May 28, 2005

Dear Dr. Reisfeld:

I am now another happy patient writing to you. I want to thank you whole-heartedly for your expertise and professionalism during the entire process. I feel ever grateful to have found you and your wonderful staff. If there was ever one thing I know I did right, it was weighing my options and doing my research well. And, of course, choosing you to perform my surgery.

Above all else, this is a letter of thanks. Thank you, Dr. Reisfeld, for what you do so well on a regular basis. Thank you, Dr. Sheikh, for calming my nerves in more ways than one! (Dr. Sheikh is the anesthesiologist who so generously gave to me his time in a lengthy pre-surgery chat.) Thank you, Nurse Sonia, for assisting in my surgery; and thank you, Nurse Amy (congrats, you are now a new mommy!), who attended to me pre- and post-surgery. Both nurses were a dream! To the gentleman from Jersey (whose name I regretfully cannot recall) who wheeled me around for X-rays, thank you for your conversation piece regarding Maine lobsters (it brought me back to childhood!). I was extremely appreciative of everyone, and all staff should be commended for such OUTSTANDING patient care.

This is also an opportunity for me to share my positive experience with others who are considering this surgery. For potential patients, please know that there is a cure for this socially embarrassing condition, and that you do not have to suffer anymore. If you are seriously considering this surgery, feel confident that you will be treated with the utmost care by Dr. Reisfeld and his staff. If I had known how wonderful the results would be, I would have done it at a much younger age. But the reality of the situation was that my condition was so extreme, and caused so much social anxiety, that I forfeited my admission to a very prestigious university; and, in recent years, caused me to let numerous career opportunities pass me by. This medical condition only served to exacerbate my social phobia and created this unending cycle of social anxiety. I did not realize how much I was a prisoner to my disease until I had this surgery. Life after surgery has been so liberating for me. Now I am able to utilize that one sense I have feared all my life–to touch…..feel…. and be tactile!

Briefly, I’d like to tell you about my surgery and recovery. Two tiny incisions were made under my armpits. And two more, the same size as the first, were made under my breasts (there is no mention of this on the website, but it’s such a minor detail). Sweating ceased immediately afterwards. Because no muscles are cut during this procedure, the pain following surgery was very mild and manageable for me. There was only some momentary discomfort–tenderness, swelling (my fingers looked like sausages!). Dr. Reisfeld called frequently to check up on me. Healing time was very fast. Sweating reoccurred briefly a few days after surgery, as I was told it would, and I remember worrying that it would not go away. But sure enough it went away along with the swelling and discomfort, and I began to feel normal again. Only better. My hands were completely dry. It is now four months after my surgery and I am better than normal. I am abnormal! My hands never sweat anymore! Sometimes just the sensation of sweating (slight tingling) is there when I find myself in extreme anxiety-provoking situations. That is all.

Although my feet have not improved (perhaps minimally at best), I am happy to report I do not experience any gustatory sweating, and compensatory sweating is mild (mainly lower back and back of thighs). My hope is that my present state is permanent-that this is the way I will remain for the rest of my life. Sometimes I have to remind myself how terrible unhappy I once was, because I feel happy and spoiled daily having grown so accustomed to my dry hands!

Respectfully yours,

Rowan L.