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LeadZeppelin

Aaand, I'm finished!

Who wants to read a 10,000 word biography of me?! ... I wouldn't either! Here's the brief:

I'm 21. I'll be graduating college in 2.5 months (midterms of my last semester right now, wow!). That's a bit misleading, though, as I'm staying in school. First to get my M.B.A. and then hopefully my doctorate after that. In fact, just this morning I took the GMAT! I scored a respectable 610, which will easily get me into the university I'm currently in. I'll need to retake it to get in the high 600s low 700s later though.

Anywho, I've had acne since I can even remember. Probably late middle school or so. It's been really cyclical. Sometimes it's terrible, other times it's bearable. But it's never been very clear. I also got two big keyloids, one on my chest, one on my shoulder. The one on my chest is pretty flat now, thanks to injections. The shoulder scar is still coming down, but it was way bigger. My back acne is generally worse than my face acne.

The derm started me off on 80mg (40mg twice daily), and I'm only 155-160 lbs, so it should be pretty strong. He said I would be on it for 5 months. I'm sooo ready to have clear skin though. I hope my scars aren't too bad afterwards.

Oh, I have a prescription discount card, but it wouldn't pay for any of the pills. I ended up switching pharmacies and making them order in the cheapest generic they could get, and it'll be $300 a month. Better than $600+ a month, but meh.

Here's the starting me, don't poke fun. :)

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Edited by LeadZeppelin

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Interesting post. I started accutane 7 days ago, so I can relate to your timing. Also, I can relate to your GMAT experience. That test is a pain, but it will be worth it in the end. Best of luck getting your score up if you need to and good luck with the accutane. Hopefully we will both be clear for 2010. Man...wouldn't that be nice?

Off topic: is there any reason you have your heart set on getting an MBA right after undergrad? I'm merely interested, so let me know!

Take is easy.

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Hey, thanks for the post! If I was clear by 2010 I would be absolutely giddy. I'm crossing my fingers!

I'm going right into my MBA because I've already been out in the "real world" as they say. My undergrad degree is in Computer Information Systems, and I held an internship for over a year and a half as a software programmer. A couple months ago I had one of those early life crises and decided that there's no way I could sit in a cubicle churning out code for the rest of my life. I quit that job and decided to go back to school. I plan on becoming a grad assistant next semester, which will make my tuition free and pay me a decent stipend to live off.

My end goal is to eventually become a professor. But basically, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't settle on a career until I could tell people with enthusiasm, "I love my job!" If I couldn't do that, I needed to find something else, regardless of salary. I hated going into work every day as a programmer, and I don't want the rest of my life to be like that.

Plus I don't mind school. It's pretty easy for me, and sitting through lectures doesn't bother me at all... Going to work on the other hand... >_>

Man, as I was writing this, I got a call from my mom letting me know that an old friend of mine from back home died in a car crash last night. He was recently engaged and just had a baby, I think he was 21. I actually dated his fiance years back, so not only was he a friend, but in a way she still means something to me as well. I hate getting news like that. *sigh*

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Day 3

Nothing much to report so far. I wouldn't say my skin or lips are any more dry than usual. I've been using aquaphor on my lips, and I drink water like it's going out of style. I always drink tons of water though. Perhaps that's helping. I can't say I'm getting an IB right now. It looks pretty similar to how it was on Friday.

I also drank the last two nights. >_> I kept it to about two beers each night though. My friends drink aaalll the time on the weekends and if you're not pounding liquor they'll remind you every 30 seconds. Last night we went to a bar, and split some pitchers. I was doing a good job going slow, until this girl who we kind of knew came up to our table with another pitcher and starting filling our glasses up. I hid my glass and she didn't fill it, so that was nice. Until she came back about 5 minutes later with another pitcher and filled it up over my shoulder so I didn't see her coming. Oh well, I'm sure a couple beers won't hurt anything. Even my dermatologist said a beer or two wouldn't hurt.

Broncos won tonight! 4-0 woohoo!

Debating on whether I want to do with the rest of my night. Study, homework, or procrastinate and relax. No idea.

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Hey, hows it going man?

I didn't realize your undergrad was in cs, so I think that makes a little more sense to me now. I have a lot of friends who were cs and engineering majors and they all wanted to get the mba out of the way so they could get a better starting position.

I actually was a business (accounting and finance) major for undergrad, so most people in my shoes wait for a few years of experience to go back. I actually am getting another masters degree right now, but may go back for the MBA some day.

Anyways, I really hope things go well for you. Keep us posted.

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Hey, just stopped by to read your log! Good luck on your course, and be sure to keep us updated on everything! And I'm really sorry to hear about your friend, that's devastating... :(

Carly

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Day 6

Not much news here. I wouldn't say my acne is any better or worse yet. Most of the actives from when I started are gone, but I've got about just as many new ones, several of them being cysts. Lips are a little dry, but aquaphor is keeping them okay. Face peeled a little bit yesterday, but seems fine now.

I haven't noticed any joint or back pain yet, which I'm basically expecting. I lift weights and run regularly, and I've had lower back pain for a long time. Every once in awhile, I'll be doing an exercise and it just hits my lower back too hard and it feels terrible for a few days. Because of this, I've had to stop doing any lifts that put a strain on my lower back, basically, which is a lot of exercises! :( Trying to nurse it into health, but it doesn't want to seem to follow. Aaanywho, if I already have a bad back and accutane supposedly affects this as well, it could be very bad for me! Nothing yet though.

burnett: Well, my degree is actually CIS, which is in an entirely separate college from CS. Buuut, to the layman, there probably isn't much difference. It's probably like how I couldn't name a single difference between Accounting and Finance, yet somehow they're separate majors here. I've even taken various accounting and finance classes, and it all seems like the same stuff to me! >_>

You're on your second Master's, and are considering a third? Wow! Pretty impressive stuff.

giety: Thanks! I'll definitely keep this updated, although maybe not extremely often. Hopefully at least once a week. I like to look back on logs like this years down the road to see my progress. Logging progress is always a really rewarding experience IMO. :)

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Day 14 - two weeks down!

Well, I had an IB yesterday night. I thought I wasn't going to have one so it wasn't the best experience ever. It was weird, because it wasn't overnight. I left to go to a movie with a friend at about 6PM, then stayed at his house until about 3AM. Towards the end of the night I could tell I was breaking out and when I got home it was worse than expected. Oh well, gotta purge the crap out sometime. I have a ton of work to do on my senior project, anyway, so I actually need a good excuse to stay in the next couple weekends.

My lower back is looking better actually. My upper back and shoulders broke out, but I can tell that a lot of the spots on my shoulders are fading so that's good.

Side effects - Ugh! Where do I begin? Of course I've had the dry skin, lips, and eyes like everyone. Those aren't bad at all and generally I don't even notice. But I've had some other problems.

My rib cage has been experiencing some really bad pain! As if someone put a huge weight on my chest. It typically only hurts when I lie down on my side and then get up, as my body readjusts itself. I haven't lifted weights for the past week because of this and today it hasn't been hurting. We'll see if that helps, I want to hit the gym again tomorrow.

I also had a headache from when I woke up yesterday and for most of the day. This is weird for me because I never get headaches. Haven't had one today though.

I've had a bit of lower back pain, but that can be fairly normal for me.

--

That's about it I guess. I got my new multivitamins in a few days ago, so I'm taking multis again. For about a week I wasn't taking any, since the ones I normally take have vit A in them. I also always take fish oil capsules.

This is also the halfway point to one month! I'm on 80mg already, too. So that's like a full month for a lot of people who start out on 40mg. I'm really hoping in a couple weeks I look a little more respectable.

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Day 22 - over three weeks down!

So that IB lasted almost a week probably. I felt sooo bad about how my face looked. My confidence was at a new low. I stayed in most of the week, only leaving my apartment for class and the gym. It's on its way to getting better now though. I went out last night, with a little concealer on mind you, and felt pretty good about my face. I'm staying in tonight to work on homework, and I've got a party tomorrow. Hopefully I'm still feeling ok about it tomorrow night.

I'm gonna get my blood work done on Monday and then I see the derm on Wednesday.

I'll try to take some more pictures after 30 days.

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Day 35 - Five weeks!

Day 35.. sounds like a big number! So I went to get my blood work, that was super quick and easy--totally unexpected. Two days later I met with my derm. He said my triglycerides were just slightly above normal, but he wasn't worried about it. I'm not surprised at all, because I have a really high calorie diet. I was afraid he was going to say they were really high or something. He prescribed me another month at 80mg.

Unfortunate news though. The price of Claravis shot up! :( I was paying $296, which was ridiculous enough. But now it's $485 for one month. Ugh! My current insurance won't cover any of it. They also won't let me bump up my coverage. AND I was denied coverage from another insurance company. But hey, everyone, the U.S. health care is the best in the world! </sarcasm>

I'm probably about at the point I was at when I started 35 days ago. Today I'm breaking out though so it kinda sucks. I still have cycles where it does ok for a few days then I break out for a few days. I can't wait for clear skin! Ugh.

The only new side effect I've had is angular chelitis. I don't even really know if it was that but the left corner of my lips was awful for a few days. I found that putting aquaphor on it was making it way worse for some reason. What worked for me was putting hydrocortisone on the corners and then putting blistex medex over that. Cleared it up in a couple days.

Also, I was starting to get too much pain in my ribs/back to do much weight lifting. I was going to just stop cold for awhile, but I really didn't feel like losing everything I've worked for. So for some reason, and I hate to admit it, I started doing P90X. Now, it seems embarrassing to say I'm doing it, because honestly it seems like a huge fad that I don't really want to be a part of. But oh well. Sometimes I'll talk trash about it and maybe I shouldn't do that without ever having been through it.

Aaanywho, somehow, P90X is making my body feel better. My ribs and back aren't hurting nearly as much as they were a week ago. It's probably because the workouts make you go through a lot of stretching, warmups, and cooldowns. I'll admit I probably didn't do enough of that in the past.

That's about it for now. Weeee

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hey man, im 16 years old, 170 pounds and on 80mg. That sucks you have to pay so much:\ for clavaris. im in canada and get it all for free :dance:

anyway, good luck with your course!

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Yeah. Unfortunately, my insurance isn't covering the blood work / derm visits either. Ahhh, the price of clear skin.

Though, if I added up how much I spend on acne products... Accutane will probably still pay for itself, heh.

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Day 50 - 1/3 Done!

Okay, let's see. My face is starting to look better. It also seems smoother. I'd take pictures, but I'm a little busy. >_> Hopefully soon I'll get a little time to take more pictures.

My back and shoulders are still a battlefield though. It's kind of sad, I haven't had sex in a couple months, and I'd like to, and I can, but I don't want anyone to see my shoulders or back! Ugh. TMI? TMI.

Still dry lips and face. Mainly just the area around my mouth is dry. The rest is fine and I usually don't even moisturize the rest of my face. But the skin around my mouth needs moisturized repeatedly throughout the day or it gets super flaky.

Back and rib pain has gotten better. Not lifting heavy weights is doing my body some good.

It's hard to believe my course is 1/3 over with.. !

In non-acne related news, today and tomorrow is Skepticon II (http://skepticon.broadcast44.com/) at my school, a series of lectures by prominent atheists! Two full days of listening to famous atheists in the comfort of my Bible Belt city. Great stuff.

Until next time! G'day everyone.

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Hey again.

Im glad to hear you think things are improving for you. I've read a lot of peoples blogs regarding shoulders and back and it seems to be that it may take longer for that area to improve. I don't really have it too bad there, so I can't offer much personal experience. Nonetheless, I feel your pain, as this crap (regardless of its location) really can take over your psyche.

On my end, I'm starting to improve, but its almost as if my skin cant heal itself like it used to. My red marks are lingering way longer than normal and there seems to be a lot of small scars. My forehead looks spotted because of all the red spots from previous actives. I'm still getting occasional new spots, but not many. Are you still getting new active stuff or is it all just on the way out? I think were only a week apart on our course so its great to follow your progress.

Best of luck with everything.

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Day 54

The past couple days I had some pretty bad breakouts on my neck. Like, a mixture of 10 cysts and pimples just all of a sudden sprouted up the sides of my neck, but mostly my left. Ugh! They're slowly going away. Face is in about the same shape as before.

I got my blood work done yesterday. I go to the derm tomorrow at 7AM, then I'll probably grab my Rx and drive home for a long Thanksgiving break. I haven't been home since June so that'll be nice.

--

I'm not getting nearly as many actives as before, but I still get them. Most of the stuff on my face is leftover red marks from past acne.

I totally feel you on slow skin healing. I read people talking about that before I started and didn't figure it would be that bad, but it's much more noticeable than I thought it would be. And it affects injuries that didn't happen from acne as well. I cut myself on my hand four weeks ago and it still hasn't healed! Normally you wouldn't be able to see anything after a week. I have several other places like this on my body that I got from playing sports and various other things, and they're taking forever to heal.

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For the record, the cause of the above wound was from a chicken humerus that I busted in half. True story!

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So I just got back from the derm, and he thought my acne should be better for being on 80mg for two months already. After I assured him that I was taking my pills with plenty of fats, he bumped me up to 90mg. He said 80mg was already high enough for someone at my weight (I fluctuate between 155 and 160) so he didn't want to go up too much.

I'm pretty worried about how much this is going to cost now though. 80mg was two packs of 40mg pills. This is going to be three packs of 30mg... I have a feeling it's going to be a lot more than $485. :(( Uggghghghghg

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So I just got back from the derm, and he thought my acne should be better for being on 80mg for two months already. After I assured him that I was taking my pills with plenty of fats, he bumped me up to 90mg. He said 80mg was already high enough for someone at my weight (I fluctuate between 155 and 160) so he didn't want to go up too much.

I'm pretty worried about how much this is going to cost now though. 80mg was two packs of 40mg pills. This is going to be three packs of 30mg... I have a feeling it's going to be a lot more than $485. :(( Uggghghghghg

Hey man,

Have a good thanksgiving and i hope things with your acne get better with accutane, im sure it will. Additionally, from looking at your first pictures, it never really looked like you had oily skin to begin with? Was that Case? Because usually when people have acne its coupled with oily skin. I feel like you will have more success with treatment moving into the 3rd and 4th months because of this.

Adam

So I just got back from the derm, and he thought my acne should be better for being on 80mg for two months already. After I assured him that I was taking my pills with plenty of fats, he bumped me up to 90mg. He said 80mg was already high enough for someone at my weight (I fluctuate between 155 and 160) so he didn't want to go up too much.

I'm pretty worried about how much this is going to cost now though. 80mg was two packs of 40mg pills. This is going to be three packs of 30mg... I have a feeling it's going to be a lot more than $485. :(( Uggghghghghg

Hey man,

Have a good thanksgiving and i hope things with your acne get better with accutane, im sure it will. Additionally, from looking at your first pictures, it never really looked like you had oily skin to begin with? Was that Case? Because usually when people have acne its coupled with oily skin. I feel like you will have more success with treatment moving into the 3rd and 4th months because of this.

Adam

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Day 60 - two months down, three to go!

I'm still breaking out, which seems unfortunate. It's not as bad as the first month for sure. I expected to be clearer at this point, but hey, what can ya do. My shoulders and back are finally starting to get better! They still look bad but I'm getting way fewer actives there and the old ones are fading. That's good.

Side effects have been minimal. Definitely much better than the first month. Haven't been having back or rib pain really. The area around my mouth is always super dry, but repeated moisturizing throughout the day can usually keep it at bay (although that takes awhile and I'm usually flaking during my 8 AM class, bleh). My lips are usually fine with aquaphor on them constantly.

Updated pics (from my webcam, so if you compare them to my previous pics they'll look quite a bit different):

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A lot of the red spots you can see are actually just remnants from past actives. My skin feels a lot smoother than it probably looks in the pictures.

My prescription still remains a problem. 90 Claravis 30mg capsules is going to cost me about $1250. Umm, what? No thanks. Sotret is much cheaper, about $700, but apparently nobody around here stocks it and they quit selling it in that strength. After calling around for awhile one pharmacist just recommended staying on 80mg to get the cheaper 40mg pills. He was supposed to call my derm and ok that, since he can't give me anything other than exactly what my prescription says. Well, he never got back to me. I guess I'll try to get that figured out tomorrow. I used the last pills I had for today so I need my refill tomorrow so I (they) better get that figured out.

I also got a discount prescription card which will hopefully take some off the bill. I'm expecting it to take maybe $30-60 off. I paid $20 so it'll hopefully pay for itself in the first month I use it.

toomuchaccutane - Hmm, well there's a couple possibilities. For one, I took those pictures with my iphone, which doesn't have a flash, so my face probably looked more dull than usual. Also, if I ever felt oil on my face, I would always go wash my face. I suppose I could've just recently washed my face before that picture. But no, my face has always been pretty oily. :(

--

In other news, my graduation has crept up remarkably fast on me. And that means that my senior project is due soon. FFFFFFUUUUU!!! *hurriedly gets back to work*

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So the pharmacist got back to me today. He said my derm denied his request to stay at 80mg, lol. >_> But instead of taking 3 30mg pills per day, I'm going to do two 40mg and a 10mg, which saves me like $600. Still, the cost for the pills this month comes out to a whopping $625. The price has gone up every month, and it's like I'm getting desensitized to it.. When I hear them tell me something will cost over a thousand dollars, it seems nice that it only comes out to low $600s. *sigh*

He didn't have any 10mg in stock though. I took the 40mgs so I would have something to take today. I guess I'll take 100mg tomorrow and then do 90mg the rest of the month.

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Day 62

I think I can say that I'm finally happy with my progress! It donned on me that I was now able to count the number of actives on my face... has that ever been possible before?! Ha. And it's a surprisingly low number right now! I have a very very small active on my right cheek. I also have a very small one on my forehead, right at the bottom of bangs. And that's it really. Quite a few red marks from past blemishes that are fading, but I'm actually pretty happy with how I look right now.

In fact, I haven't even been bothering to put on makeup when I go out lately. And I'm a guy so all I know how to use is concealer, and I don't even know how to use it well, so often times it looks super bad. I'm sure a lot of girls can see right through it. >_>

*knocks on wood that I don't break out tomorrow*

My undergrad graduation is on the 18th I think, so just over two weeks. Hopefully my face will be even clearer, because I'm sure my family will want plenty of pictures.

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Lead-

It's good to hear optimism in your voice, or words, rather. Anyway, I am also feeling better about my situation. Don't get me wrong, I still have a ton of red marks...but overall I think im making slow but steady progress. Heres to a clearer 2010. Enjoy your graduation when it happens. Still thinking about grad school?

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Hey burnett

Yeah, I'm all set for grad school. I'm not taking a break or anything, I start up first thing in January. I also got a grad assistantship, so I'm getting free tuition and a small stipend. I'm not sure exactly what I'll be doing, but they said it's PHP / mobile apps / CMS programming stuff.

Unfortunately, I've been breaking out pretty bad the past week. It's probably from all the stress of the end of my last semester. I pulled an all nighter tonight, and I'm about to leave for my 8am class now. Good news is that I got a good chunk of my senior project done.

I have a presentation in one of my classes today as well. My breakouts are going to make that not fun.

I'm done with my undergraduate degree in less than a week though. What a relief!

Thanks for posting!

Edited by LeadZeppelin

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Day 76 - One day past half way!

I'm over the hump! I sure hope the second half is better than the first.

My face is.. better. I'm still getting actives on my face, but they're usually (usually) smaller. I say usually, because a week and a half or so ago, I got three good sized pimples right in the same spot on my right cheek. They grew and grew and then they basically looked like one big giant ultra-mega pimple. And I was a sad panda. I had enough and popped them. Then I lived with a black blood scab for several days. At least it was flat. It's all pretty much gone there now. I just really hope nothing like that happens on my face again.

My neck is still getting stuff regularly.

My back, shoulders, and chest are still bad. Probably still worse than pre-accutane. I just don't understand why they're still so bad. I thought it might've been because I workout a lot. But last week was the week from hell as far as school was concerned, so I didn't have any time to work out. My acne didn't get better though. And I also make sure to take a shower within about five minutes of working out. So I don't know if that's factoring into my body acne or not.

Side effects

Is it weird that my side effects seem *less* severe? This month I'm on 90mg instead of 80mg like the first two months, but it's like I'm not getting as dry. Some days I'll forget to put on moisturiser. Now, if I do forget, it'll probably be a little flaky, but nothing terrible. And all I need is a touch of moisturiser. In the first couple months, I needed to re-apply moisturiser about five times before it would be okay!

My lips are still pretty dry though. If I don't have aquaphor on them, they start killing me. When I eat, it gets rid of the aquaphor, and I immediately have to reapply some.

Oh! But I guess I have had problems with dry skin in other areas of my body. My hands! Ugh, I went to the Chiefs / Broncos game in Kansas City and tailgated from about 8am until the game started at noon, then watched the whole game from the top of the stadium where the winds were about 238478937 mph. All this without gloves. That was a mistake, because the next day my hands were red, scaly, and peeling. After a few days of aquaphor, they look normal. But I've still been putting aquaphor on them, because if I don't they get a little cracky.

My right arm on my bicep / tricep area has been feeling pretty dry, too.

Conclusion thus far

My face is getting better and it's giving me a little more confidence. As long as I don't have to take my shirt off to show all my body acne, I'll be ok for now!

I see my dermatologist on December 23rd. I can almost guarantee he'll take one look at my back, shoulders, and chest and tell me he's raising me to 100mg or so. I guess we'll see.

Non accutane related

I graduate in two days! If you don't want to hear me brag, you can probably skip on. :)

1362 students will be graduating friday, and of those, 33 will be awarded the scholastic honor summa cum laude, which is a 3.9-4.0 GPA, and I'll be one of those 33! I'm graduating in the top 2% of my class. Yay!

Graduate classes start on January 11th for me. I start my grad assistantship on January 4th. I basically don't have much to do until then, except relax. How awesome is that?!

Edited by LeadZeppelin

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