Sharing Creates Strength: Knowing You are Not Alone
Thankfully, as of late, more and more celebrities are going public with their personal battles against all kinds of mental and physical challenges, including uterine fibroids. We applaud this step because seeing others, especially those who are constantly under the scrutiny of the public eye, battle and triumph against the symptoms of fibroids can give our entire community strength. One by one, inspirational stars such as Cynthia Bailey, Bethenny Frankel, Beverly Johnson and Sara Bareilles have shared their stories with the world, letting women all over the globe know that they are not alone.
The numbers thrown around as statistics on the prevalence of fibroids are varied and confusing. Ranging from relatively small numbers, such as up to 12%, to significantly higher statistics, even reaching to 80% of premenopausal women, each patient manages the heavy bleeding, chronic pain, painful intercourse, frequent urination and other symptoms on her own.
Can you imagine going through this as a model, where everyone is watching your body?
What about managing pain and heavy bleeding as a television personality, when your entire career is documented?
Or the pressure of performing as a singer when you’re battling chronic pain?
After having managed a collection of fibroids described as the size of two cooking apples, three kiwis and a couple of strawberries, singer FKA twigs describes her uterine fibroid pain as having “…a fruit bowl of pain every day.”
The publication of others’ experiences and pain is not done, in any way, to minimize the pain of each sufferer. Rather, it is to bring strength. These women have gotten through it and gone on to do great things. And one can only conclude and assume from the statistics available that fibroids affect women across wide career and economic spectrums. Chances are, every time you’re in the supermarket, there’s at least one (if not many) other women there with uterine fibroids. Virtually everywhere, there will be other women around you, also suffering from fibroids.
Once upon a time, many or even most medical issues were enveloped in layers of taboo. Thankfully, we have somewhat advanced from that stage to a point where discussing and generally exposing our medical issues is almost always socially acceptable. Even better, this atmosphere has given rise to support groups, where one can hear the stories of others and share real tips and contacts to enhance healing.
Support can come in more informal ways, too. A simple Google search provides numerous online support forums. If that isn’t your style, opening up to a friend, a neighbor, a clergy member or co-worker can also lead to contacts with women going through the same ups and downs.
For better and for worse, millions of women worldwide are attempting to manage the symptoms of uterine fibroids. Find your connection in person, online, or just by reading about battles celebrities are facing, and you can be confident that you’re never alone.