” Elle…now that girl is flat!”

I don’t know exactly what the conversation was before walking up to the lunch room table.  All I know was that there I stood, facing a table full of teenagers, my high school “friends”.  I was carrying my lunch tray right in front of me, ironically, just under the tiny breasts, I assumed he was talking about.

Everyone froze.  I wasn’t supposed to walk up at that moment, but there I was. It was the most awkward silence, in a cafeteria overflowing with a myriad of conversations happening all at once.  And just like that, the moment was over and everyone resumed conversation, just on another subject.

It’s interesting how something someone said about you so many years ago, can stick with you for so many years, like a post it note on your forehead.  His words remain with me still and I bet he doesn’t even remember ever saying them.

Fast forward to 1999.

I had just moved to Southwest Florida in an attempt to salvage my marriage which was hanging on by a thread. (I’ll save that story for another day).  I was hired at a plastic surgeon’s office not soon after arriving into town.  One of the perks of working there was discounted procedures.  I had breast augmentation and finally, I felt like a complete woman.  I actually recall thinking about that high school “friend”, looking at myself in the mirror and saying “Look at me now!”

Insecure, much?

One of the first things I realized about a few years later after getting breast implants, was that I felt short of breath.  I recall seeing a doctor for a cold and telling him that I felt like I couldn’t take deep breaths.  He stopped examining my ear and looked at me and said “You’re just out of shape”.  I really liked him because he was always a straight shooter, but now I wonder if I should have pushed to see if there were other causes. I mean I was about 125 lbs!

Over the last several years, so many little symptoms kept popping up.  Flu like symptoms, shortness of breath, chest palpitations, anxiety, a sudden need to sleep, blurry and poor vision, dry eyes and mouth, tooth problems, allergies, food intolerance, random swollen lymph nodes,  ringing in my ears, muscle twitching, wet chin sensation which seems to have escalated into the entire side of my face either feeling wet, tingly or in pain.  There was one morning a few years ago, where I woke up and my right side of the face hurt so much with my right eye feeling so dry and irritated.  I was so scared I would get Bells Palsy.  Knowing that I have a family history of auto-immune diseases, I ran to my doctor’s office and insisted on getting tested, and of course, my labs all came back negative, except for extremely low Vitamin D.  I live in the sunshine state.  How could that be?  Even still, I told myself, “Girl you never go outside”.

 Good grief.

How was I going to convince anyone of anything if I couldn’t even convince myself there was a problem?  One of the worst symptoms, and I now realize it is one that I have had for a long time was poor memory and brain fog.  For someone who was so good at remembering people’s names, and information in general, I had a total lack of recall.  I could watch movies over and over again and not realize I had already seen it until half way through.  I forgot names, conversations I’ve had, things I’ve studied, and events. These days, I forget regular everyday words.  I occasionally have trouble forming sentences as if I have marbles in my mouth, and mix the order of my words sometimes.  I’m so grateful that in my work, I don’t really have to speak to my clients, although remembering their issues can be challenging at times.  My list of symptoms, not all of which are listed here, have kept me on a long journey of trying to figure out what is wrong with me and feeling like everyone thinks I’m a hypochondriac.

I don’t like the idea of being “sick”.

I’m a health-oriented person.  I’ve studied nutrition and take supplements.  I don’t eat garbage.  I meditate.  I’m happy.  I preach positivity. I sing AND I have cats that make me smile!  Why ever would anyone want to look for reasons to be sick?!?!  I enjoy and look forward to my good days, although those days seem to be in the minority now.

While googling “ways we poison ourselves” (I admit that probably wasn’t the best keyword search),  I came across a website discussing Breast Implant Illness and my jaw dropped.  I cannot believe I never looked down at these bags of toxic chemicals as a possible cause of my symptoms!  I then joined a group called Breast Implant Illness and healing by Nicole, and found my tribe.  There were over 35,000 women in this group.  I no longer felt alone.

I cried.

All of these women have or had breast implants, many with debilitating symptoms, even Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIAALCL), and many report feeling major improvement after removing their implants.  These women’s stories gave me hope!  I’m crying again just thinking about how they must all feel, because I know what it’s like to not have answers and to have doctors look at you like you’re crazy or simply brush off your symptoms. You wind up missing out on so many things because you feel like shit, you’re depressed, and you aren’t able able to remember things.

The brain fog!

I think that has been the worst.  It’s really diminishing.  As if I’ve become stupid.

I now plan on getting these toxic shit bags out of me and as soon as I possibly can.  I still have a long life ahead of me, and I intend to take back the Best of my life.  If you, or someone you know, has breast implants, no matter whether they are saline or silicone, it isn’t if they will get sick, it’s when.  Please share my post with them. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.  I’m still learning but I will be more than happy to help, and there is a huge group of women out there ready to help you as well.

Be sure to subscribe to my blog posts to follow on my journey to wellness,  and thank you for reading.