Accutane: I hate to love it

I have been on Accutane (pharmaceutical name; isotretinoin) for four months now. For many years I suffered from fairly severe nodular acne on my face, shoulders, and back. As I’ve gotten older the acne has obviously reduced, especially around the time I turned nineteen. However, I still would occasionally have severe breakouts on my face and was constantly plagued by painful and deep acne on my shoulders and back. My acne is often an indicator of my mood and stress level, as I see certain amounts of breakouts coinciding with these factors. When I am eating extremely healthy and excessing, I also see a difference. My skin is sensitive, and a simple touch to the face could result in a pimple the next day. After trying every known acne solution/treatment known to man, I finally made the decision to go on Isotrentinoin. A decision that I had deliberated  on in the past, but always veered away from it. Tyrone had taken Isotrentinoin as a teenager, and because of his treatment with it, he had developed many side effects in regards to his stomach and esophagus. Isotrentinoin is known to have many major side effects and many people experience severe stomach problems during usage and after. Among other side effects, Isotrentinoin can cause(Source): 

  • depressed mood, trouble concentrating, sleep problems, crying spells, aggression or agitation, changes in behavior, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;
  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • blurred vision, sudden and severe headache or pain behind your eyes, sometimes with vomiting;
  • hearing problems, hearing loss, or ringing in your ears;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • severe pain in your upper stomach spreading to your back, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate;
  • loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • severe diarrhea, rectal bleeding, black, bloody, or tarry stools;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, purple spots under your skin, easy bruising or bleeding;
  • severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash; or
  • joint stiffness, bone pain or fracture.

Obviously I had to truly want to get rid of my acne to go on this, and I DID. I really did. 

 

So four months ago I began my isotrentinoin treatment…and honestly it hasn’t been as bad as I was expecting. The first month did see a dip in my mood, but that could have actually been the results of my breakup and not the drug at all. The biggest side effect that I have experienced is the constant chapped lips. I have to carry a bottle of aquaphor around with me constantly. I wake up in the morning feeling like a dried up prune, but it seems to be paying off. My skin is begging to show signs of massive change. I have no facial acne or black heads to speak of….they are just gone….and the pores on my face have almost disappeared. My shoulders are starting to heal up now as well(Shoulders and Back take longer in the treatment). I have two more months of Isotrentinoin, and so far it has been a great decision and I couldn’t be happier with the results. Below are some pictures showing my skin at various stages of my life and during my treatment. 

 

 

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Salt Lake City: The Balance of City and Wilderness

When I moved up north a little more than a year ago, I never thought I’d feel like this place was home. Especially living up in Heber, I often found myself wondering what I was doing there. A small little town on the Wasatch Back…with really nothing there for me in terms of theatre or a social life. Although, I got to spend that year living near my sister and enjoying the wilderness offerings that come with living in a mountain valley village. Then I had the opportunity to do a show down at the Hale Centre Theatre and started making frequent trips down the Sale Lake Valley. This is were I began to click with living up North. I fell in love with Salt Lake City. I began to frequent the city more, and staying down as long as possible. It became easier to stay in the city as I began to date and the city started pulling me in even more. Those first few months of traveling between Heber and SLC were rough. The drive up Parleys Canyon is beautiful and scenic, but as most paths do when traveled many times, became tedious and dull. I was then presented with an even bigger change, and was able to move down into the heart of the city. I found myself at an apartment complex within steps of Temple Square and the city night life. There has always been a part of me that is fascinated with city life, I yearn for it. There however is also a part of me that yearns in the same way for the mountains and the wild. Spending to much time in one makes me seek the other. That balancing act keeps me sane, and Salt Lake is the perfect city to find that balance. When I yearn for the mountains, and for hiking, I’m only a short car trip away from some of the most beautiful areas in Utah. If I want city life, it’s at my finger tips. I am now in a massive transition period of my life, and I feel like I have found someplace that will be a good base for that transition. There is something bizarre about trying to get out on your own. I have the will to be independent, but often lack those necessary skills to be fully financially independent. I’ll be interviewing tomorrow for a position with the Salt Palace Convention Centre, and have many opportunities in the theatre world coming up. Brigham Young called the Salt Lake Valley “a place of bounty”, and I’ve come to realize that it is indeed.

My Faith is Equality

Yesterday, Arkansas became the 18th state to allow Same-Sex Marriages. Hearing that news brings up many feelings of joy and happiness. Knowing that this country is moving in a direction that promotes equality for all individuals is an excellent feeling. Places where gay marriage seemed to be an unclimbable mountain, are now base camps in the fight to marriage equality. Marriage equality is forth and for most a basic right. The right to marry who you love. I honestly have a hard time coming to terms with individuals who oppose this idea of love. How one could think that another human shouldn’t have the same rights as them is beyond me. The debate of homosexuality and gay marriage should be a debate of humanity, and never a debate of religion. If you use religion as the basis of your debate, it is automatically flawed. To declare that homosexuality is wrong based on church teachings, or the writings in The Bible(or any other religious text) holds no more truth than if someone declared homosexuality wrong based on an ad in the newspaper. As someone who has experienced the exhausting emotional conflicts of hiding their sexual preference, I know that despite what “The Bible Says”, I don’t feel like it has validity. I know only what I feel. I am fairly certain that those feelings are the same feelings that many of you reading this have felt too. What is it like to be sexually attracted with the opposite sex?  Whatever your answer was to that question, I have felt in the same way towards the same-sex. There is nothing foreign about it. It is one hundred percent the same exact emotion and feeling. We are humans. We have instincts and behaviors, and who is to say that any of these instincts or behaviors are wrong? We base our knowledge of what is appropriate on texts that have been altered and changed through out history. Texts that have been altered to fit specific circumstances. Therefore, using religion as a basis for the debate in same-sex marriage becomes mute.

We are living in an era where human rights need to be secured and it’s important to remember what our faith teaches us. It teaches us to be true to ourselves, to remain a good person, and to accept others no matter their circumstances.

My faith is equality.

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