ANOTHER SUMMER, ANOTHER shopping trip staring at strappy dresses, trying to convince myself: “Yes, I can wear that”, knowing full well that the dress would show off my arms, the arms I had grown to dislike more and more as the years went on.
I think it was around about my mid 40’s that I noticed my arms had changed from the toned, supple arms of my youth to a rather wrinkled crepey, bat wing version.
I have always prided myself on everything in moderation: I exercised regularly, watched my weight but still enjoyed the pleasures of an active social life, which obviously involved eating and drinking.
I found Yoga – or rather Yoga found me – at around 50 and it was not just the exercise but the way of life that I embraced, and I found it kept me toned, fit and supple.
Except for these damn arms.…. No matter what I did nothing toned them and they always seemed like they did not belong on my body. My primary focus was ‘the arms’ and it was driving me insane.
I spent every summer trying to hide them, being envious of women who could display their arms with confidence in clothes, sometimes giving in and wearing something that showed them and then spending the entire evening trying to hide them, feeling embarrassed.
I’m approaching 60 and ‘the arms are still there’ reminding me of my age and, although I didn’t feel the need to look young, I just wanted to be the best version of myself…..
So, I decided enough was enough I was going to do something. I researched Arm lift/Brachioplasty surgery in the UK and realised my budget really did not stretch to the pounds the surgeons were asking for.
I discussed with friends and heard the usual remarks of: “But there is nothing wrong with your arms!”; “They are fine”; “You are being stupid”. And, oh, how I wanted to believe them, but they were my arms, and they were not the arms I wanted, period.
I then heard through a friend that surgery abroad was now becoming extremely popular. She herself had had a procedure done in Cyprus and was ecstatic about the results.
Another close friend of mine expressed an interest in having liposuction done on her stomach and we decided to research together. Except she began procrastinating and was leaving it all to me; then the excuses started: she couldn’t get the holiday, she wasn’t sure anymore, she might wait…… I had made my mind up – I was doing this – and solo if I needed to….
I started my research and was hearing rather good things about Turkish surgery and the packages that were being offered , so I painstakingly read review after review, checked out the surgeons, chatted to companies online and then, with the help of a Turkish friend who had contacts in Istanbul, I decided on a company that she had checked out and knew was reputable.
The price was half of what they were asking for in the UK and the package was very reasonable.
I had lots of contact with the company and the surgeon beforehand and was feeling extremely comfortable about the whole thing. So, two months on and I am ‘winging’ (excuse the pun) my way to Istanbul – alone – with trepidation but also extreme excitement at the prospect of banishing the arms forever.
It could not have been easier, I was met at the airport by Sercan, my interpreter for the whole trip, and he spoke fluent English and was an absolute god-send during my stay. I had the obligatory Covid test after landing and was taken by taxi to the hotel, which had a spa, two restaurants and was quite lavish.
The next day, whilst waiting for my Covid test results, I managed a sightseeing tour around Istanbul and, the following day, was taken to a private hospital where the procedure was to take place.
I spent 2 days in the hospital, and I was given amazing treatment by the dedicated Surgeon and nursing staff. I think it would have helped to have someone with me for the first couple of days after surgery – for dressing, washing etc but, although it was difficult, it was not impossible. I even managed to get my nails and hair done at a local salon before my flight back to the UK (Turkey is known for amazing hairdressers too!).
I am back in the UK now, recovering, and I can honestly say that so far this was one of the best decisions I had ever made. Obviously, the surgery comes with its pitfalls and I am not going to glamourise it. You need around 3 weeks to get back to normal; you cannot lift heavy objects, drive, or even wash your hair initially, as your arms just do not have the movement. But slowly, slowly, I can see an improvement.
Day 14 now and I can just about do my hair, drive small distances, and dress myself properly (I live alone), but it is worth every bit of discomfort to me. It is early days yet, I am still wearing arm supports, but when I take these off wonderful supple arms stare back at me and I feel a renewed confidence.
It has not made me look young – I did not want that – but it has made me feel happy that I have done something for myself, by myself with great results. ….. I work on myself, I pride myself on looking after me, so why should I not take the step to make myself a better version of who I am…….
Come next summer these arms are going to be out on display, wearing that strappy dress that I could only dream of wearing.
Do not wait ladies, do it for you.