Health Update & Breast Implant Illness

In a blog I posted a couple months ago, I let you guys in on the recent health issues I have been experiencing. At the time I wrote that blog, I had just begun treatment with a holistic functional doctor. I wrote that I would keep you all updated on my treatment plan- but I didn’t. I didn’t because:

1. The treatment plan itself has been consistently changed and modified as the weeks went on.

2. It has been so overwhelming and all-consuming just living it, that the last thing I felt like doing was writing about it, opening up discussion about it, etc.

3. I had no idea what the outcome of it all would be. I didn’t want breathe so much life into a process that I wasn’t even sure where I’d be at the end of it all.

Last week, I completed the three month treatment plan that I was prescribed. Within these three months, my treatment has included:

– A LOT of homeopathic supplements, many of them antibiotic-grade that you can only get from a medical professional. I took and cycled through tons of different supplements, all aimed to help with the various issues I have been dealing with. The supplement schedule has been confusing and overwhelming. So much so, that I need to keep track of it all with a chalk board each day so that I don’t get confused. Several supps a day, some needing to be taken multiple times a day, some with food, some without, some specifically needing to be taken away from one another… sdgfjsgdjshddhjsdfhkfh.

– A very strict & very particular CLEAN diet. Minimal processed foods, minimal sugar (fruit included), high protein. No gluten, no dairy, no caffeine, no alcohol. Organic and non GMO AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. There was a long stretch of time I also had to avoid some healthy foods (like salmon, avocado, onion, cucumber, apples, etc) because of something having to do with the liver/pancreas/gallbladder. I don’t know, it sucked.

– Daily CBD usage (both plain CBD + also one with THC).

– Weekly manual work like chiropractic adjustments, lymphatic massage, and/or deep tissue massage.

– Weekly acupuncture, and cupping as needed.

– Sweating (whether by way of light cardio, sauna, or hot bath/shower).

– STRESS MANAGEMENT!! AKA stress reduction (Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual). AKA doing WAY LESS and cutting anything and everything the fuck out that gives me any type of stress (such as exercise, even though that has sucked, learning to say NO to things more, working too much, etc), and inviting more of the things that help to reduce my stress (reading, yoga, watching my favorite tv shows, being outside and around people I love, writing, crystals, meditation, etc).

– Tons of other minor things that I felt would be helpful like making myself fresh celery juice every single morning, apple cider vinegar, greens juices, epsom baths, taking wifi breaks in our house to reduce EMFs, lots of healing herbal teas, the list goes on.

This has felt like a full time job. But I have KICKED THIS TREATMENT PLAN’S ASS! I mean like… as close to perfection as one could get.

However- as time went on, and we did some spot checks with my blood work, although some things had gotten much better (like my adrenals, thank God!) other things were the same or worse. At this point in time, my Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) is still very active. My titers are still super high, and that is very concerning. My doctors are confused as to why my IGM titers for EBV (which indicates an active and acute infection) are STILL ELEVATED, so many months later. After rigorous treatment. And time. And rest. And doing all the right things. Not only that, but some other things are even worse. Like my platelet & white blood count. And suddenly, other numbers are starting to come back abnormal, like my red blood cell distribution width. I can’t even begin to explain how frustrating (and downright heartbreaking) it is to dedicate so much of yourself to something, only to see it yield such little results.

Am I feeling better as far as my symptoms? In some ways, yes. Maybe my bar of “feeling good” has lowered so much that I don’t even have an accurate gauge of what it’s like to feel ok anymore. But it’s not because I am better. So my feeling good is actually a bad thing. Considering the fact that I am still just as sick, the fact that some of my symptoms have minimized is basically a sign that my immune system is doing even less of its job at this point (which a notion that is actually supported by my blood work). My viral count is still through the roof, and my immune system is basically not working to fight this stuff off.

The main symptoms I do still experience: daily low grade fevers, chronic fatigue, muscle soreness even without working out (shoulders/back/neck/skull), frequent wakings during the night, enlarged papillae on my tongue, inflamed and painful lymphatic tissue, mood swings, extreme heat and sun resistance, hair loss & breakage, urine smells weird.

When I first saw the holistic doctor, one of the first questions I asked her is “could this all be being caused by my breast implants?” (Ps, hey, I have breast implants lol) Her response to me was “Well it’s a possibility, but I wouldn’t jump to invasive surgery as your first line of defense. If you want to remove them, you can always do that in the future, but right now let’s focus on treatment and see how your body responds”.

After months of my body not responding to treatment, my doctor is now strongly encouraging me to get them removed. SOMETHING is keeping me sick. Something is keeping these viruses active and thriving. Something is keeping my immune system suppressed. And medically, there is ABSOLUTELY NO explanation for it. I have been tested for literally everything. EVERYTHING!!!!!! And I have done everything that I could possibly do to try and kill these pathogens and support my immune system- with close to ZERO changes to show for it. I have turned every last possible stone over in this process except for one: the two toxic bags sitting right over my heart and lungs.

Before I got fully taken down earlier this year, I suspected that my implants were an issue. Even before I got fully “sick” in February, I had this strong gut feeling that something was wrong (which I touched on in my previous blog). Yes, I was postpartum. Yes, I was sleep deprived and not eating right and going through so many stressful changes in my life. But beyond that, I just knew something was off. I felt beyond just tired and emotional. I felt ill. For a while, my family chalked it up to my vicious postpartum anxiety. But I knew something wasn’t right. Then one day, I was made aware of breast implant illness (BII). And a light went off in my head. That light led to a crazy panic attack, and I lost my mind over the idea that my breast implants could be making me sick. I joined a massive BII facebook group and the information I was exposed to in there both validated my experience, as well as scared the ever living shit out of me. I volleyed between wanting to know/research more and wanting to unfollow the group and erase everything from my memory. For a while, my denial won. It felt safer to chalk my experience up to postpartum. It was easier to chalk it up to lack of sleep. It made more sense to chalk it up to anxiety. But something in my gut kept bringing me back to that Facebook group and the idea of breast implant illness…

As months went on, more and more women started to come out publicly about BII. More women started to explant. More women were sharing their stories… stories just like mine. I remember in October (months before I got really sick) being at a wedding and having a conversation with my sister in law about how I felt like my breast implants were killing me, and how scared I was of considering the process of removing them. So many things stood in my way…

1. My own skepticism over whether BII was even my issue and if going through with something so extreme (and scary and expensive and painful) would even make any difference.

2. FEAR- of the thought of this being real, of surgery, of the unknown, of my boobs looking terrible if I explanted, etc etc.

3. Wanting to get pregnant again sooner than later (This was a major one- but THANK GOD this didn’t happen when I thought I was ready for it… everything happens for a reason).

I remember having this convo with my sister in law, with no idea that in just a few months, I would become sicker than I have ever been in my life. Little did I know that I already was in an immunologic deficit that would lead to a crazy battle with chronic illness.

Once shit went down in February, again, the first thing that came to my mind was my implants. As time went on and I watched my body struggle in ways it never had before, my mind went to my implants. As I saw doctor after doctor, searching for answers, my heart kept coming back to my implants. And here I am today… finally strong enough, finally brave enough to say:

I AM READY TO REMOVE MY IMPLANTS.

On October 5th, I will be undergoing an explant surgery, done enbloc, with total capsulectomy and muscle repair. (I can do another post in the future about the procedure itself, but for now if you are unfamiliar with these terms, a quick google search will give you your answers. What I will say though is that this is THE ONLY WAY anyone should ever have an explant done, for safety & health reasons). I will not be getting a lift. Thankfully the surgeons I consulted with all told me that I don’t need one, however, even if they did, I would not get one now. I want more babies and plan to breastfeed them (I’d love 2 more kids), and a lift poses a risk to being able to breastfeed. Also, what’s the point of getting a lift if my breasts are just going to change after more kids anyway? Seems like a big waste of money & added recovery time.

I will be traveling to New Hampshire for surgery, with Dr. George Chatson (THE MAN!! He has offices in both MA and NH). I am terrified (!!!!!!!), but I am so so ready.

One of the things that scares me is that there really is still no way at this point for me to know for certain if my implants are what’s keeping me sick. I am going through with this based on intuition, having no cards left to play, a SHIT TON of scientific and anecdotal evidence regarding the toxicity and danger of breast implants (BOTH silicon and saline- and if someone tells you there is no evidence to back this, then that just means they either haven’t done any research whatsoever, or somehow make money off of implants being looked at as “safe”), and connecting the dots thanks to the tens of thousands of women before me who have had similar experiences, have explanted, healed as a result, and shared their stores. It’s crazy that this was something I had an instinct about from the get-go. I’m a highly intuitive person, and I do believe that my body was sending me some crazy messages like “hey girl these chemical bags have GOT TO GO!” I don’t believe it was just random anxiety. I believe it was my body speaking to me. I heard it, but I didn’t listen. But now, I am listening. Loud and clear.

I am very scared of this process. I am afraid of surgery itself. Anesthesia is TERRIFYING! Not knowing what you’ll wake up to is terrifying! I feel anxious about all the details, like cost, having to travel, needing help and around the clock assistance while I recover, I need to have 24/7 help with my daughter and dogs, and all of the other unknown factors. As far as aesthetics are concerned, that’s actually the one area that I’m really not worried about. I’m at a point now where I could give a flying rat’s ass about what my boobs look like. I just want to feel like my old self again. I want my body working properly again. I want my health. I want to heal. I want my life back.

For every piece of me that is scared though, I feel twice as ready. I! AM! READY! I’m ready not only to heal, but to finally be my true, natural and most authentic self!! Which I have been slowly peeling back the layers to uncover over the past several years. I am excited to make the biggest gesture of self love and self acceptance towards myself that I ever have in my entire life. I am excited to prove more than ever how much more I value health than aesthetic beauty. I am excited to be a better example to my daughter, showing her that being the real me is the best me. I feel good about not shoving another bullshit societal beauty standard & trend down her throat just by simply existing as I am now. I am excited to just be ME. To feel like me. To train like me. To love ME. No enhancements. No foreign objects inside of me. Just me.

So that’s where I’m at. I would appreciate lots of prayers and positive healing vibes over the next few weeks. And especially on October 5th. I pray so hard that this is my answer. If unfortunately it isn’t though, I still won’t regret my decision to explant. On so many levels, I know this is the right choice for me at this point in my life. The one regret I do have is ever getting these put inside of me in the first place. I regret not having the perspective, the confidence, and the ability to accept myself, as I do today. But I can’t harp on that- it would drive me crazy if I did. I have to have faith that I am meant to be here right now. I am meant to be going through this… to be sharing this… I am meant to be apart of this collective experience that is gaining SO MUCH MOMENTUM! Something that is so much bigger than myself…

I’ll continue to share more day to day updates on my BII Instagram story highlight. I’ll also continue to share the stories of other brave women on there as I come across them on social media.

If BII resonates in you, or you know someone who could maybe relate, the best thing you/they could do is head to the BII facebook group. Check the group files, read the women’s stories… any resource you’d ever need is in there. Here is their website, too.

Thanks for reading! I’ll keep ya posted!