The sadness that I read every day is so hard to deal with except for the blessings that I hear when a woman tells me she made her appointment with UCLA and has made the first small step to wellness. Not perfection, because with mesh complications, few of us will ever experience that again, but a better life after mesh removal. Your fight and mine is should be regarded as a Mesh Marathon. You have a lot to do to build up your body and you have to prepare yourself for surgery and continue with that care after surgery. Mesh removal is major surgery. Many women have terrible issues by the time they make it to UCLA and to stay healthy enough for surgery you may have to think outside the box.
Once again I am looking at my own health situation because I will travel back to UCLA to have a sling made using my own fascia this coming April. I promise I will write about it after I am home again and well enough to do so. I am one of the unfortunate few who have complete incontinence because the mesh cut into my urethra and Dr. Raz had to rebuild it. When he asked me if I wanted him to remove the right side only of this sling when I went for consult, I had to think about it because of the incontinence issue. However, it did not take me long to think it over and I emailed him and said “I want it all gone. Every last bit of it!” All I could think about was the ticking time bomb inside my body and all the stories I had heard from other women. They were seriously ill after mesh had been inside them for a number of years and I did not want it to happen to me. My situation could not be fully determined until the day before surgery when the tests were performed for Dr. Raz to decide how my case should be handled. However, after the tests were done, Dr. Raz told me himself it all needed to come out. I was ready and I am so glad it is done.
I made up my mind at that time and ever since that I would tackle my situation one day at a time. Regardless of whatever happened because of the mesh, I would allow my body to heal first and make sure I remained well. I’ve done just that. When I got back to my hotel after removal surgery, I had my supplements lined up and I began to take them again. I ate small meals while my body cleared the anesthesia and I made sure I drank plenty of fluid. I did all this for me and my future. I was not going to let mesh destroy the rest of my life.
As always before I continue, I have made it clear that I am not a medical professional and nor am I telling you what to do. What I write about is my own experience and those of others who have done the same as me. Take charge of your own health. I have been acutely aware that not doing so can endanger me in more ways than one. I know my own body. I know how I feel, where pain is and I take great strides to help myself and in doing so I have avoided the many pitfalls that I see with other women. My first experience in taking charge of my health was due to a prescription drug reaction in 2008. Luckily I have a wonderful daughter who decided to search through the minefield of the internet to find the help I needed to get my strength back and sort out the damage done to me.
I have been fortunate that I have been healthy all my life and had not had a single surgery until the fated mesh incident. Like everything in my life I do allow myself to cry, sink into despair for a day and then tell myself it is time to get up and do something. The same thing happened with mesh. I did what all women do when they realize something is seriously wrong after the bladder sling surgery. I talked to my doctor thinking that she knew best and she would help me back onto the road of wellness. That did not happen and after a few months of pain that increased daily, I took charge and made my own decisions. I had to stay well. I read everything I could about how to do that. I checked every side effect of anything I decided to take to help myself. I wanted to stay well until I could have the mesh removed. It took two years and seven months until it was all removed from my body. All my efforts were rewarded. I had a good immune system and I withstood the surgery without any further complications and I carried on my determination for wellness after it was removed.
The one thing I have gathered from speaking to so many women over the phone is that those who do the best after mesh removal work at it. Other things I have learned completely shocked me because I do wonder how much of what I hear is totally relevant because of mesh in our bodies. Many women have had gall bladder removal. Many tell me that their blood tests reveal almost none or very little vitamin D in the bodies. Their immune system had taken a serious hit. I cannot prove anything is to do with mesh, but little bells go off in my head when I hear the same things over and over again. It is because of these things that I am writing this blog. I am giving you links to read and you will make your own decisions based on your life, your symptoms and any prescription drugs you are taking. I am not taking any. No pain medications and nothing else. Therefore one thing is eliminated for me to worry about. That is any interactions with supplements I take and those medications. I do however always pay attention to side effects and listen to my own body signs. So here are links for you to read and decide what you want or need to do.
This is a great article to read about an important test for women who have suffered mesh complications. ANA is antinuclear antibodies it tests. Antinuclear antibodies fight against your cells and the nucleus. If it’s up it indicates the presence of autoimmune disease. http://www.medicinenet.com/antinuclear_antibody/article.htm
Things I took/take to boost my own immune system. Read everything about side effects and all about interactions with any drugs you take. I am not you and you must read and think for yourself.
Best deals on those two products.
This would be a great idea for all of us who suffer with mesh complications. Blood test for vitamin and mineral deficiency. http://www.livestrong.com/article/402045-testing-for-vitamin-and-mineral-deficiencies
A surprising number of women have reported to me that when tested they had 0 or close to 0 vitamin D in their bodies. About Vitamin D deficiency and foods high in vitamin D. http://www.webmd.com/diet/vitamin-d-deficiency
This was my self help plan both before and after my mesh removal surgery. You must choose your own plan. http://teapapers.com/bladdersling/2012/09/mesh-my-wellness-plan/
My blog has never been about telling any woman what to do. I research as I listen to women’s health issues and give you articles you can read to determine your own choices. I do this because many women are so sick; searching for good articles is very difficult for them.
Your life is yours. The choices you make now are yours. None of us can undo the fact that we had a bladder sling put into us and we should not waste any energy trying to blame ourselves for not understanding what it was. What we can do is use our precious energy to give us the best chance at wellness which also leads to happiness. You deserve to live a better life.