In 2008 I made a very personal decision to get breast implants. Being a tall and healthy girl, I wanted to "even out" my pear shape. I had given birth to and breast fed two healthy boys.
Over the last few months, I have been contemplating many questions and false generational and personal beliefs. Society somehow brainwashes us to believe we must have the perfect body. Why do we need to have boobs to feel sexy? I am not sure when or where I learned that damaging belief? Why do we need to have boobs? What about them makes us "more beautiful" or "more sexy"?
Just the other day, I received an ad in my mailbox for a "mommy makeover". It somehow puts the message out that our bodies are no longer beautiful after having children. This ad churned something inside me. It was a great anger and frustration that we are NEVER ENOUGH.
Well beautiful lady, NOTHING could be further from the truth!
If you are reading this, your beautiful body has probably made a baby or two, maybe more!. Those arms, however fluffy and/or saggy, have held many children and loved ones . Those same arms have rocked and cared for the sick as well as those in need. Your arms and body have likely made love to another. Our bodies have healed many illnesses. Really, who knows how many viruses or illnesses our body's immune systems have fought off that we will never know about? Our legs, however thick, have carried us through life. They have taken us to our kids sporting events and recitals. Our feet have given us stability, even with those toes you think are ugly. Our minds have solved many proplems, even with brain fog. The bottom line, our bodies are beautiful and amazing and doing what it is supposed to do. God made us and believes each and every one of us is a masterpiece...just the way you are! YES YOU!
Reflecting back to the mid 2000's, everyone I knew had already put in breast implants. I mean, nearly every-single-friend and family member! Friends, family, sister-in-laws...They all had breast implants placed and seem to be very healthy and happy with them. So, after speaking to many of them, I bit the bullet and made an appointment to have breast implants placed. $8,000 later and a very difficult surgery and recovery, I had 400 cc Smooth Saline implants placed under the muscle in 2008.
The very things meant to improve my life, self image, and enhance my sex life, actually made me deathly ill, destroyed my self image and decreased my libido!
Within a year and a half, I started having migraines. Next, I started to tremor in my hands. I had electrical-type shocks up my neck. Then, in 2010, I fell ill with meningitis. At the time, they ruled out bacterial meningitis but stated it was fungal or chemical meningitis. Side note, at the time I was in a very tumultuous relationship. I also had a car accident where I totaled a car. Needless to say, my life was was a mess. After the meningitis hospitalization, a walker, cane and wheelchair were required for me to get around. I have been so incredibly ill 10 years! It was one very weird health issue after another. At one point, my blood showed heavy metal toxicity. I had so many doctors, it was a full-time job. I had to medically retire from my registered nursing career. Over the next several years, I had 4 major neurosurgeries, including a brain surgery! Two years after my last surgery, I had healed some but not much. At that time, I began a personal journey to do my part in the healing process. I started taking high quality whole food multivitamins, limited my toxin exposure with personal are products and cleaning products. Along with that, I started working on healing emotionally and physically. These are all great things. I started moving toward natural and homeopathic medicine and weaning off the pharmaceuticals that had many side effects. I also began a personal growth journey. My life improved greatly with these small daily steps. However, I still remained sick. I could never understand why I would be well for a while (far from healthy, but well) and then have what seemed like relapses. I was doing everything right, and still remained sick. Even more frustrating, I have gained 50 pounds in the last 5 years. 20 of those pounds have been put on in the last 6 months. I started writing down health symptoms that I have dealt with over the last ten years and it filled two entire hand-written pages.
Approximately 3.5 years ago, I stumbled upon information on breast implant illness. I also saw a few news stories of women that had horrifyingly similar symptoms to me that removed their implants and scar tissues (capsules) and they recovered! I started researching and even visited a highly recommended surgeon about having my implants removed. He told me a majority of his patients improve from symptoms like I was having. Still, I did nothing. I was not convinced that my fake boobs contributed and/or caused many of my health issues. Fast forward to 2019. This year, my health has seemed to decline. My weight has increased. I was desperate! My personal life has improved greatly. I now have a loving and supportive husband of nearly two year. I also have 6 kids at home. Despite exercising, doing yoga, meditating, etc, my health has continued to go the wrong way. So, I started researching again. And, again, breast implant illness kept coming up on my radar. I decided to get serious. In therapy, we discussed body image and having my breasts small again, and this time, scared and possibly disfigured.
I initially sought out therapy due to my ever increasing anxiety and depression. It has been nearly a year of working on self-image, self-worth, and using tools to decrease my anxiety and help pull me out of the pit of depression. My mental health has been on a sharp decline. I have lost much of the will to live. I have become increasingly antisocial. I have lost my spark. There is no joy in holiday's and or family events. I mean ZERO joy!
Friends, if you are in darkness, please seek help! Therapy has done wonders for me and my coping skills. More specifically, my therapist has been doing both talk and EMDR therapy. It does not matter what you do or how you do it. Just get help. I believe pretty much everyone could benefit from therapy at some point in their lives. We all have pain we are carrying. If we do not learn to deal with it, that pain just gets transferred to others. When we do not get ourselves together, we put that hurt on our kids, husbands, friends and ourselves. There is a saying that goes something like this, "The only way around something is going through it." We can not keep passing the hurt on. Another quote that comes to mind is, "hurt people, hurt people". However, on the flip side, "healed people, help heal people".
We have two choices, when it comes to healing. The first is to bury our head in the sand until there is something that finally snaps and our pain is passed on to others. Or, secondly, we can face it head on and actually heal. When we heal ourselves, we are not only healing our hurt, we are also being good examples to our children, friends, spouses, and others that we are worth it. We are worth the time and effort to be fully happy and healthy adults.
When I was researching Breast Implant Illness there were several sites that I found helpful. When I stumbled onto this website and their corresponding Facebook page, that is when I knew that I was really on to something. That is when I began to really dig in and research. That is where I found that my thyroid disease, connective tissue disorder, hormonal imbalance, brain fog, anxiety, depression, weight gain, physical pain, mast cell disease, shortness of breath, and much more had been linked to breast implant illness. The more I looked, the more it made since. Below you will find a list of symptoms related to breast implant illness. I got the list from the website below. On top of researching, I got quite. I started journalling and meditating. I believe our "higher selves", "Higher Power", and our bodies know what to do in any situation. But first, we must get quiet enough to hear those prompts. I was amazed when I got quiet, my body was screaming, "get them out!" That is when I saw the surgeon and scheduled my breast implant explanation surgery. My surgery is coming up in three days. On 12/30/19 I feel like I am taking a huge step at getting my life back. I have been through hell and back. I can not wait to share my healing journey with you!
Three of my very close friends all got implants around the same time as me. They have all been very sick from ulcerative colitis, to chronic fatigue, and kidney disease. They have all explanted in the last year. Guess what? None of them regret it one-single-bit! They all have improved in health. They say they are 75-90% better than when they had their implants. Their brain fog has lifted, their joint pain has decreased and their energy level has increase. I can not wait! Even if I do not improve as much as them, I am desperate to live. I don't want to only survive like I have been doing the last decade. I want to thrive.
Do you or someone you know have breast implants and mysterious illness? If so, check out the symptoms list and make sure you visit the website and Facebook page of Healing by Nicole.
Please feel free to comment on and share this article. I would love to hear from you!
How many of the following symptoms do you have? I have nearly all of them. I will keep you updated as to how I am doing after explant.
I love you friends. You are enough. You do deserve to be happy and healthy! If not now, when?
Breast Implant Illness Symptoms
❏ Fatigue ❏ Brain fog ❏ Memory loss ❏ Muscle and joint pain ❏ Hair loss, dry hair ❏ Dry skin ❏ Premature aging ❏ Weight problems ❏ Inflammation ❏ Insomnia and poor sleep ❏ Dry eyes, decline in vision ❏ Vertigo ❏ Nausea, gastritis ❏ Leaky gut, IBS and SIBO ❏ Pancreatitis ❏ Fevers, night sweats, intolerant to heat/cold ❏ Headaches, migraines, ocular migraines ❏ Slow muscle recovery after activity ❏ Heart palpitations or pain, changes in heart rate ❏ Sore/aching shoulders, hips, spine, hands and feet ❏ Swollen/tender lymph nodes in breast area, underarm, throat, neck ❏ Liver and kidney dysfunction ❏ Gallblader problems ❏ Toxic shock symptoms ❏ Anxiety, depression and panic attacks ❏ Feeling like you are dying ❏ Symptoms of fibromyalgia ❏ Symptoms of Lyme disease ❏ Symptoms of EBV ❏ Hypo/hyper thyroid symptoms ❏ Hypo/Hyper adrenal symptoms ❏ Parathyroid problems ❏ Hormone imbalance, diminishing ❏ Hormones, early menopause ❏ Hysterectomy ❏ Low libido © Healing B❏ Slow healing, easy bruising ❏ Throat clearing, cough, difficulty swallowing, choking ❏ Reflux, GERD ❏ Metallic tastes ❏ Persistent bacterial, viral, fungal infections ❏ Yeast, Candida, sinus infections, UTI ❏ Skin rashes ❏ Ear ringing ❏ Sudden food intolerance and allergies ❏ Dehydration for no reason ❏ Frequent urination ❏ Numbness/tingling in upper and lower limbs ❏ Cold and discolored limbs, hands and feet ❏ Chest discomfort, shortness of breath ❏ Symptoms of autoimmune diseases such as: Reynaud's syndrom, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Addison's, Graves, Rheumatoid Arthritis, scleroderma, Lupus, Sjorgren's syndrome, non-specific connective tissue disease, multiple sclerosis ❏ Symptoms of BIA-ALCL lymphoma ❏ Diagnosis of cancer