Back – Week 3

March 29th. Wednesday

I’m firmly settled, back a school, and yet something about college life seems very off. I expected that being back at school would kick my lethargy, and it has, but the uneasiness I felt in coming back home isn’t gone. Somehow, I feel unable to calm down and just breathe. I mentioned before that I’m an RA, and that adds a lot of pressures to regular college life. Between homework for classes, resident care, incident response, and dorm activities, I’ve barely had my head above water this semester.

Now feels strangely different though. I used to journal about what was going through my head, and I tried that today but didn’t get anywhere. I sat down with my notebook and started writing about a girl I just started seeing. I wanted to write down what was going through my head at the time, because (crumples up and tosses out Bro-cred) this was my first experience dating and I wanted to preserve what was going through my head at the time. However, instead of writing, I just looked at the paper and want to run. Or some part of my lower stomach did.

This is upsetting to me, because journaling is something I really enjoy and need to process stuff that’s happening in my life. A lot of the time I used to spend enjoying journaling, writing, or creating in some other way I now spend just in my head. I think about what other people will think about a thing, about what it might mean about my condition, or about nothing. I just get stuck sometimes.

I don’t know if this is Accutane or just me being weird as I’m readjusting to school. But this is properly strange. I don’t like it. It’s only week 3.

First Blood – Week 2

March 25th. Monday

Bloody Nose!

Again, I’m excited about my body’s own dysfunctionality, but still. What they said was going to happen is happening, and that’s good news to me. I read a few Accutane reviews about how the drug didn’t even work for some people. Which would just be the worst. I don’t know enough about pharmacology to know whether they’d still experience all of the symptoms or whether nothing at all would happen but that would suck. All the struggle for no results. Sounds awful. Claravis isn’t that expensive, but if Accutane doesn’t work for you, I don’t know what will. Hopefully there’s something left you haven’t tried, even though Accutane should be the last thing that you try. Agh. Don’t want to think about it. I’m sure there are other remedies. I need to believe there are other remedies.

No change in acne. No surprises there, but it’s worth noting. I’m traveling tomorrow, which always takes a toll on my face. Without fail, I break out when I’m flying. I have long days of work at school that are sometimes far more stressful that jetting around, so my guess is that it has something to do with the air pressure? Is it just me?

I’m leaving for school tomorrow. Spring break couldn’t have ended quickly enough. I’m not in a great place with school; I’m doing fine in classes and all, but I’m finding it really hard to find my groove these days. Keeping up with my social life and work as an RA has been a hell of an accomplishment, and I felt like I was doing it just fine before spring break, but something feels off right now. I wasn’t ready to come home and be stuck lying around, vegetating for two weeks. If I was doing something right now, it would make this waiting game much easier to bear I think. I’m the kind of person that always needs to be doing something. If my mind doesn’t have something to eat, work on, learn, or process, it eats itself. And that’s what’s happening right now.

Also, I have s little something with a little someone special waiting for me back at school. More on that later. 🙂

I’ll be back tomorrow though. It’ll be one hell of a trip (flying from the Midwest to Hartford, Connecticut, then bussing up to Vermont). I’ll be in transit for something like 9 hours. Nothing but fun ahead of me.

Signs – Week 2

March 23rd. Thursday

My lips are drying up! Glory be to god! True love is real! I’m not sure why I’m so bloody stoked that my lips are slowly becoming little narrow skin-deserts. But I am. I guess after nine days of this weird and passive-aggressive will-dance with Accutane, I’m ecstatic about any show of symptoms.

I read enough about the most common symptoms of Accutane to know that dry lips and flaky skin are nearly unavoidable. I sent up a pack of Carmex and Cetaphil moisturizer to where I am going to school because I know those will be necessary when I get back from spring break. However, I haven’t taken any precautions for the brief time I’m spending at home. The first few days of this are rough… I’m not used to having chapped lips, and believe it or not, it hurts. 

And while I am happy that something has happened… I’m still frustrated that nothing has changed on mah face. Like, I know the treatment lasts six months and I know that most medications take six weeks just to get into your system, even. But. I’m just so ready for all of this to be over. Gah.

Waiting – Week 1

March 20th. Monday.

Still nothing, really. Which again, is to be expected. But come on.

Waiting is hell. Good thing there are only six more freaking months of this. Keyword: only.

There’s this special kind of restlessness that comes with knowing this medication is working but that it’s taking its sweet time about it and there’s nothing you can do to make it go any faster. It kills you. No pun intended.


On to Week 2 >>>

First – Week 1

March 15th. Wednesday

I started taking Accutane today. Claravis. I read this review online about how this one person took Accutane and their face cleared in 11 days. What a load of bullshit, am I right?

Finger still crossed though… That’s just not how Accutane works. This is how it works. 

There’s really nothing to be done at this point. It’s way too early on for any symptoms to crop up. I’m just sitting here and waiting. Which is, in some ways, a lot worse than actually dealing with symptoms. If you’re taking Accutane, it’s probably because you’ve tried everything else. They told you this was the one. This would work. And you’re tired of waiting. You’re tired of hoping. You know it’ll work and you’re just ready for all of this to be over. And besides, what if that 11-day guy wasn’t full of crap?

I’ll give you a rough idea of what my acne looks like: I get pustules pretty much anywhere on my face (particularly my upper cheeks and forehead, but also right below my lower lip, my nose/face crease, my temples, and jawline. And then less frequently right on my nose and lower cheeks. So basically everywhere) and back, and less often on my neck. Not super frequently; I’d say two or three a week. Just often enough to say that I have acne, not just a few pimples here and there. I also breakout with them red bump things sometimes. It’s sometimes hard to tell what’s been popped and what’s just a bump.

My acne has been pretty consistent for all seven years. Which is nice: consistency is nice. But the acne isn’t. Right before this, I was on Minocycline and Aczone, neither of which did anything, which means that I started Accutane on a clean slate. In the sense that I basically looked how I would normally look (as described in the paragraph above). I remember going to CVS to get the Aczone and the pharmacist saying, “do you know how much this costs?” and telling her that I didn’t. She flipped around the little cash register periscope-display and it read $532. “Do you have a coupon?” she asked. I did, but I had to run home and get it. I rationed my Aczone very frugally in the next months. I knew that the coupon would run out eventually, and then I’d be in for it. I was really frustrated that both Minocycline and Aczone only prevented acne for as long as you were taking them. You have to keep paying money to prevent acne. It’s like a clear face subscription. Which is kinda messed up. I guess it’s for the best that it didn’t work? Another flurry of hope crushed, but it wasn’t a great solution.

It’s only the first day, but after seven years… when they tell you this is the one, you really can’t wait.

I’ll let you know

The Beginning – Week 1

March 13th. Monday

Dermatologist appointment today. We had a chat. I gave them all the old one-two, verbally.

I basically told the nurse lady that my previous prescription, 100mg of minocycline/twice a day wasn’t doin’ jack shirt. Neither was the Aczone. This was my second time on minocycline, though I had been put on 50mg before (and had coincidentally paid 10 times as much for the medicine. Thanks (insert least favorite president here)).

My dermatologist recommended I try another tetracycline for a while and see what happened, but I highly doubted it would do anything the first two medications couldn’t. She told me that 100mg is the highest dosage they ever prescribe for patients, so I just didn’t see the use.

This naturally led her to broach the subject of Accutane, which is, of course, why I had come to her in the first place. I played it smoother than a fresh jar of Skippy and acted like I had no idea what Accutane was. But I knew. She talked about how Accutane was the kind of medication that could really get your jimmies rustled. More than just headaches and dizziness. This stuff could put some serious hurt on you. We’re talking depression, aggravated suicidal ideation, hair loss, vision and hearing impairment, and some other voodoo things. Also, you were almost guaranteed six months of dry lips and bloody noses.

So naturally I told her to sign me up.  Tell the children I haven’t had yet that I love them.

I’ve had acne for 7 years, and I’m just tired of having this extra layer of nonsense to care about, feel ashamed of, spend time fighting, and allocate energy towards. Other people can just roll out of bed and get on with their lives while I have to look at myself in the mirror and be like, “nah, that isn’t going to do. I have to pop/treat/cover/moisturize that and then just come to terms with the fact that it’s not going to get any better.” I’m not saying I want to show up to my classes all smelly and bed-headed. But I want to be able to roll out of bed and not worry that there’s something on my face that’s going to take attention away from who I am and what I bring to the world. That is something I want so much.

I’ll let you know how it goes.