I clearly remember my first pimple. I was 8 years old and I felt the bump on my face. Not knowing that this would be the first of many I had the oddest reaction....I was so excited!!! I showed my mom and all of my friends my very first pimple. I felt that it meant I was growing up, I was getting big and after all that's all kids look forward to anyway, just getting bigger. I didn't get another until I was 12- just about the same time I got my very first period (again, what was I so excited about???)
Since then it's been a rollercoaster. High school was unbearable. My parents never thought to take me to a dermatologist. I'm sure they assumed it was normal and I'd grow out of it just like most people do. My skin hasn't been clear, not for one minute from the time I was 14 until now. I'm 28.
When I was 20 I joined the AF and while the acne never went away, I usually only had one or two cysts at a time that healed fairly quickly. I credited this to the fact that I was using Proactiv and taking birth control. At 23 I got pregnant and my skin cleared even further to the point where it didn't even bother me. Amazingly, after my daughter was born my skin remained calm, with only small manageable breakouts. I assumed that the worst was behind me and what I was dealing with was just not a big deal and I could live happily with the way my skin was. I really could have, too. I had no idea what was coming.
In March this year I became pregnant with my second child. I was so excited and was hoping for a boy. In April I miscarried. It was heartbreaking and I found myself wanting answers and wondering if it was something I did. Why did I have to lose a child when so many people who don't even want kids are getting to keep theirs? I was angry at pregnant women. What made them so special that they got to keep their baby? It was hard, but I got through it and made peace with it. I decided I would try again as soon as I got my next period.
And then.....my face exploded. 5 weeks after my miscarriage I started what has been the worst break out of my entire life. At this moment I have 6 cysts on my chin alone. I had one so large that it had to be injected with steroids so that I could open my mouth wide enough to eat without being in pain. I've had 2 anxiety attacks, both times were because I woke up and felt a new pimple had formed. I cry a lot. I don't leave my house except to go to work. I find no joy in anything. My poor husband doesn't know what to do. He tells me I'm beautiful every day and can't stand to see me suffer like this.
I just don't understand. Didn't I have enough pain? I lost a child. And to be honest, if you ask me which is worse I'd say this is worse. Miscarrying was painful, it was emotional, it was terrible. But it is a private struggle. One that you don't have to share with others. You don't have it written on your face for the world to see. You can forget. I can't forget this. I'm in pain all the time. I see my hideous reflection in everything from the microwave to the car window. I can't escape this and I can't keep it private. Everyone including people I don't know can see my struggle.
I'm in the military so my options for dermatologists are limited to military dermatologists. Luckily, after seeing a few very unhelpful doctors I've found a great one. I'm getting accutane. I start on Aug 11 and I am so hopeful that this will be it, a cure. I think it's unfair that because I'm a woman I have wait a month to get my prescription but for something with such a great success rate- I'd give almost anything.
So, that's my story. I will be putting up pictures (that I never thought I would post anywhere) as soon as I get them uploaded. I want to regularly update my progress on Accutane so that others can see what it does. I hope it works. I just want my life back- I don't need to be beautiful- I just need to not be in pain anymore.