I'm All Meshed Up

Bladder Mesh Surgery Gone Wrong

The Beginning of a long “meshed” up story known as my Life…

on March 9, 2012

This Mesh blog is not for the faint at heart…it will be very graphic at times, very honest all of the time and down right bizarre some of the time.

In Dec 2009 I had TVT-O surgery for a bladder prolapse. I always thought I lost my vanity after the birth of my 2 kids but to be quite honest, it was during the process of getting ready for the surgery and then the actual operation when I really lost it.

After my surgery I was very sore on the right side and could barely sit on my buttocks. I was in pain but was re-assured by my Dr that the pain would subside, I didn’t push the issue any further and that was MY first mistake. I always preach about going with your “gut” instinct or your “women’s” intuition and yet for some reason I didn’t and it’s a mistake I will forever regret.

The pain did go but I noticed other things happening to my body in terms of illness.”  In  May 2010 I got pneumonia but I didn’t even have a cold, I went to the Dr. for something totally unrelated and he listened to my chest and sent me for a chest X-ray. He called me the next morning and said to come in and see him right away. I had pneumonia he said and he couldn’t believe I didn’t even feel sick. He put me on antibiotics and off I went! Two weeks later I went back and the pneumonia had not gone even though I felt fine so he put me back on the same antibiotics. I took one pill ( I was home alone while doing this) and right away felt very nauseous and weird, my heart rate went crazy, my chest and throat felt funny and I was very itchy. I realized something weird was happening  so I drove to my Dr’s office just 2 minutes away. I ran inside ( didn’t even park my car I just left it in park in the middle of the parking lot) and yelled I think I’m having an allergic reaction. The receptionist whisked me into a room and the Dr came flying in and by this time I could barely breathe, he said I have to give you a shot of EPI and I said, “NO.” He looked me right in the eye and said, “Diane, without this you will die as you are in Anaphylactic Shock from the antibiotic”.  Stick the needle where ever you want was my only response realizing the serious of the situation. My Dr said if I had stayed at home and waited for an ambulance I would have died.

After that I noticed the prolapse again so went back to my Dr for a referral back to my Gynecologist, again. This was now the summer of 2010 and I wasn’t doing so well physically. I got a bladder infection and was given Macrobid and I ended up in the ER with an allergic reaction to it. So that drug was now eliminated and I was down to very few antibiotics.

I was also having severe knee issues as well from an injury but the Dr was more shocked at the amount of osteo-arthritis I had for my age which was 49 at that point. I was scheduled for 2 knee surgeries going into 2011.

My health was slowly declining over the last year or more with colds, infections, headaches and just feeling under the weather a lot of the time. I just couldn’t put my finger on one thing and was frustrated with the never-ending health issues. I was missing a lot of work and knew I had to make some serious decision about that issue. It took me most of 2010 to make a decision but I finally came to the conclusion that I was no longer able to work. I had tried to work full-time which was a nightmare so I then went part-time with no difference in my health. I decided to retire from my Government job of 31 years due to my health.

March 30, 2011 was my retirement date but due to being scheduled for surgery in February 2011 my last day of work was Jan 28, 2011 and it  was a painful day for me. I was overwhelmed with having to say goodbye to my co-workers with whom I had spent the past 20+ years with. They were not only my co-workers, they were my “family” who had been there for me through many difficult events in my life. I was very saddened by feeling like my health had forced me to make a decision I wasnt really ready to make.

February 2011 I had my first knee operation with no complications initially. In April 2011 I had an “anterior vaginal” repair done for a 2nd bladder prolapse. I was in hospital for 4 days and was having problems voiding after the catheter was taken out so they put it back in. The next day it was removed and I went home. I had a very odd vaginal smell (sorry for the graphic description) and was having difficulty voiding and had lots of back and pelvic pain. In April 2011 my Dr said I had a bladder infection and because of my severe drug allergies, we decided I would try to fight it myself. In July 2011 I still had the infection so my Dr referred me to an infectious disease specialist because of drug allergies.

 I saw her the following afternoon and was in hospital the next morning having IV antibiotics on an outpatient basis. She was furious as she said a bladder infection that long can CAUSE Toxic Shock which I had nearly died from when I was 16!!!! The drug was to be given over a 3 hour time frame (40-60 minutes is the standard) and I did ok until the 10th day when a nurse thought it was ridiculous to run the drug over that  amount of time.  I explained to her about my severe allergies and the risk of anaphylaxis and she said it was still ridiculous. I thought we had an agreement she would run it as prescribed so I put my iPod on and settled in for a nap during my treatment. The next thing I knew she was waking me up, she had run the IV over 40 minutes instead of 3 hours. I was furious and I felt sick and told her she should not have gone against the Dr’s orders. I went home and by the end of the day I had to get my daughter to take me to the ER I was so sick, I was having another reaction because of how the drug was administered! I raised hell with the hospital and demanded disciplinary action for the nurse.

In June 2011 I had another knee surgery even though I wasn’t healing very well from the first one and was in a mess from the bladder still. Somewhere around Oct/Nov 2011, I was noticing other things about my health but couldn’t connect the dots. I was so frustrated as I was still on crutches from my surgeries and dealing with all these health issues, I was becoming very depressed and just wanted to close the world out. I felt safe in my home and didn’t venture far from it.

During this time I went back to my Dr for another referral to my gynecologist as  I was also experiencing a vaginal and rectal prolapse again and was in a lot of pelvic pain, back pain, shooting pain down right leg, vaginal bulging and sharp pains, the list goes on. My Dr referred me back to my Gynecologist for consultation. When I saw her she did an internal and SAW the mesh eroded through the vaginal wall. She offered to “fix” it and I said, “Why in the hell would I want something in me that is made of Poly Propylene which is Petroleum. I want it OUT of me ASAP”. Her initial response was that she didn’t feel that was necessary. I had already done A LOT of research on the whole Transvaginal Mesh issues and knew in that moment what my body was going through, it is called, “Foreign Body Rejection.” Essentially it is your own body being allergic to the mesh and trying to reject it so you are always in a constant state of battle with your body.

In the mean time I was being tested for my drug allergies by an immunologist who said I was allergic to almost everything and  labelled me with “Multiple Drug Allergy Syndrome”. I just did the last of my drug allergy tests last Friday and am now only able to take 2 antibiotics via IV in Hospital. My allergist said it is very important I stay healthy because for me getting sick and taking antibiotics can literally be my life on the line. That is the scariest feeling I have ever had and it is a fear I carry every day. As I write this blog I am waiting for test results of strept throat. I am a nervous wreck about it.

I went to my GP in Feb with paper work for Canada Pension Disability as I left my Government job due to medical reasons. My Dr said he wanted to do some blood work as I was in tears trying to tell him how sick I feel most of the time. I told him this is not normal, people don’t live like this. He sent me for blood work and the tests came back positive for Lupus…I am now waiting for a referral to a Rheumatologist.

I can’t seem to get a handle on my health as I will feel fine for a few days and then sick for a week, it’s never-ending and I’m tired of it all. I just became a first time Nana and am missing out on precious time with my grand-daughter because I am sick most of the time. I am angry beyond words over this whole situation.

I have however met some wonderful “mesh” friends and this will be one of those battles in which I think all of us “meshies” will have to stick together and fight back. We are taking a stand against the medical experts and they do not like to be challenged, they see it as a personal attack against them. 

This is also about a Government that won’t stand up for those of us afflicted. It is also about 2 governing bodies, the FDA and HEALTH CANADA who have NOT supported us. Yes they did issue warnings in 2008, 2010 and 2011 but not once did they contact those of us who had this surgery to see if we were having any concerns. Its one of those situations that if swept under the carpet it will go away. What they don’t realize is how powerful women in numbers can be.

My goal with this blog is for now purely information for other women who are not sure what is happening to them. I will help you as much as I can. I will walk alongside you in your journeys in life, I will write about my journey’s in hopes that I can pave the way for a better tomorrow for you. If I can prevent even one women from going through the hell I am in, then I will have accomplished my mission.  The only things I cannot do is advise you on Doctors or Lawyers. This is strictly my story.

 

Although my story is not backed by “scientific evidence” at present, it is real, it is happening and it is my life.

“I do not define myself by how many roadblocks have appeared in my path. I define myself by the courage I’ve found to forge new roads. I do not define myself by how many disappointmens I’ve faced. I define myself by the forgiveness and the faith I have found to begin again. I do not define myself by how long a relationship lasted. I define myself by how much I have loved, and been willing to love again. I do not define myself by how many times I have been knocked down. I define myself by how many times I have struggled to my feet. I am not pain. I am not my past. I am that which emerged from the fire”


3 responses to “The Beginning of a long “meshed” up story known as my Life…

  1. Eleanor Roach says:

    Diane;
    My heart bleeds for you, as I was reading your story my eyes were filling up. So much of what you wrote is my story, well almost all of it really. It’s so sad we live this day in and day out, I have bad days more then I have good days, I thank God every day for my beautiful husband and children, as well as my wonderful friends. Thank you so much for sharing your struggles with us, it means alot to all of us meshies to hear anothers story! Your story justifies all our own symptoms and medical issues! Again THANK YOU for sharing your story.

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    • Hi Eleanor:
      As I was reading all of your stories, justified is EXACTLY how I felt! I knew in that instant I was not loosing my mind as previously thought…
      It is all about strength in numbers and standing as a united front…We will laugh together, cry together and rejoice together because we WILL BE VICTORIOUS!!!

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  2. Noreen Wideman says:

    Teary eyed at this end of the world, our stories have so many common denominators, crying for us all, but will dry my eyes and fight back, and take each day as it comes, and enjoy the little moments of joy to their fullest extent and trust that what the Creator brings us to ,we have the power to get through with His help and the help of family, friends, ……..and yes Eleanor, we will be victorious. Diane, you are amazing…..as are all the women who have stepped forward and will not be silent, already spreading my story has stopped women I care about from having mesh medical implants, and they have spoke to their friends…..the ripple effects of our testimony shall be felt, and we shall protect others from this barbaric practice.

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