It all started when I gave birth to my son in 1998. After a long, traumatic labour I was left with bladder weakness. This went continued until I was given a operation to extend my bladder. This seemed to work for a few years. 

Then after the birth of my second child I began to have the same problem I had before. 

I attended several hospital visits to see urologists and gynaecologists. It was suggested that I got the transvaginal tape (TVT). But after this surgical procedure my bladder problem became severely overactive. 

After several urodynamic tests, lost results and cancelled appointments etc was experiencing a lot of pain in my lower pelvic area. I had no control over my bladder at all. I’ve spent years suffering lower back pain and pains all over my body. I have lower immunity, fibromyalgia and horrendous repetitive urinary tract infections (UTIs). 

Then my gallbladder was removed. 

I spend most of the winter indoors as I feel the cold/damp weather really makes me worse where I cannot leave the house for any length of time. 

I have no sexual feelings and before my husband died he said that he could actually feel something inside that shouldn’t have been there. 

Depression sunk in and I have felt suicidal on several occasions. I feel my body has been damaged by this TVT and the cost has hit me financially as I have to purchase a constant supply of pads and new mattresses for my bed. 

I can no longer work and I’m a widow living on my own. I have no toilet on my lower floor so I have to spend most of my life in my bedroom which has access to a bathroom two flights upstairs. 

I have tried to apply for personal independent payments (PIP) and have been refused due to the fact that I can dress myself and do some other basic things. PIP does not cover mesh damaged people. 

My memory is also bad. This has had a devastating impact on the quality of my life. Humiliation and stress, embarrassment that comes with this is awful. I have lost friends and I have no job prospects. I have missed weddings and holidays; it has affected everything. 

My kids have had to be there to care for me when I cannot get out of bed with pain. My appetite fluctuates. I cannot enjoy going out with friends and alcohol is a no no, as it irritates me and my bladder can’t cope, causing accidents and all that entails. 

I had an abdominal pelvic scan for which I’m waiting on results but I’ve not yet heard due the Covid. 

I have to have Botox injections every few months because my bladder is so reactive. It’s obviously trying to get rid of the foreign object inside of me! 

I have groin pain and pains in my legs also at times. 

I’m tired. 

I have to take medication for pain and depression. I’m also on a long term antibiotic for recurrent  UTIs.

I’m exhausted from travelling to different hospitals in Glasgow for different appointments and procedures. 

I feel as if I have a been given a death sentence. 

I’m so angry that I was never told all the times I was having tests etc that this tape was never mentioned as being the cause of my different symptoms! 

I feel cheated. 

All I want is help and people to listen and understand what it is like to live like this.

It’s been a long and lonely journey