My medical problems list is as follows:
Low back pain syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Vitamin d deficiency
Musculoskel. d/o & symptoms referable neck
Lumbosactal spondylosis w/o myelopathy
Other acquired torsion dystonia
Pain in thoratic spine
Spinal stenosis ov cervical region
Pain in limbs
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Brachial neuritis or radiculitis NOS
Cervical spondylosis w/o myelopathy
Extreme abdominal bloating
Long term (current) use of other medication
Neuralgia/ neuritis NOS
Nervous system complications from surgically implanted device
My entire body & all my muscles ached. My muscles throughout my body would spasm & contort. All of my blood work and tests for the most part would come back normal. I was being treated with a lot of meds to try & control my symptoms. I was on Nuvigil for a couple months for my chronic fatigue until my insurance decided they wouldn’t pay for it ($700/month) b/c I didn’t have narcolepsy. Eventually I was diagnosed ADD & put on Adderall to help me get out the bed from the fatigue & help me concentrate & help me to focus b/c my brain fog was so bad. I was on a Butrans pain patch & Hydrocodone 10/325 3x a day prescribed by my pain management Dr. I was put on Robaxin 750 mg muscle relaxer 6x a day, Cymbalta for my Fibromyalgia, Neurontin 2x a day for my nerve pain, and Elmiron 3x a day for my frequent urination. Before my implants, I was extremely active & fit. I worked at a nightclub & was a speed bartender & manager. It had become impossible to work & just getting out of bed became a chore. The simple things like going to the grocery store, cooking supper, & even taking a bath became impossible or quite a challenge. I rarely was able to get out of the house, on the exception of going to a Dr’s appt. Most of my household items were ordered online & delivered by Amazon, including clothing. I had no quality of life. I started contemplating suicide.
One day my aunt called me & told me that she thought all of my medical problems could be from my implants. She told me about a group on FB called Breast Implant Illness & Healing official group & suggested that I join. After reading other women’s stories, I knew after only 2 days of reading that it was my implants & I did not have to live the rest of my life like this. I did a lot of research to make sure that I located a surgeon who could give me the best chance of getting my life back. My research led me to Dr. Susan Kolb, author of The Naked Truth about breast implants from Harm to Healing. I seen a segment that featured Dr. Kolb & her patient Katheryn on Monsters Inside Me. After seeing Katheryn’s story, I was frightened & relieved at the same time. I called Dr. Kolb’s office to schedule proper removal right away. I had to wait 2 months for my appt & on Oct. 1, 2015 I had my implants removed. Both of my implants were leaking & had mold caked in the valves. I had 2 blood filled cysts containing debris in my right breast tissue that was found & removed as well, along with 2 lymph nodes. One of my lymph nods was enlarged & inflamed & literally broke in half upon removal.
My postoperative diagnosis is as follows:
bilateral capsular contractures-grade 3
biotoxin disease (mold)
enlarged right axillary lymph nodes
enlarged left axillary lymph nodes
right breast nodule x2; 6 & 11 o’clock positions
multiple suspicious nevi
My gut was extremely bloated & I had a chronic cough & would have a constant mucus feeling in my throat. Dr. Kolb diagnosed me with leaky gut syndrome & had my thyroid ultra sounded as well b/c she felt nodules. Ultrasound came back confirming nodules on my thyroid & I was told to see an endocrinologist when I got home to get a biopsy. I’m still awaiting test results from my endocrinologist. They are thinking I have Hashimotos Hypothyroidism & on my last visit they were talking about possibly having to remove my thyroid. Since my explant with Dr. Kolb, I have had significant improvement. As soon as my implants were removed, all of my neurological pain & symptoms have went away. The numbing, burning, stabbing, shooting, electrical shocking pains throughout my body went away immediately. Dr. Kolb put me on a detox program designed specifically for my individual needs & my other symptoms are improving. I still have some brain fog & memory loss, but no where near to the degree it was. I still get fatigued, but haven’t been taking my Adderall since my surgery & have more energy than I did before removal on the Adderall.
After my surgery, my pain management Dr. & my neurologist knew this was all caused from my implants. Seeing is believing. After my appointment with my neurologist after surgery, my last diagnosis from her was “Nervous System Complications from Surgically Implanted Device.” She told me that she no longer needs to see me b/c I’m no longer having neurological issues. I told her she can’t just not see me again so she scheduled me a few months from now to se if things are still improving for me. I thanked her for everything she’s done for me throughout the years on trying to find the cause & trying to help me & I said “Dr. Thibodaux, at least now when someone comes in”…& she cut me off with her hand on her chest, patting her heart & said “Amanda, it’s right here. I know what to look for” & thanked me for all the literature & the copy of Dr. Kolb’s book “The Naked Truth About Breast Implants from Harm to Healing” that I gave to her. Ever since I figured out that my breast implants were the problem, my neurologist started researching this on her own & was actually reading all the literature I was giving her. I left her office & cried tears of joy all the way home. I know cars on the interstate had to think I was crazy as I was driving, crying, & looked like I was talking to myself as I was thanking God out loud. Everything made sense to me. I did not suffer for nothing. The purpose of me going through this was to educate myself to educate my Drs. On this illness & the reward in the end was now that women who see either of my Drs. Now will be able to get correctly diagnosed. My neurologist said, “I hope your surgeon doesn’t mind, but I’ll be sending her patients of mine.” My pain management asked me about where these women can get more info on Breast Implant Illness & I gave him the name of Dr. Kolb’s book & the name of the Breast Implant Illness & Healing Official Group on FB to give to his patients. I truly believe that God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldier’s & he used me for many reasons.
#1 - To teach me to love myself the way he made me
#2 - B/c I’m persistent & driven when I know I’m right & I don’t give up
#3 - To educate Drs. & bring awareness to this painfully debilitating illness.
#4 - To get to the FDA & help make changes to save more lives
My name is Amanda Gilcrease. I’m from Houma, Louisiana. At the age of 30 in June of 2006, I underwent breast augmentation. I had McGhan smooth saline 350 cc’s placed under the muscle. I decided I wanted them larger & in August of 2011 at the age of 35, I had them removed & replaced with Allergen smooth saline 650 filled to 730 cc’s. Within 6 weeks of having them changed out, I found myself in my neurologist’s office for the first time. I was experiencing bad headaches, increased anxiety, & dizziness. Approximately 3 months later, I started experiencing fatigue that escalated until it became chronic. Within the 1st year of having my implants changed out, I became bedridden & remained bedridden for an entire year. After a year of being bedridden & gaining 32 pounds, I was so frustrated and told my neurologist that if she didn’t find out what was wrong with me quick that I was fixing to get bedsores. She looked through my chart & realized that I am gaining a lot of weight & obviously not moving around & look at my other symptoms throughout the year & diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia. I had developed many more symptoms & the severity only increased.