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stinkeychezman

Yay! I dropped off the face of the earth for the past few months because there was nothing to report... just dryness and peeling lips.. blah, blah, blah.

I am now happy to announce that I have been zit free for four months now and I was released from accutane a month ago. It was terrifying to go off of it but it seems to have done its thing. I now have some moisture back on my lips and face, but it feels healthy. And now I can wear lipstick instead of aquaphor!

Good luck to all of you out there. It was truly the best decision I ever made!

stinkeychezman

If you are reading this and you are still sitting on the fence about going on accutane... please know that it is worth all the side effects..

I feel wonderful! Yes I have dry scalp... which I solved with coconut oil. Now I smell like the beach :( Even better- now I have TONS of volume and body and EVEN BETTER I only have to wash my hair every three or four days. That alone thrills me.

Yes my lips are dry... but so what? I just slather on the Vaseline before bed time and problem solved.

But best of all... I now get to stress about other things that matter like my kids reading levels at midterm and how on earth I am going to squeeze into a bikini in Las Vegas over Spring Break.

Gone are the worries about the oil dripping off my face 24 hours a day and if I should put on makeup before going to the grocery store. I am thrilled!!! Yes, I still have my battle wounds from the out of control acne I had three months ago (pre birth control) but my confidence is back and I am feeling good! :(

Zit count: 1 (but no new ones under the surface finally!)

stinkeychezman

So I have an itchy scalp.. that seems to be the only side effect that I am really experiencing other than dry lips. It drives me crazy. Even with all the moisturizing shampoos and head and shoulders it just never seems to not bother me.....

This morning during circle time we were sharing what we did over the 4 day weekend (I teach 1st grade) and one of the kids announced that they got to have those bugs in their hair and were bragging that they got to put mayo on their hair. The kids were seriously impressed with that. Then another kid announced that they had the bugs too! Every one thought they were pretty awesome... how cool are bugs? Especially in your hair. Ummm not so much.

So of course I completely flip out and insist on having the whole class checked including myself. Some of the kids were freaked out and so to alleviate their fears I volunteered to have my scalp checked first.. in front of them. I am about done and the nurse thinks she found something... the kids all clap (WTF? Don't they know what lice is??) and I start to sweat but lucky for me it is just dry scalp pieces. Super gross.. but way better than lice.

The end :(

stinkeychezman

Day 30ish

Okay so I got my blood work back and all systems are a go... they even upgraded my meds to 60mg a day so I am really looking to see some serious progress!

I continue to see how the effects of stress can wreak havoc on my skin. I had some er, personal problems at home and then BAM! I woke up with like 5 zits within 24 hours. So now I am exploring way to relieve stress that do not involve hitting the wine bottle (my previous method) such as yoga, bubble baths, or running perhaps? I didn't think I was a high stress person, but my skin seems to think otherwise....

Also I talked to my doctor about the whole birth control thing and how my skin might relapse once I am off of it. She wasn't too helpful and said she had topical things I could use when I am no longer required to be on bc. Seriously? Ummmm... isn't the whole point in this mess to clear up my skin on a more permanent basis? That was what I thought I signed up for after all.

Anybody out there with some wisdom about birth control and what happens when you go off of it? Please send it my way!!!

Zit count: 0 :(

stinkeychezman

Day 25

Okay so I am new at this.. but I assumed that the blood place would have my doctor's orders on file and obviously my Dr. did too... so I drag my butt out of bed at the crack of dawn yesterday (I will puke if I don't eat pretty much right after I wake up) and I am told that in fact it is not on file and could my doctor please fax the order over? Hello? It is a Saturday... I am up at the godforsaken hour of 8 a.m. and of course the doctor is not open.

So my appointment tomorrow is pretty much pointless with no blood work and I will have to go off the meds for about 3 or 4 days now because of the delay.

Grrr..... :(

Note to self: get a doctor's order for blood work every time.. even if they tell you it is on file.

Zit count: zero but I have a weird rash on my hands. Normal?

stinkeychezman

Alright I lost track of what day I'm on and I am way to lazy to check the calendar. The stupid pills were a pain to pop out every morning so I put them all in some tupperware. Much easier and less cussing in the am.

Snowboarding was a complete skin success (used lots of moisturizer/lip creams)... I can't say as much more my butt though. I got a hematoma (sp?) on my left butt cheek and it was literally three times the size of my right.. long story short- my pants didn't fit and I had to sit on my right butt check for three days straight. My kiddos in school loved it though. One went home and said, "Mrs. B broke her butt!". Gotta love first graders.

First graders also tell the truth. I got my first skin compliment today. One of my kiddos told me my skin looked like it glowed. Now that I am past my oil production all is well in my world.

I am also pleased to report that I am no longer supporting the clean and clear oil clothes empire. Hopefully I never will have to buy them again. Hahahahahahahaha!

Zit count: 3... uggggggghhhhhhh!!!! (WTF?!? At least they go away fast... but seriously! I know it is the SPF 1 million I used snowboarding. I think that non-comedogenic stuff is just some crap.) :wall:

stinkeychezman

Day 15 and so far so good. I am really starting to see the dryness ... especially on my scalp and lips. The lips are totally under control with the help of some aquaphor (I love that stuff!) but I am not too sure what to do about my scalp. It is so itchy!!! and of course when I scratch it... it flakes. Ewwww.... this has got to get under control before I go back to school in a week. I can hear it now, "What's that on your head?". Sweet little kiddos... they mean so well but they point out everything! Any suggestions on what to use?!?!?! Help!!

So I am heading out on a snowboarding adventure tomorrow and I have all they neccessary moisturizing creams, ointments, lotions, etc. I am armed. The dude at CVS was looking at me rather strangly when I dumped my arm load of petroleum jelly, tubs of moisturizers and creams and sunscreen onto the counter. You can just never be too prepared.

The sad part is that I am now worrying about how I am going to cover up my scars and battle wounds with makeup and not have it all sweat off. How stupid is that? I am more stressed about my skins appearance than plummeting to my death down the side of the mountain. (I am a first timer) Sigh... one day.....

stinkeychezman

Okay so I am obviously pumped that my face is drying up and all that goodness.. but it occurred to me last night that most likely the only reason my skin is clearing up so quickly is because of the birth control. See I have hormonal acne, or so they tell me, and birth control fixes it up every time. So naturally when I went off birth control last summer (we thought we were going to try to start having kids... but chickened out... long story) I was a greasy, pimply mess. Of course it was all I obsessed about at every Rangers game we went to and while I was laying on the beach in Mexico. Pimples... Pimples... Pimples....

This was on my mind as I went to bed last night and of course I had a horrific nightmare about going off birth control next summer and breaking out all over again. Things are going so well that sometimes I just wait for other shoe to drop, you know? :wall:

stinkeychezman

Holy crap! For the FIRST time (that I can remember) I made it through the holidays zit free! Usually the stress of all the family togetherness makes me succumb to 5+ zits.. but here we are the day after and I am free and clear. Did mention that I hosted this year... for 15 people? :wall:

So clearly I avoided the dreaded initial breakout that everyone was talking about and I owe that completely to getting a facial before I started. If you are reading this and thinking about Accutane, that is my advice to you.. get a perfessional pimple popping and all your pores will be purged before you get started.

So for the dryness that I have desperately been hoping for.. it is finally arriving! My hair, that I used to wash daily, is now on day three and looking fabulous. I never knew I had so much volume and body to my hair. I was so happy this morning when I took it down from a pony tail ready to wash it ... and much to my amazement! It wasn't greasy!

I did a dance... my husband told me I'm an idiot. What does he know? His skin is perfect. Loser :wall:

Zit count: 0 and holding... it's a miracle!!! Now for some more dryness...

stinkeychezman

Day 7 on Accutane

Still a grease monkey.... damn.... :wall:

Zit count: 1/2 a zit! and lots of tiny clogged pores that I pick at (gasp!) and they are all gone the next day. I can certainly tell that all my nastiness is being pushed to the surface.

Uhhhhh..... when is the dryness going to come?!?!? I would really love to not have to wash my hair on a daily basis!

stinkeychezman

Day 4

Not a whole lot of action happening... I have some weird lower back pains but I am sure that is related to being a 1st grade teacher. A few little clogged pores are cropping up but nothing major. I think getting those extraction facials really helped to head off all the breakouts they talk so much about in the first couple of weeks.

Now I am just waiting for the dry skin stuff.... eagerly awaiting I might add... it is 40 degrees outside and I am still a freakin' grease monkey! I am sure that I alone am keeping the Clean and Clear empire alive with all the oil absorbing cloths I buy! Those things are amazing.. to bad I have to use one every two hours to look reasonably decent. :wall:

When is all the action supposed to start happening anyway? Where is my miracle?

Zit count: 0.. but a couple of wee clogged pores (God bless birth control!)

stinkeychezman

After a long wait I finally have my first month of pills and with one pill in my system I am feeling good. Now I know it would be silly to be experiencing any side effects at this point, but I am taking no chances on the dry skin crap. I am all lubed up and ready to go!

One thing that freaks me out is the skin getting worse before it gets better business. Now how many times have you heard that before? Not only does it usually get worse... it is freakin' TERRIBLE!! :wall: I hope that in this case they are over exaggerating because I can't be broken out when I am hosting Christmas this year. I will keep you posted on the new breakout factor.

Current Zit Count: 2 (that I can see anyways)

stinkeychezman

It is amazing to me that just knowing that I will be starting Accutane has miraculously cleared up most of my skin. Could it be that stress is really that big of a trigger? Just one lone zit mocking me... I hope the derm doesn't take a look at me in two weeks and change her mind. Or maybe it is just the sheer joy of having one week off work for Thanksgiving break!

stinkeychezman

Okay... so now I am playing the waiting game.

  1. Pee in a cup. Check.
  2. Sign up for sticking myself with needles. Check.
  3. Rearrange my life so I can miss school to go in for the needle sticking. Check.
  4. Start using condoms. Check. Uggggghhhh!! (super fun after years of unprotected bliss)
  5. Go to the gyno and get back on birth control. Check.

Seriously! Let's get on with the show.

23 more days.....

stinkeychezman

I got an extraction facial today and I feel like a million bucks... I really think it is going to help jump start my road to skin recovery. If nothing else I am glowing. My husband says I look like I got some good loving this afternoon :D

stinkeychezman

I got the green light from my derm to get started on accutane December 10th! I am so thrilled that very soon this will all be behind me for good (hopefully). I keep thinking how exciting it will be to finally go scuba diving this summer and not stress out about the big honker I have on my chin... or going to a pool party and not freaking out about if my makeup will wash off if my husband throws me in the pool.. and I can just stress out about more silly things like wrinkles and how my butt looks in my bikini :D

stinkeychezman

Lipstick

The one thing I miss is wearing lipstick... I haven't worn it in years because it draws too much attention to my chin. In Walmart today I realized that I will be able to wear lipstick again!

stinkeychezman

The Big Picture

So I force myself to go to church this morning after weeks of excuses like stomach ache, hangover, etc... truth is I think my skin looks extra bad in the chapel. Terrible huh? As I sat there this morning listening to the sermon I realized that if the worst of my problems is a few zits then I have it pretty good. I love my husband, my job, our home... we are very blessed. How can I get some perspective and look at the big picture? How can I let my life be consumed by if it is a good makeup day or not? Why am I letting a couple of zits drag me down?

Yet now I sit here four hours removed from church (and this revelation) and I find myself fighting the urge to run to the mirror to "double check" on my zits... to see if any new ones have cropped up since the last time I checked 30 minutes ago.

Is there any hope for me?

stinkeychezman

I finally made the decision yesterday that I didn't need to suffer with acne where there was a perfectly good solution.. Accutane! I have had mild to moderate breakouts since I was a teenager and now being almost 30 it has got to stop. I have become obsessed with my breakouts, constantly checking on them... like they are going anywhere! And spending oodles of money on over the counter treatments. My derm suggested Accutane a few months ago and of course I freaked out.. "isn't that the stuff that messes with your liver?" I thought. Now after lots of topical and oral treatments I am no better off and it is time.

I could swear that my acne has improved just by making that decision.... :D

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