Before I get started on documenting my journey with Roaccutane, I just wanted to take a bit of time to talk about myself. I've suffered with acne for about 5 years now and it has progressively got worse and worse, I've been to see my GP multiple times about my condition. I've been on just about every treatment at my GP's disposal and eventually a month ago, I ticked all the boxes to be referred to a dermatologist. Thank God! On my visit to my GP, he just told me to choose from a long list of hospitals in the surrounding area, I choose the Royal Victoria Infirmary because it's the closest to me and because the Dermatology department is fairly new, it's an incredible building! After I choose the hospital, my GP (Who is the greatest guy in the world) rang them up and left a 10 minute voicemail describing my battle with acne which I got pretty upset at because of how long I've actually suffered, Ha!
Anyway, after he left that voicemail, he then gave me a user name and password to log onto a website(the website was called chooseandbook) at home and book my appointment. I went home and immediately logged onto the website hoping that there would be any near appointments, unfortunately there wasn't, so I booked one for the 25th January as it was the nearest date, I waited about 2-3 months for my appointment so I was absolutely gutted that I had to put up with my skin for another few months. Until my appointment I was feeling down, going to college was a nightmare.
25th January is the date today and I have been to the dermatologist.
I woke up today knowing I had my appointment, I was nervous but very excited, (weird, I know) I've been as the appointment was at 2:20 UK time, I really felt that it couldn't of went any better. The staff were kind, polite, caring and most of all understanding. It really was a very pleasant experience, as I came into the hospital I quickly found my way to the dermatology department where I handed my letter to reception, they told me to sit down and that I would be called out... and I was approached by a doctor who asked me if I was interested in taking part in a case-control study for genotype phenotype associations in severe acne vulgaris. I immediately said that I would because I wouldn't wish this condition on anyone and I would do anything to help, basically all I had to do was give an extra sample of blood and sign a few forms, but I do have to undergo some more tests and stuff but I don't mind.
(I'll try and go into detail for all others who are wondering about exactly what happens) -- NHS English patients only, perhaps?
Anyway I was collected by a nurse and taken to a room, where another 2 doctors where present, the one from before and my consultant. there was also a medical student in the room who was being observed by my consultant, he had to question me about medical records and about my battle with acne, how long it lasted, my mood and the treatments I had been on (antibiotics, facial creams) ect. After this I was examined (my entire upper body) and basically he told me that because I've been on so many antibiotics, he knew Roaccutane was the answer for me. I was weighed and then my consultant wrote me out a prescription, on the same day of my first every appointment, which I thought was brilliant because I want rid of this as fast as possible.
I had my blood tests which were nothing to me because I'm a regular donor and from there I had to fill out some consent forms on the research I've chosen to take part in, "The purpose of the research study is to study genetic material (e.g. DNA) in people with acne. In the future we hope that the genetic analysis of these samples might help us to understand the causes of acne." I took that sentence from the booklet they gave me. After all that, I was sent on my way home and to pick up my prescription.
I will be updating this weekly and I'm only doing this blog for other acne sufferers who find comfort in reading other's experience with acne, I'll probably upload some photos of me as well, so you can relate, took my first dose just after my tea earlier, I feel good.
I'll keep you updated.