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Jess's Journey - 37 F


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#41 PersnickityChick

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 12:53 PM

I have completely lost track of the days on accutane. I know that I started 20, December, so I am somewhere around 26 or 27 days, I believe. So far there haven't been any major break outs, just the occasional annoyance. I am wondering if being on antibiotics for nearly a month before I started has anything to do with the lack. Not that I am complaining!

My skin is extremely dry, and I have to lotion a couple of times a day. It helps for a while and then the flakes are back. I have been rotating types of lotion, because for some reason it just makes sense to me. And because I have different lotions in different places. My hair is also quite a bit dry-er and feels somewhat coarser, too. That is probably just because of the dry. I am used to silky soft hair, and this is just different. I've noticed that my fingernails are also more fragile, and tend to break, or split, or crack very easily. The rash on my hands is kept at bay by the Aveeno oil cream stuff. It isn't greasy at all, and it really does hold the moisture very well.

We are expecting another round of bitter cold, it seems. I believe I will stock up on warm foods, and stay indoors. Except for when I must venture out.

#42 Kim28

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 07:46 PM

Hey! Glad to hear everything is going pretty well.

I thought of you today when I had an embarrassing moment! I had/have this little thing under my lip. It hurt a little this morning, but didn't seem like much. Got home, looked in the mirror a couple hours later and it is a HUGE whitehead that my makeup is NOT hiding. It is that big. I start thinking back - was it this gross when I was at work? Did everyone SEE this? It reminded me of your flaky day, trying to convince myself that MAYBE, just maybe, it wasn't as bad when I was in public. Probably not. Alas.

Luckily we had a blizzard today. Buses were canceled, so only half my class showed up. At least this way they didn't ALL see the horror on my face. I will be such a happy girl when I don't have to worry about things like this! At least it has given me a new appreciation for blizzards.



#43 megtree

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 10:14 AM

I am so glad you are doing well! I have also found myself layering different lotions, and I fine it has been enormously helpful in keeping my body dryness in check. I am also glad you haven't had any initial breakouts - maybe it will be smooth sailing from here. Ill be sending warm thoughts your way to battle that bitter cold.



#44 PersnickityChick

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 03:42 PM

OH, Kim, I think I would probably have had to cry over that one. I am so glad that you kept your humor about it! :)  We've had some snow today, just enough to be annoying, mostly.  Things were pretty slippery earlier, though.  If they didn't run the buses here, we wouldn't have enough kids show up to have school! It would just be the very few whose parents drop them off, and they would be griping about it the whole time. 

 

Meg, having read the other blogs, I am truly grateful that things have been so easy, thus far.  I really do wonder if being on antibiotics for so long before I started has something to do with that.  I took 2 full rounds of antibiotics, 2 weeks each, trying to get rid of the big cyst on my face. Neither worked, so accutane was suggested (I'd already been using the typical topicals).  

 

I went for blood work today before my derm appointment on Monday.  The guy who does the lab work was on the phone, and my GP walked by. She said, "Wow! Are you taking accutane already? Your face looks great!" I was surprised, and happy! She told me that her husband took accutane about 15 years ago (as a teen), and that he still complains about chapped lips all the time. To be honest, I think this is the first time that she's seen me in "Fresh" make up, but I have noticed some differences in my skin as well. Some of the pores on my cheeks are smaller. And I think the holes in my nose are just pores that are coming unclogged, and I've also noticed that the holes don't stay around for long (fortunately).  



#45 megtree

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 04:36 PM

Meg, having read the other blogs, I am truly grateful that things have been so easy, thus far.  I really do wonder if being on antibiotics for so long before I started has something to do with that.  I took 2 full rounds of antibiotics, 2 weeks each, trying to get rid of the big cyst on my face. Neither worked, so accutane was suggested (I'd already been using the typical topicals).  

Hmm...I have read other logs of individuals who were on some sort of antibiotics that seemed to have a barely noticable IB, or bypass it altogether. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people, it seems. The ouchies just keep coming, which is a little disheartening. How were your labs?



#46 PersnickityChick

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 05:17 PM

 

I won't know how the labs look until Monday, unfortunately. I am very curious.  My cholesterol was very low, and my liver function was fine last time, so I am curious what has happened to those  numbers.  I am hopeful that it won't have risen TOO terribly much. I think she is planning on leaving my dosage the same through my course, so hopefully this will be a pretty accurate reflection of what my labs will be. 



#47 LoveLouisV

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 08:08 PM

Hi!  I am about to take my second round of bloodwork on Monday, first since I started the 60mg!  So curious to see how the #s have changed (if at all!).  If I may, let me recommend the Mario Badescu Moisture Magnet.  If you have a Sephora near you, go in and see if they'll give you a sample!  It really is amazing stuff...I bought a full-size bottle figuring if I didn't like it after a week I could return it but literally after the first use I was in absolute love!  The skin on my face doesn't feel dry at ALL. 

 

We're in a cold snap here, too, but nothing major...I'm in VA, so our winters are just wintery enough to be able to be called "winter"...nothing compared to my neighbors to the Northeast!  :)  Best of luck!  I'll be following along with your progress! 



#48 PersnickityChick

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 10:52 AM

Thank you for the recommendation LLV! I've been trying all manner of things, so next time I get to Lexington I'll have to check that out. I've put a little memo-note in my cell phone so I'll remember the name of it. 

 

I live in Kentucky, about an hour from the nearest Walmart. The next cold snap that is supposed to come in won't be as cold as the last one, but it will still be cold enough to freeze water bottles and pans, and make doing chores miserable without proper gear. 

 

Update: For the first time ever I have something showing up on my chest. It is a small bump just down from the hollow of my throat.  I have no idea what to expect with this, and it does make me a little nervous. The thing that was on my temple shrank, but is now hanging out as a tiny little lump. I've learned that if I stay relaxed, my skin does much better. The least bit of stress and it freaks out! 

 

Have a great day everybody! Here's to clear skin, and keeping calm!



#49 Kim28

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 01:05 PM

Hey Jess!

I couldn't imagine living an hour from Walmart! Lol! There are 5 or 6 Walmarts in the city where I live, so one is never more than a few minute away. This is good and bad, I guess.

Sorry to hear about the weird thing on your chest. Hopefully it will go away quickly.

I was remembering today that one of the reasons you went on Accutane was a big cyst that wouldn't resolve with antibiotics - is that one gone? That would be quite a triumph!

Hope you have a nice, relaxing day.



#50 PersnickityChick

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 06:36 AM

I did have a nice relaxing day yesterday. :)  Quite a bit of studying to keep me up in my classes, but that isn't necessarily stressful.

 

The large cyst is not enflamed, and seems to be shrinking, but it is definitely still visible. I had one a bit smaller than this that eventually had to be removed by a plastic surgeon.  I am really, really hoping that it will go ahead and disappear this time.  Right now it is about the size of the tip of my little finger... about 3/4 inch long, and a bit more than a quarter wide. It is kind of purple looking, too. It is a lump right now under my makeup, but since it used to be a lot bigger, I'm not going to complain about it a whole lot.

 

I didn't remember the date for my derm appointment right! It isn't today, it's Wednesday! I have to admit that I am quite disappointed both in my failure to remember, and that I have to wait 2 days for my lab results and to see what she has to say about my skin.



#51 PersnickityChick

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 09:10 AM

The snow has set in. It's falling at a steady rate right now. I went out to use the snow blower to make a path to the chicken house, and it more or less covered it by the time I was done! I don't mind the snow so much, but we've already had our high for the day. The temp will drop down to 4F tonight, and that is just a bit cold for my lungs.

 

My skin is VERY dry and flakey right now (I'm getting ready to moisturize and exfoliate a little). Large flakes on my forehead, and tiny ones on my cheeks, nose, and chin. Yesterday I was out most of the day, and when I came back in, I noticed a particularly large flake right between my eyebrows. It was another one of those moments. I am hoping it arrived on my drive home, and not while I was sitting in front of a whole group of kids reading the questions for academic quizzing. haha.

 

Derm appointment is tomorrow!



#52 PersnickityChick

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 05:33 PM

Amazing how things can change in a heartbeat, and with the spinning of tires. I attempted to go out and check the roads today, made it half way out, and .... I'm officially stuck.  My car is parked in the neighbor's driveway, It has been snowing all day, and it isn't supposed to get above freezing again until Saturday. I have had to cancel my derm appointment, and have it rescheduled for Monday when, hopefully, I will be able to get out. Fortunately I have some Tane left to fill the gap.  

 

Initially the receptionist (who is not terribly polite) said that they couldn't get me in before February 7, and that raises a question in my mind... if I'd had to wait that long, and I didn't have extra, what would be the effect? 

 

Anyway... I'm stuck in for a few days. Thankfully I have everything I need for a pot of chili, firewood to keep warm, and plenty of studying to do. 



#53 megtree

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 02:31 PM

Ah! I am so glad you are staying warm and staying inside! Every time I hear a news blurb about the arctic storm I think, "Oh, I really hope Jess is ok!". I am glad to hear your cyst is shrinking. I had a quick question about that: when you had to get the cyst removed, what initially prompted the doctors suggestion that you do that? 


Also, I remember reading a few logs where the person had to skip a couple days because of ipledge issues, appointment issues, etc. I don't remember anyone saying that missing a day or two made them breakout or did anything unusual. It's good that you had a couple of extra ones, though.



#54 PersnickityChick

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 06:24 PM

I am doing quite well, though cabin fever might be about to set in.  Along with another 4-6 inches of snow. I believe I'll be going out on Saturday, if I can at all possibly. 

 

Meg, the cyst that was removed was a sebaceous cyst. The decision was made that I should see a plastic surgeon, because it was on my face, and the derm figured it would probably leave too much of a scar.  I think it took maybe 10 minutes, He did a fairly good job, but the incision then became infected, which hurt like crazy, and ended up making more of a scar.   So far the derm hasn't said that the one on my cheek is sebaceous, so I am hopeful. :) 

 

Update: Things seem to be holding.  Nothing new coming up, and no noticeable improvement. Since I've been staying in, I haven't done anything make up wise, and I've noticed that my skin, while dry, is not flaking so much. There are still some small places, but allowing my skin to breathe does help.  That is not to say I'll be going out bare-faced any time soon (I don't necessarily want to terrify everyone in town), but it gives even more motivation to remove my makeup as soon as I come in. :)



#55 PersnickityChick

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 10:39 AM

I managed to go out, and get my car, and get back in yesterday, and it is a good thing. It has been snowing all morning, and I will definitely not be going out today. 

 

I've noticed since yesterday that my eyelids are VERY dry.  And there is a tiny bump right in my lash line. I'm not sure what that is, or how it will develop, but it is slightly painful. And now I have to figure out what sort of thing to put on my eyelids to give them moisture, without irritating them. Suggestions would be welcome.

 

I hope everyone is staying warm and healthy!



#56 PersnickityChick

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 10:35 AM

The unstuck car was a short-lived dream.  I went out yesterday to an academic competition, and couldn't get back up the hill to come home, so once again, it is parked at the neighbors. Lovely. 

 

I am dealing with some allergies right now in a way that I Haven't had to deal with them in a long time. I actually had to take a benedryl last night, because the swelling in my eyes was out of hand. I am just now (after 4 hours of wakefulness) able to see out of my left eye, and the swelling is nearly gone in the right one, and I have that very hang-over-ish feeling left over. <sigh>  

 

My appointment with the Derm was rescheduled til tomorrow at 3:15, so maybe I will FINALLY get to know my numbers, and see what she has to say about my skin, which is extremely dry right now, and my hair can only handle being washed about every other day. It is EXTREMELY dry. Which ... for someone who is not used to that is a wonderful thing. 



#57 megtree

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 05:09 PM

The unstuck car was a short-lived dream.  I went out yesterday to an academic competition, and couldn't get back up the hill to come home, so once again, it is parked at the neighbors. Lovely. 

 

I am dealing with some allergies right now in a way that I Haven't had to deal with them in a long time. I actually had to take a benedryl last night, because the swelling in my eyes was out of hand. I am just now (after 4 hours of wakefulness) able to see out of my left eye, and the swelling is nearly gone in the right one, and I have that very hang-over-ish feeling left over. <sigh>  

 

My appointment with the Derm was rescheduled til tomorrow at 3:15, so maybe I will FINALLY get to know my numbers, and see what she has to say about my skin, which is extremely dry right now, and my hair can only handle being washed about every other day. It is EXTREMELY dry. Which ... for someone who is not used to that is a wonderful thing. 

I am having the very same side-effects at the moment! My skin is incredibly dehydrated and sallow looking right now. I changed my night moisturizing routine, and am using Cerave PM moisturizing lotion as a serum, and layering the Cerave cream over it. It seems to be helping. I also ordered a humidifier for my BF's allergies. I am hoping it might help with my dryness too, I'll update my log if it does.

 

I also changed my eye-drops, which has helped tremendously. For day, I use Systane- extended relief (or extended care, or extended something) lubricating drops. Here's the game changer: At night, I use Systane Lubricating GEL for Night-Time Relief. It comes in a tube instead of a dropper like an ointment. The thing is, I don't just put a couple of drops in, I LINE the water-line of my eyes with it. My eyes are blurry like I just got out of the pool for a couple of minutes afterwards, but I don't wake up with painful stingy dry eyes anymore.



#58 PersnickityChick

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 06:31 PM

The Gel sounds amazing, Meg.  I have an unfortunate tendency to sleep with my eyes at least partially open, which dries them out horribly. Maybe the gel would help? I will have to look for it tomorrow. :)

 

Update: Went to the derm today. My left hand was looking worse than it has ever looked since I started Absorica, but my face was behaving for once.  She got up really close and looked at my face, and said that it is doing really well. She told me that after the Accutane is finished, we can start working on some of the scarring through various means. She did tell me to back off a little on the dosage, and maybe do it every other day if my hands get worse, and at the same time prescribed a cortisone cream to help them calm down a little.

 

Also... surprising to me, and the doctor, and the nurse... my cholesterol went down, and my triglycerides went up only slightly, and are still well within the normal range!

 

In other news: I got my car up the hill! Which is good, because I will be able to warm it before going out tomorrow. Small victories



#59 Kim28

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 11:20 PM

Yay for great results and great bloodwork! And also cars going up hills. It's cold as hell where I am again too. Spring cannot come too soon for my poor chapped lips. I have never had the dry eyes issue, but to make up for it I get weirdly dry ears, lol.

Look at us! Clearing up nicely over here. I'm so glad there are so many positive things happening in our logs lately.



#60 PersnickityChick

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 06:17 AM

Kim, thanks for cheering me on. :) It does a person good to know that there are people cheering, and people who understand.

 

Update: Today I got out of the shower and discovered red blotchy, slightly itchy places up my arms. I've lotioned them quite well, and I'll be taking some lotion with me to work, just in case. My hands have healed nicely, so hopefully my arms will do the same. I ordered some Mario Badescu (How on EARTH do you say that?!) Moisture Magnet, and so far I am quite pleased. I put it on last night before bed, and I woke up without flakes! I put some on after my shower, and let things soak in before I put on my makeup, which went on smooth as silk. Excellent, so far.  This is the first day back at work in... a long time, so I am curious how the moisturizers and makeup will last.

 

On another note, I experienced my first chimney fire last night, and it scared the ever-living you-know-what out of me. It cracked the flue tile, so no more wood burner for me until it is inspected and fixed. :( Glad the Polar Vortex went on its way before that happened, and hopefully it will stay away. I had a thought this morning that perhaps the stress from that contributed to the patches on my arms. Still a working theory... not that I intend to stress myself out intentionally to prove it.

 

Off to work! Have a great day everyone!






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