I'm All Meshed Up

Bladder Mesh Surgery Gone Wrong

Gifts of love and the wrath of mesh…oh what a day!

on June 12, 2012

I saw my Orthopaedic Surgeon yesterday and thought I was prepared for the outcome, wrong, I got another kick in the proverbial ass…I think in the back recess’ of my mind I knew what was in store for me but in the upfront minds eye, I had talked myself out of the repercussions of what lay ahead.

In the week leading up to my apt with my Surgeon, my mind has been pre-occupied with some wonderful friends in my life and the events that changed their worlds. There have been 3 deaths amongst my circle of friends in the 2 previous weeks. That in itself makes you sit up and go WTF! I may not be a friend that can physically be there but I always try to reach out via email or text and let them know how important they are to me and although I’m limited in my physical abilities, they are held in my heart dearly.

It was a beautiful sunny day and I wanted to drop off a little gift for them prior to my Apt. I picked a wind chime…to me a wind chime signifies freedom from the pain suffered by these important people who had passed away. They say every time a bell rings, an Angel gets his wings, so following on with that analogy, every time the chimes chime, they will be reminded of their loved ones and that although they are no longer here in body, their soul still surrounds them with love.

It was a lovely morning connecting with these friends and it reminded me of how important it is to stay connected to them to the best of my abilities. The original plan was to drop their gifts off on the front steps and leave the little surprise for them but I got caught by 2 friends who opened their doors as I was trying to drop and run! I’m glad though that I was able to have a quick visit with them before I had to go to my apt.

So, with the gifts done it was time to get down to the business of the day, find out the results of my tests for both knees…I got to the office and as I was pulling in, a woman flagged me over and gave me a ticket for her spot that was good for another 2 hours! WOW I thought, it felt like I had won the jackpot or something! Karma, give a gift and it will come back to you…so from someone giving me a simple parking ticket I felt I had conquered the day and nothing could bring me down!

I go into the office and await my fate…I, by the way, am the youngest in the office by about 25 years!! I had a little chuckle to myself as all eyes were on me…I was not at all surprised when an older gentleman said to me, ‘My dear, you are too young to be here, are you sure you have the right office”? He was genuinely convinced I did NOT need an orthopaedic surgeon and wouldn’t have any part of me trying to convince him unfortunately I do. I was happy when my name was called because I didn’t want to argue the merits of my predicament any further with this gentleman!

My surgeon doesn’t waste anytime getting down to business and although I thought I was prepared, I wasnt at all. He showed me my X-Rays and described in great detail the issues of my “disease”, which has now been formally named as “advanced severe osteoarthritis” in both knees. There it was out, the words I didn’t want to hear. So in my usual inquisitive nature, I jump right in with “so how do we fix this”? I was NOT prepared for, “We don’t fix it, we figure out how to manage it”. Oh…ok, that was my worst nightmare becoming my reality. Did I think this is how the apt would go, yes, but I didn’t want to acknowledge it until it was said. So now its out there and I have to figure out how to deal with it.

I started asking questions and my Surgeon would barely get one answered before I threw another at him, finally he said to me, “Diane, lets focus on one question at a time”. Oh…I think I was just wanting to get the hell out of there without fully understanding the ramifications of the diagnosis. If I don’t hear it, then it’s not happening. Wouldnt that be nice, just sweep it under the rug and poof, its gone…problem is my rug is getting a lot of dust under it!

The options put to me are few due to all the health issues from the mesh but I listen eagerly for a “bright” spot in there some where. Option 1 is steroid injections which will buy me some relief for maybe 3-6 months, ok, so that is just one knee and then I must have steroids in the other knee…so, say I have 3 a year on one knee, in total I am looking at 6 a year for both knees, that seems like a lot of steroids for “possible” pain relief and the very real risk of anaphylactic Shock. Option 2 is a gel substance that is injected into the knee between the parts that are bone on bone and causing the pain, option 2 problem, Surgeon is very concerned about once again a high risk of Anaphylactic Shock. Ok, option 3, total knee replacement for BOTH knees. Again, more complications because although the knee itself if made from chrome, the pivot piece of the device is plastic…the concern is that with my body rejecting the mesh as a foreign body, there is a very real possibility of my body rejecting the knee as a “foreign body”. Also I would have to be on antibiotics prior to surgery which in itself is a whole other nightmare due to the fact I am allergic to almost everything on the market, ok, so now what do we do!

I can tell my surgeon is clearly agitated because I am not going to be an easy fix by any means and I get the feeling he is a man who does not like to be conquered! At the end of the day it all boils down to outweighing the pros and cons and right now, the cons are much more real.  I asked him about pain control and mobility issues and he said he can’t give me any of the conventional drugs as I am allergic to some of the ingredients in them so its Advil and Tylenol. As for mobility, the only way I am going to get mobility is from total replacements and that will have to be down the road after all the bladder surgeries.  So, after a lengthy discussion we agree to re-visit this dilemma in the fall after my bladder surgery. I am less than impressed and feel like something was taken from me again, my hopes and my dreams…

My Surgeon will be writing out a report to my Dr and in it he will state the limitations the arthritis has and will put on my life in terms of working which as he said, I wont be able to do. So, if anything good came from the visit, it is my CPP Tribunal will be very enlightening to the board and very validating for me. I am not wanting to take anything from the system, but I will fight for I believe I am entitled to.

When I talked to James last night, he was the never-ending source of encouragement…he said where there’s a will there’s a way and we are not defeated, we will just have to re-adjust our plans for our future, we will not let our future be taken from us, we will just have to figure out different ways of doing all the things we want to do. I never cry on the phone with James…he is 18 hours away and I know how upset he gets when I’m upset so I try to hold it all together and laugh and joke with him about being a handicap…he throws jokes my way and gets me laughing and for a brief period of time I forget my “mesh” life…

Once I hung up from him, I had a damn good cry. I earned that one and I made it a good one! Then I phoned my Mom and after a lengthy conversation with her and her “stories” I decided to call both sisters and see if we needed to step in and do something. At the end of the night we decided that although her “stories” are becoming more and more real to her, she is not hurting anyone so we feel for now she is still able to stay where she is.

Today I am chilling, I am really really drained and I need to rest and get ready for Thursday when I will be at the hospital for my anesthetist consult and tests. My son is taking me and we will go have lunch after and I MAY even attempt a visit to IKEA…I don’t think I can walk it so I may either have to take my crutches or sit in a wheel chair…haven’t decided how I feel about that yet…I am looking forward to spending the day with my son though, we don’t get a lot of time together with him and Amanda both on shift work so I really treasure what little time we do have.

On Friday Teisha and Lily are planning on spending the day with me…I cant wait to see my little sweet pea!!! She is such a little ham now and its highly unlikely she will fall asleep in this Nana’s arms!!! lol Regardless, I am very excited to spend the day with them!

I am getting my hair done on Saturday…going more blonde…I was wrestling with the idea of waiting till after surgery but I thought I would feel better going into surgery with my hair all pretty and my toes nails painted all pretty…James laughed at me when I told him..he said like your Surgeon cares if you have pretty toes and hair…I secretly think he is a wee bit jealous but of course I would NEVER say that to him, it’s actually quite cute and endearing!

So as Mesh once again spills over into other areas of my life, everyday is a new day of learning not only about mesh but about myself. I have come to learn that I am resilient and I will not back down, I may get tired and have days when I just don’t give a damn but then there are more days that are “WTF, I am NOT giving into this”!

“The Journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step”


2 responses to “Gifts of love and the wrath of mesh…oh what a day!

  1. hey pretty lady…..I’m picturing you saving your knees some grief by riding a cool scooter thingy.purple..with a huge shopping basket….with your bottom end on a pink cushion, and a bumper sticker that says don’t mesh with me….after a stint a wheel chair 3yrs ago….I have been eyeballing all the neat cool rides they make nowadays …..you will have to keep your knees working but there are times when you need to save them grief…..and you will get handi-capped parking if your doctor is nice…it sure would have helped me when I couldn’t walk…Bob had the gel put in his shoulder..it helped for about 3 months..oh the friggin joys of the golden years, WTF why didn’t they call them the leaky rusty bucket years……

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    • I love the visual of my scooter!!!! lol how cool would that be!
      The Dr did discuss the gel but said it is high risk for me with anaphylaxis…
      yeah, they certainly arent the golden years I thought they would be!!! lol
      hugs! xoxo

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