Onward to Isotretinoin (Accutane).
I’ve avoided using isotretinoin for my acne problem, mostly because of its side effects; primarily the photosensitivity. I already have photodermatitis and have to avoid the sun, so I didn’t want to add to the whole ordeal. Little did I know it was only a minor side effect, one out of many little others.
Two weeks in now and the joint pain is real. The dry, itchy skin is no fun, neither are the dry lips. Reading the list of side effects, and add the long conversation with my dermatologist, it’s no wonder I have to go in monthly for blood work to check my liver. This also means goodbye to drinking alcohol, waxing, and tattoos. The skin is ultra sensitive and prone to bad scarring during this phase.
The last one really sucks. I wanted to finish my arm tattoo. I was particularly excited about adding the rainbow beam abducting someone. Plus adding Mt Rainier in the background.
I never thought I’d get a tattoo, particularly with the whole idea of “wearing something forever.” I didn’t feel strongly about anything to warrant it permanently tattooed on my skin. But, as I contemplated my acne dilemma, the many scars left, the many new scars even after microdermabrasion and new rounds of topical prescription treatments… I thought… of all the scars–both mentally and physically–that life ails me with, why always be the one afflicted? Another scar, another story written on my body. Why not ‘write’ a story of my own?
The story of my arm tattoo is pretty obvious; I love the Pacific Northwest. It symbolizes home, the top of the space needle stylized as a UFO (which is a UFO according to one of the architects) represents both my love of Seattle and SciFi. Once done, the little guy being abducted by a rainbow beam? The fact that I’m home. The only way I’m leaving here is in death or abducted (rescued?) by aliens, I figure my odds are 50/50.
Alas, I can’t wait until I’m done with isotretinoin, and with it my acne problem. Hopefully. There’s a 30% possibility it may return.
For now, the tattoo waits. The rest of my “story” paused. For now, a lot of drinking water and moisturizing. For now, some joint and back pain, though I should be careful with OTC pain medication because of the whole liver thing. (Don’t want to stress it on top of isotretinoin). For now, no drinking alcohol–which is fine since I don’t really drink all that much these days. And lastly, no waxing.
Let the forest reclaim the land.