This is how many plastic surgeries took place in 2017 according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Of the 17.5 million 300,378 were breast augmentation, 246,354 liposuction, 218,924 nose reconstruction, & 129,753 tummy tucks. I don’t think the message could be any more clear, that we are completely unhappy & dissatisfied with how we look physically.
Through magazines, media, & more we are bombarded with what “beautiful” looks like. Beauty through societies eyes is defined exclusively to physical features. Every where we look men & women’s eyes are exposed to scantily clad women (& occasionally men) & products that are too aide us in our endless pursuit of obtaining beauty perfection. Skinny, thigh gap, large breast, flawless makeup, washboard abs, perfectly apple shaped booty…. these are what we are peer pressured to desire & seek obsessively. Cellulite, wrinkles, stretch marks, are unacceptable & the search for a cure is intensely endless. We look in the mirror with disgust & speak derogatory remarks to our body.
“Your body hears everything your mind says.”Naomi Judd
Breast implants have been deemed safe, & highly encouraged, by the FDA. Have little to no breast? Well, give a plastic surgeon a few hours & at least $4500 & you can have the breasts you’ve been dreaming of, or at least the ones you were convinced would make you perfect & happier. When I went for a consultation to discuss breast implant surgery I was told how safe Saline & Silicone were, how far they had come with assuring safety, that the procedure was minimally invasive, & recovery would be relatively easy. I was told I was a “perfect” candidate for breast augmentation & my surgeon was “positive” I would be happy with my results. He didn’t ever mention the possibility of nerve damage (my left breast was nearly 100% numb after surgery), the risk of mold growing on the valves of my saline implants, or the multitude of symptoms I would begin to experience if I was one of many doomed to suffer from Breast Implant Illness.
- Anxiety / Panic Attacks
- Joint Pain / Inflammation / Muscle Weakness
- Dizziness / Visual Disturbances
- Weight Loss (30 lbs in 4 months) / Food Intolerances / Loss of Appetite
- Brain Fog
- Ringing in Ears
- Temperature Intolerance
- Loss of Hair / Dry Skin
- Sinus Infections
- Limb Numbness / Tingling
- Shortness of Breath / Rapid Heart Beat
- Sensitivity to Light & Sound
- Mood Swings / Hormonal Imbalances / Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
These are symptoms I was experiencing, but these are not all of the symptoms of Breast Implant Illness. With every new symptom I experienced with Breast Implant Illness (before I knew what it was) I would obsessively seek answers via Web MD or other health related sites. I would overwhelm myself with misguided attempts to fix it myself. I would call friends & cry out in complaints. Doctor visit after doctor visit left me hopeless. I would allow the enemy to take my mind on a viscous rollercoaster of why I deserved to feel this way & that I was going to die. I would at times “pray” (if I should even call it that) that God would heal me. It was more of a tear filled temper tantrum.
It wasn’t till I ran to God, emptied, exhausted, flattened at the bottom of my pit that I began to understand. He had the answers, the way out the entire time. His word & His open arms were right there waiting for me. When I stopped chasing the World’s way, my way, I found God’s way. I lifted my white flag, I surrendered, I laid down my life at the feet of Jesus. I relinquished control. I called out to my friend Shelby, one of the most amazing women of God I have ever encountered, & asked if she would be willing to come over (I rarely left my home without my husband as my anxiety was so severe) & pray with me. She arrived the next morning, we sat in the middle of my dining room floor & for nearly an hour we poured out our hearts in praise to the Father & humbly asked for answers. Nearly 5 minutes after she left I sat down with my laptop & jumped on facebook. The first group that popped up on the right side as a recommendation was:
Immediately my fingers were typing in my google search bar & I was distressed with the amount of information that surfaced. In 1 click of a button I had lists upon lists of EVERY symptom I was experiencing. Once approved to Nicole’s Facebook group I spent hours reading over the struggles women had been facing, autoimmune diagnosis, losing jobs, unable to fulfill their duties as a wife and/or mother, staying inside all day due to debilitating anxiety, & 1000’s of doctors sternly assuring us it was “all in our head” or “we are just stressed, tired, moms”. The next 7 days would be a whirlwind of emotions & chaos as I would visit 3 doctors, make a decision with my husband, schedule my explant surgery, & inform our family. God worked as only He can, miraculously with impeccably perfect timing. On December 12, 2017 I had my implants removed.
This post has been lengthy but allow me to share a small portion more before closing. Immediately upon waking up from over a 3 hour explant surgery I felt clearer in my mind, I could breathe (no more congestion) & well, I will just show you…. This picture is difficult to share, not to mention look at, but it speaks volumes. From left to right you will see my face the day of surgery, 24 hours after surgery, 72 hours after surgery, & finally 1 week after surgery. Here is where I will pause, let you collect your thoughts & process the information.
My personal feelings are better expressed, & understood, by reading A Letter to my Body here.
Breast Implant Illness and Healing by Nicole