West Coast Mesh Fighter

After Thoughts: Stuck between two worlds living with Transvaginal Mesh

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to Afterthoughts, for westcoastmeshfighter.  My name is Michelle and I struggle everyday living with a Transvaginal Mesh Implant.  I apologize for the delay in my posts, the last couple of weeks have been a bit chaotic.  I do have a lot of updates and possible answers to questions regarding the public healthcare here in California and how if you don’t know what to do, this post can help eliminate stress and anxiety associated with having a chronic condition/illness.

(https://www.kkc.com/handbook)  The new Whistleblowers handbook

My Medical Journey of living with a Transvaginal Mesh Implant

No matter what, what you were doing before the mesh implant, It’s probably very different than how you are doing now, if you suffered serious and chronic conditions/illness/pain.  For me, this mesh implant changed everything about my life. A year and a half after my initial surgery, my life changed forever and although I can’t ever work again, now I am learning what it is to not have options like I did with private insurance and doctors.  I was in for such a disappointment and going through this was so stressful.  Going through my healthcare options have not been easy for me.

Having to deal with the actual side effects were even worse because I was still trying to work and deal with this at the same time.  I wanted to break it down so if you are just getting started, this blog post may help you through the process.

I was working full time as a Recovery Specialist for one of the top collections agencies that was contracted with the United States Department of Treasury, Federal Government.  I started working there in 2005 in their student loan division and worked my way up the corporate ladder to a unique department for collections.  Just as I started to get familiar with my new job role at work, then the nightmare began.

I STAND UPAGAINST MESH

 

One thing I learned right away, still too stubborn to accept, is that when I developed a lifetime disability, I got treated differently, like a failure, like a nothing.  I committed myself to my lifestyle, Career, Wife, and Mother.  I had a very successful life.  I had a house, nice rental, a car worked to finance myself, and money to give my kids a regular middle class life.  My employer, (which I can’t name), more specifically, my Division Manager/ and Team Managers, at the time, started the harassment process.  Since working there I have been a subject of certain harassments since I started working there, it just never stopped, and continued to get worse.  I went to work with the idea they could fire me that day without cause, due to the at will laws in California.  Trust me, they made sure we knew it daily, weekly, monthly.  Stress was very familiar to me, but when I started to have complications medically, their support changes to, how can I get rid of them asap, and I will explain why.

When companies become power hungry, (like the one I worked for) the employees really take the heat because we are the collectors, it’s our job to hit our numbers, so the Team managers can hit their numbers, then onto division managers so they can hit their numbers and then onto our location being number 1.  It’s really an eye opener when you look it this way.  My job as a Recovery Specialist was really stressful already then dealing with medical complications just made things worse for me.

It was my job to collect a quota every month, and even though I was hitting my numbers, my then division manager focused in my comings and goings to the restroom, breaks, and even lunch time, called me into his office and put in me all the times I had to go to the bathroom, and told me they don’t retain part time employee’s and tried to get me to sign it and admit that, however I didn’t sign it and I was so nervous because this was my bread and butter for my family.  I told him that I had filed FMLA paperwork with Human Resources (which he knew about it) and I said to contact them regarding my restroom trips.  Within a month, I was demoted and sent back to another division, the lowest pay scale in the company, I was being sabotaged and harassed because of my disability and I had my Hippa rights violated. 

They didn’t just demote me, they destroyed me at work, I was placed in the lowest possible pay scale that I could get, which put me in the negative financially.   I had asked to go back to the job I had before they promoted me, I was ignored, even though I was really good at that job, I could have retained my job and somewhat of my pay.  Then the harassment continued, I knew there wasn’t anything my new Team Manager or Division Manager could do, My Team Manager was really great, I had worked with him before, that wasn’t the issue.  The Division Manager was Brand New and just promoted.  I knew She wouldn’t do anything to help me, so I tried to focus on my daily tasks in my job.  I excelled exceptionally, even with my disabilities, however financially I couldn’t recover the money and maintain a life for my family at the same time.

I went from making close to $1500 a month on bonus to maybe $150 a month and because of some legal loophole within the company, I now somehow owed them money, through a system they called draw.  So any bonus I would have made, the company took it.  I went from making close to $2000-$2500 to let than a $1000 and they were taking my bonus money.  (how can all of this be legal), it’s still a question to me.  This was just a small piece to this complicated puzzle.  I was even told by a team manager that I had to put a sticky note on my desk for every time I had been going to the restroom.  Tried to say, if there is a fire or something wrong, they need to know where I was, even though they knew, it’s little things like that daily I had to carry on my shoulders.

Can you believe that I followed the rules and I actually submitted my paperwork with Human Resources from the start and still I was being harassed.  The stress became so much that I wasn’t concentrating anymore, I was making simple little mistakes in my scripts and also they were changing the company system completely and I didn’t understand most of it.  I went to my doctor and asked to be taken off work and my doctor did, I was in and out of the hospital so much, I didn’t know much of anything at the time about my conditions and it was like the last 8 years with the company, didn’t mean anything at all.

https://www.dol.gov/whd/state/fmla/ca.htm

From 2011 to 2013 was some of the worst days at my employer.  I was so stressed out from my medical conditions and work, that it started to affect my life at home.  I don’t want to dwell on this part because the guy was a jerk anyways, I was in a previous relationship at this time and after 3 years, he confessed he was lying to me about our entire relationship and about 8 months before my departure from my employer that we split.  We had created a life together with close to a $6000 a month figure to less than $1000 a month, by the time I left my company.

At this point, I am dealing with my conditions, significantly a loss of income, and now because of Ca state laws, I was losing job and my medical insurance too….FMLA and Medically leave run concurrently together.

From the time I started to have more complications to that point, most of my FMLA and Medically leave was used and I was left with 3 months and I was at the beginning of my complications.  I know the new Human Resource did everything she could to try and help me keep my job.  She was from corporate, and came in to help clean up the mess that was going on at my job site with internal scandals and etc…

There were so many instances of harassment against me, I couldn’t see straight.  I couldn’t believe that after 8 years with the company, being at one point, ranked one of the best collectors, that my employer could do this to me.  They did and because I was basically pushed out of my company and I was forced to get public health insurance.

(footnote)  For most of my career I had BCBS (Blue cross/Blue shield hmo).  In 2012 my company changed our health insurance due to high costs and Kaiser HMO was offered.  Aside of PPO’s with BSBC, there was no way I could afford the deductible and 20% of costs, that I choose the HMO with Kaiser.  (I had me and my 3 kids on my insurance so that would have been $2000 up front for cost to keep my doctors for me and my kids), there was no way so I had to change it….

due to the length of this blog post.. please see part 2 to see what happens to me next….

Thank you all for your support… M. Hedgcoth, westcoastmeshfighter

 

 

 

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Hello and welcome back to part 2 of my Navigation process in our public healthcare system.  There are so many elements that need to be said and that way you can see what obstacles I had ahead of me and how I overcame them all.

If you haven’t read part 1, please go read that first because it discusses my workplace harassment, discrimination, and financial downfall, all because I was fighting a chronic debilitating medical condition while I was trying to work and retain my job and it cost me my private medical insurance and loss of all my doctors.

Everything I have said up until this point is the truth and there is a lot more, so much more, however this is a blog and the only way I can tell my true story of 8 years with a company and my downfall in parts so that you can get the full scope of what I was dealing with and continue to still deal with today.

If you live in California and are suffering from side effects due to any Mesh Implant, it’s important to know your rights as a patient.  Yes we do have rights.. please see below

https://www.kkc.com/handbook

2017 new whistleblowers laws and protections

According to California Law, and my Company Policy, you can use your sick time for anything medical related and it means not only can you use it if you are sick 1 or 2 days.  I was able to use my sick time for doctor appointments, any testing I needed done, etc.  I started to not use my vacation and instead use my sick time.  I didn’t know that would make me a target for harassment from my employer, this law should be ok right??? WRONG.  The unbelievable part is that this was even ok to be allowed within my company, especially after the timeframe I had been with my employer, and I had FMLA/Medical on file with HR.  My official last day with my company was September 30, 2013, after my last 30 days no pay LOA.  I knew my company didn’t have a care in the world about me, I was just a number to them and written away.

The same month that I had to leave my company, my landlord handed me a 60 day notice to move, claiming that they were going to sell the house.  At this point, I had already received my pathetic settlement from my  lawsuit with my manufacturer of my Mesh Implant and because I was open about everything happening in my life with my landlords, (DO NOT DO THIS, IT CAN HURT YOU LATER).  Your landlord will act as if they care about you, take all your money, then throw you out, which is what my landlords did to me and to my family.

Yes indeed this happened to me.. oh that isn’t all.  My landlords hired people to come and do the front yard, without my consent, and turned off the water access to the back yard for the sprinkler system.  As a result, a tree died and the lawn in the back yard suffered.  I remember a day I had come home for lunch so the landlord could change the sprinkler system to water at least twice a day in the front yard and he proceeded to yell at me about the yard neglect, by the time he was done yelling at me and getting angry, I was crying and he continued to Mock me because I called my father for assistance.  My landlords continued to harassment me by calling my cell phone over and over and  sometimes all day long because we had a guest come in from out of town and their camper was in my driveway.  They called the police, and the city to complain because they wanted the camper removed.  If they had just asked I would have done it, but the sneaky things like that.

Another example of My Landlords harassing me and this one caused me to cease all contact with them and just deal with an attorney for them instead, was when someone I knew and was close too, lived across the street, passed away and there were all kinds of police, medical professionals, and family over there.  I was on scene first because I tried to save her life.  After the ordeal, I checked my cell phone and it was the Mrs.. Landlord demanding to know why the police are at her house.  This tells me we were being watched for some reason and I texted back it was for across the street, not my house and she proceeded to asked personal questions about the nature of what was going on and I told her the truth, but what right does she have to know what is going on at a house I didn’t live in and she wasn’t a home owner of.   My landlords were very invasive of my privacy and continued to harass me everyday until they finally retained counsel.

https://www.thebalance.com/is-your-landlord Harassment
California state law and local ordinances protect tenants against landlord harassment. Landlords cannot harass tenants out of their homes. It might be the landlord’s property, but it is the tenant’s home. Some landlords have a tough time understanding this and lord-guilty-of-harassment-4125876

I didn’t move out until almost 5 months later and we were basically homeless for a short time until we moved into our place in a town away.  I think I had a few nervous breakdowns through out this process… They create all these protections for consumers and then fail them completely.

whew.. I haven’t even started to talk about the lack of medical care yet.. at this point I have lost my job of 8 years, lost my rental home, and my private medical insurance.  When they say Welfare isn’t the way to go.. next I will explain how a benefit through my employer that I was entitled too was canceled which caused me to have to file for welfare.  This was the worst part of it all and as I was going through all of this, my depression was created, which led to my severe anxiety disorder, not including all the physical limitations I was facing and I just shut down completely.

 

Hello and welcome to Part 3 of my journey through the downfall of my previous life and coming into my new one.  (Of course this didn’t make anything any easier).  I didn’t understand what was happening in a full scope.  I will say this right away, Mental Health is real and serious If you don’t get treatment, it can mean a complete downfall of your own life, to decision making collapse, and financial and emotional depression.

I was forced to make a decision that I swore I would never have to make and that was getting on the welfare system until my Social Security Disability goes through.  At this point in August of 2014 when I started to lose everything, I was really depressed, so I will recap and if you haven’t read part 1 & 2, please go back and read those blog posts to better help you understand where I am at now.

https://www.kkc.com/handbook  http://www.whistleblowers.org/resources/the-whistleblowers-handbook

I can give you a brief recap… in 2009 I had a TVM, Transvaginal Mesh Implant to correct pelvic organ prolapse, 2010 complications started, by 2013 I had depleted all my vacation, sick, and FMLA/Medical leave with my employer which led to losing my job due to medical reasons and I was listed as hirable, (which meant nothing).  I know from another collector, that if you ever worked under any of the current division managers, that they will deny your rehire due to that??? APPAULED and disgusted by the way I was treated, I knew they would never rehire me even if I got released to go back to work.  Just another hit to what I was facing.  It made me feel ashamed, low, and really sad, which increased my mental disability and anxiety.

Getting Medi-Cal, SNAP, and Cash Aid was a hard pill to swallow as I never thought I would have to be drawing from there as a financial resource.  I immediately started to see a Gynecologist in the San Joaquin County Clinics and Tried with one of their regular doctors for my main medical issues.  It felt like a treat them and street them kind of attitude.  The personal medical attention I was used to receiving quickly went away and even worse I became more of just a number.

I can say the only thing they could address for sure is that I was Depressed and had extreme Anxiety, it was like they were ignoring the fact that I had a Transvaginal Mesh Implant and all these complications are directly because of it.  I really don’t think they knew what to do to be honest.  My then Gynecologist was keeping my pain at bay with monthly scripts of Vicodin 10/325’s.  I was having extreme pelvic pain and I was getting migraines, no sleep, was continuing to go to the hospital with extreme pain, to get basic testing, medicine and sent home.  My husband and I were left scratching our heads, now what do we do.

I want to say about 1 1/2 years of this went on and the receptionist/medical assistant/bookkeeper/ and on and on, stretched thin on resources.  They submitted my case to San Francisco and UC Davis, various pain management doctors and according to the medical rep at the time, it kept coming back high risk????? To this day I still don’t know what that means, but it could mean they were labeling me an OPIOD ADDICT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I completely support that medications like Vicoden, can be addicting, and can lead to addiction abuse.  That isn’t me, I am happy I haven’t had it in over a year, however the downfall is I can no longer walk to the store, or even around the block, let alone doing regular house hold chores without help.  Some days’ I cannot even get out of bed and when I had the Vicodin I could at least do some basic things, so it really is a double edge sword to be on.

Of course I didn’t know this then, I was still believing that my medical team had my best care and interest at heart, but no, they didn’t.  It was when I started to question my medical care that all of a sudden, my doctor left that area and no longer was handling cases like mine (WHAT).  The new gynecologist was young and had no experience in the area I was having problems with.   I didn’t get any notice, I didn’t get a call, it was when I called them to find out the status of things that I found this out.

DEPRESSION/Anxiety doesn’t begin to describe my state of mind.  It was suggested by the medical rep there, that I switch insurance companies from Health net Medi-Cal to Health

Plan of San Joaquin Medi-Cal and continue to try to get to see a Urogynocologist.  Finally UC Davis approved my case and off I went to see yet another Doctor, however it was a Urogynocologist, so I was hopeful.  I went down there twice… from here to Sacramento, to find out that records were not being sent there, no one was following up on my care, and I was then turned away, waste of gas???  Because of the seriousness of the surgery to remove all the rest of the mesh was considered too dangerous, he said nothing could be done and until records are sent and received, there was nothing he can do.  (Another Let Down) and more work for me as the Patient.

My new gynecologist (very young) at first acted like he was going to try and help me with Pain Management, still nothing.  As I continued to go to the County Hospital it was becoming an ongoing issue for my care and I filed a complaint with my insurance company, I think this was the 4th or 5th complaint I filed and of course it did nothing to help me, but these are their rules and I was trying to go through the complicated process to try to protect my rights as a patient.  One of the hospital heads at County, along with a Nurse Case manager started to look at my case and even they acted like, yes I needed help and they wanted to try??

I also called my insurance around January of 2016 and requested services for Mental Health because I really thought, ok now what do I do?

It was looking more and more like I was a drug seeker to them, because my side effects were not familiar to them and I was no longer a patient with complicated Mesh Implant side effects.  I believe I have been labeled at this point and all this didn’t come to a head until I went to a routine doctor appointment with one of their doctors, that all shit hit the fan.

They wanted me to believe that my pain wasn’t real, that there is no indicator as to why I am having chronic pelvic pain.  At this point, it was around June of 2016, I wasn’t getting any more help for my pain and I felt frustrated, let down, and almost out of resources, and if it weren’t for my journey dealing with my mental frame of mind, I might have very well just given up.

This is the very sensitive part of the journey for me to write about.  It’s because I really felt like I had lost everyone and I knew I would be alone in this fight.  Another big pill to swallow considering I was a very happy, motivated, wife and mother and now my own family didn’t believe I had a real condition/conditions to deal with.  With doubt lingering everywhere,  I was so depressed  I knew I really needed help and I was afraid of losing the person I was before my mesh nightmare began.

Well, I had a complete nervous breakdown and I demanded to see the person (head) there that my insurance company had told me was supposed to be helping me as a rep for the hospital.  She came down to the office and with the nurse and her in the room, it was indicated to me that the reason I cannot get my pain medication is because I started injection therapy (surgery).  They had been prescribing me every month without an issue until this.  I agreed at that point but I had already had 3 injection procedures and had another one coming up, so I agreed that if this next one didn’t work, I wanted to go back to my previous medical plan, until a new one could be established. I left knowing that this was their way to stop my pain medication because of the new opioid crisis that had just made social media and news headlines.

Here comes the final letdown… my nurse case manager changed at HPSJ and this young gal was obviously brought on to get my case closed????  More corruption and being misled that their goal was to help me.  I can’t say that I am really that surprised because no one wanted to admit that my Mesh Implant was the primary reason everything was happening to me.

I had a failed pelvic Botox treatment in august of 2013, this is what really crippled me.  I don’t know what happened other than what my body tells me and it was telling me something wasn’t right, why is it so painful to go bowel movement and I still had extreme pelvic pain and now pain in my left bottom cheek.  Every time I had to go to the restroom the pain was debilitating and now the burning pain never stops, and I have to put myself on liquid diets just to pass a stools.  Leaving me dealing with a full blown auto immune disorder, pain, and more depression.  There isn’t a day I don’t wake up in enormous pain because I over slept my medication times and it’s because I couldn’t sleep.  Why?? Pain, always Pain.  I can be up for at least 2 days without sleep until I finally pass out from exhaustion.

Where am I Today:

Being completely dissatisfied that my health concerns are getting addressed, I fired everyone.  Yes, I did and I still have concerns regarding issues that have not been addressed yet.  I really felt like I was having an out of body experience dealing with all of this and even though I don’t know if what I am doing is right, I trust myself more than I trust in general, so what else really do I have to lose.

It took me almost 6 months to locate and get accepted by a new doctor.  I insisted with my insurance company a Internal Medicine Doctor, a new gynecologist, and Nurse case manager with HPSJ.  It took 6 months, for that and I have seen my primary doctor 3 times.  At least once every 3 months and my new gynecologist once.  I have been referred to a new pain management specialist which I see this month and I have only spoken with my new nurse case manager for HPSJ once due to schedules and that he is part time.  I have been really busy trying to get other lose ends tied up.

Picking your doctor is one of the mostimportant elementsto your overall Health

Right now I can only trust in Hope and Faith, prayers, that I can continue into a positive quality of life.  One day at a time and rebuilding trust with a very broken system at best.  I have my life and my family as a motivator.  Some of my family is coming around and it’s really such a positive direction that it has me just continuing to fight back, believe in my truth.

Earlier this year, while doing research, I discovered that there wasn’t much discussion in regards to the after care that comes with living with a mesh still implanted inside you, or part of one (like in my case, revisional surgery was march of 2012.  My urogynocologist with Kaiser said he couldn’t get it all, too dangerous and would do more damage than good to remove it).  So my husband and I started westcoastmeshfighter here on WordPress and I am now on twitter, Instagram, Facebook, which is where I started, Pinterest, and YouTube.  I am in the Google search for transvaginal mesh and my hope is to help others who may be suffering the same things I am and also the road blocks that I have dealt with.

For the longest time I felt like because the Transvaginal Mesh Implant caused all these different loses the only way to rise above this, and to keep telling the truth, my pain is real, my story is real, and what I am facing daily is real.  The more patients that read my blogs, and follow me on social media will find out first hand just how complicated our California health system is, I am still receiving services for some of my conditions, however I know my daily battle isn’t over, it will never be completely over.

The graph above shows how many days it can be before a decision is met for social security disability, so stressed but what else can I do.

I have filed for social security disability,(I haven’t heard a decision yet, it can take up to a year) this is after filing, denied, appeal, denied, and a court hearing,  I have been deemed disabled both physically and mentally because of a direct domino affect from a Transvaginal Mesh Implant by my doctors, it could at least 6 more months.  It did take my career away, but I won’t let it take my personally life too.  I will keep fighting until I cannot fight anymore.   My benefit from work was canceled because the county doctors couldn’t get their paperwork to them in time and there was only 6 month period for a review.  During that time, I was dealing with extreme depression and wasn’t dealing with anything well.  That is what led to me having to file for welfare.  My benefit was $1100 a month and it’s gone now.  so that insurance company gets out of what they promised and what I paid into for 8 years.

One last thing, which is really hard to talk about, but it needs to be said, not only said but tracked, suicides because of the complications, pain and suffering due to having a Mesh Implant go faulty on them and they couldn’t get treatment.  I fight for them too, we shouldn’t be denied healthcare over a device that was approved through a loophole in the FDA called the 510K process.  We shouldn’t be pushed around, doctor to doctor, because this device is too complicated to deal with and also because the patient is now dealing with multiple conditions and they want to deal with it.  My question to all of them would be, why, why did you become a doctor then.  I understand not all things go right, but the numbers on this are too big to deny it exists.  It’s not too late to help people, they are in the hundred thousand now.  The only thing I will say in regards to the lawsuits are that lack of accountability by them.  It makes me really sick to my stomach and I feel really awful for all our patients and loved ones that have passed away from this.

There are patients just like me world wide now and so many support groups it’s overwhelming, and amazing, but we still are not getting heard because some implants are still on the market.  I will continue to fight for patient rights and with hope, this won’t happen to anyone else.

Honorable Mentions:

  1. Jane Akre, Medical Mesh News desk
  2. https://www.meshmedicaldevicenewsdesk
  3. https://meshmenot.wordpress.com/tag/support-group/
  4. https://www.facebook.com/TVMeshSupportGroup/
  5. blogs.webmd.com/womens-health/2011/08/vaginal-mesh-new-fda-warnings.htmlwww.meshangels.com/
  6. https://www.change.org/…/women-s-vaginas-mutilated-by-transvaginal-mesh-complic
  7. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=10&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwi59rer8KPWAhXDWCYKHSI7Ax4QFghaMAk&url=https%3A%2F%2Fchuffed.org%2Fproject%2Fmeshremoval&usg=AFQjCNH5447-02WHqn7QUP5clutdZfaw0A

Also there are several groups on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and here on WordPress. that support mesh patients in other countries such as Canada, UK, Australia and here in the United States.  I hope more develop because there are 75% more patients with complications than there was when I first started here the damaging, life altering results from having and living with a Transvaginal Mesh, etc.  I truly believe by standing together, we can create a large voice that side effects and debilitating pain is associated with a Mesh Implant and more needs to be done about it and that patients suffering side effects should get unlimited access to medical care.

Thank you all for reading, I know it was long and tedious and I am sure I left somethings out due to memory loss that I am experiencing now, Nerve and Muscle damage, God bless you all Mesh Warriors, Survivors and God bless the Mesh Angels, I will not stop fighting for patient rights.  Thank you all and until next time… stay strong, positive, and we are so large now, we have each other, in our world, it’s extraordinary, Thank you all so much, I am a better person because I know you all support each other and myself.  I am truly blessed because I have my family and closest friends  Most importantly, My closest family.  It really keeps me going strong and not stopping.

Thank you, thank you so much

M. Hedgcoth, Cofounder of Westcoastmeshfighter, advocate and humanitarian for patients and loved ones of those affected by a Mesh Implant.

footnotes… I lost all my teeth, my health and immune system has declined and I am really afraid, because according to my revisional surgery urogynocologist, he couldn’t get it all, so why can’t they just give me a 3d ultra sound, blood work I’ve requested, find the rest of it and give me rightful care for this????  It beats the hell out of me….. I now have to wear dentures for the rest of my life.

vaginal mesh excasterbates auto immune conditions

(Graphics found on Google)

Hello and Good Evening/Morning and welcome to Manic Monday.  It has been a very Manic Monday, my chronic pain is so bad I know it’s going to be hard to go to sleep.  By the time anyone reads this, it will be Tuesday.  I have been a bit behind lately on my blog posts.  Since I had the surgery in 2009, I started having complications about a year after my initial surgery.

It started with extreme pelvic pain attack, (that is what I am calling them), where pieces of mesh were pulled out from my Vaginal Wall and then given some medicine (antibiotic) for 6 weeks and then come back. Every time I went back, more came out and more pills, and more off work time and rest.

This went on for about 8 months, my primary urogynocologist had told me that it was all healed.  After getting a green light, it was business as usual.  Then my employer announces that our HMO plan was getting cut.  This was for the 2011-2012 Benefit year.  I was forced financially to get Kaiser HMO.  It was here that I had my revisional surgery, then months of pain medication, because the pain wouldn’t stop and still hasn’t but now I have a very low amount of medicine that I take.  The trade off has kept me in large amounts of pain.  (graphic found on google)MESH COMPLICATIONS GRAPHIC

(Graphic found online)

Since then I have tried so many things, pelvic floor exercises, numerous doctor appointments, Migraines, to pain  every where and not digesting my food properly, pain management with the county, which only did injections into the back with medication to try and block out the pain, unfortunately.   In August of 2013, I had pelvic Botox, which started the new journey down the disability road.  I still can’t believe it.

The Injections, they didn’t work either , after 4 painful in office surgical procedures, my insurance and doctors just stopped, no more covered physical therapy, no more health concerns, just nothing., I am barely hanging on with my Transportation.    I have been asking for a 3d ultrasound to locate the remaining pieces of mesh, still haven’t gotten one.   My new Gynecologist, wanted to wait to see what my new doctor was going to do and this was 8 months ago.  I hardly get pain medication anymore and I feel at anytime I could lose my life because of the pain, I don’t know what is left inside me and what is going on (with my body).  I am still confused and really need to try and get some more answers.

In the mean time, I am doing what works somewhat.  I have good days, then really bad days.  It’s been difficult, but I need to take a nap before phone calls so I will wrap up by saying, when you go to the doctor, take a file with your medical records with your diagnoses and be honest with your doctor, it should be a relationship you can trust, .  Also take your medication list, sometimes meds can cause certain things too.  Finally, grab a cup of Hot Tea in the evening with local honey, and a great documentary on wild animals and you will sleeping in no time.

Tomorrow, I will be making a lot of calls, I feel like I have fallen through the cracks and all the while, I am at home in pain.  I am grateful for my life, however what happened to I worked for over 25 years and I paid into the social security.  I filed my claim also 2 years ago and it does really feel like my chances for anything were taken from me.  Now I am lucky to get through a day.  It’s been really rough, lately having bowl movement issues and everything is inflamed.  Last time this happened, I was hospitalized for 3 days because of Opioid Induced Constipation.  Now it’s the other way, (diarrhea), and that is just as painful with Gas pains, if not worse.  The best I can do is rest at home, until I see my doctor and they can try to figure things out.

Thank you all so much for reading and until next time…. stay positive, talk to anyone in our support groups, they are all amazing patients for sharing their stories and I really want to go back to doing my special series, I still haven’t quite figured out how to post on specific pages and it seems somehow I have added another one,  so either one will get changed or I will copy the blog post to the front page and delete the 4th page.  I may have a use for it, so for now, it will stay.    I am still really new to WordPress and I have a schedule this week so I am off to the races and I will be back on Thursday for a new video (Vlog)  My YouTube is westcoastmeshfighter, you can find all my video’s there. God bless everyone and we are stronger together.  To my Mesh brothers and sisters, may the lord guide you through these difficult times.  Thank you

M. Hedgcoth, Wife and Mother, Along with my husband, I am co founder of WCMF, Writer, TVM Warrior and Survivor, Graphic Designer. 

Advocate and Humanitarian for TVM Patients

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( Personalized Emoji for westcoastmeshfighter), no copy write intended Continue reading

Hello and Good Evening/Morning and welcome to Sundays and Small talk, where I am stuck between two worlds living with Transvaginal Mesh.  I hope everyone is well and looking forward to watching the Eclipse tonight and tomorrow.  I spent some down time this weekend as I haven’t been feeling as well as I would like.  I did some research online and found out some interesting things about my Mesh Device, which is no longer on the market, recalled by the manufacturer and also found out updated info regarding the on going Litigation.  After googling one of my many side effects, I fell into the internet trap of going on one thing, then to another with the first one still not answered, it became too much and I had overload.  Yes it happens, too much info is not always good sometimes.

I am still researching county options for aftercare, where I live, and it’s been a very rocky rough start to the changes I made personally regarding my medical team.  To Clarify, it’s been a year since I first started making changes in regards to my Physical and Mental Health.   I know there a stigma, however I never knew how bad it was until I had a few really bad experiences with Medical Staff here in my county regarding my health.

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I know who I was before and who I am now, and who I almost became.  They have a great deal to do with my mental state of mind now on healthcare & treatment of patients.  Everyday now, I struggle with so many things related to the mesh in some regard and everything that surrounds me and one of my biggest struggles is Trust, once my doctors started failing me, after the insurance change.  (this happened because I know longer had my health insurance from my employer)  I had to move to Medi-cal.  Then my nightmare really began and by misleading me, or telling me one thing and turning out it’s another, how I was treated at work before I was forced into a disability status, and how alone things can seem.  Let down, after let down, I felt like I was going a bit crazy, because no one could tell me anything.  Here I am, it’s been almost 8 years since my original surgery and has been quite a roller coaster since then.

I really want to get more specific on my experiences regarding how my care was and how it is progressing now.  It’s on the discussion block, brainstorming table, so to speak.  It’s been about 3-4 months since I began this journey of going public with my story and since then I have started a YouTube Channel, which I want to do more Vlogging, also I am on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and G+ and Facebook, where this all started.  I really didn’t see myself even talking about this, let alone, advocating, writing, researching, talking to patients and just learning how to deal with my conditions.  I really want to bring hope, inspiration, and in that, rid the status quo factor, and that it won’t play such a role in our healthcare, and how we are judged and treated as patients.

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Believe or Not, there has been some positive’s too.  I was able to get Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy.  My PT, she was amazing and although I am not doing my exercises enough, I have restarted goals.  I know I have relapsed several times because of pain, infections and I still could again, sometimes hospitalization for IV Therapy.

I also have been in Emotional Therapy for a year and a half, looking back, it’s hard to see where all that time went.

Eating changes to gluten free, organic, and Lactose changes, no more dairy.  It’s really easy to get discouraged, I still deal with extreme pain and suffering, that never ends.  I know that everyone’s journey is different, but by sharing my story and experiences, it may just help someone, it can save a life..  The side effects of Mesh Implants, have driven patients to suicide because of chronic pain.

Thank you for reading and until next time, stay safe, and peace be with you all.

M. Hedgcoth Co-Founder of Westcoastmeshfighter, Mesh Advocate for Patients, Families and Friends of anyone who suffers from the underlining conditions/side effects from a Transvaginal Mesh Implant.

Book status… still in progress

 

Hello, and I welcome you to Sunday’s and Smalltalk, where I share my story of living with a faulty partial medical device, a Transvaginal Mesh Implant.  Today, I wanted to talk a little bit about medications and how they play a role in what kind of day I am going to have, and also to help bring awareness to how the Opioid crisis has affected patients with a chronic pain condition.

I wanted to share exactly how medications affect me and my most memorable time when I remember that pills were never a part of my daily life.  One single day without my medication, can kick start several issues.  By keeping track of my daily medication, I have been able to try to establish confidence knowing that I am in charge of my care, this includes medication.  I also recommend keeping any Opioid Medications, Benadryl,  IB Prophen, even Aspirin, locked away or in a place where youngsters can get their hands on it.  I keep a close eye on my medication and I have it locked away.

BLOG GRAPHIC MIND UR MEDS.pngThere was a time where I had hardly took medication and it was like advil or ib prophen.  I was really surprised to find out that IB Prophen is a blood thinning medication so if your taking it more than 3 times a day, I would recommend definitely talk to your Doctor.  I also keep a weekly pill container that has morning, noon, and night options for pill storage and it helps me keep track of all the medication.  It can get overwhelming and I would forget when I took them.  It became so bad that I would miss crucial medication times.

By making simple adjustments in my day can make for a more organized day and keeping track of when and how much medications you should be taking.  I also have been researching the side effects and so far I mostly have seen that some of them are the same as why I am taking them to begin with.  I plan to go over my medications at my Next doctor appointment, in the mean time I will continue to take them as prescribed.

Keeping tack of refills and keeping in constant contact with my pharmacy has helped in making sure that I don’t forget to refill.  I also have an option to have my meds delivered to me at my home.  Having social anxiety disorder keeps me indoors a lot and I am definitely working on that, it’s a wonderful benefit and I am sure a lot of people don’t know about it, so definitely check with your health insurance customer service and if you are disabled, this could be a great benefit.

On a final Note…. The Opioid Crisis…

Oh I wish I had saved this for a video and I may do one anyway, just on that topic.  I am very sensitive talking about this, because I know pain is with us everyday and I didn’t want to focus on this part of my blog post tonight, turns out, I was wrong.  I actually am going to go into more information on this than I predicted to myself earlier, I was on Opioids for a very long time, years in fact and it started in my early 30’s when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  At the time it only affected my upper left shoulder and my low back.  I only needed to take over the counter pain reliever and at one point, I remember, I was at work, and I lifted something out of my lower drawer with my left arm and boom, like someone had dislocated it, I couldn’t move, my head, shoulder’s and my back, it was so bad, I tried not to, but I cried at work, in front of my co workers, bosses’.  I have been ambulanced from work due to chest pain.  (thank goodness all was ok)  Last year around this time, my doctors stopped my Opioid Medicine, and did it knowing I have a chronic pain condition.   

Looking back, I still can feel the tension, the pain, and the humility, when I was told by a doctor, one of the hospital heads and a nurse.  There was no plan to wing me off,  (I will blog on what happened at the doctor’s and hospital) in a future blog, however at the time, I didn’t know how much power the doctors and hospitals have over our care.  Since this all happened to me, I have seen and witnessed so much, lack of care, being looked at by an ER doc who said, Guess what, no mesh.  From what I have read, you need to do a 3d ultrasound to see if broken up pieces have embedded into the tissue, been trying to get one for a while now and still the same.  Now because I am not on direct opioids, my pain has increased so much and  that the county clinic’s are not treating patients unless it’s a regular doctor appointment.  I really thought that they cared about my well being, my health, they were my medical advisors. WRONG!!!!!   I definitely understand that Opioids are not good for us on long term, but there was no back up plan.  No help, no assistance, my pain increased and I became their Guinea Pig.

I filed complaints with my insurance company against the doctors who were taking things away, but not really helping me with my side effects from the mesh.  I have yet to receive an outcome on that or did all my complaints fall through the cracks, I don’t know.  Trust me, I was depressed for a long time, then recently, just before I started this blog, I woke up one day and just decided, I can’t do this anymore, I am going to waste away and I am letting the Government, Mesh Companies, medical doctors are getting away with it.

I got a lawyer to help me with my disability case, and I switched all my doctors. I just started blogging and Now I am trying to help other patients by sharing my experiences.  What they did, can make a person feel like they are nothing, it’s a very sad place to be, emotionally, I was broken and I sometimes slip back and forth.

Now that all that has happened and the head of the hospital said to me @ that doctor the President  (it was Obama at the time), didn’t want anyone taking any pain medication anymore and as long as I was in their pain management program, I couldn’t get anymore and if I wanted to go to the ER, she was sure I knew how to navigate around there to get my pain medication.  I was so humiliated that I called my insurance and requested private doctors immediately.  I went just a few months without a doctor until I found the one I am seeing now.  It’s been difficult to get an appointment with him.  Also there the fact that I quit going to their pain management program because I couldn’t handle the painful back injections to continue because they weren’t doing anything after the 4th time and 8 needles in my back.

I have had the worst time getting standard medical care, here in San Joaquin County.  I have received ER care, and my pain had me afraid, afraid of looking like a seeker, because not all my medical records came over from my employer health insurance, Kaiser.  My pain is so bad I have really insomnia because of pain.  There are too many Patients and not enough Doctors.  It’s the 21st Century and with all the technology we have and the population, I don’t understand how this could be happening.  I am now on my third Nurse Case Manager with my Health Insurance and I insisted that they stay with me until I felt like I could handle my healthcare on my own.  Seeing that I still haven’t had the 3d ultrasound, haven’t been able to pin point why I am having pain in places I shouldn’t be, A (TVM) Transvaginal Mesh Implant did this to me and just knowing what my previous surgeon left inside of me, could help me figure out my next course for medical care.

I really didn’t know what to think about it though, I was shocked, like a deer in headlights.  It was like all my motor skills became frozen and everything stopped, I was made to feel a small fish in a shark tank.  It was then when I realized, I think I have been labeled an addict.  I plan on retrieving all my medical records to see why this happened to me a year ago, yes this happened to me and I really don’t know if that was illegal, I know it was unethical for sure.  The county actual has all my medical records because Kaiser sent them all on a disc, however parts have been lost or deleted, I don’t know.  Over 500 pages and I am left to wonder, How, Why, and When.  Why am I in bed most days, now and WHY DO I HAVE SEVERE PAIN????  I am on nerve medication, I was so tired and I am actually still very exhausted and I didn’t know what to do at that point.

I emotionally shut down, completely, I have been fighting ever since I had this faulty medical device started, when is started eroding into my vaginal wall causing a year of infections, and developing a bigger Auto Immune Disorder.   That situation has contributed to me not trusting anyone. My own medical team just quit, like I was nothing, just like that and It made my social anxiety worse, because I felt they let me down as a patient.

My message today is to Mind Ur Meds, understand them and why they are prescribed to you.  Read up on the side effects because they can make things worse not better.  Openly talk to your doctor about any medication concerns.  Always fight for what is right, there has to be another way instead of just nothing.  I am hopeful this changes but right now, it’s suffering until I head to the hospital.  I am feeling that it be close to time to do that.

I hope I don’t have to go, later Today I am going to spend some quality family time.  I will be back for Manic Monday.  Thank you all so much for following my blog, I hope the information I have provided is helpful and even if I don’t agree with something, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be explained to us before making decisions like that.  Changing medications, taking away and adding them, with at least discussing it with me first.

Patients with Pain Matter, I am not an addict, my pain is real, and I don’t understand why medical care isn’t’ being provided swiftly to patients like me.  Almost 4 years now since I lost my job because of my TVM.   Settlements don’t take care of us, now that our life is destroyed. 

Michelle Hedgcoth, co founder of westcoastmeshfighter, graphic designer, writer

Thank you all for your support and God Bless You

Hello again, just a quick blog post about my titles. I try to match them up with what I am talking about in my blog,.  I noticed that I have so much to say about what has happened to me and I also try to put in a lot of time working on these blog posts, all it takes is saving lives and all my blog posts are the complete truth as I remember it happening.

My goal is to try and get financial help for families that have been displaced due to having a faulty medical device that causes damage for lifetime., with only person working, what do you?  I was a single mom, so having this happen our family was devastating.

Please join me on my Journey, I don’t just blog, I also am on social media tooo.  Once I become more familiar with other ways like video’s, etc., then I can start posting more videos.

 

I took close to 6 years of education in collage, received AA in Medical Office Administration in Applied Science Degree and a AA in general studies, however my goal was to achieve a bachelors degree.  Life interrupted and I had to put that on the back burner because my kids are my number 1 and as a mom, I do my best,  I just keep praying to the upstairs above and I am grateful for the blessings we have received.

Now I would like to run a non profit organization for displaced families, because one of the adults, trusted doctor’s word, that the surgery was safe and less than 10% has side effects and more and more patients are coming out and talking about their experiences,  then I start to see awareness in other countries.  Keep it going and support each other, because now it’s happening everywhere.  The FDA put warnings out on the TVM, class III moderate to severe side effects all of my side effect are nearly mirror symptoms from patients, myself included and in 2011 and originally 2008 I believe.

Chronic pain is real, having to deal with it and explain to a doctor who can’t see my pain, help me to get a test, I want to know why I have all this pain.  My blog titles usually turn into something great, it really gets my creative writing a good shine.   Everyone have a great Wednesday and until next time…

Michelle Hedgcoth, Co-Founder of Westcoastmeshfighter, Afterthought’s,

 

 

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