Bothell, WA: When Mike Laurance went to the hospital for hernia surgery in March 2006, he thought his health problems would be over. Mike's doctor used a Kugel Mesh Patch to fix the hernia, but Mike says that even as he was leaving the hospital he knew something was not right.
"My girlfriend came to pick me up from the hospital and I just told her that something was wrong with me," Mike says.
Shortly after the surgery, Mike developed a hematoma. It took eight weeks for the hematoma to go down. "I showed a different doctor some of the lumps I developed and she said that they were not normal, so I went back to my doctor but he said it was normal."
Since that first surgery, Mike has been to the E.R. five different times because of the pain in his abdomen. He says he has hot flashes and moments where he has to lie down or he will lose consciousness. Mike also says that he has lumps in his abdomen, a lot of swelling, fatigue, and severe constipation.
"I knew right away that something was wrong," Mike says. "I asked the nurses but they said everything I felt was normal. But I know that something is messed up."
So far, the doctors have told Mike that his problems have nothing to do with his surgery. "I saw one doctor because of the pain in my scrotum. He said I have an STD and gave me something for it. But I know it is not an STD because the cream did nothing and the pain started right after the surgery. I was incredibly swollen and almost black after surgery. I had to lie in bed for a week afterwards. I'm getting frustrated because they [the doctors] are not telling me anything and they are diagnosing me with things I do not have."
Mike says that the hernia surgery has affected his work because he has a highly physical job working with concrete. "The pain and the fatigue are getting worse," Mike says. "There are some days when I just have to sleep all day and I feel a lot of pressure in my abdomen. I cannot work like that. Sometimes the pain is so bad that when I go to bed I have to lie on my side."
Mike is currently looking for another doctor to see if there is anything that can be done. "Nobody believes that the surgery had this affect on me," Mike says. "But I have kept pictures of my bruising and my swelling. I just feel stuck right now because something is wrong and no one will do anything. I still have blood in my scrotum and a possible bowel obstruction but no one is willing to help me. They just tell me that it has nothing to do with the surgery. I never had this pain before the surgery."