Before I get started, let me say a few things:
I am not a doctor, so I am not giving medical advice here.
I am not trying to convince anyone to do this, it’s just my story.
The photos are not altered. I wasn’t planning to write about this experience (I was and, still am, a little embarrassed), so the photos were originally taken for my personal comparison.
I did my best to be careful that the before and after photos were taken in the same light, the same location and on the same time of day. I also attempted to wear the same amount of mascara, and used no other kind of cosmetic on my face. Still, it’s not perfect science, I’m not a scientist (in addition to not being a doctor).
I am not being compensated in any way. No money, no free services, no nothing. No one suggested I do this. It was solely my idea and I paid for the treatment myself.
That being said, here’s the scoop…
I’m a squinter. Always have been. My Grandma used to caution me, “Quit doing that – your face will freeze that way!” In my twenties, David would affectionately tease me about my “worry line.” He would always know when something was amiss, all he had to do was look between my eyes.
Fast forward thirty (or so) years and, still, I squint on. The squinting’s worst when I’m writing – I don’t even realized I’m doing it.
And Grandma was right, my face did freeze like that. I had a very wise Grandma.
I was squinting as hard as I could here for this picture. See what’s going on?!!!
Then the headaches started. Right smack in the middle of the face butt. Mild at first, but eventually they were heavy and constant.
It was really boiling down to a lifestyle change. I would have to stop writing or go in for a drastic measure. And I didn’t want to stop writing.
I’m not going to lie and say that vanity didn’t play a part in this decision. I felt like every time I looked in the mirror (or worse, editing one of our videos!) my brow was getting more and more Neanderthal-like.
I can handle my laugh lines — they are created by happiness. But the cave man brow made me look like I was scowling. Like I was mean and angry. And I’m definitely neither of those things.
I wanted to look in the mirror and see my face reflecting my true, happy self.
So I ran my thoughts through the family.
The Piglet: Mom, I think you should do what makes you feel good about yourself. I’m going to do it when I’m older. I have a lot of friends in their twenties and thirties who already do it preventively. (ME: WHAT?!)
Decibel: You’re going to put POISION in your face? Seriously?
The Boy: I didn’t tell The Boy, he’d be no help and he’d just mock me, which is exactly what he did when he found out afterward.
David: I’m really against this idea.
Me: You’re not the boss of me (mature, I know.)
David: Fine, but I’m not driving you there.
Me: I’ll drive myself.
David: In what?
He called my bluff. The sum total of my motorhome driving experience involved top speeds of about 5 miles per hour in parking lots and campgrounds. However, his protective instinct kicked in.
I’m just not sure if he was more worried about me, or the motorhome. Either way, he ended up driving me.
The Piglet had advised me to find a really good Botox-er because people have ended up with droopy eyes and lopsided brows. She correctly assumed that was not the look I was going for.
So I found myself in a plastic surgeon’s office. My visit began with the reading of four scary pages of THINGS THAT MIGHT GO WRONG.
Then I started asking my questions. I had marked up the four scary pages with lots of questions. I learned that the droopy eyes and wonky brows can happen from the migration of the Botox to the wrong muscles. The doctor confirmed that it had happened to one of his patients and that it was temporary.
The doctor was fabulous and patiently answered my queries. After about ten of them, I started to feel a bit ridiculous. Here is a man who may have just performed a skin graft on a burn victim. Now he’s got this stupid woman in his office freaking out because her eyebrows might not match up.
I took a breath and went for it.
I never saw the needle, but it had to be tiny because I barely felt it. However, there was a more-than-slightly disturbing crunching noise during the procedure – in fact, the nurse actually called them “the crunchies” when I commented/freaked out about it.
The doctor completed his task in under thirty seconds.
For the rest of the day, I fed my panic monster. Every little twinge in my body had me convinced that it was a horrible side effect. I spent a lot of time checking up on face butt in the mirror. I searched diligently for possible infection at the injection sites (I couldn’t even find the injections sites).
After three days, I was seeing huge visual results. After five, the headaches stopped. Seriously. Completely stopped.
I made up my mind to share my story (and the fact that I tried Botox at all) mainly because I don’t trust the before and after photos I see in ads. It would have been nice to have someone I trusted give me the straight dope.
So in that spirit, allow me to show my embarrassing before and after Botox photos.
(Drum roll please!)
BEFORE: Relaxed. Note the face butt, the hook and the ridge.
AFTER: Relaxed. One week later.
Now, admittedly, the next two photos are slightly disturbing. In my head I knew what Botox did, but this was just weird.
BEFORE: Squinting as hard as I can.
AFTER: Squinting as hard as I can. One week later.
YOUR TURN: NOW you can judge me. 😉 Have you/would you try Botox? Feel free to ask me questions!