Hello and welcome to afterthoughts, stuck between two worlds living with a Transvaginal Mesh Implant. Tonight I wanted to blog about emotions. I know the last couple of blogs have touched on emotions that I deal with regularly. It’s no secret by now that I suffer from Depression & Anxiety, I am not ashamed to say it, it’s a serious condition I thought I was immune to. It’s very hard just to say it out loud, which I almost never do, however I have learned so much in this journey I am on and have seen so much awareness on mental health. This last year was an emotional one for sure… Reflections on yesterday, healthy or not???
Below is my Disclosure:
Mental Health is a very serious condition that affects so many of us. I was shocked to see just how bad it really is.
Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.1
Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million, or 4.0%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.2
Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.
Reflections is something that I really don’t look forward to doing, but what I get out of it is relooking at a particular situation or event that occurred this last year, 2017 and what have I learned from it. I find it relaxing to reflect on whatever comes to mind and I have been doing this just the last couple years, I hear all the time.. “oh this happened to me”, but rarely do I hear what happened next, what was the lesson. Most of the time, I don’t see any change at all, just the same things over & over, and expecting different results. In order to really see changes in your life, you must make changes within yourself. I don’t mean, change who you are, because that is who you are right?
At first I was angry, because I felt like I was attacked personally, emotionally, & in some situations, yes I was. The big lesson for me was self work, there were some real scary reactions in a stressful situation or environment that would cause anxiety, panic attacks . I really think that emotionally, you need to be in a healthy place in order to cope and deal with the issues right in front of you. I definitely understand that most of us cannot do anything to change our current circumstances. I really think the key is thinking way ahead of the possible outcomes and make a conscious decision that is best for your life. … I want to stress this part… MAKE A CONSCIOUS DECISION THAT IS BEST FOR YOUR LIFE
This last year, 2017, has been such a complicated year for me. At the beginning of the year, I had no idea how things would turn out for me and my family. Having a Transvaginal Mesh Implant has put strain on my family, my over all life, and looking back at this last year, there were a lot of lows and some high’s. To protect the integrity of myself and my family, I try not to get too much into personal things. I lost 3 people just in a 3 month time frame, it’s been a rough year for sure. Understanding that everyone copes differently, for some it’s easy to deal with it and sort it out and for others it’s not so easy. ( me)
Hard and difficult questions have to be asked to yourself and really this can apply to just about anything you are going through in your life. It’s not the questions though that is hard, it’s executing the changes and actually living by it. For some reason this really can be the hardest part of the process. Instead of fearing the outcome and all the what if’s, I try not to think about it. It’s really different trying not to worry so much cause that is what I am used to doing.
Anxiety: feels like someone is stopping my airflow and my heart rate starts to accelerate, all of a sudden I can barely move, think, it’s very hard to concentrate on anything in particular.
There have been things told to me, cruel and untrue statements said regarding my medical conditions, and myself and I was so shocked at what I was being told, that I am on some sort of drug, that are not prescribed by doctors, (the illegal kind) and that I am such a bad mother, all because this medical device just happen to not work out in my favor. When I worked I lived pretty comfortably, however after losing my employment because of this, our family has struggled. I couldn’t believe it at first, then the more I heard, the more I understood exactly who they were becoming and all I could think about was, “I hope I don’t end up like them”.
Having Certain Medical Conditions that disabled you , doesn’t make you a bad person/parent, if you are struggling financially, that doesn’t make you a bad person/parent, just because you can no longer work because of a medical condition, that doesn’t make you a bad person/parent. This can happen to anyone, at anytime, no one is exempt. #endthestigma
Here is the thing.. I lost everything I had worked for.. my career, my car, my independence, and most of all, reasonable access to my older kids. What bothers me the most is how much negativity my kids have had to endure and go through because of this. It rips into your heart knowing there isn’t anything you can do right now. I know that it will just make them stronger adults when they have to face situations, and no child should have to suffer or be made to feel like they are nothing, because one of their parents cannot work anymore and they have to endure more responsibility because of it. I used to let those things bother me, but it’s really nothing to me, I just become really protective when it comes to my kids, like any mother would. I have direct contact with my kids and nothing is permanent meaning and having shared custody allows this flexibility… I will be able to see my kids this Christmas and I can’t wait.
Going into 2018, I have a better idea about my life and where I want it to go. I also have emotionally dealt with so many things, that I finally feel like things are very possible now.
It’s such a hard thing, to deal with this alone, & how it’s impacted my family too and my friends. I know there are patients out there that suffer alone, feel alone, even if they have family or friends. It’s a horrible way to feel everyday and there are resources available. Don’t let the depression run your life, I did for a while and even though it took time to find clarity, I was patient and waited for it to reveal itself. The clarity is how I want to live, my choices, and not allowing the worry to run me into the ground. It’s a hard challenge because I am such a control freak, I guess, my husband and kids swear I have OCD.
I am so incredibly grateful to my patient therapist, without that, I probably would still be emotionally stuck. I have been going now almost 2 years and it’s one of the best decisions I ever made. In fact, that was my first step to reclaiming my life back. It’s taken close to 2 years just to get where I am. New Team of doctors, New case manager with health insurance, and trying to minimize the amount of stress around me.
One thing I want to stress is that Mental Illness isn’t like a cold or an injury that will go away. You can learn to cope and live (from what I have read) almost a normal life. I take it as ok or if your depression came from your physical disability for life.. it will never go away, but possible suppressed for small moments, especially if it’s like mine (brought on by my TVM side effects), the daily challenges that I face because of it. You can live with it, treatment is really important in having any quality of life emotionally. It’s been a long 7 years and going through dealing with it all. I know life will always through curve balls at me, however I will never allow it to dim my light.
I want to end with some positive information. Talking about mental illness is really stressful, however I just want my readers to know how much I appreciate you all. It means so much to me just knowing that you read my pieces I put out and took something positive away with you. I am incredibly grateful for all the blessings for my family and if this grows into something bigger that would be amazing. Getting the awareness out there is the main goal. This is just one part of the all the conditions & complications that come with a mesh implant defect.
Thank you all once again, if you or anyone you know suffers from mental illness, seek a professional medical doctor right away. It only take one call to save a life. God Bless you all and have a great week, until next time.. stay strong, surround yourself with as much positive as you can, and hug your loved ones, reconnect with family and friends slowly. Everything takes time..
Michelle Hedgcoth, Co founder of WCMF, Patient Advocate & Humanitarian