I got Botox last week. I know. I am TOTALLY shocked by this. I’m even more shocked I’m admitting this online. But here’s the deal: I have had cancer treatments done all over my face for close to ten years. I have spent far, far too much time at the dermatologist having lasers burn my face; having MOHs done. I have had so many spots frozen I have lost count. I have had PDT done twice (which hurts like hell). I am so tired of it. I am so tired of going to the dermatologist for have-tos because of cancer. And I think one of the doctors at my clinic took pity on me or realized I’d be an easy target because she offered me a free, cosmetic procedure after my last PDT treatment. So I said, “Sure, what the hell?”
So, I got some Botox. She gave me three injections. It was simple, fast and it didn’t hurt.
She didn’t touch my forehead wrinkles because my forehead is very expressive (meaning it does a lot of work all the time every time I speak or breath or exist) so she didn’t want my eyes to sag. She didn’t touch much of anything, to be honest. But I do have a very deep crease between my eyebrows. I guess it’s from frowning a lot. Because I am an awful person. (Just kidding. I’m alright. I think.) Anyway, I can’t make that crease right now. I look in the mirror and I tell my brain to tell my eyebrows to frown. I’ll say, “Hey eyebrows! FROWN!” And they don’t listen to me! They just won’t do it! And I crack up every single time.
And then I show Toby. I say, “Hey Toby! Tell me to make a mean face!”
“Make a mean face!”
And I can’t! And I laugh (which looks weird to Tobyjoe because I was supposed to look mean). And that makes me happy.
I know that probably sounds pretty bad. Like, aren’t you supposed to be able to frown, right? (I still can.) And shouldn’t you be able to look mean? (Not a problem.) And isn’t it messed up that one of the most deadliest neurotoxins on the planet is used to treat wrinkles, migraines and backaches? Who figured that one out? Who figured out that small amounts of something so positively deadly can do such a thing? I can’t even furrow my brow at this person. At least not for a few months.
But here’s the crazy part. And the whole reason I’m writing today: Botox makes me feel really, really good. I don’t mean because it made a huge difference to my face. That’s not the case at all. You actually can’t really see much of anything unless you tell me to make a mean face and then I will just laugh. (Actually, come to think of it, I’m probably making new laugh wrinkles. This is how they make their money, isn’t it?) Honestly, no one has noticed. Not a one.
I feel good because my eyes are relaxed. Have you ever felt sleepy, like, when your eyes have that burning sensation and you shut them and it just feels wonderful? It’s like that, only my eyes don’t burn at all. They just feel relaxed. The tension is gone.
I read once that if you smile a lot, or laugh a lot, you will be happier. Similarly, if you hang out with people who laugh and smile a lot, you will as well—that it’s contagious. And I know this is going to sound positively crazy but the inability to make that mean crease in between my eyebrows over the last week? It has made me laugh more. It has made me feel more relaxed. I feel happier. Weird.
The brow muscles responsible for expressing anger and stress are on vacation for a few months after 25 years of full-time work and because of that, I feel more relaxed. It’s all very interesting to me.
Incidentally, I wish they could do the same thing for my brain. Pinpoint one wrinkle, the tense part, stifle it just a little bit and see how that goes for a few months.