JULIE'S STORY: I PUT MY FAITH INTO WHAT I BELIEVED TO BE A "TRUSTED PHYSICIAN".
Botox. I used to be a believer. I admit, I had 2 past injections for wrinkle masking over the past couple of years. They worked. They softened those years of work, kids, matrimonial, life stresses- all off the face that I proudly tried to maintain leading up to the Big 4-0. But then, I had been referred to a dental surgeon/TMJ specialist for having decades long problems with jaw clenching, teeth grinding and some of the strongest masseter muscles. My jaw muscles appeared to be the brunt of where I held my stress. What could go wrong? I had Botox before, for cosmetic use with very little side effects. Maybe just a headache, which I was told was very normal. On June 17th of 2019, I went off to my scheduled appointment for masseter injections using Botox. 100 units of Botox. Nervous as could be, I put my faith into what I believed to be a "trusted physician". A dental surgeon to be exact. The appointment went as as one could imagine. I was injected in my jaw, nose bridge, forehead, skull and around my eyes. "Voila!" I was promised relief from years of pain. I was also told that eventually the grinding would subside since my muscles were now "temporarily" paralyzed. I was never given the black box warnings for Botox. I was only told to "not lie down for a few hours" and "no heavy activity". That was all. And that- I did do, as per his instructions. I went home that day and did my work. I made some calls and carried on with my routine. The following morning, I woke up to a horribly heavy forehead and headache. I figured it was somewhat normal to have those sensations. So, I didn't think much of it. But then, I walked into the washroom and looked in the mirror and saw someone I did not recognize. My eyes resembled that of someone who just endured a week of crying mixed with an allergic reaction. Panicked, I called the doc. I was gently told, "it's just swelling at the site". The site? Nothing was injected there. But okay. "Ice it, and it'll be fine". And that I did- for 4 days straight. This was called eye ptosis. After those 4 days, not only did my eyes not reduce, but I was also left with a paralyzed mouth. No smile. I could not move my mouth to smile even if my life depended on it. I could not put my contact lenses in. Why even bother to apply eye makeup? My lids were now 3 layers of skin. The toxin continued to spread- further to other areas of my body. I experienced the worst side effects on earth. Migraine headaches. Zero tolerance to heat or any daylight. Faintness and spinning. Our family doctor checked my blood pressure and I hovered around 150/110. I had extreme pain in my entire mouth and teeth. Floaters and blurry vision. Fatigue beyond imagination. Anxiety, a heavy chest along with brain fog. I took daily nap breaks due to so much lightheadedness. I sought the help of therapists, naturopaths and neurologists, obviously NOT in the plan for my jaw "remedy" using Botox. The kicker was- NOTHING could be done. It was a watch and wait situation. So this is Botox illness. Once it's in you, you better be damn happy with it. There is no reversal. The side effects from botulism poisoning are real. Week 6: My entire head was a bowling ball with the sensation of crawling throughout. It was disturbing. Gut wrenching. I had tried to do everything right, I went to a true "professional facial surgeon." Not some slum at a cheap discount contraband dealer. A true and certified professional, who sold me on how safe and effective the treatment was. I would like others to know that I am part of an online support group for men and women who have been negatively affected by Botox and fillers. I know that I am not alone. There are suffers out there not only for medical reasons, but from cosmetic too. Some in the group are people who have used Botox countless times, while some are 1st timers. There are people who have used it for migraines, wrinkles, hyperhidrosis, lips, neck pain- you name it. There are THOUSANDS of people. I feel livid that I did not find this group beforehand, shame on me. I wish I would have done more research. Please check out the group if you care to. The information can be found in the footnotes. It'll make your jaw drop to see the daily torment people endure due to seeking pain relief or vanity. This is why I wrote this, I ask for zero pity please. I do not want it because, I should not have gone into my treatment without demanding more answers from my care professional. I should have read the stories of people who were forever changed by one simple slip-up, or overdose of this toxin. I should have read the warnings. Finally, I beg you to read the black box warning of Botox if you are considering using it for the first time, or if use it currently. I have a good chunk of friends and acquaintances who use it regularly too. I even have friends who are in the injectables business. This makes me very upset, as I do not know what the future holds for my condition. I understand my Botox illness could pass in months or years. What is the full extent of the damage done to me? I do not know yet. My smile-less photos taken now are not because I am not trying. Because I am- more than ever, I'm trying to smile, to heal from all of this. The esthetic look that I've experienced, is the least of my worries. I choose not get into all of the doctor follow up and lawyer dialogue that I have had to have. Why? Because it is a moot point. It will not give me back the health that I had on June 17, 2019 prior to receiving 100 units of Botox. Please as you read this, do not take my story lightly. I know it may ruffle feathers for diehard injectable lovers. I get it. But I swear to you today, I was once a believer in Botox- but my mistake in believing, cost me- God knows what. *For information on the Botox Dysport Side Effects Support Group, please fill out the contact form.