Mesh is an Illness
Paintings are by a British artist Destiny Blue.
The paintings above actually capture the words perfectly. How do you answer the question “How are you?” when the answer is so complex and highly personal.
I just posted a blog with the new FDA report about the counterfeit mesh. Women everywhere around the world should be aware of what goes on with these companies who produce the implants that go into our bodies. The best preventative of anything happening to you is to say “No” to mesh. Please view that post here
Yesterday I was checking up on a woman who I knew had a very serious surgery three months ago and I wondered how she was handling life right now. There’s no other way to put it than ‘handling life’ because what happens after mesh complications can become an ongoing nightmare for many women. She answered by telling me what was going on with her and also said “I just wish everyone would stop telling me I look fine”. Believe me I get it.
I decided to try to write a blog that explains a little about mesh complications for friends and family who wonder what their loved one is dealing with. I also want to tell you why the stock answer is “I’m okay”, when indeed many of us aren’t okay and will never be okay again. The problem with internal complications is, it doesn’t show on the outside unless we are near death. There’s no way to see the extreme complications that can happen when a mesh implant erodes through a bladder wall, the vagina, urethra and the colon, because none of them are exposed and all are in a personal place that is difficult to talk about.
To try to put this into perspective, I can tell you that we all understand how waste dumping in landfills and oceans affect our delicate ecological system. There has been so many programs and movies explaining how toxic waste seeps into the earth and even after many years can cause extreme illness in humans. What is hard to wrap your mind around is that this can actually do the same in the human body by mesh implants.
Another problem I now realize that is the big T.V advert splashes done by lawyer’s to collet clients after the warning was put out in 2011, has actually hurt the campaign against these products, because the public assumes that when a woman signs up with a lawyer she is just wanting to collect money, and nothing can be that extremely wrong with her. This is because we have been conditioned to believe this is so and the adverts did not really explain what the real complications are and what they can do to a woman’s body. The time slot for an advert is to get as many clients as possible in a thirty second period, not state why the products are doing so much damage. The reason is, every woman reacts very differently to mesh in her body and there is no simple explanation and trying to explain is a documentary in length of time.
The other bad side effects of the lawyer campaigns was that doctors became defensive often accusing women right to their faces that they only want to collect money instead of listening to their symptoms. This defense action was because they want to continue doing these surgeries and a lot is at stake for them too, such as a large cut back in their finances if they don’t do them anymore. In a few days I will share another blog I am working on that will give you more details to back this up.
Another fallout of mesh implants is that many women lose all support of family and friends because she can no longer work or deal with daily life. Many become depressed and they withdraw from everyone because they feel there is no hope to get the implant removed. Often they don’t even know what the implant is or that it is causing their pain. This is valid because these implants were never meant to be removed and they grow into tissues and organs. The medical term for this is granulates, which means it adheres to anything it can and the object was originally that it would become the same as our own tissue. But that never happens. Plastic does not compare to human tissue and never will. Other implants won’t either and all are being sued.
The very word mesh now causes any injured woman to cringe. So the medical industry decided to change the rhetoric so that they could continue doing this to women. Doctors now tell women they no longer use ‘that mesh’. It is a lie. The manufacturers continue to use the same base product and rename them and add new patents. The changing scene of these implants causes confusion for women and works well for doctors when they are explaining to women not to worry about complications. However, the moment a woman begins complaining of symptoms after surgery, those same charismatic and kind doctors change attitude and become annoyed and make it difficult for a woman to go back to them. The truth is, she is better off not going back, but the experience can be devastating when she has seen the same doctor for many years and feels he/she is a friend. It is betrayal.
So how do you tell a friend what you are going through when the explanation is long and drawn out with no simple term? Most women don’t. However I saw something roll through my Facebook feed that I thought was a great beginning. A young woman who has gone through this already and is on the other side of this and will be okay, posted a photo of all the kinds of prescription drugs she was on before complete removal to try to save her life. She has become an advocate in her own community because she is so grateful to be alive after such a long drawn out, terrifying ordeal. She had planned on doing something for cancer patients in her community, by buying fun and colorful socks and delivering them to those who are going through cancer treatment and was calling them ‘Cheerful socks”. She told me yesterday that now she is doing it for mesh women who are talking to her now that they are seeing her posts. Women who have been going through it and doctors have refused to believe it was the mesh causing their long illness. I have told her this is wonderful to do this and she will help many women now that she is speaking out.
So why is mesh causing so many complications? It is because it was never properly tested before it was FDA approved. How did this happen? It happened because the mesh manufacturers got these implants through on a tail end of other products the same way law maker’s tacks on extra laws we know nothing about. Yes it is unbelievable, but very true.
There was testing done on rats, dogs, sheep and cows but all failed. Did this stop them from putting them into women’s bodies? Heck no. They ignored all the studies and carried on with business as usual. I will give you links to read at the end of this blog so that you can learn more to help someone going through this.
Why does the FDA only put out warnings but they don’t recall them? Only a couple of mesh products have EVER been recalled, and they refuse to recall them because doctors say they can’t do anything to help women when their bladder drops, or they are incontinent after childbirth. BULL!
My own sister had a bladder lift done over forty years ago after her second child was born. It was done using sutures and she has just turned seventy without any complications or reoccurrence. It used to be a specialist surgery where a doctor was trained and spent a great many hours learning. Then came mesh kits and all that stopped.
I have been a designing for most of my life and I sold many kits with instructions with the things someone could make something very beautiful. People love the ease of buying something precut and intact so that they don’t have to go shopping and do things the hard way. So the mesh manufacturers in the early 2000’s got smart. One began selling a do-it-yourself kits with a fast learn track for doctors to put them in women. It became HIGHLY profitable and more manufacturers jumped in to join them. What happened to women after all these different doctors jumped on the fast track to riches, was none of these manufacturers concern. They have made billions and will continue to do so because no one is stopping them. I will give you links at the bottom of this blog so that you completely understand.
Was mesh itself a problem and not just kits? Yes it was and it is. The mesh has been covered with several chemicals and it is plastic based. Over time it can cause extreme immune disorders let alone the erosion. So don’t believe any doctor who says he can fix you without using a kit. I have spoken to many women who had the exact same results as using a kit and sometimes worse.
I write of things like erosion which happens a lot. But women do not understand that three or more infections in a year after a mesh implant spells out trouble. Something is going on and they need to find out more. Often a dip stick in a doctor’s office won’t show any infection at all and there is good reason. Bacteria when built up in the mesh internally won’t show in a urine test. Instead it needs to go to a lab and have a culture done which take around 4 days to grow the bacteria. That is expensive to do, so it does not get done anywhere near as much as it should. Then once a bacteria has been identified, a specific antibiotic drug will be given to try to combat the infection. At first it may work but then the bacteria grows again and over time the drug no longer kills it. Then you become resistant to one or many antibiotics. The only hope you have is to have the mesh COMPLETELY removed by a competent doctor who knows what they are doing or if not you are in danger of having your kidneys shut down and dying.
My story is very long and as yet I have not shared everything that happened to me, but I wound up disabled because of an implant. The implant that was used in me was used on thousands of women and I know many just like me. Many women did not have this happen to them at the very beginning after surgery. Sometimes it takes years and then they begin to feel leg or groin pain. The reason is mesh shrinks inside the human body and when it shrinks it pulls on nerves, muscles and organs. Sometimes after removal and a few months of taking certain supplements, the nerves can heal, but it can take up to two years to know. Sometimes, they will heal only so far but the damage left is permanent.
Now we’ll get down to erosion. Erosion simply means it is poking through tissue and is causing leaks inside your body. It is not simple however. Erosion through the bladder wall and urethra is unbelievably painful and the damage can be great. Urine can leak into a delicate eco system that is inside our body. That leaking can do damage long term. Erosion into the urethra can result in complicated and painful surgeries to fix it. You wind up doing self-cath for a long time or sometimes for the rest of your life with bladder or urethra damage. I have spent many months twice doing this and have written a blog on how to do it to help women go through it. Believe me it is not easy and it can be horrifying to learn you have to do it and once again this can turn your life into a tailspin.
Sepsis. When I was young I heard the words blood poisoning but never sepsis. I did not understand what it was or how fast it could kill you. Erosion through the colon can bring death quickly due to sepsis. However, no one says mesh caused erosion and the result was sepsis. Death certificates say the word sepsis but not the reason. But sepsis also occurs when bacteria builds in the mesh inside our bodies and antibiotics can no longer kill it. You only have a few hours to live and you only stand a chance if you rush to the ER and the doctor there recognizes the symptoms, puts you in the hospital and begins IV treatment without delay. Many women die because this does not happen quickly.
Erosion in the colon also means fecal incontinence. Yes it sounds gross and terrible and it is. I have listened to women crying on the phone telling me how they had to deal with it while working, driving their car and living normal life. Many stop going anywhere socially because they are so embarrassed and can’t tell their friends and family. The result long term can be removal of part or all the colon and a new set of problems arise. Then you have a bag installed with attachment where you empty it either for fecal matter or urine. Sometimes women wind up with both.
Nerve damage. It can be so severe either from the implant or the wrong person removing it. Sometimes partial removal and leaving some in has devastating results because it can move and attach itself to anywhere inside your body. The only relief is full removal if possible or major pain drugs which can be very addictive. Once again a new set of problems and often the old problem of mesh is still there. So this is a total round-a-bout with no way to get off until death.
Have I painted a devastating and horrible picture of these implants? I hope so because I have been working endlessly for six years trying to warn women and tell them not to trust doctors because they lie. Yes, there is no other way to put it because it goes on every day. Women’s lives are at stake, let alone their relationships, financial status and their careers. Until the FDA states no doctor can use these implants on a regular basis and they have to be board certified with many hours of training in the old ways to repair women, this will continue and I see no end to the distruction these products are doing to women’s bodies.
I am writing this blog from the viewpoint of women who are not able to share much with family and friends because they are either in a lawsuit and have been told to remain quiet, or they just can’t get into such personal details. I have been writing about this for ongoing six years and I have learned to adjust to writing about them because of all the things other women have told me about what they went through or are still going through. My motive is purely because what is happening to women is unjust and outrageous. No one pays me to say anything here and no one will pay me to remain quiet. No one will take my voice away and I intend to at least try to save some women from being badly injured because of these implants.
Money and greed are the two biggest reasons for this to continue and I doubt if this will end in my lifetime, if ever. Now here are links for you to read to get a greater understand of what your loved one or friend is going through. Please don’t walk away and ignore this because they need you.
Now here are other blogs to help you understand more to help a family member through this or a friend.
First I want you to read what it is like for a husband to watch his wife suffer. http://www.meshangels.com/til-mesh-us-do-part/
Next I want families and friends to read about lawsuits. http://www.meshangels.com/lotteries-liars-lawsuits/
This is a recent blog I wrote to try to help women deal with fear. http://www.meshangels.com/dealing-with-fear/
There is more than just physical pain to deal with once mesh is put in your body. This will explain more. http://www.meshangels.com/mental-anguish-of-mesh/
Here you can read an update on my own situation. http://www.meshangels.com/my-bladder-sling-defective/
What is it like for a daughter to see her mother go through this? My daughter wrote her feelings. http://www.meshangels.com/daughter-of-mesh/
The last thing I want to say is by speaking out I have helped thousands of women. However with the help of other injured women we can change this and save many more. Speak out and share this blog.