Since approximately late 2006 or early 2007, I started to notice my threshold for my lower back and hip pain to be less and less, though thankfully this was a slow decline.
A good friend of mine got me to start taking Glucosamine Chondroitin to help with any joint pain I was suffering, and though that did help for a few years, after awhile the pain started slowly increasing again.
By the autumn of 2014, I told my girl friend that I was afraid I was going to end up crippled due to the level of pain I was suffering. That’s when she suggested I look for a kinesiologist, one the looks after the Oshawa Generals (for those of you who would not necessarily know who the Generals are, they are our local hockey team) and that if their therapist could keep the players on the ice, perhaps their therapist could help me continue being active.
Once in this athletic therapist’s care, I improved enough to feel confident at continuing with my activities. However, over time other health issues reared up on me.
In early 2017, I was faced with the possibility of a total hip replacement, which did not sit well with me. Thankfully, I chose a less invasive treatment and… well… so far so good.
By 2017, I had to resign my volunteer job of taking my little Chloe into the local nursing home to visit with four ladies who absolutely doted on her as she did them. The pain I was experiencing had become so bad that I could no longer carry Chloe into and around the nursing home as well as from each of the room. By this time the level of pain had become nearly unbearable.
Now, you need to understand that over the years, I had been in to see my GP (General Practitioner) various times complaining about my lower back pain. Years ago now, an x-ray was done on my lower back my doctor explained that I have developed scoliosis and that there wasn’t much that could be done about it.
By 2017, my neurologist insisted on an MRI be done on my lower back. When that was done, my GP called me in to inform me of the results of which he repeated TWICE something like, “technician stated that you should not be feeling the amount of pain you say you are”.
And then later on, during session with my athletic therapist, he too stated something similar, explaining that his mother was born with scoliosis and she was not complaining of the level of pain that I was.
Both of these comments stuck with me while trying desperately to figure out WHY I was feeling the level of pain that I was. It certainly was not “all in my head” as my GP was surely insinuating.
Once the issue with my left hip was finally addressed and resolved to my liking and the specialist in Toronto’s liking… after reviewing the MRI of my lower back that doctor suggested I seek out a Dr. Ko who is a PRP injection specialist.
Long story short, after several blood tests were completed that option vanished. And then it was suggested by a chiropractor whom Dr. Ko sent me to, Dr. Lawson to seek out treatment with Dr. Jacobson at P3 Health on Front St. in Toronto.
Dr. Jacobson’s blood test only served to verify Dr. Ko’s initial findings which left me sadly disappointed, as this seemed my only option in fixing my lower back pain that had become so bad that I had to take lots of pain killers and slathered on pain relief ointment just to do normal things like shopping, and walking to Dr. Jacobson’s office from Union Station after having traveled from Oshawa via the GO train.
In between my first and second appointment with Dr. Jacobson, and while doing some researching online, I came across a post that nearly floored me. It was titled How Breast Augmentation Nearly Left Me Crippled, and so I printed off the full details including the URL I found this post published at.
Then off to my GP’s office asking him his opinion.
A little history, before continuing…
You see, sometime back in 1977, my GP back then prescribed me a birth control pill that turned out to have way too much testosterone in it and so that medicine reduced my B cup breasts to A cup size, and left my forehead covered in what I called pore-less zits (turned out to be rosacea).
After laughing at my demise… yes, that GP thought perhaps if he laughed at it that I might laugh it off too, but when he realized how much this affected me with how I was now preceiving myself… well, he suggested I give serious consideration of having breast implants to correct my shrinking boobs.
About a year BEFORE this, there was an episode on The Phil Donahue Show (his old shows are available on YouTube and were very popular and highly regarded back in the ‘70s) where Phil informed his viewers about these great new breast implants that were guaranteed… and on and on… so, okay. I was understood what my GP suggested.
Then my GP asked if it was okay with me, he’d recommend me to a local plastic surgeon who would inform me of the full details.
Awhile later I got in to see that local plastic surgeon and when he was done describing to me in such gruesome details that turned out not to be even correct… I left his office nearly vomiting from being able to actually visualize what he was describing.
Two years went by, Phil Donahue has a SECOND episode on how great these new breast implants are and how well they are proving out to be… plus, I had been living with the snide remarks about how “any more than a handful is a waste” and I was ready to put an end to my humiliation.
Remember, back then there was NO internet in which to do ANY sort of researching, let alone medical researching.
So, suffice it to say, back to the surgeon I went and I told him to NOT describe to me what he did 2 years prior… to just DO the surgery… and he did.
I never told ANYONE but my super REAL close friends that I had this surgery done… not even my own mother. What I did was wear baggy tops for over 2 years and only after that did I slowly move back into the styles of tops that complimented and flattered my new physique.
In the late ‘90s, when it became NEWS about these breast implants being dangerous and that the company that made them were being sued… even THEN I refused to come forward and admit I has their breast implants.
By that point in time, it was my plan that I was going to go to my grave with them!
Now, back to my office visit with my present GP and the print out of Maryann Berry’s post…
Knowing how doctors would most like NOT read the 4 pages (with images, mind you), I made sure to highlight the key phrases:
“Over the next year, my life became a living hell. My hip problem escalated to debilitating pain that left me unable to walk and reliant on crutches or a wheelchair for six months.”
“I know deep down that the breast implants were the source of my hip pain. I didn’t know how to explain this to people, but I knew it was true, and I was terrified at the thought of going through with having the implants removed.”
And… my GP held true to my suspicions as that is exactly what happened; he literally scanned the pages and only stopped long enough to read those two phrases which were highlighted before giving me his opinion.
He simply shrugged and said “maybe”, as he handed me back the print out; then he informed me that he could recommend me to a surgeon to do the removal surgery if that is what I want.
Well, by this time I was convinced this option was my ONLY option. No other doctor that I attended could explain to me why I was feeling the pain to the extent that I was.
Though, in fairness to Dr. Jacobson, he did share with me what the technician’s report regarding the MRI on my lower back actually stated. Nowhere in that report did it state what my GP claimed the technician stated. Obviously, that was my GP’s interpretation of what the report actually did state.
The following sentence is what Dr. Jacobson highlighted for me after printing me a copy of the report done on the MRI for my lower back.
“L5/S1: …There is moderate narrowing of the left neural foramen which impinge on the exiting L5 nerve root.”
Dr. Jacobson also went on to explain that medical research has proven that patients feel pain differently. Some people can tolerate higher levels of pain than others. However, as soon as he said that I explained to him that my pain tolerance is very high, of that I was given proof of years ago when first injuring my lower back while at work.
So, once again, I took another specialist into my confidence and informed him of what I had FINALLY discovered, and that I was sure that removal of my breast implants was now my only option.
Keep in mind that the level of pain I was suffering at this point in time just HAD to stop before I stepped out in front of a speeding transport truck… and, I’m serious when I say that because the level of pain I had been suffering WAS THAT BAD!
In February 2019, I was in to see my chosen surgeon for removing my implants, in which I shared the very same print out of Maryann Berry’s post… and he suggested that I have a MRI done to see if the implants were ruptured.
End of March 2019, the MRI was completed and the report came back that the right one “might” (the surgeon’s interpretation) have been ruptured but the technician could not be sure. When he asked what I wanted to do, I adamantly stated, “Remove them, please”.
On the 1st of May, the surgery took place.
Moments before beginning the surgery, I asked my surgeon to please take photos of the implants themselves so I could see them as I would be unconscious, and they would have been delivered to the lab for analysis by the time I would be conscious enough to view them.
Thankfully, my surgeon agreed. Below are the images that he took for me.
And, get this… below is an image of what my body had created to encircle these implants.
And next is an image of the lab report on both the implants AND the fibrous capsules.
When I woke up in recovery, my breasts felt though they had had the insides literally torn out of them. Seriously! I was thrashing around so much complaining of the level of pain that the nurse who was tending me to be careful as I was now in recover (you know, where other patients were too). I have to admit, at that point in time, I could have cared less… the pain was THAT bad.
The discharge record stated that they had given me the following for pain control:
What I remember last was how the last pain control was delivered made me feel sleepy, though I could STILL feel the pain. I don’t remember what time later that I woke up and was informed to get dressed that I was okay to now go home (my favourite words!).
After reading the lab report regarding the fibrous capsules, I am betting they had to be pulled out slowly to remove them from being attached… thus the reason for the pain I experienced in recovery.
Two weeks later, when my surgeon did the follow up from surgery, I asked him how could this be that the level of pain I had been suffering previously had simply decreased SUBSTANTIALLY since the implants were removed?
I still do not understand fully the WHY this happened; I only know that due to the level of pain being easily reduced by 2/3, I finally felt though I made the right decision.
All the surgeon did was shrug and then said something like, “I don’t know, perhaps it was the fibrous capsules that were the issue.”… which only served to leave me even more confused.
Later that same day, when chatting with a dear friend of mine who has quite a bit of medical knowledge, I told her what my surgeon had said. Am guessing my friend could hear my confusion and so she said something like, “Aaah, maybe it was capsular contracture.”
After having my friend repeat those two words again (capsular contracture) so that I could write them down… and once our conversation had ended, I immediately started doing more researching. Here is what I discovered: What is capsular contracture and how can it be treated?
Once I read that post, I was shocked to learn that it is well known that what is called Grade 4 capsular contracture: “Like grade three capsular contracture, grade four capsular contracture causes the breasts to become hard and misshapen. Patients with grade four capsular contracture also experience breast soreness; their breasts will often be tender and painful to the touch.”
So… now my question is this… WHY did NONE of my (male) doctors/specialist think of THIS as a probable cause… most specifically my present GP?
In fairness, the article does state the following: “Sometimes capsular contractures occur many years after breast augmentation surgery, but this is the exception rather than the rule.”
…but STILL, these are doctors that I went to trying to discover a method of reducing the lower back pain that I had been experiencing.
Now mind you, I still have lower back pain… yes… but at least now only a 3rd of the level of pain I had been experiencing for far longer than I care to even think about anymore.
I have purposely NOT published this information freely on my blog (and it won’t even be found in site search!) as my story here is ONLY meant to be found by those of you who are either contemplating breast implants (that is if Google even decides to deliver this warning to you)… or you are suffering the same effects that Maryann Berry and I have. So, all I can say is that if your Google search brought you here to my story, you are here for a reason.
Please DO YOUR researching and if you find YOUR level of pain not being addressed properly, then you too may be stuck making your own medical diagnosis and decision on having your breast implants removed… permanently.
Had I known what I learned of in the late ‘90s about breast implants, I would NEVER have been so stupid as to have had them done, EVER!
NOTE: I have since learned that Phil Donahue was horrified when he learned of the many women who made a decision based on his (not one but 2) episodes regarding these breast implants while on his The Phil Donahue Show, and I was very thankful to hear him literally state his regrets during an interview he was involved in while on another show.
AND… in case you might be considering the saline implants as being safer, please think again.
While at the store purchasing a sports bra in anticipation of my surgery this past May, I met a sales lady whom I took into my confidence in hope of getting her help finding the right bra. I learned from her that she had her saline implants put in 10 years ago… and a few months ago, one of her’s literally collapsed and she is being forced to wait until August for her corrective surgery.
Now, maybe it’s time you read another report I came across while doing my researching once I had found Maryann Berry’s post; Breast Implant Injuries Kept Hidden As New Health Threats Surface.
I truly hope that by my sharing my story out here on the world wide web that I can help at LEAST one person, as Maryann Berry helped me. Should you want to contact me… just click the “Contact” link in my site’s menu or nav (navigation) bar above.