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Why I Stopped Getting Botox

Several years ago, I was using Botox pretty regularly. Then, I stopped. Last year, I went back for more of the Botulinum toxin that paralyzes the facial muscles of those looking to be line-free. When it didn’t work, I turned to Dysport, a similar product, which did work. But recently I decided I’m done with all that. Don’t get me wrong. I like Botox. Heck, I love Botox. Or, should I say, the effects of it. If you wave your hand and say, “I’d never do that,” well, never say never when it comes to what the ravages of time can do to your visage. The thing about aging that’s tricky is that it’s one of those things in life over which you have no control. And if you’re a control freak like me, that’s not fun. Got a problem? Fix it. It involves putting poison in your system? Those are the breaks. I had an issue, and Botox, then Dysport, was my solution.

Of course, when it comes to toxins and your body, it’s not quite that simple. I did quite a bit of research on both products, and I knew what I was doing, or so I thought. I felt comfortable with what I was doing, but, still, there was always something niggling me in the back of my mind every time I found myself on the doctor’s table as the needle popped into my skin. Is this really a good idea? To say putting botulism in you is counter-intuitive would be something of an understatement. Plus, you’re paying $300 and up for the privilege.

In the last year, I had a few physical problems, among them a most unfortunate kidney stones incident. The night that ordeal reached its peak, I found myself in the emergency room with an IV in my arm, watching the results of a CT scan play across the screen as the doctor pointed out where the various pebbles were located in my organs. It was a sort of surreal experience — or maybe that was the drugs — but it kind of blew my mind to be looking inside my body. It’s a view you don’t often get. A few months before that, I’d been sent in for a second mammogram. It was all fine, but seeing what I hadn’t seen previously — Oh, that’s what my boob looks like on the inside — made me want to do a better job of taking care of my body, rather than putting stuff I didn’t necessarily need into it.

Over time, I’ve taken up a pretty steady regime of acupuncture, massage, and yoga, and I knew none of the people guiding me through those therapies would be supportive of Botox. So, the last time my Dysport dose ran out, I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, To hell with it. Do I look better? Who knows. Do I feel better? Maybe. In the end, I’d rather spend my money on tofu and reiki, not facial paralysis.

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