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Neuvo wavo

Accutane and what might have been

I've had trouble sleeping this past week.

No -- it's not another Accutane "side effect" to add to the heap. (I'm two months post, anyway.)

What's keeping me up is a memory. A memory of a sequence of events, unfolding over a matter of seconds nine years ago, which now intrudes upon my every moment of conscious thought, playing back over and over like the Zapruder film, so that it is become seared into my little pimply soul.

It takes place in one of those cubby hole size doctor's offices, an exchange between my then family physician that goes something like this:

DR. Awesome: I see you're still having some skin problems. I guess the Retin-A isn't working that well. We can do something about that you know; we could try Accutane.

Me: Huh huh...what's that? NOT!

Why? Why was I so stupid? Why was I so ignorant? These are the questions I grapple with each night, as sleep eludes me and the wise, beneficent, smiling countenance of my trusted childhood doctor haunts my restless nights.

Nine years later, I did finally go on Accutane. But not before one of my periodic breakouts left a cluster of indented scars on my left temple. And not before my eligibility for my parents' health plan had lapsed, so that I had to fork out 5 000 dollars for the course and doctor's visits.

Sigh.

Needles to say, it worked. Oh, how it worked.

And that it worked so well only makes it all the more exquisitely painful as I'm tossing and turning, asking pointlessly, helplessly, endlessly: Why?

And also, "what if"?

What if I'd taken the course at 16?

What if I had been able to avoid all those years of antibiotics, topicals, cleansers; of being a slave to the "regimen" that ate up close to two hours of everyday as I "cleansed, patted dry, applied topical #1, then moisture (but not too much), then spot treatment when needed, then nighttime Retin-A, while twice-a-day shampooing et cetera et cetera.

What if I had lived my life with clear skin, confident?

What if I had no scars now?

What if acne, and its poisonous effect on my life, were a distant memory, perhaps forgotten?

What if it turns out I need a second course, only the FDA pulls Accutane from the market and my only hope for a full remission disappeared when I refused to initiate the treatment as a teenager?

What if . . . .

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Neuvo wavo

I understand how you feel completely. I am on my 4th month of accutane BUT i was offered it about 2 years ago for my mild yet persistant acne, and i refused it and dealt with what i had until suddenly.. ive had the worst outbreak of severe cystic acne and am now on accutane and have had to totally put my life on hold for it. I also had to pay for it all, because of the urgency, whereas before i was offered it on public health care (NHS) where i had to pay nothing.

I know how you feel but it doesnt plague my dreams (yet) But.. you have to be grateful you have done it and it could be a lot worse if you still hadn't been on it.. or it didnt exist, or it had been pulled from the market b4 you could even try it and see its admirable results!!

Dont let it get to you.. it is just one of those things.. everybody has something they kick themselves for. Its frustrating but its a sad fact of life unfortunately sad.gif

As the french would say, C'est la vie, Que sera,sera

All the best,

frankie

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You have the right outlook. It's too late for me.

Don't change.

your acne buddy

Paul

Neuvo wavo

I understand how you feel completely.  I am on my 4th month of accutane BUT i was offered it about 2 years ago for my mild yet persistant acne, and i refused it and dealt with what i had until suddenly.. ive had the worst outbreak of severe cystic acne and am now on accutane and have had to totally put my life on hold for it. I also had to pay for it all, because of the urgency, whereas before i was offered it on public health care (NHS) where i had to pay nothing.

I know how you feel but it doesnt plague my dreams (yet) But.. you have to be grateful you have done it and it could be a lot worse if you still hadn't been on it.. or it didnt exist, or it had been pulled from the market b4 you could even try it and see its admirable results!!

Dont let it get to you.. it is just one of those things.. everybody has something they kick themselves for. Its frustrating but its a sad fact of life unfortunately sad.gif

As the french would say, C'est la vie, Que sera,sera

All the best,

frankie

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I had the same scenario play out at my Derm's office. Like you, I said "no." I now wish I hadn't, but I had good reasons for turning it down. Furthermore, I wouldn't have been able to take it then without being scared to death. I am not scared. It is my last resort. I may feel a twinge of regret when this is all over for not taking it sooner, but I think that twinge will be overshadowed by a big, fat pang of appreciation for my freedom from acne and happiness at being clear.

You need to appreciate what you have now and get rid of the regret.

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I had the same scenario play out at my Derm's office. Like you, I said "no." I now wish I hadn't, but I had good reasons for turning it down. Furthermore, I wouldn't have been able to take it then without being scared to death. I am not scared. It is my last resort. I may feel a twinge of regret when this is all over for not taking it sooner, but I think that twinge will be overshadowed by a big, fat pang of appreciation for my freedom from acne and happiness at being clear.

You need to appreciate what you have now and get rid of the regret.

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