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Neuvo wavo

Accutane haunts my dreams

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.


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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What if, what if. Maybe it was god's way to keep you alive, because you would have been jumping up and down from happiness then and hit your head on the ceiling biggrin.gif

Come on, whatever happens to you, is all for the best.

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i can relate man. I had the chance to go on accutane when my acne was actually pretty mild compared to how bad it got. I turned it down....worst thing i could have done. so about a year later my acne flared up beyond all of my recognition. i was to the point where i didnt just want accutane...i needed it. i probably would have ended my life if i didnt, or i would have self mutilated myself more than i already did.

I think about it too though. what if i would have gone on it before??? i dont have to many scars, but i might have been able to avoid them all together if i would have just gone on it when it was first offered to me.

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