To performpublished: 2009-02-25
Today was Botox day again. I’m always nervous, this time even more so as I was treated by a newly trained ENT doctor. I’ve been wondering why the procedure still gives me heart palpitations after ten years. I suppose it doesn’t help that they stick a needle straight through my neck. But there’s more to it. The thing is (I mentioned this here once before), I have somehow never managed to do what the medical team instructs me to do: do not swallow, do not cough. That sounds simple enough, right? Well, this morning it took the new ENT doctor five goes (and three new needles) before he managed to get the Botox where it should be: not in my windpipe or lungs or gut or cartilage, not even in my wrinkles (if only!), but into my vocal cords. All the while I was ‘do not swallowing and do not coughing’ – I think you get the picture. So I ended up apologizing. “Oh, no,” the ENT said, “there was something wrong with the needles.” Still, I left the room feeling like I had failed an exam.
I once heard a woman say she felt she had failed at giving child-birth because she hadn’t manage to squeeze out her baby without any medical interference. Our Western individualized libertine society has become such that we feel the pressure of having to perform, even in situations we can’t necessarily control or influence. Hence the nerves.