Mesh Removal Aftercare
As more and more women go out to the UCLA urologists and have complete mesh removal, I realize that many do not have the tools they need to understand how to handle their health and spirit after they are home again. So I decided to write about it because I too have struggled through this, although I knew the ups and downs after surgery would happen and a slow recovery was inevitable.
We do not take this journey alone. Someone or several of our close relatives, whether it be a partner or children will be taking it with us and they too are stressed from years of our pain. Even the MOST understanding are worn thin by the time the mesh is removed from our bodies and they are probably hopeful that you will at last be the person they knew before mesh was implanted in you. They cling to the day when it will be gone just like you do. To give you an idea of how this is, One woman told me over the phone that her husband said “I am just looking forward to getting my girl back”. How great that sounds. However, the journey to recovery will only just begin after it is removed and only time will tell how complete and well we will be as the journey progresses.
There are things you can do to ease this journey for your loved ones. First remember that they too have been in mental pain for a long time. They have watched you go down hill. You struggle to work or can no longer work and you family income has dwindled. They have had to take over many household chores and everything around you is not the spick and span home you always kept. Plus you have not been the cheery, loving and wonderful mate or parent you have always been before the mesh issue. So how do you address the fact that you will have a long slow journey back?
A lovely young woman mentioned to me that is had been two weeks since removal and her loving, caring husband was wondering why she just hadn’t bounced back from this surgery. I don’t think anyone will actually say this to you, but they are probably thinking “What’s wrong with you?” “Why aren’t you up and running?” “We are just about broke, so you need to get a job again”. The truth is if someone is spitting these words at you, then they really do not love you and once you are well, you are better off without them. However, any human being has a right to feel this way after years of watching you go through this and they carry more of your lives on their own plate. So you can do something simple before you have mesh removal surgery.
I told this young woman that because I understood the slow recovery and often not the full recovery everyone wants, especially with nerve damage, I made my care person, who is also my daughter, a special card and wrote her a letter. I took photos of our so far, life journey together and made a book journey card with six of them. First me holding her as a small child and then the journey progressed to us as adults. I design cards and I am a poet, so I wrote poetry about our journey to go with each photo. Now you are probably reading this and thinking “That sounds like a lot of work and I have no idea where to begin”. You are right. I am not telling you to do this of course. I am simply stating how I handle things in my own life. But you can buy a card with lovely words and then sit down and write a letter. You need to explain how much them taking the journey with you so far has made a difference in your life. You also need to give them the love and credit they deserve for doing this. Believe me they need it. You also need to explain that other women are taking the journey after removal and have told you that it is a slow come back and there are no guarantees of complete recovery. Ask them to remain steadfast with you on this journey and understand that you want to come back and be normal again. You need the hope that things will improve for you, but it will be a slow process.
I gave my daughter this card and letter the day before we flew out to UCLA. Now I am almost five weeks past my removal surgery and she knows that my frustrations at a very slow recovery are exactly like hers. I hate that I just haven’t returned to the former me and this is such a long and difficult journey. I knew I wasn’t going to just like that, but I WANT to be normal again because I am sick of being sick! However, my body is working at a far slower pace than my brain. AND there is nothing I can do about it, but take it just as slowly.
I say nothing I can do about it, but that is not quite true. Since day one of my mesh implant I had complications and I began trying to combat them as best as possible with my own supplement wellness plan. I am diligent in this. I knew I had to continue this journey after mesh removal because the surgery is a huge assault on our bodies. So I made sure I was stocked up on what I needed and I took them with me to the UCLA hotel. The morning I got back to the hotel after removal the day before, I asked my daughter for a drink and something simple to eat and I began taking them again. Plus I added a stool softener and my chelated magnesium to make sure I had an easy bowel movement that day. I did. I was so uneducated when the sling was put in my and the surgeon never warned me that it may be difficult for me to ‘go’ without doing something to ease it. So three days later I was on the phone and then she told me to get a stool softener. It was my journey trying to stay well for two more years without health coverage and continuing complications that made me come up with my own wellness plan, that I stuck to diligently.
Remember. Removal surgery is HUGE. If you realize that pulling adhered mesh from your tissues and organs has left you damaged inside, then you must understand it will take you some time to heal. And you must help yourself as much as possible. I was given one week of antibiotics that I was not allergic to and I knew I had to keep taking marshmallow root to stop any infection as my body healed and adjust to a new situation. I am still doing this and will continue because my urethra was damaged and although it has been repaired during the surgery, I am very incontinent. So I need to make sure I am doing all I can to stay well. The likelihood of going back to UCLA in a few months for Dr. Raz to make a sling using my own tissues, is a strong likelihood. I must continue to make sure I am as healthy as I can be, other than what I am still experiencing with mesh complications.
I am badly still damaged from mesh. I cannot walk without pain and I cannot raise my leg to put my panties on, let alone think of shoes again. It makes me very sad and angry that this product could leave me with this many issues even after it is gone. I try hard not to take it out on my daughter because I know she is just as sad and angry. So I beat it out on my keyboard or I go and make something to shift that anger from my mind. You have to do the same. They have stuck with us all this time and they deserve a break as much as we do. Smile at them and show them that you are happy they are there for you. They need your love as much as you need theirs.
This blog may help you with some supplements you can take to get back your health. http://meshangels.com/2012/09/mesh-my-wellness-plan The rest is up to you. With love and support….