What led you to pull the trigger and explant?
In my last two posts I asked the questions: “ What was life like prior to becoming sick?” and “What has life been like since becoming sick and how has that impacted you?” I believe these questions are important and powerful…they help to paint a picture and tell a story. I’ll explain more in a future post. For now, I’d like to continue by asking my next question…
What led you to pull the trigger and explant?
I always ask this question when I’m on a first call with an explantee because it helps put things into perspective and it helps me start to uncover their “WHY” (or driving force) for taking this journey. This will make more sense as I answer the same question for myself, so here goes…
The reason I finally pulled the trigger on my explant had more to do with others than myself…and it took me 5 ½ years to get to this decision. I was struggling so much with symptoms, and I began looking for answers as to why I suddenly began losing my health. I saw many doctors, none of which took me seriously. I often left doctor’s appointments with the “your lab work looks fine” conclusion and a recommendation to seek counseling and spice up my sex life. Insert eye roll emoji here.
Soon, I would realize that I was looking in the wrong places, for the wrong things.
If I wanted to fix my broken body, I had to stop looking for a treatment for my symptoms; I had to start looking for a cause. I began to recognize that figuring this thing out was going to be up to me. It was time to take my health into my own hands and find real answers.
There is always a greater purpose within our struggles, and I believe one of these purposes for me was to learn how to heal my own body so I could then help others just like me do the same. So I did some functional lab work and discovered I had what we used to call “stage 3 adrenal fatigue”, SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), gut dysbiosis, candida overgrowth, hormonal imbalance, and lots of inflammation to go along with my improperly functioning thyroid and immune system. On top of that I discovered I had Chronic Lyme Disease and neurotransmitter imbalances. No wonder I felt like crap! We did treat the SIBO with 2 month-long rounds of Rifaximin and I made huge dietary changes but was still in pain. There was more going on inside my body than I realized.
I took this as an opportunity to learn all I could about how what we eat, what we put on our bodies.
What we use in our homes, and how we think affects us. I learned how to be a health detective and search for the underlying causes contributing to my symptoms and how to address them in order to get on a path to healing.
While making drastic diet/lifestyle changes and addressing all the hidden stressors I discovered on lab work and, I did see some improvement, but there was a still missing puzzle piece and deep down I knew it. It was about this time when my functional health mentor suggested to me that my breast implants might be the blocking factor in my healing journey, and recommended I get them removed asap.
This possibility had crossed my mind before and I discovered Dr. Susan Kolb’s book “The Naked Truth about Implants”. I was convinced that this was probably why I developed all this chronic illness. I didn’t just get chronic Lyme Disease one day. I had likely been exposed a long time ago and my immune system was no longer able to keep the pathogens that cause Lyme Disease in check.
Despite the fact that as a practitioner, I could certainly understand how a foreign object could potentially impact health.
I wasn’t ready to make the decision to explant. I was going to give it all I had in order to avoid having to get them out. After all, I had wanted them for so long! And I spent all that money! This is what I told myself.
So, I appropriately addressed the Lyme, neurotransmitter imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, as well as gut pathogens like bad bacteria, yeast, and parasites over the next 6 months as I also worked on gut healing. I began regaining my health, sharing my story, and helping others do the same. Many of my symptoms had either disappeared or greatly improved. I considered myself to be a work in progress, but was leaps and bounds from the debilitating state I was in. I was about 50% better.
Unfortunately I went on with life for another 2 years before finally deciding to explant. Though I felt much better, I still had some lingering symptoms. My menstrual cycle started to become very abnormal and periods were still quite painful. It still had IBS symptoms, but nothing I couldn’t handle. Perhaps the most devastating thing of all that I was still struggling with was infertility.
After 6 months of being unsuccessful at conceiving, I began doing some lab work. Hormones and general lab work appeared normal on paper. Long story short, I finally discovered what I had already suspected for years, that I had stage 4 endometriosis with bowel involvement. One of my ovaries and fallopian tubes were completely destroyed.
So, here I am faced with a decision.
Do I have a laparoscopy and risk all the complications? I have very little faith in conventional medicine at this point, unless it’s needed to save my life.
Meanwhile, the implants were constantly in the back of my mind. I prayed about it often. I was afraid of what my husband’s reaction would be, not because of losing my implants, but because of the financial sacrifice we would need to make for my health after already investing 10’s of thousands of dollars so far.
I went back and forth about it in my head a lot. At the end of the day, I kept thinking: “what if this is preventing my body from completely healing and getting pregnant?” And “what if I have a child with developmental or other health complications?” I would never be able to forgive myself because I would always wonder if it was the toxic implants inside my body. This is what ultimately drove my decision to explant. It was no longer just about me and my own health. Now it was about my ability to give my husband a child and the health of our future children. And that was the turning point for me…the thing that led me to finally pulling the trigger on explant…which is what I knew in my gut all along I needed to do but was too afraid to blindly trust. BII wasn’t something I randomly discovered one day leading to the lightbulb moment of “OMG! It’s my implants!” No, this was something I had been wondering and pondering for years and I knew it was time.
I had been doing a lot of research on BII and surgeons within the past 2 years.
I knew Dr. Urzola in Costa Rica was the right surgeon for me and I am a strong believer in going to the best specialist for what you need, wherever that may be. We scheduled my surgery with him, and had my breast implants removed October 11th, 2017, exactly 6 years after I had them placed.
So that’s my “WHY”…I’d love to know what led you to finally pull the explant trigger. Hit reply to this email if you’d like to share.