How I Found Love Through Breast Enlargement and Allergies

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.”

Jack’s Journey: From Wheezy to Breezy

When we were first introduced to Jack, he was a young lad who struggled to travel anywhere without triggering an attack.

“I’m OK whenever I’m by meself, but as soon as I got to meet new mates I get all wheezy and bleedy – my Mum thinks I’m allergic to making friends.”

Growing up can often be a real challenge for some kids.

It’s easy for us adults to forget, but the schoolyard can often be an unforgiving place and it’s important to remember that the incidents that occur to kids during these sophomore years of education often shape the way they interact socially for the rest of their lives.

During these formative years, children are ushered through a strangely rushed, unrealistically structured simulacrum of what their later life might become. They’re thrown into rooms with strangers of their own age who they spend years getting to know. In this time, each child will slowly be understanding and learning more about themselves, as well as their class mates, but the way that they will end up socialising as adults will largely depend on their peer group.

Unfortunately for Jack, when we first met him, his peer group had by and large turned against him.

Being allergic to a number of allergens, both food-based and air borne, Jack found it difficult getting through a conversation without either sneezing, convulsing wildly or suffering explosive nosebleeds. This litany of symptoms became a barrier to his making any friends as he was often mercilessly ridiculed for not being able to make it through an hour’s class without spraying any amount of mucus, blood or, in extreme cases, fragments of his own shredded nasal passage across his desk and onto his class mates.

Even his parents struggled to like him.

We first received word from Jack in the form of a letter and he’s given permission for us to reproduce some of it here:

Dear CYANs,

I’m writing to you today to ask for help. My name is Jack and I am 12 years old. For 3 years now I have been sneezing, having fits and nose bleeds. I do not know what it is that is making it happen and my Mum and Dad have given up taking me to the doctors – they think that I am doing it on purpose to get out of school because I am being bullied a lot.

The truth is that I didn’t get bullied until I started getting ill. The kids in my class make fun of me all the time and none of the girls like me because there’s always blood on my shirts and hands and school books.

Can you find out what is wrong with me so I can live a normal life and be a normal teenager when I turn 13?

Thank you very much

Jack ********

We were moved by Jack’s honest letter and made it our goal to find him and help him, so that he could get on the road to recovery and claim the normal life that he had been deprived of.

Thankfully, we were able to successfully track him down, talk to is parents and get our specialists out to him. His acute form of hay fever mixed with a rare thinness of the blood was the reason for his embarrassing symptoms – we were happy to get him the treatment he needed, as well as a brand new latex-rubber suit to wear to school – we’ve not heard from him in a while, but we’re sure his bullying days are over for good now.