Nearly Shut Eyelid
- updated 8 months ago
I was injected with 15 units (supposedly less than...
- 19 Mar 2013
I was injected with 15 units (supposedly less than the usual 20) to treat my frown lines, the vertical wrinkles on my forehead between my eyes. Five days later I woke up with severe eyelid droop over my right eye, and 7-10 days after the injections the eyelid was completely shut when I was relaxed. I could strain to keep it open to see, but only for about an hour or two at a time. When I did this my good eye opened much wider than usual and quickly dried out.
It is now Day 24 after the injections and Day 20 since the droop, and the droop is still very noticeable. I feel it physically all the time, and it is difficult to see. Not to mention that I look like a freak or just a very ugly woman. This is one lesson about vanity that I have learned very well.
On Thursday it will be three weeks of severe droop. I have noticed a very slight improvement, but I'm still unwilling to go out socially or look strangers in the eye. Throughout this time my vision has been compromised. The eyelid partially obscures my pupil, and the eye itself is not focusing correctly. The Botox affected an eye muscle as well as the levator, or eyelid, muscle.
I take comfort in the thought that the effects of the botox are not permanent (at least I hope) and that it is improving, however minimally, every day. But until then my life is pretty much on hold. I stay home. I cancelled my Match.com account. My search for an equal partner will have to wait. My friends will have to wait--except for the few who are willing to go out with me looking like a freak. At work I get looks of pity. I've been totally up front about what happened because I want everyone to know what the risks are.
I don't know how long this will last but given the rate of improvement I don't expect to be back to my old self before 3 months. I hope that it's not noticeable to other people about 2 months out. Next week begins the 4th week.
At least I've learned a lesson. People will just have to accept me for who I am. I know for myself that I will never have Botox injections again.
The other things I've learned are:
- that doctors are not incentivized to understand the side effects and recovery time. Because recovery time is so long, most patients don't keep in touch with their doctors over the entire course. It is the responsibility of providers who have been notified of negative side effects to check in with their patients weekly. Most prefer to distance themselves from the problem, however.
- most doctors downplay the risks, partly because the reported side effects are low (3%-5%), partly because they earn their livelihood by giving injections, and partly because they don't fully understand the extent to which the side effects and negative results impair their patients.
- most "providers" do not have enough knowledge of anatomy to practice safely and effectively
It would be interesting to see a documentary made on the negative side effects of Botox
Google ad. The provider was a trainee in a group of trainees led by a mid-20s trainer who directed exactly where the injections should go. To their credit, they refunded me, paid for brimonidine drops prescribed by my ophthalmologist (which did nothing), and offered to pay for a spa treatment, such as a massage. I haven't taken them up on it.