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Courage    Connection    Clarity

Written by my very dear friend Di Leventhal


Extravert Introvert preferences

I am about to share something that could make you feel uncomfortable. For some of you I suggest you keep scrolling.

For everyone else, I feel compelled to write this post in hopes that if I can stop one woman from breast augmentation surgery or someone like me who has been walking around in a fog with unexplained symptoms of pain, anxiety, weight gain just to name a few, then thy work will be done.

For those of you who “know” me, I am a fairly open book. I’m a serial poster on Facebook, I’m not a voyeur. I love reading your posts, your interesting stories, seeing your gym check-ins and holiday snaps. Your baby pictures and the saddest posts of all, the loss of family and friends. They make me feel things and I learn and it’s my way of keeping in touch with you all.

I comment. I say what I think out loud! It sometimes gets me into trouble but my comments genuinely come from a good place and always with good intention.

And because I follow a lot of people, two recent posts caught my attention. I won’t rat out their author’s names because their journey is not mine and they might like to stay anonymous. But they know who they are and I love them dearly.

But before I talk about that, I want to talk about my weight gain. My unexplained weight gain. 10kg to be exact and probably the reason I don’t post pictures of myself and why I don’t go out and enjoy life because basically my jeans don’t fit.

How vain is that! But this explains why I’m a no show to events, dinners and parties. I prefer the solitude of home and hanging with the dogs. I’m 54 and thought it must be menopause.

I’m just going through the change and this too shall pass. But it doesn’t pass. It feels like Groundhog Day every day.

I’d wake up weigh myself, go and train and every day the number on the scales would go up. My PT, Matt Richardson did everything to help. Tweaked my diet, changed up my training you name it we tried it.

And he would say “oh Mumma Di, did you stick to your plan this week” and the answer was always the same.

Yes and no. ok I was a little bit naughty. But not enough to keep gaining weight. The funny thing was he was doing my pinches (clamps to measure fat, skin etc) and he would say your measurements aren’t going up so that’s a good sign and yet the scales were saying something else. MUSCLE GAIN YES!!!! HAPPY DANCE. And hang on let me stop me right here. Nope.

Let me talk about Hormones. I’ve been seeing a hormone specialist for two years because if this is menopause then my hormones will be out of whack! Initially all my hormones were tested including my thyroid, and reverse thyroid. And I finally had an answer. My under active thyroid was the villain in this story.

So thyroxin it is. I’m so happy, I’m going get my thyroid under control and I will start to magically transform and get back into my jeans. Ummm no.

Months passed and I started preparing for the worst. I was going be that woman that walked around in active wear for the rest of her life. I started to ponder the idea of creating a line “formal” active wear for weddings and bar mitzvahs as a business on side?

On another visit to my hormone doctor he suggested my weight gain could be attributed to diabetes. A diagnosis at last. HAPPY DANCE. Diabetes runs in my family so it must be diabetes, what else could it be. He said I’m pre-diabetic and said the drug metformin had a side effect that helped with weight loss so WINNING.

All it did was make me nauseous. But I persevered because I was told by my doctor that I was pre-diabetic and I needed to get on top of this. He should know right.

I look in my cupboard at my jeans hanging there. They looked so sad. They should be worn. Instead, I started bagging up my jeans ready for collection day. A pink bag full of hope!!! Bloody expensive jeans that were never going to fit me ever again because the Metformin wasn’t Performin. I’m a good writer when I’m high as kite on pain killer.

After my last lot of bloods about 6 weeks ago and a visit to my hormone doctor he literally told me he didn’t have the answers. My cortisol levels (stress hormone) have also been through the roof for two years and seriously? I’m a pet photographer. I photograph dogs for a living. It’s the most enjoyable stress-free career one could dream of.


I’m not because at this stage they are rose coloured and NOT RED YET.

If you have read this post up to here thanks for staying with me. I love a good story. Now I shall connect the dots for you.

Earlier I told you I read a lot of posts and one post caught my attention. It was a post written by a work colleague, someone knew from the photography industry and someone I liked a lot but we were not good friends.

She posted about how sick she had been for a number of years and diagnosed with a lot of serious health issues. Can you imagine You can’t get out bed some days, and you start having “those” thoughts. I starting ticking boxes with a few of her symptoms but definitely not some of the darker and more painful ones she had experienced.

She wrote about her breast implants and the reasons for having them done. I related to that and Dots are connecting in front of me.

She wrote about her unexplained weight gain. Dots, dots everywhere. She wrote and I read it! Read that again. SHE SAID IT ON FACEBOOK AND I READ IT!! It was for public consumption.

I was now aware those rose coloured flags are starting to turn RED. She then wrote about her Explant Surgery and how it changed her life. Illnesses she had been diagnosed with some disappearing within weeks, most almost gone.

We met for a coffee. It was like an AA meeting. That was a bra size joke.

A few days after my coffee with her I went back at my hormone doctor and he was stunned to see me so soon. He actually said, why are you back? I was back to get a referral for plastic surgery.

He was circling around his desk about to sit down but he turned back to face me and said, “Do you have implants?” Yes. It was never discussed at my hormone appointments because I was seeing him for my menopause crisis remember! He never asked and I never thought to tell him. He was so caring, we talked about Breast Implant Illness and he agreed that a lot of my problems “could” be associated with BII. In the medical profession, the jury is still out but there are doctors out there who believe us. Ladies, we are not going mad.

On a side note, to all those ladies who have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, depression, anxiety, Hashimoto to name a few illnesses and just the tip of the iceberg AND YOU HAVE IMPLANTS, it’s not my intention to say you don’t because I’m not a doctor.

It is my intention to alert you. To open your eyes. To investigate.

That’s what my friend did. She alerted me, she opened my eyes and so I investigated.

I booked my surgery with Dr Justin Perron and within a few weeks of meeting my friend, I had my surgery today.

My original surgeon that put my implants in had no interest in taking them out. He told me he would happily replace them but thought taking them out is unnecessary. Yes, you read that correctly.

U n n e c e s s a r y

I will know in a few days if my implants have caused BIAC. It’s rare. Between one in 1000 and one in 10,000 people with breast implants are diagnosed with the condition. So at this point I’m just going to stay positive. No need to worry about that until I have something to worry about.

I only had mine for 4 and a bit years and they were compromised. They had turned yellow and they should be clear. They had things in them that were being transferred around my body. No wonder I’ve been feeling so sick.

My surgeon was surprised at the condition they were in. Imagine if I had left them in for the guaranteed period of 10 to 15 years.

Imagine a world without me.

~ you are welcome to share this post wherever you like, it’s a magical thread of information and should be wrapped around the world as many times as we can Bob Strum ~

Physical + Emotional Fitness

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