Adding my two cents to the mega mesh mess surrounding transvaginal mesh complications…

2013-07-21 Update & Water Walking?

HydroWorx’s underwater treadmill is revolutionizing physical therapy, sports medicine and fitness training.

Today, I want to mention something new I am going to try –  “Water Walking”.  I went yesterday for an evaluation… to see what speed I could do, and what class I could try to get into.  I’m opting for a water walking class, which will be once a week over several weeks.  They also do individual physical therapy with folks (land and water), but I am going to try the class instead and try not to use up what’s left of my PT visits.

So, what is Water Walking?
Well, I had never heard of this until a co-worker mentioned it to me.  There are only two places I could find near me that have these special kinds of therapy pools.  Basically, it’s a small pool…. heated to like 90 degrees… and you walk out onto what looks like a platform which then lowers into the pool and is actually the floor of the pool.  They lowered it to about chest deep for me, but, it’s adjustable… and, there’s a bar you hold onto, so no stairs, which is cool.  Then (get this),  the bottom of the pool starts moving.  It’s a treadmill.  Cool, huh?  They can control the speed, and you can either hang on to the bar or not.   I guess there are different kinds of pools, but the one I’m going to looks a lot like the one in this picture – maybe a little bigger because there are two bars, and there will be four people in my class.

When I tried this Saturday, I was amazed at how good it felt.  I could walk, without limping.  Might not sound like anything major, but I haven’t been able to walk without limping for almost a year and a half now.  So, let me tell you, it felt REALLY good to be able to take what felt like “normal” strides – even if  was in water!  The water takes the weight and pressure off your joints, and that is why I could do this.  I still felt a little tinge of pain in my groin/hip and knee with each step,  but it was nothing compared to when I try to walk normally on land.  Normally, I do my best to not wince with every step, and I still need a cane or crutch for any distance over several feet.  So, I was pretty happy to think that I can walk for 20-30 minutes at a normal pace – even if it  IS in water.  Very cool.

So, I signed up for a 5 week session and will let you know how it goes.  I’m hoping it gets my leg and body moving in a more normal manner again and helps build up some strength without causing too much pain on my joints.   Oh, and the price wasn’t bad.  $50 for 5 weeks.  Considering my co-pay for PT is $40 a pop – this didn’t sound too bad to me.  I wish I would have tried it earlier on…

Here’s some more info on it if interested:
and here is a video library:

Other than that – not too much new to report.    Summer is flying by, and I’m trying to enjoy some of it with friends and family.  I’m still limping along (which is still getting very old), so haven’t been doing all that much, really.  I am  still working full time (which is challenging at times, but going well for the most part)…   And, I am still doing Myofascial Release Physical Therapy (which does seem to help me, and I still recommend this to anyone suffering from pain!)….  and, I’m still kicking! (well, with one leg anyway! 😉 )

It’s still hard, not gonna lie…  but, I am feeling a little better since writing my last update, emotionally I mean.  I was a bit down – and I know we all need our down times, including me, but I really don’t like to dwell there.   I have always loved to laugh, and usually could have fun and laugh even when things weren’t going great…  not always very appropriate of me…  but, it’s still something that  I don’t want to let mesh change about me, along with so much else that it has already affected.

I’m learning that I can’t dwell on where I was before I ever ever had the stupid mesh put in.   That IS depressing….  because I know that I’m no where’s near back to my “old self” still.    And, that DOES suck…  Not that I’m not still mad, frustrated, and upset with the whole mesh deal in general, but dwelling on my own situation “pre-mesh” too much doesn’t really help me now.

Instead, I find that if  I can remind myself of how I was a several months ago – BEFORE the mesh removal with Dr. Raz, compared to where I am now – THEN, I will feel much better.   There’s no denying for me, that I’ve come a long way since having the mesh removed… even if it’s not ALL the way to where I want to be.  I know I’m so lucky that I was even able to go to UCLA and get the mesh out.   So, I am trying to remember that and count my blessings.

And, hopefully, this water walking will be another step in the right direction…  I’ll keep ya posted!

Take care,

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5 Responses »

  1. I hope it works or you Deb. It is hard to keep trying to find ways to walk more normal and without pain and I am glad you still work on it.


  2. How long was your mesh in before you developed problems and how long before you had it removed? I just don’t know if I am strong enough to go through another surgery!!


    • Hi Joyce. I had problems immediately after mesh placement, unlike a lot of women who seem to do pretty well for several years and THEN have problems. I also didn’t have any partial removals first… but, I know that is also not the norm as most docs will only offer partial removals.

      I had my mesh implanted in Feb 2012. I had FULL mesh removal at UCLA 11 months later, in January 2013. I have a lot of details on my “Deb Who” page, and elsewhere.

      How long have you been dealing with complications? And, how many surgeries have you already had to endure? Unfortunately, unless you can go to one of the few experts at mesh removal, often the partial surgeries do not help. IF there is any way you could get to UCLA, though, I would highly recommend trying to do so. I truly believe that getting ALL the mesh out, or at least as much as possible by a renowned expert, is the first step to actually stopping the ongoing and worsening complications mesh causes…


      • Sorry it has taken me so long to respond. It takes everything I have to just keep going. I was holding onto hope thinking that my surgeon that did the surgery would understand. As I understand it he doesn’t want to do any surgeries on me unless it is life or death because he believes that I could end up in worst shape. So now I was just hoping that out of my three doctors they could place me on a pain medication that is easier on my body like the patch. Because it is so hard for me to eat anymore because of my digestion might be messed up from what I have been taken. Since the DEA has made it so hard on the doctors they are afraid of doing anything so I was told that most doctors are dumping all their patients to pain management doctors. That would mean adding another doctor to the list and it could take two to four months or longer for this pain to really be addressed. I don’t know how much longer this body can deal. This body just seems to be wasting away and my PC just said will when we get old that is what happens. I am only 59 and this has been going on and getting worse for 3 1/2 years or longer. I have gathered more medical information to do a time line; however, what will that do because I know I am talking to a brick wall. Sorry, I am normally a very positive person. Just right now I feel almost hopeless. Joy….ce


        • Hi Joyce. I’m so sorry you are dealing with so much pain. I was on pain meds for a long time, and am glad to be off of them now. Unfortunately, there are only a few doctors who are really experienced with mesh complications, and especially with full mesh removal. Partial removals seem to only make things worse… =( I know it’s difficult, but, I really wish there was a way you could get to Dr. Raz or one of his associates at UCLA, or Dr. Veronikus in St. Louis. They seem to be the ones that can help most women when so many other doctors could/would not.

          Also, if you need to vent – of course you can do that here… but you may want to check out some of the groups on facebook for mesh complications too – like:

          – Fighters and survivors of hernia & all vaginal pelvic surgical mesh (Closed Group)
          – TVT-NO! Mesh Survivors(Closed Group)
          – Mesh Medical Device News Desk (Open Group)

          Just FYI – Open groups mean they are public, and anyone online can visit and read there (like a blog or website). Closed groups mean only others in that group can read the post. Of course, the groups are open for most anyone to join…


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