Mesh & No Insurance

Yesterday I received a note from a woman who has been suffering with bladder sling complications for a number of years.  The note stated that she had had to cancel her upcoming surgery with Dr. Raz because she no longer could afford her insurance.  She had run out of money and had pulled money from her home and every angle available to her.  Why?  Because this was going to be her 7th surgery.  The first five were with other doctors, the 6th with Dr. Raz and this one with Dr. Raz was going to be for much needed reconstruction repairs.  She told me she felt so down she may as well go back to bed and stay there.

I know the election is over and life will continue going along for most people.  However for the growing number of women with mesh complications, they have no options left to them to fix the awful damage done because of their bladder slings.  Some have been left with kidney ailments because it was left inside them doing damage for so long.  Others like me have continuing, crippling nerve damage and are now classed as disabled.

Where can they turn for help.  They have one option.  They can file for disability and IF they are accepted in the program, at first will be at the mercy of doctors in their own State who have no skills in our issues.  Most don’t get accepted in the program when they try the first time and are turned down.  Why?  Because doctors refuse to write down that the mesh is causing their disability.  They close the doors on these women and tout them as having mental issues.  They do this because women plead with them to get them some help and when they are not listened to, they usually end up in tears.  One woman told me yesterday her doctor suggested she had ‘anxiety issues’ and asked if she would like a prescription for that.  Yes that is what they offer women living in terrible pain.  Of course she is anxious.  She has a product in her body that is poking, stabbing, shrinking, grabbing onto nerves and muscles and never lets up the agony.  I wonder how they would feel if they live with this torture.

If after months of begging she finally gets accepted onto the disability program because she obtained a lawyer to fight for her.  Then she is still at the mercy of those same doctors who cannot/will not help her.  After that it is at least another year before she can get onto permanent disability and can finally get to UCLA for help.  WAIT!  By that time she is totally out of money and is living like a pauper after squeezing out every little bit of help she can get from family and anyone who has tried to keep her afloat.  So how does she get the expenses money to go out there?  Not just for herself but for someone else to go with her because she is so disabled by that time and needs someone with her after the surgery.  You tell me that answer because I have been praying for a miracle to help these women.

So where are we by this time.  Bladder sling mesh has created a new generation of poor and injured women who are barely ‘living’ off of the system.  I try to stay in touch with one women who still lives in a second floor apartment and rarely goes out because she cannot get up and down the stairs because she is disabled because of mesh.  The last time I spoke to her it had been seven months since a lawyer took over to fight for her disability and she was still waiting.  She wants to move to a ground floor apartment, but she could not raise money for the move.  She lives in hope to get the disability she badly needs.  In the meantime she is barely making it with any government assistance she can get.  This is an intelligent women who had a good career before bladder sling mesh.  And there are thousands like her.

So if you are one of the people who think have any government health care plan is not the answer, then please work out how to help these women.  Listen to their cries for help.  I don’t have any answers and yet I listen to them daily because it gives them something to cling to.  That something is that someone is listening to them when all the doors have been closed………………

I have shed many tears with them and I still don’t know the answer.

1 Comment

  1. Jean

    This was posted almost a year ago and there have been no comments? I am shocked. What about starting a fund and asking people, especially those deeply involved in this issue to contribute to the fund? Perhaps ask hospitals to become involved and physicians to donate services…if they go to other countries to assist the poor with free services whay can they not do the same here in America where there is a great need? Perhaps congress could help? And the industries that are involved in medical mfg. would benefit from a little good public relations by donating funds to help people, especially women, who have had mesh placed in their bodies? How is this woman doing now? Is there an update? I know it sounds eccentric but prayer helps….it would be nice to have a web based prayer circle, non-denominational, and people could sign on to be available to pray for those that need it, and others who need prayers could sign anon, using a pseudo name if needed, and we could pray fo them at an appointed time. I personally know that this is a very powerful healing tool. Please let us know how this lady is doing? It would be nice if she could have a roommate….perhaps someone in similar circumstances. Churches can often help in this regard as can local senior centers even when one is not “senior”. Finally, did she ask if UCLA could help fund her surgery, did she ask the doctor?

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