The Truth About Mesh
The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Congratulations! You made it through yet another holiday. You sucked it up, doubled the pain pills and somehow you made it through. Now what? You can’t do what I do here for two years and not know the truth and all the myths perpetuated by bladder sling mesh and it is time we all faced the truth, so let’s break it down. I write about this not with just the mind of a writer but with the heart of a person injured by mesh who is guided by other’s pain, and their experience. They want me to share with the world what this product has done to their life.
Mesh manufacturers. They are not going to go away. They make so much money from producing medical mesh, that they can enjoy every holiday and the good life while you struggle through yours. You may have heard that one company will no longer be making mesh. They did not however pull it from the market and it sits on shelves in operating theatres everywhere to be used up until it is all gone which could take years. Never count them out because they could jump back into the ring once again after they revue the monetary damages. Then there are all the other companies who jumped on a band wagon/gravy train and they are not going anywhere. They will weather this latest storm and come back with a ‘new’ bladder sling that according to them will be perfect and without any chance of injuring anyone. Don’t believe that one either.
Book writers who tout the miracle of the amazing POP products that is saving the women of the world. They just enjoyed a wonderful holiday skiing in the Alps, while you struggled to make a Christmas dinner and they are not going away either. They show up on TV talk shows and look absolutely brilliant while you watch them thinking “How dare you say there is nothing wrong with these products”.
Doctors will have just made their most amazing end of the year holiday trips to justify the hours they work and all the money they had to spend to get their degree while you collapsed in bed in terrible pain after putting up a Christmas tree. If you think they will stop doing any of these surgeries then think again. When women walk into their office with a female issue, they are so used to slapping in a sling; they would not know how to stop. More money comes in for that wonderful trip and your future will not come into it. Just about any Tom, Dick or Harry with a few initials added after M.D. can put in these slings without any proper training. To become a really good surgeon it takes years and a huge understanding of the human body. To fix what has happened to all the women because of these slings, takes even more knowledge. To fix any female issues without using a mesh sling, it far beyond the knowledge of today’s doctors and they have no wish to learn.
And what about you? You were born, grew up, you married, had children, all without any or few medical complaints at all. Then you had those pesky female problems most often associated with childbirth, hysterectomy, prolapse or another common problem that changed your life from one of busy, to one of pain, bleeding or discomfort. It wasn’t life threatening but you knew you had to do something about it. So you did what a million other women do. You went to a doctor you trusted. His/her answer was “No problem, we’ll fix that and you will go back to your daily life a new woman’. Done! Only you were not told that the product could damage you and turn you into an old woman.
If you were lucky like I was, the symptoms showed up immediately after being implanted. Yes lucky. Because I could be one of the women who went into my 70’s and 80’s and it may have been too late to get the mesh out of me. I feel lucky because it is now out and I definitely know now it was the mesh all the time. You may not be that lucky. For you it may have been five, seven or ten years since you had a surgery to fix those female issues and you have no clue what went into your body at that time, but you have never been or felt well since or it all started a few years later. You have been diagnosed with many ailments. Perhaps had a surgery or two to fix those diagnosed problems, physical therapy, pain meds, but you keep going downhill. You become depressed. Then there is a series of other meds to pep you back up to keep you going through your life. Works for a little while, then it quits. You are often in so much pain that you truly want to give up. To die a quick death and no one cares.
Then there’s the sex bit. It hurts to have sex. You can’t explain it to your partner at first, but it is uncomfortable. Then it really hurts. Then it hurts him too. You are now making endless treks to doctors. Paying the extra out of pocket expenses that insurance does not pay. You are somehow working to keep insurance as long as you can. Losing the zest for life because you are dragging yourself into work and don’t know how to get through the day. If you have a great partner, he will let it all slide because he loves you so deeply. A lucky few have this. The rest of the women find themselves alone, in pain, sad and very angry and in the end no partner at all.
Infections begin. You never had infections years ago but now they are nonstop. If you are lucky, your doctor will send in your blood work to be checked and the result will be that there are no antibiotics that work anymore. Lucky, because most will do an office dip stick test and prescribe something or tell you that you do not have any infection at all. If it is done right, you will be scared when you are told by the Center of Disease Control that something in you that is causing this and it must come out or you will die. That too is the lucky few. The rest will be given the same antibiotics and told you will have to take them the rest of your life. No explanation of what will happen if you do this, but do it anyway.
Leg, back pain, kidney stones, kidney infections, IBS, pooping and peeing at the same time, looking like you are nine months pregnant all the time and a hundred other symptoms begin. All explained away with a simple explanation, a surgery, or not at all. “Here take a pill”. You have heard that so many times you are sick of it. A pill for pain. A pill for depression. No real answers.
This is the truth about mesh complications.
You are tired. You are ill and you can no longer get through a day without spending a good part of it in bed or on the couch. You lose your job. You lose your partner. Your kids think you are making it all up. You feel alone. DO NOT WAIT THIS LONG if you haven’t already.
If you recognize any part or all of this, what can you do? You have two choices. The easy or hard road, depending on whichever way you look at it, is to take to your bed and give up. Accept this is your fate and expect the world to feel sorry for you. That won’t happen. Everyone is too busy to care about you. They are exhausted by your complaints so they moved on with life without you.
You can take the first step and get those medical records to find out what was put into you all those years ago. Be prepared to be shocked and angry when you read them. It’s all part of the process. You cry, get angry and then you do something!
Then…you could waste time and money by going to that trusted doctor you have seen all these years and present him/her with your case. “It must be the mesh”. “Sorry no it isn’t” your doctor will dutifully say. He/she has been taught that mesh is a miracle and you will not sway his/her opinion.
Or…you can pick up the phone and make that first important call to the surgeons at UCLA and find the truth. No I do not work for UCLA or any medical institution. I have no connections with a lawyer. There is no donation button on this blog. I have no monetary reason to sit here day after day, year after year and write these blogs. All I have are the voices in my head from all the women who cry to me about their terrible medical situations. The destruction of women’s lives. That is why I am driven to do this. MESH is WRONG and MESH is BAD.
Stop pretending this will all go away and you will be well again. It won’t. Start your New Year with hope. http://meshangels.com/2012/08/so-much-hope-for-mesh-removal-surgery
I’m sorry. But it is time someone told you the truth about mesh. I just wish it wasn’t me…..