Mesh & Your Kidneys
There are many types of complications from bladder sling surgery and this blog is about one of them. I have been asked to write this because one woman feels that many women could be helped much sooner and they won’t have to face as much damage as she now faces. She also wants you to know that this can happen very quickly because her sling was only put in one year ago. Now she is facing possible kidney damage and continuing care of her kidneys for the rest of her life.
She had the sling put in on March 2012 and both her and her husband felt something was wrong very quickly. But like the rest of us, she was told all was well. The sad fact is, we want to believe all is well and we try to go on. The idea of thinking that a surgery could damage us is difficult for us to believe and we all had a life before surgery that we want to continue. This woman has three children and the youngest is five, four at that time. It is hard to think about illness when raising a young child especially when you aren’t told that this surgery can lead to more health issues nor any complications are recognised.
She began gaining weight quickly after surgery and she sent me photos of how swollen her legs get and other parts of her body. I asked if someone had checked her kidneys and she said she had asked but her worries dismissed. Someone had told her they thought it was lymphedema.
I had not heard of this as a side effect of mesh complications, so I looked it up. http://www.lymphnet.org/lymphedemaFAQs/overview.htm I can understand why someone would think this could be it, however first thing should have been done to rule it out was check her kidneys. That didn’t happen. She told me she had a partial removal done, or as some doctors like to say ‘revision’ and it had helped a little for awhile, but not long. Of course she was having difficulty urinating like so many of us do after a sling was put into us. My suggestion to her was that she find her way out to UCLA as quickly as possible because it did not sound or look good to me. I knew she could get an appointment quicker with Dr. Kim and she did. She saw her very early in March, less than two weeks from the time I am writing this blog.
The first thing Dr. Kim asked her was “Has anyone done a kidney ultrasound on you?” She explained that she had wanted someone to check her kidneys, but no one would. Dr. Kim looked very grave and said when she came back for surgery they would run this test along with others before the surgery was done. She also said that she must get the surgery done soon. Thankfully she will have it done next month which is very quick for UCLA, so this shows how serious kidney issues are.
So this young woman wants you to know that if you have any swelling in your legs or anywhere, force the issue and get your kidneys tested. She has been to several doctors where she lives and none suggested it. Most doctors acted as if there was nothing wrong and others ignored the swelling. She is trying to work to keep her insurance and she said sitting all day is really hard. By the time she gets home from work her skin hurts and she has to go and lay down. She also has constant brain fog.
Even though she has surgery scheduled quickly she also began reading how she could help herself. Then she began a low protein diet. She called me to say that in a few days she lost eight pounds of fluid on this diet and she felt a little better and the brain fog lifted. She also added marshmallow root and supplements to try to help her keep well. At this point, the mesh must come out soon to give her the best chance at recovery.
I did some reading myself and found that if there is any obstruction, then your kidneys can be affected. Dr. Kim told her she feels the mesh is already in her bladder. You can read more here.
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000507.htm Those of us who had mesh in our urethras can relate. I lived on marshmallow root for the entire time I waited before my Medicare became available. I know it saved me from kidney disease. This is a great article about how they used it in the days before prescription drugs were available. http://www.woodherbs.com/Marshmallow.html Gravel used in old terms is kidney stones. I have had many women contact me to tell me that they had kidney stones often and how painful it was along with the mesh complications. You can also read here as to the capsules I take. It is very inexpensive. You have got to stay well while you wait for surgery. This blog will give you ideas and help with infections. http://meshangels.com/2012/09/mesh-my-wellness-plan
This woman is taking charge of her health now that she understands what is happening. She is reading and working at changing her diet and life. She has promised to keep me and YOU informed of her progress after surgery. Then I will add updates here. In the meantime here are links that could help you understand what to do if any of this sounds like your symptoms.
Hopefully getting the mesh completely removed and her new diet and life plan can reverse her symptoms. http://www.ehow.com/way_5439153_reversing-kidney-damage.html
Please, if you recognize any of this, get the right help soon. This link will take you to many links so that you understand the journey it takes to remove mesh and how important it is to go to the right doctor. http://meshangels.com/2013/02/mesh-is-a-journey