Hi Lovely Ladies! Thinking of you when writing this, thank you so much! I appreciate each and every one of you! So God bless you all, you have both moved and inspired me! You have all been so influential in shaping my decision to make it a top priority to move forward to remove the silicone implants that have without a doubt contributed to a long list and host of health issues for way too many years. The implants have been in my body now for 34 years. They are definitely ruptured. See MRI photos, it appears like silicone is spewing into my breast tissue, which is very concerning to me! I believe if I had come across a site like this year ago with the type of information I have been provided with, I would have found a way to have had these implants removed years ago, instead of having an unhealthy foreign matter in my body for over 34 years! When I looked into breast implants in the 80's, I was of the understanding that they lasted a life time, and there were no health problems associated with them. I was unaware that I would be required to have multiple surgeries every 10+ years because they had an expiration and could rupture inside the body and cause all kinds of problems. I know I would have ruled it out altogether and learned to ignore the teasing growing up about being "flat as a board" and learn to accept and love the way God made me, beautiful and lovely in His sight. This is how He sees me and each one of us, (and its a good reminder in life, especially with explant 9 days away)! A little bit of my story, in my early twenties, I didn't feel the need to listen to a couple of silly boys or society for that matter on what was deemed attractive or not, but I did care what my then husband thought of me, and I really did want to be attractive to him. I was slim, athletic, and HEALTHY with very low body fat. We both were young, and my husband made several insensitive and immature comments on occasion to me about how my breast didn't measure up, and couldn't I just make them 'bounce' or 'shake' more like other girls? The answer was no. That's not a nice thing to hear when you are naked, and I literally felt naked and inadequate in that moment, not a good feeling. Marriage to me, is a place to feel secure, naked and unashamed, a place to express and celebrate love and discover each other, but with comments like that, that wasn't the case during those times. For the record, there were times when things weren't like that as well, it wasn't a constant, but enough to make a mark on me. Although my husband never insisted that I get them, he was the catalyst and thrilled when I decided to get them at the ripe old age of 22. My PS wanted to put 320cc implants in me, but I stood my ground with him to use much smaller implants because I wanted a natural look to my then trim body and didn't want to be self conscious of large breasts either. I ended up with 160cc McGhan silicone round implants. My PS said I wouldn't be happy with that size and would be back in a year to replace with his suggestion of 320cc. He was wrong, I was very happy with my new natural looking size that enhanced the fullness of my breasts just right. No one even knew I had gotten implants, not even my mother, and that was how I wanted it - just between my husband and I. I'm glad I didn't go larger, as I'm now in my 50's and 50lbs overweight (after gaining weight after a back injury and a large amount of steriod use for several years to control autoimmune issues due to implants, I'm sure.) I look forward to downsizing all the way around (both explant and weight loss) to get back to the most healthy and real me I can. I am excited about that! Anyway, I developed a capsule scar tissue hardness within months of implantation, so the PS externally tried to tear the capsule hardening around the implant by squeezing my breast tightly within his bare hands until scar tissue capsule surrounding implant tore. A little painful, but It worked, and my breast became soft again. I generally was very happy with the results for many years, as was my husband. Fast forward many years, and I gained weight after a back injury that kept me from working out until it healed a year later (10-20 pounds). As some of you may have guessed, my weight became an issue for my husband (even when slim) as well, and I grew tired of having to live up to a perfect standard all the time, was hurt and angry that he rejected me. The more he focused on my weight, the more I did not lose it. Although it bothered me too, and I wanted to lose the weight for myself, I just couldn't lose the weight knowing he only loved me if I looked a certain way and not loved for the person I was inside. He acknowledged that he was superficial and said sorry, but he wanted the whole package, or not at all. At least, he was honest. So not at all, was what happened. Needless to say, we ended up divorcing. I hope this doesn't sound too awful because I wasn't perfect in our marriage either and I really did adored him, but I truly believe it was his loss, not mine overall. I truly wish him well, and I pray he doesn't do what he did to me to any other woman. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. I believe there is hope for everyone though, and that includes myself. I've grown a lot over the years, and I would never give another person the authority or permission to make me feel bad about myself or about the way I have been fashioned by a loving Creator and Master Artist. We all are fearfully and wonderfully made! Once I understood how God viewed and passionately loves me, that is all I needed to know and my confidence soared with that revelation. I made a decision that I was going to stick with His opinion of me and not man's/or society's, not even a husband's. Its wonderful to know full acceptance, true value, and genuine love and celebration for uniquely being yourself. We all are master creations, wonderful "originals"! In the art industry, "Original" art has the ultimate highest value. There is no one like you or me, even down to our fingerprints! Isn't that amazing? Why be a copy or imitation, when you were designed to be (and are) an original? No one can be YOU!, and that makes you so beautiful. So don't worry, be happy, celebrate you! Embrace yourself and and move on to better health and life, that's what I decided to do. Now that I know what I know, I am confident in who I am, and I am also confident in who you are, simply and wonderfully made, that's a fact!
I had to say all that to let you know where I am today, but the process was a long, winding road to get there, one I'm still on. Like so many of you, I have paid a dear price for the decision I made so long ago. Kicking myself for it now, and for not dealing with it sooner, due to unawareness, then financial limitations, fear and excuses, etc... I realized so many of the symptoms many of you were/are experiencing echoed mine as well. Definitely a wake up call for me that a lot of my illnesses were in all likely hood stemming from breast implant illness. There is not much one can do in looking back hindsight, but to move forward, and make good/healthy/loving/kind decisions for your body/life now and make the decision to chose life! The positive is, with implant removal much of these illnesses and issues can be resolve in time with proper care. Here are a few of the issues I have had to deal with over the years. Auto immune complications, inflammation, short term memory loss, brain fog, dizziness, on and off vertigo, frequent sinus/upper respiratory infections, ever increasing fatigue (severe currently), skin problems, hypothyroid, swollen joints, granulomas, swollen lymph nodes, arthritis, heart/lung issues, dry eyes, vision problems, allergic reactions to food/medications, digestive issues, chest/heart pain, abnormal EKG's, neurological issues, anxiety from too many weird feelings in my body, sleep problems. I went from generally healthy and fit to being sick much of the time.
I didn't put two and two together, but believe my implants ruptured or caused a huge inflammation reaction about 14 years into it (around 1997), when I flared in autoimmune/swollen joints issues, and it got better with strong steriods (several years) prescribed by my doctor. I tried hard to eat healthy and control it that way too, which helped I'm sure. Around 2008, I noticed my breast shape started to change, and suspected a leak, which was confirmed by PS. He told me it wouldn't spread, and we discussed and agreed that I should lose the 50 pounds and then have explant and lift. I didn't lose the weight, and a bigger factor, I didn't have the financial resources available to have surgery, so I ended up putting it off, a choice I regret. Three years ago, my family doctor convinced me to have a mammogram since I hadn't had one for years. I was fearful mammogram would rupture implants. She told me mammogram machines were newer and didn't squish breast like they did in the past, but the one I had did. I believe the implants ruptured then, or in a larger capacity if already ruptured, because after that I had such an increase in pains and health issues (lots of weird chest pains/heart pains, inflammation pains (lymph nodes, down outside area of right breast into area beneath breast, food/med allergic reactions, deep/intense fatigue, shortness of breath, increase of URI/sinus infections, vertigo, etc...) It increased enough for me to lay awake at night not feeling well enough to go to sleep, weird pains in body that seemed so not normal, scary. I asked with my doctor several times, with each physical, to allow me get an MRI, but she told me to go to a PS for that. I know I didn't have the funds, so I didn't. Finally this last January, I had my yearly physical and refused to have a mammogram due to fact that I strongly believed my implants were definitely ruptured and didn't want to spread it further into my body. I had a breast ultrasound done due to hard lump discovered in breast, but that ended up being non-cancerous, but a calcification (again, probably due to implant rupture). From there, the PS on staff agreed to order a MRI. The MRI showed both implants were ruptured but contained. Looking at my MRI results, it looks like the capsules are containing implants, but also the capsules may have holes that have allowed silicone to escape and work its way into the breast tissue, and I'm wondering if the pain I felt down the side of my breast is leakage too, seems like MRI is showing it seeping out underneath side of breasts too. Anyone have insight into that? PS thought my body is in an inflammation state of reaction to implants and advised removal asap. She didn't do explant and suggested I get them removed and replaced with new implants. I found this site and become a member in January 2016, and have begun an extensive search on my quest to gather information and make the best decision possible to explant asap. I felt the need to get these removed asap now knowing what I do. I was able to get in with Dr. Melmed, Dallas, Texas for April 7th, for en bloc explant and benelli lift. He doesn't believe in implanting women, and believes breast implant illness is a very real thing, and he is recommended by other ladies who have used him. He has performed over 4,000+ explants. I am preparing myself ahead of time the best I can for the best results. I ordered pre and post surgery vitamins from VitaMedica, eating healthy lean meats, organic veggies, fruit, nuts, lots of water and rest. Looking at comfortable, supportive post surgery bras online. Wondering if there are skin creams to help prepare the skin for surgery. I realize I'm running out of time, surgery is 9 days away! OH MY GOODNESS!!!, but I am not going it alone. I told family and one friend whom I trust for prayers and moral support. I have worked extra hours and have the funds now too. I'm paying all my bills ahead of time, cleaning house, preparing meals ahead of time, trying to relax and make ready this body that is no longer in its 20's for surgery! Whenever I feel anxious, I turn to the Good Lord for support and peace. I am grateful that I know He cares about everything we go through, He is with is us, and for us, so we are never alone. I know He is helping me in this process every step of the way, so I will rest in that!
I will try to post pictures later, at least of MRI. I'm still a little on the shy side regarding photos, but will try to overcome that too. Any words of wisdom regarding prep and/or post tips are welcomed. Say a prayer for me too, I will be praying for you all! Here's to a healthy future, full of renewed hope and vitality! Its ours for the taking. :)