I have used my voice to motivate people, to help businesses succeed, and honestly, my main mission is to create this blog for you to read, and feel inspired to make changes. I started this blog over 9 years ago and I have shared so much of my life with you all, the good and bad. It has been a source of therapy for me and this little corner of the internet has mainly been a place for me to be able to connect with you. I enjoy sharing ideas, relating to similar issues, and sharing my knowledge. For those of you that know me well, you know I am pretty much an open book. To my core, I would do and share anything just for the opportunity to help someone else.
Something that has been affecting me and have been quiet about is my health. I have gone from one issue to the next ever since Silas was born three years ago. I shared this post back in 2015 right after I had Silas where I temporarily felt better, but the downward spiral continued in varying degrees. Health is so important to me that in my book, Start Balancing, (primarily about productivity) health has its own chapter!
If you know me really well, you will also know I am very detail oriented and that carries over into my health. I fully believe that if we are not healthy we are not able to be as productive and reach our fullest potential. I eat clean (mostly organic), I haven’t eaten dairy or gluten for over 4 years. I exercise regularly (slightly competitive at the gym) and this chick functions at her best with 8 hours of sleep. I go to the chiropractor and get acupuncture regularly. Despite all of this, my health has been declining. Yes, I am going to throw a little business/life talk in here…. but I know if you are not feeling your best, you are not as productive, energetic, or fearless. Period.
Some of the issues I have had for the last three years include random infections, a tooth abscess from a perfectly fine tooth, ear infections, sinus infections, candida problems/yeast problems, a parasite last summer, bacteria overgrowth in my gut that made me very ill and left me with leaky gut which caused all sort of stomach issues. I went from 4 food sensitivities in 2016 to 28 different sensitivities in 6 months and I literally couldn’t eat anything without a reaction (And we are talking food sensitivities to healthy foods like broccoli and chicken). My stomach was permeable. Hair loss, thyroid problems, irregular periods, hormone imbalance, fatigue, brain fog, problems focusing, adrenal problems and this was just in the last 12 months of my life. I hate taking medicine and always seek alternative medicine, but in many instances I didn’t have a choice. Doctors warned me that without medicine, some of these issues could lead to bigger and long-term health issues. I have gone from medicine to medicine and feel like I was strapped to taking vitamins and supplements just to get by. Let’s not even talk about how expensive all this has been–seeking alternative medicine, consulting with many doctors, and the supplement costs alone. More importantly the time it has robbed me from my family and perusing things that I wanted to.
Four months ago I became aware that my lymph nodes on the left side were blocked. Acupuncture would unblock it and it would flow for about 48 hours and then it would become blocked again. My doctor ran an immunity test on me. I learned that our bodies should operate in a range of 60-120 and mine was at a 22. My body had no ability to fight anything and I kept asking myself why, knowing I had to get off this downward spiral before something worse happened.
You guys know I am a business person. I am not a doctor or nurse, nor do I have any background in the medical field. But, what I am, is very well researched and an informed individual. When I don’t know or understand something, I read and research to make sure to understand every aspect to it and typically try to find at least three varying opinions so that I can come at my own conclusion. I have also consulted with top notch doctors throughout this entire process. Just a couple of thoughts about our immune systems and what they are affected by…
1. If you were vaginally delivered as a child, (which I was) it is a win. You get your first strain of bacteria in the birth canal.
2. If you were breastfed (which I was not)–another big win.
3. Any time you take antibiotics it wipes out your immune system and your body has to start over with good and bad bacteria (This is why I cannot stand doctors that just pull out the pen and paper and prescribe medicine as a first measure). Yes, it is needed–sometimes–but not always (I had a good bit of antibiotics growing up).
4. What we eat, expose ourselves too, air we breath in, and the quality of our water matter! We MUST pay attention to our environment (I was not always as cautious about this as I am now).
5. Invaders can wreck havoc on our bodies (a.k.a. foreign objects and the most common foreign invaders I see are breast implants, metal dental implants. And yes even saline, “the safe” kind.) When our body spots a foreign object, it does what it was designed to do–attack it! Even saline implants are made of silicone! For some, it can happen quickly while others it can be slowly over time as your immune system wears down. For me, my tipping point was my third pregnancy.
Okay, so you might have guessed where we are going with this by now. At 19 I was living on my own, and the one thing I was always self-conscious about was my breasts. I made the decision to get saline implants (placed under the muscle). As women, the most common times I see this done, is at a young age or after you have had babies, breastfeed and then decide you hate the changes in your body and look for a way to fix it.
10-15 years ago I felt that implants were “in”. They portrayed beauty and health when you saw full breasts and an hourglass figure. Now, I think natural beauty is in and I wish I thought that back then. So, if you are reading this and you want something done to your breasts, I beg you, consider a lift or fat transfer, or loving the body God gave you as it is. Not all women react to their implants either, but I do know there is a large number of women walking around with symptoms and they are reasoning with themselves as I did for three years. They think they are just getting older and don’t realize the implants are the source of the problem.
Beauty is also from within and I don’t want anyone to go through what I had to just for the sake of not liking what you see in the mirror. It will rob you of your energy and from your life. Maybe not right away but eventually.
I am not here to judge, and I just hope that sharing a piece of my personal experience will impact you and catch your attention. Do you know who we get the hardest judgment from as women and men? Ourselves! If you are someone that is reading this and currently have implants in your body, I am not trying to sway you one way or another. My goal here is to give you the knowledge that it took me 3 years to figure out myself. For 12 years I had these implants in my body. I have spent time kicking myself, and wishing I could have gone back and made a different decision. But, now as I look in the mirror and see my breasts as they are with scars and back in the “ittie bittie tittie committee, I also see my c-section scars from the birth of my first son, I also see my loose skin on my stomach when I bend over and honestly I am proud. I have endured being a woman, I have learned and I vow to love myself just as I am. Scars and all. Beauty is not on the outside, it’s the people that you have in your life and the impact that you can make in the lives of others, it’s the way you treat people and the energy you bring to this life! It is not what you see in the mirror.
Honestly, this process has scared the shit out of me. Physically, mentally and emotionally. I have been mad at myself. I have openly and honestly been completely terrified of any aftermath and mentally what it would do to my self-image. And I spent more hours than you can imagine looking at breasts of women that have also explanted, trying to reason with myself that physically I would be okay. While all along I felt as if my life was sitting on a time-clock and I was responsible for allowing it to shorten.
I made up my mind on my own, but I encouraged my husband to be a part of the process. He had seen first hand that I was going from issue to issue and as most of you know he is now in medicine and has been so supportive. I am sharing this with you, and if you can relate at all, I would encourage you not to walk this path alone. I made my own mind up but I knew that my husband would be an important part of the process– for both healing, physically, and of course, we still want to be desired by our significant other. He has been awesome and has been my rock through this entire process.
I already paid for the explant surgery and had a concrete date set in stone. I had told no one other than my husband, my mom, and a couple people at my office due to the downtime that would be needed. I shared with a few close friends and I got varying opinions. Some probably thinking I am straight up crazy while others weighing the pros and cons with me. These friends all know me well enough and they always have my best interest at heart I know this, but it became confusing. I battled this decision for a year and I started second guessing myself and felt as if I was being pulled in a million directions. So I stopped talking about it. I prayed about it. I leaned into the people that had walked this journey alongside me and knew this was something I needed to do for myself no matter the outcome. My two biggest fears were. 1. What would I look like after? Yes, a vain question. 2. What if I go through this process and nothing changes?
I apologize this post is long, but it is important and I am open and honest and just hope that by sharing my experiences, others will read and possibly have a lightbulb moment. I am going to break this up into two blog posts and this is part one.
The outcome will be Part two, which will be my results physically, bloodwork comparison, and how I detoxed afterwards. CLICK HERE and I will email you when Part two is online (this is not my main newsletter, so if you want to be on my main newsletter HERE). I am going to give my body about another month before I redo bloodwork to compare all the baselines, but in a nutshell, 95% of symptoms are GONE! I don’t regret it one bit and wish I would have done it sooner. And I also am loving my new frame with smaller “girls”.
Part 1. – The Surgery.
Here was the day that I went into for surgery with Dr. Randy Rudderman here in Atlanta. He is top notch and an expert in his field. Yes, I brought with me my book as a gift to him, as I was seeking for “balance” in my health. He did an amazing job and is brilliant in and out of the operating room.
Day 1 – Honestly was a little blur after the surgery. So many meds. I was nauseous when I arrived home and remember taking my medicine and going to sleep.
Day 2 – I felt great but would tire easy. I had a follow up that day in the office to change my dressings. I cried the first time I saw this. Number one because my skin was so loose (I did not have a lift) and I was also relived it was over. My vision was also affected and blurry for about 7 days, which I believe was from anesthesia.
Day 3 – I was exhausted. I also didn’t take anything except Tylenol that day. I was able to work on the computer in short spurts and overall my spirits were still up.
Day 4 – Emotionally and physically was my hardest day. You have to wear drains (see picture below) and I found out that day that I couldn’t get them removed yet. Your drainage has to be below a certain amount before you can remove them. I was exhausted and Jeremy was going back to work so I was alone in the house, my mom was keeping my kids, and I cried more than I care to admit that day. This day I also noticed that the bloating that I have had for quite some time was starting to leave my body.
Day 5 and 6 – These both were the same. My husband worked all weekend and I knew I just had to rest as much as I could. I tried to forget about work and focus on myself and try to relax and watch Netflix or TV which I NEVER do.
Day 7 – Drains were removed. Thank goodness! The drains were one of the worst parts. They came out under my armpit and it was an open hole held in with a stitch. The back pain was one of the worst aspects, because I was always hunched forward in protection mode for these drains and had pore posture. This day the dressing was changed as well, and I got to see my “girls” again. I was shocked! My skin in 6 days had retraced back to its original state by 90%. I cried again, this time in relief.
Day 8-14 I felt so much better. Still sore and I would get exhausted so easy. I could only make it until about 1pm before I needed a nap. (Which if you know me, you know I don’t nap!) I also had to remind myself to keep my shoulders back in order to stretch my chest muscles and improve my posture.
As I am typing this I am coming up on 4 weeks since my surgery. Hair loss has stopped, lymph nodes are opening up. My gut is 98% better. The only reason I don’t put the extra 2% is that I am still avoiding dairy, grains, and gluten but other common foods I know I was reacting to has stopped. I honestly will probably avoid them for the rest of my life due to the research on what we should be eating.
Another random fact is I hardly ever sweat. For the last 10 years of my life, I would workout 3-4 days a week and I rarely sweat. I just thought it was the way my body worked. One of the most unexpected things was from day 2 until around day 18 after getting my implants removed I had a cold sweat that would not stop. I would wake up at night in pools of sweat. I know now my implants were blocking my ability to sweat and that is how you detox!! Your body detoxes by peeing, going #2, and sweating! (Yes I just typed #2 on my blog!) 😉 I want to share with all of you the next step. I know step one for healing myself was getting them removed and step 2 was diet and supplements to aid my body in healing and detoxing. I will share more about this in another blog post. (Again, click here if you want to see results and read part 2 when it is ready.
Here is also physical proof I made the right choice. Capsules form around any foreign object. It is a scar tissue to protect your body from anything foreign. In order to heal you MUST get this removed also. I honestly don’t know why any surgeon would leave this in there anyways. Here is my scar tissue, known as capsules. Don’t you agree that this shouldn’t be in anyone’s body? Yes gross, right? I warned you!
If you also look at my left one there is a suture which was left in my body from my original surgery and should not have been there. There was no suture on the right side and that tissue is inflamed too, so I don’t think the suture was the source of inflammation, but I honestly believe the implants were my source.
Here is the culprit. I can’t believe now looking down a month later this was in my body. Most people probably did not even know I had implants and yes it is bold of me to share all this on my blog but if it helps one person…. so be it. 350cc Mentor Saline under the muscle.
Again, if you are reading this I beg you. Do your research. Look at this recent news story here. Look at the MD Anderson, which now has an as specialized area for lymphoma patients that have gotten cancer from implants. Look at any of your symptoms and ask yourself, “are you reasoning with yourself that you are getting old or could there be something more going on?” Join a facebook group like “Healing Breast implants by Nicole” and connect with like-minded women. I am sharing all this on my personal blog which I primarily use for my family and business because it is something I am passionate about, so feel free to drop a comment or ask me anything. I want this shared to help other women! I look forward to getting back to the gym soon and going into 2018 with my health under control!!! If you are reading this and have also explanted, but are still sick, let me ask you this: Are you detoxing correctly? Or, are you reading this and just needing to detox from eating bad or environmental reasons? In part 2, I will share what I have done and my results. For those of that want part two, drop your email HERE to be notified. I want this to be for people who especially need help with detoxing. This is for anyone after surgery, anyone that has had poor food or water intake. In my opinion, this should be every single person that reads this post. We all need it.)
Last but not least, look in the mirror and know that you are beautiful with or WITHOUT anything to change your physical appearance.
In hustle and health,