The Botox Diary
I have been dabbling in the idea of doing something about my deep glabella muscle line (I feel cool saying that, but it’s just the medical name for the muscles between your eyes) for over a decade. And in that decade, that wrinkle has gone from a crease to a deep crevasse over which I obsessed every time I checked the mirror.
Typically, I’m the kind of girl who researches something seven ways to Sunday before I make a decision. A few years back, when the wrinkle was tiny, I typed in “Botox,” and learned things that scared me. Something about botulism (whaaat?!?), something else about being unable to change your facial expressions, and then more about it being very expensive… My inner tomboy- the “this is how God made me, like it or not” girl- was disappointed in my own vanity and I tabled the idea for years.
But I can always tell when impulsive decision-making overtakes my logic, because all research stops. Now that I’ve reached the ripe old age of “girl, you are definitely middle aged,” I was yearning to try something that would make me feel young again. And so a few months ago, while agonizing over my eyebrow area, I came to the conclusion that I was giving Botox a shot (hee hee), research be damned. I called a reputable doctor’s office and made my appointment.
Once there, an aide asked to take pictures of my face. First, regular photos and then “scrunchy face” pictures. I wondered if the “scrunchy faced” ones helped the Physician’s Assistant do her work, or if I was being sent to someone’s Snapchat. Either way, the Physician’s Assistant was helpful and explained, using big words like “muscle paralysis,” that my injection would last about 4 months. She thoughtfully headed into upsell mode by encouraging me to also have Botox injected in my upper forehead lines (because there was a good chance those would bother me once my big wrinkle smoothed out!) Luckily, I decided that I was okay with my barely noticeable forehead lines and focused only on the big-crease-of-despair.
I’m not shy. I told many friends (okay, I even told acquaintances) and encouraged them to look for my results. Who isn’t curious about the “before” and “after” of a glabellar muscle Botox injection? I felt like every friend’s guinea pig. Most people told me “I’ve always wanted to try that but I (fill in really good reason here)” so I was taking one for the team! One of my family members had more surgery than Joan Rivers and refused to admit it, and I wasn’t going to be that person.
So, after taking the plunge. Here are my conclusions about my Botox experience:
- Holy mother, those shots hurt!
- Botox makes a crunchy sound when it goes into your skin. It’s creepy.
- I was amazed at how long my shot sites hurt after the injections. The pain lasted for over two weeks.
- You know that feeling when you have a sticker stuck to your face or face paint that has dried on your skin? That’s what Botox feels like. Like something is installed in (or on) your skin.
- I didn’t realize until my after-injection-research that Botox makes your skin shiny. Not just shiny but irregularly shiny. There are differing opinions on why this is, but it’s unpleasant. Face powder helps.
- I’m not frozen in expression, but I can assure you that the one-eyebrow-arch-look I use to rebuke my child has lost its oomph.
- It really reduced the wrinkle a lot! I was impressed by that.
- I learned that most people that I asked didn’t even notice my big glabellar wrinkle in the first place to even realize it had changed.
- It was expensive. At $240, it was okay to try once, but cost prohibitive to do on an ongoing basis.
- I’m glad I tried it as I would have always wondered. But the next time I want to feel youthful, I’m going to stick to something a little less expensive and less long term such as painting my fingernails a crazy shade of blue!*
*HGB gave this advice to me almost twenty years ago. Gosh, she was wise beyond her teenage years.