It was October 2015 when I began feeling off. It started with me wanting to go to bed at 7pm. I was working full time as a Nurse Practitioner, working on opening up Faith Family Fitness, and of course still trying to complete the never ending “Moms to-do list”. I assumed my fatigue was secondary to being so busy. This lasted awhile and the fatigue would come and go. Some episodes would last weeks and others just a day here and there. This was when I initially believed that something acute was going on…….
Looking back now I can see that my body was reacting to my implants as early as 2008 (only 2 years after getting them done). In 2008 my menstural cycle ceased. I saw a doctor who ran several blood tests, did ultrasounds, and even gave me medication to make my period begin… ALL tests came back clear and the medication failed. I became frustrated with lack of answers and was then placed back on the birth control pill. I had been on the pill for years in between having children. I tolerated the pill well so why would this be an issue?. In 2012 I became very ill. I experienced extreme fatigue and flu like symptoms. My white blood cell count was 1.8 (normal is 5-10). My doctor rechecked a few weeks later and was 2.0. All other lab tests were negative. I was then referred to an oncologist/hematologist for further testing. After about 2-3 months of testing I had no diagnosis other than “Idiopathic Leukopenia”, which means low white blood cell count for unknown reasons. The hematologist said it was likely I had some sort of virus and I should be okay.
Over the next few years I would get the flu like symptoms off and on. I contributed this to my low white blood cell count and working in the medical field. It was always so strange to me as I have consistently exercised, ate healthy 80% of the time, don’t smoke, only drink alcohol occasionally, and get adequate amount of sleep. I have always been the ipitimy of health.
It wasn’t until watching the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and seeing Yolanda Foster suffer from breast implant illness that I even knew this happened to women. Of course, this was not happening to me. I was not “sick”. My symptoms were just that. Just symptoms. It’s a part of life, right?! …. BII for me never crossed my mind.
Even when I began wanting to go to bed at 7pm because of extreme exhaustion the thought of BII never occurred to me. It was not until I continued to decline without cause that I decided to read up more on Crystal Heffners public BII journey and entertained the possibility. I continued to search for answers because the truth is I did not want it to be my implants. I did not want another surgery. I loved my breasts and I was scared. What am I going to look like after surgery? What if it’s not the implants causing this? What if I don’t get better? What is my husband going to think? The guilt of spending more money on myself was another huge factor. These are all normal, expected concerns.
It took me a good 3 months to come to this decision. The deciding factor was being hospitalized for 2 days in November of 2016 for slurred speech and after many tests we still had zero answers once again (later in Dec 2016 I found out I was the 4th woman with Allergan silicone gel implants that suffered from slurred speech without cause). The hospitalist physician was perplexed by my presentation and was sorry she could not find any reasons as to why this was happening. Being discharged home I decided to research more on BII. I then discussed it more with my husband who immediately said “schedule your surgery”. He never said anything unsupportive. He never once talked about how I would physically look. He never talked about the money. He wanted his energetic, healthy, bubbly wife back. He loves me not for my implants but as I am.
Hindsight is 20/20. Listen to your bodies. If something is not right then seek answers. I am posting below the list of BII symptoms. I did not have all of these. You don’t have to have them all to have BII. Please, please reach out if you have questions about your symptoms. I am here to help you!
Next blog will be on my surgical experience. It will be a very educational one!