Hello and Good Evening and welcome to Afterthoughts, Stuck Between two Worlds Living with a Transvaginal Mesh Implant. I would like to thank first, my readers, followers, Family and Friends, for your support as I continue my fight. Everyday is a challenge because while I am trying to deal with the ongoing pain that has me disabled, I am also dealing with new doctors, new lifestyle changes, and also trying to raise teenagers. My husband and I have 3 teens and it’s definitely more challenging that I could imagine.
I wanted to talk today about my Journey with my teeth, along with some other updates. I know it’s been a while so I wanted to bring u up to speed on where I am at. If you are following me on social media, I am sure you all know that during this process I lost all of my natural teeth. I want to point out that I do not have proof that the mesh accelerated my teeth decay, however I am pretty sure it had a lot to do with it.
I had my original mesh surgery in May of 2009, shortly after that I had been working on getting my dental issues dealt with, before I started to have the major side effects and underling conditions from the mesh. I had at that time, a couple of root canals, and most of my teeth just started to decay rapidly, pretty soon it was too much for me to keep up with along with everything else. Just to give you a visual on this part of my journey, I would like to add to this, full time job that required little to no missed time.
I was missing at least 3 days or 1/2 days a month, trying to juggle work and appointments, dental and also with my kiddo’s being younger at the time, I always took time for their sports, their doctor appointments, and stayed home if they were ill. The stress lifestyle was already in progress when all this started to come to a head. It was becoming so hard to deal with it all, I put my teeth on the back burner as other things came up.
In September of 2016, I ended up having emergency surgery because on of my teeth became impacted and infected, making my left cheek look like I had a baseball in it. This contributed to my on going battle with depression and anxiety. Even though my pain was gone, I didn’t have any natural teeth anymore and at 42, this was just another blow to my on going stress. It took almost a year for me to even make the appointment to get dentures, but after 4 weeks of getting things ready, I now am happy to say, I have teeth again. There is a bit of adjustments that need to happen, as my gums swelled so bad after my first day of having them, I haven’t been able to get them back on, so next week I am off to the dentist again. I have come this far to give up, so I am swishing with warm salt water, on my gums to help bring down the swelling, as of today, still can’t get them back on. (sad face)
Taking care of your Gums and Dentures
I had an advantage to this because I remember what my Grandparents did when they had their dentures, so I have a great idea on what I need to do to care for them.
Here are some tips that will help you if you have dentures or even partials.
I really am grateful this happened because, my Dental insurance with Denti-Cal, covered the cost of my surgery and my dentures, however it’s not something that can be requested. I had most of my permanent teeth in such a horrible state that all the rest of my teeth were removed. The first night after surgery and I got home, I was really sick for the first 24 hours, so sick I was throwing up blood, a lot it seemed and my mouth felt so weird without them. I had stiches in several different areas of my gums, so it took a long time, almost 2 months to get them strong enough to eat something other than Jello, Pudding, Oatmeal, etc.. Over time, my gums became stronger where I can eat anything from chicken and steak to any soft foods, however because of my diet changes and the different food I have been getting, I still have a curved diet.
As of now, I have a great team of doctors who are working together to help me with my medical care. I really feel like depression stopped me from doing anything right after the loss of my career and the downward spiral I was dealing with. I am certain that when pain accompanies depression and anxiety, at times it can seem like you are alone, by yourself, no one understands you, your lost, etc.
I came across this article regarding a 2 way connection between Chronic Pain and Depression. The two-way connection between depression and pain has been known since the days of Hippocrates. Gastrointestinal problems, headache, and other less specific aches and pains are common features of depression. Conversely, depression frequently sets in when individuals are battling persistent pain. Studies have also documented that as an individual’s number of physical complaints increases, so does the likelihood that depression may occur.
People with chronic pain are three times more likely to develop symptoms of depression or anxiety, and people with depression are three times as likely to develop chronic pain.
Depression frequently can cause unexplained pain, such as headaches or back pain, and people who are depressed might struggle to improve or maintain physical health. In turn, chronic pain can lead to trouble sleeping, increased stress, or feelings of guilt or worthlessness associated with depression. These influences can create a cycle that is hard to break.
Although depression can further debilitate people with chronic pain, these people may be less likely to recognize and talk about symptoms of depression with their doctor. In fact, half of all depressed persons who visit the doctor only complain about physical symptoms. 4 Because both pain and depression make each other difficult to treat, it’s important to address both when evaluating treatment options.
With all the research I have done, I know that the connection is real and even with all the side chatter in the medical industry, the Hippocrates, the ones who believe there is really nothing wrong, having an invisible injury with side effects is difficult to understand however I say this….
Until you have to live with it, or even know what it does to a person who has had to live with it daily and all it’s side effects, educate yourself. There are all kinds of reliable websites, blogs, vlogs, videos, even advertisements, that say “Transvaginal Mesh is linked to Serious and Long term Side effects, Pain, suffering and everything in between. Really want to put this on a Neon Sign, just an old slogan I have heard a lot from my childhood and now I say it a lot. This isn’t an easy thing to live with as I can imagine and because of the sensitive nature of having a TVM, it’s important that support for each other continues.
I would like to Thank everyone for all your support and I will close with this in mind. “Please Don’t judge someone who has had a mesh implant, unless your one of the thousands of people affected directly by it, you have no idea how real the struggle is, how real the pain is, depression, and anxiety. It’s not a life I would wish on anyone”.
Taking care of yourself, physically and mentally, can stop or lighten any suffering you are experiencing. Keep the communication going with your doctors and don’t be afraid to tell them the truth, if they know everything you are dealing with, they may be more inclined to help you through resources that are available with your insurance. Thank you all so much and until next time, take care of yourself and keep the awareness going.
Michelle Hedgcoth, co founder of westcoastmeshfighter, writer, graphic designer, advocate & humanitarian for mesh patients, better healthcare options, for the sole purpose to help give support for Mesh Patients, families and friends. God Bless You.