December 7, 2012 ~ Beverly Martiniano talked to MDND earlier this year about her encounter with synthetic transvaginal mesh. Back then she was waiting until October when she would turn 65 and qualify for Medicare and mesh removal after suffering mesh complications.
Well that happened and she enthusiastically wants to talk about her surgery in Tucson, Arizona. These are her words. Here is her earlier story.
“I don’t know if you read my blog on Topix, but I am doing so well, I have to pinch myself to realize it is really me. Dr. Twiss removed 5 meshes from me and only had to leave about a 1/4″ piece attached to the pelvic bone. It was a real mess. He said where the rectocele was so bad he had to cut, and cut, and cut, and cut, and cut and then suture, and suture, and suture, and suture, and suture. According to the operative report he has 3 layers of sutures in it. The resident doctor that assisted him told me in the hospital he has never seen such a meticulous surgeon. He said he removes about 1/3rd of the mesh, lays it on a table, goes back and removes another 1/3 and then matches it up string for string with the other piece to make sure it is all there. He is young, 8 years as a surgeon. He did his fellowship under Dr. Raz and consults with him on a regular basis. He has done many of these surgeries; we have just not been able to find out who his clients have been. He is compassionate, meticulous and very cautious. After surgery, I never had more than a 3 or 4 pain level, on a scale form 1-10. I am 2 weeks and one day out of surgery and have not taken a pain pill in 6 days.
Yesterday they removed my Super Pubic catheter and the most amazing thing has happened. I suffered from leaking from coughing and sneezing before the first surgery and then had urgency incontinence after that. Yesterday after they removed the cath, I have had no urgency incontinence at all and that was including a 2.5 hour drive home from Tucson. I did sneeze and had a little leakage, although he said there is a possibility in 4-6 more weeks that could go away also. But hey! I can deal with that. That is where I started this journey. I would recommend Dr Twiss to my daughter, mother anyone.
The hospital at University Medical Center is part of University of Arizona, they call it UMC. I thought I was at the Hilton, not a hospital the staff is the most dedicated I have ever encountered. I cannot say enough about the care. If I rang the nurse’s bell, I never waited even 2 min. I was in the hospital Tues through part of Thurs. The staff works in teams, on 12 hour shifts. So you have the same staff for 3 days at night and 3 days during the day, they are so familiar with you and your case. No one, right down to the housekeeper ever left my room they did not ask “Is there anything else I can get you, is there anything else you need.” Another bonus is when you are in the hospital the food trays come out at certain time for breakfast, lunch and dinner and everyone scurries to get the trays to the patients. No trays there. If you want something to eat 24/7 you call room service and within 45 min your meal is there. Unfortunately he kept me on a liquid diet because of the rectocele until the morning I was going home. So I ordered a waffle with fresh strawberries and scrambled eggs and coffee. When I called, being that I am Lactaid intolerant, the gal in room service said, it says on your chart that you are lactaid intolerant and the waffle has milk in it. I explained it is only when I drink milk straight or eat ice cream. She said, “Ok, I will put that on your chart.” The waffle was the size of the plate and about 1″ thick with real fresh strawberries, not frozen and a whole carafe of coffee. Amazing. When I went to get my medical records yesterday, I walked up to the window and was given a short form to fill out, she printed them and handed them to me. No hassle at all, no cost.
Now I want to tell you about the hotel accommodations. Dr. Twiss office gave me a 2 page list of hotels where I and my family could stay. I just picked on the list, not the first and called. I got a love man on the other end of the line. His name was Lou and he was from Boston. He told me that he had rooms where you share a bath with one other family for 29.95 a night and he had rooms with private bath for 49.95. I was amazed at the price. He said he was only about few blocks from the hospital. So since I was only going to be there one night, the night before surgery, and my family, daughter and husband, would be spending most of the time at the hospital, I chose the $29.95 room. Then when Dr. Twiss put me on laxatives 3 days before and clear liquid diet 2 days before sugery, on the way to Tucson, I called Lou and ask if he had a private bath, as I was living in the restroom at that point and he switched us to a suite for 49.95. When we got there, I got a little worried. It was in a historic district of Tucson, which the hospital is too. I saw the address painted on a block fence and we turned in. It led us behind another house to a parking lot and there was the most beautiful Spanish Casitas. With a 10 or 12 foot adobe fence around it. It walk through a door and into a huge, huge patio with 2 BBQ’s, water fall, soft music playing, overstuffed patio furniture, tables and chairs. We walked through a set of French doors and a man’s voice said “Who’s there?” I answered Beverly and Dominic.
A tall older man came to greet us and shook our hand, took us into a dining room and proceeded to explain that he was from Boston and had owned 3 dealerships and 43 gift shops in the North East. A battery blew up in his face and he lost his eyesight. He was in the hospital for a year and went through surgeries and depression etc. They were only able to restore his sight to seeing shadows. He wanted to give back for all the people that had helped him and he was drawn to Tucson, AZ. He came down and found this Casita and bought it for 1/2 a million dollars 6 years ago. He only rents to families and patients of UMC. No tourist. He is a nonprofit.
He took us on a tour of the house. There is a full DVD, VHS library and book library at your disposal. The living room has a Spanish fireplace, beautiful over stuffed bright colored furniture. The kitchen is huge with a huge island work space all in Spanish tile. There is everything you can imagine to prepare a meal with in the kitchen. A big pantry that he stocks for your use with non perishables, like cereal, soup, tea, juice etc. You share a refrigerator with one other family. The laundry room is also stocked with everything you need to do laundry, including iron and ironing board. There is a large dining room with place mats set at each seat. Then he took us through a door off the dining room that had a coded lock, you put in your own codes, so no keys to mess with. This led us to a long hall with a full bath, again fully stocked with everything imaginable. A linen closet, not with just a couple sets of towels but probably 20 sets. Then through another door to the bedroom. There was a single bed for my daughter, queen for me and my husband, dresser, overstuffed recliner, TV with DVD and VHS. A door, again with a code that opened onto the patio, two closets with extra linens and pillow.
He keeps the thermostat at 65 degrees, but we had our own portable heater and A/C so can adjust the room to your comfort. The beds were all covered in beautiful handmade quilts and flowery linens. There was even a quilt square framed on the wall.
He has 3 rules. 1. Since he does all the cleaning, no employees, and the place is immaculate. He does allow eating in the rooms, like a meal. I guess people would order in food and put it under the bed when through and he couldn’t see it and would get bugs. You can have drinks, chips, snacks in your room, that is fine. 2. No smoking, there is a smoking station in the parking lot. 3. This is your home away from home so if you cook or anything just clean up after yourself. He repeatedly told my husband, “I will not bother you, but if you need to talk just call me.” My husband said he would be at the hospital most of the time and then he said “Your little wife is having some serious surgery and I mean if you just need some support, I am here for you.”
Most incredible experience I have ever had.
I met one of the volunteers on the first night. Her name was Ebony and she had had a double lung transplant 3 years before and stayed there during her surgeries. There is a woman there now that has been there 10 months. I just felt so at home and comfortable. What he charges does not cover all of his cost so he does ask for donations. Since my daughter has a housekeeping business and every year she picks a local charity and collects from her high income customers for it, she has made Tucson Hospitality Inn her charity this holiday and Lou is elated. Lou originally lived in the house but has since moved across the street to allow for more families.
So as you can see, I was blessed all the way around with my surgery. The surgeon, Dr. Twiss, the B & B Tucson Hospitality Inn, and UMC hospital. I still have a lot of healing to do but I feel like my old self again. I just wish you and all the other women could have had such a wonderful out come. I know there are so many suffering and as soon as I am able I will be out there trying to drum up money to get these women to good doctors.
Hugs to Meshies
Dr Christian O. Twiss, Urological Surgeon
Arizona Cancer Center, Urology
3838 N Campbell Ave
Tucson, AZ 85724
Tucson Hospitality Inn
Where Caring is Our Mission
2539 E Edison Street
Tucson, AZ 85716
Non Profit Lic 501(c)(3)
Tax I.D. 74-3111199
Member of NAHHH and Arizona 211 program
No children under 12 can stay at the Inn but can visit