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axtine8

Sharing Faith and Courage: An Accutane Log

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I cringed reading that! It sounds like something that would happen to me! Ur lucky it was your back and u didn't hurt ur face!

Hope you make a full recovery! And I definitely think you've got a claim against your employer there!

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Day 54

Well, my back is pretty messed up. I looked at it this evening before I put new bandages on, and I'm definitely going to have scars. The whole accutane deal isn't helping, because as you all know this drug makes you heal slower. I do think I would have had scars even if I wasn't on this drug, but that's no consolation. But yes, Del was completely right: I am SOOOO glad it was not my face. I don't think my face was ever at risk because the only reason I got hurt was because the nails dug in as I was sliding down the surface of the prop-- only my mid to lower back was hurt, so the damage was a good three feet away from my head. But I still shudder when I think of what could have happened if it had been my face. Plastic surgery, anyone? :shock:

My skin is getting steadily better. Makeup clings to it in weird ways, especially the random dry patches that form over healing cysts. But I haven't had any monster in about a week and a half. You know, the kind that you can compare size-wise to various coins? My biggest back in June was the size of a nickel, and it's the only one so far that's left an actual indentation. That scar will stick around for many years, I can tell. My skin is pretty resilient, so far all the scarring just looks like some of the pores on my cheeks have been stretched out, which goes away in time (or so I am told). The majority of my monster cysts were dime sized. (by the way, sorry to all my non-American readers. If I knew international coinage I totally would use it. ;) ) The only ones I have right now are the normal inflamed kind-- still ugly, but they go away a lot sooner. I got a pseudo-cyst on my right jawline this morning in the exact same spot that my bike helmet strap rubs against. I don't think it's a coincidence. I call it a pseudo-cyst because I can feel it, but I can't see it at all and I can tell it'll just reabsorb soon. At this rate, and assuming I have no more breakouts, my skin should be well on its way to clear-dom sometime in the next month or two. Don't get me wrong, I still look like a blotchy tomato face when the makeup comes off at night, but I have no obligations after 11 pm most nights, so as long as I stay away from mirrors, I'm not worried.

Well, not worried yet... I'll be living with an actual person starting on the 26th. No more spoiled Amy with her own private room. :lol: I know this girl and I love her to bits, but acne has made me develop an extreme phobia of people seeing me bare-skinned, which will inevitably happen if we share a bedroom. Heck, I cringe when people stand just a little too close even when I'm wearing foundation. I plan on telling her how this has affected me, but I'm still worried. Any advice?

I will be back online sometime after next week. I'm going home tomorrow, and apparently our internet is broken so we're getting a new router installed sometime next Thursday. Oh, joy. Maybe I can sneak off to the library or something...

TTFN! Ta ta for now!

Love, Amy

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telling your friends is the worst thing coz they really could not understand unless they have been through it. I decided to tell a few close friends a few weeks before my derm apt. I just sent them all a group message on facebook and rambled on explaining how I felt and why had become a recluse. they were so understanding and now it is great to be able to talk to them about my accutane experience! I still wouldnt have the guts to take my makeup off in front of any of them though! think you need to talk to her though and let her know how it has affected your life.

And dimes and nickels mean nothing to me so I guess I will have to use google images to get an idea! Is a nickel 5 or 10cents or something?

Good luck x

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telling your friends is the worst thing coz they really could not understand unless they have been through it. I decided to tell a few close friends a few weeks before my derm apt. I just sent them all a group message on facebook and rambled on explaining how I felt and why had become a recluse. they were so understanding and now it is great to be able to talk to them about my accutane experience! I still wouldnt have the guts to take my makeup off in front of any of them though! think you need to talk to her though and let her know how it has affected your life.

And dimes and nickels mean nothing to me so I guess I will have to use google images to get an idea! Is a nickel 5 or 10cents or something?

Good luck x

Thanks for the second opinion. Yeah, the only person who knows outside my family is another one of my fall/spring roommates, but not the one I'm sharing a room with. I will probably only end up telling the other girl, and then keep it on the DL. I don't want to make the same mistake twice-- I alienated myself this spring and it cost me some friendships. I want this girl to know that there is a perfectly good reason why I may act weird sometimes. haha Yeah, it's not something I like to shout to the world, because even though it's really not true, I think that if I don't mention anything acne related no one will notice it! :lol:

A nickel is 5c and a dime is 10c! But they're not sized according to how much they're worth. From biggest to smallest, it goes: quarter (25c), nickel (5c), penny (1c), dime (10c).

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thanks for that! I went to Florida in 99 and 2001 so was just trying to remember but no chance of that!!

If she is a good friend, then she will understand. Mine have been amazing about it, but it isnt something that I have felt the need to talk about with everyone! I just knew thatmy mates were all worried about me and thought something was wrong - well it was! I was depressed and not eating, my weight dropped and people thought I was anorexic! As soon as I told them and stated being able to say - 'no I'm not coming over, my face looks crap' I felt more at ease about it and started eating and felt happier in general!

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Hi Amy!

I hope you are doing good... I just caught up with your log, so I have to ask... Can we sue your work place? Say YES!!! You could use the money to rent an apartment, that way you wouldnt have to share with anybody :) I remember when my husband (then boyfriend) would spend the night with me...ahhhh, those times.... I would totally go to bed with makeup and make sure I woke up before him so I could run to the bathroom and apply makeup again... I am sure I was making the problem worse, but what could we do? I always think about the celebrities that have gone thru the treatment and I am jealous... they just stayed away in their houses for the duration and that was it... the next day they came out they had perfect skin... ahhh, if only...

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OMG hahah i think that way too the " think that if I don't mention anything acne related no one will notice it!" that's why only ONE friend of mine knows, the accutane and stuff, and she's so nice cause when i tell her she says she didn't notice it was so bad the last time she saw it (but that's because i was wearing makeup) but still she barely notices it, i think it's because people with clear skin don't obsess and worry about it like all of us, so i never mention my acne problem, only my parents my brother and my friend know, but all the other ones never mention it, i think it's because they don't wanna hurt my feelings but still, i prefer that than having them talk to me about it every time. Hope you are feeling better about your back amy! and your third month is about to start! yaay

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Day 60!!! (Official start of month 3? Yup.)

Well, I’ve finally made it to the magical month three, and I am so very excited! I really hope I see definite, drastic results in the next 31 days, and that I don’t become one of those people who don’t clear up until the final month or even after my treatment is completed. I did another quick calculation, and I determined that day #100 falls on September 28, and I’ll have completed my minimum cumulative dosage two-ish weeks later on October 16. Aside from the entirely normal desire to have clear skin, I’m even more anxious for this to kick in because of the roommate deal I mentioned before. I thought that maybe, just MAYBE, I could go several weeks without anyone seeing me barefaced, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that it’s just not gonna happen. So the sooner this stuff goes away, the better for my inflated ego, no? :lol:

My face is doing a lot better, apparently. Just ask my mom, who couldn’t stop talking about it yesterday. I still have a TON of red marks—sometimes it looks like my face is bruised and makeup doesn’t always cover them 100% (yeah, they’re that bad). And I definitely still have actives, but according to my mom they are smaller (which I agree with) and she says that with makeup on it only looks like I just have regular acne (which I do not agree with, even though I don’t have any big cysts). Most of my pimples have concentrated themselves on my chin, which is very odd. The red marks are on my upper cheeks around my cheekbones. I still get some under my eyes, but like I said they are decreasing in number and are definitely smaller. At this rate, I should be looking a lot better with each coming week. For the first time during my acctuane course I am seeing definite results, and I am excited for the coming weeks!

Side effects just seem to be going away. My back feels practically normal, just a little stiff in the mornings but that vanishes quickly. My lips are slightly dry but aquaphor kicks that in the butt. Zero joint pain which I am so incredibly grateful for-- I was almost certain that I'd get that, because I always get knee pain when I run. The skin on my body is dry now, though. I am still on a quest to find a great body lotion, so I don't end up looking like a scaly dinosaur.

My back is.... well, it hurts. But I'm taking it in strides and trying not to think about how long the scars will last. But I can't see the marks without a mirror, so it's out of sight out of mind for the most part. Unlike my face... **sigh**

Today, I'm going back down to Provo with Jack to give some wedding presents to all our friends who up and got married in the past few months. I swear, the pressure to get married here is unbelievable-- I'm just waiting for my family to start asking me why we aren't engaged yet. And the fact that most of our friends are engaged/married doesn't add any pressure AT ALL. ** cue sarcasm** haha Well, I'm off. I'll be checking in every week or so-- or sooner if good things start happening!

Take care!

Amy ;)

Del: Yeah, I really hope that she's understanding. Hannah is one of those perfect-looking people, which at first made me uncomfortable because I'm so radically different, but then I realized that if she doesn't have to deal with acne then she probably won't notice it so much. Plus, she's non-judgmental by nature, so it'll all work out in the end.

Hope: haha Part of me wishes I could sue and then get my own apartment! But then I would just deprive myself of living with 5 of the most awesome girls ever! :) But of course you know that! As far as the workers comp thing goes, I have come to the conclusion that I don't want to alienate all my professors (I work for my college/department) and in the end it really was my fault. Lesson learned, right? I will never venture into dark theatre storage rooms ever again!!

Vintage: Story of my acne-centered life! That's why I hate talking about acne, because it makes it real somehow. And I agree with what you said, when people don't have to deal with it they don't notice it in other people. And I think that humans are self-centered by nature, so we think more about our own flaws 1000x more than we think about other peoples'. And my back is feeling a bit better, thanks!

teepstergirl: thanks for stopping by! I'll be checking up on your log too!

acnechemist: thanks!

Edited by axtine8

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Sounds as though things are going really well for you!! I hope you see more improvement this month!!

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Awesome that you are in such good spirits and it sounds like the meds are starting to show you some results. Great! And even though we all want a resolution yesterday, just realize that you are seeing small improvements, no matter how small they are, and any victory is a good victory. You're on your way and it will only keep getting better and better. Happy for you :)

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Month 3 * does the happy dance* Congratulations! Do you find that time is starting to fly by now? I bet that in the next month you will see big changes and improvements. By the sounds of it, this has already started.

I see where you are coming from on the whole pressure situation, but don't let yourself feel pressured. (Easier said then done, I know) Half of my group of close friends right now are pregnant. It made me step back and think, when will this happen for me? But all good things come in time, right? You will know when you are ready.

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Name twin! Just caught up on your log. Sorry about your back, that sounds terrible! I'm crossing my fingers that it will heal quickly! And when that comes, if you're worried about it scarring, I put a ton of faith in Mederma. I'm horrendously accident prone, so that means plenty of scars to deal with (not even counting the scars on my face), and it does fade them pretty well.

And on the friend/roommate front, I know what you're going through. I never talked about my skin up until very recently (like a week after I knew I was going on Accutane). But when I finally did, everyone was really supportive, a few of them even telling me they didn't think my skin was that bad (supporting that whole "If you don't have it, you don't worry about it" theory) I'm also lucky in that one of my best friends was on Accutane, so she understands. But regardless, it's really nice to have a few people that know what I'm going through!

And HOORAY for definite results [: I have a few weeks until I hit month three, but your progress is making me even more excited for it! I hope things keep getting better! Keep us posted!

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Hey there I've been reading your log - congrats on reaching month 3! How exciting for you. I can't wait to get to that point. Hope it's all down hill for you now!

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hi Amy!

so i have to assume that your derm was ok with your lab results? i know you were concerned about them. yay for starting month 3... can you believe it? i am almost there, it feels like yesterday when i was looking at taking my very first pill...

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Day 64 (end of week 9, aka MY BIRTHDAY!!!)

Well hey there, folks!

As of the last few days, I officially am a 20-year-old Accutane-er in her third month! Time flies, no? Things aren’t that different than my last post. I broke out just a little bit on my cheeks, but they are getting smaller, but there’s a whole heck of a lot of them. But it’s a lot easier to be patient now that I’m this far along. The red marks are atrocious. Yup. They’re so bad that I feel awkward posting pictures of them. Sometimes, they make me look like I’m sunburned. But the redness does not correspond to acne everywhere, so I am lucky that if I spend enough time doing my makeup in the morning, the redness is pretty much invisible. It only peeks through a little bit on existing pimples.

My skin is ridiculously smooth on the non-broken out parts. I get what people mean now, about Accutane skin being the softest they’ve ever had it. My favorite part of my face (skin-wise) is most definitely my nose. I never break out there to begin with, but I always had a lot of blackheads that I just took for granted. Well, I can proudly say that I am blackhead free all over my body, including my back (same situation as my nose). I’ve had two weird pimples on my upper arms though. So weird—I almost never get body acne. Emu oil seems to take care of them though.

Tomorrow is my dermatologist appointment, and I get my new prescription! Because everything has been so mild (re: last post on side effecsts), I’m thinking of asking the derm to bump up my dosage to 80 mg a day. The only reason I’m hesitant is because I really, really, REALLY don’t want another IB. So, I’m up in the air on this one. What do you all think?

So, yeah! Even though I’m still far from where I want my face to be, life is pretty good. My boyfriend is helping me move tomorrow evening to go back to college—the semester starts next Monday and I’m just thrilled. I think this will be a good semester. My courses include: dramatic literature, screenwriting and classical voice among a few others. I will also be putting those piano skills to good use: I got a job (at 7:00 am, God help me) as the person who plays the piano for the women’s choir practice. It doesn’t really light my inner creative drive, but it will help pay the bills.

I’ll talk to you all soon!

Amy

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Happy Birthday!

If you think increasing your dose is going to cause another IB then maybe dont do it! that wouls be my fear as well, so if I were you I would stick to the dose you're on!

Anyway, hope you've had a great birthday!!x

Edited by DEL XX

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Day 65

I had my third dermatologist appointment this morning. I met with the Nurse Practitioner (whom I like much, much better than my actual doctor) and she said I've made a little progress. She's not worried though, because she assures me that it's the third and fourth months that all the drastic improvement is made. She was also very surprised at the quality of my skin: not counting the PIH (which is atrocious) she said that the quality of my skin that's not currently broken out is wonderful. She doesn't see any scarring whatsoever, aside from one little pockmark on my right cheek from the biggest zit in the history of Amy. She agrees that some of the pores on my upper cheeks look a little stretched out, but she says that is not scarring and that they and the PIH will go back to normal in 3-6 months. Whew, that was a relief. To be honest, I haven't even seriously thought about scarring. I don't know about the rest of you, but I would much rather deal with a few shallow scars than acne. But the fact that scarring will be minimal or nonexistent makes me very happy!

Now, I'm just waiting for my negative pregnancy test to be registered into iPledge, and then I can call in my iPledge number to the pharmacist, and then I can pick my third month's prescription up. Honestly, iPledge isn't that bad for me. I've heard horror stories and like any bureaucratic thing, it's bound to get tricky, but I've had no problems. The only exasperation was during my first month when the derm's office took too long to register my test results into the system, and we had to wait until 7 pm to pick up my order. But that's not iPledge's fault. So, here's hoping the next 2-3 months won't bring any unforeseen problems.

Talk to you all later!

Amy

EDIT:

Oh I forgot to mention that I didn't have to have a blood test today! >:-( I had fasted and everything, but apparently I only get bloodwork done once before, once during and once after Accutane.

And thanks, Del! :) I had a pretty good birthday! My family and I went to the Hogle Zoo and then went to dinner in a little out-of-the-way restaurant in Emigration Canyon. All in all, it was a very good day!

Edited by axtine8

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Happy Birthday Amy!! Glad to read that you had a great day!

As per your skin, I know exactly what you mean about getting more patient as the course progresses - I guess we are starting to see some improvements and reality is setting in that in a couple of months we dont have to deal with acne anymore :)

Not sure what happened to your dosage increase, but I agree with Del on this one. I found that I broke out when I was bumped up to 60mg, and it took a little while for my skin to get comfortable with it. I'm guessing that any dosage jump might result in a little breakout??

I'm so happy that the nurse said you dont have any scarring - that's really great news! I'm a little upset about my shallow scarring, but it's weird because some days it's barely there...hopefully that means it can be fixed quickly *crossing fingers*

Edited by Angela1985

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Oh, I forgot to mention the dosage! I brought up the idea to the NP after she said that they usually put patients on 1 - 2 mg per kg of body weight. Sooo.... hypothetically, I could be on as much as 120 mg a day, but I think we all know that's a bit excessive. So I asked about being bumped up to 80 mg. She said that a higher dosage will not make faster results, and she really doesn't want to push my good luck with side effects (just dry lips and sensitive skin). If I got a higher dose, she says that everything I was feeling in the first month would most likely come back and stay. I agreed that staying on 60 mg would be best. And she said that I should plan for coming off Claravis sometime around the end of November, but she wouldn't hesitate to keep me on another month or two if I needed it. But we'll asses how I'm doing in a few months.

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I hope you had an excellent bday! Im sorry Im a little behind. So, it seems you are doing good and you are continuing on the meds. I know you were worried about your triglyceride #s. Did your doc mention anything about that? Obviously I curious for selfish reasons :) Congrats to you on your improvements and your positive attitude. I agree: the longer I was on the meds, and as soon as I saw a little improvement, the easier it became and the more positive and patient I became.

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