Save Your Life

I woke up this morning wondering how it feels for a young woman to undergo her eighteenth surgery and how her family copes. Yes, outrageous multiple surgeries are not uncommon for mesh injured women. I know she is so scared and wonders if she will survive the surgery and what will happen to her children if she doesn’t. I don’t need to ask her about that because I know what she is thinking. I have talked to countless women who wonder the same things before they are rolled into the operating theatre. I know women with young children who barely cope while trying to raise their families. Some on pain medication so strong they are termed as ‘end of life’ pain meds. All because of the destruction mesh has caused their bodies.

It was five thirty when I slipped my feet into backless house shoes. Backless because of the damage mesh has caused my own body. I shuffled across the floor carefully because every movement I make my eyes and brain do not connect together. A drug called gentamicin was the cause for my extreme vertigo and there is no cure. Gentamicin was used intravenously to kill a serious infection I contracted during one of my surgeries. I don’t want to fall and the instant pain in my right groin and thigh reminds me to move slowly. The shuffle sounds from my house shoes remind me that I sound like a very old woman when I walk. All this from a product they call pelvic mesh!

I am slow in the bathroom but at least I can still do for myself. I feel lucky as I know many women who can’t. This past week phone calls were a constant reminder of the suffering of other women. Sometimes I am paralyzed and can’t pick up the phone when I know who it is on the other end of the line. A woman in stress. Worried she will undergo yet another surgery and how she will cope. A woman who has suffered due to mesh for fourteen years has fallen so many times that now she is having surgery to fix tendons torn in her knee because of these falls. Like me the damage is in the right side of her body. Nerves tortured and ripped by a product that should be removed from the market. A product we women now know of as mesh. I finally picked up the phone so that she had someone who completely understands. I survived a fall this past month without serious damage, but it reminded me that any day the normal things I can do could be taken away from me. I shudder to think. I honestly don’t want to hear her bad news and yet I feel compelled as I know she is frightened and no one in her family quite understands.

I can’t help her or the other women I spoke to this past week, including last night. I can’t take away their pain and suffering any more than I can take away my own. We didn’t know this could happen to use when mesh was put into our bodies, but now we do. We learned the hard way and there’s no taking it back. Now we try to pass the information along in any way possible. I do all I can through this blog although at times I don’t want to do it anymore. However I don’t have a choice. Too many lives will be lost if I don’t keep it up.

Ladies out there in the world please listen to us.

Please know we aren’t making things up. We won’t be getting millions for our injuries regardless of the news reports of big wins against mesh manufacturers. We will receive a pittance for our injuries and everyone stands in line to take what they can out of our allotment. We aren’t telling you what has happened to us because we are getting paid to do it. We aren’t. We try to spread the word as best as possible because mesh stopped us from living a normal life and has turned many women into paupers. Nothing more, nothing less.

Last night I watched a show on TV that we taped the night before. Angela Jolie was talking about the new movie she directed called Unbroken. Towards the end she was asked about her inherited gene that puts her at risk for ovarian cancer and she said she had been looking into the surgery and will make a decision on what to do and will share it when she does. I wanted to scream at the TV screen and tell her I know women who had this surgery and mesh was used to repair them and hold up their organs. They wound up suffering and losing their lifestyle. Angelina you need to know more and find out what they will use in your body. You need to know is the cure far worse that the disease? I don’t have all the answers, I just know the suffering of women like you.

On this show they interviewed the woman who wrote the book about this man’s story. She too suffers from vertigo so bad she doesn’t leave her home. Was hers caused by a drug I wonder? Does she know the dangers of mesh I also wonder? I have no clue. I just know so many women who will undergo many, many surgeries and suffer many losses because of MESH!

Mesh! The worst four letter word in the English language for women who suffer every day from the effects of pelvic mesh.

I can’t seem to change what is happening fast enough. I can’t write enough blogs to make women realize what mesh can do to their bodies and their lives. Mesh grabs and clings to your organs and tissues. It is designed to grow into your tissues and when it shrinks and hardens it pulls against your nerves and muscles. Nerve damage is no joke. Searing agonizing hot poker stabs that come and go and affect different areas of your body. You live in absolute torture. Would this kind of torture be allowed when interrogating men and women in wars? No, not without a giant outcry! Everyone would be yelling what was happening and yet this kind of torture happens to women around the world every day all because of pelvic floor mesh and no one cares.

I knew this morning I had to write this blog and call it ‘save your life’. I am writing it today to honor the young woman who will undergo a lengthy, dangerous surgery today. If you came here looking for answers before you have mesh placed into your body, please, please believe us. Our lives have been shattered because of mesh but yours doesn’t have to be. I am gratified when I read a comment when a woman finds this blog before surgery and says no to this surgery. That is why I continue writing. This one was left a couple of days ago and left on an older blog I wrote on the blog I wrote called TVT and TVT-O Bladder sling.

“I AM IN BUNBURY WEST AUSTRALIA. IT IS QUITE CLEAR TO ME THAT I AM NOT HAVING THIS PROCEDURE NOW.I was going to have this op in two days time: all booked,ready to go. Guess what? I am so glad I googled this, finally!..I can put up with what I have. My man doesn’t find it an issue. And let’s face it…the surgery can only make life worse!!My surgeon assured me mine is a common problem…post babies SUI and he has performed this heaps of times over the past 9 years with no complications and something like 99% success rate. This is a prominent, successful, popular local surgeon. How many women does he regularly refer for this procedure? I didn’t even go in for the SUI particularly, but hey…he said he could help with that with this wonderful sling procedure. NO WAY AM I GOING AHEAD WITH THIS. Thankyou for this site. I only hope others find it prior to proceding. It wasn’t that easy to find. THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU”

When I read and approved the comment I thought “Thank God!” One more life saved.

But all I write is still not enough, nor will it ever be enough. There are thousands of women who still don’t know that mesh is causing their serious illnesses. They are living life totally unaware that the health issues they are dealing with now all began because mesh was put into their bodies. They are having endless back and other surgeries to fix problems that are mesh related and the mesh is still in their bodies continuing to do more damage. How do I know all this? Because I read and listen to so many women affected by pelvic mesh injuries.

The following comment was left a few days ago on the mesh and hysterectomy blog.

“I am so glad I found your website! I had a hysterectomy using the Da Vinci method 4 months ago. A couple of days after the hysterectomy, I was at the hospital again due to a high fever. I was admitted for 3 days. My obgyn was out of town so the Dr on call informed me that I most likely had an infection on my vaginal cuff. It was the first time I had ever heard of a vaginal cuff. My obgyn didn’t discuss that prior to surgery. He didn’t give me an option if I wanted the cervix out or not. He just said he was removing it. I didn’t even think to ask how my vagina would stay put after the cervix was removed. I stupidly trusted him and trusted that the Da Vinci method was the way to go.
I have been to my obgyn several times post surgery and he keeps saying that everything went well on his end. Last week he stated that I am a mystery and he is stumped. I have had a CT scan and he said it was normal. He referred me to physical therapy and pain management. I feel that the obgyn is done with me now. I have constant cramping in my pelvis and inside my vagina, stabbing pains all over my abdomen, stretching/pulling pains under my breasts, pain in my belly button area, pain around my hips and lower back now and numbness in my hands and feet. I feel nauseated often and can’t sleep. I have had 3 bacterial infections in my vagina and 2 yeast infections. I urinate every 2 hours when I used to be a camel. When I bend over it feels like 2 metal plates are stabbing me. Sometimes the pain gets so bad I’m in tears and can’t bear it. I can’t do much of anything. I can’t go back to work. Forget anything close to intimacy with my husband. I feel like an invalid not a wife or a woman. I would go back to having horrible cramps and heavy bleeding any day instead of this. I would much rather wear 4 pads and waddle like a duck for weeks at a time than this. I was promised all would go well and I’d be walking around the block after 1 week. Well, it’s 4 months later and I can’t walk to the bathroom without pain. I want my life back! Oh, I even walk funny now.
Thank you for the support! I will be requesting my surgical notes from the hospital. I’m curious to find out if I have a mesh. Another thing my Dr perhaps didn’t discuss!

This woman is now in a fight to try to fix her life because I am positive she will find out mesh was used at the time of her surgery. Her surgery was just four months ago but sometimes I hear from women who are suffering immediately after their mesh surgery.

What will happen in the future to the hundreds of thousands of women who will be continuously implanted with mesh? Honestly it is such an epidemic now and it is quickly turning into the catastrophe of this century because mesh kits have and are being implanted every day into thousands of women around the world. It all began this century and there is no end in sight.

All I can say now is “Save your life”. “Don’t have any mesh implanted into your body”. Nothing is worth the mess your life will become or the terrible pain you will be left to live with. Become informed. Ask questions. Don’t jump into something that will destroy your body.

There is a drop down box at the top with the few doctors who will do your repairs without doing mesh. There is no guarantee their skills are good, unless you ask questions and seek answers from others who used them. I can’t do it for you. If you need your mesh removed I can only state the doctor who removed mine. The man I trusted with the rest of my life. Dr. Raz was my surgeon and tried to undo all the damage done to me because of mesh.

At least thirty percent of us will remain permanently damaged even after mesh removal and we have to get through each day, one day at a time. If you have mesh placed into your body today you may be one of us. Is that what you want? Stop and think before you have it put into your body.

Another thing I want women to know, is don’t chastise me when I tell you I cannot recommend a doctor I did not use. If you want to go to another doctor, then do your homework. Ask questions of other women after you have learned more about the type of mesh used in your body, how it was put inside you and how it will be extracted. I can only recommend what I know and who I used. The rest is up to you.

This blog is to remind women who have yet to have mesh placed into their bodies that it can destroy your present life and take away your future. The choice is up to you. I’ve now done my part for this moment in time. I can do no more.

7 Comments

  1. Nancy

    Thank you, Linda, for your constant voice calling out the truth about the nightmare of mesh!

    Reply
  2. Joyce Larsen

    So glad I read this site. I am going to send it to every woman I know.

    Reply
    1. lavalinda

      This is all we can do, one woman at a time.

      Reply
  3. English Rose

    Linda, when I read this I can so relate & understand where you are coming from and if I can save just one more woman from going through this nightmare I would feel relief as it really pains me to think everyday women are having THIS RISKY SURGERY and may go on to suffer the consequences.

    Yes some mesh surgeries do go very well but on the other hand some do go wrong and if they do it is likely to be drastic and they may have life impacting complications – none of us think we will be the one that goes wrong 🙁

    I have suffered due to the insertion of synthetic vaginal mesh – I bled internally for 7 days after surgery (I knew in the recovery room that something was wrong) unfortunately the medical team failed to recognise a serious complication had occured resulting in an infected hematoma, a ruptured bowel and the outcome was a lifesaving colostomy(poo bag)- believe me this is not the ideal choice for any woman but I did not have a choice!

    I DID NOT EXPECT THIS TO HAPPEN, I am a strong and positive person but it shattered me and my family and all I want is for women to be better informed prior to choosing this surgery. Sadly I had not researched these mesh surgeries as I thought it was a routine operation and trusted the medical profession here in the UK. Complications from the surgery can arise immediately or many years later – it is like a ticking time bomb.

    Finally I would urge any woman contemplating any type of mesh procedure to do lots of research before you go for it. Speak to women that have had good results and also those that have had complications. Ask your surgeon about the risks and how they would care for you in terms of further surgery if there were any complications eg. how do they repair the bladder or bowel.Do they need to use synthetic mesh or can they use your own body tissue as this carries less risk (costs more)?

    Good luck to all women out there and keep your body safe, it’s precious.

    Reply
    1. lavalinda

      English Rose, thank you for telling your story so that other women can read it. Women in every country are suffering so much and are now in wheelchairs or use walking sticks all because of mesh. That is why we all speak out.

      Reply
  4. Susan

    It is so true, this pain from mesh. I thank Linda for her encouragement to see the doctor in UCLA. I am scheduled for removal January 19th. I am scared, excited, nervous, hopeful yet cautious.
    I have had mesh put in anterior and posterior by a very well known gyno surgeon in my town. He was so excited and totally convinced this mesh would fix my cystocele, rectocele and enterocele. I trusted him. I trusted him!! I asked no questions, I just said yes, let’s do this. I am by nature a very research oriented person, I go online and search and search for everything before I do it, buy it , or yes, put it in my body. But, not this time.
    It has been almost ten years since IT was implanted into my body.
    Seven so called surgeries to take small parts out…. supposedly to rid me of the pain. One of those surgeries almost cost me my life as I had an acute pulmonary embolism hours after surgery.
    I cannot “walk” further than 15 feet, I cannot bend, I cannot pick up anything thing heavier than a couple of folded towels. I cannot use the stairs.
    I have nerve damage inside and out. I cannot pick up my beautiful grandbabies
    Pain is my life. All day all night. It takes no vacation. Ever.
    I use a wheelchair and a cane and one of those grabbers to pick up stuff off the floor. I have instantly aged 20 years to 85 years old
    My best friend is my pain meds. They keep me sane, they take the edge off.
    As my pain doctor says I have a lot of room to increase my dosage. That makes me happy….believe me I am not exaggerating, the pain is everywhere!
    I thank Linda for talking to me and telling me about a wonderful man who takes mesh out. Now, I am too jaded to think all will be perfect after my surgery, but I have hope. Thank you Linda!! thank you for giving me hope when all hope was lost. Bless you. 18 days till we leave for UCLA. I pray for courage. thank you all for reading my story, I hope it helps you.
    Susan

    Reply
    1. lavalinda

      Susan you had the courage to face everything and still fight for a better life. You didn’t give up. You fought to go out to UCLA despite your pain and anguish. It is a struggle but the alternative is to give up and die and don’t let the mesh manufacturers win. Stay alive and fight what is happening to all women. We will be heard!

      Reply

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