Overcoming obstacles with Optimism

I do want Botox but not to make me look better.  I do want shoes to make me look great.

I remember going in for a Botox injection.  I was excited to see the results.  I knew there may be some reaction and slight pain around the injection site.  I understood the fact it may not give the results I was seeking.  I understood this, but as the saying goes “no pain no gain”.  Never in a million years had I thought I would be this willing let alone excited about a procedure to alter my body with a toxin.  I never knew how much I would look forward to the day I went in to have my first Botox shot.

Botox injection

Botox…I never thought I would get Botox because I do not believe in altering my face.  Yet, I had never known Botox had been proven to help stroke survivors.  I doubted it would work.  At first, I could not comprehend how tight muscles could be aided by something that could kill if it was given in incorrect dosages.  Botox shots were injected into two muscles in my stroke affected leg: the posterior tibialis muscle and my flexor digitorum longus.

We went directly home after the shots.  The possible reactions included weakness, drowsiness, flu-like symptoms and extreme tenderness.  I knew I did not want to be out walking around when all, or any, of those hit.  I was amazed when I woke up the next morning to find it had not only worked but worked beyond the expectations everyone had voiced.  I was ready to hit the malls or at least a shoe store.  I spent that morning dreaming about buying a pair of high-heeled boots that would go halfway up my legs and tie with straps.  I  never had boots like that nor wanted them, but suddenly I was in a mood of, “I have to get these boots NOW!”  The Botox had not only mentally altered my perception of my appearance, but it also made me feel that I was suddenly physically enhanced!

The shoes…. Before my stroke, I despised shoe shopping.  All I ever wanted to wear were my comfortable old shoes with the soles nearly worn out.  I never looked for anything more until I could no longer wear anything grander than these tennis shoes.  If I tried to walk in anything else now, I lose my balance with the first step and fall over.  Now I really want all sorts of crazy, wildly impractical shoes

It is said the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.  Did you know this is a true statement?   It appears to be greener because when you are standing on your own lawn and looking down, the color of grass is distorted by the dark soil you are looking into.   When you look across the fence, you only see the blades of grass above the ground.  Therefore, you will not have the pure green color distorted into a lighter shade.  When I look at high heel shoes that bring together an elegant or sophisticated outfit, I do not remember the feeling of pinched toes or aching arches.  It is something other people own.  I see something I cannot have.  If I were able to wear stiletto heels, I would not want them just as I never wanted them before.

Sometime I need to step back and remind myself there was beauty in my Botox shot.  It was not a beauty that made me look younger; rather, it was beauty that took away pain and made a morning walk less challenging.  There is beauty in an old pair of comfortable tennis shoes.  It is not a beauty that compliments my summer sundress but a beauty that allows me to walk without twisting my ankle.

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.  I am now standing on the neighbor’s lawn I used to judge.  I used to feel strongly against the use of altering chemicals being injected into a body.  Botox made a positive change to my stroke-altered life.  I used to reject anything but the comfort my old, worn tennis shoes provided.  Now these shoes are the only ones I am able to wear, and I am left longing for the dress shoes I cannot have. I am now seeing life from the neighbor’s yard.  There are dark spots here I never noticed before. Yet, there are beauties I used to judge too harshly.  Yes, it is true grass is always greener on the other side of the fence regardless of what side you are currently standing on.


Comments on: "The Grass Is Always Greener" (8)

  1. As usual, you dispense wisdom from this highly original place which is your own personal viewpoint. Thank you, Tara.

  2. OMG – you never fail to amaze me! You have always been my Idol and always will be. Keep me up on your “next” adventure!
    Love ya lots,
    Aunt Karen

  3. Oh Tara… I absolutely love this story! I have to know… do you have to keep getting more to maintain the effect? How much did it hurt? My face is loaded with Botox because at age 50 my vanity is screaming for a fix. Haha. When I see my dermatologist next time I’m going to share your story. I’m so happy this is releaving your pain. And I liked the way you wove the shoes into the story. What fun… very triumphant! : )

    • Linda,

      I thought you may enjoy the shoes within this post. After all, your Shoes for an Imaginary Life blog title draws me in often.

      Botox may need to be repeated to continue the true effect. Hopefully more physical therapists will begin working with stroke patients having Botox. I looked and looked for one near us. They hear “stroke patient” though and think of a stereotypical patient. It seems they have had limited training and experience with Botox used for further stroke recovery. During the time Botox is working, if the muscles are retrained well enough, the results can be lasting. These patients will not need Botox for continued relief. I went to a physical therapist quite a distance from my house and learned some great exercises that created lasting effects on one muscle. I need to find a closer therapist for the muscle that continues to control my curling toes. One of the most noticeable changes -beyond the decrease in pain- was when I walked the bottom of my toes touched the floor. When you go years without having that experience, it is quite an unexpected sensation. Getting the shots only hurt when they had to wiggle the needle quite aggressively. Matched with the sound of the search for electricity, it was not exactly painful but not the most calming experience I have ever had.

      I look forward to hearing the thoughts your dermatologist shares. And Linda, every one of those lines and creases your face may show were hard earned through happiness and laughter and concern and wonder. I hope vanity is placed aside as you become proud of the gifts you have offered through your life and those life has offered to you.


  4. Wow! I’m very happy for you, Tara! You took a risk and it paid off!

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