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Carys

The Accutane Show

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Marbles suck.  They suck hard.  I think I am going to put hot compresses on mine tonight - try to increase blood flow to the site of destruction, increase the number of macrophages and neutrophils (sorry - taking pathology this semester smile.gif) to hopefully clear the nasty ball of pus. . .  not sure if this will work, but in my mind, it does.  And I am big on the placebo effect. . .

. . . And my dog is a pitbull mix named Bosco. . . I'll try posting his picture on my log!

Hope you lose your marbles - haha!  I'm hoping to lose mine too!

- C.

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Day 16: The Bad: Breaking out. Ick. Hate it. Annoyed. Frustrated.

The Good: Holy Matteness, Batman! No more OIL!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

I'm going to English class now. eusa_wall.gif

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Hi, Carys -

So you're breaking out, too? Man, I thought we might outrun the IB. . . I am actually pretty clear now, myself (except for the EC, of course - don't think I'm losing this marble anytime soon - you best go on without me!). Funny how I look like crap the next day and like. . . well, less crap the next. . .

Well, my dog Bosco is being a major pill at the moment. . . he thinks it's time for his evening walk, but we don't walk until dark. . . no sun to contend with, plus, nobody can see my face! Double bonus! Oh - and he is 46 lbs, full grown, so he is a relaly nice size - not too big, not too small. . . I don't know how allergic your son is to dogs, but my mom has portugese water dogs (they look kind of like poodles, but without the silly haircuts), and they do not shed, and are sometimes refered to as a hypo-allergenic dogs - they are as sweet as can be. . . but, again, that depends on the severity of your son's allergies - he might be even too sensitive to these dogs. . .

And I know I would tell you how the Neutrogena T-gel works, but I actually haven't used it yet. My hair was so nasty and oily the day after I didn't wash it that I just went with my regular shampoo - the itchiness is slowly returning, but I really don't see flakes. . . yet. I am sure it is only a matter of time!

Well, best of luck with English class - I've got a bunch of work to do myself before our review tomorrow - beating my head against a break wall as well. . .

- C.

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Day 16:  The Bad:  Breaking out.  Ick.  Hate it.  Annoyed.  Frustrated.

The Good:  Holy Matteness, Batman!  No more OIL!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

I'm going to English class now.  eusa_wall.gif

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Day 18: Well, my face finally got dry (I think I annotated that change a few days ago on day 15) and I love it so far. No makeup touchups neccessary! Wow, that is surreal to not have to worry about looking greased-out an hour after putting on my makeup. Just GREAT! eusa_dance.gif Plus, when I have makeup on, the pimples I do have don't look as bad because they don't appear to be so sweaty and greasy!

As far as blemishes go, every day seems completely different from the next. One day, things look better; the next, they seem to go down the pooper. sad.gif I don't seem to have any of the "tomato" face going on at the moment, which kind of sucks because it makes the red marks that I have stand out REALLY well. I'm somewhat convinced that I am in the middle of my IB because my temples, even though they're not covered in zits, seem to be the areas on my face that are consistently breaking out. evil.gif The marble on my left eyebrow is STILL there, but it's a lot smaller than it was. I now have a new zit on my right temple and it hurts! There is one more zit almost in the middle of my forehead that I've had for about two weeks now that is just dormant. I've thought numerous times that it was on it's way out, but it just lingers, taking up space. eusa_wall.gif It doesn't hurt, but it's just THERE. Weird.

One good developement is that last night when I was washing my face, the old cyst that had turned in to a marble on the left side of my chin suddenly de-marblized and popped. It was really a gusher, too. Tons of pus and a lot of blood, which was weird because I didn't even put much pressure on it. I really hope that one doesn't scar!

Another thing that makes me wonder if I'm in the IB is that on my upper lip I can see an uprising of blackheads. eusa_think.gif I've never gotten blackheads on my upper lip, EVER. The thing I find interesting about this is that I never applied Retin-A to that area of my face when I was using it because I didn't ever have a problem there. I think this has a lot to do w/the lack of blackheads rising up on the rest of my face because I did use the RAM everywhere else, right up to the day that I started on Claravis. Anyway, the cool thing is the blackheads aren't even visible unless I get thisclose to the mirror and examine my pores. Not worried about that too much.

As far as other side effects are concerned, I think I'm doing pretty well. My scalp is a bit itchy but I bought some Neutrogena T-gel and that stuff seems to have nipped that in the bud. No joint pain, no weird stomach problems or anything else. I might be losing a little more hair, but I can't really tell and have stopped trying to scrutinize it. The only thing that seems to have resurfaced is the TIREDNESS! I'm sooo tired lately I could sleep 16 hrs a day! The thing is my son started preschool this week, so between his school and my school, I've been a lot busier this week too, so that could be the culprit as well.

Well, I'm going to go for now. Gotta do some homework! eusa_boohoo.gif

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Day 19: Well, it seems like every day a couple of zits leave and at least one or two come up. Thankfully, they've usually been smaller, baby zits that seem to go quickly. Pretty much all of the cysts that I used to have are gone now, except the one on my jawline. It doesn't hurt, it's just there. Other than that, it seems like the texture of my skin is rougher (?) today. I also now can see more blackheads up on my nose. sad.gif

For some reason, I'm kind of depressed about my face today, even though in my mind I know for a fact that at this time last month my face was about a million times worse. I think I'm just in a funk because I want perfection, like, now! rolleyes.gif I guess I just have to take heart in the knowledge that my symptoms show the medicine is doing it's job and this stuff takes time.

This week might be a bad week for breakouts anyway, because it's the week before my period which is ALWAYS evil to me, skin-wise. HATE IT. eusa_wall.gif

If this is the IB (which I hope it is eusa_pray.gif and that it doesn't get worse) then I seriously shouldn't complain at all because compared to my initial breakout on Retin-A Micro, this is very mild. On RAM, about a week and a half into the treatment my face literally exploded in acne. Blackheads, whiteheads, big pimples. It was awful. I think I counted over 36 actual pimples on my face at the height of that IB. It was really horrible, because my face was never even close to that bad prior to RAM and I ended up getting some scarring from that round of treatment. Never had that problem before that stuff either! Anyway, rambling!!!!!!

Speaking of the course of treatment, I can't believe tomorrow I'll have been on this stuff for 20 days. Wow, this month went by pretty fast! eusa_clap.gif I have my follow up appointment on the 19th so I'll probably go this Fri and do my labs. I so hope my blood comes back ok for the cholesterol and triglycerides. I've been eating pretty well this past month and haven't touched a drop of alcohol, so I think I'll be ok. I'm hoping my doc will up my dose to at least 60-80 mg/day. I'm not sure she will, though, because I thought I heard her say this was the dose I'm going to be on the entire time. I feel like I'm tolerating this dose pretty well, but I'd take some extra discomfort for a higher dose to really get rid of this crap. I guess we'll see when I get to the doctor's.

I'm going to go cuddle w/my husband and watch Roseanne on Nick at Night now. ninja.gif Will update more later!

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Day 22: Pretty much the same old, same old. I get a couple of little zits, and I lose a few. Nothing really exciting. I have blackheads on my nose, but they're hardly noticeable. Dry, dry, dry, which I love so much.

Hmmm, well, I guess that's it. eusa_think.gif

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Hm, for some reason, I feel kinda ick today. It's so weird how one day you feel like your 'tane course is going well and the next you're not feeling that terriffic about it.

Or, it could be that I have physics class in an hour and don't really want to go. UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. rolleyes.gif

Somebody give me some happy thoughts!

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Here's a happy thought:

At least you don't have a giant marble appearing on your chin! Yup - I've got another one. . . and just the other day I was commenting on how I hadn't had a giant cyst in a while. . . I just had to say it. . . I hope this one does not behave like the infamous eyebrow cyst (which, by the way, is still alive and well, but slowly receeding) . . . for some reason, the cysts that I have had while on Accutane seem atypical - they develop so quickly and are huge - so very very huge. . . and the best part - they seem to stick around forever. Have you experienced anything like this?

Other than that monstrosity and the blackheads and a couple little pimples, I'm doing okay. . . but I'm itchy! All over! Scalp, face, arms, legs. . .

So, I guess I'm feeling kinda ick, too. But all in the name of clear skin in a couple more months, right?!

How long is your course supposed to last, by the way? I'm not sure about mine - I'm going to have to ask at my 1-month appointment next week. . .

Well, good luck with the physics class. . . I might be taking one soon myself. . . Can't figure out what I want to do with myself career-wise! Thinking about vet school. . .

Anyway, happy tane-ing!

- C.

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I just woke up and my gums are really swollen. I think I may have to go to the doctor's early this time and see if this isn't weird.

This sucks right now.

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neutral.gif Ok, I calmed myself down a bit and managed to go back to sleep for a little while. I think I was just getting myself all riled up because I've never had that happen to me before. It doesn't seem as bad this morning.

I also think I'm really getting the dreaded IB. sad.gif I have four zits under my jawline on the right side and a weird bump on the left side of my chin. *sigh*

This crap is so frustrating, but do you know what is even more so? The fact that when I went to go get my bloodwork done this morning the clinic was closed! For some reason, Fridays they don't open till after ten. JEEZ. eusa_wall.gif I'm freaking hungry NOW and I can't eat till after that test is done!!!! Oh well, there isn't much we can do about that, I guess. I'll just have to go back later. Annoying. evil.gif

Well, I'm going to go and take my son to preschool now and lament over the fact that my face looks like dump. ninja.gif Tomorrow is another day, though.

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Hey, Carys -

Long time since I've posted. . .

Sorry to hear that you've hit a rough spot. . . I kind of started breaking out, too. That marble on my chin - well, I guess it didn't end up being a marble after all, which is very cool. It was big and painful, so I decided to go against everything I've been told and I popped it. It didn't take too much, and it is healing up nicely now - no evidece of any scarring or anything. . . so just when that one was under control, I get another one on my right jaw line - popped that one this morning, too. . . I'm really bad about the popping, but if I am gentle, I don't see what's the big deal - no scars yet, anyway. . . And I have been extracting blackheads like there's no tomorrow, so my nose looks better, I think - still a long way to go. . .

Not too many bad side effects for me. . . dry lips, dry face (in places), dry skin all over, fragile skin (I scratched a mosquito bit on my arm and now have a nice scabby patch on my arm), maybe more fatigue than normal, itchy scalp (controlled with T-gel). . . the usual.

I, too, am fearing that my blood test on Tuesday will not go well, but I think it is rare for patients to have to stop therapy for bad blood tests - right? You sound like you are healthy and at least had good cholesterol to begin with, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. . . At least I don't have to wait for my dermatologist to get the results. . . he gives me the rx the day I get my tests done. . . for better or for worse, I guess. . .

Well, anyway, hang in there! You're a month done - 5 to go! You can do it! If it helps, know that other people are suffering right along with you (me included!).

- C.

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Hey, Carys -

Long time since I've posted. . . 

Sorry to hear that you've hit a rough spot. . .  I kind of started breaking out, too.  That marble on my chin - well, I guess it didn't end up being a marble after all, which is very cool.  It was big and painful, so I decided to go against everything I've been told and I popped it.  It didn't take too much, and it is healing up nicely now - no evidece of any scarring or anything. . .  so just when that one was under control, I get another one on my right jaw line - popped that one this morning, too. . .  I'm really bad about the popping, but if I am gentle, I don't see what's the big deal - no scars yet, anyway. . .  And I have been extracting blackheads like there's no tomorrow, so my nose looks better, I think - still a long way to go. . .

Not too many bad side effects for me. . . dry lips, dry face (in places), dry skin all over, fragile skin (I scratched a mosquito bit on my arm and now have a nice scabby patch on my arm), maybe more fatigue than normal, itchy scalp (controlled with T-gel). . . the usual.

I, too, am fearing that my blood test on Tuesday will not go well, but I think it is rare for patients to have to stop therapy for bad blood tests - right?  You sound like you are healthy and at least had good cholesterol to begin with, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. . .  At least I don't have to wait for my dermatologist to get the results. . . he gives me the rx the day I get my tests done. . .  for better or for worse, I guess. . .

Well, anyway, hang in there!  You're a month done - 5 to go!  You can do it!  If it helps, know that other people are suffering right along with you (me included!).

- C.

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Week Four: I quit posting in days because I honestly can't keep track anymore.

I went to my one month follow up appointment this morning and my blood work actually came back better than it had the previous time shock.gif That's great for me! She kept me on the 40 mg/day because she said she likes to keep people on a smaller dose for the first three months and then up the dose for the remainder of the course. I hope she knows what the hell she's talking about.

Anyway, only one thing came back bad and that was my blood pressure. When it was first taken this morning it registered 150/101. THAT IS HIGH. shock.gifshock.gif The doctor had it taken again and it was down to 138/99, which is still on the edge of high, but better than the first reading. She was a bit concerned about that and said that even though she's never heard of high blood pressure as being associated w/accutane, it isn't out of the realm of possibility that it could be a problem. She said to see where I was at next month and to ask my family if there was a history of high blood pressure. I think the high reading had more to do with the fact that I always freak out for some reason when the cuff is put on. I was even more freaked today because I was nervous that my readings for my blood work would come back all messed up and then I'd have to be taken off the medicine. Whatever, I have another month's worth of medicine at my fingertips, so I'm not going to worry too much about that till I have to.

Other than the doctor's visit, things are ok. My skin seems a lot clearer today, but that could be due to the fact that I am now on my period and my skin always gets better during the week of my period. It's the two weeks prior to my period that my skin usually acts up. rolleyes.gif

Well, I have an essay that I need to revise. I hate writing essays. I suck majorly at them. eusa_wall.gifeusa_wall.gifeusa_wall.gif

Hope everyone else is ok! wub.gif

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Hi, Carys!

I'm so glad to hear that your labs came back okay - and even better than before - what's up with that?! Well, in any case, it's a good thing, so I wouldn't question it.

I went to my 1-month follow-up this morning and had labs drawn. . . don't know what they are yet, but if they're bad, I'll be receiving a phone call. . . I'm also staying at 60 mg - for the entire course (5 months). Kind of disappointed about that. . . but, doctor knows best, I hope.

About the blood pressure - it's absolutely possible that it could be due solely to the fact that you are nervous. They actually call it "white coat syndrome" - some people get nervous as patients in a medical setting, and the anxiety is reflected in the blood pressure readings. . . It sounds like you are otherwise healthy and active, etc., so if you have never had high B/P before, I don't know that I would worry about it too much (although I wouldn't completely ignore it, either - best to make sure that there isn't something else going on).

But anyway, it's great to hear that your skin is a lot clearer lately as well - mine too! I am just finishing up my period, maybe that's why? I've never really noticed flares with my menstrual cycle, but then again, it was really irregular before starting the pill. . . ah, woman problems. . .

Well, one month down - hooray for us!

Take care!

- C.

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Carys,

First of all, let me say that your BP was probably high because of your nerves. However, you should definetely get that chedked out to be sure, HBP is not something you want to mess around with. All of a sudden at the age of 19 my blood pressure jumped up to 160 / 120. All sorts of tests, scans, and doctor visits later, they had no answer for me except to tell me that in 95% of cases they have no idea why someone gets high blood pressure, and that they can count on one hand the number of people with high blood pressure at my age that they've seen in the twenty years of their practice (and you think the lack of answers for explaining acne is frustrating). Anywho, i take 2 pills a day to control my BP and it tends to sit right at 123 / 78 just about every time i check it. I also get an MRI on my kidney's twice a year, get an ultrasound on my heart twice a year, and do 2 miles of cardio jogging just about every day, and now at 23 my cardiologist says i have a healthier cardiovascular system than most 18 year old track athletes. My overall point is that HBP is one of the most dangerous (because of its lack of symptoms and effect on major organs), but also most controlable conditions if you catch it early (which is why they always take your BP anytime you go to the doctors office).

I hope none of that freaked you out any more, but considering my expertise i figured it was important to share my experience.

Good luck with the tane!

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Yeah, my mom actually is on meds for HBP, so I guess it does run in our family.

I might have to get it checked out after the next visit if things don't improve dramatically, but we'll see I guess.

Thanks for the info, though. That's crazy you got diagnosed w/it at 19!

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Week 5: Nothing much to say. So far, my face looks great. Just some red marks and some small closed comedones. I also have one teeny tiny zit on the right side of my chin, which is nothing compared to what the usual is. The blackheads that were on my nose seem to be going away now, which is great. Still enjoying being oil-free. In fact, I'm wondering if I'm not dry enough, because I thought my doctor told me that I should be hating how dry I am. I think my face is terriffic right now, oil-wise. I only moisturize in the mornings and use aloe gel at night and that seems to be enough without over drying me.

I'm hating to say this, but I'm really enjoying my face right now on Claravis, which freaks me out because I just have this feeling that because things are going SOOO well right now, the minute I get off this stuff in February my face will go back to its old tricks .sad.gif

In other news: my son has a coldsore. evil.gif I'm really angry about this because I know it's due to him starting preschool a few weeks ago. He's never ever had one before (and neither have my husband or I) so he had to have picked it up from there. I'm so mad because now he's going to have to deal with these intermittenly throughout his life, poor kid. GRRRRRRRRRR. I gave him a kiss this morning when I dropped him off and by the time I picked him up, it was a full-blown sore on his bottom lip. Now, I'm kind of freaked out that I may get them since I gave him a kiss this morning, although I don't know if the sore was "developed" enough to really effectively transfer the virus to me in one quick peck on the lips. Oh well, I guess in a week or two I'll figure it out for myself. evil.gif That's just what I need: cold sores and acne, WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!! ninja.gif

I wish I didn't have to go to physics class tonight rolleyes.gif

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Well, a little over week five has passed and I have had a disturbing development: Oil has returned!

Granted, it's not even a trillionth as bad as it was before starting Claravis, but I'm worried about it. I woke up this morning and saw that my forehead and chin were a little shiny. I touched them and, sure enough, they felt a little greasy. WTF! I thought by now I'd have to be slathering on the lotion every five seconds, but I'm mananging to only do it once a day after washing in the a.m. and haven't been flaky or overdry once. This concerns me.

Could it be that my body has adapted (and overcome) the medicine that my sebaceous glands are still pumping out oil, albeit a MUCH smaller amount? Aren't I supposed to be BONE-dry right now?

I'll definitely be bringing this up to my dr at my next appointment. GRRR.

P.S. As for the cold sore thing, I think it was just a scare. My son's lip is healing rapidly, which cold sores don't usually do. Plus, it's towards the inside of his lip and I guess most cold sores only develop on the outside of the mouth. WHEW! eusa_dance.gif

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Well, a little over week five has passed and I have had a disturbing development:  Oil has returned!

Granted, it's not even a trillionth as bad as it was before starting Claravis, but I'm worried about it.  I woke up this morning and saw that my forehead and chin were a little shiny.  I touched them and, sure enough, they felt a little greasy.  WTF!  I thought by now I'd have to be slathering on the lotion every five seconds, but I'm mananging to only do it once a day after washing in the a.m. and haven't been flaky or overdry once.  This concerns me.

Could it be that my body has adapted (and overcome) the medicine that my sebaceous glands are still pumping out oil, albeit a MUCH smaller amount?  Aren't I supposed to be BONE-dry right now? 

I'll definitely be bringing this up to my dr at my next appointment.  GRRR. 

P.S.  As for the cold sore thing, I think it was just a scare.  My son's lip is healing rapidly, which cold sores don't usually do.  Plus, it's towards the inside of his lip and I guess most cold sores only develop on the outside of the mouth.  WHEW! eusa_dance.gif

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Hey Itsy!

Well, I'm currently on 40 mg/day and this is going into my second month of treatment. I have another dr appointment on the 17th of Oct, so I guess I'll bring it up to the dr then.

My skin is awesome right now, but that's why I'm worried. I'm a little oily in the morning on my forehead and chin, but nowhere else. I'm just a little concerned because I thought I should be SUFFERINGLY (if that is even a word) dry. Other than the slightest return of oil, my face is doing awesome, texture-wise. I just hope things are going the way they should be, you know?

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