In 2001 a gp recommended I have implants due to an abnormality in my breast tissue, I remember feeling overwhelmed by it all. Firstly I had to tell people what was happening which was such a big deal for me as I had hidden it for years with padded bras- I felt like I was admitting I wasn’t a proper women. During the first appointment they told me the risks involved with the surgery. These were things such as the scars, possible bleeding during surgery etc Implant rupture and “worst case” my body rejected the implants- in which case they would be removed, wait a few months then try again. I sat there and I felt worried about ruptures so I asked them- what happens if they rupture and I don’t realise? He replied “they would become rock hard, swollen, hot to touch…..oh you would know” and they all laughed it off.
So I went ahead with the operation, for 16 years I had no problems with the implants as they hadn’t changed in anyway. Due to having so many unexplained symptoms for years I had been having an array of tests and saw many different specialists and no one really being able to give me answers- I’d get throw away dismissive comments- maybe anxiety or depression……my mum came across some information about breast implants illness, she spoke to my fiancé about it. They thought it made perfect sense, and I remember being so annoyed that they weren’t listening to me! My implants are fine, not ruptured and silicone is safe- I knew this because the specialists had told me so why are they wasting time with this?! How could my symptoms be related to a safe medical device that wasn’t ruptured? It was infuriating. He read me stories from other women taking about breast implant illness- I thought how silly, these doctors and specialists know more than Sally down the road, and I KNOW they haven’t ruptured because they aren’t hard or painful.
My Symptoms included seizures,extreme pain in my joints so bad I’m unable to walk most days, hair loss, memory loss, fatigue so extreme I couldn’t even speak, rashes covering top part of my torso, back,neck, face and arms, brain fog, hand tremors, crushing rib cage that I ended up in a&e, metalic taste in my mouth, intolerances, numbness and tingling, sometimes my breathing would just stop!!! I Couldn’t swallow, my heart rate was going high then I’d pass out…the list goes on My fiancé asked for me to be referred to have my implants checked. I saw a breast doctor first who felt the implants and thought they were fine- no concern but arranged the scan for a few days later.
On 25th March I had my ultrasound, Left implant rupture contained in capsule, Right implants looks intact however the silicone in my lymph gland suggests a “bleed” The floor fell away from me!! But they aren’t hard?! They aren’t painful?! How can it bleed?! What does all this mean? How can this happen when I was told it wouldn’t, then my fiancé brought up bii i told him it still can’t be the implants making me ill- so I started researching it to prove him wrong! But the more I dug the more the safety studies didn’t add up. Then I found some lists of what implants contain……everything made sense! I had neurotoxins and heavy metals in my body and my lymph glands. You know acetone? Nail varnish remover….also in there! Oh arsenic….that’s so inhert?? Mercury? What a lovely combination to be right next to our hearts. So when I saw the surgeon I was treated like I was wasting their time but was shocked to hear her say how real breast implant illness was! So they all know but just don’t tell anyone else. “We can only offer a removal of implants” I said but the capsules are meant to be removed because the risk of bi alcl? No we will just give it a swill around with sterile water was the reply… Then I was told I would have to see a phycologist first and only if I was deemed able to cope with being left with no breasts and saggy skin after would they go ahead with the removal. Before the surgeon had even seen it read the ultrasound report I told her it was in my lymph glands because I wanted to ask questions, I was told it wouldn’t spread further so that’s not a worry as that doesn’t happen, then added how I am not a priority so couldn’t tell me how long I’d have to wait.
How can something so well tested over the years not be understood in this way if it was tested properly?
I left feeling devastated, felt so unsupported. I had so many questions but no one seemed to know anything, my life was in the hands of people who told me this would never happen! I tried to research more but no answers to what was happening to me.
So I joined the Facebook group, at first I just searched certain symptoms and would read other women’s stories. I read lots of stories of women having the implants bleed to many different lymph glands….so it does spread. I couldn’t believe it the women in this group were a wealth of knowledge, they weren’t crazy women blaming illnesses on implants for the sake of it or starting a new trend by removing implants or fabricating theory’s they were all nice supporting women who have suffered or suffering like me I’ve gone through so much pain and upset for years, since the implants but never put it all together.
The group has given me the emotional strength and support to get through this, I want to be able to walk down my own road, I want to go for days out with my children- I don’t want to be ill anymore, I’ve lost my identity, my face has aged rapidly, years of my life wasted, I’ve suffered miscarriages, I’ve lost friends.
I’m explanting in September and look forward to healing & forever telling my fiancé he was right and I was wrong!