Allergies can transform lives in the most unusual of ways.
Angela got in touch with us to share her story – a story that starts out with her mission to get a cosmetic surgery and somehow ended up with her getting married. We’ll let her take it from here:
“I never thought that I’d get married.
As long as I can remember I’ve been self-conscious of my body.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: ‘Nobody’s completely comfortable with themselves and plenty of those people go on to marry and find love.’ Well, for me, it was a little different. You see – I was a child of the 80s: probably the worse time in history to have any kind of body confidence issues.
Just imagine the way it was back then…
It’s 1985, you’re 14-years old.
Whether you’re a boy or girl – you’re faced with completely untenable, unrealistically attainable visions of how you’re meant to look. Beautifully sculpted creatures look down on you from your convex TV screen. Arnold Schwarzenegger breeds fantasies in every boy’s mind about how they too will be as tall and as wide as Dutch. They’re confident they can do it; pump iron until their arms are as impossibly rotund as his so that all the figure-of-eight women will flock to their side.
For the girls like me, our dreams were a little harder to realise. You see any guy could dream of going to the gym, of pumping their body full of the steroids that were yet to be illegalised and growing exponentially. Our role models were the romantic leads in every movie – they were beautiful, blonde and buxom. Women like Daryl Hannah and Molly Ringwald were my unattainable idols. Sexualised elfin characters who were angelic in their manner yet somehow encapsulated what it meant to be a woman.
Unfortunately for 14-year old me, I didn’t look like Daryl Hannah or Molly Ringwald.
I looked like a scruffy, sexless urchin – an extra who had wandered off the set off a low-budget Dickens TV adaptation. Those feelings of inadequacy stayed with me for decades, until I’d saved enough money to pay for my breast enhancement surgery which brings me to the discovery of my allergy.
It’s estimated that around 1 in 10,000-20,000 people experience anaphylaxis during anaesthetic. I’d never been operated on prior to going under the knife for the first time. Within seconds of going under, my body rejected the anaesthesia and my body began shutting down. The operating surgeon had to act quickly to save my life, he told me later that it was touch and go, that because of my reaction I would have to wait to get tested for any other allergies.
I never got that surgery. Whilst I was waiting to get my blood tested in my local hospital, I met a charming man who listened to my story and told me that I’d dodged a bullet. That I didn’t need surgery. That I should look online to see what Daryl Hannah and Molly Ringwald look like now.
I never thought that I’d get married, but I tied the knot this year with that very same man and I have my allergy to anaesthetics to thank for that.”