Amy D.'s Story

Amy D.'s Story

By Akemi Fisher

Amy D.'s Story

Having suffered from debilitating breast implant illness symptoms for nearly 20 years, Amy was convinced that it would be the cause of her death. Her symptoms were repeatedly dismissed by her doctors and family, and Amy eventually found herself dependent on pain killers. 

“I’ve never gotten to find my purpose in life because I grew up being so ill that I was unable to pursue my dreams and passions. My life revolves around doctors, medical tests and the like.”

Tell us about your explant journey.

Think I kinda explained my journey... it is an eye-opening journey and I have a lot to learn yet and my body had a leaking silicone implant so I need to detox still. Sometimes I have a hard time looking in the mirror not because I liked my big boobs vs my now 14-year-old boobs lol because you go through an emotional grieving almost your body looks different after 20 years it feels better I feel alive inside... my heart returns to normal once again.

It’s ok to have feelings your clothes don’t fit the same ... I got used to putting my glasses between my Cleavage no I put my glasses there they fall through my shirt and on the floor so it’s like little things that it’s like oh yeah that’s right I don’t have big boobs

What type of implants did you have?

We know they are Silicone by mentor and 400cc otherwise, my implants say nothing.

What surgeon did you explant with?

Dr. Dewolfe 

When did you begin to experience symptoms?

When I got the implants and year 1 and 2 were bad. It was just the start of the Illnesses

What symptoms did you have?

Well thinking about it now, I was complaining when they went in because they itched so bad. Everyone thought it was funny, but my doctor told me to take Benadryl? Should have paid more attention to my body (I was 23 with a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old. Then in year 2 of the silicone implants, I started Exhibiting signs of anxiety, depression and moodiness. Then my periods wouldn’t stop so in my second year of silicone implants at 24 I had to have an emergency hysterectomy.

Then all of sudden I had anxiety over leaving .. I was working for the same company for 7 years and all of sudden after the implants I just laid in bed all day sick with pain, or my skin was on fire, I was also throwing up, they then thought I had Addison Disease which is a rare autoimmune disease so they started treating me for that which the side effects from treating me for that and I ended up in the ICU. Then it was I had low sugars started giving me Insulin which made my sugars plummet to 20 & almost died. Then seizures started so eventually I couldn’t work I was having emergency surgeries on my ovaries so much that I made the decision to remove the one causing issues. 

My whole life was gone I was now officially on Government assistance and social security for my income with two small kids and no child support. My kids would always ask why are you always sick? No-one believed me not one person, not even my own mom and dad. 

I bounced around enough to keep care of my kids as much as I could eventually end up on pain medication that I had addiction I didn’t even know I had when they corned me saying I was hooked on opiates I had to ask what is an opiate? I was always in pain so they stopped looking at me and just called in heavy pain meds. So from 2007 to 2019, I have had no contact from my own family even as I explanted they didn’t see me or nothing. They live 20 minutes away from me too but they believe 100% I’m crazy and they don’t believe in mental health. I had issues with MRI at top hospitals every 3 months I had Breast MRI, Breast Ultrasound, Mammogram. They saw what they thought at the time was cysts but they were very very wrong ... this is a breast cancer place they one job is to look at boobs they can’t tell the difference between a seroma cysts or leaking implant. My lesions were all over like I had chicken pox’s ... then clumps of hair, then I couldn’t pee and need a Catheter at 43. I just wanted to dye I thought I was gonna die and all that I fought for nothing.

How did breast implants impact your life?

I’ve never had a life... I was disabled in 2007 and still am. I cannot drive a car, I haven’t left my home for 20 years. I cannot simply go out and make choices for myself. I feel like a child I have to ask for something I need.  I cannot grab a drink when I want or go out an feel the sun. I have not worked or socialized with human beings for 20 years I’m locked in my own prison and I hold the key. I’ve stayed this way because it’s all I know ... I know I’m safe here and people can’t judge me or be mean. I’m so scared of the outside world I do not no the world. Can you imagine living inside not hearing things, seeing things, or trying on clothes? People do not understand me. 

I’ve never gotten to find my purpose in life because I grew up being so ill that I was unable to pursue my dreams and passions. My life revolves around doctors, medical tests and the like

My doctor and hospital actually fired me and told me if I was to bring up anymore breast implant Illness anymore do not come back to them they are done. I started to go around my doctor and demanding bloodwork ... demanding and pushing because my last 2 years before explant I went downhill super fast. My hair was gone I barely have any, my body was covered in sores, my eyes had no color, my skin looked almost dead, I had urinary tract infections so frequently that I had to finally be catheterized all the time. 

Then the memory loss was so bad I had to have someone help me with that. Then my parents committed me to a mental hospital thinking my boyfriend couldn’t handle me anymore. I screamed at them for days it was so humiliating and violating being in a state mental hospital. Talk about PTSD .... they drugged my kept me that way I finally refused I walked home and told my boyfriend to leave me to if he thought I was making it up for attention or ruining everyone’s holidays. I missed my daughter’s prom, I’ll never get that back. I missed her graduation... I missed family Easters and Christmas. I sat alone. Alone and abandoned. No help from these doctors my boyfriend was sick of living this way. In the last year before explant, I didn’t leave my bed or room ever. I was always thinking about it was I going die this way or was I gonna die by my own hands? I knew I was dying and it was coming fast. My armpit filled with seroma cysts also. These were in my left hand I had no use of my left arm the last years also and I was left-handed.

What was surgery like for you?

My surgery was 7 hours and my implants and capsules were attached to my rib cage my chest wall muscle my pecks bicep and growing into my armpit part of my capsule with three different seroma cysts. My surgery was done in the 360-degree fashion because they had grown places they shouldn’t have. I am 5’1 and 130 pounds with DDD implants. So I had a lot of skin but once again my implants were leaking my right one was a grade IV capsule contract and same grade on left. They ended up giving me 2 nerve blocks and tons of medication since I couldn’t use pain meds I used cannabis for the pain by eating it. It was made especially for me. My drains had to be left in for a month which is long. My scaring looks good but it’s not like what most women have when they explant. Personally I told the doctor I don’t care just take them out.

How are you doing now, after explant?

I am now at my 6-month mark yes.. the very first breath you take even after that surgery felt amazing. I couldn’t stop crying it was real it actually happened I am now free and not sick. One the first things that changed was my eyes had their rare hazel color my skin was pink again and I didn’t wake up with headaches or ringing in my ears. My hair is still falling out but not like it did before surgery. The lesions I only have 4 of them now. My stomach is slowly returning and they have been taking me off my medications for depression now also. I feel like a kid now and don’t know what to do with my new life now. 

What would you like women who are considering explant to know?

I want women to know it is ok to be skeptical... there is nothing wrong with that our heads have been filled with crap.. but the heal is truly real I’m such an amazing example of it. 

Is there anything else you would like us to know?

My implants are from a mentor a study I was put in and a study that I never heard from in the 20 years I had them. My surgeon also told me my implants are very rare because one is full of bubbles and lost 50cc of silicone but they can’t find where the leak is coming from. Mentor and Johnson and Johnson have offered money to have an implant and I refuse.