I was late for my appointment (snarled crosstown traffic and...ambivalence). As I sat in the calming, all-beige waiting room, I leafed through a couple of magazines—the way you do in that too-fast, aimless way when you're anxious—thinking about why I had decided to get myself shot. Did I look in the mirror one morning and see something—a wrinkle, a crease, a spot—I couldn't live with? Did I realize that I had lost my youthful demeanor and suddenly wish I could have frozen it in time? No. But it seemed that almost everyone around me—professionally, that is—had tried Botox, and, no doubt about it, many of them looked way more relaxed and less troubled than they probably should have. Plus, none of them were lopsided, or limping around because their legs had gone numb, and, as far as I could tell, their brain function seemed just fine. So I thought, "What the heck; why not go for it?"
In the treatment room, the doctor, gracious and attractive as ever, sat down with me. She handed me a mirror. "So, what do you see?" she said. I looked into the mirror. I saw a very worried face, and told her about my fears. What if my brow drooped from too much of the stuff? What if it leaked into another part of my body? "The treatment is really safe," said the doctor. She told me that she'd been using Botox for many years, on patients and on herself, and had only had good outcomes. She stared at my forehead for a second. "I could get great results for you," she said, and patiently showed me where she would inject me: between my brows and just above them. Four little shots. She might give me a little under the sides of my mouth, she said, where it was starting to look a bit droopy. She told me that I might be slightly red at the injection sites for about 10 minutes, that I should move my forehead muscles for a half hour after the shots to distribute the Botox, and that I probably shouldn't lie down for several hours after the treatment. Move my muscles to distribute the Botox? Don't lie down?