First post! Very nervous about this, to be honest.
I started this blog to document my journey to health with the Cleveland Clinic Functional Medicine Center. It’s not that I’m unhealthy…I’m just dealing with a problem I feel like most 26 year old women don’t have to deal with. I have a face full of cystic acne.
I’ll spare you from the photos, but my face hasn’t always been a primary concern. Sure, I struggled a little bit in high school, and as my doctor so brashly pointed out when I was 19 that blaming acne on “being a teenager” was no longer a thing, I started to wonder when my face would clear up. I halfheartedly tried everything on the market, but I didn’t think it was that bad and couldn’t seem to ever remember to follow the complicated protocol.
Proactiv fixed everything though. I finally gave in and subscribed in my early twenties, and bam! My skin was clear…until one day while working for a large accounting firm in Arlington, Virginia, it wasn’t anymore. Proactiv stopped working. My skin was back to its “little bit of acne state.” And I cared, but after transitioning to a new city, and a new job as a Chemistry teacher in an urban public school, I didn’t care enough to do anything about it.
For reasons other than skin care, I switched to a plant-based diet and that is when my “a little bit of acne” seemed to get progressively worse…and worse…and worse. I hit an all-time low this summer. My face was hideous. I refused to take a single photo, even on an epic bike trip with my boyfriend from Cleveland to Buffalo, which was probably worth documenting. I could not bring myself to look at my face in the mirror, and I spent all of my spare time Googling holistic options. I happened upon Dr. Hyman and the Functional Medicine Center at the Cleveland Clinic, and after bawling my eyes out one summer afternoon, I finally called to schedule an appointment. The only problem, the wait list was extensive, and they were not booking any appointments in the new year. Cue waterworks. My poor boyfriend.
I kept exploring the writings of functional medicine doctors I respected, including Dr. Hyman and Dr. Mercola, and tried my best try as many alternative ideas as I could. They obviously were not working, however, as evidenced by my boyfriend’s grandmother announcing to his whole family at a dinner in November that she was going to buy me some “new face soap to try.” My face was embarrassing enough that his grandmother wanted to help. Cue waterworks, again.
The day the Functional Medicine Center called me to schedule an appointment was honestly one of the greatest days of my life. Though the journey is difficult, as I’ll explain in later posts, it is one that gives me great hope. The acne is my body telling me something is wrong. It is our job to figure it out, in the quest for wellness (and clear skin). The following posts will document my Functional Medicine journey, my switch to a pegan lifestyle (paleo + vegan hybrid), and everything in between!