Something happened yesterday that made me think that it was time for a Working For Yourself update. When I checked back, I realized that I hadn’t done one for the past couple of months. But I feel this post encompasses more than just the last half-year… I have to start with a rollback to the beginning of 2011, when I noticed that something was awry with my body.
As I mentioned previously, I started developing cystic acne all over my face and back during the last two years of my day job. It was unexpected and weird. I didn’t understand — I had great hygiene, drank lots of water, had a pretty clean diet, used a prescription ointment, and it just kept coming. A dermatologist recommended Accutane, and on the eve of quitting my state agency job I seriously considered it, despite all the health risks and sun sensitivity. Like, discussed it with Walt, instructed him to sign up for a health plan that would cost more out of pocket but would save us money in the long run (for all the doctors’ visits, blood tests, and medication), and made the first appointment to get my initial blood test done.
At the same time, my dentist told me that my teeth were not doing so well. Listen: if there is one thing I am meticulous about, it is my teeth. I realize that I only get one set for my entire adult lifetime, and I intend to be buried with my full jaw when I’m an over-ripe old woman. Both of my parents grew up with less-than-satisfactory oral care and drilled the importance of dental health into both my sister and me from an early age. I brushed and flossed diligently. So when I was informed that my mouth wasn’t looking so hot and if the decline continued I’d need invasive intervention, I was incredibly frustrated. “Are you under a lot of stress?” the hygienist asked.
Well, yes. I was trying to get a business off the ground, while simultaneously paying all ours bills with a job that had me shut in a basement under fluorescent lighting for all daylight hours doing repetitive motions with my hands as my brain fought in vain to stay sharp and alert… I would say that that was a little bit on the stressful side.
As soon as I gave my notice, my skin started clearing up. I watched as June slipped by and my complexion, with additional coaxing from prescription cream, evened out. My last week at the job, I didn’t even feel like I needed to wear makeup to cover my blemishes. I canceled the doctor’s appointment, which had been scheduled a month in advance (it’s a pregnancy test, as Accutane is toxic to fetuses). At the same time, I splurged on an electric toothbrush.
It’s been around 6 months since I gave notice, and a year since my last dental appointment. Yesterday I went back and, despite the fact that I had been past due for a cleaning, I was given an optimistic, mostly-clean bill of health (sadly, a small cavity needs to be filled, but that’s about it). Which prompted some reflection and the creation of this post. [Read more...]