Hero Spotlight: Wendy "I was enough all along"
I often look back and wonder where along the way did the belief begin, “I am not enough?” Not beautiful enough, skinny enough or full chested enough. There were words etched into my mind “you are just two peas on a plank!” Words of someone close to you can sting for a lifetime and then you believe that what happens to your body after nourishing your two young children, somehow makes you not enough when in reality it was enough for them--enough to give them life and food for many months. This is truly the beginning of my journey of getting implants, then removing them and discovering I was “enough” all along (I just did not believe it back then).
The father of my two children was opposed to implants, but we divorced in 2008 and I began a new relationship. I felt insecure due to my sagging breasts and slightly poochy belly so decided the answer was liposuction and small implants. I did not want large breasts, just wanted to get back to full breasts. I implanted in November 2009 and seriously, in less than a month my body began to reject the implant and by my first follow-up appointment, one breast already began to rise due to capsular contracture. I had no idea what this was, and without question began a 9 year journey on the quest for perfect breasts. I returned to the initial surgeon who performed the surgery and sought a second opinion on what to do to correct capsular contracture. Neither surgeon informed me that if your body rejects implants, it will reject every implant you put in. I endured 4 surgeries to remove each implant that contracted and one that ruptured within 2 years of implant. After the 4th surgery, I noticed that my extremities would turn white, my hair began falling out, I could not think clearly, my body hurt everywhere, I had a difficult time breathing, I began to feel like I was choking when I swallowed and I had this overwhelming feeling that I was dying. I knew that something was terribly wrong. I ran a marathon in 2009, before implants, so I was a healthy, energetic person. In 2018 after struggling with my health in ways that were not familiar to me, I began to do research and discovered Breast Implant Illness (BII). The symptoms all sounded so familiar and I joined a FB page and watched what women were posting for several months and finally made the decision to explant (breast implant and capsule removal). I underwent my 5th and final surgery and explanted with Dr. Jae Chun and have not looked back. My health has been restored and I have learned to live with the scars. Most importantly, I learned to love who I am in my natural state. My scars remind me of the journey I took only to find that I was “enough” all along.