Running a Mesh Marathon

The sadness that I read every day is so hard to deal with except for the blessings that I hear when a woman tells me she made her appointment with UCLA and has made the first small step to wellness. Not perfection, because with mesh complications, few of us will ever experience that again, but a better life after mesh removal. Your fight and mine is should be regarded as a Mesh Marathon. You have a lot to do to build up your body and you have to prepare yourself for surgery and continue with that care after surgery. Mesh removal is major surgery. Many women have terrible issues by the time they make it to UCLA and to stay healthy enough for surgery you may have to think outside the box.

Once again I am looking at my own health situation because I will travel back to UCLA to have a sling made using my own fascia this coming April. I promise I will write about it after I am home again and well enough to do so. I am one of the unfortunate few who have complete incontinence because the mesh cut into my urethra and Dr. Raz had to rebuild it. When he asked me if I wanted him to remove the right side only of this sling when I went for consult, I had to think about it because of the incontinence issue. However, it did not take me long to think it over and I emailed him and said “I want it all gone. Every last bit of it!” All I could think about was the ticking time bomb inside my body and all the stories I had heard from other women. They were seriously ill after mesh had been inside them for a number of years and I did not want it to happen to me. My situation could not be fully determined until the day before surgery when the tests were performed for Dr. Raz to decide how my case should be handled. However, after the tests were done, Dr. Raz told me himself it all needed to come out. I was ready and I am so glad it is done.

I made up my mind at that time and ever since that I would tackle my situation one day at a time. Regardless of whatever happened because of the mesh, I would allow my body to heal first and make sure I remained well. I’ve done just that. When I got back to my hotel after removal surgery, I had my supplements lined up and I began to take them again. I ate small meals while my body cleared the anesthesia and I made sure I drank plenty of fluid. I did all this for me and my future. I was not going to let mesh destroy the rest of my life.

As always before I continue, I have made it clear that I am not a medical professional and nor am I telling you what to do. What I write about is my own experience and those of others who have done the same as me. Take charge of your own health. I have been acutely aware that not doing so can endanger me in more ways than one. I know my own body. I know how I feel, where pain is and I take great strides to help myself and in doing so I have avoided the many pitfalls that I see with other women. My first experience in taking charge of my health was due to a prescription drug reaction in 2008. Luckily I have a wonderful daughter who decided to search through the minefield of the internet to find the help I needed to get my strength back and sort out the damage done to me.

I have been fortunate that I have been healthy all my life and had not had a single surgery until the fated mesh incident. Like everything in my life I do allow myself to cry, sink into despair for a day and then tell myself it is time to get up and do something. The same thing happened with mesh. I did what all women do when they realize something is seriously wrong after the bladder sling surgery. I talked to my doctor thinking that she knew best and she would help me back onto the road of wellness. That did not happen and after a few months of pain that increased daily, I took charge and made my own decisions. I had to stay well. I read everything I could about how to do that. I checked every side effect of anything I decided to take to help myself. I wanted to stay well until I could have the mesh removed. It took two years and seven months until it was all removed from my body. All my efforts were rewarded. I had a good immune system and I withstood the surgery without any further complications and I carried on my determination for wellness after it was removed.

The one thing I have gathered from speaking to so many women over the phone is that those who do the best after mesh removal work at it. Other things I have learned completely shocked me because I do wonder how much of what I hear is totally relevant because of mesh in our bodies. Many women have had gall bladder removal. Many tell me that their blood tests reveal almost none or very little vitamin D in the bodies. Their immune system had taken a serious hit. I cannot prove anything is to do with mesh, but little bells go off in my head when I hear the same things over and over again. It is because of these things that I am writing this blog. I am giving you links to read and you will make your own decisions based on your life, your symptoms and any prescription drugs you are taking. I am not taking any. No pain medications and nothing else. Therefore one thing is eliminated for me to worry about. That is any interactions with supplements I take and those medications. I do however always pay attention to side effects and listen to my own body signs. So here are links for you to read and decide what you want or need to do.

This is a great article to read about an important test for women who have suffered mesh complications. ANA is antinuclear antibodies it tests. Antinuclear antibodies fight against your cells and the nucleus. If it’s up it indicates the presence of autoimmune disease. http://www.medicinenet.com/antinuclear_antibody/article.htm

Things I took/take to boost my own immune system. Read everything about side effects and all about interactions with any drugs you take. I am not you and you must read and think for yourself.

Reishi mushroom
http://www.naturalnews.com/021498_reishi_mushrooms.html

All about astragulus.
http://www.astragalus.com/antiviral-and-antibacterial/can-astragalus-help-prevent-or-cure-urinary-tract-infections

Best deals on those two products.

http://www.luckyvitamin.com/p-3922-now-foods-reishi-mushrooms-super-mushrooms-reishi-shiitake-blend-270-mg-100-capsules

http://www.luckyvitamin.com/p-4117-now-foods-astralagus-500-mg-100-capsules

This would be a great idea for all of us who suffer with mesh complications. Blood test for vitamin and mineral deficiency. http://www.livestrong.com/article/402045-testing-for-vitamin-and-mineral-deficiencies

A surprising number of women have reported to me that when tested they had 0 or close to 0 vitamin D in their bodies. About Vitamin D deficiency and foods high in vitamin D. http://www.webmd.com/diet/vitamin-d-deficiency

  • This was my self help plan both before and after my mesh removal surgery. You must choose your own plan. http://meshangels.com/2012/09/mesh-my-wellness-plan/

    My blog has never been about telling any woman what to do. I research as I listen to women’s health issues and give you articles you can read to determine your own choices. I do this because many women are so sick; searching for good articles is very difficult for them.

    Your life is yours. The choices you make now are yours. None of us can undo the fact that we had a bladder sling put into us and we should not waste any energy trying to blame ourselves for not understanding what it was. What we can do is use our precious energy to give us the best chance at wellness which also leads to happiness. You deserve to live a better life.

5 Comments

  1. Angels123

    Linda….well written once again! I am a chiropractor and can speak to a few of the things you say you have been hearing from women. The vitamin D issue is epidemic right now. No one seems to have clear answers on why but there are a few things that may be influencing it. First we are all sunscreen crazy right now because the medical world has educated everyone well on the dangers of skin cancers. What they have failed to mention is that if you are going to use sunscreen and never have any time in the sun a natural..then you are going to become deficient. There isn’t enough vitamin d in milk to make up for the biggest source of vitamin d to our bodies and that is the sun. The other issue that becomes in question is how well we are feeding ourselves the essential fatty acids that we have to get from our diet. The most important of them is the omega 3s and they are sourced mainly from cold water fish. For most of us the answer is we are not feeding it adequately in this way. This is in my opinion the most important supplementation one could do to boost their immune function, lower pain levels, and help their overall health. What does fish have to do with vitamin D?? Not sure exactly, but there does seem to be a correlation between people who are deficient in fatty acids and those who are deficient in vitamin D. Biochemically it makes sense because vitamin d is a fat soluble vitamin. If we add the sunscreen issue and then have the Standard American Diet ( SAD for short…appropriate huh.)it then becomes very hard to maintain a healthy level. Anyone with chronic pain should have their levels of vitamin D checked. Most practitioners don’t typically send for that level in regular blood work so you will have to ask. If the doctor looks at you like you are crazy then find a new doctor who understands this relationship between vitamin d and your health. Also a doctor who doesn’t deal with vit d levels much will sometimes accept the lab values as normal even when a patients level is below 50. The range for healthy vitamin d is 50 -100. Everyone should be on a fish oil supplement unless you are on bloodthinners or have other contraindicators. And no..burping up fish oil is not a contraindication. Just freeze the capsules and take them frozen if you suffer from that problem. Liquid fish oil is the best delivery system. A very safe dose for fish oil is 3-5 grams especially if you have pain. The inflammation of chronic pain makes it super important to take the oils so that response can be minimized. There are many other things we can do for ourselves and Linda continues to outline them blog after blog. Thank you for your diligence at keeping the information coming. Hope this information can help someone.

    Reply
    1. lavalinda

      Angels 123 this is an invaluable comment and I appreciate what you have written here. You told me things that verified what I knew and things I did not know. I had a long conversation on Saturday with a woman well versed in the medical field and she had removal by Dr. Raz early January. There are many women who understand a great deal medically and help other people in their field and the mesh issues hurt them just as much as those who do not work in the medical field.
      There is much we can all learn from this to help ourselves. Once again thank you for your help.

      Reply
  2. Beverly Martiniano

    There is so much truth to this article. Right after surgery I went to my Endocronologist and ask him about my vitamin and mineral levels. He tested me for everything and found that I was extremely low in Vit D and magnesium. Even thought I had been taking Macnesuim Citrate all through this ordeal. He gave me a prescription of 50k I.U. weekly and to take it with fatty foods for better absortion

    Reply
  3. lavalinda

    Thanks Bev for allowing women to understand that this is real for so many women. I appreciate your help.

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Becoming a Mesh Survivor Posted on April 11, 2013 by Linda Kilpatrick | mesh ministry

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *