Battling Acne Scars

Author: mirai  //  Category: Uncategorized

When I was a kid, I was plagued with all kinds of ailments.  I actually got the the chicken pox or measles (or whatever that was) TWICE!!!  I had it once when I was 5 years old, and then again when I was 17.  I remember there was a 13 year old girl in my karate class that I help teach voluntarily who was recovering from the chicken pox.  I remember thinking that since I already had them as a small kid, that there was no chance of me getting them again…WRONG!  The following week, I passed out during my history final exam with a high fever.  It turned out that I had gotten the chicken pox from tat girl, and since I was relativily old for a person to get chicken pox,  I had to stay in the hospital all day to make sure that I wouldn’t go into shock.

But aside from the usual childhood diseases like the measles, tonsilitis chicken pox, mumps, etc., I had two diseases that still plaque me to this day.  One is allergies.  I am basically allergic to everything to some degree aside from air and water. My allergies were so bad as a child, that when they did a prick test on arm of various houshold substances such as house dust, dog dander, pollen etc, my arm swelled up so badly, that they thought that I might have a serious attack and had to keep me for several hours to make sure that I don’t die or something.  I had to get allergy shots twice a week for two years to build my resistance up so that I could survive just the basic elements.  Up until then,  I spent nearly 3 to 4 months out of the school year at home, because my allergies were so bad.

Over time, with the treatment of allergy shots, I was able adjust to my environment to a manageable degree.  But everytime I move to a new city or whatever, I am finding myself having to readjust to the new elements in that area.  Right now my worst season is the fall.  But at least I can get through the rest of the year without major problems.

My other ailment is acne.  I had REALLY bad acne every since I turned 13.  Its not the usual blemish or two on the nose or cheek. It was chronic acne; the type that makes your whole face hurt if you try to smile.  At one point it even deformed a part of my face, so I had to make occasional trips to the dermotologist and have  hyperdermic type needles stuck into various points in my face to relieve the pressure that the acne was causing.

Later,  I had to take what was then “experimental” medication called Acutane.  The stuff is pretty intense because it basically sucked any kind of moisture out of your skin.  As a matter of fact, while I was on Acutane, I had to drink a minimum of 8 cups of water daily or my face would completely dehydrate and peel really badly.   It had a quite a lot of side effects as well.  I wasn’t allowed to drive at night because my pupils would not dialate properly in dark places.  It was really scarey medication which came with a whole host of warnings and discalimers, but it work pretty well. It turned the chronic acne to just an occasional blemish or two.

But the after effect of having chronic acne, was the scarring.  I only get an occasional pimple nowadays if I eat something that I am allergic to (like chocolate -yes, if you break out after eating chocolate, that means you are allergic to it! Just a little trivia if you ever wondered) or if I am under a lot of stress. But I do have a quite a bit of scarring on my cheeks from the hell days.  And up until recently,  I thought I would have to live with the scars for the rest of my life.

When my mother came to Japan last month, she brought over a small vile of TCA (Trichloric acid)  Yeah, sounds like pretty scarey stuff, and in reality, it is scarey!  Its basically a weak flesh eating acid.  Its weak in that it won’t burn a hole through your skin, but it is strong enough to burn away the top layer of your skin.

My mother  experimented on me on new years, but she put very little on, because she was afraid that it would hurt me or burn too much of my skin away so she was a bit conservative with it..  It did sting a bit, but wasn’t any big deal.  Three days later, my skin started peeling and some of the scars actually went away.  I was pretty impressed.

A week later I tried it on my own.  I figured that a guy who can take needles being stuck in his face, could take a good healthly dose of flesh burning acid.  So, I poured some on a cotton ball, and wiped it on my face. DAMN.  IT BURNED!!  It was quite painful at first but I toughed it out.  A few minutes later, the burning stopped so I rinsed my face off and noticed that it had left some really serious burn marks on my face.  I actually looked like a burn victim.  It was pretty frightening at first, but it was already done so, there wasn’t much I could do.  I would just have to look like a burn victim for a few days.

About 3 days later, my skin start peeling again; it was almost like glue peeling off. I was tempted to strip it off by hand, but the direction specifically said not to.  But everytime I smiles or made any facial movements, a whole section of dead skin would just peel and fall off, almost like a reptile shedding.  By mid day the next day, almost of the old dry top layer had peeled off including much of the scar tissue.  I was pretty amazed.  The scars that have been with me since my tens were almost all gone.  I will probably need to do this a few more times to get rid of the scars completely (if that’s even possible) but I am glad that there is something that actually works!

Princess Comes Home

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Family and Friends

I picked up Princess from the vet yesterday morning. Despite being groggy from the sedatives, she seemed so be in good spirits. The vet said that she probably won’t have much of an appetite and not to worry if she chooses not to eat anything. Not Princess though. I fed her as soon as I got home and she scarfed down all her food like there was no tomorrow. She even looked as is she wanted seconds.

After her late breakfast, Princess fell asleep and slept for most of the day. No doubt the after effects of the surgery. I took a peek at her stiches on her iodine stained belly. Looked pretty gross, but it already looked to be healing nicely.

This morning, Princess woke and was her usual energetic self. She even played around with Jenna for a while. Looks as everything is back to normal.

Snow in Yokohama

Author: mirai  //  Category: Uncategorized

Today was the first snow of the year for Yokohama and it snowed pretty hard.  I LOVE snow, and I would have enjoyed it even more if it weren’t for the fact that I had an appointment to take Princess to the vet to get her spayed.  Lately, her spells with false pregnancy  was getting to be bit troublesome for her.  So I decided ot was about time that something was done


A pic of  Princess making a mad dash to parking and waiting for me to follow her.

Princess loves the snow too.  She spent about 30 minutes this morning going absolutely nuts and just running through it.  I wished I could let her spend more time playing in it, but I had to take her in.

On the other hand, Jenna doesn’t like the snow as much.  She would play in it for a few minutes, get cold, and then beg me to let her back in the house.  But today was Princess’s day so I let her spend as much time as possible in the smow before I put her in the car and drove her to the vet.

A pic of Jenna begging me to let her in the car.

It was sad leaving Princess at the vets office.  This would only be the second time ever that Jenna and Princess are separated for more than a day.  The last time was 2 years ago when Jenna had her operation.  Princess hates being left alone so she cried a lot when I left her.

Jenna has been pretty quiet all night.  She doesn’t seem too sad, but she does know that Princess isn’t her so she hasn’t been herself.

Tomorrow, I will go pick up Princess from the vet.  Hopefully she is well enough to play abit in the snow again.


Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Techie Stuff

My life has been a bore lately.  But this isn’t a complaint.  For once I am enjoying the unventfulness.  Last year was way too eventful for my tastes, so for once I want a little boredom and monotony back.
This weekend I spent some time play some games that got for my birthday (laughs).  I got a new Nintendo DS which was completely unexpected.  I am currentle addicted to Mario Kart DS and Brain Training.  Apparently , I have a brain of a 50 year old.  My mother, who’s 54 years old now is actually younger than me (according to the Brain Traiing game)

I so bought a red face place to change the look of my PSP.  I think it looks a bit prettier in red.  The red and black, which are like my two favorite combination of colors makes it look sexy…but kinda 80’s Japan, which probably is why I like it.  This DS is charcoal grey.  At first, I thought the DS was really kids, but once I started playing with it, I found that it had a of potential to do other things with it (other than playing games).  I read that it can even run a very rudimentary version of Windows. and since its touch screen, it makes it quite interesting to use.  I also use my PSP for other things as well.

The other day, on the way home from work, I saw what appeared to be a half black half Japanese girl and her mother on the bus.  She must have been only about 5 or 6 years old.  She was VERY talkative and speaking a maixure of Japanese and English.  She reminded me of myself when I was about that age.  I stood right next to her and smiled at her.  I think this kind of made her feel unconfortable because she immediately got quiet and hid behind her mother.  I use to do the same exact thing when I saw a foriegner in Japan, so I knew exactly how she felt.  I wanted to say something to her, but I didn’t quite know what to say since I am not too good with kids.  So, I just let it go.

Happy 2006!!

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Family and Friends, Life in general

Happy 2006!  Last night was the annual family reunion at my grandmother’s house.  My cousin Hide was conspicuously missing.  Apparenly he had other engagemnents and couldn’t make it.  The other thing that was different was Kanan.  She had a whole new look.  She was no longer the little girl that I had known for the last 18 years.  She had transformed into a kogal.  I nearly laughed myself silly when I saw her for the first time, but after it sunk it, I realized what a pretty young lady she had grown up to be, and it made me feel quite old.  

The reunion was a carbon of last year.  It you go back to january of 2005, you’ll see what we did this year.

Here are the pics anyways:

A picture of Tsugu and me

Roi playing with his new toy from the States

Aunt Yuriko holding Tsugu’s Jack Russell Terrier, Cookie

A close up

My mother and Kanan, sporting her new “adult” look

Ren trying to smile for the camera

Ryo trying to get to the second level playing R-TYPE on my PSP

Mom and Hiromi holding Princess

Princess and Jenna looking confused.

This year’s ice cream only cost 3142 yen. A 6000 yen savings from last year.

Even the pets got dessert

The dogs scarfing down the cake.

Kanan (far right) holding Cookie, whith Roi and Kanan’s friends.

Me posing and drooling all over my Aunt Yuriko’s new Porsche Cheyenne