By Alyce Collins
THIS STUNNING personal trainer became suicidal and almost cut her breast implants out after they caused her severe symptoms, but doctors LAUGHED at her, refused to believe her and even tried to have her SECTIONED.
Personal trainer Melissa George (28) from Gold Coast, Australia, is challenging many people’s misconception that breast implant illness (BII) isn’t a legitimate illness, as she struggled with crippling side effects from her implants for three years, only to be laughed at by doctors.
With the fitness world being such an important part of Melissa’s life, a breast augmentation felt necessary as she was validated for her looks. So, in February 2015, Melissa had 450CC implants put in, taking her from a 32A to a 32DD.
Within months of having the implants, Melissa became constantly fatigued, regardless of how much she slept. She also became intolerant to many foods and she was taken to hospital on several occasions complaining that she couldn’t breathe.
Other symptoms, which are frequently associated with BII, were body aches, inability to focus, memory loss and hair loss. However, every test came back normal, to Melissa’s dismay. Melissa spent almost £10K on specialists to work out what was wrong, but they only prescribed Melissa medication to numb the effects without finding the source.
While having implants, Melissa endured vivid dreams that she was dying and would wake up in tears. As no tests gave any explanation, but Melissa was adamant that something was taking over her body, she was hospitalised for severe anxiety five times and even almost sectioned because doctors refused to believe she was sick.
Melissa had her implants removed on December 4, 2018 and immediately felt healthier. She was able to breathe clearer than she had for almost four years, and her anxiety was gone.
“I felt happy and content with my body but also desired to be like other bikini models with larger breasts,” said Melissa.
“It was something I didn’t hesitate to do as the sport was all about appearance on stage and I felt bigger boobs would help me. I was so into natural health and implants were the only toxic things I allowed into my body.
“After my breast augmentation, about three months post-op, once the swelling had settled, I began to notice a lot of nerve damage and they were completely the wrong size for my body.
“I noticed health symptoms around seven months after the operation. A major symptom being the fatigue and crippling anxiety. My anxiety led to panic attacks.
“No matter what I did and how much I slept, I was always tired. I never felt refreshed after sleeping. I was sensitive to so many more foods than before my implants. I couldn’t eat any form of gluten without extreme pain and bloating.
“By the third year of implants, I was in the hospital more times than I can count, unable to breathe and needing to be given oxygen. Every scan and test came back normal though.
“In 2018 I was diagnosed with bowel polyps which needed to be removed, and stomach ulcers which needed treating.
“Other symptoms were constant body aches, mood swings, muscle pain and soreness which lasted for weeks after training. I couldn’t focus, I’d lose interest quickly and forget things. I had no appetite, hair loss and brain fog.
“Everyone would ask me why I was sick again, but that was just how I woke up each morning and to me it was normal, so I learned to live with it.
“The hardest symptom was the anxiety and depression which ruined my life. I was contemplating suicide, and as hard as that is to admit, it’s the harsh truth of the illness.
“I reached a point of total psychosis and I was going insane. I felt like my body was shutting down as the weeks went by and I thought that if no one would do it for me, I would just cut them out myself.
“I had such vivid dreams that I was dying, and I would wake up crying at the thought. My brain and body were taken over by my toxic implants. I became scared and before I knew it, I was hospitalised with severe anxiety.”
In 2018 Melissa came across a Facebook group which shared details of BII and allowed women to share their personal experiences with the debilitating illness. Melissa immediately contacted her surgeon to find out if she could go through with an explant.
Melissa’s explant took place in December 2018, and as soon as the aesthetic wore off, she noticed some immediate improvements.
“Medical professionals laughed at me and told me it couldn’t be my implants. I stand firm that it most definitely was and I’m living proof,” said Melissa.
“I first considered explanting after seeing a Facebook group. I read through every woman’s post and my life changed because I found hope that I could get better.
“I was fortunate that my surgeon believes in BII and he listened to my every concern. The hospital staff were amazing after my surgery, but what I did find interesting was that a lot of hospital staff had no idea what the illness was, and I was educating them on the issue.
“Some of the effects happened immediately when I woke up from surgery. I could take a deep breath again and my eyes weren’t swollen or yellow in colour. I cried from happiness when I saw the instant changes in my face.
“My anxiety is completely gone and I’m not having any panic attacks now. I feel a lot more present in my body and I don’t wake up sore or suffering. I can now breathe deeply without difficulty. I can even eat food that I was never able to eat before.
“Looking back gives me goose bumps at how horrific I was feeling and how out of touch with my body I felt. I have always been so strong but suddenly this pain became so crippling that it led to suicidal thoughts.
“While I had implants, I became such a cold and bitter person who turned nasty. It was hard to admit that mentally I wasn’t okay.
“I wasn’t in control of my emotions or actions a lot of the time. I lost jobs, friends and opportunities due to my lack of interest in anything.
“Sharing my story on Instagram has helped me to feel confident and happy in my choice and within myself. I’m so humbled to be told I’ve helped girls not to make the mistake of getting implants.
“I believe all of us women who had explants are the future for this to be a medically recognised illness. The human body rejects anything foreign as it’s the natural response but so many of us women suffer in silence because we’re told it’s not our implants making us sick.
“Breast size doesn’t make you a better person or more of a woman. It means absolutely nothing but sadly we live in a world of vanity.
“This experience made me love myself more and my blog is there to educate others on breast implant illness.”
To see more of Melissa’s recovery, check out her Instagram @breastimplantblog.