Marriage and Mesh

//Marriage and Mesh

Marriage and Mesh


September 21, 2012 ~ This question and concerns come up frequently…. how do men react to women undergoing extreme stress, pain, depression over their health after a mesh implant goes wrong.  Some do not do well – complications leave their toll on marriages causing them to breakup, families dissolve, women are often suspected of having all sorts of motives.  She wants to remain anonymous because of litigation but has shared her thoughts on the subject. Thank you!


I was thinking about how mesh has affected our marriages. I know mine is stressed. I can no longer do the things I used to do and my husband has had to pick up duties such as laundry, grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning. He has a demanding job and a long time ago we decided to have me stay home so he could have a haven when he came home.  Now the stress is affecting his health and his job.

I know many women have said their husbands have left them once they were injured. I also know many women say (including me) that their families don’t want to hear another word about mesh (in general, there are some exceptions). Mesh complications can take over your whole life. I know this also. I would be interested in starting something that would help us COPE with the losses we are experiencing. Of course my lawyer doesn’t want me to say anything, but the pain is just so great!!!

There are some articles on the internet about living with a spouse who has a disability, but these are very limited. Something to help us bridge our relationships with our spouses and families. Marriage is already hard in the world we live in, but I know several women & men who are making it work in spite of all the devastating steps that is the life of a meshie.

Some points could be:

*What ideas are there for a couple/family to do together that a meshie can handle?

* Communication help, – unrealistic expectations addressed, I think this is a real problem for us, we want to just be where we were before being injured. Letting our spouses/families know realistic expectations. Etc.

* Dealing with guilt

I know this may seem so simple, but I think it might help with the common problem of depression coming out of this horrible product (and others as well!!!!) I believe our spouses also become depressed (especially men, because they are “fixers” and don’t know how to handle something that they have no control over, it’s hard enough for women).

This is much more than just a physical problem. These are just random thoughts that I thought I’d send you.


By | 2012-09-21T15:15:48+00:00 September 21st, 2012|Your Turn|8 Comments

About the Author:

I’m National News Editor, Jane Akre and I began Mesh Medical Device News Desk aka Mesh News Desk (MND) in the summer of 2011 just after the Food and Drug Administration issued an explicit warning to the public that complications associated with surgical mesh used for prolapse repair (POP) and incontinence (SUI) are NOT rare! That was the starting point for the litigation you see today and thousands of lawsuits have been filed by women whose lives have been altered, some permanently, by the use of this petroleum-based product.


  1. Nonie Wideman September 23, 2012 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    The stress on a solid marriage of many years and crises is hard enough but those who have rocky marriages are very vulnerable…….some days I’m an emotional mess, other days it my husband who is showing the cracks, it is horrible when we both have the fall aparts on the same day!! but communication is essential…try to communicate without blame, start with ” I feel……” “I need”, then how do you feel…what do you need that I can do ……and end with I appreciate your ………. and we will get through this !!!! and yes I’ve botched many attempts…..yes I have cried…and yes I have said do you want out of this marriage?……but when we look at the big picture together we see how far we’ve come,what we have accomplished together and we end up hugging and agreeing that this is just a blip in timeline of life and it too shall soon pass……..remembering that harmony is so much sweeter when you’ve had to endure some discord along the road………now I must practice what I preach the next time I’m overwhelmed……..hugs from Nonie

  2. EH September 23, 2012 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    Thanks Nonie. I have also cried and had many emotional days. I think you are speaking of hope – that this will someday pass. Hanging in there through the emotions is hard, but possible. WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS! Of course commitment from each side is needed. I think we all become overwhelmed at one time or another. This is a complex problem. It has affected us so deeply and on such an intimate level. LOSS OF CONSORTIUM? Are you kidding me? That’s the least of the worries at this point. It’s more like am I up for grocery shopping? Can I cook? What about laundry? One thing that we’ve done is he does the load and I fold, since I found I can fold while semi-laying down in the recliner. Also, we have found someone to barter with – he fixes her broken lights, heavy duty things and she vacuums and dusts for him – which he hates to do. She is a single mom and can use the help, as can we.

  3. George September 25, 2012 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    The failed hernia mesh from the male side –

    8 related surgeries and more problems building daily.

    M wife has been fantastic, but in the last couple years has “mesh fatigue”

    Only could make it to the last surgery for the discharge – as she said “seven was her limit”.

    My scarred abdomen would put a wet blanket on any “consortium”.

    The physical and emotional basis of our marriage is strained. Only occasionally can I have a normal evening out, for me anything after 8 pm takes prior planning, being tried at night and needing 9 + plus hours of sleep to function. Mesh inflammation and continual scar tissue growth ( as designed) leads to auto-immune overdrive and chronic tiredness.

    I could keep going, but these mesh problems do not recognize gender – it is an equal opportunity villain.

    • InAz September 28, 2012 at 9:35 pm - Reply

      Did you end up having your mesh removed? Just curious why you needed so many surgeries? I had mine removed but it seems the scar tissues are rebuilding therefore am going to have another abdominal surgery. I hope it is my last but it seems the surgeries will never end. After each surgery, do you go into it thinking this maybe the last?

      • George October 2, 2012 at 5:07 pm - Reply

        Hello INAZ

        Yes – took two surgeries to have the mesh removed – it came apart.

        Then tried a no-mesh repair – lasted about three weeks – so had another mesh put back in. Same location of the original incisional hernia

        After about four months post- op, chronic pain has returned, probably adhesion again creating temporary blockages.

        Several adhesion lysis procedures to this point and I doubt the cutting is over. Currently getting other opinions, pending CT Scan to determine if recurrent hernia has developed ( for sure have an umbilical defect from lap port). We have discussed everything from do nothing and just treat the pain, to another mesh explant and try the no-mesh repair again.

        Yes, each surgery is always the “last”. I have been lucky and not lost any more of my bowel or hard organ function, so in some ways cutting the adhesion’s has been a good move. Cut some now so you you live to cut again – or some sort of obnoxious phrase like that!

        Th psychology of pending abdominal surgery in itself is has many unintentional negative consequences – planning events is not easy, should you use holidays for surgeries so you can save leave time for when you really need it, emergency surgery in some ways is less a burden then the build-up to grabbing that “electric fence”, as you know the outcome.

        Anyway INAZ I hope you are very done with surgery – after all we have had our last – be well!

  4. teresa hughes September 25, 2012 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    They say that you take what life throws at you and some things we can’t control. I don’t know who said these words!

    I wonder why we have been the chosen ones with this dreaded mesh. Why we where never informed of the disatrous consequences that can occur with mesh.

    When I married we said the words”To love and to hold in sickness and in health” what a burden we all feel like to our spouses. It does take a very strong spouse or partner to listen to us about our illness daily as it is constantly ongoing. How we wish we could turn back the clock.

    I try not to mention it anymore it but it is always constantly there staring you in the face, some operation needs doing or a visit to the doctors you do not have any respite from it.

    The simple things in life have changed as you say just the dusting, hooovering and doing the washing. It does take a strong marriage to stay together as it is a daily nightmare for both men and women.

    Many a day I have lost the will to live and felt like ending it all. I do not say these words lightly but these are thoughts that have crossed my mind.

    Our quality of life has changed forever our marriages and relationships have changed also, but why should we let this dreaded mesh win. We have all got to try to be strong which is no easy task when we are in pain.

  5. Betty September 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    Oh George, my heart goes out to you! I’m 100% positive my husband knows exactly how your wife feels. He is so overwhelmed that it affecting his health. I think one thing is we need to be able to overcome our pride and draw on family and friends through this as well. We have so many needs that our spouses cannot meet them all. Emotionally, physically, or spiritually. To expect them to is unrealistic. They cannot expect much out of us right now because we can’t do it, just because they’re physically “intact” doesn’t mean they aren’t suffering along with us. Each person has his or her own limit. Thankfully they’re still with us and didn’t run – too many have. I find my attitude makes a huge difference. Do I fail? All the time. But at least I’m trying. I like what Teresa said about not letting the dreaded mesh win. It would be so easy to let them win, but in the end we lose. Pain changes us, but hopefully for the better! We can become more compassionate because we know what suffering is, we can love better because the busyness of life is not overwhelming us – just getting out of the bed does- LOL. I did grocery shopping yesterday. Popping pain meds 20 mins in. Barely making it home. Laid in bed the rest of the day, absolutely miserable, pain inescapable. Today still suffering – from a 45 min trip! Ridiculous! Counting al the good things I can. I’m facing surgery #8. Hopefully this will be our turning point, but it may not – Trudy on #30. We have to make it through all this to end the suffering of others – voices need to be raised until we get the justice we deserve. It is no easy task, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It does help to know others are fighting alongside us and we are not alone – no matter what our feelings tell us.

  6. Teresa December 4, 2012 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    The vows are “till death do us part” not “till mesh do us part”

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