I walked into a white abyss and was greeted by an angel in a white robe... Ok, so it wasn't exactly an angel, but it was a girl named Jen who smiled at me with her very well structured cheekbones, which indicated I had found the right room. The drive into South Beach wasn't as bad as I'd expected, and the parking garage was really close to the facility. Just walk past the cafe, take the door, and walk up some stairs. All of the little office doors look the same, but behind one is where miracles happen.
I naturally had heavy smile lines. Even as a kid I had wrinkles around my mouth while everyone else around me, even now, seems to have beautifully plump mouth areas. It's something that has always bothered me, and I never really got comfortable living with it. As I've aged, especially over the last two or three years, my face has fallen into a sad sag. The little area between my eyes cringes into 11's at the drop of a sunbeam. I suffered from severe “resting bitch face”, with my husband constantly asking me what was wrong. “NOTHING is wrong!” Except the fact that I needed Botox like, last year. I didn't feel comfortable sitting in public with my face in a resting position at all. And when that happens, you don't know what to do with your face, ever. I'd look like a loon if I were to be constantly smiling in an effort to avoid the 'sag bags' that I felt like were hanging from my cheeks. I had to do something.
“You must be Siren!” I nodded. I was almost shaking with anxiety. Jen had me fill out a paper while, lo and behold, another angel appeared unto me. “Hi! I'm Danielle. It's really great to have you here!” She really did appear in a white robe. She assured me that I'd be comfortable and that I'd have no regrets when I walked out of the building. I immediately felt at ease and began telling myself that I could, in fact, take a mass amount of needles to the face without loosing consciousness.
I can recollect a childhood memory where I was supposed to get three shots for school at the local health department. It took seven women to hold me down, which was every working woman in the building, including the lady who worked the front desk.
I was taken to the office space behind the lobby area where I was asked to sit in an amazing, giant, white lounge patient chair type thing that I was positive was for a professional setting, although it would have fit nicely in anyone's living room. The set-up was small and quaint, and exactly the way I wanted it to be as a first-timer. There was no waiting room where I was forced to sit for ages, no long extensive paperwork, no one was staring at me wondering what procedure I was here for. There was none of that. It was so personal, yet very professional, clean, and much like a clinic-spa hybrid.
I'd done my research on botox and dermal fillers and who to have do them. Most everything I read said to avoid spas and go to plastic surgeons even for these simple procedures, and I was dead set on doing that. Botox Labb is the perfect mix. I didn't feel like I was in a spa where some stay-at-home mom was going to shoot me up for her first time, and I also didn't feel that anxiety that I get when I enter a medical facility and I'm just another file in the cabinet. Yet, all of that was there. I had all of the perks of a plastic surgeons office, but with a relaxing twist.
She rubbed my face with some alcohol to clean the area, and she also applied some topical lydocaine type gel to my face to help numb it a little bit. I could be wrong about what was going onto my face, but I am sure it helped. She handed me a round, squishy blob. “Thanks.” I didn't know what else to say. I wasn't sure what it was for, exactly, but I knew as soon as she started poking me I was going to squeeze the living hell out of it and probably bust it open. I pinched at it a little bit. Then I sort of poked at it, I looked at it, and I gave it a fair squeeze. “Is this a breast implant?” “Yeah! I welcome you to bust it.” I tried a little, and then started to think about how amazing it would be if my breasts felt like that instead of what they actually feel like. Then I started wondering how people with breast implants do breast feeding.
“Are you ready?” My mind was pre-occupied on boobs and such but I was ...not ready. I was not prepared to be stuck with a needle, not just once, but like, a jillion times. I was needle-phobic to the maximus. I had told myself that I could do this, but as soon as she started leaning in toward me, my body naturally reacted by bending away from her. A couple of times.
She finally started and I contorted my face into a wrinkly, over-sun-baked sea of forehead waves as she injected into points all the way across, row after row. I held my little breast implant tight and squeezed like I'd never squeezed a boob before. I felt slightly traumatized, more from the anxiety, although the pain wasn't really as bad as I had prepared for. After that came crows feet, which was a mix of “Did you do it's” to “Ho crap that's worse's”. Botox complete. That was it. It was done.
Then the filler. Cheek bones and smile lines. Here we go. I've got this.
No I didn't. The sound of the syringe and the filler going in freaked me out pretty bad and at one point, I got really nauseated. We stopped immediately and she started putting little ice packs on me. Then suddenly she stuck her finger under my nose and I snapped out of my nauseated trance. “Whoa. What was that?” “Alcohol” “Is that a thing?” “Yes, that's a thing. Resets the nervous system” “It worked”
The dermal filler continued, and although I didn't feel pain, the anxiety had really built up. We got through it, and before I knew it, it was all over. The whole experience: done. I thought about it over the next few minutes and realized that it wasn't all that bad after all.
In the hours that followed, I tried to recover from the anxiety I'd dished out to myself. I was exhausted when I got home and went straight to sleep. In the next couple of days I had only very minor bruising which I'm sure was my fault anyway, since I'd tensed up like a ripply rock. In a couple of weeks I was to return for a touch-up to any areas that might require it.
I met at the Daytona location in a beautiful gated community. The office was smaller, but cozy and warm feeling, in a very professional atmosphere. I brought my husband along thinking I might end up with a similar experience as the last, but instead, I sat calmly, I didn't flinch, I felt the needles but simply didn't care. It didn't bother me. I almost enjoyed it. I had kinda hoped she'd just poke around some more... I mean, it was only making me look better. Poke away! There was nothing to it. Without the build-up of anxiety, it was simple.
My husband sat in the room, distracted by Jen who was creating a file for him, going over some hereditary wrinkles and acne scarring that could easily be minimized. Before I knew it, it was all over again. Only this time, the process took about 10 seconds.
My current stance on Botox and dermal filler: Go get it. It can change your life. I can now sit in public, with no expression and feel human. I feel normal. And for someone who felt shamed and unable to sit emotionless, it's an incredible feeling that I can never repay. I didn't do it to better myself from beautiful to gorgeous, although I welcome all you beautiful girls and guys to enhance yourselves if you so please. I did it to feel normal, so that I could relax, and words can not express how incredible it feels to walk through life now, whether in public or in the privacy of my own home, knowing that I just look ...well, normal. I'll never go back to life before Botox. Now that I have a taste of it, I'll do it forever.