I am doing much better since having full mesh removal in Jan 2013, and then a total left hip replacement this past Feb. 2014 (yeah, needing more major surgery wasn’t cool… but also wasn’t really an option & so far recovery from that seems to be going well). I’m 3 months out from the hip replacement now. Still doing PT for both my hip, and pelvic floor… and also going to the gym 2-3 times a week, and then to work. I went back to work full time about a month ago.
It is not easy. I’m exhausted most days by the end of the day, and that is part of the reason I am not really keeping up with this blog. It does still hurt to walk, and to do a lot of things still – but I’m fighting thru the pain and doing what I can. I’m mostly just thankful I’m even able to be doing what I’m doing! A few months ago, and for a couple years before that, it simply wasn’t possible no matter how hard I tried or cried. I could NOT walk without support. Even with support I couldn’t go too far. Not to mention all the other pains and issues. There was no “sucking it up” and just pushing through the pain back then. And, that was a tough pill to swallow. When you suddenly realize you are no longer independent, and you have to start saying “I can’t…. ” more and more? Well, it sucks. That much I know. I was out of work for several months… needed a cane or crutch for a few years…. missed a lot of my kids and family events… felt like a burden, etc. No, it has not been a fun couple of years. BUT, at least I finally feel like I’m through the worst of it. I’m making progress. And, that feels great.
So, yes, I’m still limping, but nothing like before. I’m FINALLY walking without a cane or crutch for the first time in over 2 years (since just after the TOT mesh was put in for SUI). That alone is HUGE. So, yeah, just to be walking again without the cane or crutch? Even if it hurts and/or I’m still limping? Very cool.
This is pretty cool too… My kids & husband bought me a mountain bike for mother’s day. Yup. A mountain bike! =) They figured it was good incentive & reasonable since I had been doing a stationary bike as part of my PT. They were right! My kids are looking forward to “family bike rides” again. Something we haven’t done in a few years now. So far, I only rode it up & down our street a little with my son. Not gonna lie – it was hard. For some reason, the stationary bike is much easier. The little time I was on that bike, made me sore for 3 days… but… I DID IT! And, that felt pretty damn good. Especially considering that a year ago I was seriously looking into buying an electric scooter/wheelchair because I literally could barely walk even with a crutch. So, yeah… you bet it felt great to ride that bike =). The looks on the faces of my kids and husband was pretty special. I know how relieved they are to see me getting around better too. I hope it gets easier. I have high hopes for this summer and beyond.
Truthfully, I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to where I was before mesh. Maybe. Maybe not. I like to think positive, and have it in my head I’ll be fine. However, I know that many, if not most who have mesh complications do not escape without some kind of permanent or further complications. I know that. And, it sucks. I’m well aware that reality sometimes does suck, and that this may be reality… but, I’m not giving up hope. I feel like I have a good chance… better than most… to keep getting better. This pushes me to keep trying to do things. It also makes me feel a bit guilty…
My heart just goes out to all the ones still suffering so terribly because of mesh… so much worse than myself. All you have to do is read a couple of the comments other women have left on this blog, or other blogs, or in the support groups – and you will see just how severe, life-altering, and devastating mesh complications are, and how long-term as well. So, I know, all too well, that I’m very lucky. Lucky I could get to UCLA and Dr. Raz. Lucky I was able to get a full mesh removal only 11 months after it was implanted, rather than enduring multiple partial surgeries and many years worth of resulting complications. Lucky that even though I needed more major surgery for my hip, at least it was something doable, and that it’s now done. And, even though I’m not back to where I want to be… or where I was before mesh… I also know I’m lucky to even be where I’m at now. All things considered… I know things could be so much worse. Sometimes, it’s hard to share positives, when you know how many are not doing well at all. I hope some find hope when I do share positives… and still feel safe to share their stories, the good, the bad, and the ugly as well.
Take care folks,