B is for Botox: The Alphabet Game for Middle Aged People

If you’re just tuning in for the first time, you must realize this post all started because of an inquisitive eyebrow.

What’s that, you ask? Well, apparently a muscle on the right side of my forehead was an over achiever and contracted more than the left, thus pulling up my eyebrow so it looked like I was always pondering something.  Which to be honest, I probably was…but it wasn’t about life’s greatest mysteries…it was more along the lines of what I should eat for lunch.

On the left right side, makeup and eyebrows after getting them groomed and filled with brow powder. On the right, without any makeup on…and not standing in front of a glowing windown. Pre-Botox, but no smile, which is when my wrinkles reveal themselves to the world.

After scheduling a session at the Brow Bar to work on my eyebrow arch, the brow guru, Tara, informed me that the best way to fix an overactive eyebrow is Botox. Fixing the eyebrow and helping my wrinkles a bit? Tell. Me. More.

Per the Brow Bar’s recommendation, I reached out to Dr. Laurene Grabill at Grabill Family Dentistry. A dentist? Yes! Dr. Grabill is not only a D.M.D, but also an American Academy of Facial Esthetics faculty member. I initially found her on Instagram and asked a few questions about her services through messenger. After I was satisfied with her answers, we set up a date to come in and fix the brow.

Most people would probably research something like this a lot before going through with it, but I felt like that would just make me more nervous.  Smart or not, I decided to try it out without delving too deep into Google.

I arrived at Dr. Grabill’s office and was given paperwork to read over and sign.  This is when I finally had to read about possible side effects. Truth be told, there was nothing on there that scared me enough to not move forward with it.  The paperwork included all procedures offered at the office, and I was surprised that some of the side effects I saw, I assumed were a possibility with Botox, but are in fact more of a possibility with fillers and other cosmetic procedures. 

Dr. Grabill went over everything with me before the injections. She had me look at the vile with the Botox in it. It took me a minute to even find it…it is such a tiny little speck.  Many people apparently ask how the Botox is diluted. The answer is: it isn’t.   The doctor simply adds sodium chloride to the tiniest little speck and that is what activates it. A little goes a long way.

Dr. Grabill’s office

I incorrectly assumed I was getting the shots in my eyebrow area, but actually got the shots across my forehead. She did this because the muscle over my right eye was contracting more than my left, which is why it was pulling up my right side, giving me the inquisitive eyebrow. With Botox, it relaxes the muscle, thus lowering the brow (and subsequently, when the muscles relax, it reduces the wrinkles).  Who knew?!

I had made lunch plans for after my appointment and had told my friend I’d probably be 30-45 minutes. Well, my friends…Botox takes about 35 seconds. No pain getting it done, but I did have a few little red spots for about 5-10 minutes after. Another fun fact is you can put your makeup on right after. Wish I had known that beforehand because I looked like a hot mess express at lunch. The next day I did have a slight headache.  But it was managed with one Advil. Dr. G said that people often can get a headache because they tense up their first time getting the shots.  

The weirdest part, feeling-wise, is that when you try to scrunch up your forehead, you have to work at it. It feels heavy.  But unless you’re trying to do that, you don’t feel differently at all.   And honestly, I don’t know why I keep trying to do that…it’s like I’m trying to get more wrinkles. I mean…. (palm to face).

Since my Botox injection (two weeks and counting), my eyebrows are now symmetrical.  Woot. Woot. It’s hard to see now, but I will follow up after I get my brows done. It’s been over a month since I’ve been to the Brow Bar, so they are growing in nicely, albeit an unruly stage right now, but my brow girl will be happy! Stay tuned for the final reveal after my upcoming appointment.

The most interesting part to me, during this whole process, was finding out, after telling some people I had Botox injections, that they do it or have done it before too. Well, awesome because each person that told me, I had no idea. It looks so natural. Why didn’t you share this with me sooner?!?

I liken getting Botox to dying your hair. We all know, for example, a lot of blondes, me included, who wouldn’t be as blonde without help of highlights and color.

 Do we judge others for going to the hair salon?  

Our nails aren’t naturally red, hot pink, blue, sparkled or even sometimes as long. Thanks acrylic, gel, and dip manicures. 

Not to mention, people DO judge if your natural toenails aren’t painted during the summer months, or anytime you choose to wear shoes that show your toes. 

So why the need to hide that you’ve done something to help reduce your wrinkles?  Not one person has even asked if I did something different. Granted, it may be because I share everything….

“Hey Melissa…how are you?”

“Great! I just had Botox two weeks ago.”  

Why I blurt this out, I have no idea, but I share what I like and so far, I’m digging Botox. I also do it when I get a great deal on clothing. Someone will compliment me and whether I know them or not, I feel the need to say, “Thanks! I got it for $6” …or whatever the case is. Why? Who knows? (If I still had an inquisitive eyebrow, I would have inserted it here.)

Fun fact. Men get Botox too. Dr. Grabill’s practice calls it Bro-tox! I LOVE puns, so had to share that. It’s not always for vanity reasons either…Dr. Grabill’s husband gets it in his jaw to relax it and aide in relieving his TMJ.

One of the biggest reasons I initially disregarded Botox was because I thought it would be super expensive.  Dr. Grabill is very conservative with the Botox units she starts with and I ended up spending less than $200, with results lasting approximately 4 months. One can go longer than that if you stick with getting the injections and basically train your muscles. But seriously, if this lasts 4 months, that’s a mere $50 a month.  I spend more on Starbucks and Wawa in a month, and could do with less of both of those!

I inquired about whether Dr. Grabill would be interested in being “featured” on my blog, and we could bring Botox out of the darkness and maybe more would embrace the less wrinkled face. (Not that I’m judging if you choose to own your wrinkles!) Dr. Grabill agreed to my offer and we are now running a two- part blog.  

Best part for our local reader friends is that I get to invite people interested in trying it or even touching up areas they’ve already done at a discount. Instead of $14 a unit, we (myself included) get the reduced rate of $11 an hour. She’s offering a lip flip, which takes approximately 7 units of Botox. The Forehead is 5-7 units typically, your 11’s above the bridge of your nose average around 20 units, however, she can start with 10 if they aren’t deep. Crows feet are anywhere from 10-20 units. She looked at mine and said I’d probably need 5 on each side. Ok! So that’s what I’ll be doing. ***Disclaimer- these are approximate units needed…people can vary based on how deep their wrinkles are. ***

So let me go back to owning your wrinkles. Botox may not be for everyone. This is a judgement-free blog zone.  I get judged constantly.  I know it, but I don’t care one bit. And I certainly don’t judge others if they aren’t on the same page as me! I am a mom and a wife and just trying to live my best life growing old with some help! Initially my husband was hesitant because he was worried I’d look different or fill my lips up like a Kardashian.  Boy, I have 99 problems, but my lips ain’t one.  

BUT, if yours are, Dr. Grabill is also offering lip filler at a reduced rate, so message me for that info. It is more expensive but it also can last up to a year. (9-12 months depending)

I haven’t set a date just yet, but I’m aiming for a weeknight or weekend in August.  Being home with the kids most of the summer may earn a few more wrinkles, so best to get them all taken care of at once.  Once I have an idea of those interested, we can work out a date that accommodates as many as possible.

If you’re interested in attending, please let me know.  You can reach out via blog, or message me on Facebook at the Decor-eating with Melissa page.   Dr. Grabill’s office is in West Chester and you can check out her website at   www.grabillfamilydentistry.com   or find her at drlaurene_aesthetics on Instagram.

Did I mention it’s BYOB?  If this doesn’t scream the best night out, then it’s not for you. If it does, I hope you join me. 

Xoxo,

Melissa

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