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Blog Entries posted by whatthekell

  1. whatthekell
    Can't believe it's over, but I'm finished with Accutane! I took my last pill last Tuesday (March 19th). So I did a total of 6 months on Claravis. 40 mg for months 1 & 2, 60 mg months 3, 4, and 5. and 80 mg on month 6.
    I knew at my last derm appt that my course was over, but I kind of hoped there might be a 7th month. (only because I was terrified to stop taking this drug)
    When I first started Accutane, my derm told me that I wouldn't need to use any "maintenance creams" once my course was over because "my skin will be different". But when I went in last week I told him I was petrified of it coming back and he said he hopes that this is the end for me, but after all the money I've put into this, he wants to make sure we take the precautions and use some topicals. He gave me Aczone and Atralin. He actually filled a bag full of samples which I thought was awesome because I know last time I tried to get Aczone from the pharmacy it was like $300 or something. I really need to get better insurance.

    So I went to my psychiatrist on Monday and told him my worries and he wants to keep me on Wellbutrin for the depression for another 4 months because he doesn't want to take me off til I'm "completely calm". I wanted to be done, but I'm glad I'm not because it really does help me.
    On that note, I want to write my derm a thank you card. He is the 4th dermatologist I have been to since my early teens and he is the only one who has truly cared to stop this. He (and the creators of Accutane) saved my life. and I mean that. I wished I was dead every single day last summer. This drug gave me a life I have never known. I can't tell you how good it feels to not have acne on my mind every minute of the day like before. I do still do my "mirror check" every morning when I wake up, but I don't lay there in bed feeling anxious and dreading what I'll see. I'm not afraid of mirrors anymore throughout the day. I can actually sleep over my family's house without being embarrassed of being in the bathroom too long. I could keep going but I will get to the pictures!

    ok some of these pics are really gross, I'm sorry.

    Here are some pics from last summer. this first one is the result of my "water only method" and quitting the Regimen. it created an explosion of clogged pores all over my face, but covered my chin.

    Ugh, and this is July.


    End of August/waiting the dreaded month for Accutane

    Week one of Accutane (day 7)

    End of course!

    It's painful looking at those, but I am so glad I took pics along the way to see how it worked. I have lots of pics from in between week one til now but I have posted them in other blogs. I hope I have helped some people along the way! Many of you have helped me and I wanted to give back. If anybody is thinking about going on Accutane, give it a try! I am so happy I did. The side effects were completely worth it. I wish I did this years ago! I am always here to help, so if you have any questions, just ask =)
  2. whatthekell
    I lost count of the days. I could check my last bog and count but I don't want to. I just started my 6th month on Monday. Those of you who have been following me know that I was supposed to be finished at month 5. Although, my derm did say "hopefully 5 months will do it". Well like I said in my last post, I do still get a small breakout before/after my period. Annoying. I have my period now and only got 1 so far! so we will see. He also upped my dose to 80mg instead of 60. I started at 40 for 2 months then 60 for 3, now 80. Oh and get this? Fucking Walmart charged me $758.20 for 3 boxes of 20mg Claravis to equal my 60mg. ok so that's 3 months of that. So that's $2274.60 I spent for the last 3 months. Now that I'm on 80mg... I get 2 boxes of 40mg tablets for $570 or something. So it's actually CHEAPER to get the higher dose! WTF. Why didn't Walmart give me one box of 40mg and a box of 20mg to get my 60 and save me $200 dollars? I am so pissed. I mean they probably didn't know, but they should know that those pills come in 20's and 40's... =(

    Anywho. You would think after 6 months of opening these ridiculously difficult packages that I'd be a pro at it, no. I still have a hard time getting the pills out. I cut myself on the box the other day and somehow managed to break open a pill too. a $12 pill broken. Guh. I ate it though.

    So nothing new to report. My back has been killing me. It really doesn't bother me too much during the day, but when I wake up it's pretty bad. It's hard to lay in bed and I want to keep sleeping but I can't lay there anymore. My nose is still bleeding daily. I've gotten used to this stuff though. Eyes are dry. Still fending off the arm rashes with hydrocortisone. Last night I put some vaseline lotion on instead of hydrocortisone and it worked, so I might start using that instead. Does anybody's nose &upper lip sweat? I told my derm about it and he was laughing =P Might be a side effect of my Wellbutrin.

    That's about it. I'm having trouble logging in this site anymore. It's pretty annoying. I got a password recovery and managed to get in, but now when I try to change my password again, it won't let me. It says I have to fill out the entire entry or something..which I did. Anybody else having this problem?
  3. whatthekell
    Hey everybody,

    Sorry I haven't updated in a while. Was super busy over the holidays and haven't spent much time on here. I do check in almost daily but I haven't seen any notifications so I figured nobody missed me lol.

    Anywho. I got my blood work done today. My derm appt is on Monday and I will be starting my 5th month on Claravis. Can't believe I'm at the end!!

    I have to say I am extremely thankful to Accutane for saving my life. I don't say this lightly. Accutane gave me my life back! I have never felt so "normal" in so long. I mean YEARS. I spent ridiculous agonizing hours in front of the mirror freaking out over my skin and now I don't have to do that anymore. I can finally look at myself without crying. I don't have the obsessive thoughts about my skin like I used to. Granted I still have OCD and BDD, but it is at a level that is under control and I am still working on beating them. I am even grateful to Dan's regimen. Because if I had not gone on that regimen and discovered this site, I might not be where I am today. This site has been so helpful to me. When nobody else could understand the pain I was going through, so many of you on here helped me through my dark times. You also gave me the motivation to tackle this and go on Accutane. I used to be terrified of that name and probably would never have gone on it if I hadn't read so many blogs on here and saw how it cured so many of you. So anybody who is about to start Accutane and they're having doubts, try it. I honestly would take this medication every day if that's what it takes. Every nosebleed, back ache, and rashes on my arms are completely worth not wanting to die because of the way I look. My course really flew by and all I can really hope is that this is my answer, and acne is gone for good.

    It seems like the only time I get pimples now is right before my period. So I am curious to see what this month brings. I will ask my derm on Monday if he thinks I need to go a little longer.

    Hope everyone had a great Christmas & New Years! =)
  4. whatthekell
    It's been a while since I posted. Not much has been happening to blog about.

    Things are still going good! I am still getting pimples. Can't wait for that to stop. I just started my 4th month staying on 60mg/day.

    I've noticed when I wake up or when I am sitting with my feet up for a while, my achilles tendons are soo stiff and hurt like hell to walk on! it's almost like my ankles are screwed so they can't move. haha. it's kind of funny how i limp around until they loosen up. Sometimes my knees get really stiff too, but both of these don't last long.

    My eyes are also dry now. It's kind of uncomfortable. I was supposed to get contacts last week but I decided to wait til after my course. I bought some moisturizing eye drops by Roht-o? It works really well and my eyes feel better instantly.

    My derm said something like "well hopefully only 2 more months!" which actually didn't surprise me. I mean all along he has said 5 months was all I would need, but now that it's only 2 months away, I've been wondering if I would need to stay on a bit longer. Not that I want to endure these muscle pains and stiffness any longer than I have to, but if I'm doing this I want to do it right and make sure this shit is out of my system so I never have to do it again. Ya know? So I have a feeling by month 5 he will say lets tack on another month. He also said I will have mild scarring =/ that kind of upset me. I'm not sure what he meant by that. like those indented scars? or like PIH scars? He did tell me the "discoloration I'm seeing will fade into the background"...which I already know. But wish it would speed up! (who doesn't?) but I know it takes a while. As far as indented scars, I don't have any that I have noticed. I know my right cheek has always had a small area that is kind of different than the rest of my skin from a bad hack job I did to myself in high school. But even that isn't noticeable. So I'm hoping he doesn't mean I'm suddenly gonna start getting those pitted scars? Idk.

    Talked to my Psych the other day about coming off my antidepressant. We both agreed to stay on until I'm finished Accutane just in case. So that's good news! Will be nice not to be medicated.

    Oook time for work. Have a good weekend everyone!
  5. whatthekell
    hey guys

    I haven't updated in 2 weeks because there wasn't a whole lot to report.

    I'm halfway through my third month now. Remember how my right side was always bad and my left was always good? pshh. well flip them around now. =( Just when I thought I was finally seeing the light, my left side breaks out. 6 on my left cheek over the course of one week. one on the left side of my chin, and one on my upper lip, that prolly wouldn't even be noticeable if I hadn't picked it...but made that look like herpes. Why all the left side? Maybe this is my left side making its final purge. Who knows. I really hope this is the last of it. I'm supposed to be done in January...not sure what the date will be. I'm guessing middle of the month.

    My derm assures me that I should be done breaking out by my fourth month. So we'll see. Next derm appt is December 13th. I'm staying on 60mg.
    I just read something about people's acne reoccurring when on low doses of accutane, and people on higher doses were cured. is 60mg even a high dose?

    I'm getting paranoid that I'll be in that 33% of people whose acne comes back. I will be devastated. I'm hoping that the $3,400 I will have spent on just the pills alone, not counting in the cost of derm visits and lab work, that this will be my answer. It makes me sick that people pay only $10 for this and I HAVE insurance. But hey, if it works then it's worth every penny. Really hoping the apocalypse doesn't happen cuz then I'll never know what it's like to live acne free! haha. =/

    hmmm other than that, not much is new. my lips are drier this week. my nose hasn't bled in a few days. I smeared some vaseline in there once or twice and ever since, it's been fine. Rash on my arms comes and goes. Hydrocortisone fixes that. Back hasn't hurt as bad lately.

    Oh yea...
    every time I would break out, it just so happened to be the day after we left my mom's house. We'd go up on a Sunday, and come Monday, Bam! So I was like what the hell? Every time my mom sees me she compliments my face. She only sees me like once a month so she can really see the change. I really do believe the whole jinxing thing. Just when you think you're having a good day, something pops up. Well my boyfriend disagreed with this and said it's my period. I never really paid attention, nor did I ever think that my acne was at all hormonal. But I would never know... I had always "suppressed" my acne with topicals so I never saw how my face reacted to my period. I would just break out at any given time. Nowww... it seems like the week before my period is when this shit happens. HMM!
    So now of course, I'm worried that when my course is over, is this what I have to look forward to? Are there any girls listening who can answer this for me? =)

    ok I have a lot more on my mind but this post is long enough so I'll save it for later =P Thanks for reading!
  6. whatthekell

    So Monday I went to the derm for the start of my 3rd month! Time is really flying

    He upped my dose to 60mg where I will stay. Oh, and guess how much that cost?

    So far I don't see any difference in the way I feel. Someone told me I'm going to feel lazier. Not looking forward to that!
    My back pain has calmed down a lot. I think I mentioned in the last blog that I got a new bed. It's pretty amazing. An Icomfort memory foam with infused cooling gel? It's heavenly. But my mid-back still hurts sometimes, but not unbearable.
    My nose is bleeding a little more when I blow it. And it feels a little scabby when I move it around. I should prolly start using Saline spray. I hate spraying shit up my nose though. I tried some Vaseline up there a while ago and that felt so uncomfortable. But if it continues, I will try again.
    The rash on my arms is a lot better. I actually haven't used hydrocortisone in a couple days. My derm said using that is fine, but if it gets worse, he can prescribe a steroid. I hope I won't need that.
    I noticed my hair hasn't been as oily in the morning which I love.

    for a couple weeks in my second month, my nose pushed out all these little plugs. I could actually either take my towel after a shower and scrape them out, or go in with tweezers and pull them out. I've had that before on another regimen, but it's always so weird. Running my fingers over it felt bumpy until i got them out. They're gone now.
    My lips have been very good. I really like Carmex better than Aquaphor. I actually lost a tube of Carmex the other day =( I might have left it at the derm.

    Right now I have a few healing pimples in the right corner of my mouth/chin. I had a lot of clogged pores here and they're all being forced out. I had 4 there this week but they're almost gone. I also have another clogged pore on the left that looks like it wants to come out but it's not sure. haha. But now the clogged pore number is significantly down! (<~ haha i love this )

    ok here are some pics. I took them yesterday. Talk to you soon!
  7. whatthekell
    hey everyone

    not a whole lot to update this week, so this will be short.

    i do have a new side effect i got probably friday? i have a rash all over both arms and the tops of my hands. i've never had eczema before, but i'm assuming this is what this is? it doesn't hurt or itch, it's just red and gross looking and you can feel it when you rub your hands over it. i've been putting hydro-cortisone on it at night. during the day i can't do anything about it because i wash my arms & hands a million times at work from touching people all day.

    my body has been really achy. we bought a new mattress over the weekend so that definitely helps. but today i feel very stiff and i'm dreading work tonight.

    my nose has been bleeding a little bit when i blow it, but this has happened before accutane, so i'm not even sure that's what's causing it.

    on the skin front, i feel like i'm at a stand still maybe? i'm still getting new pimples, but not bad. last night i popped 4 =/ but 2 were tiny and the other 2 were medium sized. today i have 2 little ones on my forehead. my period just ended, so maybe that had something to do with it.

    my next derm appt is this coming monday (nov 12th). i will actually run out of my pills on saturday. i was very worried about this and called the derm, and they said it's fine. they told me since accutane stays in your blood, my cycle will not be disrupted. i'm certain they will increase my dose to 60mg and i am dreading that bill =X
  8. whatthekell
    So the day has finally come!

    I was prescribed Clavaris, but my pharmacy didn't have that. So I'll be using Amnesteem instead. 20 mg twice a day.

    I'll be posting pictures with my log so everybody can see what I'm talking about.

    Here's what I look like now...
  9. whatthekell
    halfway through month 2! time is really flying. my next derm appt is nov 12th. i have a feeling my dose will be increased to 60mg. should i be worried? does your skin freak out when the dose goes up? i hope not =(

    once again i got lots of compliments from my family this weekend. it made me feel really good. but like always it jinxes me and i break out! ah! so i have a few on my chin today and one on the apple of my cheek. wah.

    i took pics today and comparing them to last week's, there's not much change. i actually think last week's pics look better =/ hope that changes next week.

    i've noticed lately the tip of my nose sweats? what is that about? it almost looks like i dipped my nose in water sometimes haha.

    ok here are the pics. talk to you guys next week!
  10. whatthekell
    so month 2 has been eventful!
    meaning, i broke out a few times. last weekend for whatever reason, i went on a picking spree. hadn't done that in so long that i felt so ashamed. luckily i had the weekend to let it calm down. everything dried up and peeled off. we had dinner at a friend's on sunday and i remember sitting at the table under the bright lights wondering if my face was peeling off because we were eating cheeseburgers and you know you have to open your mouth wide for that..and the war zone was all over the chin. also i obviously wiped all my Carmex off from eating and had to sit there Carmex-less for at least 45 minutes because everyone was talking. omg my lips were so dry i thought they were gonna fall off. but i didn't want to be rude to go put on chapstick. that'd just be plain weird. so every 5 seconds i was licking my lips. i prolly looked like an effing lizard. finally dinner was over and i got to get up and grab my Carmex and head to the bathroom to see what the damage was. it actually wasn't too bad. i had a couple flakes that i peeled off. and my lips had some skin peeling as well. i carefully pulled the skin off and applied a shitload of Carmex again. then i went back out to join the friends.

    i went to see my mom about a week ago. this was the first time she's seen me since before starting accutane. everyone was telling me how amazingly different my skin looked. it made me feel really good. although every time i get a compliment, i have this big fear that i'm gonna jinx myself. it seems like i always have a breakout the day after.

    like last night, my boyfriend was telling me my faced looked amazing. i got that happy but anxious feeling. and of course i woke up with some whiteheads. so i got all bummed out. i took my blog photos for today BEFORE i popped the pimples so that it didn't look worse than it really is. and actually it's not even that bad. the whiteheads were all small (except the one last night..that was a big guy) so i should be grateful for that.

    anyway i took the pics and i just looked at day 7 next to today's pics. wow. i could cry. i can't believe the difference already. i am telling you guys, if you're not taking a photo every week, do it! you will feel so much better when you see it working.

    so here are pics of each side from day 7 to day 44

  11. whatthekell
    hey everybody

    so last thurs i had my derm appt for the start of my second month. my derm was out that day so i saw his assistant. which sucked because i wanted to see him after completing my first month, and because i was still charged $116 for the doctor's visit, even though i didn't even see him! bullshit! but his assistant was nice. my dose wasn't increased because he wasn't there...so next month i will prolly be bumped to 60 mg. so i will continue on 40 mg for now.

    i also switched back to walmart pharmacy. silly me thought target would be a better pharmacy to go to because they are never out of stock on prescriptions. well last month i paid $613 and when i asked if i should try other pharmacies they said "no this is just what it costs" pff. well i called walmart a week later and found out they only charge $519. so anywho. target's brand of accutane is "amnesteem" and walmart's is "claravis". so i started on amnesteem and now i will be on claravis.

    other than that, not much to say. seems like the right side is calming down a little, though i did have 3 new ones in that same damn spot this week. but they went away quick.

    i have a week off from work this week, the dr's office is getting repainted and my boss is trying to get caught up with tax shit. so it sucks not making money, but also nice to take a break. i'm taking advantage of this time off to get massages! i traded with a co worker on monday and i'm going to meet another co worker later tonight to trade again. can't wait! my back has been screaming. i don't know if it's the accutane or if my mattress is going. maybe a combo of both?

    here are some pics...
  12. whatthekell
    so tomorrow will be one month down! can't believe it. i have a derm appt at 10:45. my derm is out tomorrow, so i have to see his PA or whoever. kind of wish i could see the real doc but i can't do anything about that. wondering if my dose will be upped yet.

    my first month on accutane was pretty eventuful, so i'm hoping my second month is a bit easier, meaning less breakouts. but time will tell.
    comparing my pics from today to last wednesday... i think it looks a little better, though my right side is struggling at the moment. the middle of my cheek is giving me a hard time.

    either way, i have to say i break out so much less than before accutane. i remember counting 29 whiteheads the month i was waiting to start accutane. 29! what a nightmare.

    thing is, i don't want to get back to my old ways. whenever my skin starts clearing up, my hopes go up. and then the next day i break out and i get that sinking feeling in my heart and get anxious. i want to stop that right now. when my skin is eventually completely clear, i need to learn that i still might get a pimple here and there. and i want to be able to just look at it without getting upset. i feel like i can figure this out without going to cognitive behavioral therapy like i am supposed to. (i'm spending enough money on my health right now, i'm not paying for therapy too!) so if anybody has body dysmorphia and ocd.. please let me know how you broke your cycle of obsessing over your skin. i've been doing really good, but every once in a while i catch myself wanting to keep going to the mirror.

    no new side effects! just the dry lips. i chewed a piece of skin off the other day while i was out shopping, and it started bleeding. that was no fun. so no more chewing. i'm chewing as i type. gah!

    back has been hurting, but me and another therapist are going to trade massages next week. so i'm thuper duper excited about that. haha

    oh and headaches are back. but probably lack of water again. some days i guzzle down 3 liters...some days barely 2. i do loads better on 3 liters, obviously. had my boyfriend massaging my scalp the other day. it felt amazing because my head was completely pounding.

    k gotta go get ready for work. thanks for listening =)
  13. whatthekell
    so today is the start of week 4. I just took some pics, I will upload them later.

    It seemed like I broke out a lot the past week. I'll let you guys be the judge when you see the pics. hoping this purging process ends soon, or at least reduces. The good thing about the purging is that they heal really quick.

    No new side effects to report. Lips are still dry but they seem better today. I'm honestly not as in love with Aquaphor as everyone else seems to be. It is good, but could be better. Gonna finish up the 2 tubes I have and move on to something else.
    My back and neck has been killing me. Not sure if it's a combo of work and the weather or the pills. Sat in my massage chair last night and I feel much better today.

    Got a couple pimples on my neck! Hate those. one was far back enough that my hair hid it. But the one right now is kind of towards the front and totally looks like a hickey. damn thing.

    Ok, I'll post those pics tonight!

    next derm visit Oct 11th!
  14. whatthekell
    so today is the start of my third week.

    it seems like some days my skin looks like it's really lookin good and i get my hopes up. and then the next day it's all bumpy. so that's a little frustrating. so i'm not going to get my hopes up like that so i'm not let down. thinking back to this summer though, my face was a lot worse. so i am happy that i am making progress.

    today i woke up and had to pop about 6 whitheads. 5 of them were actually just ones from last night that apparently weren't fully drained. i hate that! i have this cyst on the corner of my chin that will not quit. the stupid thing has come to a head countless times, but it won't die. damn thing. and i had a cluster of 3 big ones in the middle of my cheek which has been lovely to look at. those finally look like they're finished popping and flattening out. i had a huuuge one on my forehead last weekend that is finally about to fall off. other than that, just normal sized ones here and there.

    lips are drryyy. i thought my carmex was doing a great job. but little did i know, my lips weren't really dry yet. so eventually i realized that the carmex was just sitting on my dry lips and not being absorbed. so i got some aquaphor like everybody says. i went to rite aid and they had it on sale buy one get one 50% off. so i got 2 for 5 something =) i do like this stuff. when i have it on my lips feel normal. but if i lick it off or something i can't wait to get it back on because that dry feeling is so uncomfortable. i noticed that any pimples that are in the healing stage tend to develop a thick skin covering. kind of like a scab but not. and i peel it off and am left with normal skin underneath. so i like that!

    no other side effects this week. haven't had a headache in a few days. probably because i'm guzzling water now. my muscles haven't been hurting either, so that's great.

    maybe i'll take a pic tomorrow!
  15. whatthekell
    ok here is my 1 week picture update!

    last time i took a frontal pic and it didn't really show what was going on. so i took 2 side shots today.

    side effects: very tired. body is really sore. headaches.
    luckily i have a massage chair. that helps a lot with the back pain =)
    i find with the headaches, i'm dehydrated. so the more water i drink, the less headaches i get. i realized that taking accutane in the morning with coffee only is a bad idea. so now i get up and chug water. i drank about a liter so far (it's 7;30 am) and no headache =) i continue to drink all day, even if i'm not thirsty. cuz those headaches are nasty when i get them.
    sometimes i get itchy spells on my chest, neck, or arms. not sure if this is accutane or my new kittens. lol

    my bf says he definitely sees progress =) so that makes me feel good!