In Makeover Diaries, women tell the stories of their real-life beauty transformations. A bout of Bell's Palsy made Roey Ebert's eyes uneven. She thought they would be that way forever, until she discovered Botox -- and reclaimed her self-esteem.

woman before and after botox

The author, before and after her Botox treatment. Photo Courtesy of Roey Ebert

I remember it as clearly as if it were yesterday. I got out of the shower, looked in the mirror, and realized my whole left side of my face was paralyzed. My lip drooped dramatically downward and my eye just stared. My tongue hung awkwardly out of the side of my mouth and drool ran down my cheek. I was horrified and terrified at the same time. I was 18 and the senior prom was days away. My mom took one look at me and knew what was wrong.

"Bell's Palsy," she said.

I had always been told I had gorgeous eyes. Now I couldn't even stand to look at them. The palsy made them crooked and droopy. I could not eat. It turned me into a shy, quiet girl -- something I'd never been before.

Even after I regained full use of my face, my eyes were never the same. The left was definitely smaller than the right. Yet, life carried on. Twenty years and five kids later, I had no time to fixate on how I looked. Bell's Palsy was a thing of my past, and I never had to worry about it again. Or so I thought.

When I was pregnant with my sixth child in 2009, my left eye started twitching. It got worse and worse, and when I went to see my family doctor I learned I had contracted Bell's Palsy a second time. I had to hold my cheek to keep it still. Then an opthalmologist recommended I see an ocular plastic surgeon for Botox.

What? Botox? I didn't understand. Apparently, Botox was developed to help stroke victims and people with palsy. It helps calm the contractions of the nerves. On my first visit, he said I was the ideal candidate. Not only could it help the twitching, he said, the Botox would open up my eye and make the eye more even with the right one. I couldn't believe it. There was actually something that would help me. I recieved the most minor of doses all around my left eye. Within three days, my eye had opened up and the twitching had subsided. I couldn't stop looking at myself.

For 20 years it had been my dream to have my eyes back to normal and these injections made it possible. I felt like I had gotten a part of my life back. I could finally stop thinking about my face. I'd gone blonde for a while to keep the focus off my eyes, but now I went back to my natural dark hair. I try to accent my eyes instead of hiding them, using a black liner on the top and a dark brown on the inner lids. I dress in solid colors, like navy blue and emerald green, to play up my blue-green eyes. I used to dress mainly in black, with sunglasses from early morning to past dusk.

I go back every 4 months for injections. Sometimes people in the waiting room snicker when they hear me say I am here for Botox injections. But I don't care. Ironically, Botox has helped me have a life where what I look like is not the first thought for my day.

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