NOTE: [post from: Feb 13, 2018 | moved over from former website without many images.]
Daily Struggles & now dying to explant.
Precursor: I've been reluctant to share such personal details with the public. I began to write this nearly two months ago to possibly save a life or two but often I end up saving and uncontrollably sobbing. I apologize for any grammatical errors if there might be any, plus any in-formalities that you endure in my message.
"The struggle is real," a common phrase that I'm sure most of you are accustomed to hearing. Whether that phrase pertains to finances, self doubt, or just the ability to take a nap each day --we all endure it.
I write this as it is imperative to be comfortable in ones skin. We often struggle with our own imperfections and not see them as the beautiful details that makes us entirely unique. Are you comfortable in your skin, complete as you are, the way God intended?
I somewhat have struggled my entire life with self concept, terrible body image and such. One would think that someone with great confidence must have confidence in overall aspects like appearance as well. If that doesn't quite calculate or make sense to you, let me explain. I humbly exceed in confidence in my skills as well as the talents that God has given me YET I have a difficult time seeing beauty in my appearance. It's quite a daily struggle that I'm trying to overcome.
When fluctuating on the heavier side, most of you may think I look fine. Let me remind you, we all have this struggle due to our own normality and what we are accustomed to seeing ourselves like. Don't let me get started on how our society affects our future well-being.
[The stress alone from that can age us.] Anyway, getting back to my point. It's a battle.
Growing up thin, I was an incredibly late bloomer. When all the girls in my neighborhood were looking to be as thin as I was, I was embarrassingly stuffing my bra beyond belief. We've all done it but did you use the foam pads that came in your mom's Nair hair removal kit?
I eventually woke up with a decent chest and felt much more confidence in myself. It's a travesty that we grow up believing that a real woman's body figure is one that should have a nice rack. I ask the universe, why? --a sign of fertility? --a sign of motherhood? Our femininity shouldn't be defined by our breasts.
Nearly 15 years ago, I gave birth to my amazing son. Anyone who endures pregnancy goes through massive body changes. I however was lucky not to have stretch marks BUT devastated that my chest engorged and then deflated. I know many who have went through this and it did not affect them ....come on, i can't be the only one? The best thing that has ever happened to me, also left me feeling like my chest was an empty sack. Emotionally hid these fears, I'd cry behind closed doors. No postpartum for me, just lack of volume in these pitiful boobs that I had to see daily.
Anyone that has been pregnant, lost a bunch or weight, etc. knows what I'm talking about when you have to finagle your breasts in such a way to deceive the audience. Obviously, I've never been one to show them off anyway but when your clothes don't fit well anymore like they once did —-and you already have a terrible opinion about the way you look, it can be overly daunting. [Don't let get started on mirrored appearances.]
After many years of contemplating my deep emotional issue with my lack of volume, I decided to get a mini lift and implants. Most of you might be shocked by this because I've hid it extremely well. My breasts appeared larger prior to implants due to push up bras and gobs of tape.
After working along side curvaceous beauty models for years, I decided that after I retired from shooting that I wanted to have the most natural breasts that I could have. No matter what the cost was. They were for me and no one else. For my self-confidence, for my happiness, for the all those tears to stop. This would mean that they would be extremely low profile, and not to be ginormous round rocks of silicone on my chest. A lift and a little fluff to appear like I once did. In fact there are often times people thought i had implants many years prior to actually having them. If you didn’t know, Bras can be magically deceiving.
I did my research and had a consultation with one of the top surgeons in a 5 state area. Paid over seven thousand dollars and set my surgery date. Embarrassed by it all, I had to confide in my mother as this was a major surgery where I'd be under and ask my father if he was okay with it and my reasoning. Regardless of how close you are to your family or how grown you are, it is important for them to be aware of what is going on [especially medically] so that you don't end up on a gurney. A little dark, but imperative for them to know what is going on.
Not naming any names but the surgeon I went with did the best job I could ever ask for. Quick recovery, like I was up having lunch and shopping the very next day. [Still thankful for that quick recovery and minimal scarring.]
The turning point to this story.
Less than a year later [after implants] I found out that I had cancerous cells multiplying on my cervix. This is something that I felt alone on. Absolutely alone. This was taking one for the team, the sanctity of my family. As I do give great advice, but not always follow it -- I did not tell my mother until I went through all the procedures and there were no signs of more issues.
Why, you ask?
I lost my maternal grandmother at the young age of 53 from cervical cancer. This did a lot of heartache and tore my family to shreds. My mom, coping over the loss of her absolutely amazing mother also had a difficult time dealing with her oldest daughter. Her daughter that was coping over that very grandma.
Please don't misunderstand. There is no blame in pushing people away or my mom's heartache, everyone deals with loss differently. But that day-- I felt like I lost two very important people. My mom has never been the same. Without exceeding in explanation, I didn't want my mom to endure the same heartache once more with her daughter at age 30.
After procedures and various tests, there were no conclusions to why I had to over come this monstrous occasion. As in, none of the aliments that cause cervical cancer were ever found except the very mutating cells. Peculiar for this, I was told but absolutely grateful that there were no more aliments further.
Less than 2 years later [after cervical issues] I went blind in my left eye. I endured excruciating headaches or migraines that I've never been accustomed to. A sharp pain behind my eyes for a day and a half then that very next day I woke up and was blind in my left eye.
No more pain but as if there was a solid gray painted wall in front of me. I panicked. Called my dear friend Ems and asked if she could take me to hospital downtown as my mom was in a meeting that day & my boyfriend was out of state. [Hello, I can't drive if i'm blind!] The hospital where she drove me had a specialty wing for ophthalmology and was an absolute God send.
After 8 hours of multiple tests with 1 optometrist, 3 ophthalmologists, MRI's, other scans, and more to figure why I could not see; the eye doctors came to the conclusion that I had 'Optic Neuritis'.
What's Optic Neuritis? It's an autoimmune disorder associated with MS.
Basically my eye perceived images as electronic frequencies vs visual when it was stressed & inflamed. MS, do I have that? After vigorous testing, there has/had not been any inflamed lesions anywhere except for my eyes. The doctors were baffled by this, as results for MS were negative.
For months following the blindness scare, I spent time in the oncology center each week for steroid intravenous infusions to help lessen the severity of the stress on my body. Although it took months to get my sight back and I gained more weight than I had already endure over the last year, it saved my sight. I'm an artist, you see, vision is imperative to say the least.
Not to list more health complications but I've had an onslaught of major dental work, huge variances in weight fluctuation, excruciating side pain, adult allergy induced asthma where I choke, cough & wheeze, adrenal fatigue, high cortisol levels [where it was recommended not to exercise] and exceedingly high mycotoxins count. [Oh and might i add my first broken bone of my life!!]
I could continue listing more various illnesses that i have endured in the last 6 years, but i won't. You may ask, "How does someone who seemingly lives a healthy lifestyle endure many medical hurdles?" I'll tell you, Breast Implant Illness.
What is Breast Implant Illness?
I need to say more before all the gory details.
The large list of medical details that I have just shared with you have one thing in common, breast implants.
Anyway back to my story.
Sometime last fall it occurred to me that my issues might be a result with the implants. It was like that 'ah-ha' moment. For someone who works out, eats pretty well and has all these issues -- I assumed it was due to aging and/or genetics. I brushed it off knowing that they'll have to come out eventually and then went on with my life.
Late this past December in 2017, I was complaining to my friend about my health and how my bankruptcy was finalized. [This is another issue in itself, having to claim bankruptcy for the mere fact of medical bills that i could get out from under.]
Anyway, my friend and I video chat nearly everyday. I'm not sure exactly how it all went down or the words verbatim but she simply confirmed what I've had all along. Breast Implant Illness or bii. She added me to this amazing private group of ladies on Facebook who are/were going through this very same illness. Nearly 33K of members in this private group sharing their stories, how to detox, explant, etc.
Yes, explant. There's a specific procedure to explant. Including capsulectomy and enbloc. I will touch more on this in a later post during my journey but trust me, it is extremely imperative.
This illness is not something fairly known and often plastic surgeons turn their heads and act as if it does not exist. There have been many ladies who have passed on to heaven with the same autoimmune issues and health complications that occur from this scary illness.
I beg you if you are contemplating implants or know someone who is, have them read this and PLEASE do the research!!
Implant candidates are often told that saline is safer, did you know that saline comes within a silicone sack? I, myself, was recommended for the low profile and natural cohesive gel. Although they look & feel real, i'm currently finding out that they are the worst for you and contain the more aggressive chemicals. Regardless of what type of implant you may have or are inquiring about, our bodies will do what they can to fight against the foreign object while the rest of our defense systems will lack in every regard.
Here are some of the ingredients > >
My family doesn't eat food with ingredients they cannot pronounce, so why do I have these deathly chemicals sitting on top of my vital organs??
[It makes me so mad at at myself.] What heck do you think the printer ink is used for?
As my friend has older saline implants and is looking to remove her as well, we teamed up to visit an excellent doctor who is known for great results in explanting/detoxing. Although, it was not my appointment directly, the doctor was exceptionally thorough and knowledgeable in this illness. I now know how much it will cost for this and what is necessary to move forward and improve our overall health.
Currently documenting every step. Difficult to be this vulnerable but looking to spread awareness. I pray that I can forgive myself for putting myself through all of this.
Although praying & trying to be as strong as one can be, I continually sob uncontrollably now for more reasons than none:
1. The money I spent putting the implants in & now the cost to remove them properly will be so much more. 8-12K for removal.
2. I will devastatingly go back to feeling less than feminine
3. The health issues and financial burden it has previously caused
4. Detoxing all of the chemicals that my body has been fighting off
5. Feeling unwanted or alone in the future from all the ugly scars
6. Judgement from others
Detoxing Later, maybe in a future post, I will share all of the details on the detox process.
After learning about all the detoxing, etc -- I had a Zyto scan and also learned why my adrenals were in trouble and why my cortisol levels were off the chart. If you aren't familiar with cortisol, [i'm not a doctor] its a hormone somewhat like your bodies defense to protect from pain and such by inflammation.
After further research, I've found that nutmeg helps neutralize adrenal glands. I'm not talking the nutmeg sprinkle in the baking isle at the market. I took it to another level by ordering Nutmeg Vitality Essential Oil. I've been diffusing it, applying it topically and digesting it daily. The fact that this oil is helping my adrenals means that my cortisol is dropping and that all of my current supplements have started to finally help.
The Imperative question, When is my surgery? [UPDATE: Explant surgery on 4/24]
Currently I'm working extra to save up to explant. I'm not sure to when/if I'll come up with the 12k. Honestly, it needs to be done sooner than later so that I can live my life fully again. I'm totally emotional as I feel as if i'm already burning out worrying about options. Hence the title, Dying to explant.
More on this to come. If i have left anything out or you're feeling confused, please contact me. I'll do my very best to educate and inform you.
I want to thank God for giving me each day, giving me the strength & courage to share my personal story with others and the ability to heal mentally & physically. To prepare for my future. To heal me. I ask for you to pray for those struggling with this illness and to spread awareness.
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