For those who are in or near Texas 7.16.16

For women trying to get explant covered by insurance

A note from Dr Diana Zuckerman- a wonderful woman who is helping spread the word how dangerous implants are…

 

 

Our Center is working in several key states to make sure

that health insurance policies under the
Affordable Care Act will cover treatment and implant removal when it is
medically necessary.

Under “Obamacare”, health insurance companies
can’t deny coverage for pre-existing conditions and can’t
discriminate against women.  But in several states, insurance companies
are planning to deny coverage for any complications related to breast
augmentation, even if treatment is medically necessary (such as removal of
leaking breast implants, Baker 3-4 capsular contracture, or ALCL (a rare type
of lymphoma that can be caused by breast implants).  We believe that this
would be illegal.

We have spoken to several state officials who agree with us,
but they tell us they have not had any complaints about lack of coverage in
recent years and don’t think it is a problem.

If you or anyone you know had
a health insurance policy that refused to pay for medically necessary treatment
related to breast implant problems, please contact me at info@center4research.orgimmediately!
We are especially concerned about women in Texas, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Illinois, Nevada, and Connecticut, but anyone
from the USwould be of interest.

We know that many women have had this experience, but we need
to hear from the women themselves (or their family members).  Any
experiences like this within the last 5-10 years are especially welcome.

If you can help spread the word through web sites or social
media, we’d be grateful!

Diana

Diana Zuckerman, Ph.D.
President
National Research Center for Women & Families
Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund
1001 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20036
202 223-4000
www.center4research.org
www.stopcancerfund.org

Combined Federal
Campaign #11967

A happy update…..

I still am grateful through all these crazy chain of events I figured out how to regain my health.   I wanted people to know my story, so in case it reminded them of theirs, they would have hope or answers for someone they care about.  
I see it’s almost a year since my last update.   My huge turning point was October of 2011…..A year and one month from explant surgery.   I was so determined to gain my health back, I have been living a supremely health conscious life style.   I’ve been on a gluten free, very low sugar, no alcohol diet.  Basically detoxing.  To me, being diligent was worth feeling good again.  I have 3 holistic doctors who have been monitering me and telling me what supplements my body has been calling for…..ex: vit D, glutiathione, vit A, progestrone, DHEA (implants really mess with your hormones as a lot of the chemicals in them mimic estrogen), mold killing herbs, iron, minerals etc…Some people believe you can get all the supplementation you need from foods, but unfortunately a lot of the soil our foods are being grown in are mineral deficient plus the with the time it takes from picked to your table, the food has lost some nutrients as well.  Not to mention all the processed foods they sell at grocery stores that have almost no nutritional value.  If it has ingredients that I can’t pronounce, I don’t want them in my body.  When your body is toxic, it’s depleted of a lot of vital nutrients which creates disease. 
I did well with supplements purchased from my doctors.  Some brands out there are not bioavailable and are full of fillers that go right thru your system before they can be utilized.  Be aware of the quality you’re taking.    Thru my healing journey, the medical doctors prescribed me meds for pain, nausea, mold, anxiety and depression.  I didn’t take a single one.   I went the total alternative route and it was hugely to my benefit. 
The mold was by far my biggest issue (mainly what was left in the tissue in my breasts even after my implants were removed).  Low level light therapy completely broke down and released the mold out of my breasts so they were completely back to normal.   The seromas were broken down without surgery, which I was told was the ONLY way to remove the scar tissue.   But even before the mold was an issue in my salines, the chemical make up of the silicone shell is what really broke down my immune system.   As my body was trying to deal with the chemicals running thru my system, that’s when my immune system started attacking itself and it basically created the ‘perfect storm’ for the mold to take over and take the rest of the life I had in my body.  
In October, the symptoms I had left were mainly just fatigue and once in a while, muscle weakness.  All my other symptoms had slowly disappeared.  I never re-checked my ANA to see if it was negative, so that’s something I’ll still be curious about.  Some women have reversed their auto immune issues when they got their implants out…I’m hoping I’m one of them. 
One of my holistic doctors had me grow my own mold from my saliva.   She then treated me using quantum neurology(it involves a cold laser, completely safe and painless).  Since then, I’ve had great health and felt back to my old self.  
I even have something really great to post that I have to mention because being in the place I was a year and a half ago was so dark, i never dreamed I’d be where I am today.  I found out I’m 7 weeks pregnant and all is good. 🙂
I’m here to tell you, getting implants was the biggest mistake of my life.  It made me experience things I wish I never had.  And the warnings I got from my plastic surgeon when I asked what could go wrong….well it was something like, “some women’s bodies ‘reject’ them, but it’s very rare”…….I NEVER thought in a million years it could be this bad.  OR that it would happen to me.  A TOTALLY healthy girl at the age of 28……It changed me forever- I lost a part of me with the illness it created.  It did however give me a new lease on life, on loving my body the way God made it, and treating it with all the respect it deserves.  I will never take good health for granted again.  If you have implants or know someone who does and has unexplained declining health, it is my hope that they may they be enlightened with the truth.  The truth is getting implants is a complete Russian roulette with your happy, healthy life.  I’m sure when this is realized, they will be a black market product.  I’m here for anyone who has questions or needs advice. 
*~Love, light and blessings~*

Bev

Any recovery is welcomed

So after writing my story, I stopped up to the point I had felt I reached a plateau.   I realized that every day I was getting better at such a slow pace that I didn’ t even realize how much I was healing.  So today is almost exactly 6 months to the day I am post explant.  I was talking to a dear friend I’ve made from the support group whose explant was 2 weeks before me, so we’ve bonded over that.  I told her it’s like another anniversary to celebrate…what I’ve noticed in both of us is that we are definitely having more good hours.   I only say that because we are yet to have a day that we feel completely back to 100%.   It will come, I know!   I’ve also noticed that after having a pretty good day, the next day can bring lots of pain and setback.  It is such a roller coaster.  That’s why it’s so important to have support.   Those on the outside just don’t get it, and I totally understand.  We each have our own battles. 
So, I want to share something that has helped me so much these last 3 weeks.  I didn’t feel ready for it at all, but with my husband’s encouragement, I’ve been doing yoga.  Now, my current symptoms include, heart pounding (hasn’t ceased since July), muscle weakness (not anywhere near as bad as october), brain fog (rarely), and fatigue (that I pretty much battle every day…a lot of times, my body just HAS to lay down, even if it’s 5 minutes it helps).  Some days I have to cocoon myself and just rest.  Oh and I have some pains in my neck and back sometimes.   So that’s it….not bad at all from where I was.   So after yoga, I feel absolutely fantastic for the next few hours.  It takes a couple days to recover, and A LOT of mental strength to go back, but my dedication is helping my body heal for sure.  My veins are becoming visible again.  I was at a point where the man drawing my blood had to use a baby needle and said to me, and I quote “girl, you better find out what’s wrong, I can hardly find your veins…” That was back in November.    So it is oxygenating my blood and helping my lymphatic system get moving again. 
Which reminds me…after learning that your lymphatic system gets damaged from implants, I read about how inversion tables help get your lymphatic system moving.  I had one from having back pains from work so I started to use it every morning.  Mornings are always the worst because your body is stagnant all night and the toxins pool.  So when you get up, at least when I did, I felt lousy for a good hour or so…so by inverting myself, it got things moving faster.   Just an idea if you’re not ready for yoga.    I also suggest that power yoga might be too much.  Find a studio that does restorative yoga.  I’m telling you, it is the best medicine! 
A few months back I was in such a dark place, I had lost most of my hope and felt like my life was over.  As I slowly heal, I find strength to want to help others again.   I have a new found love and respect for the human body, that if you give it what it needs, it is the finest machine God has created.  We are so fragile yet so strong…..If you are in that dark place now, there is hope.   I know you might not feel it, but it is there to be found. 
continuing on the road to recovery……my prayer is that you all are with me……..

SILICONE IMMUNE TOXICITY SYNDROME

*here’s an interesting article I got from my support group.  The funny thing is, I have/had ALL those symptoms and have done many of the detox treatments…  I hope this helps others..

It is estimated that since 1962, between one and two million women have had silicone breast implants to enhance their physical appearance. Some 30 years later, hundreds of thousands of women are second-guessing the wisdom of this choice because they are now suffering with a new illness, silicone toxicity and immune dysfunction syndrome. This major health problem arose because of failure at many levels to protect the well being of humans in our world. It is important to understand a little bit about the silicone implant itself, which is covered by a shell or envelope, which is made of silicone in the form of a semi-permeable membrane.

 The big problem here was that it was thought that this membrane would keep the silicone inside the bag. It does not and the silicone leaves the bag and is found outside of the silicone implant. As a matter of fact, it has been found all over the body, not just in the capsules surrounding the implant. The silicone is picked up by scavenger cells (macrophages) of our immune system and carried around the body. Various things happen where the exact mechanisms are unknown, but there is definite immune system dysregulation that occurs leading to a new syndrome. This is an important point.Note:

Until now, researchers have been trying to link this silicone disaster with old diseases of the autoimmune type like scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, and Lupus. In fact, they will never be able to link this problem to those diseases because we have the new disease and they are not looking at it in that way. We’ll go on to describe the characteristics of the new disease, but to try and link them to the old disease will get you nowhere. We don’t know why researchers think that this is the direction to follow.

We believe that in addition to the immune system being dysregulated, there is the onset of molecular damage called free radical or oxidant injury that occurs from the silicone being in the body. This causes another set of symptoms that are part of the syndrome.

There are many possible symptoms that the patient experiences.

We will mention only the major ones. They are:

As before stated, these are the major symptoms and there are others. When a patient suffers with the above type symptomatology and also has a history of breast implants, one should do a thorough evaluation looking at the comprehensiveness of an environmental history and physical examination. One should rule out diseases such as Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, etc.

Studies of the immune system includes T-cell silicone immune study, silicone antibodies, complete auto immunity studies, immunoglobulin investigation, immune complex studies, biochemical profiles, fungal and bacteriological studies and skin testing. In addition, more complex studies might include PET, SPECT, beam, and EMG studies of the nervous system, as well as pulmonary function tests, MRIs of the breasts, and comprehensive digestive, and pancreatic studies if so indicated. The therapy for these patients needs to be directed at the flaws that are found in the patient’s biochemistry and immune systems. Just to mention a few of the areas that should be looked into as far as therapy, one would include:

Dietary management

Exercise advice

Intravenous nutritional therapy for detoxification and anti-oxidation

Oral nutritional supplementation

Immunotherapy to chemicals, foods, inhalants, and silicone if necessary

Environmental and chemical controls of the individual’s home and place of business

Varied immune modulation techniques including:

This is a very complicated illness and should only be taken care of by people with the comprehensive background in dealing with toxic environmental materials and their effects on the human organism. With this knowledge, these patients can be helped greatly in achieving a normal life again. It just takes time, patience, and hard work.

The answer to this disease is not the use of drugs for the symptoms that occur. Continue reading for more information on the impact of Silicone Toxicity on system functioning.

Cause

There is slow leakage (“bleeding”) of the silicone gel from the implants through the semi-permeable membrane envelope and also into and through the capsule that surrounds the implants. This is picked up by the microphages (scavenger cells) of our immune system and is broken down inside these cells which travel all over the body. The gel breaks down inside these cells, which travel all over the body. The gel breaks down into Silica and Silicon which causes an immune system dysregulation. Thus, there are antibodies produced against the silicon and also against the silicon and protein complex (organ systems) so that you get autoimmune illness.

As well, there is also damage that is not related to the immune system, because the silicone gel causes oxidants (damaging molecules) to be produced that directly damage our cell walls, DNA, and enzyme systems. All of this adds up to slowly-developing chronic debilitating illness affecting every organ system of the body.

Symptomatology

Peripheral Neuropathy (weakness, tingling, numbness, etc.)

Central Neurotoxic Neuropathy (cognitive difficulties, memory problems, hyperactivity, attention deficits)

Cervical and axillary enlarged or painful lymph nodes

Fibromyalgia (multiple tender areas)

Myositis (painful inflamed muscles)

Fatigue

Night sweats

Hair loss

Abdominal pain
Pulmonary hypersensitivity (shortness of breath, etc.)

Emotional instability

Joint and tendon pain

Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

Food and inhalant sensitivities

How Is This Syndrome Evaluated?

 

Physical examination

 

Studies to rule out other conditions such as Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, etc.

 

Various laboratory studies:

Immune studies (Complex)

T-Cell Silicone Immune Study

Fungal or Bacteriological Studies (if indicated)

Biochemical profile

Skin testing (if needed)

Address each organ system damage individually depending on patient’s complaints

Immunological And Non-Immunological Damage

Therapy

 

Exercise: Moderate low-impact (daily)

 

Intravenous nutritional therapy: Detoxification Antioxidant

 

Nutritional supplementation (oral)

 

Immunotherapy Chemicals Foods Silicon Inhalants

 

Envvironmental and chemical controls

 

Immune modulation Transfer factor DHEA Immune stimulants: Thymus, herbals, etc. and Intravenous Gamma Globulin

Diet: Organic, High alkaline, semi-vegetarian, moderately high protein
Damage to the immune system leads to various autoimmune situations. Direct damage from free radical oxidant molecules leads to diffuse organ system damaging effectsBrain: PET, SPECT, BEAM, EMG, etc.

Pulmonary: PFT

Rheumatological: Snyovial Fluid

Breast: MRI, Xeromammography

GI: Digestive studies, pancreatic malfunction

Immunological: Chemical Antibodies

Silicone

Antibodies, T-Lymphocyte

subpopulation, Activated

Lymphocytes, Lymphocyte Immune

Function, Natural

Killer Cells and Activity, Immune

Complexes

Complement Levels, ANA, Autoantibody Analysis (Myelin, Striated Muscle, Thyroid Skin Antibody Collagen Antibody)

Skin Testing (chemicals, foods, etc.)

In-depth history (including details of implant problems)
There are so many possible symptoms that the patient may experience. I shall only mention the major ones here. Almost any symptom can be related to this syndrome, either directly or indirectly;
There are several forms of the chemical in breast implants that can cause a problem in the human organism. Silicon (Si) is the basic element and probably causes immune system changes. Silica or SiO2 (chemical formula) is the form it is mined from the earth. Silicone gel is a synthetic material containing 38% silicon. The silica is 45% silicon.Thymus therapy

Intravenous gamma globulin

DHEA

Peripheral neuropathy

Central neural toxic neuropathy

Cervical and axillary lymphadenopathy

Fibromyalgia

Myocytis

Fatigue

Night sweats

Hair loss

Abdominal pain

Pulmonary hypersensitivity with dyspnea

Emotional instability

Joint and tendon pain

Multiple chemical sensitivities

Food and inhalant sensitivities

Skin problems

Something to keep in mind about saline breast implants is that they too contain silicone. Manufacturers of saline breast implants use silicone in the outside shell of the implant that contains the saline liquid. The silicone shell can break down over time leaving a toxic sludge in the breasts making it very hard for doctors to remove completely. The removal surgery is costly and very painful, and in many cases, not all the silicone can be removed.

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I’m including a link that a woman fought very hard for to have this issue taken seriously because her kids were damaged as products of being born to a mom with implants and doctors were ignoring it:  The kids are so allergic to silicone because of it, they have anaphalatic reactions and end up hospitalized.  This test PROVES that you are having a reaction to silicone, if your doctors are telling you “implants are totally safe”…again, this is just one of the many issues of implants.  Mine was more the microbial illness. 

http://betterlabtestsnow.com/silicone-hypersensitivity-panel.aspx

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I was raised by an amazing mom and dad.  They taught me great morals and work ethics and showered me with love and support always.    When I was 28 I decided to ask my obgyn who I so loved and trusted, what she thought about me getting breast implants.   She said, “sure, why not? many of my patients have them..”  To me that was the green light.  I had friends who had them done so I asked one who had hers done a month prior who she went to.   Well I was making decent money and thought, yea!  I’ll fill out my clothes better.  I worked in the beauty industry and it all seemed right.  I didn’t want to go crazy because i have a small frame, I just wanted to not have to wear a push up bra anymore.  

As  a side note, none of my friends with implants live without one health condition or another.  Sometimes people just have to have the lightbulb go on their own though…  So anyway, when I got the spheal from the ps (plastic surgeon) saying how ‘happy’ I’ll be, I did it, with mom and dad by my side.  Mom’s support and dad’s support but more out of worry because he didn’t really want me to have this surgery.  This is how un-researched I was.  I didn’t think twice about the huge Dow Corning suit in the 90’s because it was about silicone, and I was getting the Saline implants.   

 ALL implants are made of
silicone, just filled with different things.  There are
some 40 “KNOWN ” neuro-toxic chemicals that go
into the manufacture of silicone for implantation.
1)Methyl Ethyl Ketone                                   
2)Cyclobexanone
3)Isopropyl Alcohol
4)Denatured Alcohol
5)Acetone
6)Urethane
7)Poly vinyl Chloride
8)Lacquer Thinner
9)Ethyl Acetate
10)Epoxy Resin
11)Epoxy Hardener
12)Amine
13)Printing Ink
14)Toluene
15)Freon
16)Silica
17)Flux
18)Solder
19)Chlorplatinic Acid
20)Metal Cleaning Acid
21)Formaldehyde
22)Talcum Powder
23)Color Pigmentation (Printers Ink)
24)Oakite
25)Cyanoacyrylates
26)Ethylene Oxide
27)Carob Black
28)Xylene
29)Hexone
30)Benzene
31)Hexanone 2
32)Thixon-OSN-2
33)Rubber
34)Acid Stearic
35)Zinc Oxide
36)Naptha
37)Phenol
38)Methylene Chloride
39)Platinum Salt
 
I feel silly when I read this list and think, how could I be someone who eats right,  exercises, takes great care of myself, but paid to have these toxic chemicals surgically placed over my lungs, ribs and heart, damaging perfectly healthy tissue, nerves, and immune system….then I forgive myself because I was just a victim of the FDA.  I’m not the first, and I won’t be the last…

* Here’s something to think about-cancer cells are mutated cells.  Mutated cells can be  caused by things your body doesn’t recognize,  like toxic chemical build up.  Your body tries to attack the foreign objects the best it can until it is defeated and outnumbered and the cells mutate and multiply.  That’s why Anti Oxidants are so important because they are what neutralizes the oxidation of the cells which can lead to cancer.  I’m not saying cancer is black and white by any means, I’m just saying we can be aware and not feed it per say. 

Here’s one of my favorite websites: www.cosmeticsdatabase.com 
I use it all the time.  Plug in any ingredient (try any from that list I just put up) and it will give you a
number 0-10 on how toxic it is and in what way, cancer causing, neuro toxin, etc. 
After really starting to pay attention, it starts making sense why cancer is so prevalent in society today.  Between what we put in and on our bodies , there’s so many man made chemicals found in everything, we completely forgot what ‘natural’ is. 
And the sad part is, just because it says “natural” on the box, you still have to read the ingredients.  And most of the time, you will find ingredients you either can’t say or have never heard of.   So odd. 

 

Here’s another 2 cents – if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.  Sure my implants looked pretty good I must admit, but now i had complete numbness on both sides of my breasts.   That wasn’t ok and the feeling never came back.  I specifically had asked him that question before hand and he assured me, all would be good.  not true.  I also asked if I would be able to breast feed one day with them in.   “sure no problem” was his response.  That was an opinion coming from a man who will never nurse a baby thru a toxic breast. 

So there’s an amazing Canadian Dr by the name of Dr. Pierre Blais who is a former member of what would be equalivant to the FDA of Canada.  This was part of his interview with the board of our FDA in 2000.  He is a scientist who has done the longest and deepest study of  the impact of breast implants on the human body worldwide.  He started in the 60s.  He has studied hundreds of cases of ‘failed medical devices’.   Here is an excerpt about breast feeding and implants and how implant patients are looked at as dollar figures.  

  “The issue of the so-called selfishly oriented
recommendation against breast feeding is absolute. It
is a cosmetic issue and also one of risk.
Now, the issue of the offspring is secondary, but it’s
just as important in the ethical sense because we now
have implants that are not secure in terms of
integrity, which are known to be colonized by a broad
range of microorganisms which have access to the
breast, and the breast is fully engorged and
responsible for distribution of milk precursor product
to the implant.

Therefore, the implant constitutes a direct channel
for transmission of an infective vector to the
offspring. This concept is so old that you will find
it in European texts in 1965 Contrary to opinions expressed this morning, the
saline implant is not a 1968 discovery. It’s a 1960
discovery, and to make it even more embarrassing, it’s
a Canadian one at that. It is my brethren who has
foisted this on you. It is older than the gel implant.
It’s been known since the beginning that they
constituted a microbiological hazard that would
preclude absolutely any recommendation for breast
feeding.

Finally, to conserve and try to establish a record of
being timely, the issue of radiography must also be
addressed. It is also transparently obvious these
devices, the very shell is structured and is
radiopaque. As such, the uniqueness of the shell, its
structure and its peculiarities, preclude any form of
meaningful radiodiagnostic oncology aspect. The
implant is not just a confusing factor. It is capable
of generating both false positive and false negatives.
Therefore, there should be an FDA recommendation with
respect to deemphasizing any value of radiographic
assessment for tumors.

Then last of all, I have the issue of cost. How and
why did Canada governments become interested in breast
implants? It had nothing to do with the health of the
user, the offspring, the safety, or the cosmetic
aspects, what we call efficacy. It had to do with
cost.
Some of you know that Canada operates under a medicare
system. In the early days of this debate, which is the
late ’70s, I performed a study on health care cost,
which is easy to do. It’s only a computer issue in
Canada, as we have the record, and a very strong
outcome came.

Anyone implanted consumed four times our health care
resources of a corresponded age adjusted individual. I
haven’t done the study since. I’m scared.

Now, this has enormous implications. If you do a
macroeconomic analysis of this phenomenon, you will
observe that both primary and secondary health care
costs of some states and incidental to
Medicare/Medicaid, which does operate in some states,
you find that it exceeds in some cases the actual
promotion studies, the cost of promoting the
technology.

Now, as a result of this, everyone, whether or not
they have implants, are affected. They are affected in
the sense that third party insurers, HMOs, and
everyone else who is in the health care funding
business is looking at breast implants with much
concern for good reasons, because they attract health
care procedures,and they attract health care costs.
One doesn’t have to be the rocket scientist to figure
this out.”

A man that speaks the truth! 
Maybe if I’d known the truth from the start, nah, well then I wouldn’t be here today inspired to put it out there for others…everything happens for a reason, I’ve always been a firm believer. 

You Need a FULL CAPSULECTOMY / More symptoms

I could write a book with all the info I want to put out there but I know no one has time to read a novel right now. 
 I was told by women who’ve been thru this, if you don’t have your capsules removed, you will not fully recover.   I understood.  I read articles about it and it made sense that the tissue that your body forms around the implant becomes toxic too.  Those chemicals that are supposed to stay around and in the implant are broken down by our bodies over time.  Well those toxins have no where to go but be carried thru your system.  For some women that have implants and never have Any health problems, well their bodies are doing a good job at getting the toxins out,  but for others like myself, genetically you might have trouble getting rid of that size of a toxic load.  In my case, from having faulty valves, it was the bacteria/mold growing in the saline solution that is making me so ill.  I think it takes longer than 4 yrs for the silicone shell to be broken down. I think that’s why they give you the 10 yr life expectancy of your implants.   But they never really express how important it really is and why because that would raise too many red flags.   Either way, your organs actually have to genetically adjust to having chemicals running thru them.  Bizarre isn’t it??  And for some women who have severe anxiety, or joint and/or muscle pain or develop chronic conditions like MS or Fibromyalgia, well, they may never link these problems to their implants…And I think the only reason they’ve gotten away with this is because actually, some women just Do develop these problems without ever having implants,  so the Dr’s have no “proof”.   well here’s your proof.  Have them removed and take the road of detox and see if your problems slowly get better.   I bet they would.   That’s the leap of faith I had to take when I found all this info out.  I had the devil sitting on my shoulder, saying, “well what  if you take them out and you’re still sick, then you’ll have lost that money, lost your boobs and not have your health back…”   Well after further research, I’m SO happy to have those toxic bags out.   I want the best chance for me (and hopefully future children) to be healthy.   Even though I’m 4 months post explant and still struggling with my health, I KnoW I am on the road to recovery. 
 
So back to the explant surgery, (Sept 2010) I went back to my original surgeon who I trusted to take them out properly, even thou he assured me up and down that I was NoT sick from my implants.  I said, that’s fine, that’s your opinion, I just want them removed along with the capsules.   Well unfortunately he took it upon his own judgement while I was on the operating table to just take Strips of my capsule out.  
I had a horrible recovery.  The surgery was fine, but within 5 days I just went downhill fast.  My energy got lower, my muscles got weaker, I could hardly put sentences together because I would forget my words.   I’ll never forget the day I climbed in the shower, looked at the hot and cold faucets and had no recollection whatsoever which one was hot and which one was cold.   I panicked for a moment.  I thought, should I call my husband and tell him?   But it came back to me and I carried on. 
The walks I was taking with my dad around his lake got shorter.  I could only make it down about 3 houses and we had to turn back because my legs were going to give out.  My anxiety was worse than ever.   I couldn’t even concentrate enough to watch tv.  I literally sat.  couldn’t sleep.  I felt wired and tired.  My chest felt tight, like I couldn’t take deep breaths, and I had shooting pains thru both sides.  The only thing i could do for a little while was surf the net.  I had some comfort in my support group.  I had so many tips from them and my holistic dr on detox.  My mom and step dad flew me out to Ohio to be with them for most of the month of November to take some stress off my dad and husband.  My sweet mama would take me out to places and put me in a wheelchair since I couldn’t walk for very long.  She would blow dry my hair because my arms were too tired.  I had no motivation to do anything, but being around their church and such sweet, supportive people, I felt happy and comfortable.  I got so much love and tlc from my mom and step dad – that was very therapeutic. 

Back home, in December 2010, so there I was, left with toxic junk in my chest.  It felt like a large nodule in each breast.  about 6 cm wide.  I asked the PS about those and he told me to massage them til they go away, that it was just scar tissue.  The 1st time I tried that..I barely rubbed them for about 10 seconds.. within a minute, my vision started to get hazy.  I went and laid down on my mother in laws bed and she looked at me and said “honey are you ok?”   I said “no”  and after that I just remember my hearing going and my vision going and my body felt like I had no muscle strength.  I was glued to the bed in a horrible state.  The worst part lasted about 20 minutes but it took me the rest of the day to recover.  I was supposed to do this til they went away?  no way!   come to find out later, those nodules are seromas and have to be surgically removed.    They are full of toxic muk.  Well my holistic dr thought it would help to do LLLT (low level light therapy).  It’s supposed to help heal damaged tissue and boost your own immune system to come in and heal the damaged area.   So we gave it a go.   I didn’t have the $ to have another $10,000 surgery and frankly didn’t have the energy.   I felt pretty tired and wiped out for a couple days after a treatment, but at least I wasn’t in that terrible state.  So my dad took me about 3x a week for these treatments.  The nodule actually got smaller each time.  Maybe we found a new treatment w/o surgery.   Well when I talked to Dr. Blais and told him I had done this, he said, “well you are very lucky you have youth on your side because if you were in your 50s or 60s, you could have died from toxemia.   :0  .  a little scary.

Here it is explained in more technical terms by Dr. Blais-

RESIDUAL CAPSULE AND INTERCAPSULAR DEBRIS AS LONG-TERM RISK FACTORS  

By: Dr. Pierre Blais, PhD

Contamination of the space between the capsule and the implants by micro- organisms, silicone oils, degradation products and gel impurities constitutes a major problem which potentates the risk of implants. Such problems include inflammation, infection, deposition of mineral debris, as well as certain autoimmune phenomena. These problems can be present when implants are in situ (in the body) and are often attributable to the implant.

The logical expectation is that, upon removal of the implants, adverse effects will cease. This is an unjustifiably optimistic view. It is well documented from case histories that removal and or replacement of implants without exhaustive debridement of the prosthetic site leads to failure and post surgical complications.

Plastic surgery procedure lead to favor speed and immediate cosmetic results. For these reasons, leaving or “reusing” tissue from an existing capsule may seem more “gratifying”. However, adverse effects resulting from the practice are widespread but have not been well documented. Typically, patients who require removal of faulty implants and undergo immediate re- implantation in the same prosthetic site habitually relapse with the same problem which motivated the previous surgery; the most common example is exchange of implants and/or sectorizing or bisecting the capsule without removing it completely.

Such patients rarely achieve a significant capsular correction and habitually return for more similar surgery. A more illustrative situation is that where patients do not receive replacement implants. They form the basis of knowledge for evaluating the risks that arise from remaining capsules. An example is described in a paper published in 1993 (Copeland, M., Kessel, A., Spiera, H., Hermann, G., Bleiweiss, I. J.; Systemic Inflammatory Disorder Related To Fibrous Breast Capsules After Silicone Implant Removal; Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: 92 (6), 1179-1181, 1993): reported problems derived primarily from immune phenomena and inflammatory syndromes with pain, swelling, serologic abnormalities and alarming radiologic presentation.

Numerous similar cases have been noted amongst implant patients but have not been the object of publications. Some are cited in FDA Reaction Reports. Others appear in the US Pharmacopoeia Reporting Programs.

A residual capsule is not a stable entity. It may collapse upon completion of surgery and remain asymptomatic for some time, however, it will fill with extracellular fluid and remain as a fluid-filled space with added blood and prosthetic debris. As the wall matures and the breast remodels to accommodate the loss of the prostheses, the capsular tissue shrinks. Water as well as electrolytes are expelled gradually from the pocket or else the mixture is concentrated from leakage of water from the semi-permeable capsular membrane wall.

In most cases, calcium salts precipitate during that stage and may render the capsule visible as a radiodense and speckled zone in radiographic projections. Prosthetic debris is also radiodense and may be imaged to further complicate the presentation. The average size of the residual capsules after 6-12 months is in the 2-7 cm range: most are compact, comparatively small and dense. Surgical removal should present no difficulty for most patients if adequate radiographic information is available.

Later stages of maturation include the thickening of the capsule wall, sometimes reaching 0.5-1cm. Compression of the debris into a cluster of nodules which actually become calcified follows for some patients. A few mimic malignancies. Others appear as small “prostheses” during mammographic studies. They are alarming to oncologists and are habitually signaled for further studies or biopsies by oncology radiologists.

Houston, we have a problem

ok-  I want to get back to the path that this illness took me on but something very miraculous happened last night and I had to mention it. 

I’m almost wondering if I’m being manipulated in some strange sort of way.  So my implants were whisked away when i got them explanted, to be sent back to the manufacturer for further testing in Sept of ’10.  3 months later, in December I called my dr and asked what they heard.  She said, oh, I’ll call them.   So they faxed me  a letter saying that upon inspection they looked fine so they were going to do no further testing.  Then went on about 2 paragraphs that breast implants DO NOT make women sick or give them auto immune diseases….  Sounds convincing.  Not. 
Well some girls on the support site told me to let go of the idea of getting the implants back from the manufacturer.  Well about a week ago I had an urge, so I called Mentor in Texas and asked about the status of these implants, here’s the serial #, etc.  And they said, “ok we’ll send them back to your dr, they should be there this week.”   Well no one must have looked at them since sept.   There’s been some changes in my “normal” looking implants since then.  My husband picked them up, brought them home, we opened the box and as I looked, I said, “what the….is that?……am i seeing things?”   There was a dark black ring around each of the implant valves, and a milky, white, ghostly thing floating around in each of my implants.   Who’s crazy now?    All I could say is “Thank You God”.  Thank you for this visual confirmation, now tell me what I can do with this…..
I called the Dr/scientist in Canada, Dr. Blais.   He said that the mold in the valve could technically grow from having bodily fluid in since surgery so it’s not a valid proof.  But what is proof he said is that the fluid inside the implant isn’t clear and pure.   They should be absolutely sterilized with NO debris inside.  He said thru studies, 76% of valves on saline implants made by Mentor have been faulty from 1988- current testing!!!  That means there’s an exchange of bacteria/mold anything that can technically grow in the faulty valve, is carried back and forth thru your tissue and implant. 
He then went on to tell me I HAVE to get x-rayed by a specific cancer dr at UCSD because if I have an abscess in my chest from the leftover scar tissue he didn’t remove, I have to have it surgically removed because it will Never heal.  And the xray has to be set to only go thru a certain level of your body.    And then told me how my lymphatic system is damaged for life because the implants have crushed them, etc…just stuff I didn’t really want to hear.  But I think this info needs to be out there.     He is a hero to me.  He talked to me for 35 minutes.  You can tell he genuinely cares about the well being of women who were implanted and are now trying to gain their health back due to complications.

Puzzle Pieces

So thru evaluation, she found I had an overgrowth of yeast in my system (candidiasis), my adrenals were fatigued, I had toxic chemicals running thru my system and I had parasites.  Thru urine, she discovered my oxidation levels (or cell damage) were literally off the charts.  These are things MDs just don’t look at, and obviously can have a negative effect on your body.  So thru further testing, she practices kinesiology, she wanted to see what chemicals they were….there was phenols, aldehydes, toluene, and 2 other ones she said are found in pesticides.  She was perplexed about the first 3.  I said, they have to be in hair color, where else would they come from??  Isn’t that ironic that months later I find them in the list of chemicals silicone is made from.   So  she immediately gets me on vitamins and supplements  to start cleaning out my system.  So this is when my sister in law shows me the MTV episode of the girl who got sick from her implants.  The flood gates were opened.  Getting to the point I was at took a few years, I had to get ahold of the fact that turning this around wouldn’t happen overnight.  I came to my dr with this information, and she says, “well I’ve never heard of that before, but I’m willing to look at all possibilities right now.”    That’s all I wanted, a dr who was willing to be open minded, completely supportive and genuinely concerned about how I’m going to get well.
I did some investigating online, found a woman in GA who had same symptoms, etc.  had her saline implants removed, and they had mold in them!   So then I was really worried.   I went back to my holistic dr and presented her the idea.   The whole process is too long and detailed to go thru, but sure enough, penicillium, microsporum and Fusarium came up positive in my breast tissue.   She hadn’t even heard of one of them before.  We were both overwhelmed at that point because really, you just don’t hear or see this kind of stuff everyday.  I was kind of grateful that we were getting to the bottom of this mystery but also scared out of my mind.  I mean, they have linked mold to cancer.    And to have it living in my chest wasn’t the best feeling mentally or physically.  So the woman in GA sent me a photo of her moldy implants and sure enough, one of the ones she had was one of the same types of fungus that showed up in me.   It was like divine confirmation in my eyes.
I’m hitting the major points in this story, but every day in between these days was like groundhog’s day for me.  The only thing I had to look forward to was my next dr appt. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months.   I remember it being the beginning of summer and then one day I looked out the window at my dad’s house and the trees had a few brown leaves hanging from them.  I thought, “where did those months go??”   My dad spent every day with me, keeping me company, cooking wonderful meals, taking little walks when I could.  I can’t ever thank him enough for getting me thru my hardest days.And when my husband would pick me up after work and take me home I’d just cry.  I’d bawl my head off because I just wanted to feel normal again and be a loving wife, and go to work, and hang out with friends, and clean the house…just simple things that I took for granted.  He has been so patient with me I am so grateful.   I felt like I was living in someone’s else’s body who was very sick and I wanted out.  Talk about introspect and finding out what life’s really about…I have so much more empathy for people who get terrible illnesses or are chronically ill.  And those who take care of them!     You really can’t imagine what something’s really like til you’re there, it’s true. 

So back to the woman in GA, she told me about this support group online called Saline Support in Yahoo Groups.  It is for women who have complications with silicone as well as saline implants.   What amazing, intelligent, strong women.   It was so comforting I can’t even tell you.   That’s one main reason I’m writing this, so that one day maybe someone can find that comfort in my story so they don’t feel so alone.  Because unfortunately these women’s stories that sound more like science fiction when you hear the horrors they’ve been thru, are 100% true.  They are just too ill to fight back, or threatened to leak the truth.  Many of the links to stories like mine, stories of implants making women sick have actually been changed to pro-implant sites.  It still gives me chills, thinking of when I was looking them up and thought, huh?  why would she send this link…..it’s the people who make millions of dollars from implants that are changing those sites…

I look back at just what I’ve gone thru in these last 8 months and it makes me sad that  I had to put these puzzle pieces together myself.  It gave me a new morbid look at the world and the  sense of, well who CAN you trust??

It all came to a Head in July/ List of symptoms

At this point I had become health obsessed:  I was juicing vegetables and fruits all the time.  I took a food allergy test to see what I shouldn’t eat and 28 items came up.  She said that wasn’t normal, and that I probably had what’s called “leaky gut”.  where your body develops holes in the stomach lining from too many toxins, or parasites or something.  Food you eat gets passed thru the holes in your stomach lining and then is not properly digested and basically floats around in your stomach and ferments.  I stopped drinking alcohol, I tried everything to feel better but nothing was working. 
So anyway, I woke up one morning in early July 2010.  I was feeling so “off” but it wasn’t like any sickness I’d ever felt before.  I felt faint and super dizzy and no amount of water was helping.  (I forgot to mention something else strange, in the months building up to this, I had a  new habit of sleep walking to the kitchen sink in the middle of the night to get a drink of water because I was so parched.  So many times I would wake up to be standing at the kitchen sink.  Talk about auto pilot).   So Steve took me to urgent care.  They ran all the blood tests and only came up with the fact that I was dehydrated.  So they gave me an IV, checked again, still dehydrated.  They told me I could sit there for another 1/2 hr or go home a drink lots of fluids.  So I opted to go home and drink.  I told him I had bad anxiety so he prescribed xanex.  Nothing was helping.  I made an appt to go see a regular dr within 2 days.  My heart rate was super high but my blood pressure was super low.  My body temperature was low too.  This Dr. did my vitals, told me I had low blood pressure and to go home and eat more salt.  Strike 2.  I continued to worsen and thought, someone has to be able to help me!  So  I made another appt with another dr.  with kaiser since you can see different drs.  At this point, my mom flew in from OH for a few days because she was worried about me.   So she took me to the next dr  apt.  Her nurse was not convinced I wasn’t pregnant.  I had taken 2 urine tests , both negative, but she wanted me to take a blood one.  I said to her, if this is what it’s like to be pregnant, I don’t want it!  well I  wasn’t.   So this dr. said I had BPPV and sent me home to do some exercise where someone throws you on the bed from side to side a few times a day.   She also prescribed me anti nausea medication.  So I tried it.   Nothing.   Still felt horrible.  I began to look like a druggie with tracks on my arms from all the blood tests I had taken.  Here’s a list of what my symptoms were at this point:
~vertigo
~nausea
~loss of appetite
~metal taste in mouth
~leg weakness
~muscle spasms
~painfully cold hands and feet
~night sweats
~temp range 97-99
~hot flashes on neck and face
~heart pounding out of chest 24/7
~ anxiety
~low blood pressure
~sensitivity in gums
~2 teeth cracked within 3 weeks
~hair was falling out by the handful
~red bumps on my neck

I literally felt like I was dying.  I had such bad anxiety that I couldn’t be left alone.  I was with my husband or dad at all times,  just to stay somewhat sane.  I literally didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin.  So I then made an appt with an internalist.  I had an ekg, it said I was fine, I did a full panel of bloodwork…the markers that came up high (positive ANA and cortisol levels), she told me are just ‘normal’ for some people, but I knew it wasn’t normal for me.   She looked at me and said, this is too early to tell, it could be just a virus and may last up to 6 weeks.  I bawled.  I knew it wasn’t just a virus.  So I begged her to help and she gave me a list of more bloodwork to do.  Things like mono, HIV, hepatitis, etc.  I felt defeated.   My dad took me to this appt and he felt so bad.  All the tests came back neg.  The internalist said she talked to a neurologist and rhumatologist and they confirmed I didn’t have lupus, but wanted to do more testing.  I kid you not when I say, I needed to hold on to someone as I walked at this point.  I was terrified. 
So I went to do more bloodwork.  I felt weak and pale already.   They needed 17 vials of blood.  About 1/2 way thru I thought I couldn’t take anymore, my dad was holding me up in the chair as I was so weak.  That was it- I was at my breaking point.  I left the blood bank and called my old holistic dr I hadn’t seen in a good 4-5 yrs.  She said, get in here-sounds like others have done what they can do…  God love her.  Someone who was ready to figure this out and help me!  That was just one excruciating month that felt like a year.

My Medical History

I just want to give you a condensed idea about my medical history.  I am not a big fan of going to the doctors.  I’ve been seeing alternative drs since I was 18 along with conventional ones when I need to.  When I get sick, I’m better within a week.  I’m not a hypochondriac.   I never missed work and dodged a lot of illnesses considering I worked with the public.  The next 2 yrs after I got my implants, I was also getting closer to turning 30.  I got more back aches while I was at work, my feet started hurting more, my hands would cramp and I would get these horrible shooting pains in my neck and shoulder.  I just kept saying, man getting older stinks!  Not to mention, my tolerance for the smells of hair color at work got worse and worse.  I had times where I felt like passing out while mixing color.  But  I got some fresh air and kept on movin.  My deterioration symptoms were so slow I never placed it to my implants.  My wonderful massage therapist would work on me once a month and reminded me to keep streching because my knots were so bad.  Then I started to realize that every time I got a massage I actually felt worse afterward.  And this NEVER used to happen.  I would feel faint and weak.  I did this electrical current test that you put on your finger and it measures body fat, hydration, etc.  It said my age was 82 and my wellness marker was a 2 , 10 being the best, 1 being the worst, it also said my cells were dehydrated so I started to drink more water.  We kind of laughed it off and thought maybe the machine was misreading.   Looking back, i think it was right.  I just felt “off” all the time, I couldn’t explain it.  I would need 9-11 hrs of sleep a night.  For a while I was sleeping 13-14 hrs…I remember thinking, is this how people who are depressed feel?   how sad.  My boyfriend at the time (who is now my husband) and I used to joke about me being 30 but really being 80.  He kept telling me to work out but what I was afraid to tell him was that when I worked out I felt so awful I didn’t want to.  It was like my body couldn’t get enough oxygen or something.  Then I got a bronchial infection that I literally thought was going to kill me.  I’m talking a 103 degree temperature for days, a hacking incessent cough, blacking out, no appetite.  It took a 10 day antibiotic and I still didn’t recover for 2 weeks.  That was Not like me at all.  
So I did a complete blood panel to see what was going on.  It came back that I had a long standing virus according to my white blood cell count and my adrenals were stressed.  So my Dr. who is also a friend gave me viral supplements to take.  Well after 2 months of that, I wasn’t sure if I felt better or not.  I was getting used to feeling “off”.   However I did notice my panick attacks were becoming more frequent.  I hated taking medication,  I had a bottle of 30 zanex that lasted me 6 yrs.  The last few went as I needed to use them more.  Here’s another thing I noticed.  I couldn’t tolerate alcohol anymore.  Instead of feeling a good buzz if I had a drink, I would feel sick.  I would joke that I was getting the hangover before the buzz.  Looking back, All these things make total sense now that I have the sense of what’s going on with my body, but for those unknowing…it’s a total mystery!  I also started having these weird dizzy spells.  Once every few weeks and then they got more frequent and I got them maybe once a week.  The whole room would do a hard spin and I would literally be thrown off balance.  Not good when you’re working on someone’s hair!  But I never mentioned this either. 
So fast forward to March of 2010, Steve and I got married.   I caught a nasty cold 2 days before the wedding.  It didn’t stop us from having the most magical wedding ever.  It was so awesome.  But after that, I crashed.  My clients kept telling me, you’re too thin!  are you losing weight??  I joked that I had a tapeworm because I ate whatever I wanted and never gained weight.  Well that wasn’t too far from the truth, later I found out I had parasites.. yuck. 
That was all leading up to what I call  the “head” of my illness.

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