Mesh & Buyers Remorse

It has been two years and six months since I had my own fateful surgery.  Next month I will finally have mesh removal surgery.  It has been a long and difficult journey. I truly do not know how I have made it all this time living with pain, but somehow I have managed to put mind over matter.

I am what other’s would call a strong woman.  I come from a family of strong women.  We do things.  We help others.  We make every day of our lives count.  And we struggle through our own difficult chapters of fate with tears behind the scenes and a staunch ‘now get up and tackle it’ British attitude.  But I am like you.  I am human flesh.

I can tell you that during the first nine months of my journey, It was frustrating, painful and often lonely and I researched trying to find myself a cure.  A cure sounds silly I know but I am a fix it myself person.  I look for a supplement to help bring myself back to normal and in the past it always worked.  All I had to do was be patient. 

I learned to stay away from prescription drugs as much as possible because I learned that they could have reverse side affects that could do me more harm than good.  I come from a family of eight children and we are now all aging.  None of us had any major medical issues throughout our lives.  We’ve all done well.  However, the one thing we have in common are adverse reactions to prescription drugs.  Bad reactions.  Reactions that no one believed and it took us months or years to bring us back to normal.  Or a new normal. Working through diligence of finding the right supplement or herb that could give us the life we once new.  Endless, careful research with us sisters helping each other over the phone.  You see, my sisters live in England and I live here in Texas.

I have always said here that I have no medical background.  I have made it clear that when all else fails I look beyond normal medical practice.  But I am sensible.  I read.  I research.  I make sure which things I take could have a adverse effect against something else I am taking.  I put in the time and energy to understand the things I take.  I have done the same thing with the prescription drugs I have taken.  I have questioned them when something does not seem right.  Because of the past and other reactions, I now pay attention quickly to things that do not add up.  I go back to the beginning and read again when I do not feel right.  It is a lesson well learned.

Because my surgery is looming, my thoughts have gone back to the beginning.  To times where my struggle was drowning my very days of existence.  I did not know how to get out of bed and keep on going.  I am like thousands of women who do this now.  This is why I learned the lesson of empathy. 

After nine months of struggle, fear and sadness, I changed.  I had to.  It was the only way I could cope getting through these endless days of pain.  I turned to writing again.  Something I did during my husband’s long illness of prostate cancer and downward spiral into the world of dementia.  I began this blog.  When women found it they told me my struggle was their struggle.  My pain was their pain. 

I began researching to help them through their ordeal.  Little did I know that they would be helping me through mine.  When I learned, they learned.  When they shared, I learned.  How wonderful is that?  Women helping women across the world.  Yes across the world.

Mesh knows no education background.  No color.  No religion.  We are all the same.  Our symptoms may be varied and different, but we all know the daily struggle to continue our lives.  We put on a good face to our families.  We get through holidays trying to be normal.  We try to do the best with our children.  We put everyone first and then think of ourselves.

I have told many women that now you have to prioritize you.  No it isn’t simple after doing for others your whole life, but you have to.  If you don’t they won’t have a mother.  You won’t have a life. 

I was born after World War Two in England.  It is less than a lifetime ago and yet people forget how my parents generation how to make do.  Recycling wasn’t a word, it was real life.  My mother used the quote “Where there’s a will there’s a way” endlessly.  Another quote of her was “Use your brain.  That’s why God gave it to you”.  So I have and I do.  You must too.  You should never believe everything I say here or follow my every example.  You have to make your own choices.  All I do is share with you what I have learned from listening to hundreds of women over the phone.  From reading their terrible and difficult journeys.  It is an education you cannot pay for or be paid for. 

You do not see any ads on my blog.  Any donation button.  I do not take money from the suffering of others.  The Internet was designed to offer information and that is all I do.  Now you have to take what you want from it and try to get your life back too.  That is all I can hope for.

Yes my journey has been long.  Painfully long at times.  But I made use of that time and continued to live my life even though I had to make changes.  Mesh did not and cannot steel my hours on this earth.  I will not allow it.

The following is something I wrote one morning when I was feeling very low.  I couldn’t see the woods for the trees.  No one was listening to me.  No one believed me.  Little did I know at that time, that I was going to go on a new journey.  A long, arduous and painful journey with a hopeful end.  Now you must look forward too and do what it takes to begin a better life.

Mesh and buyers remorse.  My morning thoughts.  May 19th 2010.  I had had sling surgery on March 9th 2010.

Only a few weeks ago I would have got up out of bed and made myself a nice cup of green tea to help me start my day. I would have let my dog out and sat down to watch the morning news and check the weather, before starting my daily chores.

Everything has changed. My nights are long, with constant rising from my bed with a sudden urge to pee. A night light and clock in the bathroom are only small reminders of what I have to do.  As I sit on the toilet, the noise of peeing in a hat is different than the noise of peeing in a toilet. When I get up I have to measure and record on a scrap of paper what I have done. After rising and before doing anything else, I put all the paraphernalia on the bed that I will need to catheterize myself. I check that everything is sterile, and then find an angle where I can see what I am doing in a mirror placed between my thighs. I always think to myself “however did I get to this point”.

 It was only a few weeks ago when I made the decision to get my life back on track and have the surgery. I had been dragging around for so long with a problem left from my bad reaction to the Ace Inhibitor in June of 2008. My energetic and busy life came crashing down and I became someone I had never been before. I finally reached a point where I was tired of that person and wanted to reinvent myself. I had a rectocele that needed repair.  It was getting larger and it was dragging me down.

 I knew my decision to fix myself could cause me to go bankrupt , but I had to take a chance. If I got my life back I could begin teaching again and help me pay it back. I told myself that if I felt whole again, I could conquer anything. Now it’s hard for me to be the optimistic person I was.

 Now my life is about how much I pee and how much I take from myself. The numbers don’t look good. I’m taking out almost as much as I pee and sometimes more.

 I took a drug to help stop the spasms when my bladder began working again on its own. I bought myself a new set of problems. The drug dehydrated me so badly and regardless how much water and fluids I took in, I couldn’t pee at all. I did what I always do these days. I read up the side effects and found out that was one of them. I also read that this drug could cause a UTI and that was something I had been battling all through my surgery recovery.

 One more time I made a decision to stop taking a drug. I have enough problems and don’t need to invite more. I’ve taken more prescription drugs in the past ten weeks since I had my first surgery, than I have in my entire lifetime. Drugs may help but they can also hurt. I have to listen to what my body is telling me and take my own actions. Two years ago I didn’t do that and wound up in a really big mess.

 Where do I go from here? I have no clue. I wonder will I get my life back on track. Will I be able to travel anymore? I had a dream to travel to Ireland once I am well, now wonder will it ever happen? I honestly don’t know.

 These are my starting thoughts of the day. I can look around me and find many women my age that are far worse off and chastise myself for not feeling grateful. However, I thought I was doing the right thing when I had my surgery and now I am filled with buyer’s remorse.

 Now I have to pick myself up, brush myself off, smile to the outside world and tackle what is ahead of me.

 Two and a half years later.  I am still picking myself up to start my day.  And I still have hope.

I wrote this poem the morning.  I remember my mother saying “Sometimes we can’t see the wood fot the trees”

The Wood for the Trees
Sometimes we cannot see the light
We don’t know what to do
We struggle on when hope is gone
And often feel quite blue

But if we turn to others
Sometimes they see the light
And they will help and guide us
And see us through the night.

It may not be your family
That helps you through the day
But there are always others
Will guide and show the way

So reach out to another
Extend a hand of hope
And you will be rewarded
When you yourself can cope.

1 Comment

  1. DJ

    Wise words from a wise woman who has been there, done that, and who is still doing that. Blessings to you, Linda, for how you help others. Best wishes for for a successful surgical outcome and recovery. Praying for an eventual end to this painful and difficult journey…


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