Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Breast Implant Illness: Q & A With SJ McShane

We all have that one friend.  The one who shares a similar outlook.  Who lives a similar lifestyle. Who has similar goals.  And whom you've never met!  That's right.  Sara-Jane and I have been "social media friends" for quite some time now.  She's been a source of inspiration and advice for nearly two years.  So when she recently shared a very personal story, I felt compelled to interview her and help her educate others, providing women with the knowledge and resources they need to make educated decisions.

Name:  Sara-Jane McShane 
Hometown: Sarasota, FL
Career: Licensed Massage Therapist, Fitness Writer, Personal Trainer

"Breast Implant Illness is a sickness that affects hundreds of thousands of women's lives.  It's placed in the autoimmune category, as implanting can trigger a vast variety of autoimmune symptoms/diseases in women.  The foreign object in the body can aggravate the immune, but more importantly, there are 40 plus chemicals in the implants that have been known to seep out or "gel bleed" into the system causing very serious side effects.  We are told the implants are "safe" but, time has proved that to be false.

Multiple women who explant due to illness are shown their implants post surgery, and many of them contain mold.  100 percent of women will develop a "capsule" around their impact.  This is the body's way of fighting the foreign object.  The capsule is made of body tissue and when tested, has been shown to host harmful chemicals and silicone, even with saline implants as they have a silicone shell.

Dr. Barnett of Sarasota, FL states 'two out of three women who come to me ill gain their health back post-explant.' Thankfully, I am one of them."

Megan: What is your favorite way to stay active:
SJ: I absolutely love the outdoors, especially the mountains. I could hike all day! I also love to take my workouts to the trail for a trail run, and to an outdoor track for sprints.

Megan:  How's life? What are your hobbies and what are you most passionate about?
SJ:  Life is great right now! I'm very passionate about helping others, I hope to do that for the rest of my life in any way I can.  My hobbies are fitness, outdoor activities, nature, animals, cooking, writing and refurbishing old furniture.  And if eating is a hobby, I should mention that!

Megan:  What is your typical day like?
SJ: I have a full time job at a spa, I write for fitness magazines and do some personal training and nutrition coaching.  My schedule is different every day which I like.  A few days a week I food prep, and my workout times and days change as my schedule changes.

Megan: Was it always that way?
SJ: No, not at all.  IN fact 11 years ago before I lost almost 30 pounds, I never prepped food, ate clean or trained!  I had completely different jobs and desires. Life is so much better now a days, and I couldn't imagine it any other way.

Megan:  What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome in your life?
SJ:  The biggest obstacle I've overcome in my life is encountering BII, Breast Implant Illness.  It's a topic that had not been discussed in the past, but is now starting to surface rapidly.  Hundreds of thousands of women have suffered and are currently suffering from autoimmune illnesses due to implants.  Be it the foreign object disrupting the body's immune response, or the 40 plus toxic chemicals that make up the implant (silicone and saline), women are connecting the dots.  This autoimmune disease can take your life away and is extremely debilitating.  You can lack all energy and develop all sorts of horrible side effects such as abnormal heart beats, body rashes, dizziness, anxiety, insomnia, weakness, muscle twitches and much more.

Megan:  What was life like leading up to that occurrence?
SJ:  My life before I was sick was great.  My energy was over the top! Sometimes I would workout for hours outside just because I had the energy and loved the feeling.  I could balance lots of tasks at once.  I was extremely motivated, writing for a handful of fitness magazines, working and still wanting to do more.

Megan:  A lot of people reference a turning point when they knew they needed to make a change.  Did you have one? How would you describe it?
SJ:  My moment of rescue was when I found my support group for Breast Implant Illness.  From that moment forward I knew what I had to do.  I explanted (implant removal) and almost immediately, my body began to feel "normal" again.  I'm not sure there are any words to fully describe that feeling.  To have been sick for so long and to feel like myself again is completely priceless.

Megan: Is there a particular person or resource that you looked to for inspiration and help?
SJ:  My inspiration and help came from God.  I asked him to show me what was making me so sick, to show me what was taking my life away.  Eventually, I found a support group called "Breast Implant Illness by Nicole."  Each and every girl in that group had the same symptoms as me, and post implant removal gained their health back.  They have been an amazing support through all of this.

Megan:  What are your current goals?
SJ:  My most important goal right now is to get my strength back.  Before I got sick, I was able to "lat  pull" 100 pounds--just under my body weight.  I ran my first half marathon, I completed a sprint triathlon and my "farmers carry" for strong man training was 105 pounds in each hand.  Feeling strong is indescribable and I can't wait to be there again.

Megan:  What advice do you have for others who are going through a similar situation or difficulty?
SJ:  The  best advice I can give to other women suffering from BII is to keep a great support system around you that understands exactly what they are going through.  Just like any other illness, having others around you that have walked down the road is very important.  Right now there are lots of BII support groups for anyone suffering, which is great!

Megan:  What, if anything, would you do differently?
SJ:  A few months ago I would have said "I would have never opted to have implants!"  But, now, I wouldn't change a thing.  As I said before, I love helping people.  Without this experience I wouldn't be able to help other women from making the same mistake.  I wouldn't be able to lead sick moment o the proper information.  Since coming out with my story, "The Ugly Side of Breast Implants," I have hundred of women contact myself and our support group, many of them sick or has implants removed due to illness.

Megan: Looking back, how has this experience strengthened you?
SJ:  Fiercely!  To know what it's like to be weak makes me so much stronger today. I understand people's pain differently. I can sympathize with them better and to me that's a form of strength we all need.  I know all of the bad is being used for the good.

Looking for additional information or resources?  Visit Healing Breast Implant Illness or click here to join the Facebook support group.  You can also read Sara-Jane's cover story from Natural Muscle & Fitness magazine by clicking here.

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