Femoral Nerve Injury
It is very strange how some things triggers memories and then they come back full force when you least expect it. That often happens to me when I speak to women and they want to know the symptoms of something that happened to me. By going over things with someone else, within a few hours more memories return and I find myself looking back in time wondering how on earth I got through it all.
Over the phone, she explained to me that she has begun to have a sharp pain suddenly and then her leg would buckle under her. I remember all too well how that happened all the time with me but almost three years after the mesh sling was removed, I am thankful that this happens much rarer these days. Damage was done, but because I took charge of my own health for so long both before and after surgeries, I am doing well enough that my pain is much more manageable without drugs. As long as I do not overdo things I am okay. Overdo is such a strange word because for me overdoing means my daughter took me into Houston and we went to maybe three stores, where I leaned on a shopping cart and pushed myself around. No big exercise program, just something simple that I always took for granted and never once thought about before bladder sling surgery.
I do have another blog on the go but I need to do more research before posting it, so this morning I am going to write about my femoral nerve injury diagnosis. If you know much about me I underwent an EMG in Houston six months after the implant surgery. I was having such a tough time and my leg pain was increasing to the point I could not sleep. I can tell you that an EMG is a huge waste of time and money because it is all up to interpretation by the person who does it. It was an extremely painful test for me and I would never take another one.
I have written several blogs about pudendal nerve damage because I have met women who suffer and cannot sit down without pain medication. I will give you a link to read those blogs after I finish this one.
The hardest thing to get is a nerve injury diagnosis or figure it out yourself. Nerve injury is so strange because it shifts to various parts of your body one day and then is better another and this makes you feel absolutely crazy at times and of course doctors are happy to tell you that you are crazy and hand you pain meds or antidepressants. I refused any and all because I was not crazy, I was injured and I wanted to find a way back without becoming addicted to something else. It meant I had to feel the pain, but for me it was better to feel than not know what I was doing all the time. That is a choice I made and every woman has to decide based on the amount of pain she has and type of injury.
I woke up early this morning and I began to think about my conversation with this woman and memories came flooding back of my own situation after the sling was put into me. One of the things that happened immediately, that at first I did not know was a symptom was that I could not let anything touch my inner thigh. Even a slight touch such as underwear was painful. I could not even lay my own hand on my upper thigh or my groin area. At times when I was going crazy with pain and could not sleep I tried a microwave hot pad but I could not stand it on me to allow the heat to give me relief.
At first I assumed it was because the catheter was in me and once it was out I would be fine. But that didn’t happen. Then I wondered how on earth to dress when I went out. I could not stand to wear trousers, even the softest kind, regardless of how cold it was. So I resorted to wearing long soft cotton skirts which also allowed me on the worse of days to do without any underwear. Yes ladies I did not wear underwear unless I went out, then I had to find something I could wear for a couple of hours. In the end I resorted to wearing oversized men’s soft cotton boxers so that they were long enough to go past the most irritated area. My long skirts covered them up so that no one knew, but I hated all the changes I had to deal with and the feeling I was less of a woman.
As the months went on things became worse and I could no longer reach down to touch my right foot without searing, burning pain. I could not wear any boots and my shoes were limited to slip on leather sandals that I had to wear summer and winter. To this day I cannot wear shoes or boots and cannot touch my right foot.
It was two years and three months from the first implant surgery until I went to have a consult with Dr. Raz at UCLA. He was the one who diagnosed what was wrong and he gave me a nerve block in my groin to find out. That was the first time I felt I was heard and it gave me freedom to believe for absolute sure the damage was done to me. It was overwhelming relief at last to know what I had said all along was the truth.
Four months later he removed my entire sling and one of the symptoms almost instantly disappeared. A feeling that someone had tied a tourniquet around my thigh and pulled it tight. It took around three months until one morning when I awoke, I found myself laying over on my right side. I could not believe it because I had not done that since the day of implant. I had always laid on my back or left side because of pain.
I began taking R-Lipic Acid soon after my removal surgery and took it two and a half years from that time and you will find that blog on the same link about nerve injury. I am happy to report that I am doing so much better and I believe my nerve has healed up to a point after almost three years since removal. I still have symptoms that drive me crazy at times if I stand very long, such as a feeling I can only describe as a bad tooth ache down my leg. I still have irritating groin pain at times and I still have to use a walking stick so that if my leg goes out suddenly, then I won’t fall. I am still classed as disabled.
I can look back at those awful times and know that having the mesh removed was the best thing I ever did. I can celebrate every morning when I wake up and I thank God that I am alive. I have come a long, long way.
Nerve damage and healing is not an overnight thing to happen heal from. It takes so much patience and the best results are if you do take supplements. You won’t have magic instant results. There is no guarantee of success. You just have to have faith and believe the way I did. I wanted to get better even if I could not go back to the way I used to be. Sometimes a small amount of hope is all we need to find life more enjoyable.
One blog you should definitely read if you suspect you have nerve damage is this one, above all others. It explains about why these injuries happen because the process of putting a sling around a bladder is flawed for one reason. It is a blind procedure. Before surgery they do not explain the method but they should. Would any woman have this kind of surgery if a surgeon tells you of the chance of damage? I think not. That is why I continue to write blogs so that women will know BEFORE they have a hysterectomy or a prolapse surgery. It is just not worth the risk.
As for compensation from lawsuits. There is NO SUCH THING. You are left to deal with your injury and your whole life will change. No one will tell you that fact either.
This link will take you to other nerve injury blogs I have written.