Two Years Post-op

The following is an unedited post I made on my online breast implant support group two years after having my implants removed June 22, 2007:

> Hello ladies!!
> Wow it seems like its been forever since I checked in. I guess it has been
almost a year. Greetings to all the new members!
> Its coming up on my second anniversary and life couldn't be better! I went
from being totally disabled pre-explant to being healthy and feeling like I am
in my 20s again! Of course there has been a lot of trial and error. A lot of
puzzle work to try to figure out exactly what needed to be "fixed". But all in
all since I have turned my back on the medical community and taken full
responsibility for my own health I am doing better than I have ever been!
> I now own 2 dance studios, and am diligently working towards franchising my
business. We have been incredibly successful in teaching self esteem to women of
all ages and sizes. The student testimonies that I receive are worth their
weight in gold!! And I make sure that every one of our clients knows my implant
story. It keeps growing and growing and eventually I will be able to keep my
promise to you ladies here and truly have such a success story that I can bring
it to Hollywood and make the movie version of it. My students amaze me daily!
They hear my story and want to reach out to other women like I have in some
small way. I now have 15 women working for me!! They all started as students who
decided they needed to "pay it forward". Its been incredibly hard work and I am
amazed that I am physically able to handle it all.
> I havn't given up my decision to be healthy. I think that is the strongest
medicine I have had. I keep a close eye on my body and what it is telling me. If
I need to slow down I do, but I don't give in. I'm sticking to a great diet,
nearly all organic, and keeping up with daily vitamins and probiotics.
Unfortunately it seems like the battle with the candidaisis will never end no
matter what I do, so I just know that a couple of times a year I need to get
really agressive and fight it hard for a couple of weeks. Going gluten free has
also drastically changed my life! My food bills are still way too high, but I
don't even suffer the occassional monthly bloating anymore, let alone my once
daily "episodes" and the dependance on Immodium. Sometimes I look in the mirror
and don't even recognize myself. I was so used to being this sickly person for
so long. I find myself having to think really hard about what it was like to
feel sick. What a great feeling that is!!!
> I have worked so hard on building my business that I still haven't had time to
finish writing my story. But this fall all 3 of my kids will be in school and I
will finally have some time to be by myself and accomplish that goal. I think I
might go into shock after having kids at home with me for the last 11 years.
This past year I was the Girl Scout leader, the soccer coach, and full time mom,
all while opening 2 very successful dance studios and training a full staff. And
to think that it was only 2 years ago that I was unable to peel a banana by
myself because I was that sick!!!
> For all of you new members who don't know me, I was implanted for 11 years. I
was as sick as I could possibly be. Know that if you take the steps to heal
yourself it is possible. You may not be able to have full recovery depending on
your circumstances, but you can get healthy again. I never thought I would be
able to enjoy life. I gave up at age 26 and lived totally disabled for the
following 8 years. Doctors did absolutely NOTHING to help me get better. In
fact, they made me think I was crazy. I'm proving that I was never crazy, it was
never in my head! If it was, I could never have accomplished what I have since
my explant surgery.
> Best of luck to you all!
> Love,
> Kristen

Although the events in the book are personal, this isn't my story; it's our story. We've all been there: shamefully sucking-in our tummies to impress others, or using our sexuality to advance our careers because our intelligence or talent come second. Chapters from the book will be released in no chronological order, organically pouring out of me as emotions and memories resurface. Thank you for being here. —Kristen