After meeting the surgeon @ University of Maryland Medical Center, We actually thought there was hope. The Surgeon seemed very knowledgeable & Confident as well. Where other surgeons had turned in terror at thought of removing the ” Defective Device” this surgeon asked ” So When do want to have this thing taken out?” Music to our ears , both my husband & I were relieved to hear someone was capable of taking this monster out of my body. Surgery was scheduled that day , just 6 more weeks and maybe then WE COULD START to LIVE AGAIN. Funny how just 14 months of torture can age a person by 10 years. In any case, we felt blessed to have this surgeon. Dr. ” J” just really seemed to have it all together ( At least he was not pulling out his hair, lol Like last surgeon Dr. “G”). Before my initial exam by Dr. “J” , I decided to inform myself. Every bit of medical information I could find…I read. That day of exam, I had my “questions” all written down. ( This time would be different) . During the consultation We ( My husband & I ) asked ALL the Hard questions, Could ALL of the device removed? What was the recovery time? Would another ” device” be implanted, after the defective one was removed? ( This was a BIG ONE) Which, Dr. ” J” answered ” No” he said my POP( Pelvic Organ prolapse) was NOT actually the “grade” my previous surgeon had stated. Dr. “J” said, that if HE in fact had done the original surgery, He never would have used an ” Implant”. ( So ALL this suffering, was for Nothing) ??? Listening to Dr. “J” , we really felt God had lead us to the right surgeon. Day of surgery quickly arrived ( Could not had been soon enough). I was anxious yet excited also, Remembering life before the “Implant” & Longing for those days to return. Missing the wife & mother I once was & Hating the One I was now forced to be, I was ready to ” Live Again”. Surgery went well, waking in recovery I felt a “tube” extending out of my abdomen. Oh No’ I thought, My worst fear had come true, I had a colostomy. Quickly the recovery nurses assured me it was just a “wound vac” No Colostomy, BUT A WOUND VAC, AGAIN…WHY? However this time was different, the incision was “closed” “Vac” was just for negative pressure therapy, Dr. “J” did not want any collection of fluid. Because of past history of infection, Dr. “J” seemed to be taking all precautions. ” Great” I thought, I am in Good Hands.
Discharged after 3 days, Home Health Care arranged because of “wound vac” . 7 days after surgery, My Home Health Care questioned the time frame Dr. “J” had for the wound vac, she wanted to make the work schedule for following week & only nurses trained with “wound vac” use could handle my visits. Not being certain of the timeframe, I got my discharge papers from University of Maryland Medical Center and gave them to the nurse to read. After a few seconds she asked ” Did you start hormone replacement therapy”? I said ” No, I still have my ovaries” She looked at discharge papers again said ” Oh yeah you still have one ovary, But this says your right one was removed”. What? No One said anything about taking my ovary!!! It was late in the evening at this time, Dr. “J” was gone for the day. I had to ask “someone”, “someone” had to be available, This is a LARGE hospital. So I called, As soon as I stated reason for call, I was sent to ” patient advocate” . Which was not in office, so I left voicemail. Next morning the patient advocate called very early. I told her my discharge papers say ” My right ovary was removed in surgery”, I said ‘ But How can this be, No One told me. Quickly she said she would have the surgeon ( Dr. “J” ) call me to explain. He called later that afternoon. When I questioned if this was true, He said ” Yes, sorry I did not tell you, It just “slipped” my mind. He said he was so relieved that a colostomy was not required, that he simply forgot to tell me he had to remove the right ovary & tube. Panic & Anxiety Gripped my heart! Had he ” Forgot” anything ELSE? How could a surgeon ” Forget” to mention that HE surgical removed an organ( one vital to a woman’s health at that)? Still, Even with this NEW discovery, I felt very indebted to Dr. “J”, After all HE was able to remove the ” Monster device” that had broken apart in my body. Still in a state of disbelief, I decided to pray over the matter & then leave it in God’s hands. Not realizing more ” surprises” were on their way. At 12 days post op, fever developed. A trip to the local Dr. confirmed i had another post op infection. NOT AGAIN I THOUGHT, WHY/HOW? Every instruction was followed, the wound vac was even still being utilized to prevent collection of fluid. So How did fluid collect? Powerful antibiotics started right away, and 6 weeks later infection persisted. One antibiotic turned to four, all at the same time. Weekly trips from PA to University of Maryland now to have infected fluid aspirated by needle in Dr. “J” office. One morning after a visit @ UMMC, I heard someone say ” Get your Invoice for surgery” ( Great Now I was hearing voices) and while I never HEARD this again, I felt this overwhelming need to obtain that invoice. Surely it was at the house somewhere, I was 6 weeks past surgery. We know hospitals bill the second you are discharged. But after an exhaustive search at home, I could not find a “bill”. Called UMMC billing office and requested a copy of invoice be sent. That is when I learned, None had been sent because insurance paid 100% of expenses. ( Great I thought) We already were swimming in medical bills from this ” nightmare”. In a few days it arrived…Yep..Normal Hospital bill I thought, each pain pill billed individual , each bandage, & bed pan…..That was until I turned the page………That is a where I saw a charge for ” Prolene Mesh 30cmx30cm ..Qty.(1) Cost $608.96. There it was the answer before my eyes. This explained why “complications” mirrored last surgery, this explained the infection that just persisted. This device was made from the exact same material as last device ” Polypropylene” ..The VERY material that caused all the injuries!!! Why was THIS USED..Dr. “J” said NO NEW DEVICE WOULD BE NEEDED!!!! Getting an answer to this question has actually proved impossible. The response from UMMC, The Surgeon & Risk Management.. have ALL been very interesting…. So What did UMMC Say? Answer coming up in next post.