Extol December 2019 - January 2020 | Page 35

A LESSON OF LOSS AND GAIN A First-Person Account by Southern Indiana resident Sally Hughes BY SALLY HUGHES PHOTO BY CHRISTIAN WATSON IN APRIL 2013, I did something that millions of women have done, seemingly without consequence, but for me it would turn out to be a life-altering decision. Back then, life was great. I was newly engaged, madly in love and healthy. I was 31-years-old and making a home for my new blended family, while maintaining a fun and active social life that included lots of running and yoga. My fiancé and I moved our three daughters in together and began planning our fall wedding. I couldn’t have been more excited about life. And I loved being a mom to all of our girls. Earlier in the year, I met with a plastic surgeon and decided to get breast implants. It felt like such a good decision with where I was in my life. The surgeon told me I should be able to exercise again in four weeks, which was very important to me. Exercising was my stress relief and self- confidence. It made me feel like I could conquer anything I put my mind to. Still does. It is a core piece of who I am as a human being. Still is. I had surgery in April, but by the time I got married that September, I still hadn’t gotten back into my running and yoga routine. Not only was my chest still swollen from the implants, but my whole body was mildly swollen. I also had a sharp burning sensation in my right breast that hadn’t gone away, making it impossible to lay on my stomach during yoga class. The nurses at the surgeon’s office didn’t seem alarmed at all, so I tried to ignore the burning and hoped it would eventually go away. Over the next few months as the excitement of the wedding wore off and we settled into our new life, I realized that I just didn’t feel like myself. I was extremely moody, anxious, tearful EXTOL : DECEMBER 2019/JANUARY 2020 33