Hello, My name is Michelle Hedgcoth, I live in California and I suffer from serious side effects from a TVM, (Polypropylene Mesh). After a routine PAP at my annual doctor appointment and having issues with stool passage, it was discovered that I had Pelvic Organ Prolaspe from an epsiotomy that wasn't stiched up after having my third child. This discovery came almost 4 years after she was born. It was recommended that I have a TVM placed to take care of this. At the time, the medical side effect were in it's early stages and I agreed to have the surgery.
I didn't have complications until about 1 1/2 years after the surgery, it was discovered that I had stiches still undissolved in the vaginal wall. Once the stiches were removed, my nightmare began. For nearly 11 months I suffered what is called Erosion, where I endured painful doctor office visits to remove it piece by piece. Finally, over a year later, I had a revisional which shifted mostly everything to the rectal side, pain, burning, and Constant. It never stops, and the pain is unreal. Every time that area reopened, came infections, medicine, then side effects, not just to the revisional shift, but to the medication, allergic reactions, injections, physical therapy, 4 week class program to try and understand, a couple more pain management invasive surgeries and on and on. I never thought I would experience this level of pain everyday, what's worse is I cannot get the medical, resources and help I need. It's not just the physical pain, but emotional pain as well, as I try to figure out life with a whole set of limitations.
Today I suffer from Pelvic/Vaginal/Rectal pain 24/7, scrambling to find medical care is almost impossible. Inability to take complete care of myself, as I did before this mesh implant, not driving, not working, and now facing permanent disability at 41 yrs old. I cannot sit or stand for long periods of time, using the restroom is difficult due to severe pain and unpredictable episodes, I need help with basic household chores and our family is struggling financially. It's something you can't plan for, after 3 1/2 years of suffering the shock of how the medical community in my area is handling my medical care, (poorly), I have just switched to a new set of doctors for a reevaluation of my current medical state, and after a year of intense emotional therapy, I am speaking out, sharing my story. One of the worst side effects is constant severe pain in the pelvic area, you can't see it, but it's there. Help is needed for us dealing with this constant pain, I can't leave my bed some days the pain is so bad. I am hopeful by sharing my story, the word can get out that San Joaquin county needs help, direction, information, and help with the pain patients, that just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't there.
I am standing up against Mesh, as a patient, an advocate, and most importantly, a wife and mother, it's dangerous, it's wrong, and should not be allowed to continue. Thank you and God Bless.
So here I was -- 2 hernia surgeries and 1 bladder repair surgery later, and no doctor wanted to take any kind of weight for what had transpired. I was deceived by one of the surgeons, who medically coded the 2nd hernia surgery as "shoulder surgery," the statute of limitations had run out by the time I realized this, and a visit to a different surgeon found me being instructed to "Man-up, and learn to live with the pain." How lucky can you get?!
For the last 12 years, I have had difficulty doing very simple things -- Things like:
- standing for long periods of time;
- being able to stoop-down;
- the ability to go to sleep at night, and remain asleep for longer than an hour or two before the cramps set in the groin or pain flows down the leg;
- the ability to kneel-down on my knees is now always an excruciating time, even for just a few seconds;
- the inability to even lay down on my right side caused pain to shoot from my groin, on down my leg.
No one knows or has any idea what I have been through -- Between the numerous surgical procedures, the botched medical mistakes, the use of mesh that I was never even warned or told about, and the daily dose of cramps and assorted pain in the groin area has left me depressed, moody, dreading even going to bed at night, and the sheer agony of trying to stay asleep at night with mesh pulling on my groin wall, while sending cramps and pain down my leg, makes one dread the coming of the nighttime hours and sleep an elusive thing.
Does anyone know or understand what it is like to have numerous doctors look at you like you are a "nutcase?" The first surgeon could not understand why I was having such pain, so soon after the initial surgery? The second surgeon had no idea what he had done to my physical body, following his medical expertise, a Urologist did his best to "fix a puncture" of my bladder. Time spent in a hospital having urine drained from my stomach/chest cavity area, and having to be catheterized numerous times that really should never have had to happen. Then having a distant-gazing surgeon look at you and say there is "nothing I can do to help you, so man-up." All seems so unnecessary and so callous to the pain and discomfort a person is feeling each and every day.
As I pointed out earlier, no one knows or can appreciate how you feel. No one understands the pain, no one really cares that you can no longer do very simple things that you could do before, no one was really interested in trying to help or put an end to the problems being caused by the mesh, by the botched surgeries, and people just do not understand why you are tense and irritable when trying to deal with and live each day with the mesh pulling inside you, leaving you feel hopeless, in-pain, and no end to the discomfort in sight.
Mesh, in all it's forms, is dangerous, painful, and just wrong! No one wants to take any kind of "weight" for the pain and discomfort caused by implanted mesh! As one nurse told me, "Be glad you do not have the hernia pain anymore." Ha -- I just exchanged one type of pain for another. Wish I would have had some type of "medical consultation" from the first surgeon...Wish the second surgeon would have been a bit more careful during the surgery, and then he would not have had to "lie" about the surgery to fix his mistake...And wish there was someone who would care or take an interest in my medical case. Everyone says, "Oh, that should have never happened that way," but it did, and no one seems interested to fix it. So I have lived the last 12 years of my life with intense groin pain...each day, every day, and some days are worse than others, depending on what I choose to do, or do not do. And then there are the sleepless nights -- Again, no one understands what the loss of sleep does to your patience and personality, how pain alters your views and perspective, and leaves you with the nagging thought, "who cares...the pain will remain." The mesh mashes any hope or encouragement that there will be a better day or night ahead, with no pain or discomfort. Mesh is a monster that attacks non-stop, and never ever leaves you at peace.
Hi Everyone -
I had my very first hernia repair surgery in April, 2004, in Abingdon, PA. Being totally ignorant and having had a boss who chose to have his hernia fixed laprascopically, I did the same. Thought it would be a piece of cake -- Boy, was I in for a long haul!
About a month or so after the laprascopic procedure, I began having sharp pain in the right groin area. When I returned to see the surgeon he could not believe I was in such pain! As he probed and pushed on the right area of my groin, I was in agony, and almost passed out on him, on the examination table. He could not understand or fathom why I was in such agony. His idea was to send me to a specialist in downtown Philadelphia, PA.
I went for a follow-up appointment to the doctor in Philadelphia, who once again poked and proded my right groin area, and concluded he would do "exploratory" surgery to find out what was going on. So again, I had hernia surgery in October, 2005. The surgeon said that he "fixed the hernia on the right side, and also fixed one of my left side (although I have never had any pain or issues on my left side). Unbeknownst to me, during the course of this "exploratory surgery," the surgeon "nicked" my bladder with a surgical tack! I was sent home from the hospital with a catheter still inserted, and which I was left to remove.
I removed the catheter on a Thursday, and had some pain, but hoped I would get better. By Friday evening, my abdomen began filling up with urine. After being awake most all Friday night and in pain, Saturday brought new issues. The urine build-up made me look as if I was pregnant, and urine was also filling up in my scrotum area as well. I could hardly lay or move without being in agony.
Called the doctor on the phone and he said maybe I was just having "gas" and for my wife to go and get me an "antacid." What a joke! Spent Sunday in agony, and laid out in the living room, so as not to disturb my wife's sleep, and thought for sure I was going to die from being so bloated and uncomfortable. Could not sit, stand, or lay in any comfortable position.
Telephoned the doctor first thing early Monday morning, and said I needed to see him ASAP. He told me to come to his office. After an hour "bumpy" car ride with a bloated stomach cavity, I arrived at the surgeon's downtown Philadelphia office! As I struggled to get to his office, he had me lay down on a table, and when he took one look at my stomach and scrotum area and exclaimed, "Holy Shit!" He immediately put me in a wheel chair, and wheeled me (himself) over to the hospital area, and had x-rays and an MRI done. He went on to inform me that "there is a small hole in your bladder, and that urine was entering my stomach and scrotum areas. I was admitted to the hospital, and another catheter put in (not the most fun I had had in my life), and had the urine drained from my stomach and scrotum areas. The nurse who put the catheter in me said she had never seen anyone come in the hospital before with so much fluid (she did tell me that night how many gallons were removed, but I cannot recall now).
The next morning, I again underwent yet another surgery to "repair the bladder area." It should be noted that there also had to be a urologist in attendance for this surgery, and had to go back to visit him several times afterward, to make sure everything was "ok."
It should be noted that it took me a long time to recover from all this, and never would be pain-free after all that was done to me. I found out a year or so later that the surgeon in Philadelphia -- the same one who "nicked" my bladder, medically coded the surgery he did as "shoulder repair surgery." By the time I found out about this, the Statute of Limitations had come and gone, so I could do nothing about it. This surgeon completely used fraud with the medical Insurance Company and got away scot-free!
This is only part A of the story - More to come later!