My Fascia Sling Surgery Part Six
I am overwhelmed………. I am writing about this journey with one thing in mind. To help other women. If anything that I am going through, reflects upon your journey, then baring my soul to the world will be worth it because I do not want you to suffer unnecessarily. Mesh women go through enough hell as it is and there are more downs than ups. Mesh is the gift that keeps on giving……… and not in a pleasant way either.
Regardless of what we are going through after any surgery, the world spins on the same axel. When it comes to weekends, everything stops. I last wrote about my ER visit last Wednesday. Two days before this I had some burning which I can only describe as feeling like it was around my urethra. My urine was very clear and I assumed it was something that would pass. It did and removed the catheter early on Wednesday morning. The rest you can read in my previous blog, part five.
Dr. Kim requested that they do a culture of my urine at the ER. They did it. It takes 24 to 48 hours for the bacteria to grow. Make sure when you go to the ER that you request that they do a culture. It is the only way to find out what type of infection and the medicine that will cure it. I did call the hospital lab the next day and asked what it was. They would not tell me so I asked that they fax Dr. Kim the results and gave them her details. Here is a tip. PICK UP A FEW EXTRA BUSINESS CARDS OF THE SURGEON WHO DOES YOUR SURGERY. Keep one on you at all times and if you go to the ER hand one to them. It is important your surgeon knows what is going on but it will be up to you to make sure that they do. Email them. Anyway, I was told they would send the result to Dr. Kim. This was Thursday afternoon. I also emailed Dr. Kim and told her it was on the way.
Friday I was worried because cleaning myself with baby wipes I could feel a slimy discharge that was pale pink. (I use baby wipes to cleanse myself as a precaution against infection) I emailed Dr. Kim. The lab results they sent turned out to be the urine test, not the culture. I called the lab again and they were going to fax over the culture. In the meantime Dr. Kim and I had an email discussion about types of antibiotics I was allergic to. Most! I did tell her I have taken Bactrim without any ill effects, back after the sling was put into me and I had nonstop infections. Her nurse called in Bactrim because they had not got the lab results at that time and my daughter picked it up. I began taking it Saturday morning, twice a day both that day and Sunday. Everything was fine. I had hoped to stave off anything serious over the weekend.
This morning (Monday) I woke up after a pretty good night’s sleep. I felt good. I rose from the bed to a sitting position and the room began spinning. Spinning so fast I could not move. I have never experienced this in my life before and waited until it passed which was a couple of minutes, then I grabbed my walking stick which I had placed by my bed since surgery ‘just in case’. I did not want to fall if I did not feel well and risk more broken bones. The dizziness seemed clear and I cleaned my teeth etc; Then without leaving my walking stick, I slowly walked through to make a cup of green tea.
Once my daughter was up, I told her what had happened. Knowing my drug reactions of the past and her own, she began researching. The phone rang and it was the hospital lab. The doctor told me that Bactrim was not effective for my infection and neither are most antibiotics taken orally for the type of infection I have. They had given me rocephin intravenously in the ER, and this doctor told me I would need daily shots of the same thing at my local doctor’s office. I was worried because I handed the ER paper to my daughter and she researched that drug. Apparently reactions have occurred with buildup.
The reason I am writing this because I know just how many women have had serious side effects from prescription drugs and they too are at their wits end. Doctors often dismiss us when we report drug side effects and often when we give the list, they look at us dubiously. They ask what happened and how did it make you feel. I guess if you give the wrong answers, they will think you are a crank. I actually do know what they are because of firsthand experience. I also know most doctors will not experience these so called rare side effects or they may look at you in a different way.
Running so scared after the lab call I came back to my bedroom to email D. Kim and do as much reading as possible from the links my daughter sent to my laptop. First this is a great site to read and report your side effect of any drug. I am going to sign up. If you have any side effects, report them to the FDA. It is the ONLY way to keep track of how serious an issue that any drug can cause.
I want you to understand the type of infection I have because I have never heard of it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudomonas
I received an email back from Dr. Kim and this is part of what she said.
Pseudomonas is type of bacteria that grows especially in urine where there has been instrumentation (i.e. surgery, catheterization). Sometimes you need DUAL antibiotic coverage to get it cleared. You can also try gentamicin bladder irrigation that works locally rather than having to take intravenous antibiotic.
I urge you to get rocephin treatment or have gentamicin antibiotic solution instilled into your bladder by home health nurse. This is a serious infection that can make negatively impact your healing process.
When I emailed her I had told her I had never heard of this infection and wondered how I got it. This afternoon I have an appointment with my PCP and try to get things done. I’ll let you know what happens. The gist of this is, not understanding about infections, how they feel and what to do about them makes it very hard. Making things worse is having any serious reactions to one or more drugs again. I have been afraid that one day a bad drug reaction will kill me and that is why I run scared.
I want you to know that my urine has been crystal clear during all this, which to me did not symbolize infection. Blood in the urine, dark urine does. I had none of that. The one thing I do now realize is the slimy drainage two weeks after surgery, when I had none before is a sure warning. Get help if you notice this after any surgery.
Mesh is a never ending journey…………………
Update. I am a very lucky woman to have friends who help me and other woman. One is a nurse practitioner and I emailed her for advice. This is what she sent back to me. Now you understand why we have to be vigilant.
Please watch this situation closely (like I know you are). Pseudomonas can become resistant to most of our strongest antibiotics. You do not want this to get into your blood stream- might be better to deal with side effects than to get pseudomonas bacteria in the bloodstream.
I would strongly consider taking the rocephin if you don’t see almost immed good effects from the GSE. As you know, most antibiotics and other drugs have many side effects but untreated infections can be bad too.
I don’t want to scare you but I’m concerned so I had to say what’s on my mind. Fexofenadine 180mg, which is the generic Allegra, can decrease any side effects from the antibiotic. Most people, even those who react badly to most meds, tolerate fexofenadine w/o problems
Pseudomonas is found in many urinary tract infections though, esp when catheters are involved, and can still be very serious, esp if it gets into the bloodstream.