Danica Patrick has no regrets after having her breast implants removed.
"I feel really good. I started feeling better within hours after surgery;" the former NASCAR racer told Fox News.
Patrick, 40, has been vocal on social media about her decision to have explant surgery. Patrick struggled with breast implant illness for a while, an experience she felt compelled to share online so that others struggling with similar issues would not feel alone.
"I felt like I needed to share my story, too. And the fact that I have a good platform to do that and reach a big audience was more a positive than a negative," said Patrick.
While she ultimately decided to be candid online about her explant journey, she was apprehensive about sharing such a vulnerable moment with the internet.
"I was like, 'Oh man, if I share this, I'm gonna have to tell people all the things I've been [hoping] they didn't notice about me, whether it was my hair loss, weight gain or energy levels,'" she said, ticking off some of the worst symptoms, which also included dizziness and fatigue.
But instead of mass ridicule, Patrick received support.
"I've gotten so much feedback after I spoke out, and I get it in the most random places, like Starbucks at the airport, the bathroom of a restaurant or a sponsor appearance," she shared. "That just goes to show you how this story resonates with so many people."
Patrick's symptoms started in 2018 and continued to surmount over the years, but it wasn't until April 2022 that she finally had her implants removed.
"It was really losing my cycle for a couple of months that got me to go to the doctor and have my hormones checked. My thyroid was low, my hormones were off. It felt like nothing was working," she said.
Breast augmentation is a major surgery and undergoing the knife not once, but then again to have her implants removed, was daunting.
However, Patrick was so excited to get back to her old self that the appointment couldn't come quick enough, and she compared the overwhelming joy to that of child birth.
"I would tell the [hospital scheduler], 'If I can get it tomorrow, I'll come in tomorrow. Just let me know,'" she recalled. "It's like if you were going to have a baby. I've never had a baby before, but I'm betting that, at the very end, even though you're having this daunting experience in front of you, whether it's pushing a baby out or maybe a C-section, yes it's a lot to deal with, but you're also so ready because you just can't wait to meet your baby. You're just that excited. And you're like, 'Let's do this.' I imagine it's maybe something like that," said Patrick. "That's how I felt."
Now single and implant-free, Patrick is moving on to new ventures in life and accepting the closing of certain chapters in her life.
"I think that turning 40 and being single … To sort of step into my next decade alone, was like, wow, OK. That kid-ship might be sailing," she said.
The retired racer also revealed that she does not miss her days on the track.
"I do not miss the pressure," she said. "I don't miss the schedule, the expectation levels, the judgment. I didn't think about the risks, but there's no risk anymore."
In fact, Patrick has stepped into a new passion entirely: wine.
The Indy Japan 300 winner recently launched her own wine brand, Somnium, and is enjoying the slower pace found in the process.
"After taking trips to wine country and experiencing that level of detail, the attention to every aspect of the process of growing the grapes and the fermenting," she said, "it just felt natural to me."
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