Mesh & Your Case
What would you do? This is the name of a news story show on America’s ABC channel and the premise is that people are put into a situation where something bad happens to someone else, right in front of them. Then they must make a choice without knowing that this is all on camera. Ordinary people are put to a test of whether or not to speak out or walk away. This has happened to me more than once since I have been writing about the complications of bladder sling mesh, in fact I live with fingers pointed at me. But I have a built in social conscience that does not allow me to walk away and forget.
I sometimes stare at something I am reading and wish I did not have to make a choice. I wish I could go on my merry way and not make a decision that could affect many mesh injured women. I will often walk away from it and try to sort it out in my mind, but once I have read it, it just won’t go away until I do something. In other words I don’t have a choice. My upbringing is so instilled in me that if you know something that will hurt someone else, then you must speak out. So it isn’t the fact of whether or not I should say something, it becomes all about how.
We live in a world where we are told we have free speech, but in fact that freedom is shrouded by a million lawyers who will threaten that choice. So wording is so important if you do not want to spend the rest of your days fighting to keep your head above water. So you have to think about things a lot and sometimes take advice from others. Even then you are hoping that you made the right choice to speak at all. This is such a huge conundrum for anyone who does what I do.
The miracle of mesh is this. There are many well-meaning mesh injured women that do not want to see anyone else’s life become stopped in their tracks. These women are mothers who do not want to see future generations disappear down a path of anguish and pain. But they are afraid to get involved, so they ask me to help. They have learned what happens when you do get involved by watching people like me. It is not easy to spend your days with fingers pointing at you when share information when you are dealing with the painful consequences of mesh injuries yourself. But… I know it must be shared.
So this is why I am writing this blog. First though I will repeat what I have said many times throughout this blog. I do not work for any lawyers. This blog is not muddied by any affiliations with anything that could sway me in any direction. I am like you, the reader. I am mesh injured and if I had not begun to write about it I would never know how to avoid the many pitfalls that come with mesh injuries. So I share with you what I feel can help you, not hurt you more.
There are a few pointers to observe that could help or hurt your case and although I have spoken to women privately on what could help them, I cannot reach every mesh injured woman unless I write what I know. So I am doing it in hopes that women will not fall through a crack because they don’t know what to do. So once again my social conscience makes me put myself on the line. All I can ask is that you do not shoot the messenger. I am here to help you, not to hurt you.
We all know how much mesh injuries will cost you, if you have been dealing first of all, just to get a proper diagnosis. You will traipse from doctor to doctor, being told “It’s not the mesh”. This has happened to many women, even when mesh is hanging out of their bodies. So in the end you will probably have to fly thousands of miles from home, leave your family, your job and lose money once again. All to get the diagnosis. Then you have to find a way to keep paying those high insurance policies to get the best help possible. Let alone all the travel costs you will endure. So most women seek a way to be compensated, knowing it may take many years, but in the meantime they have to find a way to keep paying.
If you are lucky, you found a lawyer you can build a rapport with. Not bother them with endless phone calls, but you can ask simple questions so that you do not make a mistake that can endanger your case. I am fortunate in that respect and also if I have any questions concerning this blog, I can also ask for an opinion. I have always remembered the key is to tell the truth, when I write. So when I knew I was going out to UCLA to have mesh removal, I let my lawyer know the date. From there on, they took over and told me what to do to help my case. They sent me a letter to hand to Dr. Raz personally to give him the lab name where the mesh should be sent for testing. This mesh would be used as evidence. Dr. Raz and the UCLA doctors are old hands at removing mesh, but I wanted to hand it to him the morning before I went into surgery. This way, I had done my duty to help my future.
UCLA is a teaching hospital and therefore students will be there with a surgeon during your surgery. Pictures will be taken during your surgery to help new students learn and those pictures will also be gathered by your lawyer once you have notified them once you have returned home. They will become part of your evidence of what mesh has done to you. Without any evidence your case may possibly be dismissed. After all, no pictures and no mesh in a lab means they don’t have any proof of your injuries. So don’t risk this happening to you. Your lawyer can’t go into court and say “Your Honor, this woman has been injured”. They will want to know how, as well as when. You must do some work to help prove your case, not sit on the sidelines and expect it will happen for you. If your case does get dismissed then no one can be blamed but you if you did nothing to help yourself.
When you get home and feel well enough, contact your lawyer that you are there and then they will gather your records which will include photos. This is another reason for the translabial ultrasound test. It will be in your records to show where the sling has moved to. Yes, they do move. Once you’ve done that part, lay back and take time to heal.
If you need reconstruction surgery, you can then choose where to go. There are a few surgeons around the country who will do fascia slings because they are well trained. I cannot help you with that I am afraid. You must do the work yourself. Go to see one locally and ask many questions. Wherever you choose to go, you need to know what material is going into your body so that you can make an informed choice. If you are not sure if choosing something other than your own tissues will affect your case, ask your lawyer. Don’t ask me. Don’t be swayed before you have done that because what you choose could affect your case. If you think you want to have mesh put back into your body, you may want to ask because the reason will have to be argued in court, if it gets to court. I have no clue if it will affect your case and cannot advise you on anything. That is why you have a lawyer. I also do not know if having any other product on the market could affect your case. Once again ask those who will know before you have surgery.
The reason I am writing this blog is because I know how much you have suffered. I know the costs involved to get the mesh out. I know the continuing costs of trying to get well and stay well because our bodies have been compromised. So my advice is do the work yourself and ask questions of your lawyer, not your doctor, before you do anything. Then make sure you receive an instruction letter to hand to your doctor personally, before he/she removes your mesh. Then you can rest and go through the process of working on improving your life.
It is always better to think before you act. With love and wellness. Linda
In addition to this, it is wise to take photos soon after, or have someone else take them of the outside of your body after surgery and send them to your lawyer. This will also prove the traumatic event you went through. Many women have large incisions. I never knew about this until someone else told me to do it. Fortunately I had taken photos just to remember what had to be done to remove my mesh, but I never knew it could help. I then had my daughter take photos after reconstruction. I was told, yes indeed those photos were needed.