Monday, March 19, 2007

The Queen Of Shots

This is the auto-response I got when I unsubscribed to the newsletter that I never signed up for from Advanced Health Laboratories:

Thank you for your time. Sorry for any inconvenience.

This is the auto-response I got from my plastic surgeon’s office when I unsubscribed to their newsletter, which I did sign up for:

This is the last email you will receive from us. We have added you to our "blacklist", which means that our newsletter system will refuse to send you any other email, without manual intervention by our administrator.

Blacklisted. Top that freaks.

I get Botox every three months. I love (need) it so much that I will make sure my embalmer has plenty of it on hand before I’m laid out in front of people with a 1971 forged birth certificate clutched in my wizened hands like a rosary.

I don’t mind needles. I’ve had immunization shots, spinal taps, cortisone shots, IV’s, Restylane, blood drawn, allergy patch shots, collagen, and diagnostic shots. I even used to donate blood once a week in college because I’m O negative and that paid $25.00. Only Novocain brings me to my knees. Even though my dentist presses on part of my gum and then wiggles the lower part of my mouth to distract me, I still grip the chair as if I was onboard Apollo 15 hurtling towards space. I repeatedly beg for gas but dentists in LA won’t give it to you unless you have someone to drive you home.

Sidebar: I always want to tell mine about the time a friend and I dropped acid back in the 80’s, drove to a MacDonald’s, ordered food and drove home. We got the order right but were unable to eat it as it appeared to be multicolored and crawling all over the table, which pretty much describes an ordinary McDonald’s meal anyway.

“Someone will be by later to pick me up,” I lie sweetly to the dental receptionist as I sign in and ask for gas.
“And who would that be?”
“My mother.”
“Your mother who lives in France?”
“No, my stepmother, who most assuredly does not live in France.”
Realllllllly? Well have her stop at the desk for your release forms.” Jesus, I need to seriously shut the fuck up when I’m talking about my dead stepmothers with the people taking my credit card and telling me what a good patient I am. If you call ‘offering to have sex with the dentist if only he’ll stop the drilling’ being a good patient. I hear dentists have a high suicide rate. I have no problem with that.

My plastic surgeon, Simon, got so successful that he moved from The Doctor’s Building of Beverly Hills, next door to Eyebrow Queen Anastasia, and bought an entire building two blocks away. The waiting room has flat screens, serious art work and snacks. And not gross ones like Chex party mix or cellophane wrapped butterscotches but homemade chocolate macadamia cookies, fresh fruit and designer coffee. The iced water pitcher has lemons and cucumbers floating in it. Note To Overcharging Establishments Everywhere: Cucumber and lemon slices in WATER do not make me feel privileged to shell out a mortgage payment for services rendered. Throw in a cashmere sweater and maybe. Throw in some Dolce and Gabbana and definitely.

The men in Simon’s waiting room always sit on the cookie side of the waiting room and the women always sit on the fruit side. I sit on the cookie side long enough to check out the talent and then head over to the fruit side if any guy is staring at himself in a hand-held mirror. But only after I’ve had at least two cookies. Maybe three.

I love Simon. In the past, when I was broke, he would load me up with extra cc’s for free because he always watched out for my career. You can’t live in this town and get acting gigs without Botox unless you’re 23, which I was two years ago. Or was it a hundred?

Three months ago Simon’s nurse practitioner gave me Botox and it didn’t work. I had to go back, which they let you do if it’s in less than three weeks time, and get more for no extra charge. She was nice and very gentle, like she was the first time, when it didn’t work. So I insisted on Simon for last week. I never had to return for more with him. As we were catching up I realized that no one had numbed my forehead. They usually put some cream on and leave it for ten minutes or so and then return to give you the injections. As we chatted, Simon walked over to me holding a syringe and I realized he was just going to plunge the thing into my forehead, probably assuming I’d already been numbed. Before I could open my mouth and stop him he pushed the needle into my forehead. I braced my feet against the chaise-lounge when I heard the crunch of cartilage above my eyebrows. He continued at such a rapid pace that I couldn’t catch my breath long enough to breathe. And then it was over. And I had felt nothing. I’ve now had so much Botox that I don’t even need a numbing cream. That’s got to be worth some sort of discount, right?

End of chat.



  1. After reading/imagining the phrase "crunch of cartilage", I can't wait until my testicles un-retract.

  2. Anonymous12:30 PM

    I have a fear of Botulism and even though they say Botox is safe, I refuse to believe. I also will not eat home made canned goods, no matter who made them.
    As for the dentist, mine gives me a prescription for Ativan and I get Nitrous. I also tried to explain to him that all the drugs I used in the past must surely mean I need a higher dose. Usually he will turn it up if he sees my feet jumping during a procedure. However, he does require a ride home. One of those things my husband does, with protest and complaints, for me. Since you are in a city, what about a cab, or is it to far away? greenmountaincountrymama
    Signing in Anonymous, so I don't lose my comment.

  3. Anonymous12:55 PM

    I have been getting nitrous for over twenty years. I'm not talking about routine appointments, like for cleaning or a small filling, but ROOT CANAL definitely requires it. I have never been told I needed a ride home, including the dental school at USC. The reason nitrous is such a popular dental anesthetic is that after taking a pure oxygen saturation through the nose cone, after about five minutes you are NORMAL (well as normal as you were anyway). I have never heard of needing a ride home after nitrous. But you never know -- I live on an island.

    Here in Hawaii, even if you need sedation (the IV through the arm) you can get something called a MEDI-CAB where a specially licensed cab driver will come to the doctor's location, sign you out, drive you home, and then relay to the doctor's office that you have entered the door of your residence. Last time I had to have a colonoscopy, the MEDI-CAB driver even offered to feed my cats.
    Martha Jane

  4. Anonymous2:06 PM

    Suz, this is hilarious. But 1971 would make you three years younger than me. Not good.

    What frightens me about Botox isn't the needle or even the botulinum toxin. It's the threat of being rendered expressionless. How would I function if I were unable to give my husband the evil eye? How would my child know he was on the verge of being in trouble?

    Yo! I'm rockin' the O-neg, too!

    Speaking of France. My husband is watching "The Concorde: Airport '79" starring Eddie Albert, Charo, John Davidson, Martha Raye, Jimmie Walker. Un classique, non?

  5. My dentist is about 45 minutes away, and that's with no traffic. I go to him because whereas other dentists charge you a first born for serious work, like 5,000 dollars, he will only charge 3K.

  6. If you live in a big city, and you go to a reputable plastic surgeon and don't demand to have more than $500 dollars worth in one spot, you're good. It's the rich freaks out here who have run into trouble. Like Marcia Cross, who had her forhead erased that first season of Desp. H. She took a beating for it in the press and now she looks sort of normal again.

    That whole afraid of botulism thing is so three years ago.