As contributed by Janet Richardson, writer of ” Give Me the Details” Blog.
Welcome back to The Something New Series! If you’re just tuning in let me summarize the premise of what I’m setting out to do. Basically, in each installment of this series I’m boldly going where I’ve never gone before and I’m taking you right along with me. Boldly is kind of an understatement for the adventures I’ve been having, the depths of my comfort zone have grown and so have I as a woman. This is a blog where we talk about shared experiences in motherhood quite a bit but in this series I adventure out as a woman trying things that have very little to do with also being a mom. I’m doing this for myself but I’m mainly doing this for every mom out there who thinks she can’t have these new experiences because she’s too busy as a wife and mother to do so. I get it, I thought I was too!!
Today’s challenge came from a friend of mine-Christine. Christine is one of those women who knows everybody!
Christine mentioned offhandedly one day that I should talk to her friend Dr. Ngoc Pham about an article. Nothing specific but she opened the door and I walked through it. Dr. Pham has a local business, Tre MedSpa, and her reputation preceded her before I made the call. She is not only a friend of Christine’s but we had both heard great reviews from mutual acquaintances about their experiences at Tre MedSpa.
So what would I choose from her selection of services to try out? I was going straight for the option that both scared me and intrigued me most. I would be trying the thing I said this side of 10 years ago that I would never EVER try..I was going to get BOTOX. Do I have your attention?
How many of you have heard other friends talk about it at parties or in confidence over lunch? How many of you have wondered about it? How many of you have wanted to go for it but worry that you won’t look like yourself afterwards? How many of you are thinking about it right now?
Since turning 40 a year and half ago I was “gifted ” the appearance of forehead lines. Lines that in my opinion made me look like I was always in deep concentration. To me, my forehead was trying to solve the world’s hardest math problem and was terribly confused to find the solution. I didn’t like the way it looked in person or in photos. It also began it affect my self esteem, I thought it was obvious to other people too (I’m told it wasn’t). I just didn’t like the way my forehand looked, it didn’t represent how I felt on the inside.
Did I not like it enough to do something about it…nope, I hadn’t done a thing. As the doctor and I talked through ideas on what I could try I immediately knew what I would be interested in learning about. Could she do anything to soften my problem-solving forehead? Would my forehead relax and enjoy?
It was out of fear that I hadn’t pursued treatment for my wrinkles. Fear of the unknown. Fear of not looking like myself afterward. Fear of appearing vain or even frivolous to spend money on this type of service. Fear that I would look like I was fighting the aging process. That I wasn’t doing so gracefully as I assumed I would try to do when the time came.
I might have (ok I did) judged women who were open about their Botox once upon a time. Going back to full disclosure I know I judged once or twice. It didn’t occur to me what the reasons could be to get Botox. I wasn’t in the place in life to get the motivation back then. I wanted to understand the process and the treatment not only for myself but for my readers. It was important to put myself into the hands of the best professional possible. I placed my face and my confidence in Dr. Pham to educate me, to try this and I knew I’d share what I learned with you. If you’re going to try Something New it’s better with friends along!
The Initial Visit
I made my consultation appointment and arrived at Tre MedSpa on a Tuesday morning. My first impression was that this office was nothing like I thought it would be. It was downright beautifully decorated like a high-end home or exclusive spa you would see in a magazine. Gorgeous furniture, light fixtures, and decor greeted me in the waiting room. Attention to detail has been taken to make the client feel comfortable here which is to be appreciated.
Dr. Pham joined us and we talked extensively about all the facets of why I was there. What was bothering me? What would I like to see when I look in the mirror? What were my expectations? She took more photos and examined me very thoroughly. Dr. Pham took the time to educate me about Botox. How it works, what it is, that the experience is different for each patient. Botox isn’t a one size fits all. You and your doctor need to have a discussion about your individual questions. Your face is unique and so is your treatment. I knew nothing when I walked in other than the fact that needles were involved You should know that I’m a needle baby!! I shared this fact with her too. Needles give me anxiety, they always have. This might have been my biggest hurdle in considering this procedure, that my own needle phobia would be problematic. Am I alone in this? Any of you out there feel this way too? Well from one “baby” to another let me share my experience to ease your worries.
When it was decided I would be having this procedure a numbing gel was applied to the area that would be treated. It takes a little time to do its work which gives you and the doctor time to discuss it in more length. I was informed about every part of what would happen, the under the surface parts of my face affected, the possibilities, the steps of the process and the length of time for the procedure to take effect. Dr. Pham really took the time to fully explain everything and answer each and every question I had. She took a conservative approach to my treatment which I also appreciated.
It’s Go Time:
The actual process took only about 15 minutes from start to finish. I have to tell you it was nothing like I thought it would be! The injections (given by very tiny needles, the same size used for insulin injections) felt like getting a small mosquito bite. I was hardly bothered at all. I had imagined it would be much, much more discomfort than I felt. It was nothing for this baby and that’s saying something!!
I experienced no pain afterward. I asked if it would be obvious I’d had a procedure when I left and true to what the doctor told me it was not. By the time I left and arrived at my next stop, the tiny mosquito bites had disappeared. I looked the same as I had looked when I arrived. You could not tell!!! No one was the wiser! I assumed before learning about Botox that the results would be instantaneous. Not the case for your reference. It can take between 5-7 days to take effect.
I watched myself in the mirror for days like a science experiment. It is important to share that while there is a chance of side effects, I personally had none. Nothing really happened good or bad for several days. Then something did. I woke up to find my lines had diminished. They were lessened, softened and had filled in.
My most bothersome thing wasn’t a thing anymore! It was so liberating to be free of it. I felt a rush of self-confidence, I felt like the me inside was reflected outside. Nothing appeared to be vexing me. I smiled the biggest smile. I got it, I got why women do this. I understood something I hadn’t before at that moment.
The difference might not be massive to others but to me, it was night and day! My smile was bigger the second time around. Myself consciousness was decreased and I loved my results.
Am I advising each of you to go out and get this straight away? Absolutely not! This is a very personal choice and you should absolutely do what’s right for you! Consult with a trusted doctor. Be transparent with your doctor and make sure you’re confident that you understand everything that’s involved. Maybe you’ll decide it isn’t your thing and that’s ok. I’m in no way saying that I feel women need this to be beautiful. Women are beautiful..period!!
What I learned from this
I learned one of the why’s of Botox. I learned this isn’t a case of needing but wanting most of the time. We want to feel we like what we see. We want to feel like the best version of our best selves. We want to love that face we were born with. It’s not about a refusal to accept the aging process, with age comes wisdom. It’s the ability to have a choice, an option.
I also learned that women sometimes sheepishly own up to doing this. They don’t freely share they’ve had or continue to have it done. They worry about the reaction of others. They don’t want to be judged or to appear shallow. I’m bravely telling you I did this and that I’m not sorry! Not even a little! I feel lightened on a deep level in a way I never thought I would. Who knew that doing this would have this outcome for me? Who knew how much internal emotional stuff was tied into a couple of lines?
A thank you to Tre MedSpa
I want to thank Dr. Ngoc Pham and her staff for taking such amazing care of me. I walked in knowing nothing and left with my misconceptions dispelled, educated and treated professionally and kindly. I want to thank her for hearing my proposal and agreeing to be a part of it. I applaud her for her part in helping others feel their best selves, whatever that looks and feels like to each individual client. In my case, I feel more confident and more radiant and that feeling is priceless.
I hope by Giving You The Details of what I’ve tried you’ll feel more comfortable going for it. Maybe it won’t be exactly what I did but it might give you that extra courage to take a chance. This is not just about Botox..not by a long shot (pardon the pun)! This is about bringing Something New into your life.
I believe filling my life up with motherhood and family does indeed fill my life. I believe and will always believe it’s the best thing that ever happened to me to be a wife and mother. I also believe honoring ourselves as individuals is a good thing too. We can get lost on our journey, we can lose our unique desires, those things just for us. We have to work to discover them and make time for them. Oh, the rewards we receive when we do though! Thank you for joining me today!
Dr. B. Ngoc Pham, MD has been practicing Medical Aesthetics since 2004. Dr. Pham is an Allergan Master injector and her technique is second to none. Patients love the fact that she uses a vein finder to scan superficial vessels prior to all injections to reduce any minor bruising that occasionally can come with injections. In addition, Dr. Pham specializes in the use of flexible microcannulas for dermal filler procedures, instead of the traditional needle technique. Compared to the needle technique, the microcannula only requires 1-2 entry sites, which helps reduce/eliminate bruising, reduces risks, and allows for a more comfortable visit. She is also getting very well known for her excellent PDO thread lifting technique, also known as the “non-surgical facelift” which are for the aging and sagging cheek/jowl issues that so many clients start to develop in their 40-50s. Dr. Pham, as well as all the staff here at Tre Medspa truly, strives to make sure their clients feel completely comfortable and informed of all treatments/procedures in a non-pressured environment. Dr. Pham states “I lean on the conservative side when it comes to treatments, and I approach each client’s aesthetic needs in a way that would allow them to look more vibrant and young, but still looking natural and like themselves. I love seeing my clients get excited when I hand them the mirror and they see the amazing results and changes. ”
If you would like to learn more about any of the services offered here at Tre MedSpa, please give them a call at 813-749-0918. They are located in the heart of Westchase at 11013 Countryway Blvd. or you may visit them online at www.tremedspa.com. Other services offered include; Kybella, Laser Hair Removal, IPL, Facials, Chemical Peels, Microdermabrasion, Dermaplaning, and micro-needling w/ PRP.