Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Breast impplant illness and implant removal-from sickness back to health

When I was 29 I had my 4 child. After she was born I got in really good shape, the best shape I've ever been in. But after pregnancy and nursing 4 babies I was dissatisfied with how flat I thought I was. And so I made the decision to get breast implants. To be totally transparent I knew I shouldn't get them, Jeff didn't want me to get them either. But I ignored both of us and instead gave in to the idea that a mother's body is somehow now good enough because of what its gone through. Rather than celebrating the normalcy and the rockstar status of how a body will change after having children. 

So in November of 2004 I got implants. And I thought that was it, my problems were solved and I would be happy forever.

The first sign that something was wrong (but I did not make the connections for years) was how much my anxiety skyrocketed. I have always been more of a high strung, high anxiety person, but this was different. This was anxiety on steroids. Then I was diagnosed with thyroid nodules. Then I started gaining weight. Still I wasn't making any connection between the implants and my health. Two years after I got my implants I had my fifth child. And I did not bounce back like I usually did. I was only 32 so it wasn't an age thing. I always lost the weight after my babies and this time it was sooo difficult. But I chalked it up to whatever the internet in 2006 could tell me-probably that being 32 was making me not lose weight suddenly? 

Between 2004 and up until surgery I developed the following symptoms:

Worsening anxiety and depression
Neck and shoulder pain(over time arthritis developed on the right side only)
weight issues
muscle pain and fatigue
gall bladder disease-thankfully I ignored advice to have it out and kept doing cleanses 
Fire stomach-my stomach burned all the time
Acid reflux
Brain fog
It band pain with or without exercise
Asthma symptoms and unable to take a deep breath
Panic attacks
dry skin
I could not hit high notes anymore-I have sung since high school, audition choirs on the east coast, church etc. This was especially devastating. I thought it was the thyroid nodules. 
lost and forgotten libido
chornic dehydration
vision changes
tendonitis in my arms and behind my knees
swelling in hands
swelling of the left calf 
easily nauseated
knee pain 
kidney problems 
Insomina and not being able to sleep through the night
bladder issues(I had two surgeries, one to fix the problem and then another to fix the problem that the first surgery caused) 
chronic constipation
food allergies that caused blisters on my face, worsening GERD and increased all over pain
Jaundiced appearance over the last 4 years(all of that silicone is hard on the liver apparently) 
Plantar fasciitis and pain in the bones of my feet
Loss of physical stamina and tiring quickly 
Arms falling asleep just driving sometimes but falling alseep without fail every night
diagnosis of eds-turns out I'm just hypermoble(flexible) but my body was sick. 

And while this list is just words on a page to someone reading it, to me it was frequent tears. Pain, feeling limited, not understanding why I hurt and felt sick all the time. I muscled through so much while believing my body was betraying me. But it was the other way around-I had betrayed my body. 

When I first came across breast implant illness I didn't want it to be true. But I knew it was. For 5 years I thought about it and finally found a facebook group with thousands of other women with symptoms like mine, some so bad that they could barely get out of bed. I also read their stories of healing completely after explanting and I was convinced I needed to have them removed. 

So along came some financial miracles to make it happen and on April 11 of the year I had the toxic things pulled-gone once and for all. 

In the 8 weeks since removal I have had the majority of my symptoms improve if not resolve completely. Because I had them in for almost 18 years, it will probably take a few years for everything to heal. My food allergies haven't resolved yet and there is still some residual issues in my shoulders and arms from the weight of the implants pulling on me for so long. But I have no doubt I will eventually be back to normal. 

When my doctor removed the implants, he also got the capsule that had formed around them. Basically scar tissue. The scar tissue was making it impossible for my chest to expand completely. No wonder I thought I had asthma. The very first thing I noticed when I came out of anesthesia was that I could take a full deep breath. Then I noticed the pain . Apparently my arm was bent and the pain meds weren't getting to where they needed to be haha. 

Since then my gall bladder hasn't bothered me once. My stomach has felt 90 percent better and I have had no heart burn. 

My first sunday back in church I could hit all the high notes again. I cried with gratitude that this gift was returned to me. 

My energy is returning. My neck doesn't hurt. My legs are daily losing the weakness and pain and fatigue. My libido has returned-happy day!! I thought it was lost forever honestly. But the proof is really in my face. I took a picture the week before surgery and then every day after for 3 weeks. Daily I could see improvements. And then I took my last picutre on Monday. Same bathroom, same lighting, same time of day. I am no longer yellow and my face has lost its puffiness. 

One of the things I am grateful for about this journey is that it led me down a path of holistic health. I have learned so much about nutrition, supplements, mind set, how the body works and overall health. So the last 18 years wasn't a total waste and God has taken my mistake and still blessed me in the middle of it. I became certified as a body code practitioner and have helped 100s of people because of it. 

But I can't help but wonder what the last 18 years would have been like if I had just loved myself more. 

I have strong feelings now about implants. I don't judge anyone else for having them. How could I? But I don't believe there is a single woman who hasn't or won't be affected by having a foreign object made of silicone in their body. My immune system and body spent all of those years trying to fight off what I voluntarily and electively put in my body. It made me sick and tired and sad and hopeless. It was not worth the few months of joy I had before my body started to rebel against the toxic waste in my body. 

So if you or someone you know is thinking about getting them, I will direct you to studies and many many other women with stories exactly like mine if you like. We all just told ourselves that we were getting old or we were repeatedly misdiagnosed with autoimmune disorders, or thyroid disorders or just told we needed to eat better and exercise. When in fact, we just bought into a societal belief that women are suppose to look like they've never had children, or like porn stars, or some other iteration of ridiculousness that requires us to change our bodies to be whole or valuable. 

And I'm over it. If you have implants, get them out as fast as you can. Before its too late. We have had women on our facebook page who died before they could get them out. Its unnecessary. Its abusive. And its time for a rebellion against the perfect bodies, not "looking" like we've had babies or the pressure to be "hot moms". Sheesh. 

I decided to share what I have been through in the hopes that if it convinces just one woman to not get them or to get them out, then maybe my suffering will have maybe been worth it. 

If you read this far, thank you. Obviously I regret it and even spiritually I regretted it within a year. But part of setting myself right physically has been the work I've done to set myself right emotionally. And sharing this has been a further step in knowing that I am ok how I am. And so are you. 

When I was in high school people were not as creative about asking people on dates, to dances, whatever.

It was just, "Hey, you wanna go to Prom with me?"

Well, 20 years later it is a whole new ball game.

Secret messages delivered, super creative ways of

Monday, April 4, 2022


You turn 20 once. But you are awesome forever. Charlie is awesome forever. Kind, good, quirky in the best ways, laughs easily, rolls with it, and is finding his way just like the rest of us. 

We love you buddy. Happy birthday. 

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Mother, daughters, sisters, friends

Before Kate heads back to college, we knew we needed a girls trip. Adult daughters and mom (cuz they like me but also cuz I'm the one with the money;)

So off to California we went. Lots of yummy food, fun music and lots of great discussion about what makes us who we are.

We visited the ocean in February cuz we are Allen's ;) And then off to Universal the next day cuz theme parks have a feeling to them that is just so fun!

I love my daughters. I became a mom pretty quickly after getting married and never once have I been sad about the timing. My kids are all close together which means they are all close.

So thankful to be their mom and to have memories like this to last the rest of my life.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

State champs

These two girls. Little blonde robotics champs, thats what they are.They were part of the winning team for the Nevada Elementary School State Championship.

 I think Payton's mom calls them popcorn? Cuz every time one of them is driving, the other is jumping up and down giving encouragement and direction to the other.

I don't think they were expecting the win, or to feel the way they did when they won. The crying went on for hours. It was a pretty intense day. Until this year I knew nothing about robotics or competitions. Its pretty intense to watch and the kids get very excited and focused and emotional and all the feels. All of them.

That is not laughing, it is full on emotional release crying.

So proud of these kids. All three teams from Nate Mack Elementary school made it to the World Competition in Kentucky. They practiced 3, 4 days a week after school and then on Saturdays. They had to keep good grades and good behavior to stay on the team. Nora maintained straight A's the whole time while also being on Student Council and in honor choir.

It was amazing to watch them all accomplish so much and their AMAZING teacher Mrs. Juliano worked tirelessly to get them to this point. I'm so grateful Nora got to attend Nate Mack elementary school and learn about her capabilities and a new found love for STEM.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

She’s home.

After 18 months of being away from home, of serving the Lord and the people of Argentina and Paraguay, Sis. Kate Allen is home. I learned that my heart can reside partially in another country. I learned that for 18 months at least, Mondays are my favorite days. (emails home)

I learned that someone can change a lot while staying themselves. And I learned that someone doesn't have to be older than you to set a good example for you.

We all missed her so much. We experienced a lot of things without her and her without us. But in the end we are a family. Eternal and bound together by really strong ties.

Kate is an amazing person in every sense of the word. She is lovely and loving, she is smart and capable but vulnerable and inquisitive and having her home after such a long time is the best gift I could be given.

The only thing better than hugging your missionary after 18 months, is the first time you hold them as a newborn.

Well done Hermana Allen.

Here is me still in awe that I am actually talking to her face to face. Such a beautiful moment.

I love this girl more than I could ever express in words. So grateful she chose me as her mom:)

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

That time we went to Disneyland by ourselves!!

For our birthdays this year, we thought, wouldn't it be crazy and awesome to go to Disneyland together?

And so we did. And it was awesome. We spent a day at Disney then a day at the LA zoo.

And the best part? We held hands the whole time. Like the whole time. And I realized that holding hands is pretty much the best thing you can do to be aware of how much you love someone and how great your life together is. 

We got to watch Fantasmic finally. Which was fun. But cold and my bottom hurt after sitting on the ground for 2 hours. But did I mention that we got to hold hands?

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