A girlfriend invited me to a Botox party. (Where a group of women gather at the doc's office and get shot up together, thereby saving a bunch of money by Botox-ing in bulk.) My first thought, "She uses Botox?" She looks amazing, not at all frozen.
Then I got to thinking. Why the heck not? I mean, really. I get a flu shot every year, I drive a car, I had my bikini line obliterated by laser, heck, I had eyeliner tattooed along my lash line. I'm no stranger to calculated risk.
My 40's have been freakin' fantastic. I'm more phlegmatic, and more intentional. I'm a little less disciplined, more principled, and much, much more forgiving. So Botox? Sure, why the hell not. I'll take it for a spin.
Here's how it went down.
I gathered with my ladies, we chatted and waited for our topical anesthetic to take hold while the nurse gathered our litany of syringes. The plan for my forehead was 30cc. The anesthetic worked like a charm and I didn't feel the full sting of multiple shots at all. I walked away with bumps that looked like mosquito bites, which faded in a couple of hours.
Here's a pic from the treatment chair, pre-Botox.
I'm heady with anticipation as the Botox starts to kick in ... and yet, wow, my forehead still wants to express some things and I have a headache.
Day 4 photos.
|Still emoting up top.|
|Look at that, the Scrutiny Furrow is no longer active.|
My forehead is a blank slate. The Scrutiny Furrow, also smooth and immobile. Am I happy? Not really.
Turns out that bewilderment, abject surprise, concern, delight, wonder, and myriad other emotions suit my face. I miss my forehead's perfect synchronicity with my brain.
My kids noticed immediately, "Why does your forehead look weird?" They trust their friend, Forehead, to show them how everything's going. My forehead, she's a barometer of many moods, my kids want the full face show.
Despite the Botox, my forehead still wants to react to life experience. It's giving me a headache, literally. The intensity of the relationship between my forehead and my every emotion can't be severed with a few shots, apparently. It hurts.
What's more? When I do show emotion (which is often), the last, teeny-tiny remaining active muscles make me look akin to Jack Nicholson.
This is me feeling abject surprise, concern, delight, and wonder. Oy. I'm trying to figure the next move: fix the Nicholson effect with more Botox, or let it ride as a poignant reminder of my folly.
Botox has been in use for 20 years and enjoys a good track record. Aside from cosmetic procedures, it's been found to help painful muscle flare-ups, and can sometimes replace a regimen of steroids. People who suffer from Hyperhidrosis (profuse perspiration), can now fix the problem with Botox. Great, right?
This is a good product and works for quite a few women I know. I will never begrudge a sister her sense-of-self, however it comes to pass. For me, Botox is not great. If you love Botox, I'm glad you've found something that works. If you're on the fence about Botox, let me be your cautionary tale.
It's not just my kids that want the full face show. I do too.