Mesh Removal & Incontinence
Rather than write about it, I would rather have ridden off into the sunset and said nothing about this problem. My problem. I have felt so frustrated by it and angry it has happened to me and tried researching how anyone else handled it, but of course like any problem to do with mesh complications, no one has. So I called my mesh sister friends who recently had mesh removal and are in various stages of recovery and asked what happened to them. Having girlfriends who understand and are willing to talk about such a personal issue, was wonderful for me, but I thought about it and know that most women won’t have this luxury. So I knew regardless of what a personal and unsavory issue this is for me, I needed to write about it to help other women who won’t have all these women friends.
Please understand that it may not happen to you at all, so don’t assume it definitely will. This blog is a help blog just in case. I have spoken to more than one woman that it did not happen to and they felt terrible relieved. They too had had the worry of it because this surgery has a fair chance of it happening, more so if your urethra has to be rebuilt. Will you remain incontinent and need a second surgery at UCLA to have the problem fixed? Only time will tell and only you can make the decision to go back and have the non mesh surgery, three to four months after removal. I am in that wait and see pattern as I am now only two weeks post op and need time to completely heal.
While researching the problem, the one thing I did find was the most fantastic article for you to read that was written by UCLA. They state clearly in this article that they no longer use mesh slings because of the complications that arise and they list the complications. If you feel just as frustrated and angry about all this as I do about all this, download this article and take it to your doctor on your next appointment.
So if you find yourself in the same position as I am and are as completely unprepared as I was, what do you do? If you aren’t prepared, then you are going to be like me. I removed the catheter first having great fear that my bladder would never work again and when it did after only an hour I was so happy. Please understand it could take as many as four hours to work, but if it doesn’t, get to your doctor or Emergency Room and get the catheter put back in for a few days more or learn to self cath. This was Dr. Raz’s advice to me. Anyway until my world became a gushing mess and all the things I had at the house were not enough. Pads, towels were grabbed, and loads of washing began. I hated it. It made me so dam mad at the manufacturers of this product, that I wanted to kill. My usual upbeat personality took a nose dive, so I called my mesh sister friends.
For some women as the months go by, the problem lessens and becomes tolerable and they decide that they are sick of surgeries. So they choose to manage it their own way. Many of these women have had multiple partial sling removals and they have had enough and no longer want any more surgery. For others, the problem almost stopped as their bodies healed and the non mesh sling option is still on their minds if they need it. Others went back to UCLA and did have it done after three or four months. Everyone has to make their own decision if and when they choose, what they will do. I am on a wait and see time right now because it is so soon after my removal surgery.
So what do you do to prepare for this? Well there are a million incontinence products in every store. I did have one lady email me and told me Tena products worked the best for her. So I checked them out here http://www.tenatwist.com/liners-pads.php?cmpid=aw-branded&pcrid=28222247514&pmt=b&mkwid=sYcHbwNky&keyword=tena%20pads&gclid=CPit0pnHmbMCFayPPAodWjgAmA
I told my daughter about it and asked her to see if she could pick some up locally. She found them at our local grocery store chain HEB, and brought me two packets home. A pack of 60 with a rating of three dots for moisture level and a packet of 36 with the top rating of five dots for overnight. I immediately tried the lighter one and what a difference it made. I felt better about it even though I am still mad as hell. I had a feeling that the reason these pads work the way they do is that they have Zeolite in them, so I looked up the patent. I have always been interested in just about everything and know a lot about many things because of my curiosity. Zeolite comes in powder form or crystals. You I am sure have bought crystals to keep your plants irrigated. As moisture hits them, the crystals swell. Zeolite is also used to control odor and works well in powder form in a variety of situations. If you like to understand everything the way I do, you can read the patent information about how these pads are made, here. http://www.google.com/patents/US20050113771
The gist of this is I am still angry as hell that all this has happened to me, but I am trying to manage my problem. Only time will tell if things get better for me, or I will be back on the plane to go to UCLA to have a new non mesh sling done by Dr. Raz. I hope this blog helps you understand and prepare for the worse, while wishing for the best.