All posts by starry_dynamo

About starry_dynamo

Injected with 22.5 units of Botox on 1/7/15 - 20 over the brows (10 each side), 2.5 in chin. The chin was the problematic injection site, where the most damage occurred. Oddly it seems like the botox above the brows had no visible effect. Effects were immediate: anxiety, nausea, insomnia, muscle weakness in face, eye problems. Diagnosed w/ damage to optic nerve + ocular hypertension in April. Continue to have probs w/ eye twitch on left side; pain in joints; facial dents in chin; weird muscle contractions in chin; grey skin/horrible dark circles under eyes; and possibly fat atrophy in face (hard to tell, lost 10+ lbs in first week after injections due to nausea). Doing my best to avoid alcohol & sugar. Caffeine has been harder. Slowly, slowly starting to feel normal...

A possibly helpful supplement: citricoline

Hi All,

It seems like there’s not a ton of activity here anymore, though I do check back a lot. I found something that might possibly be helpful and wanted to share, though, in case there are still people checking this board.

First: I am more than 24 months out (I was injected in January of 2015) and, I think, mostly recovered, though I still have lingering issues. For a year or two I had excruciating joint and stomach pain. I also developed high levels of anxiety. At first it was unrelenting, now it seems like it just presents in certain situations. For instance, I have a really, really hard time flying. (I take the train when I go out west to see my family now.) I also developed some OCD symptoms which may have been latent but are really annoyingly full-blown now. Half the time after I cook dinner I worry I will get food poisoning, and I am especially afraid of fish because it often harbors botulism. Lots of pretty irrational fears, which I did not have pre-Botox. No way to prove it’s connected but hey, I’d bet money on it…

My depression has also worsened – I was really proud to have been off meds of any kind for 10+ years, and now seeing a psychiatrist and trying to figure out what to take for anxiety & depression. He thinks I’m crazy, I’m pretty sure. I tried to explain the Botox and why I am so afraid of medication but as you all know, that often doesn’t go over well. : ) I had a really discouraging visit with him on Monday – I filled my wellbutrin Rx, but asked for the non-time-release stuff because for whatever reason, those are the meds that always seem to kick my butt.

Doing research into Wellbutrin, I realized my intuitive fear of it was actually founded – it’s anticholinergic. Actually I read that any med with “anti” in the title (including antibiotics) are anticholinergic, too, which explains a lot.

I remember Anne had a great thread about cholinergic supplements a few years back, so people might want to refer back to that. I tried Huperzine A and had a really bad reaction to it, and still have a mostly full (probably expired) bottle. But, in hopes of feeling better I re-Googled cholingerics and discovered citricoline, which apparently has a very low toxicity level, raises dopamine levels, clears your head out, increases blood flow, and boosts choline, which might help a lot of us. I did a search for it on the site and didn’t find it, so thought I’d post about it. I ordered a bottle from Vitacost so I’ll try it and see if it helps, and if so let you know what happens. I know a lot of us have unpredictable reactions to supplements and meds, but wanted to put it out there in case anyone wanted to try it. Hope everyone is on the up and up – happy (almost) spring!

Some Hope

Hi All,
I wanted to post an update that made me feel more hopeful and maybe can give hope to other people struggling through this nightmare, too. One of the most disturbing side effects I suffered was ocular hypertension – basically damage to the optic nerve/glaucoma. I went back to my eye doc last week and took a field vision test (I got my injections on 1/7/15, so this is a little more than a year out). It was almost perfect (meaning no permanent eye damage) and the pressure is starting to come down in my eyes. He feels like all I need to do is keep seeing the optometrist and having them do the low-tech eye pressure test and I should be fine. This despite the fact I have had a hard time kicking coffee and haven’t had a consistent exercise program, the two things my doc suggested would help. (I did the best I could – partly it’s my damn stressful job which eats up a lot of hours and energy. Hence coffee. Hence inconsistent exercise! But just to say, my body has healed on its own despite my lousy habits.) I still have some facial damage with my chin (dents – argh!!!) but even that has gotten slightly better. There are some weeks where my face still looks awful but it seems to get better after it gets worse. My horrible joint pain, which was really getting me down last year, has gotten better, and though I am still having stomach issues, the feeling of having razor blades rolling around in my stomach is gone, at least. : ) And my hair is starting to fall out at a much slower rate (gotta have gratitude for the little things, right?). I know that sometimes people get better and then get much worse – it’s such a crapshoot! – but it really feels like maybe I have made some true progress. I wanted to let people know because reading “recovered” posts here helped me get through some of my darkest hours with Botox poisoning. I think about everyone here a lot and send out love & light for healing.


I know a lot of people can only really do smoothies and green juices and not a lot of meat – I have been looking into the AIP diet, and bought a cookbook. It recommended getting anti-inflammatory Omega 3 from canned salmon (organic of course). I picked up a few cans to have around & put in salads here and there, but then by chance came across this:

Apparently there have been THIRTEEN recalls of tuna and salmon since October. And a wide range of companies. I remember White Pony suggesting anyone on this site stay away from anything home-canned from the farmer’s market due to potential presence of botulism toxin, so I thought I would post this because it might be another potential source. I signed up for the FDA’s recall alerts a long time ago to stay on top of the pet food recalls but eventually kept an eye on all the human food recalls, too. Here’s where you can sign up for recall alerts by email:

Not to seem paranoid, but i know most of the people on this site need an encounter with botulism or salmonella like we need a kick in the eye. From what I have noticed a lot of the recalls don’t make it to big, mainstream news sources unless they kill dozens of people. So, just a precaution, it’s pretty shocking how adulterated a lot of our food is — and not just the industrial stuff, there are tons of organic brands on the FDA recall list as well.

Here’s to a calm & healing holiday weekend for everyone, I think about you all often & send lots of good energy out & hopes for healing as quickly as possible.

The Dreaded Dents

Hi All,

So: I’m in month 9. At month 6, mostly what I was dealing with was fatigue, eye problems (extreme ocular hypertension), and some frankly excruciating joint pain. Well, and terrible dark circles under my eyes, and some what looks like fat atrophy maybe, right around the eyes, especially my right one.

Then, in month 7 (July) I noticed some weird muscle issues in my chin, which like an idiot I agreed to have jabbed with Botox. I am sure this is the problematic site for me, like where the toxin spread. My whole chin was almost totally frozen, which I don’t think was the goal, as it looked very odd. The toxin wore off in June-ish, and that’s when I started having problems. Weird indents, and tiny almost pinprick dimples that almost look like icepick acne scars, but they only appear when my muscles are doing certain things. Believe me, my chin was not like this before Botox … I would have noticed. It’s horribly embarrassing because I’m sure it’s noticeable when I am talking to other people. It’s not hourglass deformity dents like I’ve seen on RealSelf, more like weird muscle issues. I guess my hope is that maybe they will go away because they seem to change from day to day, though looking in the archives here at issues similar to this it sounds like it just gets worse and worse. If it were my forehead I don’t think I would worry that much (I have always had bangs) but when it is front and center on your face it gets to be a bit harder to deal with.

I don’t know if anyone’s weird face muscle issues have gotten better or if there was anything that helped … maybe red light? I have a little hand-held device that I need to use more consistently. But I am feeling kind of embarrassed, sad, and depressed about this, I realize it is not as big a deal as the other health problems but still so hard to deal with.

Joint Pain

Hi All — so, June 7 was my six-month injection anniversary (and my b-day. Lousy way to remember a b-day, I’ll tell you). For the past month and a half I have been noticing joint pain, especially in my hands, wrists, and elbows. It’s not there all of the time, but comes and goes (just like other depressing symptoms, like my weirdly twitching eye). I’m pretty sure I remember people on this page mentioning joint pain as a Botox poisoning side effect. Just throwing it out there to see if anything helps, or if it’s just like everything else – drink a lot of water & ginger/turmeric tea & ride it out and wait for the symptoms to go away. If anyone has any specific suggestions for things that helped (or things to avoid!!!) that would be great. Thank you!

Ocular Hypertension?

So, I had a high eye pressure reading at my eye doc back in Feb. (I got injected w/ Botox on 1/7/15). He sent me to go see a super-specialist eye guy to make sure that reading was accurate. Was there today to get a field acuity test, shots of my optic nerve, more sophisticated eye pressure tests etc. The doc is wonderful, they know about the Botox but of course no one ever thinks the Botox causes anything. Anyway, I had an eye exam about a year ago, pressure was fine. Now it’s 24, super high, all of a sudden. They are talking glaucoma now, ugh. I have never had problems like this, and I know that Botox causes eye pain and problems. Has anyone else had experience with this?? Any thoughts? My field acuity test was great, but he said that optic nerve looked “compromised,” and that my pressure was crazy high. He is taking the watchful waiting approach, but in the meantime Professor Google says  exercise and caffeine avoidance are key to bringing eye pressure down. I know that these are good things to do anyway after being poisoned by Botox. The weird thing is that one of the first things I noticed after being injected was that I got these horrible dark circles under my eyes — greenish-purplish circles. I naturally have always had dark circles somewhat but these were like a sick person’s dark circles. The only way I can explain it is that they looked really greenish, and that I have looked really weird and sick. In fact there are days when I swear my complexion practically looks green! Like a sick person in a cartoon. My poor eyes have looked sick ever since the injections and I am sad to get the news that they actually are. Though this doctor says there are laser treatments that help the fluid drain out of the keys a bit better and reduce the pressure. My dad has slightly elevated eye pressure but he didn’t get that till his 60s! So I don’t think this is just a genetic thing, even though he does have it (I am in my early 40s).

3 Tiny Needle Pricks Unleashed a Nightmare

So glad to have found this site. And so sorry to hear of so much suffering this awful stuff has caused.

My story:

I made an appt with a med spa on 1/7, just wanted to get a small amount of restalyne to plump up a scar (and the rest goes into the smile lines). Have tolerated this for years, no problems at all. That was what I asked for. The RN insisted that what I really needed was  Botox, to relax my chin and lift my eyes. I told her I was scared of it, and concerned. I was leaving for a trip in two days, and didn’t like the idea of Botox anyway. She brushed off my concerns, saying that she treats hundreds of people and they tolerate it just fine. She did not tell me 1. that it takes up to 2 weeks to see the full impact of what it does to you; or 2. Not to touch the injection site – only to stay upright for 4 hours. She made it sound like the Botox kicking in would be a subtle, hardly noticeable process. She also gave me hardly a minute to read the medical release.

First, I feel like suggesting Botox to someone going out of town on important business in two days is stupid just from an aesthetic point of view – ptosis and the like. But it is even stupider to push it on someone not knowing them at all, or with any idea of how it might impact them medically. I totally own up to the fact that I bear part of the blame here, and did not push back harder. (God, how I have rued that the past six days – if only I could go back in time).

After I left I felt panicky, anxiety-ridden. And that was before I could even feel the muscles being affected. I could hardly keep food down and was hit with terrible insomnia, barely sleeping one hour and then waking up, all night long. The next day I was too nauseated to eat. I slept a bit on the plane, and that is when the stuff started to kick in. I noticed I couldn’t move my chin, and I watched as the muscles started to droop. (Which made my scar look 10 times worse, by the way, though at this point I’m way more worried about my health.) The anxiety has continued and makes me feel like I am in the midst of a slowly unfolding waking nightmare. I feel sick on an existential level almost constantly. I have gone out to do what I need to do but mostly feel like just hiding in my hotel room.

I’ve continued to have insomnia, though it has gotten a bit better over the last day or so. What has been much scarier is that I have periodic muscle weakness in my face – under my eyes and in my cheeks, even my top lip. Today I woke up with blurry vision and a bit of eye pain (which of course could be dry eyes, which I know is a side effect too). I called the med spa yesterday; they said they’d have the RN call back. Nothing. Called again today; the woman who answered the phone promised they would call back in 10 minutes. Nothing. Big surprise, right?  I’m terrified because I’m only on day 6; what’s going to happen next? I’ve read that you can have all kinds of weird things happen up through Day 14, though from reading other folks’ accounts it’s just completely unpredictable and can continue for months. Right now my biggest fear is getting on a plane next Sunday and having some kind of medical emergency (that will be Day 10, which seems to be a significant milestone with Botox as well).

This site has been a godsend, because the RN will not call me back. I’m absolutely terrified right now, but it has helped to read other people’s stories and realize it WILL get better (even if it gets worse first, though I hope not). My story is very mild compared to a lot of folks, at least right now (Lord help me, I hope it doesn’t get worse, but I’m bracing myself for whatever at this point). Gut level I was afraid of Botox and was right to be – I wish I had listened, and acted on, my intuition last week. This has been one of the most psychologically awful experiences of my life. I am so angry right now – at myself, but also at this RN who just sort of pushed this stuff at me in what I feel was a pretty irresponsible manner. She used to do pediatric medicine, and now she is peddling poison. I know a lot of doctors and nurses are getting into the plastic surgery game because it is so lucrative; and for all I know she had a quota to meet and saw the potential to meet it with me. But what about the Hippocratic oath – Do No Harm?? If doctors and surgeons really followed that credo they would NEVER use botox on patients except in cases where the benefit outweighs the risk. To just stick it in someone’s face as blithely as you would deliver a massage or a facial is just unethical. I feel like at the very least, a patient should be given more than 5 minutes to read the medical release and really consider whether or not they want to do something like this.

So far what has helped me the most for the anxiety: Rescue Remedy pastilles by Bach Flower Therapies. There is a little bit of sweetener in it (though this might be preferable to the drops, which are put in brandy). I also picked up a box of Bach Rescue Sleep, but haven’t tried it yet. Have been observing the recommendations of others here, including avoiding caffeine and alcohol, keeping hydrated and eating healthy whole foods at intervals throughout the day. And trying not to stress. Though it’s hard. The facial weakness seems better during the day, and then gets worse at night. I don’t know why that would be, but that is the case. It scares the heck out of me, and it’s extremely uncomfortable. Has anyone else had a symptom like this? I can’t find anyone talking about it but I did see it mentioned in the Botox insert literature  – which of course I looked up so when the RN told me that I was imagining things I could quote it back to her…as I mentioned, she hasn’t deigned to call me back yet. I will probably try to make an appt with my dermatologist as soon as I am home – she actually is a Botox expert, but uses it mostly to treat excessive sweating. But she knows a lot about Botox, and I trust her ethics and her judgement. Honestly I think a lot of Med Spas are kind of on the ethically shady side of the fence – at least this one seems to be.