Is Breast Implant Illness Real?

by Ivy B
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If you ask me “Is breast implant illness real?” I’m not going to have a direct answer. I chose to take a leap of faith and have enbloc explant surgery in the hope to reclaim my health.

I had struggled with whether or not to share such a private, heart-wrenching decision publicly. Ultimately, I’ve decided to share because I want to help others the way I have been helped … through personal battles and relate-able stories.

My story first appeared on my personal Facebook timeline, where a friend shared a family friend’s story about having her implants removed.

Some of you already know, but this is my story. It’s long, but I hope you read it!

Is breast implant illness real? Should you remove breast implants?  The reasons I took the leap of faith

My hope is that I make you think about what we’re doing to ourselves and what we’re teaching others (especially our children) about self-love & self-acceptance. What are we saying to others about how they should look at us?

16 years ago I chose to get breast implants instead of learn self-love and self-acceptance. It was the easy path to complete myself and make up for what I thought I lacked in physical appearance.

Is Breast Implant Illness Real?

Of the 16 years with implants, I’ve been sick nearly 8 years.

I have brain fog, terrible memory, zero energy, and I get sick more often than I’d ever been in my lifetime. Late-onset food allergies and intolerances. An auto-immune disorder. I have Hashimoto’s which is the cause of my Hypothyroidism.

I’ve had to do a major detox because bad bacteria in my gut were showing in numbers my doctor hadn’t seen before. And I detox regularly when I feel symptoms worsening.

In my 30s, I began regulating my energy … having to plan no more than 2 outings during the week to keep from over-extending myself.

All this despite how well I take care of myself … better care, in fact, than I’d ever taken before.

Several years ago, as I sat waiting in a doctor’s office, they were playing an episode of The Doctor’s Show discussing mold being found in a woman’s breast implant. It appeared to have been causing her health issues until she had them removed.

This was a lightbulb moment for me and I wasn’t able to get the thoughts out of my head.

This prompted me to look up breast implant illness online. There are hundreds of thousands of women who are removing breast implants. These brave individuals are paving the way to better health through removal of toxic implants. They’re strong and inspirational to women, like me, who are afraid of having an explant because we have questions like:

“How will my husband see me?”
“What if I don’t get better?”
“What if I look terrible?”
“But I got saline implants because they’re supposed to be the ‘safe’ ones”
“Is breast implant illness real?”
“What if I stay sick after enbloc explant?”

In January, I decided to join the ranks of these women who have made the ultimate choice to give their bodies a fighting chance at health.

I’m joining the women who are having to learn self-love and self-acceptance, flaws and all.

I’m joining the women who will have to learn to view an imperfect body through a new lens … one that isn’t clouded by unrealistic cultural expectations of beauty, but instead what nature had intended.

I didn’t love myself enough in my 20s to be grateful for what nature intended for me. I get to learn this lesson in my 40s, this time with scars to remind me of my transgressions against nature… not-so-gentle reminders that it’s better to face a problem than to mask it with unnatural measures first.

I tell you my story because I know there are going to be days I’m going to need emotional support. This decision hasn’t been without hours of discussion about how it affects (or could affect) my self-image, my children, and my marriage.

Of course, my hope is that I regain at least 50% of my health so that the effect on my family is at least a trade-off for what I’m losing in the most physical & vain sense.

I tell you my story because I don’t want another woman out there to think she’s alone.

There are thousands of women supporting each other through this journey. We’re all in various stages of it. We’re all tackling the hard question “Is breast implant illness real?”

Talk to Me!

If you’re one of hundreds of thousands of women wondering “is breast implant illness real?” or “is it all in my head?” I urge you to reach out to someone.

If you want to message me, I’m happy to discuss with you my journey toward deciding to explant or put you in touch with one or all of the breast implant illness support groups I belong to on Facebook.

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