Mesh & Our Fundamental Right
Before you read this blog, it is not written to bash the FDA or other organization. It is about our fundamental right to choose what is put in our body after we have been given all the facts and information.
It’s three in the morning. Another night I cannot sleep, because of pain inflicted by an implant product known as mesh and I wonder how many women around the world are laying awake, wondering what to do about their pain. How they are going to continue with their careers and feed themselves and their families. How they are going to keep their partners when sex is no longer an option. How they will raise and take care of their children. I think about all the women who contact be begging for help because they have run out of options and no one is hearing their pleas.
What happened to our right to choose what is placed in our bodies? To be given literature and a full explanation of what mesh is and the fact that is in an implant?
We have a government with many departments to protect us and keep us safe. Why isn’t this one working for us? Where is our protection from mesh manufacturers who view only the bottom line. Money!
Yes we have an organization known as the FDA. But who was the watchdog in this department who fell asleep and allowed products to pass through and destroy our lives. Who now will stand up to the big guys and say that they cannot produce these products and put them in us with no accountability. Things have to change and we women have to yell loud enough to make the changes happen.
Each of us may or may not live a full and productive life because of these products. Why? Because it is easy to put it in and almost impossible to remove it. Only a hand full of surgeons in this country and the world are experienced and clever enough to do so without we die on the table. Yes this is harsh words but it is the truth. And yet, we are not told that this implant is permanent.
So what can you and I do to change things. First report your mesh complications to the FDA (see info and links below). Swamp them with our pain. I know you are hurting so much all you want to do is make it stop. I understand because I have had three bad days when getting off the couch has been difficult. I know the very thought of doing anything more in any day is soul destroying for you, but you have to try. If you don’t more women will suffer like you and me. We have to stand up and be counted. Not one of us can close our eyes to this vast problem.
Then what? Tell your neighbors, your friends and strangers what has happened to your life because of a product called mesh. A day ago I was in line waiting to pay for a few groceries, barely standing because of pain. I didn’t drive to the store like I used to, I had to be driven there because the pain no longer allows me to drive. I leaned on the shopping cart and wished the line would hurry up and clear. I just wanted to get off of my feet because of pain that racked my body. As I stood there I noticed a woman in front had a packet of Poise incontinence pads in her cart and I knew I should speak to her. So I did! I told her what had happened to me and that I wish all I had to worry about was buying a packet of Poise. At first she looked surprised and then she thanked me for telling her and wished me well. Why did I tell a stranger? Because I NEVER want another women going through what I am going through. I never want her to be up at night wondering why this has happened to her. I never want her to wonder why her fundamental rights were taken away because no one explained they were putting an implant in her body.
What can you do? You can help others by getting the word out. First report your complications to the FDA. If you don’t do it, no one else will. Not your doctor. Not lawyers. No one but YOU. Here is a link you can go to. If you can’t sit long enough to fill out the form, get on the phone and call them. http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm142636.htm, which includes the following information:
Reporting complications to the FDA
In order to help FDA learn more about possible problems with surgical mesh, it’s important that both physicians and patients report complications that may be associated with this product. You can report any problems to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by FAX.
Once you have filed a report, you will receive a letter of confirmation in the mail. Keep it and file it just like any other medical document.
What changes do I want to see from the from the FDA? Of course like other mesh sufferers I would love these products to be totally be removed from the market so that not one other person ever experiences what I am experiencing, but realistically it will never happen. So I will settle for these changes.
If a woman goes to doctor for any medical problem and the surgeon decides to use mesh in her body, then a pamphlet of disclosure from the manufacturer should be produced, discussed and the woman should sign for receiving it. The discussion should be a full disclosure of ALL side affects. That signature should be kept on record by the doctor as proof she was given the explanation. If no signature is on record then the doctor should be reported and fined.
IF the woman still chooses to go through with an implant, then at the hospital as part of her prep, she should be questioned that she had been given it BEFORE surgery, to make sure no one slips through the cracks and the surgery done without she has a full twenty-four hours to read and mull the information over. They call you at the house as part of a check in, the day before the surgery. This should be asked at that time and the answer noted by the person calling.
When a woman signs the release to leave the hospital, she should be handed the make and number of the implant and told to keep it in a safe place and report any incidents of complications to the FDA.
Every mesh implant surgery should be kept on record for seven years minimum so that continuing complications can be recorded. NOT three years as is being discussed at present. This is because so many woman are coming forward to me with up to seven years since surgery with mesh erosion. I would prefer a twenty year study, but of course that would be shot down by all concerned.
So what are your thoughts on this as a mesh implant sufferer? Leave your thoughts here and remember, no one but me will see who you are.
If you need a mesh removal surgeon, please contact me. I am here to help.