Botox Redux

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook then you know that Charlie’s botox experience went very well.

You probably don’t know what it took to get us there.

As I stated earlier this week, I was waffling pretty hard about the Botox. I mean, you can call it by that cute name, but we are talking about Botulism Toxin. Do a quick Google search and words like “respitory distress” pop up–not so cute when you think about it like that.

When I’m feeling uncertain about something, my method of dealing with it is to simply act like it isn’t happening. Denial is a girl’s best friend. So I did absolutely nothing to prepare for this event: I wouldn’t put it in my calendar, I had my husband pick up the prescription for the numbing cream and I didn’t even locate the instructions until ten o’clock the night before.

While denial may be an excellent coping mechanism, it will bite you in the butt.

One hour before our appointment is when I was supposed to apply the numbing cream. First thought? Am I even supposed to be touching this stuff? Quick Google search reveals no issues, which was good because I certainly didn’t have a back up plan–I mean, nothing other than crying in frustration.

My second thought was that I was supposed slather the backs of his legs with the cream and then wrap them in saran wrap. Did we have any saran wrap? Why no, no we didn’t. I then had to take a brief moment to panic about the saran wrap situation. The clock is counting down, the kid should be gooped by now, and I’ve got nothing. I considered the crying option, but instead opted to MacGyver the thing–I took the plastic bag that some poster board had come in and cut it into strips.

boy and his grandmother rocking in a rocking chair

So, that crisis averted, I started gooping Charlie’s legs with the Lidocaine. There’s an expression out there about wrestling a greased pig and while I have no idea what that’s like, I suspect it is at least similar to greasing down a preschooler with prescription lotion. We talked about it, he seemed to understand, but what he couldn’t grasp was why he couldn’t actively crawl away mid-process–I had focused a bit too much on the whole “stay on your tummy” thing. Seriously, God bless single parents because at that moment all I could think about was how this was SO a two person job.

Once I had one leg lotioned, I ran into a new problem: my “saran wrap” wasn’t all that sticky and was coming off.  I located some sticky gauze that an OT had given us and wrapped that over it.  Still, the lotion was making everything un-sticky and this too was coming off. I was feeling very Lucille Ball as I kept adding layers and they kept unwrapping themselves. All this, while my wiggle worm was trying valiantly to get to the next fun thing on his agenda with not a care in the world about the cream he was getting everywhere.  I got desperate and tried to duct tape the whole mess into place–even that failed and I gave up. I cast about the room looking for some solution when my eyes landed on a stack of clothes ear-marked for the attic. I spied a pair of sweat pants so tight and small that Jane Fonda would be envious and knew I had my answer.  I quickly gooped and wrapped the other leg and dressed Charlie in his manpris.

At this point I am practically running out the door to make it to the appointment on time.  One little rule about handicap parking that you may not have heard: on a day that you’re counting on it, all the spots will be full. You know, like a day when you’re big as a house with twins and trying to hustle your non-ambulatory kid into the building as fast as possible. That’s the day where every spot is taken and the only available parking is involves crossing a road. Yeehaw!

We arrived and frankly, the procedure itself was so quick that I can’t believe how much time I spent worrying about it. Charlie’s doctor has done thousands of these procedures and works at lightening speed. He had three shots in each leg and started to complain a bit after shot three–he didn’t seem to be in pain–just mad that they were holding him down and messing with him. I brought his iPad, pretended to change the song, and that distracted him long enough to have the second leg done. Just as he remembered that he was aggravated and started to whine again, it was over. Seconds later, he was happily engrossed in his iPad as if nothing had happened.

We proceeded to have a “take it easy” day, which he found highly disappointing and today I packed him up and sent him off to school for his last day  His legs are already less tight and he’s in a delightful mood. As someone who has never believed in or sought out “quick fixes,” it’s strange to see how rapidly his legs are loosening up.

Maybe he’ll get a lot out of this and maybe he won’t, but the procedure itself went quite well and for that, I am happy.

boy in a child-sized rocking chair

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. OH my goodness! The first time Ben got botox, we did the numbing cream but the nurses did it, not us. It’s actually quite hilarious reading your post!

    So glad you are already seeing results. That was never our issue…rather it only lasts about 4 to 6 weeks for us (max). Totally sucks.

    Glad that it’s all over with!

    • Cary:
      Sorry to hear the Botox doesn’t last long for you guys. I’ve been super-please and hope we get some good time out of this round.

  2. Glad it went well.

    That numbing crap never did anything for Owen. I gave up and stopped using it.

    • I’ve heard people say one thing or the other–no in between. Either it was totally helpful or not at all.

  3. I’m really glad it wasn’t as scary as you had feared!

  4. That picture at the bottom is adorable and priceless.

    The other day I was talking about something or other with Jen (Mrs. Blogzilly) and we were sort of discussing how we had kept downgrading our hopes over the last couple of years with Bennett. Well if he turns out like Forrest Gump that would be OK, well if he turns out like Raymond Babbitt that would be OK, and so on (not sure why we always used movie people).

    But during this conversation we sort of realized that if he was just smiling and happy that was really all that mattered. If he avoids feeling the angst I feel, dwelling on the complexity of the horror of three wars and the useless killing? If he somehow misses out on the complexity of emotions I felt at how our nation represented itself for celebrating in the streets the killing of a man we’ve been hunting for ten years who killed thousands of Americans and his people, who we were appalled by when they celebrated those killings in the streets? If he is unaware of what it is like to be cheated on, lied to, abandoned? If he doesn’t have to spend nights tossing and turning worrying about how in the hell he is going to pay the mortgage or cover the cost of 30K in damage to a home he bought new 5 years ago? If he doesn’t have to have all of those things in his life, but can just be happy and cared for?

    Is that such a bad life after all?

    It’s what that photo made me think of. That captured moment in time. That giggle…that happiness. This coming from a guy that had a crappy, crappy morning and will likely have a crappy day. Though decidedly LESS crappy after seeing that picture and reading this post. So thanks.

    And you really did channel Lucy in this…I was thinking of her even before you said it. I half-expected an appearance by Ethel Mertz.


    • Ahhhh. . . Ken. I think you’ve taken the first step. For a very long time I think that we carry with us a list of things that would make our child “acceptable.” Maybe not everyone does it, but I think most do. And then one day, you realize that the list is really somebody else’s. Somebody else cares if your kid walk or talks or grows up and get a college degree and you? Don’t care nearly as much. Happiness? yes, that’s important, but all those trappings of normalcy? Well, we all know that with that comes a host of other things that may or may not be worth it.

  5. Totally unrelated…how do I make a picture for myself on here? I hate having a blank face.

    • My comments use Gravatar–a “universal avatar” account. Basically you go to Gravatar, make an Avatar with your email address and every time you go to a site that uses Gravatar it recognizes you and puts up your picture.

  6. I’m laughing a little at the scene I’m picturing in my head of you getting Charlie ready…although until you mentioned being pregnant I had left that part out of my picture. That makes it even funnier! :) Glad it went well and Charlie is happy as ever.

    • Well, Sarah, you’ve been reading this blog long enough to know that I get myself into all kinds of ridiculous situations!

  7. I’m so glad it went well. He looks like a happy boy to me.

    I have to say, I’m CRACKING up at your cream story though. I can totally see me doing something like that so that’s probably why. 😉

  8. Mom in Maryland says:

    Charlie is so gosh darn cute! : ) So glad to hear that you can already see some improvement.

    Speaking of handicapped parking, I came across this link and had to share with you. You can now report people who are abusing the handicapped parking spots with your cell phone!! Check it out at The best part is that your favorite charity gets a portion of the ticket revenue.

    • That is SO COOL! I will definitely check that out. I know a spot where people park illegally pretty much all the time.

  9. So glad everything went well with the shots and you are already noticing a difference. That is wonderful! I know exactly what you mean about the google search. I did the same thing and really was freaked out about the whole process. There is some scary stuff out there.

    One bit of (unsolicited)advice: If you ever have to do these shots again, get yourself some Press and Seal wrap. It worked SO well to keep the goop on the legs and not on everything else.

    Love those pics. Charlie is so stinkin’ adorable!

    • Thank you so much for that advice! Sounds like one of those perfect mom tricks. Hooray for the Internet!

  10. Love the cute picture of Charlie – he looks so relaxed! :) I’m glad everything went well, but wow, what a process to get there!!! :)

  11. I’ve been waiting to see how things turned out. Thank goodness we’ve never been given the cream to use! I’d have it all over the place. We never really know exactly what we’re Botoxing until we get there though. Just depends on how things have progressed over the 4-6 months. We actually give him some “loopy” meds in the office so he won’t remember the experience and get scared everytime he goes to that office. Glad you’re seeing some results! And I agree. When you really look into what Botox is, it’s quite scary!

  12. I’m glad the procedure went well. Is it done in a doctor’s office? (Phia’s is done in the operating room as they give her oral versad and ketamine shots. The numbing cream — while messy — sounds like a much better alternative, especially if you are able to avoid the hospital scene.) Also, I laughed about your handicapped parking rule — so true!! :)

    • Yes, our doctor does the procedure in his office. It really takes about four minutes all together although he only did one muscle group on Charlie. Most groups mean more time. You can always request to have it done under sedation, but I HATE doing that because it means driving 45 minutes to the hospital, no food in the morning, etc. etc.

      I think the Versed thing is interested. I mean, really, they could prescribe our kids a dose of Valium for before and I bet that would help a lot of them.

  13. Glad that the procedure went well.

    Kisses to cute Charlie :-)

  14. You so funny!! Like your other commenters, this is extra funny because I do stuff like that all the time, espeically with stuff that smears. It took me ages to learn that my kids should fingerpaint in diapers/undies with a bath filled and ready to go. Somwhere on my blog I have a post I wrote about dyeing my hair that is eerily similar, and describes why my husband will no longer allow me to save money and dye my own hair. I am no longer allowed to have red hair dye near yellow walls. Or white toilet seats. Or a few other things that got smeared with each pass I made to wipe up the last drop.

    Good luck Chuck, with Botox and all. So did school let out for the summer and how does the big man feel about that, I wonder?

    • School just let out. I’m not exactly sure how he feels. I’ve got the schedule jam-packed right now, so I don’t think he’s noticed. I think that once the babies get here, he’ll be wondering when gets to go back.

  15. Ahhh the cuteness! I hope the botox continues to help!

  16. Katie, It was great meeting you tonight! Send me your email when you get a chance so I can send you a pic.

  17. Sent it to you, Deb!

  18. Hello, Kim from Mom Tried It sent me to your blog. my son was just diagnosed with CP and Lobar HPE. They are waiting on botox and valium for a little bit, but he is in OT and PT and getting ready to start speech. I can’t wait to read more about your little guy. Glad the botox has helped a little bit. I can’t wait to see how he does.