I just got back from my visit to the dermatologist's office. I went in because I read the Accutane booklet I got on my last visit and had some important questions that needed to be addressed. Specifically because heart disease is rampant in my family and I wanted to make sure this would still be okay to use. Also, I wanted to ask what type of face cleansers and moisturizers would be okay to use as I anticipate extremely sensitive skin that will be dry. I got all my questions answered and was encouraged even to document my progress by taking pictures. Now I know that I'll be closely monitored with my monthly blood tests, and the one I took a couple weeks ago came back normal, yay! The only thing is that my derm asked if I experience hair loss, which I do and I found it strange he could determine that just by reading my blood work. He said that my iron was a little low and that might be why I experience it.
Since I plan on starting Accutane this week, I am NOT going to start taking any iron supplements because the booklet I read warns against taking any supplements, vitamins, ANYTHING in addition to Accutane. I don't want to have any bad drug interactions which could do more harm than good, so I just plan on learning about which veggies are high in iron and just add them to my diet here and there. There isn't anything I'm not allowed to eat while on Accutane, so that seems like a simple way to improve my diet and learn about foods I should be eating more of anyway.
I am going to try and stay consistent with blogging because I want to document everything so that I have a record of where and when I saw any changes. I just want to do a very good job at taking this seriously because of the serious medication that Accutane is. Also, if I don't do a good job at taking it everyday and not knowing if I see progress or not, then what was the point of being on such medication? I want this to work because nothing else has and this is my last resort. If Accutane doesn't end up working for me at least I know I took it the best of my ability and properly.
I really don't want to put all my eggs in one basket, but I can't help but see the beautiful before and after pictures of people who took Accutane. If I have a shot at this and am privileged to have this all covered by healthcare, then why not?
Along with my doctor I have a very caring boyfriend who will also be keeping tabs on me regarding my health. I know his concern is more about the depression side effects since I am known to be an 'emotional person'. Lol, that is sugarcoating it but somehow saying I can be psychotic sounds a little extreme, yet true.....some times!
As awful as acne has been to me, it has taught me important things in life. My true friends are people who look past the superficial and see the beauty INSIDE me. Also, there is more to life than having a pretty face, even that is so valued and judged. At the end of the day, you can't just skip out on life because you're not happy with your face, so while it does add some anxiety to your day, it is rewarding to know you can be a responsible accomplished person while dealing with a disease like this. And finally, it has taught me a lot about having patience with my body and myself. Even though I have my weak moments, I have learned to be patient and give things time, especially when it comes to my body. The only difference between now as I begin Accutane and 3 months when I'm done my first course is just time.
Since I've done lots of research and found out that my face will get worse before it gets better, I am expecting and anticipating to be upset and antsy about this whole process. But somehow, because I expect it I feel that I will be able to deal with it far better. I hope I don't completely go off my rocker when I start my medication, I plan on reading over my blog for support as I go through the 'worse' part. Hopefully the Accutane doesn't oversaturate my rationality lol.
So just some notes for myself so that I remember:
-Get a gentle cleanser and don't be too concerned about washing your face. Accutane is supposed to do everything.
-All the stuff that I'm taking for my face now will be too harsh for it, switch to more milder things (which I already have). This includes my face cleanser.
-Monthly blood test. At minimum day 30 go for first blood test. Mark it in calendar as soon as you take the first pill so that you remember.
-Before and after pictures. I wonder if I can post those here, but regardless I will have a special folder full of them.
To end, I realize that of course my dermatologist is condoning Accutane and will tell me things that will encourage me to take it. I do want to point out though that my initial consultation with them was regarding laser treatment, however I learned that lasering your face that has acne will only make it worse. He sees Accutane as a permanent stop to what my problem is, and once it is eradicated, then we can move on to lasers. If I get nice skin after being on this stuff I can't even imagine doing lasers, unless of course my scars are really that bad.
My dermatologist also told me that because I'm being monitored with monthly blood tests, anything that might go wrong will be indicated in my results and they will know right away. He gave me an analogy, say if I were to die young at age 40 for example, regardless if I take Accutane or not, nobody knows that. But Accutane on the other hand has results that show whether something is off balance.
I just wanted to add one more thing, but this is really off topic. I definitely have some intolerance, sensitivity or allergy to dairy. I bought a french vanilla on my way home and it made me sick. I thought this was a temporary thing because I started having more dairy in my diet, and this just confirmed that I should really stay away from dairy if I know what's best for me. And to anyone reading right now, I can tell you from my personal experience that in the few weeks last month that I stopped eating dairy my face did improve. It was a hard time for me because my love affair with cheese stopped and I was surprised that a food I loved so much was in fact hurting me. If you are someone who is interested in changing up their diet, then I would strongly encourage doing an elimination diet like I did and pay attention to food that doesn't make you feel good after eating it. There are certainly patterns our bodies have and it's our job to be in tune with them. Permanent changes in my diet, (and I recommend this even if you have perfect skin), include:
-No white sugar. To sweeten anything use natural honey only.
-No dairy (easier said than done, there are hidden culprits in almost everything).
-Lots and lots of black pepper, helps your stomach lining/digestion.
Ideally I'd like to go gluten-free and vegan for 3 weeks to just see out of curiosity what that would do, but I can't imagine adopting such a rigid lifestyle. I like to eat!