Want an eye lift or some other Botox procedure? No thanks!

Recently I thought about cosmetic surgery. It wasn’t that I planned or even considered having any kind of such procedure. Would I rather look like I did when I was 25 rather than 60? Well, yeah. But that’s not happening and, even if I was given the chance for such a makeover for free, I wouldn’t do it.

Some people whose looks might help extend their fiscal livelihoods, such as an actor or performing artist, I can understand why they might go the “plastic” route. Some folks just want to feel better about themselves and a cosmetic drydock is known to help. Other people are just, so vain. I bet they think I wrote this post about them.

Whatever buoys one’s vessel.

I know this lady who is perhaps a few years younger than I. She was very proud of the breast augmentation that she underwent and invited me to take them for a spin. Okay, I’m just employing a little hyperbole there. It was more a cursory examination than it was a full-on grope.

What concerned me more about this lady was the fact she would gladly entertain other types of surgery or procedures. The problem with that was surgery, no matter how minor, can potentially prove lethal. More so the case if one undergoes some type of general anesthetic. I guess what I am trying to convey here is: Would you rather die trying to look good or going happily just the way your are?

While I had nothing close to surgery today, I did undergo a series of some dozen or so Botox injections this afternoon. My neurologist suggested I try some of these shots, hoping that it might ease the chronic pain I suffer from cervical spine degeneration, a.k.a. osteoarthritis.

Botox is, of course, is the drug bacterium Clostridium botulinum. This is the same toxin from which the potentially-lethal food poisoning botulism originates. Now that explanation would make most thinking people wonder: “Hmm, they shoot botulism into you? Food poisoning? Lethal? Yes, yes and more yes.

This is how the National Institute of Health explains that Botox works:

“Botox injections work by weakening or paralyzing certain muscles or by blocking certain nerves. The effects last about three to twelve months, depending on what you are treating.”

While using Botox for cosmetic purposes, eyebrow lifts or removing certain wrinkles can be pretty enriching for some doctors, but other uses for the drug are found these days.

I first started injections back in December. My neurologist gave me about a dozen shots just under the skin on both sides of my neck. The general medical indication Botox is being used for in my case are migraine headaches.  I don’t have the normal “clinical presentations” of migraines. Instead, I have chronic pain that are triggered through neck muscles surrounding my cervical spine due to a partial stenosis. These problems have as a structural origin a bulging disc and some bone spurs in my neck. I have had two C-spine surgeries over the past 20 or so years. The most recent surgery, about 15 years ago, involved fusing a titanium plate and a piece of hip bone. It is mostly the limitation caused by the close proximity of these areas with each other that Department of Veterans Affairs doctors have been reluctant to operate. I have used methadone for pain for about ten years but the help from the drug isn’t as useful  in the same strength that it once was. Why not just increase the strength? Well, think about it. Methadone is a very potent drug and must be closely monitored to prevent an overdose.

During my first regimen of Botox, the shots were all in the posterior portion of my neck. Today, the injections were under my scalp, above the eyebrows, near the temples and about as close to the spine as I would care for on either side of my head. My neurologist did one side of my noggin while a resident who was sitting in, did the other. And boy howdy, some of those shots hurt like a son-of-a-bitch!

I come away from the doctor wondering why my head doesn’t look like a pin cushion. Fortunately, no problems. Although, so far, no real help. I agreed to try four rounds of these injections. If the injections help a little, it might just be worth the temporary pain this afternoon. But I know that after today, there is no way in hell I would have Botox shots for looks. That just isn’t happening.