an active social life. Now, the surgery has taken away a lot of my nerves and boosted my confidence—in sports, school, and social activities.” In recent years, Cole has even met other people facing similar struggles with hyperhidrosis. To them he says, when all else fails, surgery may be the solution. “Every year I find more people who are struggling with it. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one and it’s interesting to see that you never really know what other people are going through,” he says. “I know they’re trying the other treatments, and I also recommend other stuff to them. I certainly recommend the
surgery. First, try the smaller things, but eventually, if they don’t work, do your research and move on.” Lynn also has
nothing but positive things to say—both about her son advocating for his own health and about the family’s experience at Rady Children’s.
“In general, I always say you have to advocate for yourself when it comes to your health,” she says. “But sometimes we forget to think about doctors as service people—you think you go to one doctor for an opinion and that’s it. If your hairdresser does something you don’t like, you go and get another one. We forget to do that with doctors, and if Cole hadn’t advocated for himself about this surgery, he’d still be having the same issues,” she continues. “When you start to research hyperhidrosis, you realize it’s actually a huge problem—I didn’t realize how prevalent it is. Since Cole had the surgery, a lot of parents have said either they have it or their child does,” she says. “Rady Children’s is an excellent resource for people looking for additional solutions to their child’s medical
problems. It’s our hope that other kids who may be discouraged by the condition will now know there’s a relatively trouble-free solution to having a better quality of life.”
Every year I find more people who are struggling with it. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one.
20 HEALTHY KIDS MAGAZINE FALL 2023
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