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Transvaginal Mesh Law Firm called a “Mass Tort Warehouse” – A Numbers Game

akinmears advertisingMND, January 5, 2017 ~  This story originally ran November 24, 2015, and details the ugly underbelly of the business side of law. The story arises from a lawsuit filed by a former employee whose job it was to obtain millions in litigation financing. Never underestimate the influence of money over law.

If you ever called an 800 number advertised on late night television to pursue a possible product liability claim, this might be where that call leads you.

The ugly underbelly of the business of law is exposed in a recently filed lawsuit by a former employee who says he wasn’t paid for his work obtaining millions in litigation financing. The lawsuit reveals the quest to aggregate clients who become no more than “commodities,” including transvaginal mesh claims filed by thousands of women.

In the lawsuit, filed by 30-year-old Amir Shenaq in Harris County District Court, Texas.

The former financier claims Houston high-volume law firm, AkinMears, owes him more than $4.2 million in commissions for securing funding for the firm.  Shenaq says he raised $100 million from a hedge fund that provides dollars to purchase thousands of claims from other law firms.

The lawsuits are then bundled and traded among attorneys like home mortgages, reports Bloomberg here.michelle mears

The complaint, (Case No. 2015-57942), which was sealed, reinforces the idea that all of these cases are just bargaining chips to be run down an assembly line.

“AkinMears is not run like a traditional plaintiff’s law office, and the Firm’s lawyers do not do the types of things that regular trial lawyers do,” like meet clients, file pleadings and motions, attend depositions “or, heaven forbid, try a lawsuit,” Shenaq claims in his suit. “The firm charges 40% for its services which do not include the mundane chores of actually practicing law,” the suit claims

After lowering the interest on monies borrowed by the firm from 24% to 16% interest, Mr. Akin bought a fifth interest in a Phenom 300 corporate jet for $1.5 million, according to the Forbes story here.

amThe firm, AkinMears, run by Truett Akin IV and Michelle Mears, uses television and Internet ads to recruit clients who they sign to litigation.

Mr. Shenaq calls the firm a “glorified claims processing center,” because it spent thousands on television ads to run up the numbers of potential clients. Others clients have taken Lipitor, have hip implants or the asbestos exposure disease, mesothelioma.

Shenaq was also reportedly negotiating arrangements with a Dallas lawyer affiliated with four firms calling themselves Alpha Law. Dallas lawyer, Mazin Sbati, was affiliated with the group which had close to 14,000 transvaginal mesh cases.

AkinMears reportedly purchased the cases for $45 million along with another 160 mesh cases. The cases cost about $3,000 each but yielded attorneys’ fees of $15,000. Bloomberg reports it’s not clear where these cases stand or which Defendant mesh makers they name.

The firm hoped to gain anywhere from $130 million to $200 million in profit from the transvaginal mesh lawsuits.

AkinMears initially wanted the complaint sealed because it revealed the business model:

“Borrow as much money as possible; (ii) buy as many television ads and/or faceless clients as possible; (iii) wait on real lawyers somewhere to establish liability against somebody for something; (iv) use those faceless clients to borrow even more money or buy even more cases; (v) hire attorneys to settle the cases for whatever they can get; (vi) take a plump 40% of the settlement from the thousands and thousands of people its lawyers never met or had any interest in meeting; and (vii) lather, rinse, and repeat.”

When it came time to pay commissions, Shenaq was fired. “Akin and Mears didn’t pay Shenaq for one reason and one reason only, he says: “They didn’t pay him because they didn’t feel like it.”

The Alpha group is said to be behind much of the lawyer advertising that has diluted the pool of valid transvaginal mesh cases adding many who just have a mesh in place.

AkinMears says it has clients involved in power morcellator, testosterone, Xarelto, Mirena, and Risperdal cases, among others. #

 

Learn More:

Here is the lawsuit, Shenaq v. Akin, petition has been temporarily sealed in October. Case No. 2015-57942

http://www.texaslawyer.com/id=1202739910841/ExEmployee-of-AkinMears-Sues-Firm-Alleges-Millions-Owed?mcode=0&curindex=0&curpage=ALL

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2015/10/20/lawsuit-details-how-law-firms-borrow-and-pay-millions/

http://setexasrecord.com/stories/510642299-mass-tort-warehouse-fires-fund-officer-to-avoid-paying-him-millions-for-acquiring-14-000-mesh-claims-suit-alleges

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-22/inside-massive-injury-lawsuits-clients-get-traded-like-commodities-for-big-money

NYT, October 22, 2015, Should You Be Allowed to Invest in a Lawsuit?

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/25/magazine/should-you-be-allowed-to-invest-in-a-lawsuit.html?_r=1

Litigation and Trial Blog, Maxwell Kennerly

http://www.litigationandtrial.com/2015/11/articles/product-liability-2/lucrative-mass-torts-scam/

 

 

 

 

 

83 Comments

  1. janet says:

    This is shame full

    We are getting stabbed in the back from the law firms and the maufactures

    Now what

    • Jane Akre says:

      Remember not all law firms operate like this, in fact, most don’t. This is just an example of what has come out in court papers… Most law firms and their paralegals make some attempt to connect with their clients. I heard from a paralegal yesterday who said she is doing what she can for women and she takes it to heart.

      • Barb says:

        I’m completely taken back!! This was the first Law Firm I called about my case they after seeing how man complications I had and revisions dropped me like a piece of cake!! Thank God they did…………

    • Advocate says:

      Janet,

      It is very easy to read an article of ACCUSATIONS by a disgruntled employee, that have not been litigated by judge or jury. I contemplated how much to write on this subject, because for most here, I believe they choose to believe the negative or worst case scenarios, because that’s the frame of mind at this time.

      So after much contemplation I’m going to strike a compromise and make a couple statements and then direct you to an article that Jane included in her story. Myself and others have tried on many occasions to explain the work and cost of doing this type of litigation. The “average law firms” cannot handle the volume or cost of these types of cases and the mesh cases have highlighted that fact dramatically. This idea of financing lawsuits has been around for a very long time. Mass Torts and the better known “Class Action” cases have always been expensive. The movie, Erin Brockovich, should be viewed by all, who think these cases are anything other than, financial drains for most firms. So firms do what they can to pursue justice for all victims, while putting their personal and professional lives at risk.

      Secondly, defense teams are salivating over this dispute. They have been screaming at Judge Goodwin that plaintiff lawyers are “drumming” up these cases, finding women who are not hurt by their products, just so the legal firms can make millions. This story is like a birthday and Christmas present all rolled up in one for them. Now I don’t personally know if the firm is guilty of any unethical behavior, and frankly neither does the writers of any of these stories. What we do know is, there hasn’t been any evidence presented by either side, to this point. This story is about someone allegedly not getting paid, not about mesh victims. You can bet the defense teams are going to try to influence the court with it as a mesh issue though.

      One more thing about Tort Reform. The writers are responsible for pursuing these stories for their dramatic nature, in support of changing compensation laws. Remember that victims who live in GA. give 75% of their punitive damage awards to the State. Do you think that’s by accident? No. Under the idea that people sue for frivolous reasons all the time, they attempted to cut those suits by putting in this type of legislation. Now people not filing frivolous suites, like mesh victims, are victimized yet again by their own states. The defense teams, wave cases like this before the public on a daily basis and yell at the top of their lungs…”see what these greedy attorneys are doing?” Stop buying into that narrative because that’s just what defense wants everyone else to do.

      There is a disconnect for some readers, in understanding the way law works in these mesh cases and other torts. I’m not sure that an explanation on how firms finance litigation is going to be understood any better. But if you go to the last story Jane included by Maxwell Kennerly, he gets as close to the explanation, as I think makes sense. I’m glad Jane included the link.

      • Bejah Blue says:

        Thank you Advocate, Above all else, regardless of how comforting it may or may not be, we must seek the truth in all things, and be able to see the issues and the world from some center point. It is so easy to fall victim to generalizations, and folk tales about others, for example: All attorneys are greedy, all corporations are evil (my personal problem area now), all women are hysterical, and on and on.

        Those of us who have been victimized should be (in theory) especially sensitive to all of this and take exceptional care not to accuse others falsely, and we should assume innocence in keeping with our Constitution and our own innate sense of right and wrong (That which the knowledge of inalienable rights springs from). Sadly it is a failing of humanity that we struggle still, after all these eons, with these things.

        I have long prayed that we might evolve through this period in our history as a species but it may be the source of our eventual extinction. It makes me so sad to see the way Israel treats the Palestinian people and nation, for example. One would think they would be especially sympathetic to their plight and help to uplift these people but instead they brutalize them and confiscate their lands (Sound familiar mankind?). I speak to you as one whose maternal great grandfather Mikel Jakob was a Jewish immigrant to America and founded a successful 300+ acre wheat ranch in Montana that I benefit from to this day. I speak to you also as a woman who sent her son to a wonderful Jewish private school in Manhattan. Still I am not Jewish, in practice of faith. If anything I like to think I am beyond tolerant of all paths to GOD. I am a practicing Episcopalian. I love it because it is warm and cozy and full of beautiful ritual yet does not take itself too seriously. I was babtised Protestant and was raised in that faith just to provide a little background (“God’s frozen people”). The point is of course that when I criticize Israel I do so by right and to point out changes we all need to make to create a better world.

        If we did not have so much strife in the middle east especially do you think we would have seen this rise in terrorism? I do not think so. We have all created this situation. Does it not seem curious that the most sacred sites in “The Holy Land” are all in the same place? Do you not think there is a great reason for that which we do not seem to have grasped yet as a species?

        One of my vows for the coming year is going to be to deeply research the history of Christianity and Islam going far into antiquity. This may seem far afield from TORT law but in truth it is not. When a person is informed, educated, and awakened spiritually and intellectually there is a shift in their souls, and so in their perception of all things and their place in the world.

        With regard to the concept that the proposal and subsequent allowance of TORT REFORM was to stop greedy attorneys and clients from success with what I will refer to as frivolous and improper law suits…and dramatically large awards, I must respectfully disagree. Corporations pushed hard and behind the veil for this. I feel that it must be that states saw this as a way to make money and THAT along with the push from corporations passed TORT reform. It is why we now have states taking up to 75% of punitive damages, money that should go to plaintiffs. It is my understanding that, at least in CA where the rate is also 75%, that 25% of that goes to plaintiff attorneys which would seem to defeat the argument that TORT reform was intended to control the greed of plaintiff attorneys. I also believe that the purpose of punitive damages is getting lost in translation here. At the very least there should be very stringent rules about what states can do with that “free money”. I’ll bet there is not. Something seems wrong in this, IMHO.

        Thanks again Advocate for taking the time to try to educate us all.

        Respectfully,

        Bejah

        • Jane Akre says:

          Bejah- I loved what you said about those who have been the subject of ridicule or have been victims, showing greater sensitivity because of their experience. How evolved! So true. As far as frivolous lawsuits, there are already things in place to stop them, such as the cost of a lawsuit ( most will not file one unless they are in it for the long haul), the likelihood that a ridiculous lawsuit will be rejected by a law firm, the likelihood a judge will immediately dismiss it upon the first motion… All keep things in check. Oh, there is also that little (tort reform backed) trick in some courts that loser pays, ie, if the other side prevails, you have to pay their legal fees… Yikes.

      • countrylady says:

        Advocate:

        Great points, Erin Brockovich case is a very good example. And ironically Maxwell Kennerly is the attorney that took my case.

        He is a very good person who answered my questions personally.

        Unfortunately it looks like he is no longer with the Beasley Law Firm I signed on with.

        But even with that firm, which is a decent size firm in Philly, they too sent my case to a larger firm in Texas.

        By the way I researched my options before contacting the law firm. They were not the TV ambulance chasers.

        • Jane Akre says:

          Country- Sorry but your editor does not like that term for the lawyers who are taking these cases to trial. TV advertising is annoying, you are right. But the pejorative term was crafted by those who want to cast all lawyers in a bad light. In essence limiting your access to the court by stirring up hate for all lawyers. Please don’t fall into that trap.

      • Anon says:

        Advocate……you sound more like an attorney! Are you taking new mesh clients?

  2. Janet says:

    I never here from my attorneys, nothing
    Not even a call asking r u ok?
    So it really makes me wonder
    I have to do the calling and staying on top
    And this puts more stress when u know nothing are gear nothing but they are going to want their money.

    • Bejah Blue says:

      Try to give them the benefit of the doubt Janet. Did they give you an email address of a staff person you can write to with any comments, questions, etc? If not you might want to call and ask for such a link even if it is not policy. Try to develop a good relationship with someone there but take care not to be to needy or contact them too much as they are probably very busy. Let’s give them every opportunity to do the right thing and do not assume they know how you feel, how much anxiety you may have, etc. Tell them but do it as objectively and briefly as you can. Remember we get more bees or is it bears with honey….

      Bejah

  3. kitty says:

    It’s a mockery. I am post OR and dependent for ares-2 weeks. Neuro spine. I think of the little old ladies whe don’t have anyone to changeor wipe them–or give them pads and wipes’- and then to make matters worse their child or children mock their plight.

    • kitty says:

      Jane. U are right. There are very good law firms.

    • Bejah Blue says:

      Hey Kitty, Hope you are OK. Hugs! Happy Thanksgiving. So many are suffering. Our whole healthcare system in a shameful state. My neighbor/friend’s husband is dying (Stage IV bladder and prostate cancer. They say his insurance is not good. He has an implanted catheter of some sort but when he tries to empty his bladder, despite the pain medication which is not strong enough (WHY????) he screams in pain. How can we as a nation allow this? I do not understand. Can we only hope for relief from pain, even when we are dying, if we have enough money to pay for it???? I can not even articulate how wrong that is. This man is going to die in terrible pain and absolute terror. They are going to give him Chemo until spring then remove the tumor which is so large it can not be removed now. This is a lesson to all of us…in the beginning he did not go to the doctor, he did not buy health insurance because it was too costly and now he is dying a horrible death and he is only 55. People in third world nations are treated far better than we treat our own people.

      I wish I had some hopeful news, something encouraging I could say but right now I just can not. Hope you have a nice holiday Kitty.

      Bejah

      PS I will have the letter ready after Thanksgiving

      • Jane Akre says:

        I’ve said it many times, we do not treat dogs this way.

        • Bejah Blue says:

          Curious that men often, like their fathers, refer to women sometimes as “dogs” or worse. I am feeling like there is not only a lot of inequity still but a lot of repressed hatred of women, or fear of them. Why, for example, does it seem there are so many more “gay” men now and I do not understand why. Women do not seem to have such a sad litany of names for men, at least in my little world. Very sad.

          Bejah

          • Jane Akre says:

            At least we don’t have to wear burkas.

          • Still Standing says:

            Bejah, your post troubles me. I do not think I have ever personally felt that men hated women, at least the men in my social and professional circles. believe me, if they did, they would not be in that circle. For example , my granddaughter and my new one to be born next week are biracial. Mom is African American and is the best mother I have ever known. When they married, I was surprised to hear slight racial things in conversations when we did things with other couples , and those people just were put on my do not invite list as well as one of my husband”s very bigoted friends. He,is not allowed in my house. I know women have strived for equallity in hiring and yes, that still has a way to go, but I just don’t have the same experience that men hate women and think they are dogs or worse. Maybe my midwestern viewpoint,and maybe that men would not give me that opinion for fear of a strong reprimand from me.

          • Bejah Blue says:

            If western civilization falls we may indeed find ourselves in burkas…did you see the destruction of the antiquities of Anatolia, etc. on the news a few weeks ago? What kind of species repeatedly destroys its own history. That upset me so much…that art represented the human story on earth and was or should have been held sacred to us all….the terrorists seek to annihilate Christianity and all that is associated with it but they eliminate their own history as well. We seem as powerless to stop that as we seem to be to stop Johnson & Johnson, a corporation that is guilty of the same impulses and the same net impact. For me, a burka?… over my dead body.

            Bejah

          • Bejah Blue says:

            To StillStanding re Nov 30 post on the question of men and their perception and treatment of women: I do not see any problems that I can clearly sense in my life either today but I still believe there are problems and wage inequality is just one example. In physicians offices I believe women are treated differently and there have been countless examples of that which have been shared with us by women posting to this website. We continue to be viewed throughout the culture as excessively emotional, as often hysterical, as “asking for it” if we dress provocatively when we go out in the evening, I could go on and on. It is true that in professional and academic circles this is far less obvious but I believe it still persists. Consider women who have entered elite military colleges and what they experience and women in the military and their treatment. Respectfully, I say we do still have a serious problem.

            And BTW where is NOW, The National Organization of Women, and why have they been silent on this terrible issue we face? Why are they not defending us front and center as they should be? Has anyone contacted them or is that organization dead?

            Take care SS, always enjoy a healthy debate w/you and hope I can keep up! 🙂

            Bejah

      • Still Standing says:

        Bejah,that indeed is a sad story. As someone who worked in the hospice field for more than 20 years, I just want to clarify that if he was a hospice patient,his pain could be more aggressively addressed, but since he is taking Chemo, and then planning surgery to have the tumor removed, he would not qualify for hospice care unless the tumor removal is a palliative measure instead of curative. There has to be consideration given to the fact that enough morophine to regulate his pain will depress his respiration and can hasten death. A hospice patient and their family would more than likely choose the pain free route,but it appears that he is planning aggressive curative therapy so they have to carefully weigh the pros and cons of what they have chosen to do.

        I absolutely disagree with your assessment of third world countries having better care than the US. In many third world countries, people dont even make it to 55 years of age and they certainly would not have access to chemo and surgery at that stage of cancer. He has been given the choice to seek a cure and apparently he is getting chemo and surgery, so he IS being offered up to date medical care, regardless of his ability to pay. I would not wish to be treated in any other country in the world. In what third world country do you think you would like to go,to, realizing that those countries do not have social security, medcare or social security disability. I just think people are quick to dismiss our medical delivery system without stepping back and looking at all the pieces that make up,the system. Is is perfect? No. But,neither are we.

        • Bejah Blue says:

          SS, I do understand your valid argument but I also see how American people are turned away from hospitals and the care they need because they do not have health insurance and this forced Obama care does not seem to help them, just make things more difficult threatening to drain their Social Security or what income they have in penalties if they do not sign up for some kind of coverage. Having said that this is an area I am very unfamiliar with, mostly because it does not affect me. When the gentleman in question had no health insurance because he felt he could not afford it, he was turned away from hospital ER’s several times. The decision to give him chemo and plan for shrinking the tumor and plan for surgery in spring was not a decision he made, it was a decision made by physicians. He is barely able to make decisions at all at this point and we do not think he will live until spring yet the family follows the physicians recommendations, and it seems the hospital may make more money by keeping him alive a little longer, denying him the peace and comfort of hospice, a really terrible thought. Could this be true? This may have implications for all of us. I would ask that we all pray for Tony, each in our own way. Thanks. Thank you so much SS for your comments. And to answer your question about which country I would choose I might select Sweden, or Norway or perhaps India or even England or a nation with socialized medicine and a stellar reputation for caring for its people, ALL of its people. I do admit that my reaction was emotional and I have on occasion been something of a drama queen but judge me not without bearing the context.

          Bejah

          • Still Standing says:

            Physician can’t and often dont know where they need to stop on life sustaining treatment and are hesitant to discuss this with patient, for one, fear of being sued. His family should ask for a social worker at the hospital and then TELL the physician they would like to be referred to hospice care. They need to have that conversation. Maybe you can encourage them to seek hospice referral. They can do so many palliative care and he will be more comfortable.

    • Bejah Blue says:

      Kitty, Forgive me but I do not know what “post OR” or “Dependent on ares” mean. Is OR a reference to surgery? Sorry to be so dense. Please explain a bit. Thx.

      Bejah

  4. Debbie gore says:

    That sounds like a ponzi scheme!

    • Kitty says:

      Like I said I do here from my attorney and call all the time to give up dates.

      • Bejah Blue says:

        Ditto Kitty, I also have a very good relationship with my attorney, the team, and feel very well cared for by the firm. I would like to think most of us do, save those victimized by bad law firms.

        My brother is an attorney (International Law) and not long ago said NEVER respond to an ad on TV for a law firm, especially when they have a big “800” number on the screen. There is a high probability that it is not the kind of firm you want representing you.

        Instead do your homework, RESEARCH, compare, and invite proposals from the top three on your list. Even after you have signed on, make sure you know who you are dealing with. If you are stuck with a firm with questionable merit you will have to watch them like a hawk.

        Of course, evidently there is a market for packages of TORT cases that are sold to other law firms (ref. Jane’s reporting)…giving the phrase “sold out” and “sold down the river” new meaning. At least that might get you away from a really bad situation.

        But, in the end, things do not look that promising for any of us, where justice is concerned so there may not be much value in fretting a lot over it. The good news is there are things we can control, do something about. We do know that STRESS is a killer and the last thing we need is more stress. So let’s “Chill” as they say and look to what is good in our lives like puppies and pecan pie!

        Bejah

  5. Chell says:

    This just makes me so sad and so disgusted at the same time. As if I wasn’t already feeling such a wide range of emotion in just dealing with the health issues that this product has caused, I have to deal with the guilt of feeling as though I should have made a different decision in my choice to have this product put into my body. Now I have to wonder if I have made the right choice in who will represent me. I have never been involved in the legal system, I do not understand how it works and I certainly do not go around suing people or businesses on a regular basis. I already wonder on a daily basis if I made the right decision in my choice of legal representation. I may worry unnecessarily, I don’t know, I have never been involved in any sort of lawsuit ever before in my life and hope that after this, I never will again. I have a law firm representing me but I have not spoken to an attorney that is supposed to be representing me at all, not once, and I have had my attorney for over a year now. That makes me nervous. I don’t know if they are truly representing me at all after reading some of the articles I have read. Every time I have called in to get an update, I get another paralegal and have left messages for an actual attorney to call, but not once have I gotten that call. That makes me nervous. I still don’t know what “tier” I fall into, when I ask, they tell me that the company is not as large as J&J so I shouldn’t expect as much as what I am hearing and reading about in other cases with larger manufacturers. That makes me nervous. All I have been told is that my manufacturer is in an interpleader phase and that could take a while. I don’t like that answer. Like I said before, I have never been involved in a lawsuit of any kind before and I don’t know if I have made another mistake or not. All I do know is that I wish there was more information out there for people like me to be able to find out how to make the best possible choice when it comes to who will represent me. I looked on the internet for information about the law firm representing me and couldn’t find much of anything so that wasn’t of any help. When I called around to other attorney offices to question how they did things, I couldn’t get anywhere because they won’t talk to you if you already have representation. I’d have to fire the firm I have now and just hope and pray that another firm would be able to take my case I guess. I’m very confused and concerned. If anyone has any helpful advice, please do not hesitate to share.

    • Still Standing says:

      Generally, it is advisable to get another lawyer on board before you fire your current attorney. Be advised, however, that you will have to pay the current attorney what you owe them up to this point. Get out your comtract with your attoenry andcsee what it says. They may want to be paid before they release your files or they maynjust attach a lein to your settlement dollars.mone waynor the other, younwill have toaynthem. Hope this info helps. This is basically what my contract said,mbut other firms may have different processes.

    • Barb says:

      CHELL…Just be persistent in obtaining information or if they have a website possibly that may list one of your attorneys who is associated with the mesh issues. 2nd I did contact another Law Firm I was told basically it was not a good idea to change attorney’s they will put a lien on your settlement when/if it comes………..so you would pretty much could end with 0%! Just keep calling telling them you have questions that you would like clarified be nice as you will get further! AMS is my manufacturer I signed with one attorney firm then because of the numerous cases they brought in another Law Firm who specialize in Mass Tort Litigation. Patience is the key I’m thankful for the work done so far however each firm if the manufacturer decides to settle out then each firm’s settlement talks are different. I have found a court document where 2 law firms has an agreement with AMS, I’m still searching to find the agreements filed with my firm. I’m someone who stays on them at least 1 a week or 1 every two weeks, communication is the key! Best of Luck

  6. Disgusted says:

    Pain medication is coming under strict DEA control in every state, from what I understand. There was a government report in 2011 that said opiates are a poor way of controlling pain. There are so many addictions. Yes, well allowing suffering when there is no other answer at this point is heartless. There were studies published a few years ago that the elderly lost an average of two years of their lives due to opiates. So let’s let everyone suffer, quality of life means nothing.

    • Still Standing says:

      Disgusted, I hear your frustration about prescription pain medication, and the fear of not having your pain regulated is certainly valid However, I urge you and other readers to read the article from the Wall Street Journal several years ago that I have posted below. It interviewed Russ Portenoy, who authored the 1986 study that advocated opiods for chronic pain. He admits now that his findings were not accurate. He was into the pocket of big pharma big, big time. It was a shocking to the medical community. However, by this time, the tremendous rise in opiods for treating non cancer chromic pain was hard to rein in but it was basically based on inaccurate and incomplete research. Now, we are finally learning how the long term use of them for chronic pain negatively impacts individuals in so many ways and learning the effects not just on individuals , but on society as well.. This is backed by countless studies from all over the world. So, if research is showing that opiods are harmful shouldn’t we ask the government to protect us by restricting their use? I ask that question because that is exactly what we are criticizing our government for not doing regarding mesh. ….that they have hot taken action to stop the use of mesh for SIU and POPeven though women are being injured. Yes, you are correct in your assessment that pain medication will be harder to get. However, Im fearful that doctors will just stop prescribing instead of really working on an individual pain protocol for each patient…some are just giving a referral to a pain clinic so they dont have to deal with it… If this happens to you, please speak up to your physician about your need to be titrated as you develop a new pain plan. Another reason to talk with your doctor ahead of time, pain clinics are already overloaded with patients. Understand, this is not just targeted to women with mesh, but all chronic pain patients. Being proactive may keep you from being on a months long waiting list. A sudden withdrawal of opiods by a physician is cruel.There ARE other pain management interventions available, but they require more work from the patients end and they focus on the biopsychosocial components of pain….that it is not just physical, but psychological and social. Ive written at great length about this under other posts encouraging readers to have the pain conversation with their doctor BEFORE they send you home with ibuprofen instead of hydrocodone., but I will put it out there again. I will encourage you by telling you that It is possible to control pain without narcotics and in ways that are not so destructive to your kind and body.

      http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324478304578173342657044604

      • Still Standing says:

        Last three words mind and body instesd of kind and body. Sorry.

        • Bejah Blue says:

          And if I may add…I must also add that I struggle with the concept of managing severe pain without narcotic pain medication but I concede that I have a profound fear of pain that creates a potential barrier to other options. There is no question that when I am with my horse or around any horses milder pain vanishes, rather my perception of it does but where severe pain is concerned I can not accept such pain can be adequately addressed without strong pain medication.

          I am also very angry with people that abuse these drugs as they have caused this situation and left so many of us living with additional suffering. I think our nation is sick, perhaps fatally sick. Not only do we suffer from the disease of excessive consumerism but that is not enough, we have to take drugs to make us “happy” as well but what is the Federal Government doing about the abuse of credit cards, or the addiction of shopping? NOTHING. No, they have the DEA go after people that are suffering, that have medical conditions that force them to live with chronic pain. I guess that population is an easier target allowing the White House to produce some quick and dirty stats showing how they are handling the drug problem in this country well. I think any person in severe enduring pain will say “I do not care if it is not good for me, just give me the medication that will take away the pain”. If people are dying it does not matter if narcotic pain medication is not “good for them”.

    • Bejah Blue says:

      The government can say whatever it wants to in “reports” can’t it, twisting truth, sidelining truth….to support its action. At least we have not come to the time when they do not even try to justify what they do at all and just do what they want…then we will know we have finally entered the time of the totalitarian state that once was our beloved America. I can only pray that the intelligence community protects, in the end, the nation, and its people and not the regime in control. I still believe we may be able to trust these entities. Not sure why.

      I think all of us would rather have two fewer years of life than have a life in pain. But this government does not really care about that…it is a smokescreen to justify restricting opiate pain medication from us, and that control is all that matters to them.

      Ask them why they were passing out drugs including opiates to soldiers in all WARs from WWI, WWII, Vietnam (famously) rather indiscriminately and I must assume in those (relatively) little wars that have existed since? Why were they not concerned about opiates then? I would like to see this government expend more resources caring for all the wounded warriors in the shamefully maintained VA hospitals in this country. Are they going to eliminate pain medication from soldiers whose arms and legs have been blown off??? Is that part of their plan as well?

      What they are doing will NOT stop opiate use, misuse or sale…it will make the situation far worse as one of our community mentioned as soon as we were told what was coming by one of our own. It is well documented that people fear being in pain, they do not fear death at all by comparison.

      We need to make sure we know who all those individuals are who signed off on this, and what institutions they represent, who participated in this infamous ruling/advisory that came out of…was it the NIH? I wonder if Jane would publish this if one of us put it together in a simple format. Does anyone think this would be useful? Wasn’t there a time when the American people voted on such things?

      We seem to have a few options now:

      1. Leave the country

      2. Commit suicide (Saving Medicare money and perhaps Social Security)

      3. Buy drugs illegally on the black market or in foreign countries hoping we are not murdered by drug dealers

      4. Grow our own poppies or other medicinal drugs to ease pain an pray we are not imprisoned

      Bejah

      • Still Standing says:

        Bejah. I will be glad to put together the scientific research that has brought us to this place with opiods. Read the link below about the original research that promoted opiods for chronic pain was very flawed. Just now, especially as neurobiology has opened up so much information about pain from a brain basis, the overwhelming evidence points to using other pain management therapies instead of opiods as a first line treament for chronic pain. The research comes from scientists around the globe, not just the government studies and remember that pain research doesnt target women with mesh, but all the millions of chronic pain sufferers. The reason that new regulations have come down is the interest of public health. This is what the CDC does. They analyze threats to public health…. Drunk driving, smoking, obesity, seat belts, dietary guidelines, polio, sedentary lifestyle, infant car seats, …I could list literally pages of public health initiatives that have saved millions of lives over the years, and those who liked to drink and drive or smoke were the most anti- regulation, but I dont think now that anyone would argue that people should be able to drivecdrunk or smoke in day care center. Chronic pain has been declared a public health crisis in the US as one third of American adults experience chronic pain, thus the intervention of the CDC. It is a difficult line to draw in the sand, but how long did it take us to routinely use seat belts or not drink and drive. Thinking back over my college days, it is amazing that my generation made it to middle aged with all the drinking that went on. So, I will put together the evidence and you can take a look but it may take a few days. Im going to be out of town for a few days but I will assemble some summaries of scientific journals sometime this week and you can look at the evidence and draw your conclusions.

        • Bejah Blue says:

          Dear SS, Thank you for offering to do this. I anxiously await your reporting and will strive to be open minded, something I am generally rather famous for in the curious little circles I run in. I do think, though, that the better way to stop the alleged overuse of narcotic pain medications would have been to do it in stages of some sort and also to warn the people what was coming and to make a concerted effort to educate them. People are far more resistant to something they do not understand than to something they have been informed about. Even where they did not want to know, or displayed other resistances, had people known this was indeed coming, I believe that most would have wanted to educate themselves as well as they could, and would have been receptive to reporting my CDC or whomever. To handle it in the way it seems it has been appears to me to be cruel, ill advised, and even crude. Forgive me if I seem critical. Thank you now, for attempting to educate us. I would, if I were CDC, reach out to seriously impacted populations and attempt damage control, and post ruling education in appropriate ways. The people will read that which impacts them in a deeply personal way and such efforts will go a long way toward preventing further alienation of the people from their government.

          Bejah

    • Bejah Blue says:

      I have wanted to mention but keep forgetting…the Cymbalta I take for Depression and also for peripheral neuropathy (One of the after effects of mesh implant) is also evidently now considered a “Controlled” substance. What in the H**L is going on???? Does BIG BROTHER want to control all our medications?

      Do you all know that these big corporations are trying to put small supplement and vitamin companies out of business or buy them out so they can have complete control over what we have access to? Think seriously of the ramifications of this please. Investigate it yourselves. When you buy vitimans buy from small companies and do not fall for slick advertising PLEASE.

      Bejah

  7. kitty says:

    Hi Bejah. Thank you for your wishes not really well tonight. A shocking thing happened

    Today’– I will write more tomorrow. KITTY

  8. Bejah Blue says:

    Hi people, I wanted to mention something I read the other day. Most of you are probably aware of this already but just in case you may find it helpful or have comments you may want to share about how it is or is not working for you. I am starting to go to a regular PT, very good Chinese young woman, very knowledgeable, smart and so I started reading about adhesions and physical therapy and I learned that one can use a yoga balls (In my case the big blue one that I still have not taken out of the box and blown up (bought it in 2009!). There is a PT movement where you roll around on the ball and it loosens the adhesions inside your body therefore releasing them and reducing pain. Does this sound interesting? If anyone is doing this please tell us/me about it. If you are not doing it but are interested, before rushing out to buy a ball go to one of your doctors that you trust who is knowledgeable about these things, research it yourself, etc. before starting working with the ball…maybe get an instruction sheet from a PT or online. I am looking forward to doing this and will advise. Sorry if I posted this in the wrong place. Best wishes to all,

    Bejah

    • addison says:

      Bejah, I’m glad you found a good physical therapist. Have you been able to meet with a pain specialist at the new clinic, and are any of the digestive/bowel regimens and products helping?

      • Bejah Blue says:

        Dear Addison, I see the “new” pain management representative next week, most anxious to establish that relationship and have also asked my Urologist, Spine specialist, Psychiatrist and Internist to contact them, send files so I will have an introduction of sorts.

        Actually one of the things I took was very effective…it was the ClearLax made by Safeway that was noticeably effective. I took it twice and then it was about five days later (and thank Heaven I was home) when something happened in the hall on the way to the laundry room. Happily I was wearing old sweats! It was rather sudden, had some solidity but, not to be too graphic, was somewhat loose as well and a decent volume. It almost seemed like something became unplugged because after that, I was able to produce a little each day with the exception of today. My pharmacist friend did tell me that as long as I take the narcotic pain medications I will also need to use something like this. I am going to run this by (no pun intended) my GI doctor to get a better sense of how often I should use this ClearLax. Let me know if you want the ingredients. I expect it is a less costly version of something more costly made by a big pharma corporation, another reason to buy something like this “store brand”. I do not remember what I paid for this but there is a lot left…it is granual and one pours a cap or so into a liquid, then shake and drink…no odd taste noticed. Based on this experience and my own physiology I would not take stool softening pills at the same time or anything else intended to promote clearing of the bowels. But again, ask a trusted physician. Bottle is 8.3 oz., FYI. To sum, the problem is not gone but it is better and is probably something we will always have to manage unless we switch from narcotic pain med to CBT! Maybe because I had such horrific unbearable untreated pain as a young girl, I am terrified of pain so I will not stop taking the Oxycodone, etc. until I am forced to and then GOD help me. BTW I can’t remember but I think this bottle was about $7.00 but it looks like it will last well. I think I will take it once a month or so. I wonder if I should invest in prune juice or put prunes in my oatmeal in the morning. To be clear, I am not talking about prunes because I am old, I am talking about prunes to make you smile and because I am all meshed up!

        Bejah

    • K says:

      Bejah, I am just now beginning PT after my removal in February. Also, I have an appt with a massage therapist that specializes in pelvic pain and breaking down adhesions. I really hope I get some relief. My PT had me feel all the knots all in my groin area and above my pelvic bone. Unbelievable number of knots that when massaged are so painful. I had no idea they were all there.

      • K says:

        I had PT prior to removal and it didn’t help.

      • Jane Akre says:

        Please let us know how it goes…. thank you K.

      • Jan says:

        K, in response to the PT therapy you are getting for adhesions, I would love to find someone in the Atlanta area who is familiar with this type of PT. Since having mesh removed back in March, I have so much scar tissue in my legs so I’m sure there has to be the same in the pelvic area, since the arms of mesh were so tight before. Now I’ve been diagnosed with rectacele and I’m wondering if just maybe the adhesions can cause constipation and bowel issues.

        • Bejah Blue says:

          Jan, I hope you find an excellent PT provider. Please share with us what you feel comfortable advising us about. I have the sense I am not the only one who has a big learning curve ahead of me about this.

          It seems doctors are not helping us much, and do not seem to be sharing information about this pelvic floor PT with us either which in my case kept me from even trying it for a long time because I was so afraid and had been so betrayed by the doctor who prescribed it. I should have taken the responsibility of educating myself on alone but I was so traumatized I did not. Do not make the mistake I did. If a Urologist accuses you of trying to con Johnson & Johnson (or some other defendant) by joining forces with “some lawyer” (with questionable integrity) before even examining you and then refuses to follow through with a planned surgery do not let that devastate you as it did me. Know that the M.D. is either mentally or morally defective and stay strong. Trust no one until they have proven themselves and have earned your trust. Evil is running rampant in the world now in case you have not noticed. Tread with great care.

          Some hospitals put all test and lab results and imaging online for us to download and save. Others make it impossible for us to get access to information on our own bodies and restrict access to such data so we must only go through physicians to access it in any form. This infuriates me. Here are the names of two hospitals, one that does the right thing where such data is concerned, one does the wrong thing. Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, CA has made data available to patients for several years. Desert Regional Hospital in Palm Springs continues to refuse patient access to their own medical information. This should be illegal. Why isn’t it?

          Anyway I hope your experience with PT is a good one and encourage you to research these PT health care providers yourself so you can call the referring physician and tell them who you want to see. Also when you go to the selected facility do not be shy about telling the management if you do not resonate or feel comfortable with the PT person they assign you to. I did. I was assigned a male that I did not have a good feeling about so changed to a wonderful Chinese girl who is very knowledgeable. It is your right to select your care provider in an approved facility.

          Bejah

          • Bejah Blue says:

            One more thing I think I forgot to mention, if you can reach, you can massage your surface adhesions yourself gently and help soften and stretch them out. Use a hand cream of some sort or massage oil and try to read about doing this first or consult a really good PT even if you need to pay for a one time visit.

            Bejah

      • addison says:

        Good morning, K. Would you mind if we ask a couple questions about physical therapy? Thank you!

      • Bejah Blue says:

        K, So glad you were able to have the removal, and I have been so afraid of this pelvic floor PT thinking they would dig around inside of me but that is not the case…it is learning exercises not unlike Kegal, and it is massage and probably pushing on trigger points and things I still know so little about. I remember now, though, that when I fell breaking up a dog fight and fractured my hip the PT massaged the long scar which was lumpy and after a time the area on my leg became smooth again so that was a good thing. In that case it was not painful but pressing on trigger points was painful so you will probably experience both. If it is any comfort my memory is that post pressure on trigger points there was relief so hang in there and don’t forget to pack your courage. I just got an order for pelvic floor PT so now I am going to two different PT facilities for two different things! I am very nervous about the Pelvic Floor PT and I will be reporting here about the experience. Getting sleepy so wishing all a good night and happy dreams.

        Bejah

        • Still Standing says:

          Part of physical therapy for pelvic issues DOES involve internal work. That is the only way the therapist can get to many trigger points. It is done in a very professional way. The therapist should give you things you can do at home. She may suggest vaginal dilators and when used as a way to control muscle spasms, it is very beneficial. Dilators can be purchased online and they come as a set of four in different sizes. A dilator that is placed in the vagina and left there for 30 minutes or so actually helps relax those internal muscles. It will create spasms at first, then as it stays in, the muscle tires and finally relaxes. It is not painful at all and it does help. I will be glad when my doctor allows me to start physical therapy at home and at the rehab place. This last surgery in october was a doozie and he wants me to wait at least four momths before doing any rehab. Good luck to anyone trying pelvic floor PT. It truly is such a vital piece of the survival puzzle. .

  9. kitty says:

    finest surgeons

    A local Walgreens was reported to corporate office for insulting a customer in front of other customers questioning the legality of a prescription I believe there will be many law suits brought forth with this type of arrogant behavior with arrogant pharmacists and ignorant and bigoted techs

    • Bejah Blue says:

      Kitty, Thanks for sharing this. Hope you are doing well today. Also, regarding Walgreens and some others, RiteAid, for ex.) they have been accused of seriously overcharging for prescriptions. To then behave badly on top of that is very troubling. people need to file complaints, report to managers, and state regulatory agencies but often they do not bother, and just go elsewhere with their business. These are some of the reasons why I now go to a hospital pharmacy where I am treated very well and they actually know me, maybe because I am infamous! 🙂

      Bejah

      • Bejah Blue says:

        Post Script re Pharmacies: Using a hospital pharmacy insures me that they will not ever be out of my medication, just FYI.

        Bejah

  10. Bejah Blue says:

    I was just reading the free current issue of Urology and came across this insert on Intersistial Cystitis. I diagnosed myself with this soon after implant in 2010. It is not known what causes it. Now we know that surgery to implant the polypropelene mesh, and probably the toxins in that mesh are a causal factor. I am proceeding on that assumption. It seems very obvious to me. By 2013 the surgeon (Ha-Jong Kim, UCLA Urology) who implanted me (Wonder how much money she made from this) had mysteriously added IC to my diagnoses in her surgery report, modifying it with information I had given her three years earlier. Nice move.

    Just thought there may be a little value in reviewing some of what we know about IC.

    Symptoms:

    * Pain or pressure in bladder area that may worsen as bladder fills, * Needing to empty bladder a lot…even every 10 minutes (Me but not always), * Feeling like you need to empty again right after you did, * Pain or pressure in pelvis and/or genital area generally, * Pain during sex

    Theory on cause

    * “No one knows”, *It seems to run in families (Not my family), * Physical or mental stress can worsen it (You mean like having mesh implanted in you????), * Cranberry products CAN TRIGGER IRRITATION in bladder (Instead eat pears, apples, blueberries

    Treatment

    * Avoid citrus, spicy food, and limit caffine, carbonated drinks, alcohol

    * Wear loose comfortable clothes

    * DO yoga and walk (Also meditation)

    * PT can help

    * Control stress

    * Massage, acupuncture, biofeedback (Personal experience: Good practitioner = acupuncture is wonderful

    * Nerve stimulation therapy (I do not know what this is unless it is TENS, anyone know?)

    * Certain prescription medications (They do not say what so ask your Urologist or pref. Urogynecologist)

    For more info go to Urologyhealth.org (I have not been to site yet)

    These things are probably advisable for all of us even if we do not have an IC diagnosis. Think about it.

    Best to all and good night!

    Bejah

    • Jane Akre says:

      thank you for this…I will look for the link.

      • Still Standing says:

        iC is often a diagnosis that is given with pelvic floor dysfunction. It is an overlapping condition along with IBS, TMj, vulvodynia, etc. These conditions overlap because of the hypertonic pelvic muscles that create a cascade of organ involvement. I think I have written about this at length in other posts. There are several definitive tests for IC if you would like to,have a comfirmation. You can ask your doctor to do this. My doc recommended cranberry capsules and they have been helpful. Flares can occur when eating offending foods and especially under stress. This is when you need to know how to step back and change how you respond to stressful situations. There are some medications for IC, but there are of course side effects. Learing what foods trigger or what stress or activities trigger are the best places to start,and then changing how you respond to the pain trigger. The IC website sells a cut out IC cushion, which is helpful. i call it my “happy ass” cushion. It goes with me everywhere. I will post a link to an article that talks about overlapping pain conditions in women. We must recognize that our pelvic muscles should work in harmony, but with trauma or other things, they become dysfunctional. All the symptoms must be assessed and treated.

        As far as the diet , it really is a process of elimination. Each woman is different. As far as apples, you must eat those that are low in acid, gala and cant remember the other one. Also, what we think may be benign Isnt. Do you know that applesauce causes constipation? It does, but seems counterintuitive doesnt it? There are many things to consider as we deal with the after effects of mesh. Every small change can be beneficial. We must celebrate what we can do for self care and forgive ourselves when we dont.

        • Still Standing says:

          Here is a good article about overlapping pain conditions in women. It isnt the original article,but it is certainly a good summary.

          https://www.nwhn.org/overlapping-pain-conditions-women-in-pain-need-more/

        • Still Standing says:

          My gosh. i left out the best advice on ic, also from my doctor…he said I could do the water and cardboard diet,( the IC diet) OR take an over the counter acid buster called Prelief. I know that Walgreen has it and Im sure itis at many outlets however I Have not found it a Wal Mart. Take one or two before you eat any offending foods…coffee, carbonated drinks, high acid…it absolutely takes the acid out of your food. Give it a try if you are having bladder pain.

        • Janet says:

          Do more research my insurance would not pay for it

          Later I read regarding the mesh PT could make things worse

          I have enough issues like so many I want know more on top of this

          • K says:

            It does make it worse with mess still in but I am hoping after a couple months I am better. I can feel the knots that need worked out. I will keep you posted on my journey with PT.

          • Still Standing says:

            Janet. Please consider going to a certified pelvic floor physical therapist. They have advanced training in pelvic floor disorders. If you do the work they advise you to do, it will make a tremendous difference. They will do work while you are there, but you will not have good results unless you do the exercises they prescribe at home. I have had PT before my 8’surgeries, then again 6-8 weeks post surgery. I believe this is a vital piece of recovery. You will not see immediate changes, but keep the long view in sight. I credit my PT as one of three people who saved my life. By the way, I traveled 200 miles round trip for PT therapy. Not easy with so much pain, but definitely worth the effort. I still use the exercises she taught me.

          • Bejah Blue says:

            Janet, Please elaborate about PT making it worse….some of us are just about to start this PT. Thanks.

            Bejah

        • Bejah Blue says:

          SS, Of course I remember your post(s) about this subject. Some things bear repeating? Perhaps some missed it, maybe it should be woven into our general discussions about our issues, and if any are like me, it takes awhile for things to sink in well. And who knows in the midst of pointing our brains at this we may come up with an epiphany that will help us all. Stranger things have happened. I have wondered if those “Happy Bum” cushions work. Maybe I could just glue one to my bottom!

          I spoke to my Urologist today about using the big balls to roll on to loosen adhesions. He suggested I proceed with caution asking a pro PT person. It occurs to me that I do not want to be rolling around causing the mesh to move or worse so do proceed with caution with this people but I still think it could help in theory if used gently. Ask a trusted expert first! Urologist asserts that pelvic floor PT will not damage my pelvic kidney(s) so if anyone else has this concern it may be OK but do confirm as each case is different. Urologist said my plan to begin Yoga classes in earnest and go to a heated therapy pool we have here regularly along with using a recombinant (sp?) bicycle and walking will be very helpful. We must keep moving and Yoga is so good for us on so many levels. Please everyone educate yourselves about Yoga. It is so strange to have tests and doctors come back to me with relatively good news and then feel my pain increasing (I guess because of the adhesions at least in part…so disconcerting and frightening). I have a history of severe Endometriosis. I wonder if that might be a common denominator for us. The literature seems to suggest a meaningful connection with Endo and adhesions. Will explore more.

          The good news for me today is that the mesh is not (yet) in my bladder nor is there any sign of cancer but new blood tests will not be done for a few days and were ordered by a diff. doctor. My Nephrologist did report that my kidneys were functioning within normal limits (Did it not occur to him that I might like more information? Why are they taught to hold everything so close to the chest, most frustrating. Now I have to formally request his notes. It is MY body! Good grief.)

          Bejah

          • Still standing says:

            Behah! Congratulations on taking such positive stepsx

            toward self care. It will truly inpact your physical and enotional health in so many ways a good way to close out 2015. Ask your urologist if they have a patient portal where you can access all of you visit summaries and mab work. All of my doctors have that and I will get an email when it is posted. A nice way to keep up with your medical history. Im oroud of you for taking charge of what you can control.

        • Bejah Blue says:

          SS, Shouldn’t all of this be good reason to justify (1) Adding advisories to device product data before considering implant, and (2) Insuring that patients have been properly notified by having them read and sign a copy of such an advisory, and (3) Only implanting women in the most serious situations?

          It would seem that the medical industry may stand to make a lot of money from a flow of patients with these conditions. Is that the bottom line here, as it often is…profitability? Profitability at the expense of human wellness?

          Bejah

          • Still Standing says:

            Absolutely!! That is what they failed to consider…that women arent cookie cutter beings. If most of us had been properly evaluated based on strict criteria…ie. Past abdominal surgeries, endometriosis, childbirth, other overlapping conditions, i doubt that many of us would have been deemed a good fit for the mesh

        • Bejah Blue says:

          SS, I had never heard of any of this until I was implanted. Why did all of these problems arise post implant? When I had a total hysterectomy in 2000 I had no problems, no development of IC or Vulvodynia, no adhesions….why now, why with this polypropelene mesh. The material the device is made of must be suspect. Who is working on an analysis, correlations, a smoking gun I ask the world.

          Bejah

  11. kitty says:

    Just a clarifications TYPO. Meant completey dependent on cares–unable to dress–shower et al. Post O R means just got out of surgery. I am getting better. ALSO fYI— gentle pelvic message for scar tissue is really helpful from a highly skklled PT. Several weeks ago I foolishly rolled on a Yoga ball on my belly. OMG

  12. Bejah Blue says:

    Thanks SS, the affirmation means a lot. I hope others will also take a deeper look at Yoga. It is far more than we generally think and anyone can do it….if you are in a wheelchair, if you are “Too stiff”, if you are “Too tired” or if you are suspended from the ceiling of your hospital bed you can still do Yoga…the key word is modification. It will make your body better and it will help your spirit heal. There are Yoga DVD’s you can buy (Suggest the “gentle yoga” ones, there are PBS yoga classes and there are “real time” yoga classes.

    At the gym I joined here (24 Hour Fitness) the classes are included in the membership so the Yoga classes are really free. The gym membership for me (I qualify as senior these days) is only about $25 a month and there are no contracts, it is just month to month. And who knows, maybe I will meet some old wounded warrior at the juice bar and take a chance on marriage again. I see people of all ages there and it feels like a happy, clean, busy, high energy place to spend some time, very motivating.

    A LITTLE HAPPY STORY

    I have a little tiny bit of happy news….I ran into a woman I used to always visit with on the little local bus here that comes to the homes of the disabled and old and takes them from their homes to the market or medical appt.’s. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever have the money to fix the brakes on my car. This woman was hurt at work and is now permanently disabled, is like us in that you can not necessarily tell by looking at her. We planned to go to the beach and have a picnic a year ago but have not yet been able to do that. Her grown son who lives with her was badly wounded (I forget the circumstances but it was medical malpractice matter and he is now developmentally disabled and can not live alone). Anyway I ran into her at a local church thrift shop while hunting for treasures and guess what she told me? She had just been told by a doctor that to correct a mild stress urinary incontinence there was this wonderful tape the doctor could implant in her. She told me the first thing she thought of was me and what I had told her. She had been looking for my phone number. It seems the Universe brought us together. Love it when that happens. I still believe miracles happen every day. Perhaps it is magical thinking but I know better. It is what it is regardless of what one believes. Anyway I gave her my phone, email and Jane’s phone and name and Jane’s website address and we had a little chat. She is thinking now that she is NOT going to have any tape put in her body but we will try to find a doctor her insurance will accept that can use her own tissue to create something that can help her.

    So you see what happens when you tell other women, when you talk about this, when you tell your story, when you share your truth with other women? It makes me feel so good that I could do this one good thing for another person, for one other woman who in turn will share her story, pass it along, play it forward as they say. Maybe yesterday you passed a woman in the grocery check out line that was just told to have mesh implanted…you could have counseled her and perhaps changed her life. Please think about this people and have faith in your intuition.

    MORE TAPE STORIES…

    There is one other thing I wish to share with ya’all (I love this expression not because I am from the south but because I love, love, love the HGTV show, “Fixer Upper” with JoAnna Gaines who I think is a brilliant decorator and visionary…I love the way they say this little phrase and so say it sometimes in her honor. Anyway….I turned on the TV this morning about 6am and a program was on called “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind” hosted by a person who identified himself as Dr. Scott McFarland. I was writing fast so may have some spelling wrong. It was a program in a series done by HBHM TV. It was a program about urinary incontinence of all things (I do not have this….yet). In the film the narrator plainly stated with complete confidence that the patient in the film could be helped a lot by this wonderful tape that could be implanted in her body. There was then a very quick wash over of what were described as a few (unfounded was the subtle take away) silly complaints. I was livid. Then came the best part. After the program when they rolled the credits listing the donors who made the program possible through their financial support were the following in this order:

    (Again, my spelling here is probably terrible)

    * Novartis

    * Baxter

    * Jansen

    * Genzyme

    * American Medical Systems

    * Celege

    Here is the phone number (I think) for the public television station that broadcast this: 888 380 6500. I think we should call or write them. They probably have no idea that what they have broadcast is not the public service they believe it to be. I would think that as journalists they have a responsibility (Jane would be the expert here) to review any and all programming to ensure it reflects their station mission and identifies or at least offers a variety of expert and differing opinion. Please think about this and always keep your eyes “peeled” and your ears “flapping” and report what is not in the best interest of our community.

    Thanks people,

    Bejah

  13. Bejah Blue says:

    I learned something this afternoon…speaking of little bits of happy news: I am planning to start going to a therapy pool here (Heated to 90 degrees, different classes, etc.) I called them to arrange to start next week and they told me they have a class called water Yoga! That has to be HEAVENLY. I said sign me up. First class is Friday next. Start Yoga at the gym next week also followed by a class called “Silver Sneakers” which I think is a sort of warm up class for older bodies. If I can not have this mesh removed then at least I can put up a good fight and help my body and mind. I am not just going to crawl off and die.

    Bejah

    • Still Standing says:

      Once again, Bejah Im so glad you are giving your body the self care it deserves. As a pain educator, just a note to remenber. Many times we go gung ho with lifestyle changes, but get discouraged and beat ourselves up ( such as deciding not to a glass or something. Remember, celebrate each small step.

      • Bejah Blue says:

        Dear SS, I will. Each step into the light keeps me alive. Each step back into the shadows leads me toward darkness and death. I make that choice every day. We all do. It is “free will” at the pinnacle of that concept. I have made (finally) a great turkey soup from the Thanksgiving bones, pulling all the goodness from those meat covered bones. I was so tired though, but I did not give up. I did not give up or step back into failure. I did the great soup in steps and in the evening I would put it all in the refrigerator and them finish cooking things to be added the next day and folding them in when I was not so tired so I just modified my behavior and the plan of action so that it would suit the circumstances. End result, a fabulous soup (Shared with my neighbor and my Anatolians) and a successful project, and a relatively happy wounded warrior.

        Another example of how to sidestep discouragement…If I have not been swimming laps for several months I get tired quickly but rather than stop or give up I roll on my back and do backstroke or I doggie paddle or sidestroke but I continue moving, resting while moving and then if and when I can in those first weeks I pick up the normal lap stroke again. Before you know it I can swim laps for 20 minutes without stopping…not as fast as very good swimmers but that does not matter to me anymore. Moving matters. Moving keeps you alive.

        So we can apply what SS suggests in all sorts of ways and it does work and it makes us feel good.

        Many years ago when I moved home to CA from New York City I moved to San Diego where my mother and my aunt and uncle lived. I used to jog out to the end of the jetty at Pacific Beach with him (A retired Naval officer) and he would not let me stop, in the beginning he encouraged me to keep running, just put one foot in front of the other (I have probably told this story before) and so I did and I was shocked when it worked, I was able to finish with him and somewhere in the midst of it I found energy I did not seem to have before. Still not sure what that was but ever after that, even when I ran alone that served me well and I grew to love running BECAUSE I did not give in or give up, nor did I overdo it. So do not let yourself give in or give up, whatever it is you try as a therapy to help your body, mind and spirit heal.

        Bejah

        • Still Standing says:

          Yes, and remember that a bad day does not negate a good day ( enjoying your soup) that is what we have to balance.

    • Bejah Blue says:

      Well I think I will pass on the “Silver Sneakers” for now….maybe when I am 85 if I last that long. Just a little feedback for anyone going to a 24 hour fitness.

      Bejah

  14. Kitty says:

    These posts are so old and so sad. This is very depressing to read…especially from Bejah where is she? Is she ok and did she survive the spinal surgery.

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