“This story is a difficult one, but I’ll start by saying I’ve had numerous trials and travails over the last 12 years, but this one is specific to my health and self image.
About 4 or 5 years ago, I had a major decline in my health and I, nor my doctors, had any idea what was wrong with me. I had a minor outpatient surgery that went awry and I ended up the next day in the hospital extremely ill. Over the course of a few days, my kidneys went into failure, my blood pressure completely bottomed out, I was diagnosed with congenital heart failure, I was in sepsis, and I almost died. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
After recovering from that terrifying ordeal, I was then diagnosed with fibromyalgia and a ‘rare form’ of rheumatoid arthritis that affects one’s spine. Most people with this end up paralyzed. After taking Methotrexate and a chemo drug for three months, I took myself off due to severe side effects. I was then put on a high dose of steroids which caused me to blow up and feel horrible. I took myself off that. I then found out I was misdiagnosed and was told I just have regular old rheumatoid arthritis.
A few months later, I could barely walk. My joints hurt very badly and my hips would pop out of socket every time I stood up. The pain was excruciating. I was 100% sure I would be bed ridden within months; the pain and progression was that bad. I had major brain fog and my short term memory was non-existent.
While visiting my father in Arkansas, I read a medical article that changed my life. Long story short, I found out the root cause of all of my medical problems. After I gave birth to my daughter Gabby, instead of having my tubes tied, my doctor talked me into having a new procedure that involved Fallopian Tube implants. They were metal coils that look exactly like tiny slinkies that were implanted around my Fallopian tubes to cause one’s skin to grow around it and build up scar tissue so no sperm can pass through. In hind-sight, I feel very dumb for agreeing to this, but my OBGYN and countless others said it was WAY better than the older method of tubal ligation with less side effects. This medical device is the subject of a Netflix documentary, The Bleeding Edge and has now been banned from the market in the United States due to many thousands of women having horrific, life-altering damage and side effects.
Over time, my body was building up scar tissue and the interior of these coils have PET fibers. Polyester. The coils themselves are made of metal (nickel). When I had that innocent outpatient surgery a few years back, an ablation, which unbeknownst to me was specifically contraindicated with the implants, occured. During the process, the coils were heated and unraveled. This dispersed polyester all over my body, along with metal poisoning from the nickel. My body was then riddled with scar tissue, pain, and inflammation.
After discovering this was the cause, I had surgery to remove the coils over a year ago and had a full hysterectomy. Most of my pain and inflammation immediately subsided, but my body did not bounce back like I had hoped and expected. My hormones are completely out of whack.
I’m extremely grateful and thankful that I have most of my health back after several years of being unable to exercise and perform physical tasks, BUT, I can’t seem to rebound my body and my weight to where it was before. It’s a daily struggle and frustration.
The biggest issue is my embarrassment and unhappiness with how I physically look. I’ve let it affect me to the point of not having a social life anymore. I’ve dedicated my life to my job and my family. I realized a couple of days ago, in having a conversation with a good friend, the extent of my unhealthy self-view. I’m my own worst enemy and it’s not pretty. I’ve let the fact that I’ve gone from a size 4 to a size 8 dictate my life. 20ish pounds on my small frame. That’s apparently what my self esteem is worth.
I turn down social invitations, from female and male friends alike. I was actually asked to dinner by a pretty great guy last week and initially turned him down because I haven’t seen him in a few years. Or more accurately, he hasn’t seen me.
The ONLY reason I’m writing publicly about this is the fact that in 14 months, I turn 50 years old. You would think that someone of my intelligence and years would know better than to be that self-deprecating.
As females, we set such ridiculous standards for ourselves. I’m a damn good person. I’m an accomplished chef, a great baker, and a fantastic mom. I make a really good living, I’m kind, I own a car and a lovely home, and I’m crazy responsible and reliable. Why do we as women let our self-worth and self-image be dictated by a number on a scale? I honestly don’t know…but I’m guilty as hell. When I wake up in the morning, I don’t see all those attributes I just listed. I see a number on a scale and a closet full of clothes I can’t wear.
I’m making a promise to myself to try very hard to cut myself some slack, enjoy the day to day more, get out more, eat what I want without such guilt, exercise more, say yes to random social events, and live life more in the moment.
I’m not looking to drastically change my life. I basically love who I am and where I am. I’m not actively looking for a relationship. Having escaped a few years ago from an absolutely horrific, short-lived marriage to the depraved cousin of Satan, I’m actually really happy as a single woman. I’m just wanting to be kinder to myself and more accepting of my flaws! I WILL get back to where I was before but if I don’t, by damn I will learn to accept it and be content with it and myself…and that’s that!
And please, for the love of God, do not let a surgeon put any foreign body, any device, inside your body unless it’s a life and death, absolute medical necessity!”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Candice Brewster of Madison, Mississippi. You can follow her journey on Facebook. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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