I’ve started and stopped this post so many times.
But despite it being sort of “weird” to put out there… I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for so many brave women who openly shared their story with me… And so it only feels right that I do the same… Because even if I could help to give one woman hope – one woman who is struggling with unexplainable issues – that it’s not in her head and there is more to it – well, then it’s worth it.
So where do we start? I guess the beginning?
When I was 18 years old I decided I needed implants. I had gone back and forth with eating disorder issues and I was convinced having my “boobs done” would make everything all better. I wish so badly I could go back to my 18-year-old self and tell her “you are fine the way you are.” But I can’t. I went from a small B-cup to a DD. Fast-forward 11 years to January 2015 and it was “time” to have my implants changed out (recommended practice is to have them switched out every 10 years, or so I was told). I had been through 2 pregnancies, breastfed two baby boys, gained 45 pounds (and lost 45 pounds) and it felt very “needed” to have my “boobs done” again. The thought of taking them out completely, never occurred to me. I didn’t even realize it was an option. My experience with my implants the first time around was fine, I didn’t expect anything less this time around, and honestly I thought the only “risk” to implants was if something happened and they ruptured. I had no idea there was more to it. None. My first time around I did saline implants above the muscle through an armpit incision. The second time around I opted for gel silicone under the muscle per the recommendation of my surgeon. The surgery was easy enough. I had relatively no pain or issues post-op and I healed quickly.
However… It was about 3 months later that things started to change…
Around 3 months post-op I started having really bad stomach issues. I mean, really bad. At first my husband and I thought it was a nasty stomach virus. But as it persisted past 2 weeks we started getting worried. I had so many tests done… Doctors suspected parasites, bacteria, etc. No one could figure out what was wrong with me. Until one night I collapsed on the floor in pain and was rushed to the ER. After a CT scan, MRI and ultrasound I was diagnosed with a severe gallbladder infection. So severe that it had also infected my liver. The recommendation was to remove my gallbladder and keep me in the hospital on IV antibiotics until my liver levels were better. The next morning I had my gallbladder removed. It was such a shock to everyone, especially my doctors. They said I’m not your typical gallbladder removal patient (whatever that meant) and they’re really unsure what happened… I didn’t know either, but I was glad that it was over. Never did I once thing it had anything to do with my implant surgery 3 months prior. Following my gallbladder removal a huge array of stomach issues announced themselves. I became intolerant to pretty much everything. I cut out pretty much everything from my diet and ate so incredibly clean to minimize the pain I would get from food. It felt like it came out of nowhere but I constantly told myself “tons of people have stomach issues, it’s just life.” And I would joke that my weird stomach forced me to be healthy.
This was the theme throughout 2015 into 2016. Stomach issues. All the time. But with the stomach issues other stuff started popping up. Brain fog. Numbness and tingling in my hands and feet. Sore neck and shoulders. Insomnia. Crazy fatigue where I would crash at around 3pm in the afternoon on the couch and couldn’t imagine being able to get back up. Mood swings. It was just… Weird? But I mean LIFE can be crazy, right? I was a busy working mom of two little guys and I had a lot on my plate with growing my at-home business and I worked out a lot, so I mean – this all was just normal, right? Wrong. But it’s what I told myself. It was around October 2016 that I told myself I had enough, I mean I HAD to do something. I decided to do a 21-day vegan cleanse + detox to restart my system and hopefully get out of this nasty funk I was dealing with. That cleanse was the beginning of my downfall… Or you could say it was the beginning of my journey to heal.
But it was November 2016 my entire world changed.
It was 3 weeks after I finished my 21 day vegan cleanse and I felt awful. I mean, truly awful. I couldn’t explain it… But I just felt SICK. I just did not feel right. BUT, we had a family vacation planned to North Carolina and true to what my life had become, I had to rally. I refused to allow myself to “miss life” because I felt bad. So we packed our bags, loaded up the car, and headed off to the mountains in North Carolina. The entire trip there I was an anxious mess. I just felt shaky, nauseous and just anxious. For no reason. I mean, I could not explain it. And it only got worse each day we were there. I stopped sleeping. I became incredibly paranoid. The anxiety was just through the roof. I couldn’t eat I was so sick from the nerves. Honestly guys, I thought I was having a full mental collapse. It got so bad that I told my husband we had to leave. I mean y’all – I was a complete mental and physical disaster. So we packed up and left early to head back home. We stopped halfway in Georgia at a hotel and it got so much worse. My heart rate was racing so badly I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I was having back to back panic attacks. I was throwing up from the waves of nausea. I was terrified. I had no idea what was happening to me.
We got back home the next morning and I was just convinced that everything would be better once we got home. I told myself the stress of travel was just too much for me. I would be ok now.
But I wasn’t, guys. I wasn’t ok.
The night we got home it was the worst it had ever been. The pain in my chest was excruciating. My heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest it was racing so hard. I could barely catch my breath. The panic attacks were rolling one into the other. I couldn’t even think straight to wake up my husband. But I remember crawling out of bed and crawling across the floor into my bathroom to get into the bath. I don’t know what made me think that was a good idea… Over I don’t know… Calling 911? But I guess the bath has always been my calm and happy place and I thought if I could just get into the bath… I would be ok. So I started the water and I climbed in. Gasping for air. Heart racing. Fear gripping me everywhere. I mean I was absolutely terrified. I had no idea what was happening to me and I couldn’t get my brain to work. I thought I was dying. I really thought… This was it. I remember laying back into the bath and for the first time in years I really called out to God. In complete desperation. I begged Him to take care of my boys. To give Dan the strength to raise them without me. To make sure they knew how much I loved them. I thanked Him for letting me be their mom. For letting me marry an amazing man. I remember calling out to him that I surrendered everything to Him. That I trusted fully in Him. That I accept whatever His will for me was. And I took a deep breath and just laid back into the bath tub… And friends… In that moment I felt a surreal blanket of peace wash over me. My heart rate slowed enough for me to catch my breath. The shaking subsided. In that moment, I realized He had saved me. I didn’t know why, but I knew He had. And if you’re not a believer, that’s ok… I can only tell you my story from my perspective as I know it – and that’s what this is. I didn’t heal after that night. But I did survive. And I knew from that day forward, despite what was going to happen in the months to come that I would have Him on my side. I would later find out that what I experienced that night was Thyroid Storm. Which can be fatal.
The next day I visited my primary physician. I explained to him what was going on. He diagnosed me with Panic Disorder. I couldn’t believe it. I had never had any issue in the past… I didn’t have anything to be anxious or “panicked” about. Why would this happen? He was pretty short with me. Explained they don’t know why – it just does. I sat in that little room and just cried. What happened to me? They prescribed me Xanax and some other medications to control the anxiety and panic. When the dosage they gave me didn’t work (.25mg) they kept bumping it up. And bumping it up. And bumping it up. Day after day would be more of the same. Nonstop panic attacks. I was scared to go anywhere or do anything because I didn’t know what would happen to me if I left the house. My hair was falling out. My fingernails and toenails were cracking and falling off. I couldn’t eat anything without getting sick. I couldn’t sleep without medication.. About a month later, and now taking 4mg of Xanax a day, I felt hopeless. I remember driving to my parents house and breaking down in their living room. What was I going to do? How was I going to take care of my kids? How was I going to run my business? How was I going to get through the day…. My parents told me to pray for strength. To believe that God would provide the path if I allowed myself to follow it. Driving home I prayed fiercely for strength when all I really wanted to do was run under my covers and bury my head under my pillow. I had a business call with one of my sweet friends scheduled for that afternoon. But as much as I wanted to… I couldn’t bring myself to do it. So I shot her a quick text and explained quickly what was going on and what I was dealing with… My intention? I just really didn’t want her to think I was blowing her off. Little did I know, that text would open up the path to healing for me… And for her, I will forever be thankful.
“It’s your thyroid Jenn, I just know it.” That’s what she told me. My thyroid? I didn’t even really know what that was, much less what it did. But as soon as she said that to me – I felt this odd sense of calm come over me. A feeling that I have come to believe is God gently nudging me that I’m on the right track. I started to Google… And would you believe that all my symptoms were symptoms of hyperthyroid? The anxiety + panic attacks, the hair and nails falling out, the stomach issues, the insomnia, the heart rate – all of it. I couldn’t believe the words I was reading right now. I didn’t know WHY my thyroid was suddenly hyper but it didn’t matter – for the first time in almost 2 months I had hope. I called the only holistic medicine doctor in my town to try and get an appointment. I was told they were booked out almost a month. I felt defeated momentarily but asked her if she would put me on a cancellation list. She mentioned she absolutely would but it’s rare people cancel their appointment. I hung up the phone feeling a little defeated but clinging to the hope that in a month I would get answers… WELL, would you believe that my phone rang not even 45 minutes later from the doctor’s office? I’ll never forget her saying “Well, this is crazy BUT someone JUST canceled. Can you be here Monday at 9am?” HOPE flooded me, y’all. YES, yes I could be there Monday morning.
Monday morning I arrived early to the doctor’s office… Have you ever had the feeling you were exactly where you should be in that moment? That’s the feeling I had being there. And when I sat down in the chair across from my new doctor… And she grabbed my hands into hers… And looked me in the eyes and said “I don’t believe you have panic disorder, Jenn. I think you have hyperthyroid and I would put money on it. We’re going to get you better.” Relief flooded me. She was going to help me. I’ll also never forget the words she said next, “Do you mind if I ask you? Do you have breast implants?” I remember thinking it was such an odd question – what does that have to do with anything? But, I said yes, yes I do. She asked me if I had ever heard of breast implant illness to which I shook my head. I mean, I had heard of it, but didn’t really understand it, and I was convinced that was not what was going on with me. She mentioned that breast implant illness can cause autoimmune issues, specially with your thyroid. I thanked her for the info., told her I would look into it, but if we could focus on other things right now I think that would be better. She nodded, super understanding, and we proceeded to the next steps of testing.
Here’s the thing guys – sometimes the answer is right in front of us but we’re not ready to hear it yet. Sometimes, despite the answer being there, we need more time to process it. And for me, that’s what I had to do. I wasn’t ready to admit to myself, or even entertain the idea, that I was the one who had made myself sick.
This doctor was amazing – she ordered more thorough blood tests than I’d ever had in my entire life combined. We tested every level from my thyroid, to my vitamins, to my hormones, to my blood toxicity – you name it, we tested it. I also had ultrasounds done on my thyroid to check for goiters, or masses (of which there were none). We ran autoimmune marker tests, food sensitivity tests, stool tests, cortisol tests – the list goes on. We wanted to know everything that was going on with my body so we could HEAL IT. Not treat symptoms, but genuinely heal my body.
So, I did all the things. I was the perfect patient. The perfect student. I followed every direction from my doctor. I read blogs, books and articles. I joined groups and message boards. I changed my diet completely, eliminating anything and everything that could be perceived as a trigger or inflammatory food. I did the Chinese medicine. I took the herbs. I did the acupuncture. I meditated. I prayed. And despite feeling much better, I mean MUCH better. My blood tests continued to come back toxic. My thyroid levels remained exactly where they were from my first blood test. WHY? At this point, I think I knew why and I was almost ready to accept it.
I remember so clearly sitting on my kids’ bed one night after they’d fallen asleep texting two of my best friends… I told them I think I’m going to have my implants removed. I’m pretty sure they were shocked, since I had said countless times prior that I was never going to do that and there was no way that was the problem. But, my sweet friend said to me “Jenn, you’ve literally done everything else. I think you should do it.” I cried. A lot. It was a mix of fear, defeat, frustration… I can’t pinpoint exactly where it all came from but… it was a lot. I have Breast Implant Illness. I need to have my implants removed.
The next day I dove head first into explant surgery research mode. I talked with friends who had explanted, I joined Breast Implant Illness groups, I researched the procedure and read countless reviews on so many different surgeons. But there was one name in particular that continued to stand out to me. I saw many people reference him in the various groups – I even had a few friends who had used him as their surgeon and his reviews were stellar. Dr. Rankin in Jupiter, Florida. From what I read he was one of the best explant surgeons in the country. But the thing I liked the most about him… He believed in Breast Implant Illness. He also understood that it was more than just taking out the implant itself – an entire en bloc needed to be performed. An en bloc is where they remove the entire capsule where the implant was positioned – all of that scar tissue (containing toxin) needed to come out, too. On paper, he was everything I needed in a surgeon and more.
But I knew, for me, I needed to meet him in person. I figured I would just know once I met him. I asked my mom to come with me because not only does she keep me calm, but she doesn’t sugar coat anything – if she didn’t feel comfortable with him, she would tell me. So I scheduled my appointment and my mom and I headed down to Jupiter (which is in South Florida) to meet Dr. Rankin. When we arrived we were told we would meet with Jeff Rose who was the explant consultant. I immediately liked Jeff. He had an answer to every question I asked and gave me info on things I didn’t even think to ask, which made me feel good. He didn’t rush us at all (we were in his office for an hour at least) and I finished that consult with a definite sense of peace Following our meeting with Jeff we went into a different room to meet Dr. Rankin. He was everything I had hoped he would be. He was calm, soothing, extremely professional and like I had hoped – I just knew he was going to be the one to do my surgery. We discussed the procedure that would take place as well as the option to do a lift. I was undecided initially on the lift and he offered the option to make the decision once I was on the table during surgery and leave the “executive decision” up to him. He also explained there was nothing called a “nerve block” they could do that would essentially freeze the nerve around the breast to minimize the pain and reduce the need for pain meds. I was totally in for that. I met with Lauren afterward and she explained I could schedule my surgery that day (they were booking 5 months out) or I could call back whenever I felt ready. There was definitely zero pressure to book that day but I knew I was ready. As ready as I would ever be. I went ahead and scheduled my surgery for their first available, July 11. They did let me know that if there were any cancellations they could potentially move my surgery up as well. I paid the deposit and left the office feeling like I had done the right thing. I took the next necessary step to heal.
In the next few months I did a lot of research to prep for the surgery. It was hard to wait… For me anyway, once I decide on something I just want to do it. But, looking back, the timing ended up being perfect. I did get a call from Jeff offering me an earlier date in June but the timing was off for me. We were packing up to move and there was no way I could be out of commission then. July 11 was my date and I was sticking with it. During this time I shared my decision to explant with friends, family and shortly after all of social media. I was hesitant at first to share this… It’s so personal, right? It’s such a big thing. But at the end of the day this was a procedure I was doing to heal myself. And I knew there were so many other women in my same exact boat. How could I not share? How could I not give hope to so many women struggling that there may be an answer for them, too? I had to. Despite how uncomfortable it was. I knew I had to share.
I fielded so many questions… One of the most frequent was “are you going to be sad to lose your boobs?” My answer to this was “I’m not losing them.. I’m getting the ones I was born with, back.” And truthfully, for quite some time I found myself trying to make them look smaller or minimize them. A lot of things didn’t fit quite right with them and I found myself struggling to find different tops or dresses that fit a “size small body” but not a “size small chest”. I thought I was ready to have smaller breasts regardless of it making me healthy again or not. I also felt it was important to adapt this mentality and believe it – just in case – this wasn’t my answer after all. Another question frequently asked was cost. The surgery was $8900 total (with lift.) It was $6500 without the lift. Yes, that’s A LOT of money. We did file with our insurance and I suggest you try that route, too. My doctor was able to write me a letter of medical necessity which definitely helped but I urge you to inquire on all options to try and make the financial aspect happen for you. There is also the option of fat grafting where your own fat is used to enhance your breast size/shape. That procedure is $6500 I believe. I opted to not do the fat transfer at the time of surgery per recommendation to wait at least 5 months post-surgery to allow the body to heal and fluff. I am still debating having this procedure done to help with a fuller shape.
So now, the journey begins. I’m going to share full disclosure on everything, The raw and real details. The physical. The emotional. I feel like it’s important to share everything, not just the good, the happy and the positive. But all of it. Because if you’re debating explant journey, you need to know what to expect.
On Tuesday, July 10th I drove from Tampa to Melbourne to pick up my mom so she could be with me during surgery. My husband and I thought it was best to not have the kids see me post-surgery since we couldn’t anticipate what I would look like, feel like, etc. So the plan was to have the surgery in Jupiter, stay the night there, follow-up appointment with Dr. Rankin the next morning, head back to Melbourne for the next 5 days, go back to Jupiter to have my drains removed (you have to wait 5-7 days before they are removed to make sure all of the fluid has been excreted) and then I would head home to Tampa. Lots of logistics to making this happen, right? My mom and I got to Jupiter, checked into our hotel, went out for dinner with one of my friends and had a great night. Honestly, there weren’t any nerves! I felt so at peace with this decision.
On Wednesday, July 11th we woke up early and headed back to Aqua Plastic Surgery. They have their own operating room inside their facility which definitely made me feel more at ease. Who likes going to the hospital or a surgery center? They brought me back right away to get me prepped. Their in-house anesthesiologist came in to talk to me and explain what was going to happen. Dr. Rankin came in and “marked me up” where the incisions were going to be (I ended up opting for the lift) and we were just minutes away from getting started. The nerves started to creep in, but I was given something to “relax” me and that kicked in quickly. I was brought into the OR where my anesthesia IV drip started and the next thing I knew I was waking up and the surgery was over. I was disoriented and don’t remember a lot (they warned me that would be the case) but I don’t remember being in any pain. I believe the surgery was 2 hours total. My mom helped me out to the car and we drove back to the hotel where I climbed into bed to take a nap. When I woke up a couple hours later I still wasn’t feeling any pain. I was kind of shocked! I felt great, actually. I asked my mom if she would want to go out to get lunch… She was a little shocked but agreed. I ordered nachos and a big burger. It was delicious. And shockingly? No stomach pain afterward. This would be the first big change for me post-explant. My food sensitivities vanished. After lunch I suggested we get pedicures… Again, my mom looked at me quizzically but agreed. Honestly, y’all – I felt great. Between the nerve block and whatever other goodness in my IV I was living my best life post-surgery. We headed back to the room after that to get some rest and we relaxed the rest of the evening.
Thursday, July 12th we headed in for my post-op check-up to make sure all was looking as it should. We got the thumbs up that everything looked great, scheduled my appointment for Monday to have my drains removed, and we headed back to my mom’s house to relax and take it easy. I was still feeling good!
Friday, July 13 (interesting date, lol) things changed for me mentally. I attempted to take my first shower which is where I took off what bandages I could and was actually able to see myself for the first time… And I kind of fell apart. I knew I was going to look different… Of course. But I don’t think there is really any way to fully prepare yourself for it. Ya know? You can look at a million before and afters of other people but our bodies are so uniquely different that we won’t look just like someone else… It was in that moment that I think I started to grieve. I started to grieve the loss of myself. The body that I had known for the past 14 years was gone now. As much as I had told myself leading up to surgery that I wanted this. I was ready to have smaller breasts. I was tired of having the big implants. Looking at myself in the mirror, a former 34D and seeing what looked to me like an A cup was terrifying. I sat in the shower and sobbed. I didn’t question if I made the right decision, because I knew I had, but that didn’t change the sadness I felt inside. Call it vanity. Call it whatever you want, but it was hard.
The Weekend. After discussing with my husband that I was “looking and feeling” pretty good and missing the boys something fierce we decided that he would bring the boys to my mom’s house for the weekend so I could see them. The last time I saw them had been that past Tuesday and that’s a really long time for mama! I also thought seeing them would help to beat my blues a little bit. Those two boys are my sunshine. Seeing them did help, at first. But they were confused about my drains. Why I couldn’t hug them tightly. Why I couldn’t pick them up. Being 5 and 7 there is only so much you can explain, ya know? They spent the weekend at my moms and then headed back to Tampa on Sunday with a promise from me that I’d be heading home on Monday and couldn’t wait to see them. I was still in such a weird headspace… I just wanted to be alone. Completely alone.
Monday, July 16 I headed back down to Jupiter by myself to have my drains removed. I felt like I needed the time to be alone with my thoughts. To just cry. And cry I did, friends. The entire way to South Florida. I made it to my appointment and was a little nervous of what to expect having the drains removed. I had read it wasn’t actually painful but it was a “weird sensation”. I mean, you have a tube inserted into your body that needs to be pulled out… So yeah, definitely weird. The nurse took my bandages off to check on my healing. I was black, blue and yellowing at this point. I don’t know how I “missed that” in all the research I did but… it wasn’t cute. But, looking back – why didn’t I give myself some grace that I had just been through massive surgery? I’ll blame the post-surgery fluctuating hormones. She asked me how I was feeling… To which I started crying. My inner self was screaming “pull yourself together, Jenn – you’re a disaster.” But she was so sweet. She explained that a huge aspect of detoxing is a surge of emotions and that it was totally normal. I did know that. In fact, I have coached my customers doing various cleanses and diet protocols about detox symptoms… How did I miss that? Detox or not, the emotions were real and I knew I needed to allow myself to feel them. The nurse reminded me that I needed to steer clear of underwire bras for the next 8 weeks (at least) and while I didn’t need to wear the post-surgery bra they gave me, I did need some sort of compression bra. After leaving the doctor’s office I headed to the mall. To get some bras. To try and cheer myself up a little bit. Note: do not bra shop post-explant. Wasn’t my best idea. I did end up getting a couple of compression bras that were cuter and more comfortable than the one given to me post-surgery… But seeing your “new self” in dressing room mirrors and lighting… Yeah, just no.
I headed back to Tampa and on the way home tried to map out how I was going to handle the next 6-8 weeks. I wasn’t allowed to lift anything more than 10 pounds. I wasn’t able to work out (not even yoga.) And I had to “relax” and take it easy. Basically, everything I was used to prior, I wasn’t going to be able to do. For 2 months. Sure, I knew that prior. But now it was real. Panic mode set in a little bit.
Over the next couple of weeks I physically felt good. Yet, I continued to feel all the feels. I reached out to friends who had explanted prior (thank God for them) and they “coached me” through it. They validated my feelings of “grief” and “loss” and reminded me that I needed to give myself the grace to heal. That I made the right decision. My husband said something to me that I’ve reminded myself almost every day since I made the decision to explant “sickness isn’t sexy.” Despite all of the feelings I had about my post-op body, the fact that my body was literally dying prior – wasn’t cute. This was the right decision. This was the right choice. And I needed to get out of my own head. I needed to focus on mental healing as well as the physical. I dove into prayer. Into personal development. Into my kids’ school and social activities and 110% headfirst into work. Bottom line? Keep the mind busy if you can’t keep the body busy.
I would say about 4-5 weeks in I was mentally feeling so much better. With every week your body goes through so many changes. What you look like immediately post-surgery is NOT what you look like the next week, and the week after, and the week after that. Today is 12 weeks post-op for me and I love the way I look. It wasn’t even just a mental shift either. I physically look completely different than I did post-op. Our bodies are an incredible thing. The way they heal. The way they change. Just know this, if you’re reading this and debating the journey. Give yourself the grace to heal and know that it will. I don’t think I ever stumbled upon a blog or timeline that shared it the way I’m sharing it today. I didn’t know what to expect on Day 5, Day 15, Day 25 post-op. Physically, around 4-5 weeks I started experiencing some pain. I called Dr. Rankin’s office to inquire over it. It felt like a burning, shooting pain sensation around the incisions. They explained that was the nerve re-growing! When the surgery took place they had to sever several nerves and the shooting pain was just those nerves regenerating. I mean, how cool is that? Our bodies are such a miracle, right? The shape of the breast will change so much, becoming fuller, rounder, larger over the weeks. What was barely an A-cup that first time looking at myself post-surgery is now a full B-cup. Which is actually a tad bigger than before I got the implants initially – pretty awesome perk. I guess the technical term is “fluffing” haha but I guess it’s a pretty accurate description of what happens.
At 7 weeks I got the green light to start introducing some light workouts into my routine – but still no yoga – because of the stretching and pulling involved. I had gained 10 pounds in those 7 weeks of “eating my feelings” and “taking it easy” and I was so ready to get myself back on track. I started working out to my tried and true favorite workout program 21 Day Fix and lost 4 pounds and started feeling back to my old self again. It was so incredible, after almost 2 years of not being able to do any cardio, or anything at all that would raise my heart rate (even being on medication) to be able to do these workouts, without medication, and be fine. It truly feels like a miracle. At 10 weeks I resumed yoga again and dove into a more intense cardio/step program as part of a test group with Beachbody. It felt like a God-wink with the timing… I’ve been feeling so good.
While getting the implants out is the first and most important step you have to remember that your body built up toxins the entire time you had those implants inside of you and what goes in, most come out. There are several different detoxing protocols you can do diet-wise. First and foremost, eating clean, minimizing alcohol and processed sugar intake, consuming a lot of fresh berries and leafy greens, etc. But I wanted to take my detox game up a notch by going to an infrared sauna twice a week (blog post on that coming soon.) The infrared heat helps to cleanse the body of built up toxins and cleanse the body of impurities. It’s pretty amazing. In just one session I could feel and see a noticeable difference and I was hooked. Take it easy on your body when detoxing. Don’t go too hard, too fast, too soon. Start slow and feel out how your body does. I made the mistake of going too hard too fast and I suffered the consequences with a crazy night of anxiety and insomnia. Take it easy. Take it slow.
The post-explant changes!
THE TUMMY. The first thing I noticed, which I mentioned earlier, was a major change in my food sensitivities and tummy issues… As in, I really have none anymore! I can eat essentially anything I want without pain and/or needing to run to the bathroom right after. TMI? Ha, yeah right. But now, I need to be careful with my “eat all the things” mentality that I keep fueling my body with the right things, not just the things I know I can eat. #balance
THE HEART RATE. I actually got a little nervous about my HR post-explant because instead of my HR going down, it actually went up. I went from needing 25mg of my beta blocker to needing 50mg again. My surgeon assured me this was normal being that my body just went through major surgery and it’s working overtime to heal me. Makes sense. As my physical healing became more apparent I noticed how much HR continued to slow, and slow, and slow. I decided to take the chance and get off my beta blocker and see what happened… And much to my surprise, my heart rate stayed low. It stayed normal. It rises upon activity and slows upon rest – something I hadn’t seen in years.
THE THYROID. The thyroid and the autoimmune issues associated with it was probably the one thing that wreaked the most havoc on my body. I was anxious to have my thyroid re-tested but was told by several of my doctors not to expect too much too soon. It can take a year sometimes to be back to “normal” post-explant. But I thought, what the heck? Why not just test? I mean, even if it wasn’t perfect, I’m sure it would be better -right? And that would be progress worth celebrating. So my doctor wrote up a script for labs and off for blood work I went. I got *the call* a couple days later with my results… My thyroid levels were all in the normal range. I cried, the happiest tears. Every fear and hesitation I had about this procedure was completely validated in that moment. This was it. It worked.
THE INSOMNIA. My bouts of insomnia are very few and far in-between these days. But I notice that it usually isn’t a chemical reaction as it was before… It’s more “Jenn you have a lot on your mind and your brain won’t shut off” type of situation. Can’t blame that on the implants. Lol I do hope that over time and as I continue to detox that my sleep situation will get even better.
THE BRAIN FOG. THE MUSCLE INFLAMMATION. THE JOINT PAINT. THE FATIGUE.
It’s gone. All gone. I have more energy and feel better than I’ve felt in years. I can’t explain it other than saying it’s like a veil has been lifted from in front of my eyes. I can workout and then run around with the kids playing and still have energy to spare. It’s a blessing, y’all. A real blessing.
So that’s my story, friends.
While this journey has been difficult, I’m thankful for it. It’s taught me so much about myself. It’s taught me so much about health and wellness. It’s taught me so much about trusting yourself that you know your body better than anyone else and to fight for answers. It’s taught me to give myself grace. It’s taught me to love myself. It’s taught me about my own strength and my own bravery.
And so now I say to you. If you’re dealing with issues that you can’t explain and your doctor shrugs his shoulders at. If you’re feeling “off” and you don’t know why…. And you have implants… I just ask you to consider it. Don’t be the “eye roller” that I was and the “that might be her, but it’s not me” person. Keep an open mind. Your health and you feeling good is worth so much more than some big, perky boobs. Ya know? And this isn’t a post to shame anyone with implants. Not at all. This is just a post to raise awareness. To give hope. To be a voice for something that doesn’t get nearly enough attention.