Since it has been over two years since I parted ways with Mercy, I can finally write this blog. Mercy has rules about not becoming friends with patients and not allowed to be friends on Facebook. I obviously broke that rule and it was a good one to break.
Nine years ago this November Women’s Health was moving from fifth floor to second floor. I came in that day to do what I always did, take new surgeries and admits. Others came in extra to help move the patients to their new rooms. At some point one of my coworkers said Dr. V is on the phone and wants to talk to you. I was like fuck what did I screw up. He never called people while he was in surgery and would get annoyed if nurses called him during a case as it would deflect his attention from operating and wouldn’t you want his full attention. So since I couldn’t pretend I wasn’t working I picked up the phone. He said to me “I want you to go talk to my patient in 2316.” He’s a man of few words so I said ok and that was it.
Everyone was like what did he want. I wasn’t kidding when I said he never calls from surgery. So I said he wants me to talk to 16 so let me at least see what her name is. I’m pretty sure I walked into Melynda’s room and said hi I’m Rachel a nurse here and Dr V just told me to come talk to you but didn’t say what about. I immediately liked her but I don’t remember how long we talked for. She was the first person moved down to the new floor.
Anytime I talk about mesh or mesh removal most of what I learned has come from Melynda. She is extremely smart and very knowledgeable about this subject and many others. I was horrified to learn that training to put this stuff in was a weekend conference using cadavers. Also that doctors that put it in would get a kickback commission for every single one they placed from the mesh manufacturers. So take poor training and combine with greed and disaster ensues. One of the other shocking things about the FDA is their 501k program in which a company can develop a similar device that is already on the market and be approved without clinical trails. Lastly, the hidden database to report complications that wasn’t available to the public until recently. I could go on and on about mesh as the Dr. V patients are about the only thing I miss about Mercy.
So I visited Melynda a few times before she was discharged and we became friends on Facebook before mercy made that rule. Once they did I was suppose to delete her but that wasn’t happening. She’s been back a couple times to see Dr. V and we’ve made sure to see each other. She lived in Florida for quite some time but I never had time during camp to get together. Within the year she moved back to Utah where her extended family is. So once Brian and I decided to visit Utah, I knew we must meet up. We had a wonderful but too short visit so we need to come back sooner rather than later.
If you know me, you will most likely think I am not shy but I am. It takes a lot to just walk up to someone and start a conversation but it was by far the best thing I’ve ever done. I’ve thanked Dr. V. more than once for calling me that day and freaking me out.
Mole Moral ~ Amazing people are out there if one just opens their eyes and their heart!
This Netflix documentary was released the week I was at Big Stuf camp. I had quite a few people ask me if I had watched it yet. I finally sat down and watched it two days ago. I wish I could say I was shocked but I wasn’t, as most of it I already knew.
It’s been almost four years since I was a work and someone said Rachel Dr. Veronikis is calling from the OR and wants to talk to you. First of all Dr. V rarely calls anyone, much less from the OR so I went totally paranoid and figured he was going to yell at me. Instead he said I want you to go in and talk to my patient in 16. We had just moved to our new unit and I had to figure out where that room was. So I walked into Melynda’s room and said something like hi I’m Rachel and Dr. V told me to come talk to you. She had mesh removed by a doctor in California and was here for reconstruction with Dr. V. She shared her story with me.
I must say not only was she super nice but she was super smart. She had one of the Johnson and Johnson mesh put in. It wasn’t the small piece that supports the urethra but an entire thing that lifted the bladder up and had arms. She told me they knew when it was brought on the market their would be some lawsuits so they set aside a slush fund to cover them. There were no trials or studies on living women. The mesh had gotten approval through the 510k process. If a new product is similar to one currently on the market it is approved without trials or research. Physicians were trained over a weekend using cadavers. That’s dead women. Some physicians were also given kickbacks for every sling they placed. I have seen enough of Dr. V patients that had mesh placed that never needed it, to know this is truth. I am sure everyone involved would deny it but actions speak louder than words. Melynda added me to a Facebook group with all kinds of links to mesh articles. I read as much as I could and joined a few of the public groups to stay informed and keep up with what is going on.
So I started the show knowing full well I would be furious, but it was way worse than I imagined. It started with essure, the coils placed in tubes to prevent pregnancy Again very little training and doctors were told if you missed the tube just put in another one. One lady had five of them floating in her uterus. These are made of metal so it only seems logical people would react to these. The trials they did were rigged. Some of the gals responses were changed right in front of them to make it say they had zero complications and one hundred percent satisfied only because they weren’t pregnant. It was taken off the market in every country except for the United States. However, right before the documentary aired it was announced it would be pulled from the market at the end of this year. I guess the greedy company wants to get a little more money while turning a blind eye to all the people they have harmed.
I have never been a fan of the daVinci (robot) machine. After watching this I would not ever encourage anyone to use it. They state it’s less invasive for hysterectomy. However the least invasive is the vaginal approach. The robot makes a blind stab for the first incision and most of the time that works out fine. However when it was developed an eight month training period was recommended. However again greed knew no one would buy it or invest so it was cut to a much shorter time period. And the show says a doctor practices and then had another physician watch him for two or three times and then he can perform on his own. This is accurate in my world. They had four different women end up with their intestines falling out of their vagina. I say no thanks.
So many people have been injured, maimed and have had their life ruined and yet the greed continues. Profit before people seems to be the motto these days. The FDA 501k process is broken and the loophole needs to be closed. When some of the FDA scientist attempted to be whistleblowers they were either terminated or had their job eliminated.
I don’t have the answers except to do your homework and don’t let anyone implant anything in you without extensive research on your part. The latest greatest doesn’t always mean safest or best.
Mole Moral ~ Melynda found her mesh on eBay, purchased it and gave it to Dr. V at her six-week check up. It makes you wonder just how easily any untrained physician can get their hands on it and implant it into unsuspecting people.