I was awake during the night last night thinking about all the women who are seriously injured by mesh and do not stand a chance at a good night’s sleep. All I could hear in the silence of the night was a ticking clock. It was a very, very lonely sound.
I remember well all the nights I could never sleep because of pain. The agony of trying to lay some way to help ease it and I could never lay on my right side. I would get up and try the couch which was so uncomfortable. Then I would try to get back to sleep again in my bed but just couldn’t. I was always exhausted. I never felt well and I didn’t know what to do.
Before my implant I was up on ladders every day working on my house because I was working on my future. I had everything to look forward to and I got out of bed every day excited about new beginnings. My husband had died in 2004 and my daughter and I had joined forces to work on a future together. She sold her house and I sold mine and we ventured to begin a future that was new and exciting. We had spent time grieving over the loss of my husband who was Kim’s Dad. It was hard for a long time because of our grief and we were finally able to think in different terms. We had to look toward a new future while dealing with the past. That is how life is.
All my life, I was always energetic and hard working. I had been beside my husband when we began building our first house together, five years after we married. We had decided to do the work ourselves to avoid having a huge loan. He was seventeen years older than me and he did not want me to drown in debt after he was gone. So for the thirty five years of our marriage we stood side by side doing any and all the work to save money. We raised our daughter to be with us while we worked hard and we taught her that life is not easy and you have to work for what you get. That has been the way we lived all those years and the way my daughter and I live now. Hard work keeps you out of debt.
Then came the surgery on March 10th 20010 and everything changed. Now I have to watch her do everything alone. Keep up repairs. Continue to finish things that didn’t get done. Work on the vehicles because money is tight. Do whatever it takes to keep our heads above water. But now our dream is gone. She can’t run a Bed and Breakfast venue all alone and do everything else including take care of me and you need money to hire people.
By being disabled, I can’t help her any more. I can’t drive a vehicle. I rely on her presence in case I fall and have a serious injury. Life has changed drastically.
I lay awake last night thinking about all the seriously injured women I have known for a very long time. Their situations much like mine. We need our families around us and we live day to day, praying we won’t have a down turn. What will happen to us in the future? Will we be compensated to have home care when we need it or will the burden be on our children? It scares us to think the latter because we want our children to have a choice.
I have been reading all about the tort laws until I am truly sick of it. I read the full agreement A.M.S made as a settlement. The terms are clear. Once we settle, there is nothing else we can do and they are taking no responsibility for what has happened to all the women injured by their products. I am sure my implant company won’t either. Women can be maimed, castrated and left to die and there is no responsibility taken. The worst part is it will happen to thousands more women, all because of greed.
One of the early blogs I wrote has a photo of me up a ladder working on painting the stucco my daughter had done on our house. I was so happy doing it and never minded hard work. After the implant I could barely step up a curb and the agony terrible. Removing the mesh has lessened that agony but I will never step up on a ladder again. I can only watch my daughter do the work by herself. For me it is very, very frustrating because I love to work. You can read that blog and see a video of me how I had to get in and out of a car. Here it is
Getting in and out of a car has not changed for me. Now I have huge dizziness to contend with because of an antibiotic called Gentamicin and every movement I make is calculated or it can be disastrous. There is no getting better from it, so I had to accept that fact and do what I can to stay happy.
Some women are like me, disabled. Others cannot sit because of Pudendal nerve damage. Some had severe colon damage and have to resort to liquid diets and paraphernalia to have a bowel movement. I had to self-cath for a long time after two surgeries but finally got my bladder working enough on its own. Some women self-cath for life. My bladder is small and badly damaged but I know one woman who will soon have her bladder removed because the damage was so great it cannot be fixed.
Many women lay awake at night. They sleep wherever they can. Some sleep in a recliner because they cannot lay. They talk to me because I understand what they have gone through for years. How much suffering they’ve had and the abuse by doctors who tell them they are lying or crazy. They burst into tears on the other end of the line because they are so glad to speak to someone who understands.
Some women wind up without their partner. I know one whose husband left her the moment she got back from UCLA because he wanted to move on with someone else. Someone who could have sex. Others are left with young children to raise alone while they try to navigate their pain. Other women have grown children who tell them they are a hypochondriac because their doctor said they are. Some women almost died because of mesh but once they found me they decided to do whatever it took and went to UCLA. They live today and I still speak to them.
The stories of injured women are ever present in my life and I can’t get rid of them. It is a never ending bad dream. Do lawyers even slightly get what we go through? No it is impossible, but I just hope they work hard to make sure we will have enough funds to fall back on. We need their skills and we need their compassion. They may not understand our suffering or how we lose it when faced with a dismal future, but they need to be patient and learn our suffering and fight very hard for those who won’t get up and be who they were before mesh implants. Those who will remain disabled in many ways. I hope they will do all that is needed to protect our futures so that at least we don’t have the worry of how to have care in the future. That is my prayer this Sunday morning.