Lauren McAbee exudes self-acceptance. Her yoga classes and Instagram feed have one clear and concise message: You are enough. But a few years after giving birth to and nursing two children, her breasts felt deflated, not as perky as they’d once been. McAbee, 37, found herself ignoring that which she’d implored so many other women to embody. She thought: “I deserve to have my boobs back.”
In 2017, McAbee got breast implants.
The procedure itself seemed simple enough — an insertion of Natrelle Inspira breast implants (also known as Gummy Implants) with a recovery time of three to six weeks — and she’d be good as new, or better. She’d seen her procedure as a sort of empowerment, not just for herself but for the many women who follow her lead as she instructs them to shake and pop and love who they see in the mirror.
She was ready to better herself and the breasts she’d grown to hate over the years, allowing herself to fix a problem she’d grown to believe she had, allowing her to perfect what she’d seen as wrong with her body.
But it wasn’t long after the surgery that odd symptoms began occurring. McAbee, who is a plant-based lifestyle advisor and essential oil junkie and can often be found working out or at Living Kitchen taking antidote “shots”, could not understand why she was repeatedly sick. She was undoubtedly living a healthy lifestyle.
On my body: @dōTERRA natural health care 🌱 In my body: @living_kitchen antidote “shots” 🍊 Surrounding my body: radiant & intelligent business women 🧜🏼♀️ My thoughts and actions created this and I got to say, I’m in love with this reality 😍🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽 Happy Sunday loves ❤✅ Check your thoughts right now 💭 You are creating your future and YOU deserve the best. 🚀❤ (Huge Thank you @jenihouston78 for visiting and bringing your knowledge and endless love and Thank you @kaylafranky for your love and support with everything in my life. Thank you universe for your abundance 💓)
“It started with a urinary tract infection, which lead to a bladder infection,” McAbee said. “It grew into bacterial and viral infections, which brought about sweats and fever.”
Though prescribed antibiotics, her symptoms simply would not go away but only worsened with time.
Aligning with her natural lifestyle, she began seeing Dr. Matthew Lyon (Dr. Matt) with Network Wellness. A chiropractor and natural physician, Dr. Matt was working with her to heal her bladder, which, McAbee says “just felt tired.” Through a few twists and turns McAbee calls “almost trippy divine,” she slowly began to understand the root cause of her ailments.
She got a moldivite ring from Dr. Matt for its healing purposes and then McAbee found herself in Prague where the rock originally landed as a meteorite millions of years ago. Attending a leadership conference, McAbee was paired with a woman from Texas who was an ex-exotic dancer. The dancer shared her story of an 11-year virus.
“She shared that she had gotten breast implants and almost simultaneously got sick. For years there was no diagnosis until later on her boyfriend, who was a doctor, ran some tests and realized it was her implants,” McAbee said. “She got them removed and her symptoms went away.
“I thought, ‘Oh my God. This is my answer.”
When she returned to the states, McAbee scheduled an appointment with her doctor to have her implants removed. After 18 months of doctor visits, supplements, chiropractic work, essential oils, and antibiotics, McAbee knew she had her answer: Breast Implant Illness. The implants had begun shifting toward the outside of her ribcage, making it increasingly difficult to do things that required upper body strength and flexibility. She had to do something.
The procedure to remove them, called an Explant En Bloc, took about three hours, which was considerably longer and more painful than the implant process. “When you’re having them removed,” says McAbee, “you have to make sure the En Bloc — a small sack that contains toxins — is removed. Otherwise your symptoms can still occur.”
McAbee said her doctor had to scrape bits and pieces of the capsule of tissue her body had created around the implant and attached to her muscle. This meant the healing process for the removal would be much more difficult than recovery after the original implants.
McAbee has described the process as “very intense”.
“Somehow, I justified this as self-love,” she said of implants, “but I don’t know how I got there. I would constantly preach self-love but at a base level was not extending it to myself. I’d allowed myself to be brainwashed by society, but who is this person we are all trying to look like? To me, altering your natural state is not self-acceptance.”
Let yourself be happy ❤ If you need permission to breathe deeper, here you go 🤟🏽 if you want someone to tell you it’s “all good” to bathe in JOY, I’m here for you. 🛀🏼 👊🏽 Higher vibrations are yours (if you want) right now. The recipe: positive thought with emotional desire. Your thoughts create electrical signals. Your thoughts are a magnet to attract your desire or lack there of. Your thoughts create an electromagnetic field…. YOU are so powerful. Basically, you are a superhero if you want to be. 🙋🏼♀️ Thought + Emotion = electromagnetic energy. 💥 Sooooo, Knowing your power, take the time to check in with your thoughts (now is perfect 🕑). What are you choosing? Is it Fear or Love? If you become aware then you have the reigns!!!! Eyes closed, deep breath, i choose love, I allow healing energy to course through my blood. I choose to dance with the endless abundance of love within me. ……I know one day really soon I’ll be upside down like in this pic because the same energy that created my body is healing me right now. Eyes closed, deep breath, please tell me what you choose? ❤ & Gratitude, Lauren CHAKTI YOGA tonight 6:30 pm at @movestudio_clt All are welcome. Always. PC @lura_photography archives 😝🚀
After battling these strange illnesses, realizing that the toxins that had entered her body through these implants were making her sick, McAbee wants to share her story with the world so that other women who are having experiences like this can possibly find some answers.
She said, “When you start having these symptoms, you don’t automatically think, ‘I should go see my implant doctor’. But after posting my story on social media, I’ve had women from all over comment that they are experiencing the same things, that maybe this is what’s wrong with them.”
Since it’s hard to find many science-based studies on this issue, McAbee believes the best way to spread this information is word of mouth.
Though some women who get implants never show side effects, McAbee wonders how anyone could still perform the procedure. When asking her doctor outright how, knowing what he knows, he could still do implants, he replied that everyone’s body and responses are different.
It’s a response McAbee is still struggling to accept.
“I have written on my mirror, ‘The energy that created your body heals your body’. The bodies we have that can create life have the capacity to heal. If you are a woman who is having this experience, go to your doctor. If you are a woman who has implants and you love them, ask yourself, ‘Why?’ This all comes from deep-seeded image issues. Learn from my mistakes—embrace where you are.”
Photo: Courtesy of Lauren McAbee