Mental Anguish of Mesh
I’m a burden. There I said it. I hate being a burden and would never choose to be one but I have no choice. I have a good mind trapped in a body that is racked with pain on a daily basis. I’m not being negative, just stating a real fact of my situation. I’d like to be independent again but I have had to learn to accept that it will never happen. It won’t because almost three years after my last surgery I am still in a mess and although improved, the damage was already done.
I understand what it must be like for someone to have a serious accident and be left in a body with a good mind, but I was never in an accident. I am like this because of an implant called pelvic mesh. A man made product that was never tested except on the real women of the world. Why? No one answers that question.
Recently other women have told me they know they are a burden on their loved ones and how much they hate it. I get it. I once asked my daughter to write what it is like to be the adult daughter of a mesh injured woman. I told her not to hold back, but I know she did somewhat for fear of hurting me. But she did a good job and I will share it here again. But I can see how hard it is for her to do just about everything here in our home.
All my life I have been a hard worker raised by parents who told their daughters that just because we were born female did not mean life was going to be easy. We all pulled our weight and learned what hard work meant. I minded the hard work as a kid which I am sure is normal, but as I became a wife and mother, I was glad I learned to work hard. In fact I quite enjoyed it. When my daughter was twelve she came home one day from school and I was in work clothes painting and putting up shelving. She looked at me and said “I’m not going to do this when I marry, I am going to have plenty of money and hire someone”. I laughed and knew more than likely she would find that she too would work hard and believe me she has.
I was so lucky. I was never sick and never had a surgery through my entire life before mesh. I was up and down ladders all day, finishing projects that my husband and I began together before he had to go back on the rig. He loved that I worked beside him and never minded getting dirty. He once told me that he had told the men who worked for him, that if his wife was allowed on the rig, I would run circles around them. I kept things neat and clean from all our projects when building our first house together. No hiring people, we did all the work. When he left for the rig I finished up projects that I could do alone. I kept up the house and garden. I planted gardens and enjoyed watching things grow. Life was good and hard work fulfilling.
After his death I began working alongside my daughter on a house we were building together. She is just like her dad. Hard working and clever and she was building and I would finish up behind her and keep things neat and picked up. She never had to ask me to do something, I was used to work and automatically did what was needed doing. All that stopped after mesh and I miss it. She doesn’t look at me angrily but I know she misses the mother I was.
Five years after mesh I do very little around the house. No work outside and just menial tasks inside such as loading a washing machine and then the dryer and folding clothes. I clean up in the kitchen for as long as I can stand before the leg pain gets profuse. I can’t say I am a productive member of a household anymore, because I know what that truly means. I know she is glad I am here and alive but at times I see her struggling under the weight of being my carer.
I can’t drive anymore. I am a danger to others and I won’t hurt anyone the way I have been hurt. Even a simple trip to the dentist for her, means she has to drive home regardless of how she feels. I used to do that and think nothing of it. Now everything is difficult, not just for me but for her too.
If only we could take it back! Life just doesn’t work that way of course and we have to learn how to deal with it. It’s not surprising that the mental anguish of mesh is not just about us. It is about our children regardless of age and our partners. Mothers wind up being the carers of their younger daughters who struggle because of these surgeries. Mothers and partners take over as the care takers of young children when women cannot care for them. They don’t have a choice either and they can’t turn back the clock. They can’t change what has happened to us, nor fix us. But many try hard and the burden is on everyone.
My daughter has researched constantly trying to find a cure for my dizziness, to no avail. I have taken every kind of supplement there is to see if my vision will return to normal. Nothing has worked. I take many supplements to control the pain in my right leg, hip, and foot and all it does it help reduce the pain, but nothing changes the damage cause by mesh.
The anguish of mesh is far reaching. It spreads like fury to all who love us. They suffer too. They feel angry at times and we have to understand why. It has nothing to do with us, it is just the frustration of what has been afflicted upon us.
If you are a woman seeking answers BEFORE you go in for a hysterectomy or prolapse repair, ask yourself one question. Can your own close relationships survive mesh injuries? Many relationships break under these pressures and women find themselves alone. Do you really want to risk it?
Like I said I am not being negative, just being realistic. This is what it is like to be the person who cares for a mesh injured woman.