Breast Implant Illness - Part 2 The Symptoms
Updated: Jul 30, 2019
I had my breast augmentation on March 2, 1993 in North Vancouver, BC, Canada. It was a simple operation, 45 minutes under a very light anesthetic, so light in fact that I woke up mid surgery and starting talking! I walked out with a large C-cup breast, and a hand written receipt for $3450 that I still have today.
I was one of the lucky ones, I had no complications the entire 27 years, well, except for BII. Many ladies have had repeat surgeries for fallen implants, ruptured implants, infections, and poor placement. The stories I have heard would make anyone cringe and thing twice about not getting them! Had I known the details of what could have gone wrong, perhaps I would not have had them...but 27 years ago information wasn't that available, the internet had just begun, so I learned all I could from the newspaper and magazine articles to make my decision to get Saline vs Silicon, and I am so thankful that I did.
It wasn't long after I had my implant placed into my body that my Dad noticed my hand shaking. My parents were down for a visit and during breakfast he caught a subtle yet noticeable shake in my right hand. I went to the doctor and she said I had was was called 'Essential Tremor Syndrome'.
That same year, at the age of 23, I started having severe night sweats...the kind that you had to change your pj's and your entire bedding in the middle of the night. It was awful. I only assumed it had to do with hormone's, my Mum went through very early menopause, in her late twenties, and my doctor had said it would be hereditary.
Over the next 5 years I began having many food allergies, stomach issues, the inability to eat the foods I once did without getting an upset stomach. Things like salads, vegetable based products, things you wouldn't think would cause an upset stomach. At the time I attributed it to my increased soy-based protein intake. I began noticing my stools weren't the same either, and after visiting a doctor for her opinion, she told me to refrain from eating the foods that bothered me...that was it.
My health took a sudden twist downward when at the age of 35 I ended up being rushed to the hospital with tachycardia, a highly elevated heart rate, as the medics thought I was having a heart attack. At the time I was in extremely good shape, under quit a bit of stress, so after assessment they assumed it was stress related, not a heart attack. The following year I returned to the hospital with a burst cyst on my ovary and a twisted bowel...a pain like no other, let me tell you! I began having panic attacks that felt like a porcupine was sitting on my arms and face, and a heart rate that had me feeling like it was a heart attack! And it was at this time that I dove into the natural supplement world full force in an effort to help cure my body of whatever was clearly going wrong.
As luck would have it, I acquired the H1N1 virus in 2013 and spent a week in the hospital from Kidney and Liver failure, to which I was left with one functioning kidney. My quest to understand why my body was failing me, when I was doing everything I knew was right, not only from a fitness professional's standpoint, but nutritionally..I had adopted a plant based diet at 29 years old, and was a huge consumer of anything natural and detoxifying. Where was I going wrong??
My food intolerances by this time were out of control, the medications from the organ failure had done a job on my good bacteria, so much that I would react to even something as inert as water! And at 40 years old I ended up in a Naturopath's office being diagnosed with what is called SIBO. A cute little word for a nasty issue that is the result of rogue bacteria from your colon then end up living in your small intestine feeding off everything you are eating and creating massive chaos throughout your entire body. The symptoms were varied and many, to which I will discuss in another post.
After healing from my SIBO which took a year of dedication like no other, I started to have weird symptoms that had me off visiting an Internist, Neurologist, Gastroenterologist, Nephrologist and Allergy Specialist. I have had MRI's on my brain, kidney's, stomach, Ultrasounds and more blood tests then the average person has in their entire lifetime...in fact, 20x that. They thought I may have MS, a rare disease called Mast Cell Disorder, that my Kidney Failure was because of a circulation issue, and that I may have some weird disease that I caught from somewhere but wasn't showing up in all of the alternative and traditional methods.
Here is a list of my symptoms that came and went over the years, causing me to think I did have some rare disease, and causing the medical professionals to look at me like I was making it all up.
*Facial and Extremity Swelling
*Rapid Heart Rate
*Blurred Eye Sight
*Thyroid Issues (sluggish)
*Liver Failure now high enzyme activity
*Inability to get a deep breath, constricted breathing
*Exhaustion after workouts that would normally be a warm up
*Intolerance to Alcohol
*Throbbing left breast
*Increased size and thickening of left breast
*Increased sensitivity to light, sound and smells
*Inability to focus
*Distended stomach randomly
*Hair loss, brittle hair
*Pain in stomach and bowel
*Irregular bowel movements
*Erratic blood tests
*Night sweats since my twenties
After years of experiencing these symptoms, going from appointment to appointment, test to test, explaining my symptoms over and over, one starts to doubt your own sanity. It becomes a never ending nightmare which you never wake up from, that never seems to have an end in sight, and those around you can't see it, they don't understand it, and cannot comprehend it, especially when I was 'outwardly' healthy and fit. And soon, people start to think you are making things up, looking for attention, being a hypochondriac, so the depression gets deeper, the anxiety gets worse, and the utter despair becomes unbearable some days.
One day at the end of July in 2018, I received a phone call from my best friend, and it was one I will never forget as long as I live. Melinda, to whom I own my entire sanity and life to, saved my life. She told me she saw a FB Live video of a business mentor of ours that I should watch. I said sure, thinking it was just another video on how to 'cure stomach ailments with bone broth' and towards the end of the day, I sat down at my computer to watch it. No longer then 5 minutes into this video, tears started to flow. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, she has what I have, she is me, it's not in my head, everything is real. This woman was talking as if she was me, she was sick, with the same symptoms and issues I had been suffering from for years, it was all real, and now I had hope.
Breast Implants. When I heard those words the first thing that came to mind was "why didn't any doctor ask me if I had them?" Why was this over looked not only by myself, but the medical profession?
If you or anyone close to you believes they may have issues with health and could be linked to their implants, please head here: www.healingbreastimplantillness.com
~ Monika xo