I realize this blog may create issues because of what I have to say, but over a long time I have spoken to many very bright and talented women whose lives have been slowed to a halt because of the injuries they have sustained because of bladder sling mesh. Those who do well with their future are the ones who do not join the ‘meshie’ club. It is the way you define yourself that will lead to your recovery and how you will change your life to fit these injuries. To get the help you need to salvage your life, you have to be an individual fighter. If you put yourself in a club, you will be giving away your chance to live a better life. I know how hard it is to stand up and fight your way through this. The depth of despair is often immeasurable and many women find themselves completely alone. Friends and family gone at a time when they need the most help. However, defining themselves in a category will only hamper that fight to return to who you want to be.

Take your life back. First do everything you can to get the right help to remove this product completely. Allow yourself time to recover and accept the fact that things may not go according to plan. We are all injured differently and we all have to adjust to the fact that we won’t be the same even after it is out of our body. Once you are well enough, ask yourself who were you before bladder sling mesh took over in your life? I know the first thing most women will say is wife, mother or both. However in this day and age they are so much more. If you have been through the school of hard knocks throughout your life, then you have learned to become an individual and you are better equipped to handle these complications. However, many women are used to putting themselves last behind partners, children and often co-workers and they have little left to fight to regain their lives.

I know the giant strain this puts on marriages and partnerships. I know because women tell me. I was a widow before this happened to me and I was equipped for that position by a man who always told me to remain an individual as well as his wife. That strong partnership lasted for thirty-four years until he died in 2004. For legal status I had to learn to write the word widow, but I did not feel like a widow. He was still there in my mind because of all we had achieved together. However, I also achieved so much as an individual, courtesy of his blessings. I will always be grateful for that because it gave me strength to find a new life without him and a different kind of happiness. That has indeed stood me in good stead for the fight I faced with this injury.

So instead of putting yourself in a club, start thinking about whom you were before this product injured you and who you want to be when you get well enough to continue with your life. You may have to change careers because you cannot sit or stand for hours on end, but this bad experience could make you a valuable part of a world that does not understand women who are injured by this product. Think outside the box. Could you be a patient advocate because you have this experience? Could you work in the hospice industry because you have learned compassion? Or can you work on a new life where you could use all that creative energy you once set aside for everyone else? If you learn any one thing about this experience, it is that you need to get back on track and enjoy the rest of your life. Find what it is that will make you laugh again.

I will always yell out to the world “I am not a mashie” because I am not. I am so much more and I will continue to grow with the choices I make for my future. This was just a small part of my life and it does not define me. You can turn this difficult time into a blessing. It’s all about how you look at it. I wish you well on this journey……………………



  1. Bella

    I have to say that I agree with you and I don’t agree with you. What if some are not calling themselves a “meshie” but they want to “join in” for reason such as for support because they lack support at the home or because they want to be a part of something or because they want to help also and this is the only way they can find to help or this is the only way they can find others, even in their area that have mesh to connect with. This could be their only way.

    I agree that at some point everyone has to do this on their own. They have to make this decision to heal, to get out of the ruts of this mesh (something I have yet to do as I am sure many more than me are in the same boat) Ultimately it has to your decision, MY decision, their decision, no club, group or anything can make that decision for you to go get treatment. To get better, only you can do that. However sometimes some just a need a little more help than others.

    The ont thing you need to remember, and by no means am I mad at you, I like that you can stand up and say what you say, but some people may not be as independent as you are. I know everyone should learn to do this at some point in time, they NEED to learn to be this way at some point in time because I know that the in the end the only one who is going to look out for you is you. The only one who can chance you is you. Like I said some just might need some help getting their. I think it would be no different than a support group you go to once a month?

    Another thing and this might be something you were trying to say is don’t let the clubs, teh term “meshie” or any of it consume you, that is when you get into trouble. When you become so consumed by it you eat, sleep and breathe it, in the way of this made me this way, not in the way of how will I get better, if that makes any sense. Again, some people do have to go through that before they can come out of the other side. I like to call it hitting rock bottom.

    So I guess I can say I agree with you, it is just that some may need a little more help to get to the other side and this may be their only way to get there.

    1. lavalinda

      Bella, the only way we move forward is to fight for ourselves. What you are talking about is a sisterhood of friendship which is what we all need to get through the bad days. However, we are still alone when it comes to handling the pain and finding a new normal. I of course knew this blog may create a firestorm of disagreement, but we all have to face facts. We have to find a way to get the help we need and we are each individuals in our complications.
      Yes, there is a sisterhood of friendship to help one another find doctors who can help us and not hurt us more. But………. when the lights go out at night and everyone else is asleep while you lay awake in pain, you have to find that strength alone to live your life and get the help you need. You can’t rely on a label to help you win this war. You are the only one who can do it.
      You may think I have always been independant all my life but I was raised in a world of ‘CHILDREN SHOULD BE SEEN AND NOT HEARD’ and I had no clue how to live life as an adult, because of the way I was raised. I married a man who worked offshore and we lived in other countries and I did not like having to find a way to be alone and to stand up for myself. However, because I had to, I have been able to get up on the worse of days since the complications set in and change things in my life. It is the same now. You are a fighter. You can change things and live your life in a new and productive way. I know how smart and clever you are. You have so much more to offer the world and you can fight to find that new life.
      You see, I hear and read so much more than what you see on this blog. I know women are not enjoying the world around them because they are consumed by what has happened to them. If you cling to a label, then you will never find the joy in your life again. That is what I am saying here.
      Kathy, yes he is right. It is a struggle to change how you feel but I always look at life in a way that reminds me things could always be far worse. I love the women who go down and then fight to get back up. They are taking charge. They read, they learn and they find a way. That is what you have done and are still doing.
      I never forget that being alive each day is a gift and I will not throw that gift away. I hope other women will take that gift and use it.

  2. Kathy Davis

    Well said Linda,
    Even dr Raz says. Don’t let this expeirence define you, this is a small chapter in your big book of life. You have many more chapters to write!! Hard to do? Yes!! But we must if we are to end up conquering mesh, and somehow finding our new normal. And in the process, becoming a better us.

  3. Bella

    I can see more clearly what you are saying now. I understand. You worded in a way I understand so much more clearly now. Especially when you talked about the nights of laying awake. Just last night I was laying awake, at 4:30 am, I got up ever so slowly and looked in on my family and got mad that they were sleeping so well, without pain and it hit me, I am alone. My family is here, yet I am alone. I have said this many times before. My family is here, they are awake, yet I am alone. Strange concept to anyone who does not know what we are going through. Just as these groups can add a sisterhood as you stated, your family is also there to help, yet you are still alone. Yes the sisterhood can help you find Drs that will help and not do more harm, your family can help get you there, but in the end, it is you, you are alone, you are the one that is going through the pain, the emotional turmoil, the mental turmoil, you are the one who will be on the Operating table for the whatever number time and you are the one who will be going through the pain and are going through the pain before removal. So yes, I see your point in the alone status now. I also can see your point about being a label, just like people who use ADD or ADHD as a label for children. Some don’t even have it but they use it as a crutch because they just don’t want to take the extra time that child may need, jut put him on meds. And now as I think about it, labels has defined our country, Skinny, fat, ugly, Pretty, sick, well, disabled, black, white, rich, poor. Perhaps we should thank society for labels?

  4. lavalinda

    Now you got it Bella. Labels stop you from living the life you are meant to live. I want the best for women who have been injured by these products. The very fact that you began thinking about this, is the fact that you still want to live.

  5. Helen

    I do not think that these injured women want to belong to a Club, I believe they are together because drs let them believe they are the only ones injured when within a group they suddenly find out there are more with similar symptoms to theirs.
    We all as indivuals are all doing something to prevent others from being injured by making sure others knowing what they are dealing with before they make important decisions that may impact on them for the rest of their lives and i believe these people are doing a good job

    1. lavalinda

      Thank you Helen.

  6. Lisa Pashenee

    I think there are some people involved in mesh that are contacting people for money, not because they want a friendship, and not because they care. Fortunately, there are a lot of us like Linda, who are helping from the heart. You can’t place a price on helping women. So when you join a support group, and there are some good ones out there, be careful of people that cause drama & pick fights…not everyone is sane. One group I enjoyed is tvt.org

  7. Vicky

    surely we all know we can’t hold grudges or unforgiveness, I dont’ think any doctor just sets out to deliberately cause us harm. They simply practice defensive medicine and so they will never be our “friends”! We do have to live on with our losses whatever they may be and we have to stay positive and learn to live life with the cards we are dealt. But we can try our best to save the next person from the ordeal we have endured! it’s not that we are joining a club to sit around and say boo hoo and woe is me. We want to help others!

    1. lavalinda

      Vicky, it is never about holding grudges. Many of us have spent many hours presenting doctors with information to show them what we all go through. Sometimes they would rather not know and continue doing business as usual. That is why this blog is here.
      Helping others should definately be a gift from the heart. To do it, we always have to remember where we were and where we want to go. All I want is for women to take charge and create a new life. Not the old one, but one they can work with. While the mesh is in them, they go downhill every day. I am in contact with women around the world as far away as New Zealand. They wish they could fly over to Dr. Raz. One woman told me after nine years her health has declined so much and she has been told it is impossible to have it removed. We can all fight to go to UCLA when we are in this country and Canada and ask others to help us raise money to see that we get there. Then we stand a chance at living again. Many women have done exactly that. I just don’t women to believe sitting in bed waiting for a settlement is the way to go. Waiting can cause them to go in to such a state of no return.


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