Adventures in Botox

When I called the plastic surgeon for an appointment, she asked what I was interested in. “Ohhhh, I’ve got a droopy eyelid.” Which is true. My grandmother had it, my mother had it. Grandma did nothing and my mom got a tuck.

So, since 50 is around the corner, and the droop is becoming visible, I went to see the good doctor recommended by a friend.

After looking at it, she said the one word I was not expecting…”Botox.”


Really? She suggested injections would work better than any surgery. I hesitated.

There is a stigma about using Botox, like it is cheating, in a way.

Concidering my six years of extensive orthodontistry as a child and my monthly hair appointment now to cover the grey, what difference would a little Botox make at this point?

I admitted to a few close friends that I was considering Botox injections. The reactions were varied. Some said I didn’t need it, some were horrified, others asked if I could give them my doctor’s number.

In the end, I decided to go for it.

That is how I found myself on a Thursday afternoon, laying on a table with plastic wrap on my face. Another new experience, as my mother would say. But she didn’t know I was there.

Because I didn’t tell her.

Over the years, when I could call home, my parents would casually mentioned various surgeries, but only after the fact. “How’s Dad?” “Oh, recovering well from his gall bladder surgery…” “What? You didn’t tell me he was having surgery… I called you Tuesday!” When it has been cosmetic, my mother doesn’t mention it at all … waiting, I guess, for me to notice. This game is very unnerving, like trying to see if Mom is now Mom 2.0.

So, now it was my turn to play, guess-what’s-new. But first, I had to be brave enough for the injections. The doctor came over once the numbing gel had worked its magic. After taking a pen and having drawn nine (9!) dots around my eyes, she started the injections. The ones by my forehead were barely noticeable but when she went to the sides of my eyes, I had to hold myself still. But compared to an orthodontist visit, this was nothing.

When she had finished, I went to see her assistant for payment and instructions. “Sleep only on your back tonight” she warned. “Why? Why?” I started to panic as I could feel my forehead freezing up. “You don’t want the Botox to spread..” Spread? Where would it spread? Turns out to other muscles in the face causing, guess what… A droopy eyelid.

So sleep on my back it would be. I was also told not to rub my face and why not forgo make-up for a day or two. The list was getting long.

I then asked a question that I am sure I am the first woman ever to ask after getting Botox, “but can I play the trombone tonight?”

The answer, dear reader, is no.

I took the afternoon off just in case I started to swell or had a bad reaction. I went home and settled in with an Advil and Netflix on my reclining couch. I sent a message to Philippe that the doctor told me it was unadvisable to go to band practice that night. (All true!) And I waited for the Botox to work its magic.

I slept on the reclining couch propped up with pillows. It was a restless night, with starts of fear that I had turned my head too far and now would looked like a cartoon character that had just been smacked in the side of the head with an anvil.

I woke in the morning and rushed to the mirror. No changes. Nothing. All that for that? I read that noticible changes appeared after a week. But I did feel a pulling like Jell-O that was solidifying in my forehead from day one. Two weeks on and I can report that my forehead feels tighter and it is a bit unnerving that I can’t move certain muscles anymore.

Like I can’t furrow my eyebrows. As hard as I try, I can’t look pissed off. I can declare as loudly as I want “I’m mad at you!” But I will scowl at the victim of my rath with a pleasant look on my face. Shouting “I’m scowling here!” seems counterproductive.

Like a fairy godmother, my plastic surgeon has left me the non verbal power of sarcasm. I can raise my right eyebrow to “calling bullshit” levels quite smoothly and rapidly.

Oh, my droopy eyelid, you are wondering? Honestly, not much seems to have changed but maybe it is the subtleness and the time it has taken to kick in that I can’t really tell. Before, it bothered me. Now, both eyelids look the same. Colleagues have been asking me for a week if I changed my hair color (no, hehe) because they can see something has changed. One of my closest friends who knows me very well says it looks as if I had a very good night’s sleep.

The best case scenario is that it will last 6 months. So, I will see if this was just a one shot at 9 shots.

Unless, things start to droop again…

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