How My Breast Implants Made Me Sick |
Chronic Illness Story
My Story of Faith, Love, Hope & Forgiveness
How My Breast Implants Made Me Sick | Chronic Illness Story – Hi there, my name is Anne Ziegenhorn. I am a wife and mother of two, living on the Emerald Coast of Florida. I first want to say I wish to help others by sharing my story. I never stopped trusting my heart in all of this. I was and still am my own best advocate fighting for answers! I am thankful that God was by my side the entire time.
I kept searching for what was making me so ill and baffled multiple doctors (I’m talking 18-20 Dr.’s including The Mayo Clinic). Doctors did not believe that I knew my own body as well as I do. It started with blurred vision and 15-20lbs unexplained weight gain. I went 8 months unable to speak and just the thought of speaking caused excruciating pain. I wrote on a dry erase board and texted. I was lethargic, had a strangulation feeling X’s 10, when I tried to speak on a good day it is a super strange froggy toad sound with lots of pain, blurred vision, headaches, the strain my body feels makes a permanent crease in the brow furrow, fingers/ toes split open and bleed, the sores on my feet comes back and breaks open, I bruise easily, I look swollen, the lesions on my face are awful, I am so depressed at how I look and feel, yet I know I am a positive outgoing person so I put make up on and pretend I am happy; but I feel like dying…I feel like a freak, I feel ugly. What was/is it?
I refuse to be a victim, I am a survivor!
My background~ I used to be a plastic surgeons medical assistant, a swimsuit/local commercial model, I was one of the original Destin Hooter Girls, I am a Registered Dental Hygienist, I used to teach radiology to dental assistant students, I am a certified permanent make-up artist, licensed and certified hair removal and skin care specialist, I home schooled until I could not speak, I was a volleyball and soccer coach, I taught vertical fitness, President of PTO, and I would volunteer in our community.
I had been a slender person my entire life except during pregnancy. I am smart, funny, full of life, I smile all the time, I was sexy, I was frisky all the time (God blessed my husband).
From the spring 2011 start of symptoms that no doctor understood, but I have a detailed timeline written out that goes in date order and a description of what was happening. For approximately 5 years I complained of rt breast pain and my left breast would grow and shrink all while I would have awful skin lesions on my face and sores on my fingers and toes and more (I have photo and videos ); I am fast forwarding to Sept. 2013. I had already scheduled a mammogram due to the breast pain getting worse and I felt God showed me my breast was causing all my illness even though I had tried to get it checked. My appt was made for Sept. 30, 2013.
Fri Sept 27, 2013 ~ Upon waking, I did my routine self breast exam ;( my mother had Breast and ovarian cancers). “OHHHH no! I think I sprung a leak in my right implant”. On Monday the 30th, I arrived to my mammo appointment; there were 2 techs in the room. I told them in my funky voice, that I think I ruptured the rt implant but it was hard to tell because I gained 60 lbs in 2 yrs and have been unable to lose it, which has given me more breast tissue. One of the techs took my right breast mammo, she walks over and says to me. “Yes, it is ruptured but we saw a leak 2 years ago”. I was so perplexed that they saw something 2 yrs prior and NO ONE told me or my doctor; I checked the written report from 2011 at home and it states; NORMAL.
All my symptoms came flooding over me with a vengeance; I took pictures and videos of me taking my temps and was amazed at the amount of sweat I had but my temp was 93-96.4 degrees, the red face, neck, and lesions, the mood swings from the lack of sleep, short-term memory loss, weight gain, burning sensation, tremors, stuttering, blurred vision, strange hoarse vocals, ect.
I decided to get a copy of my films Oct 2, 2013 and when I saw what they looked like, I knew in my heart I finally had the answer and that explained my illness. Since I was a plastic surgeons scrub tech I knew there was talk of the implant debate of if implants can or cannot get mammograms from the pressure of the machine. (at my mammo appt in 2002 I asked if it was safe to get mammos w/implants and I was told, yes). On Oct 2nd, 2013, I looked at the pictures of my implants the left one looked normal on all films, but something was on or in my right one and each year it looked worse for at least 5 years. By 2010 and 2011 films you can definitely tell the implant is compromised and something in it had increased in volume or appeared it was multiplying. I knew at that moment it was the cause of my illness was, but what is my illness. Between September 27, 2013 and October 10, 2013, I studied my films and thought they looked like a petrie dish in biochemistry. OMG~I figured it myself what was making me so sick; I had mold in my implant and over the years it was leaking and making me ill and NO DOCTOR caught it since no one else looked at my mammograms and all they saw was the written report. My general doctor sent me to a plastic surgeon to have the implant removed.
I went to a local plastic surgeon in Destin. I asked the nurse to have him view my mammograms I brought on a disc. She left the room and came back to told me, he did not need to view the mammo films and she assured me there was no such thing as mold inside implants. The surgeon offered to pop my left implant as standard procedure until I could lose weight; my weight was his main concern not any of my other issues. I declined and the conversation was not placed in my record when I requested a copy.
I turned to the internet and typed in mold in Saline implants. This is how I found Dr. Susan Kolb, Atl, GA. She has been featured on Animal Planet “Monsters Inside Me” and written books on Biotoxin Illness and moldy implants. She too experienced the same illness. She is my surgeon and one of the experts on this phenomenon. I emailed her the copies of my mammograms and she answered me personally, stating she had never seen mold caught on film before and I needed to be placed on anti-fungal and antibiotics immediately. She contacted my general physician. Within 24 hrs of being on both medications I had a voice a little raspy, but I could speak again, my sores started to heal, within 5 days I lost 11lbs.
Next, I was set up for an appointment to see her Oct.29, 2013. I met her at 4:45 in the afternoon with my friend Kim Hobbs, who drove me to GA, because I was too ill to drive and my husband was our only source of income working 2-3 jobs to provide for our family. Dr. Kolb told me how sick I was and Kim says Dr. Kolb was very concerned about me. Most of her patient’s implants are in tacked upon removal yet their implants had a microscopic leak causing them to be ill. My implant which was full of mold, leaked for years then completely ruptured. All of the moldy water spread thru my body all 300-320cc’s of it. She started pre-op immediately the next day to make sure my thyroid levels, my heart and lungs could handle surgery. On Oct. 31, 2013 I had surgery that saved my life. (see videos and photos of my low body temp 97.7 down to93.9) Still today even when I am sick, I DO NOT register a fever on a thermometer, but I am drenched in sweat.
I am not bitter:
I just want to help save other women from going through what I did. 5 years prior to the rupture I complained of breast pain over and over had multiple mammos, 3 years of sickness including losing my career as a dental hygienist because my fingers are numb from the effect on my neurological system. Just think about it, inhaling mold kills people; I had mold leaking inside of me for years and once it fully ruptured 300-320 cc’s of moldy fluid flooded my entire system and my body absorbed it and the spores being trapped under the dermis layer swelling my body. It is no wonder that Dr. Susan Kolb feels I am lucky to be alive. Mentor Saline Implants are known for leaky valves and mold being present.
I started to photograph my illness effects on my body with date and time and made videos of me taking my temp as my body started to shut down.
This is now my life; if I can help prevent another women going through all this to find out her gut instinct was correct, that is what I wish to do. I am 1st generation in my family to be diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Hashimatos Thyroiditis, Biotoxin illness, Raynards, neuropathy and silicone dysfunction illness. I was also diagnosed and my blood still shows positive for RA and Lupus, which I disputed and now has been proven I do not have either. All these are painful and debilitating because the nerves get affected and go numb with a burning sensation, tremors, stuttering, blurred vision, strange headaches and sometimes I cannot speak. The Hashimatos Thyroiditis stemmed from Hyperthyroid/Graves Disease prior to ablation. I never wanted my thyroid killed and fought with doctors for 4 months before consenting, my God voice kept telling me not to do it. Once I consented, I said, “God, if I am doing the wrong thing, you have to protect me”. I had never heard of or been tested me for Hashimatos prior to ablating my thyroid (killing my thyroid with nuclear medicine). No doctor has been able to regulate my thyroid from the ablation (not knowing it was my breast implant causing the illness instead of thyroid); 3 endocrinologist and 2 general physicians recommended the ablation. That was spring/summer 2011 and they said my gallbladder needed to be removed because they felt it was gallbladder symptoms even though I said, “my boob hurts, not my chest or upper quadrant, my BOOB”. It turns out it was a cyst on the gallbladder not stones inside of it. I also had my last ovary removed 2010 because a cyst kept growing and growing. Instead of looking at me as a whole focused only on one body part at a time and stressed I needed my ovary out, because even though my mom survived breast cancer, she died from ovarian cancer.
I personal feel every person can make a choice and if all the information is given then they can do what they wish, that is not my place to tell a person what they can or can not do! I can however warn them of what has happened to so many and that the manufacturers and doctors do not tell the full truth. Many doctors are deceived by the multi-billion dollar industry. I believe in, informed consent and want women to know what implants are made of, that they are not made to last forever, they need to be changed every 10 years, and cause toxic chemical poisoning and a multitude of health issues. Back when mine were placed, we were told they would last forever. To all the plastic surgeons out there; when taking implants out please realize mold may be present, some look clear but the test come back with aspirguillis; if it is amber to brown colored fluid get it tested even if no color, get it tested. Also, ALCL is caused by breast implants. The shell of ALL implants is silicone and it typically is the causes of many that get sick, but Mentor is known for leaky valves and mold. Be informed and know with new research using our own body to rebuild a breast is becoming more and more popular and definitely safer.
Ultimately, I gave in to what the doctors wanted, but I have never given up on the Hope to find the answers, my Faith in God and how He protected me even with wrong decisions as I prayed before doing things; I asked that if this is not His choice to protect me, the Love of my husband, my children & my friends, and I forgive the doctors for reacting as they are practicing medicine instead of looking at each person as a separate being. Maybe, just maybe my story can change the way they run their practice and maybe some doctors will get back to KNOWing each patient and not just do the simple thing. I will say I have had a few who listen and take time, but I had to stop seeing them due to lack of money to pay them because my insurance did not cover these doctors.
Most people look at me and think or say “She doesn’t look sick”. Good, I have achieved my goal to not LOOK sick. I do not want pity; I am sharing to help save another.
An example: As a hygienist, I went to work and cleaned teeth many times with a cold/or flu and the sicker I got not knowing what this illness was; I still showed up not knowing I was almost in a coma; according to Dr. Riche and I worked by pushing through as many of us do in life.
I choose to live life; not to just watch, but to be a part of my children growing up. On most days I do have pain, I sweat almost all day long, my fingers and toes are numb, sometimes my arm , leg, hip,& /or back go numb, lock up at the joint and I am limited on things I can do now. But again I choose to live life; I might pay for it with a flare up later that day or even for several days; I am here to say until I stop breathing and God calls me home, I will put on my make-up, smile, try to be active, and live the life I have been given.
The Implant Truth Survivors Committee is a non-profit that Paula Blades and I started to help get the truth about Breast Implants into the public. Please check out our website and we also have a Facebook page.
I have all my mammos from 2002-present the only year missed was 2012 due to Dr. Riche telling me I should be in a coma according to my labs.
THERE IS A VIDEO on Facebook of my moldy implant…
Below modeling 1995-2010 a few mammo films and me 6weeks after surgery with Picc line and mold inside the Left implant(rt implant full of it ruptured and dumped all 320cc inside of me). Or what was left after leaking for at least 2 years. I believe it is the 2010 film we can see the spray on film. And my symptoms started late 2010 and early 2011.
How My Breast Implants Made Me Sick | Chronic Illness Story