Sledgehammer to crack a nut

I never get ill, but I do have things wrong with me. I don’t intend to go into detail here – you can read about me being healthy here and being unhealthy here

The other day I went to the doctor for a routine follow-up appointment. While I was there, he asked after my acne. I told him it wasn’t good, despite currently being on two types of medication for it. I think we can all assume now, at 39, that I’m not going to grow out of it. He suggested maybe I try some drugs which are only available from the hospital.

Yes, I’m sorry to say that is my actual chin. Wrinkles and spots, what an unfortunate combination.

They would really dry out my skin, making my painful eczema worse. I’d have cracked dry lips. And I’d have to have ‘really good’ contraception. Apparently the coil, which has prevented me from getting pregnant ever since I had my daughter, isn’t good enough. I’d be on these tablets for six to nine months.

But at the end of it, there’s a 70% chance my acne would be cleared up. Not better, not improved. GONE.

And then I heard on the radio this drug had been linked to depression and suicidal feelings. I could certainly do without THAT. We all know that mums are perfectly capable of getting those without any chemical help whatsoever.

So do I make one thing worse and risk depression to get rid of the other? Or do I just put up with the spots like I’ve done for the last 27 years? The idea of being without them is impossible to imagine. But of course there’s a 30% chance it won’t change and I’ll have put myself through painful eczema and potential depression for months for nothing. What is most important to me here? Are the drugs a step too far?

And I’ve had another health dilemma in the last few days. I think this one really is a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

Apologies if you’re eating… I’ve told you before in this post that running is bad for your toenails. Ever since I did the Bristol half marathon in 2011 I’ve had a toenail which has got thicker and thicker and almost impossible to cut. It looked pretty horrible, but didn’t really bother me until it started causing its neighbour to bleed and giving it blisters.

So I went to a chiropodist. But it turned out he wasn’t just a chiropodist. He was an expert on posture and how the way you stand can cause injury. Apparently my feet don’t touch the ground quite right and my toes are a funny shape. So they’re more likely to get injured. My left knee turns in slightly (I can’t see it myself), so I will always get injured on the left.

The toenail was on the left. And the knee injury/ ITB that stopped me running for a few months last autumn. And the hip pain I had for a year from 1998 until 1999 which still bothers me sometimes. Even the intermittent pain in my hand and wrist is on the left.

For under £1,000 he could correct my posture, preventing further injury and improving my sporting performance.

It sounds tempting, but then I just think, no, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Yes, I get a bit of pain every now and then, but who doesn’t? I’m very lucky with my health.

I only wanted my toenail sorted out. Surely this would be a sledgehammer to crack a nut?

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Ok, this is my personal opinion, no medical training! But the guy that wants to correct your posture for a grand! Kinda sounds like he’s looking at a Good payday, and not much else. You’re feet sound like a fungal infection, go see a pharmacist. As for your acne, it depends how much it bothers you, if it really affects you then you should go for it! Don’t know if any of that helps lol x

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  2. I took the acne drug you are talking about. Not only did it dry out my lips beyond anything I’ve ever known (even with liberal layers of grease, cream etc I had a constant red moustache like my 7yo with a cold) – it also dried out all other areas of my body that needed any kind of lubrication (need I say more!!) – including my eyes.
    My acne definitely reduced but never completely went (I took it for 7 months). Within 3 months of stopping the drug, the acne came back – and now, a year later, it is as bad as before.
    I recommend you give it a try as I was desperate for anything to get rid of the zits – you never know, it may be the miracle drug for you.

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  3. I would be sceptical of anyone who says he can “cure” or “correct” your posture. Really only a physiotherapist and lots of work can make a meaningful difference.

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  4. Thanks for all your comments, everyone. I particularly appreciate your thoughts on this one!
    Shona/ Joanna – I’m inclined to agree with you on the posture thing. I’m doing OK for someone who’s feet allegedly don’t hit the ground right. There’s not that many 39 year old women who can run a half marathon.
    Anon – really appreciate your input on the acne. Not sure I like the sound of skin THAT dry and disappointing to hear it came back again. I’m going to give this some VERY careful thought. Thanks very much.

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  5. Agree, show your toenail to a pharmacist. Several OTC products or anti-fungal tablets from your GP.

    Re. your gait analysis – it’s worth having a physio assessment. Shouldn’t cost more than £70, and then you know for sure.

    Re. your acne. Whilst I fully support the NHS, I do find dermatology services sadly lacking. Find a private dermatologist and get a proper assessment. Have you definitely got acne, or rosacea for example?

    Good luck – please let us know what happens. Others will find it useful too x.

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  6. Thanks very much, Lesley! Might have known you would have some good advice 🙂 The toenail is now trimmed to within an inch of its life, so we’ll see if it grows back normally or not.
    Physio assessment sounds sensible too.
    Acne is definitely acne 🙁 My GP is a skin specialist. I’ve had it since I was 12 and been on medication permanently since I was 16 – and it still hasn’t gone! A twitter follower is going to let me try a new product, which I’m very excited about it and I will definitely be blogging about! x

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