"When I first discussed it with the plastic surgeon, everything was positive about Botox," Rhonda says. "They tell you that you'll have no side effects.
"I had 10 injections [on January 10, 2008] by the doctor, which I thought seemed like an awful lot for the first time. After the first injections, I felt heat go down my throat and into my chest, which I now know is not normal. I live an hour away (from Columbus, Ohio where the injections were given). By the time I got home, my face had started to swell and the left side looked like someone hit me in the face.
"After three days, I couldn't open my mouth. It continued, so I went to the hospital and they said they had never seen anything like this. They put me on steroids and antibiotics. After that, I started to get sick and ran fevers. I actually ran fevers for five weeks. My whole body hurt and I was not able to do anything. I just kept going to the doctor—I was still swollen and still getting pain. I couldn't talk and I felt like I couldn't get my tongue to move properly. My throat felt like it was closing up.
"I was hospitalized Feb. 19, because I was losing muscle strength in neck. I couldn't hold my neck up. In fact, I still have problems talking—certain words won't come out right.
"It has been horrible. I have been passing out and I haven't done anything except go to doctors for three months. I saw an ear, nose and throat doctor, who diagnosed me with dysplasia of the throat. This has affected my whole face, my body, my life. I haven't been able to be a mother. I've been sick to my stomach. I felt like someone set me on fire on the inside. The inside of my mouth was swollen: I had fluid pockets inside my mouth and my gums overlapped my teeth. I was a mess.
"I think the injections by my eyes moved into my mouth area. It really affected my face—it looked like I gained 10 pounds just in my face. I had problems with vision: I could not get my eyes to focus. I thought I was having a nervous breakdown because my mind was telling my body to do things but my body wouldn't do them.
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"I don't suggest anybody ever get Botox done. I almost died from this adventure. It has really affected my family. My nine-year-old daughter asks every night before she goes to bed if I will die. I used to panic because I didn't know what was wrong with my throat and I was scared to be alone. I've been told I have complete nerve damage in my face from the swelling lasting so long.
"I felt really alone. I got to the point where I thought I was going to die..."
Rhonda is not the only patient to suffer an adverse reaction to Botox. If you have had Botox injections and suffered from serious side effects, contact a lawyer, who can help determine if you are eligible to join a class action lawsuit against the maker of Botox.