I'm All Meshed Up

Bladder Mesh Surgery Gone Wrong

Just “meshing” with ya today….

So, as promised I am sharing my story from my surgery day! Never a dull moment in my life and even if the laugh was on me, it was a good one!!

As most of you know, I had a series of 4 operations last year…I did well with all the anesthetics except the last one for some reason. I remember waking up on the OR table and seeing a bright light above me…I clearly remember thinking to myself, WTF, did I die?!! No freakin way! Ok, just so you all know, I have had a near death experience and know what the bright lights and tunnel thing are all about…I was freaking out thinking, “Holy Sh*t’, this time I actually bit the dust! Well, within probably 30 seconds of all of this happening the anesthetist was pulling the tube out of my throat and calling my name. My first words were, “Am I  dead?” he laughed and re-assured me I had not gone towards the bright light! Phew, dodged that bullet!!

So, when I went for my anesthetists consult the week before this surgery, I kept this in mind to tell the Dr. about it. He was a wonderful English man who really had my best interest at heart…he did comment that I had a “checkered” past! Gee thanks! He spent an hour with me going through every intricate detail. At the end of our hour I told him about my “bright light” experience and he said not to worry about it, he would not let that happen…ok, so this guys a keeper!

I was extremely nervous about the whole surgery deal as the Surgeon couldn’t really tell me how it would go until he “got in there”…sounds gross, but that’s just the way he put it to us.

We got to the hospital and got me checked in and settled. James was such a trooper, he HATES hospitals and yet he never left my side, even when the nurse asked him to step out for a moment he was reluctant and questioned as to why he had to leave, she said well I’m going to start her IV…enough said, James was gone!! lol

So, IV is in and the anesthetist comes in to talk to me again, we go over a few details, he asks once again if I would prefer a Spinal and once again I say NO, I don’t want to see or hear any of you while your “down there” thank you very much, no offence! He laughed and said, ok, it’s a deal…The nurse comes back in and talks to James and I about the drugs they are going to run through me and when she said you are having a prophylactic antibiotic my heart leapt in my chest…James knows my reactions to things very well, he can read me like a book, so he asks is it necessary and she says, yes, Dr ordered it…Now don’t get me wrong, the Nurse I had was fantastic and understood my fears and was very patient with me. She told me the name of the drug and I said, well that aint happening, I had a reaction to that last summer…ok, at this point I already have THREE very red bands on my arm from all my allergies!!!! So, the nurse checks with the Surgeon and we switch to a different drug…I’m having a heart attack by this time as I am scared to death of Anaphylactic Shock, if you’ve never had it there are no words to describe that feeling of knowing you could die…The surgeon came back to see me and we decided to not start the drip until I’m in the OR…phew!

The Nurse then hands me a prescription for after care meds…anti-immflammatories and pain pills…I read it and yep, once again, can’t take them…I now have another beautiful red band added! Surgeon comes back again and says you really are a challenge, aren’t you, and hands me a prescription for T3’s and says, can you take these, YEP I say, it’s a go! …James and I couldn’t discern whether he was joking, serious or plain pissed off he had to keep coming to talk to me! lol

The OR nurses come to the pre-op room to introduce themselves and comment on me being a “difficult case” and the Dr’s all being on edge…ok, seriously, that’s not something you say to a patient who is heading into surgery! WTF!!!! I’m stressed to the max at this point and irritated because it’s not like this is my first operation, I had 4 in just 5 months last year! James takes my hand and squeezes it hard to let me know everything will be ok…they tell me its time to go and James leaves, looking back at me until I’m out of sight…

The OR nurse knows I am really scared so she says, are you up for a walk?, I’m thinking a walk, where the hell to…I say sure where we going and she laughs and explains that if I am up to walking to the OR my mind will be preoccupied and I won’t be so nervous…what the hell I say and off we go…Strange having to walk to the OR!!!

So we are walking along and passing all the OR’s and I can see the surgeons heads and think to myself, I should have taken the free stretcher ride instead, this is creepy!!! lol   I’m in OR 8 and we are at OR 6 and a nurse says to me, “hey, you’re the mesh lady, aren’t you?”…Yep thats me! She says so are you going to get them to just fix the mesh and add more?”  I’m looking at this woman thinking are you out of your freaking mind!!! I tell her quite emphatically, “NO, I want it ALL out of me”!!!!! Ok, now we are passing OR 7 and another Nurse says to me, “We heard about the bright lights story, that was a good chuckle”. Seriously what the F is wrong with you people…you don’t say that to someone who is one door away from her destination! I say Yes to the nurse and keep going…I am half chuckling under my breath cause it is actually kind of funny but then I am also a little chuffed because how do these people know all this stuff! This is not something I wanted to be famous for! One of the Nurses even saw the CTV news piece a few of us “meshies” were in…

We get to my OR and I make my grand entrance and am received with a round of applause! Ok, this is just too much! They say I am well-known in the OR department…do I really want to know or can someone just shoot me up with some good drugs and put me out of my misery…but oh no, true to form, Diane has to know…so I say, “and why is that?”…Well honey, my OR nurse says, you have led a very interesting life…we’ve read your surgical reports and you have been a busy lady and have kept all the Dr’s here on their toes…ok, cool…like seriously, what do you want me to say to that!

I need help getting on the OR table because of my knees but once there I am reminded again of the fear…its creeping back into me…I’m trying to take deep breaths and relax and thankfully my anesthetist walks in all chipper and singing…he asks me what my anxiety is on a scale of 1-10 and I yell 15 before he even has chance to finish his sentence…hes says to me, “really, we’ll have to do something about that then’…and the next thing I know he is standing over me and asking me how I feel now…I stumble over my words, ‘I feel fabulously and awesome” and sometime in that sentence I remember the mask over my face and the inevitable take deep breaths Diane, deeper, relax and poof, I’m gone….

I wake up in the OR and the first thing I see again is the dam bright light but my anesthetist is right in my face saying, “its alright dear, it’s not THE BRIGHT LIGHT, it’s just the OR light, you are fine and on your way to the recovery room’….Ahhhhhh….I made it….sleep comes swiftly now….I don’t know how much pain meds I had but I felt good in terms of pain…I’m in and out of sleep when I hear, ‘Walter, its time to wake up’…”Walter, your surgery is over, WAKE UP”…Ok, I know I’m NOT Walter so who the F is Walter and why are you yelling at him? My nurse comes over with more pain meds, which I accept graciously and doze off again only to awaken to, “Walter your surgery is done, you NEED to wake up, come on WALTER, wake up”…Ok, I am seriously ready to kick Walters ass and so I yell, “Walter, if you don’t wake up IM gonna come over there and wake you myself”!!! The Nurses all start laughing and Walter wakes up!! Funny thing is, he got mad at me for yelling at him! lol  I said your just damn lucky I didn’t come over there!

My surgeon comes into the recovery room and tells me he got a lot out but there is still mesh on the Obturators and he can’t get that off…The mesh was put in a kit sent to the hospital by the Research Lab and then sent to them for analysis. My surgeon gives me the spiel about a long recovery, take care, don’t do this or that and then leaves. The anesthetist once again comes over to see me and he put his hand on my shoulder and said, “You did good Diane”…I tell him, “No, YOU did good Doc, you were right in my face when the bright light hit me and told me I was very much alive, THANK YOU!” We mutually agree we are a good team and the drug part of the surgery was a success! I told him I want him at all future surgeries and he said  I could request him…he said we are keeping your medical records on file here so you dont have to go through all the paper work again…Im so Special!!! lol

I’m in the post op room now getting ready to go and my son-in-law is on the phone with James making sure I am ok…I know my daughter is just like me, a worrier so he wanted to be able to tell her that her Mom is fine…and truly I was…

It has been an interesting recovery so far….At 4 days out I was choked about how I was still feeling and phoned my Surgeon…he said that I am right on track and A LOT of his women patients phone during the first week to see if they can do this or that….Today I am 7 days post op and still on drugs, feeling more tired than I have ever been in my life, and still really really sore…I phone my surgeon once again he assures me I am doing well and I am NOT 7 days out, I am 6 days out….I argue with him it’s actually 7 days and he says NO its 6, we don’t count the surgical day as day 1…ok, now I am feeling ripped off….hmmmm….no rebuttle to that so I thank him for his time and hang up….

All in all I would say I am healing well…When I was told it would be a long recovery I can now see why….there are so many physical  changes going on in my body and then there is the emotional part of all of this. I feel violated and angry that I have had to go through all of this…By the same token I feel thankful that I am able to advocate and educate other women contemplating this surgery…its a weird place to be…

I believe everything in life happens for a reason…I went through all I did when I was a teenager that prepared me for my role in helping my husband die with peace, grace and dignity…I endured his illness by believing in myself and my abilities to make his request of dying at home a reality…I also believe I have gone through this mesh mess in order to help others NOT go through it…

Life is about choices, we all have to make them and sometimes we make the wrong ones only to be put back on the right track…sometimes that track is a learning experience. I also believe there are no regrets in life…everything I have gone through, all the choices I have made, good or bad, have been for a reason….they may not have turned out the way I had planned but I dont look at it as a regret, it is a learning experience, take what you can from it and move on with your life.

So, here’s to another surgery done and now I let my body heal and prepare for the next round….mesh does NOT define me, I define me and mesh can go to hell!

“Often daunted, NEVER defeated”






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