My Break Time for Surgery

Please note;  If you Just found this blog, I will have mesh removal surgery Oct 11th 2012 at UCLA, performed by Dr. Raz.  Please do not send emails until I am back writing because no one will answer them.  You can however leave comments here, and a lady will guide you to a blog to help you, or get you in touch with someone who can help you. If you would like a private response, you can ask her to email you. (She will be able to see your email when you post your comment, but your email is not visible to the public unless you post it in the body/message of your comment itself.)  This lady is also a mesh sufferer with a full time job & family, so please do not expect an immediate reply.  I appreciate your patience and understand your suffering.

It is so strange to note that back on June the 5th this year when I went to Dr. Raz at UCLA, it was a big deal.  Like every woman out there I harbored fears that he could not help me and I would be left this way the rest of my life.  I had spent a lot of money that was hard to find on a ‘wing and a prayer’.  Invested in a doctor I did not know.  I was rewarded.  First by his powerful words “It is the mesh and I can remove it” and then by a date for removal surgery.  I came home.  Then I realized I had to get through the next few months the best I could.  There were days when I wondered if I could wait that long.  Days of immense pain and days of immense anger.  But, somehow I got through it.  Tomorrow I will fly to what I hope will be a new and improved life.

When you go through something like this everything is surreal.  Making a decision to go out of State is huge.  You can’t make that decision ‘just like that’.  You have to mull it over and change your mind more than once.  Then you make the plane and hotel reservations, that cannot be cancelled or you will lose that ‘so needed’ money.  It’s scary.  I had a long time to wait, so I did what was best.  I put it out of my mind while I continued living the life I had got used to.  Doing what I could every day and accepting the fact I could do no more.  Struggling on days when the pain doesn’t let you think and carefully rejoicing on the days that were not so bad.  And I made it through.

The last month has been the hardest.  I am a designer and that is what keeps me going when all else fails.  However, this past month I could not concentrate, so I had to let go the one precious thing that gets me through the day.  To get through those hours, I answered emails from suffering women.  Wrote blogs that couldn’t stay in my head.  Every time I heard another sad story I thought I had better put it down so that women could find the information.  To understand her particular symptoms are not in her head.  Then I realized women needed hope.  When asked why I made the decision to fly from Texas to California to have surgery, I had to explain.  You cannot listen to hundreds of women, learn their stories of suffering as they have one partial removal surgery after another.  You learn by it.  You know that you first have to do what is best for your own situation and then spread the word to others.  You can’t keep it to yourself when you know the truth.  My blog became the bearer of truth, good or bad.  Like it or not, except it or not, women had to know what I know.  I had no choice in this matter.

The past couple of weeks I went back over some of the worse cases of women who contacted me over the past two years.  The women who were so seriously ill, they would die a slow and painful death had they not made the choice to fly out to UCLA.  These women have thanked me over and over.  They say “Thank you for saving my life”.  I know the truth.  I didn’t save their life, they did.  I gave them information provided to me by other women.  They did whatever it took to take the steps to a better future.  Not a perfect future, but a better future.  They did the best they could with what they had.  I am gratified to have been able to give this information.  Grateful to the women who shared with me.

Lately I have written a couple of stories of women who are living again.  Not staring at a ceiling from their beds and praying to die.  They are back with their families and taking one day at a time to a new life.  No there are no guarantees with mesh.  No promises that you will be the person you once were.  Live the life you once lived.  Only the idea that life could be better for you.

That is what I am now doing.  I’m working on a better future for myself.  I have great hope and of course great fear as I head out across the country for a surgery that holds both promise and uncertainty.  But, I have to go.  I have to take that chance.  Only you can make such a decision.  Only you can use any strength you have left to do the best for yourself.  It isn’t selfish.  It is your life.

With Love, support and great hope.
Linda

7 Comments

  1. Joleen Chambers

    Dear Linda, I want you to know that your story is being heard and amplified by many patient advocates. We are all on the front lines opposing for-profit healthcare that elevates profit over patient safety. Surgical mesh harm could have been prevented by post-market scrutiny, early investigative reporting by media and robust regulatory legislation. You are a warrior who has made a difference. May this surgery begin complete healing for you and your loved ones! Thank you for speaking out to prevent others from being similarly harmed.

    Reply
  2. Robin Robbins

    PLEASE EVERYONE-Remember to PRAY today for LINDA the lady responsible for this blog and her helping many others and pray for her Doctor to have a successful surgery today she is having and recovery! My husband and I just prayed and I want everyone else to join us today remembering Linda by praying sending good thoughts!
    I am leaving this Saturday Oct. 13th to have my surgery on Oct 18th-last article wrote about me by Linda with such kind words for my husband and myself was 12 Years of Hell Now A Light of Power! So after another 1300 mile trip each way, this time in an RV Praise GOD! I will too have surgery as well as another lady I have had the blessing to meet through this site and by phone! As soon as possible I WILL get back to all the people on this blog-some I have talked to some I have not-ALL I pray for and will tell them of my experiences after having this GOD AWFUL sling for 12 LONG yrs taken OUT! One Day At A TIME! GOD BLESS EVERYONE ESPECIALLY LINDA TODAY! RR

    Reply
  3. dc

    Linda’s daughter posted a small update on Facebook, I thought I’d share here because I know not everyone uses Facebook. Linda’s daughter posted earlier today:

    “Update… Mom is out of surgery and after the initial adjustment of getting pain medicine correct she is doing well with happy pills and has said she no longer feels the rubber band around her leg which is a very good sign. Thank you to everyone who has sent their well wishes. Will keep you updated as to her progress tomorrow.

    Reply
  4. dc

    UPDATES from Linda… I’m cutting and pasting this from Facebook, where she made a couple posts. I know not everyone uses Facebook so thought I’d share here with the hope that I can help spread some hope! =)

    =====Update #1 from Linda – =========
    Just got here to hotel. Kick out time from hospital 7.30 am.
    Dr Raz AMAZING. Doing okay, pain of course from surgery, but amazing for me I can lift right leg. No crazy pain down leg. He said mesh cut my urethra so he had to rebuild, and he said i made him work hard getting all the mesh out of muscles and nerves. i have an incision for that part. It was so worth it doing this. I can’t sit, so standing to type. We met up with wonderful women and had a reunion of mesh injured women here Wednesday evening and night. Love you ladies! You made my trip better.

    =====Update #2 from Linda – =========
    (Daughter) handed me laptop, no mouse, so slow. Dr Raz and staff/hospital treated me like a rock star. why, because of all the women who tell them, they knew who to go to because of my blog. made me feel very special. thank to all these women. they staff said it was wonderful

    =====Update #3from Linda – =========
    Had to do my room walk-a-bout again. get tired of laying all the time. When I got back to the room this morning I began my immediate get well plan of supplements. I have been back to the room for twelve hours and can walk around without hip/leg pain. I can put up with the healing stuff to know how great this feels. I am in high spirits of hope. I am going to have a walk down to visit a woman from Arkansas we met after arriving. She was next after me and she said the same. NO LEG PAIN. Deb C take note. Life will get better.

    Reply
  5. Christie

    So happy that two more women will be having their surgery with doctor Raz. I have my surgery on November 26th so any info I can get before would be greatly appreciated. God bless u ladies !! I also pray for a speedy recover <3 hugs

    Reply
  6. Robin

    Linda, I am so happy things are going well for you. After reading multiple post from many women hearing what they are/had gone through…I felt someone was writing about me,, same symptoms! However, not one uro/gyno has actually visualized my mesh..funny they all say it’s ok though,,hmmm! Now they want me to go through pelvic exersicises for urinary retention and diagnosis of possible fibromyalgia for my pain, because no reason found why I have pain.. As I’m sitting here in pain (everyday occurrence) I know I have ANOTHER UTI ,,my appointment with Dr. Raz is Nov. 14th I am praying he can help me as he has with others..I am scared he might blow me off and think its all in my head like other physician have. But this is the chance I’m going to take! I can’t keep living like this. My quality of life has not been the same in years. Thank you Linda for Dr.raz info, all the support you have given me and others. I will pray for a quick recovery for you. God bless you!

    Reply
    1. lavalinda

      Robin I am six days in from my surgery and I cannot believe the difference already. He will NOT blow you off. The urology section at UCLA is inundated with mesh removal. You will get the help you need at last. In the meantime, get that marshmallow root herb and take it for the infections, to help you through this. I am about to begin working on a new blog. I want the world to know there can be a change in your life for the better.

      Reply

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