So I’ve done it. I’ve taken my first doses of Roaccutane. After the NHS temporarily losing my notes (I thought that stuff was just sit-com fodder, but, no, it really happens), I finally started my course last week.
I was sumoned to the hospital at 8.30 on Tuesday. I couldn’t do Tuesday. Well, 8.30 on Wednesday then. No, I couldn’t do 8.30, I could do 9.30.
‘Well, can’t you do any earlier?’
No, I flipping well can’t. Because I’m a mum and I have to get my kids to school, then I have to drive to the hospital and take my chances with the awful hospital parking situation.
Apparently I have to go at 8.30 every four weeks for the duration of the course. I’m guessing very few acne patients are parents with school age children who require a degree of flexibility from the NHS.
On arrival at the hospital (at 9.15), I gave a ‘sample’. It wasn’t until later that I realised the sample was the first of my monthly pregnancy tests. I was then given a prescription and collected my first month’s supply of Roaccutane from the hospital pharmacy.
Apparently I have to protect my skin from sunlight at all times. The doctor didn’t tell me this when she initially listed all the possible side effects and precautions needed. As British adults go, I’m pretty good with suncream. But I’m not in the habit of wearing it all day, every day. I will run without it early in the morning and will usually sit outside with my lunch for 15 minutes or so without it. That has to change. Now I am applying suncream as part of my morning routine. Our family has recently started using kids’ eight hour factor 50, so I jut put it on in the morning then I’m free to forget about it.
As soon as I’d swallowed my first tablet, I was sure my jaw was aching. But as an aching jaw is not listed as one of the (many) possible side-effects I’m guessing it was either psychological or a complete coincidence.
So this is how I look now, at the start of my course (not bad actually) and how I looked a few months ago when my acne was really bad.
I haven’t mentioned my back before, because nobody sees it. It’s not necessary to wear backless tops and dresses, so it’s not something I’m self-conscious about. But it’s PAINFUL. Imagine a large spot caught under your bra strap – that really hurts. It’s for my back as much as my face that I decided to finally face my fears and go on Roaccutane.
I’m on a pretty low dose at the moment, which is good. The improvements will be slower, but the side effects are less likely. For my body weight the usual starting dose is 30mg, but I’m starting on 20mg. It may be that I take a higher dose in future once my body has adjusted.
Now I’m just going to see what happens. I’ll blog my journey every now and then. Hopefully I won’t be telling you about horrible side effects, but I will be showing you some lovely, spot-free skin.