“Go ahead and lay down. I still have to prepare the syringes.”
I walked over, half-naked, covered by a light blue gown. I still had the bottom half of my suit on and high-heeled boots. My dermatologist continued to fill the newly unwrapped syringes with Botox. I lay there, clutching my hands tightly in prayer.
Fifteen minutes earlier, the assistant had escorted me to the room. “You’re here for Botox, right? Ok, I’ll be right back.” She came back with consent forms. “Go ahead and sign these.”
I scanned them quickly, thinking everything would be fine. The middle of the second paragraph read, “You agree that this procedure is cosmetic and you agree to be charged.”
I looked up quizzically. “What charge? Dr. Miyamoto said last time I saw her that this was covered by my insurance.”
“It’s a cosmetic procedure. Of course you’ll be charged.”
“How much is the charge?”
“I’m not signing that!”
“Ok, well, I’ll let Dr. Miyamoto know and you can discuss it with her.”
When Dr. Miyamoto walked in she smiled. “Hi Catherine.” She put my file on the desk and looked at the consent form, shaking her head. “You don’t have to fill that form out. This isn’t cosmetic Botox.”
I figured the pain would be payment enough.
After preparing the syringes, she took out a blue Sharpie and drew a grid on my right armpit. The grid looked more like a connect-the-dots puzzle without the numbers. I looked away, knowing she would insert a needle into every single one of those dots. The pain wasn’t that bad—definitely bearable—like a sharp, but tiny prick. If you’ve ever gotten Novocaine injected into your mouth, that’s exactly what this feels like. Prick, then done. I was more uncomfortable when she drew the grid on me and tried to wipe away the marker after it was all over; I’m so ticklish! Frankly, Brazilians are a lot more painful.
“Well, Catherine, hopefully that will last at least six months. I think it will be longer for you. You’re a petite girl and we give the same dosage to everyone so you’ve got a lot more of it for your armpit and body size. But just call me when you feel it’s starting to wear off and we’ll get you back here again.”