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accutane journey

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keiko&shamu

hey friends!

sorry it has been so long since my last entry, not that you all have missed this pathetic blog so terribly much, but for the one or two ppl who like to read...i apologize. i was visiting the smoky mountains with my fiance and his family...it was less than spectacular! the transmission went out the last day of our stay...so we coasted down a mountain, then reversed up another. we were stranded (in my personal hell) for another 4 days!!! we rented a 1992, 15 passenger van (with no a.c.) until the transmission was replaced. i could talk for days abt the events of this trip but they are too grand to describe any other way but verbally...the WEIRDEST 12 days of my life!

in the skin depot: right now, i am having a pretty fair breakout...idk if its my premenstrual breakout or my initial accutane breakout. i can tell that the big zits would have been cysts a month ago so i am thankful that's not now the case. i still have that overall bumpy texture, lots of little pimples and i have 3 forehead zits...i never get forehead zits. my skin was looking good before we left for vacation but the minute we got there, new pimples popped up to see the sights. the water there is very soft and mineral rich, so that may be partially to blame; we did alot of walking and outdoor tourist attractions so i did alot of sweating...but i hardly wore makeup; it never looks good once i left the house and i would rather just look like im not trying. presently...ive got abt 6 active zits, lots of small bumps and three raw, healing spots that still have oil lurking beneath the surface.

side effects: its been a doozy this past week. my eczema has come back with vengeance, especially on the back of my thighs right below my butt, i guess where i sit and sweat. my skin is dry and raw and itchy all over my body...it helps to put lotion on daily, even if im not dry yet. my lips feel gross! they are dry and flaky constantly, chapstick is always on hand. i still have headaches if i dont drink/eat enough. for the last three days ive had flu-like symptoms...fever, congested head, ears and nose, swollen nodes and a sore throat plus constant fatigue. my nose hasnt poured blood, but its really sore and the stuff that does come out it always bloody. it sucks and it hurts! i have asked accutane vets if it goes away gradually...they said "not until youre off the drug"- GREAT!!! ive also started having really vivid, strange dreams and ive noticed drastic mood swings but i wouldnt say ive been depressed by any means...i feel happy and optimistic!

so right now im not looking great but its only been a month and i feel like i definatley look better than i did a month ago. tomorrow i get my second month prescription! this month has flown by! i am anxious to see if he ups my dose!

keiko&shamu

ugh

i feel gross today. ive got a total of 6 active zits and this nasty bumpy texture to my face...im just covered in itty bitty zits, yuck! i put lotion on to help my makeup go on better but it just makes my face appear greasy.

my hair is dry but i just hate skipping a day of washing it. its hard because my scalp is itchy so i want to use head and shoulders but i know by washing it im drying it further... but i just never feel clean unless my hair is freshly washed.

last night i got extremely nauseous and i had bad stomach pains. i was worried that i was coming down with some kind of bug but i realize now its because of the accutane. bad stuff happens if i dont drink enough water. i chugged gatorade and water for a few hours then took pepto and finally had something to eat when i could stomach it (sushi of all things...my fiance just HAD to have it). so i felt better after all of my remedies and completely fine this morning. i now know that even if i dont feel thrsty, i NEED to drink...the effects of dehydration show somewhere eventually.

keiko&shamu

update

hey hey!

so i just got back from the lake and NO SUNBURN!!! i was so worried that i would fry and be miserable, dry, flaky and peeling...but i have none of that!! i put on 85spf twice a day for the first two days and 30spf on the third. i got a tan but im not nearly as dark as i usually am after a long weekend at the lake. surprising!

in the zit department: overall my skin is better. my pores are not as enlarged and my skin isnt oily. i have maybe 3 new pimples but these are the first in 3 days...i expect that they will heal quickly. the overall bumpy texture is still present but lessened slightly. red-marks are still here of course but they need time to fade and its only been 2 weeks on tane.

side effects: i havent had a headache in quite a few days and its not because im drinking tons of water....its so hard to chug water all day and pee every 2 seconds. i sometimes get driness and rashes on my legs which i cure with some lotion. i noticed this weekend too that its not so fun to shave on accutane; my bikini line was especially sensitive...but a little hint from my friend who has finshed her accutane course, cured the problem. the solution: deoderant!! we shave our armpits almost daily without razor burn and shave bumps...its because there is special conditioners and moisturizers in it! it works wonders! my lips are dry! although today ive only applied chapstick twice today (its almost 3:00 p.m.). i think my body is adjusting to the medicine and everything is less severe.

all in all...things are good and this stuff isn't as treacherous as its made to be by doctors and skeptics! its amazing how many ppl i meet now who have either taken or known someone who has...and every single one of them says it was a miracle! my fiance's aunt told me this weekend she has a friend who took it and has FLAWLESS skin..she made sure to emphasize that word; ans she said she considered it when she developed acne in her 20s but was talked out of it by her derm. but shes a nurse now and says the stuff is great! so right now, im feeling good; my fears have subsided and im so optimistic about my skin's future! heads up people...we can do this!

keiko&shamu

hello all!

this is day 11 of my accutane (clavaris) regimen. things are going as well as can be expected i suppose...my skin is definately not worse but definately different from the way to was before i started isotretinoin. my face has sort of an overall bumpy texture; there are just little tiny pimples all over my cheeks and jawline. i am thankful that these little friends arent cysts but its still not very pretty. the pores on my faec are enlarged, even on my forehead where im usually fine. yesterday i had a few new significant pimples...ive got this charming guy next to the corner of my mouth; it looks like a coldsore but its definately a zit! ive got one cyst-like thing on my right cheek, one on my right jawline and one on left jawline...all the others are old or not so large. i dont know if all of this bumpiness and slight increase in oil production is my IB or if its the precurser to something MAJOR!! im hoping that this is it and from here on out things will just get better.

i am headed to the lake with my fiance and his family for the holiday weekend...im excited but nervous abt how the my skin will react to all the sun rays. as bad as i know it is, i just want to bake!! my skin looks so much prettier when im tan! but, i will try to withsatnd; i plan on lathering up in 75...at least.

in the side effects depot...my lips are dry but not painful if i am armed with aquaphor, my hair is dry but i LOVE it compared to my previously greasy hair, the headaches have subsided but i am also making sure to stay planty hydrated and it hurts to breathe when i run and i fatigue easily when working out...other than that id say the end result with outweigh the minor things i have to endure presently.

i cant wait until i look pretty enough to try on a wedding dresses!!

keiko&shamu

update!

Day 8:

ok soooo its been a while...SRY! im afraid of posting this report...i dont want to jinx myself and wakeup covered in cysts! but, so far, sooooooo good! i dont know if its because ive been on my period this last week or if the accutane is really working this quickly and this effectively. the only real downer to this drug is the headaches. i have one everyday without fail. it just feels like there is so much pressure in my brain, behind my eyes and in my ears; the headaches really scare my fiancee and he threatens to take me to the hospital all the time...of course he is MAJORLY over-reacting. the headaches go away if i chug water all day and ive learned to never take a pill without a full glass of water (16oz.). my lips are dry and starting to peel but i just keep the aquaphor handy and its not really a problem. im hoping the IB never comes and i continue to imporve; i realize it may tho and just have to be prepared...PLEASE DONT COME!!!! my skin tho...looks pretty good. i get a new pimple or 2 daily but they are gone by the next day. my skin is definately less oily but i really hate wearing lotion on my face (cetaphil); it just makes my face feel sticky and it makes little bumps everywhere. my pores seem to be larger but no biggy! so right now im EXCITED! things are looking good...cross my fingers!! ill just stay optimistic, busy and focused on wedding planning and hopefully the rest of this ride will be a smooth one!

keiko&shamu

first off...thanks for the happy comments!!!! im so excited and anxious to tell anyone who will listen! im still walking on air and flaunting a relentless smile! in the skin department: the acne i had before starting accutane seems to have tried up! ive had probably 3 new zits but they come and go within a day! im definately not as oily which is also a plus and makes my makeup look tons better! the only negative side-effects so far are the headaches! they come daily; theyre not the worst in the world but they definately dont feel good! drinking about 2 gatorades or waters when they start coming helps them to subside as well as eating (i dont mind)!!! i have also developed a bumpy red rash on my neck...i already had eczema prior to starting accutane and it always flares up worst on my neck so i kind of expected it! my scalp is also kinda itchy but im trying not to scratch...im using head and shoulders but should i be using a moisturizing shampoo instead? the lips are not too dry, chapstick is a must but my lips are not in pain so im happy about that!

in wedding news: i need to have my engagement photos taken so i can put the announcement in the paper. but if course i really want to wait on those until my face clears up! one of my best friends is a fabulous photographer who can digitally fix my skin but id still like to feel pretty! i think i will wait a lil bit longer to have them taken...or should i do that before the IB happens?! ive already picked out bridesmaid dresses...theyre on sale at jcrew and i need to get them before the color is discontinued...fresh mint!! i think we will be touring some venues in the next week or two and my fiancee and i have decided to set an official date/time frame by monday so we can make definate arrangements! soooooo HAPPY!! :pray:

keiko&shamu

BEST DAY EVER!!!!

ok soooo monday i got my accutane prescription and yeah it was a momentous ocassion but thats not why monday was so amazing...it was amazing because i got ENGAGED!!! yup i am engaged!!! finally...after 2 and a half years with the most amazing, knid, handsome and perfect man, he finally made me his fiancee. i am SOOOOOOOOO EXCITED!! i won't bore you with the scenareo because i know we're all here for acne, not love stories...but i just had to share my excitment! ok so my face...i started my period yesterday so idk if that's why my skin looks so good right now (it could just be an engagement glow)haha..i doubt the accutane is working that fast. ok so i started clavaris (generic accutane) monday, 30mg twice a day, so 60mg a day. i dont really have any side effects yet...the first day i had a dull headache all day but i havent had one since; my skin may be a bit drier but certainly not peeling, i just dont have a face wet with oil anymore. my lips are not dry and cracked yet; im applying chap stick a few times a day but not constantly (i dont want my lips to get dependant too early in the game). im really dreading the IB...my doc kept me on 100 mg of spironolactone a day so that may help keep it at bay but we shall see. honestly, all i am thinking about right now is this rock on my hand and my amazing fiancee...i thought i didnt want to get enagaged until my skin was clear but i hardly thought about it that night! he doesnt care and i feel great whenever we are together. my mom is really anxious to start dress shopping but i really dont want to do that until my skin is clear...i wont feel beautiful in ANY dress if my skin isnt pretty. but anyway i wont update until something in my skin or side effects change. thus far...i feel GREAT!!

keiko&shamu

i am freaking out!!!! tommorrow is my derm appointment to get my accutane prescription and as all of the girls know, you have to be on your period to have your blood taken and your pregnancy test done. yesterday was supposed to be my first day and this morning im still not! it usually doesnt come until the second day but im not having any cramps...im ravenous and i was sooooo p.m.s.ing the week before but now...NO PERIOD! i am praying that the flood gates open soon!!! why do they need me to be on my period? can you lie about being on it? i mean probably not becaue theyre doctors and thats probably a rather easy thing to determine from a urine sample. if it doesnt come, then ill have to reschedule the appointment until it does...and what if it doesnt come until next month?! i am soooo nervous!

keiko&shamu

the last two days my skin has been oily, bumpy and i got a few new cysts on my jawline...ugh!! i am attributing this breakout to my starting my period in two days. my skin always gets its worst about a week about before my cycle starts. this go around tho i have had the worst mood swings; ive been so irritable and my poor boyfiend has definately gotten the brunt of it. i actually cant wait until i start my period; everytime i do my mood evens out and my skin calms down.

i messed with this pimple in between my eyes; it popped up a few weeks ago but never came to the surface and it never really gave me any problems. a few days ago the pimple got a whithead so i popped it; but there was so much oil under the whitehead so i kept squeezing and pushing and of course it bruised and now i have a raw place inbetween my eyes and it doesnt cover with makeup...i hope it doesnt scar!

ive got a cocktail party tonight to ntroduce the "vesta homeshow"; the best interior designers and architects showcase their newest works in a cluster of new homes.i was excited until this breakout happened. i wish iwas worried about what i was going to wear rather than what my skin looked like. it just sucks. im trying to convince myself that none but myself cares or notices (i know thats a lie but it helps). im also going to be spending the weekend at the lake with my boyfriend and his family. the lake it my absolute favorite place in the world and i usually get a great tan (which helps my skin). but i start my period tom and of course bloating and cramps come with that; i wont feel so swimsuit fantastic. and ugh i dont want to take my makeup off. idk im sure ill have fun; this stuff just stresses me out.

i start accutane in 2 days!! im really excited and also really nervous. ive heard so many ppl say that they looked disgusting for a long time before they got better. im also a little afraid of the physcological stuff. im pretty crazy as it is, anxiety ridden, and ive had alot of insomnia and i wake up in the middle of the night screaming...ive just heard that accutane can make being in your own mind pretty difficult. anyway wish me luck! and let me know your experiences with IBs and craziness.

keiko&shamu

ooops

mmmk...thought i had uploaded an image but affter viewing my profile it appears i was mistaken. the control panel says the photo is being used but its not!! ill keep trying! and im done with the multiple daily entries...sry! :pray:

keiko&shamu

my computer-illiterate self figured out how to upload an image as my profile picture! i am so proud! i feel very hightech! the picture is a self portrait i did for my drawing composition course...its acrylic and charcoal on stonehenge (36"x50") the shot was taken at a strange angle, standing on the left side and propped up against a wall. its obviously an expressive portrait but those who know me best say it looks just like me...thanks?!ha

the 21st cant come soon enough...i want my prescription!!!

keiko&shamu

ok already getting off an annoying start...2 entries a day...as if i hadnt said enough in my first. but i just wanted to say this...be nice to sales people, to your waitress and all others involved in customer service. being polite includes leaving once the store is closed...i do not want 4 extra dollars tonight so you can try on a few knits, a sale dress and a pair of shorts on promo...only to have you buy a belt on sale for $19.99. this has happened almost evry night since summer started, including tonight. ok so, typically, im not too abnoxiously friendly at work; i like to give people their space and i never want anyone to get too long of a look at my bumpy, red, oily face. but anyways, i was in a good mood today and found myself being especially friendly and helpful (YAY for exercise endorfins); nevertheless, a customer approached my manager to inform her that i "didn't look very happy to be at work"! excuse me...did you want a handshake, a song or a haiku about how jovial i feel about working the closing shift...well then maam you should have told me, im quite the riddler!!! i really dont know what can be expected from your local retail associates...i can open you a fitting room, tell you about new sale items, help you order a blouse and even ring up your purchases...i cannot however, make you feel loved and appreciated for who you are and guess what...im aloud to relax my exhausted, smiling jaw every now and again...thank you for your understanding lady!!!! and p.s. heres that smile you wanted... :pray:

also, i cant figure out how to upload a profile picture; i mean i figured out how to do it but the site keeps rejecting my photo and ive sized it down to the appropriate deminsions...does anyone know what type of file the image needs to be?

keiko&shamu

getting there...

its my first entry and its gonna be long one...i gotta vent, get this outta my system and thuroughly inform my reader...set aside a small block of time and snuggle up with a cup of coacoa or green tea(apparantely it does wonders for the skin)..shut up..give me some COFFEE!!!!

p.s. im a 20 year old female, living in memphis tennessee...guess what...we got our own cop show on tlc..thats how charming this city is!!! i wouldnt wonna live anywhere else..expect newport rhode island..i want a sailboat!! o and you will notice that spelling is not my string suit...jujst accept it and worry about your own academic hang-ups...i bet i can paint better that you!!! :pray:

alright here comes the swan song...i have had acne waaayyyyy too long (as if any amount of time were tolerable...FALSE)!! anyway, ive had acne sine i was 11 years old...i hadnt even hit puberty yet and in elementary school i had a streak of zits across my forehead and a cherry on the tip of my nose. my acne progressively got worse as the years progressed. i was able to keep it somewhat under control with the help of prescription creams such as benzaclin, epiduo, differin and duac. my acne hit a nasty high my junior year of high school, then miraculously calmed to a dramatic low my senior year...i thought i had FINALLY grown out of it (soooo naive)! so for the next two years (senior year of high school and freoshman year of college) i had mild/moderate acne...it bothered me now and again with the occasional breakout and constant slight bumpiness but i really thought this infliction was behind me and i could enjoy being a pimple-free adult. after my first year of art school i decided to transfer to the local university and things changed. i dont know what caused my acne to resurface...art school was far more stressful than the run-of-the-mill college experience and yet my skin was back to the less than attractive state it was in my early years of high school. one day at work (j.crew...i hate working when my face looks gross!) i met a woman who introduced herself to me and told me she could fix my skin...she was a medical aesthetician. i had never heard of people such as herself but i was excited and anxious to have my fist visit with her. for 3 months my aesthetician had cleared my face...i mean baby smooth! she did this via a series of painful extractions, peels and other chemical treatments. I was visiting her twice a month and everytime i did she convinced me i needed a new product...this got very expensive (at least $150 a month). after a vist, that i had actually avoid for a while, something in the chemisrty of face changed drastically. at this appointment she treated my face with accetone (yes nail polish remover); my skin crusted up like corn flakes. she then scraped my face with a razor blade, poured straight prescription grade salyclic acid onto my freshly strpped face and i commenced to scream and cry for about and hour (worst pain in my life)!! that day my skin looked beautiful...and that was the last time my skin was clear. my skin proceeded to absolutely freak out...it has NEVER been so bad!! i developed cystic acne (hard, large and painful nodules all over my cheeks, chin and jawline). with every change in my menstrul cycle, my skin would react...my skin became completely uncontolable, non-reactive to topicals, herbs, suppliments, etc. i met with a costly, cutting edge derm. with high hopes...my hopes quickly turned to defeat and hopelessness. my doctor was a young female who stated to me immediately that she did not believe in accutnae but rather that she had developed a regimen that she found very effective, gentle and gradual!!!! BULL SHIT LADY!!!! i have tried EVERYTHING...your all natural optimisim simply wont do the trick! anyway, i refused, flat out...i meean did she really think i hadnt ever tried green tea and a mild cleanser?! i wanted meds... and not antibiotics becase i had tried them before and i had bad reactions. i suggested that i try spironolactone, due to my suspicions that my acne was hormonal. she relutantly prescribed me a 50mg daily dose, after almost 3 weeks of blood work...excuse me freak but its just an f-ing diuretic...stop crying!!! she hated that i was educated and proactive! after 3 weeks on this dosage i saw slight improvment but i was still getting cysts, especially a week or two before my period. i demanded she up my dose of spiro or prescribe me accutane...well she didnt up my doage and she refuse accutane, stating that she feared i would commit suicide.... excuse me?!! dont make me get all memphis on your ass...you dont know me bitch!!! and i over heard her talking shit about me to her mousey nurse in the next room...hey friend, youre walls arent too thick and your whiny, horse voice carries for miles!!! i scheduled an appointment with my GP...she could not believe that i hadnt started accutane yet...she was very supportive and referred me to a derm who she knew loved accutane. sooooooo...off i go to the new derm (not so new actually, he treated my teenage acne). before he even entered the room his nurse was filling out ipledge papers...i felt like crying i was so relieved. the doctor immediately TRIPPLED my spironolactone dose, and informed me that in one month i would be starting my accutane course. he told me he had treated thousands of patients with accutane over the years and had ALWAYS seen amazing results, with only a few having to do a second course (i love old southern men with a no no-sense approach to medicine..thanks doc!! youre a kick-ass old-school dude and i appreciate your non-progressive approach to medicine)! and so here i am today, counting down the days until i get my first prescription...5 more days..i think unless im confused about how the pregnancy/blood tests work. im excited, yet nervous...nervous about the initial breakout, nervous about the painful side effects and nervous that i may be one of the rare few who has her acne return after a year or two. all i know is, im DONE dealing with this shit; it holds me back from being 100% every single day. its always in the back of mind; i always wonder why me, why cant i have the privledge of feeling pretty, not even beautiful, just pretty and if i cant be pretty then how about normal?! so here we go...on my way to putting those feelings to rest and starting anew.

please leave your comments and share your experiences...i want to connect with people as genetically unfortunate as myself! ill post a picture of myseld eventually but you see..i have this fear of having my picture made...dont know hwy that could be!

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