A little background info for those who are interested: I am a 24 year old who never had acne in high school, never had it in college, however once I returned home, I began to breakout uncontrollably. I went to my dermatologist, who I had used prior for Botox, and explained to him my dilemma. He prescribed me every kind of pill under the sun, topical solutions, creams etc. but NOTHING worked, all it did was make my skin dry and flaky and kept my acne alive. After two years of dealing with embarrassing acne in my friends wedding photos, and in pictures of important lifetime events, I had enough, I switched dermatologists and the first time I saw my current doctor he told me I was the perfect candidate for Absorica (aka accutane). While I was furious that my previous doctor had never mentioned this solution to me, I was ecstatic that my new doctor had a solution!
I began to do my own research on Absorica and immediately freaked out at the side effects: chapped lips, nose bleeds, dry skin, and NO ALCOHOL!?? get out of here. I read every blog/web md type site I could get my hands on and returned to my doctor for a visit with at least 20 questions. While my doctor explained that yes, I will get chapped lips, probably get dry skin, maybe a few nose bleeds, he said that those could be easily controlled by the right moisturizers and lotions. "Alright", I thought, "I can handle that," but my main concern was the "no alcohol" policy that I had read on previous blogs. It might sound a little ridiculous to come, but hey, I'm turning 25 in one month, celebrating my 10 anniversary with my boyfriend, and along with Memorial Day weekend, 4th of July and my social life, I was not okay with staying sober for the next 6 months.
Contrary to what I read, my doctor stated that he never had a patient with any issues with alcohol, as long as I didn't go out every night binge drinking, which I didn't plan on doing. My other concern was that many of the blogs I had read stated I couldn't be out in the sun. Um okay, how was I supposed to survive a summer in NY, in 90-something degree weather and stay out of the sun? My doctor simply answered my question: "Listen, I've prescribed Absorica to people who work as lifeguards in the summer, without any complaints." I was officially sold.
In order to "prep" within the next 30 days while I eagerly awaited the "okay" to fill my prescription I stocked up on the essentials: Cetaphil facial cleanser, Cetaphil moisturizing cream and Aquaphor lip repair. I immediately began putting baby oil on my skin after getting out of the shower to lock in moisture at night, and began to regularly use the Cetaphil moisturizing cream on my face at night, I also lathered Vaseline on my lips at night. I'm hoping that this will keep my skin moisturized as much as possible and limit the dryness I will soon be dealing with.
I took my first pill on Monday, May 20th. I was told that my body wouldn't start noticing any side effects until at least a week later, so I thought I would still be able to take advantage of my boyfriends birthday two days later on Wednesday the 22th. Since it's imperative to take the medication with food, I popped it in my mouth after a delicious Mexican meal, where I passed on margaritas, knowing that I would be taking my pill. About 30 minutes after taking my medication, we headed to our local bar for a few drinks to celebrated, and things began to go downhill. I had 3 twisted teas (which I normally handle without any problems) and began to get a killer migraine on the left side of my head, the migraine followed with extreme exhaustion and I explained to my boyfriend that we needed to leave because my stomach wasn't feeling right. Sure enough, when we got home I immediately threw up. I wasn't even showing signs of being intoxicated. It was pure pain and nausea. I went to bed and woke up feeling find the next day.
I began to think of anything else it could have possibly been, the food, taking the medication too soon before drinking etc. and couldn't come up with anything. I literally stressed out for the next two days about what it could have been....I prayed it was anything but the alcohol!