My journey through Breast Implant Illness to self love and acceptance.
Through sharing my story I hope to help and inspire as many women to first of all love themselves completely as they are and secondly to know your worth and to maybe educate you a little through my experience so that you don't go down the same dark path that I had to travel, to even get to that point of self love and acceptance.
In 2014 I decided to go ahead and book in a consultation with a plastic surgeon to have breast implants and was told they were safe of course but little did I know.... This was something I had wanted from quite a young age and stemmed from not feeling good enough or pretty enough with how I was and if I knew back then what I know now I would see myself so differently. From a very young age we are subject to constant images of what the female body should look like in order to be attractive and accepted, we are force fed this junk over and over until it is so strong in our subconscious minds that we don't even realise the impact it has on us.
A few months after my consultation I was already waking up from surgery. The first few days were just guilt ridden at what I had done to my body, even though I acted happy and thought some miraculous way they would make me feel better but they just didn't, actually they had the total opposite affect on me. I felt a heaviness in my body and even on a soul level I felt dense and that something wasn't right, but I just ignored it until my body was literally screaming at me time and time again but I was searching for all the wrong reasons as to why I was becoming so ill.
It never crossed my mind that these foreign toxic laden objects could cause you to be so sick. I thought at the time that I was healthy. I had a clean diet, detoxed and done all the right things, but the 40+ chemicals - not to mention the silicone shell and the capsule that your body forms around the implant to protect itself, in fact were poisoning me over time and was just too much for my body to handle. Within the first month of having them I experienced my first anxiety attack and started blacking out while driving and getting excruciating migraines and vision problems. This came and went, but within 6 months I was pretty much bedridden most of the time and in and out of hospital with my kidneys not functioning properly, blood in my urine (that was not a uti) and bladder pain. At this point I was seeing an acupuncturist 3 to 4 times a week just to get some relief but the treatments barely helped I thought I was dying. Things started taking a turn for the worst even though I didn't think it could get any worse for me and my family….I started having tachycardia on a daily basis and had every test you could think of but nothing ever showed up, so one day I was jaundiced and had severe stomach pains that once again landed me in the ER and in hospital on and off for 2 weeks but they could not find anything though clearly I was very ill, I was starting to really give up hope at this point. So one night things were extremely bad and I could not stop vomiting and was even more jaundiced than before so I was rushed to another hospital where they kept me in there for a week doing every scan and test thinkable. I kept saying it was my gallbladder but the doctors said no, you're too young, thin and healthy….I was what??? Definitely not healthy, I was a half dead zombie...so I pushed for a hida scan which is an injectable radioactive tracer that eventually showed that my gallbladder was not functioning and was chronically infected….so you said what?? Doctors? I'm fine? No I was deathly ill. I was scheduled for emergency gallbladder removal after being drugged up in hospital for that week absolutely terrified that my son wouldn't have a mum to come home to anymore. I came out of that surgery feeling like a mere shadow of the person I used to be, even worse than before, the only thing that got me through was closing my eyes and seeing my partner and sons faces because I knew without them this fight was one battle I was willing to give up on.
I got home with the help of my partner. My Mum and Dad checked in to help me with the house and my son because my adrenals crashed and I was so weak I could not walk or shower without help nor even hold a conversation at that….I really didn't want to live some days and that feeling stayed with me for three years because of the debilitating symptoms I had on a daily basis. This has not only affected me but the people I love. I lost friends and loved ones because I could not go out or do anything I was bed ridden most of the time and if I had a “good day” I would crash again for sometimes weeks afterwards. No one understood outside the people who helped me through this on a daily basis why I was sick, I'm sure there was a lot of speculation about me and whether I was just making this “illness” all up or whether family members or friends thought I was avoiding them. It broke my heart and felt so extremely alone, especially when my partner had to go to functions or weddings without me...he just didnt know what to say to everyone anymore, I felt terrible... but luckily I have an amazing beautiful partner who has been my rock through all of this and not to say it's been easy because it has been hard on us but we are coming out stronger for it and look forward to the days we can go on dates and visit our loved ones again.
These are the symptoms I have from Breast Implant Illness (there is a more extensive list on Breast Implant Illness website, I just narrowed mine down to my specific symptoms)
CHRONIC FATIGUE/ADRENAL BURNOUT
COGNITIVE DYSFUNCTION (BRAIN FOG, DIFFICULTY CONCENTRATING, MEMORY LOSS)
MUSCLE PAIN AND WEAKNESS, JOINT PAIN
HAIR LOSS, DRY SKIN AND HAIR
WEIGHT FLUCTUATIONS (losing weight mostly)
POOR SLEEP AND INSOMNIA
DRY EYES, DECLINE IN VISION, VISION DISTURBANCES
HYPO/HYPER THYROID SYMPTOMS
HYPO/HYPER ADRENAL SYMPTOMS
ESTROGEN/PROGESTERONE IMBALANCE OR HORMONES imbalance
SLOW HEALING OF CUTS AND SCRAPES, EASY BRUISING
THROAT CLEARING, COUGH, DIFFICULTY SWALLOWING, CHOKING, REFLUX, METALLIC TASTES
GASTROINTESTINAL AND DIGESTIVE ISSUES
FEVERS, NIGHT SWEATS, INTOLERANT TO HEAT/COLD
NEW AND PERSISTENT BACTERIAL AND VIRAL INFECTIONS
SLOW CLEARING OF COMMON COLDS AND FLUES
FUNGAL INFECTIONS, YEAST INFECTIONS, CANDIDA, SINUS INFECTIONS
FOOD INTOLERANCE AND ALLERGIES
SLOW MUSCLE RECOVERY AFTER ACTIVITY
HEART PALPITATIONS, CHANGES IN NORMAL HEART RATE OR HEART PAIN
SORE AND ACHING JOINTS OF SHOULDERS, HIPS, BACKBONE, HANDS AND FEET
SWOLLEN AND TENDER LYMPH NODES IN BREAST AREA, UNDERARM, THROAT, NECK, GROIN
BOUTS OF DEHYDRATION FOR NO REASON
NUMBNESS/TINGLING SENSATIONS IN UPPER AND LOWER LIMBS
COLD AND DISCOLORED LIMBS, HANDS AND FEET
GENERAL CHEST DISCOMFORT SHORTNESS OF BREATH
PAIN AND OR BURNING SENSATION AROUND IMPLANT AND OR UNDERARM
LIVER AND KIDNEY DYSFUNCTION
ANXIETY, DEPRESSION AND PANIC ATTACKS/SOCIAL ANXIETY
LEAKY GUT AND IBS
SYMPTOMS OF FIBROMYALGIA
SYMPTOMS OF LYME DISEASE
SYMPTOMS OF AUTO-IMMUNE DISEASES
So two months ago I really was at the point that I knew by now after all the healing and detoxing I had done I shouldn't still be bedridden most of the time, I should at least have some sort of life outside but I think it became my normal. I had a routine everyday just to get through but I just knew intrinsically that there was something else keeping me sick, so I literally prayed on it I said god you know me better than anyone what is keeping me sick what is wrong with me, I’m doing all the right things but I just can't get my head above water….please please give me a clear sign as to what I can do to get my life back and then it went a little something like this….next day scrolling Instagram and see a post from a lady that had kidney failure and on dialysis as a result of having implants I didn't read into it but something clicked in me like okay timeline...implants sick, sicker, deathly ill….giving up hope...then I left the post but I had my inner voice saying go back and read it properly over the day then I was like I really can't ignore this, so I went back on and this lead me to an Instagram page on breast implant illness and I literally bawled my eyes out reading these women's stories...it was me it was my story written over and over by all of these brave women from all walks of life….I knew this was going to be most of my battle won once I got these toxic implants out….the next 2 months were so scary for me as the whole issue dawned on me, guilt, sadness, loss of time with my gorgeous son and fiance, all because I chose to look like them...I chose to give in to society's standard of beauty and lost so much for making that decision…..I would not wish this on anyone and this is why this women talking to you right now is saying….love your body love every part of YOU because you were created perfect no matter what anyone tells you, you are brave you are strong and our younger generations need us to be there rock and strength because this world will cut you up into pieces and tell you it's good for you if you let it….don't let anyone tell you you're not enough...because we need your light in this world.
And whoever said cutting up your chest wall and ripping it from your ribs and putting highly toxic implants over your vital organs was sexy?? Being you and being confident in all you are is sexy. Trust me when I say being deathly ill is not pretty, your implants will mean nothing to you when you can barely function….
3 weeks after discovering BII I scheduled an appointment with my surgeon to have my implants removed with total capsulectomy, It is important to get the capsule out as your body cannot absorb it and this is where all the toxins, heavy metals, bacteria, mold etc are. For in depth information please go to the breast implant illness website. My surgeon was shocked to see how sick I was, as the last time she saw me I was full of health and energy. The day of my appointment I was sobbing because I had no idea how I was going to be in the car (it makes me feel worse most of the time) and then walk to her office, I just felt too weak and sick but my partner helped me through it he held me up while we walked there, I felt like passing out the whole time I was there and my vision was blurry along with the rest...I told my surgeon I was ill and that it happened after I got implants and she was very compassionate and understood I needed to do whatever I could to get well again.
The next few weeks I was scared about surgery but excited to get my health back after explant. I had so many questions going around in my mind but just wanted it over with so I could heal. The day of surgery my fiance was with me the whole way up until I went into theatre. He kept reassuring me I would be ok but I saw the worry in his eyes and knew this journey affected him just as much as me but I knew no matter what on the other side we would have our life back. I woke up from surgery but hadn't opened my eyes yet but I had tears streaming down my cheeks and I was so happy, I was back in my own body I had no poison dripping in me anymore from the implants. I opened my eyes and felt so elated this was the first surgery I woke up from not vomiting for hours and hours on end I felt such a deep connection and love for my body like never before and this was the journey I had to take to get to that self love. A couple of hours after I woke up I was wheeled to the car with my handsome man waiting for me and we both had the cheesiest grins on our faces….it was done.
I am now a week and 2 days post op and feeling stronger and better everyday. I know it will take a little time to heal but I know I'm on the mend as so many women before me have healed from this. Life is a gift our bodies are miraculous….love yourself and your loved ones with all you have because in the end that’s all we have.
Breast Implant Illness is real it is not something to be taken lightly. A lot of women have lost there lives and some haven't or can not return to health because of breast implants. It is also something not to be ashamed of, if someone makes you feel like it was your fault in the first place, please disengage from that person and focus on yourself...We are told implants are safe but there are too many women sick to even believe that lie anymore. Do your research, join the Breast Implant Illness Facebook groups, read the Breast Implant Illness website before going through surgery of either implant or explant so you are fully informed and educated about it.
If you would like to get in contact with Bonnie directly - Please contact Cathy for details.