About one year later, Tanya was at work one evening (she is a nurse) and felt something wrong so she hooked herself up to the heart monitor. "I was hospitalized with a chronic run of ventricular tachycardia of unknown origin," she says. In layperson terms, this means an abnormal heart rhythm that is rapid, regular and originates from an area of the ventricle, the lower chamber of the heart. Ventricular tachycardias are most commonly associated with heart attacks or scarring of the heart muscle from previous heart attacks; they are life threatening. But Tanya is young (37) and healthy, without any history of heart problems.
"Most people who are in ventricular tachycardia will have a heart attack but I didn't exhibit any signs, any abnormal rhythm," says Tanya. "At the time, I didn't even think about Botox-- this came right out of the blue.
"I had an echocardiogram afterward—that measures the function of your heart—and no damage was done. I asked my cardiologist if Botox could have anything to do with this but he wasn't sure. Then I read all this stuff about Botox and side effects.
For more than a year, Botox worked to reduce my sweating. It has come back but I won't have another injection. The risk far outweighs the benefits. I started thinking, I'd rather be sweating and be here with my kids than possibly have a heart attack.
I work with babies so the doctors I associate with don't know too much about it but my dermatologist friend told me that he heard incidents of adverse effects from botox injections. A nurse who works with me had Botox for back pain and she noticed the same kind of symptoms that I exhibited. She came up to me at work one day and told me her story. It makes me wonder how often this has happened."
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"I was scared to death," says Motes, aged 65. "I had also lost a lot of weight from not eating for a few days." Her daughter had bought some Ensure shakes which Motes barely was able to drink; food was out of the question. "When I got to the hospital, I had to drink some fluid and they took x-rays, then the doctor put a light down my throat. He saw lots of nodules but didn't know the cause-- I was given antibiotics and pain killers.
"I think that when I had this round of Botox injections (it was the second round), the doctor completely missed my muscle and injected it into my bloodstream. Now I just suffer the pain—I can't go through that again."