Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Plan of Attack!

I went to the Dermatologist almost a month ago (first time I had been in quite a while - had been visiting my regular Dr only).  After taking my history and seeing that I had literally tried everything, she quickly recommended Accutane.  I told her how hesitant I was but that I also knew I couldn't be on antibiotics/etc forever.  She felt the drug was very safe, even stating she would give it to her own children if necessary.  She noted that many of the reported side effects are "unfounded", but did warn about elevated cholesterol/triglycerides, dry skin, mild joint pain, and possible/unlikely depression.  However, I'm much more skeptical than she, since it's MY body!

I went ahead and signed up for the IPledge program and took the required pregnancy test that day.  I'd have to wait a month before starting anyway (after a second required negative pregnany test) - so this gave me a whole month to research and think on it.  I received samples of Ziana and Aczone topicals along with a prescription for Bactrim. 

After almost a whole month of research, a bad sunburn and allergic reaction due to the antibiotic, and general frustration without skin improvement.....I decided I would use Accutane as my last resort.  I feel confident in my decision but have vowed to myself that I will take good care of myself to minimize side effects.  Here's my plan of attack:

  • Drink plenty of water! Minimum 64oz/day
  • Eat as CLEAN as possible, eliminating sugar, alcohol and caffeine and processed foods and minimizing dairy and flour products in particular.  I'll opt for organic meats, eggs, nuts & seeds, beans (sans soy), vegetables (sans corn) and fruits whenever possible.  This won't be too hard for me since I mainly eat this way anyway...just getting back in the straight and narrow a bit!
  • Plenty of FIBER!  I think this will be important in preventing potential IBS symptoms
  • Probiotics:  Will take a high quality supplement since I'll be avoiding dairy (yogurt, kefir)  Also important for gut health!
  • Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega fish oil: ~3 grams/day.  Great for inflammation and combating elevation of my cholesterol/triglyceride levels
  • Vitamin D3: 1000IU/day or every other day
  • Vitamin E: 400IU/day
  • Milk Thistle or another liver support?  To help combat liver stress.
Facial care:
Here's what I've purchased, and I'll be experimenting with the regimen I'm sure as I find out what works and what doesn't.  I am going for GENTLE and MOISTURIZING to combat the dryness I know I'll experience.  Not to mention as NATURAL as possible.
Body care:
Keeping in mind that my whole body will need moisture, here are some other things I've purchased to combat that dryness. 
  • Pure Lanolin for my lips, inside of my nose, and possibly for my hands and feet if I experience cracking.  I think this will be a good alternative to petroleum based products like vaseline and aquaphor. 
  • Lip balms including Burt's Bees and Dr. Bronners
  • Nubian Heritage Raw Shea Hand Cream
  • Aura Cacia Sweet Almond Oil - used all over after showering, before toweling off
  • Body Moisturizer with argan oil (will have to look at the brand name again)
Mental care:
  • Zoloft: 50mg/day (Because I'm already prone to some anxiety, I decided to start this in hopes that I would eliminate the potential depression side effect)
  • Meditation!  I want to set time aside each day to reflect and "encourage" my body to heal.  I want to stay positive through this process, even if/when the side effects are difficult. 

I'm trying to prepare myself mentally for the good chance that I'll experience an initial breakout.  But here's hoping I have a good plan of attack and I'll experience success right off the bat! 


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