You have to listen to today’s episode of Period Story with Sateria Venable, the founder and CEO of the Fibroid Foundation. Sateria shares her story of navigating life with very heavy periods, haemorrhaging, altitude associated bleeding and fibroids. Sateria’s story is very powerful and she has grown the Fibroid Foundation out of her own very painful experiences, something she describes as very cathartic.
In this episode, Sateria shares:
- How she was diagnosed with fibroids
- How to navigate fibroid diagnosis and treatment
- The power of advocacy
- And the story of her first period
Sateria says that you don’t have to suffer and power through. There are many resources and information out there to help, including on the Fibroid Foundation website, Instagram page and YouTube channel.
Thank you, Sateria!
Get in touch with Sateria:
Questions to ask your provider
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Le’Nise: I’m so happy to have you on the podcast. You are doing really incredible work in the fibroids space and I’ve wanted to have you on the show for a while, so I’m happy that we have this opportunity to have this conversation. So let’s get into the story of your very first period.
Sateria: Okay. Well, thanks so much for having me on this. I consider you a rock star and you’re one of our most valued alliance partners. So I’m really grateful for your partnership across the pond and your friendship. So my period story, I’m so glad that you’re hosting this podcast because this is such an important question, in my opinion, because I think that there is it’s a very personal journey and it is not always framed in a positive light. And so it can carry, I think, some serious emotional baggage for a young person experiencing puberty. And my journey was much like what I’ve just described, I. It was a little funny, actually. My mom is an older parent, so she had me at 37, so she was not as familiar with the most current period products at the time. And it had been so far removed from her experience that it was just kind of humorous. So I had pain on my right side about a month before my 12th birthday, and my mother thought I was having an appendicitis attack. And then I was ovulating. You know, we found out two weeks later that I was ovulating. So my periods started. I don’t remember really bad cramps the first period, but my mom handed me this enormous sanitary napkin that was like an inch plus thick. And then she gave me a belt to go with it. And I was like, What in the hell is this? You know, I was like just a few days before my 12th birthday, and I was trying to figure out, you know, I think it was in like the seventh grade. And I was trying to figure out this belt and this pad and wondering why in the world anybody would want to have to deal with all of this.
And it was just really awkward. I think that’s the best word I can think of to describe my experience, because I would catch the bus to school public transportation. And I remember distinctly standing on the bus, you know, first for the first few period experiences and feeling very exposed and wondering if people knew or just not wanting to have to deal with it. And then I also remember being in school and not really feeling comfortable excusing myself to go to the bathroom probably as frequently as I should. So it was it was, I think, not ideal for really uplifting menstruation, but that was my my first or first couple of period experiences.
Le’Nise: Wow. So I want to really ask about the sanitary belt because you’re the first guest that I’ve spoken to that has used a sanitary belt. Maybe some others have, but they didn’t mention it. And I’m fascinated by that because I actually went to the Vagina Museum here in London earlier in the summer, and I actually learnt that it was the belt was originated by a Black woman and they went through the whole history of it. So and then they had they had an example there. And I remember looking at it with in complete fascination because it just seemed so foreign to what compared to what we have on the market now. So can you just talk a little bit more about how how it works using the belt?
Sateria: The belt is seems far away from me as well because I didn’t use it for long because I hated it. I went and found some more current products, but it was like a woven kind of. It wasn’t gauze. It was more like a cotton woven panty that you step into. And the sides were just like. A little less than an inch wide, and they went kind of up over your hips in kind of like a thong kind of shape to hold the pad in place. And you would wear that under your underpants. And it didn’t do a great job of holding the pad in place. I mean, because, you know, you’d have little spill over here and a little spill over there. But and then the pad had. Long gauze pieces that were flat that extended like five or six inches out from the pad itself in both directions. So you had this it kind of felt almost like it was coming up to your belly button and all the way up in the back. Because of those those they were almost kind of like see through it was what? So there was a huge cotton section or whatever that was. That was the base of the pad. And then whatever they wrapped the pad in, they had extensions that went far off the ends in the front, in the back that kind of came up. And so you’d have all of this going on and then your underpants on top of it, it was, well, you’ve got a headache just thinking about it.
Le’Nise: And so your this is what your mom gave you when you had your first period. And did she explain to you what was going on? Did she talk to you about her experience of her period to give you a little bit more kind of background about what to expect?
Sateria: She didn’t talk much about having your first period and what that means, but she did tell me all the horrible stuff. I had seen, so I guess when my period started, my mother was 49. And I had seen her have some very. Just painful period experiences. And she told me about how horrible her cramps had been when her periods started, which I, I think she meant well. But, you know, I think that added to the horror of it all.
Le’Nise: So you had this experience where you were given the this belt and a big bulky pad and then you went and found something that was a little better for you. And then how did you learn more about periods and ovulation and all everything to do with menstrual health?
Sateria: From my friends in school. I remember my friend in the sixth grade who was the first person that I knew to start her period. And so we were all kind of like in awe like, oh, wow. You know, we thought at that time that that was something we wanted to be in that club, you know, like have a period. And then once my period started, I I’m I’m a person who I felt my ovulation every single month. And so I started to learn my body. It would tell me that, okay, you’re ovulating, right? Ovulating left. Two weeks later, period’s going to start. And I also had friends who had really bad cramps like me. So one of my friends would have some really strong Motrin, not the over-the counter, but, you know, prescription Motrin. And she would give it to us because our cramps were that bad. She would give us the Motrin in school. We were in school popping Motrin. So we would amongst us my little core unit of friends, the ones that had really bad cramps, would share information and that’s how I learnt to adapt to it and understand what was happening. But my general expectation sadly was that it was going to be terrible and that’s what it was because of what I had seen and the family stories that went back to my great grandmother of terrible periods.
Le’Nise: So your periods you have that expectation and then your periods were terrible. So you mentioned really bad cramps. What was it? What else about your period was not so great?
Sateria: I think it was the the social impact, the awkwardness. I specifically remember being 15 and going on a date. I think I was almost 16 and I had this cute pair of white shorts that I wanted to wear that I had just gotten. And I was out at the barbecue, and my bleeding got worse than I anticipated. And I didn’t bleed through the shorts. But the just panic around navigating trips to the bathroom and being in the company of a guy that I was interested in and trying to have fun with my friends. But also having this experience was just really challenging and not a feel good moment.
Le’Nise: And how did you how did you resolve the situation?
Sateria: I befriended a woman who a girl at the time who was with me who was dating another guy that was there. And she kind of like accompanied me to the bathroom to make it seem not as obvious that I had a purpose for going there rather than as just kind of having girl talk. And and she really helped me through that moment at that time.
Le’Nise: Yeah. Yeah. And so you were bleeding heavily and so were heavy periods also another feature of your kind of menstrual life?
Sateria: Always. My periods were horrible. The first day or two when my cervix would open. My periods would. It was like contractions. And I would get so sick that I would vomit and I couldn’t get too hot or too cold because that would cause me to be nauseous and I would just have to sleep it off after I took some over-the-counter medication, like the first, maybe the first or second day, and then I wouldn’t be in pain, but I’d be dealing with heavy menstrual bleeding. And I remember not having a sensitive ear in my high school teachers and like the ninth or 10th grade, if I needed to leave school to go home because I was so sick from the period pain. So it just was it was it was difficult.
Le’Nise: And it was that every single period.
Sateria: Every single period, every single one up until I started the birth control pill at 18. And then like cramping the contraction cramping that came in waves of pain from the time my period started through that time, that subsided greatly.
Le’Nise: Okay. So the timeline was basically you got your period when you were in grade six, sixth grade.
Le’Nise: Oh seventh, sorry. And so that was about, what, 11, 12 years old?
Le’Nise: And so from 11, 12 all the way until 18, every single period, you would be missing school, vomiting, having to take all of these heavy prescription drugs to manage your period. Did you go to the doctor? Did you. Did you have conversations with your mom about how to manage your period pain and the heavy bleeding?
Sateria: No. I didn’t go to the doctor. I. My mom would come home from work, and I’d be in the bed, curled up in a ball from having left school. And she’d just be like, Oh, poor baby, what do you need? And that was the that was the extent of the conversation. It was like, okay, this is life. Right? Yeah. Which makes me sad, actually, because she didn’t have the tools that we have now to frame that experience differently.
Le’Nise: That kind of reminds me of the experience of my mom, because now my family, we have really heavy periods, painful periods that’s just runs in the family as well. And so my mom, she would have these really long, long, almost endless periods. We know now that she had fibroids and really painful periods and she just thought it was normal because that was the experience of all the women in her family. And that kind of like just this these stories that were passed down like, well, this is just part of having a period. And it’s so fascinating that now we have all the information now to kind of break break that cycle.
Sateria: Exactly. I, I totally agree. It’s really just it was the norm. You know, my mom had an experience of just always suffering, and we just thought that that was just the way life was. Going to be. Just power through it. And. You know, existing in workspaces and school spaces and pain was seemingly our price.
Le’Nise: And and going back to when you were 18, you went on the pill. And what was your experience of going on the pill?
Sateria: My experience of going on the pill was great because I could and I knew when my period was going to start, I could plan for it better. I wasn’t in as much pain and it made my periods a little lighter. So that made life. That worked for quite a few years until it didn’t.
Le’Nise: Okay, so that’s interesting. So there is a narrative at the moment about the pill and a lot more people are realising some of the side effects. But for you, the pill worked and it did what the doctor said it was going to do for you for for how many years? And then just say a little bit more about what you said about it worked until it didn’t.
Sateria: Sure. So, you know, those moments in life, kind of like with me standing on the bus when I first started my period. There are things that happen in life where you remember exactly where you were. And I think I took the pill often on from like 18 to 31, and it was mainly to control bleeding for my heavy menstrual bleeding. So I was living in Chicago and I was walking toward the bus stop to go to work. I was 31 and I felt blood and it was not time for my period to start. And I was on the pill at the time and that was breakthrough bleeding. And that was my first experience of breakthrough bleeding. And I thought in my mind that because I’m always trying to figure out how to resolve this. What can I do? And I thought, okay. I think that if the pill’s not working anymore, that my body can hold the blood back between periods better than the pill can. So I stopped the pills without consulting a doctor, without anything else.
Well, I was right about the fact that my body could hold the blood back during periods. So I stopped the pill. I had a period, and then I didn’t have any breakthrough bleeding. But when that period started after that, without any of the medication from the pill in my body, I haemorrhaged for two and a half months. I had to have a surgery two and a half months later to remove what they call a pedunculated fibroid, which was only two centimetres. But my body was trying to flush it out. And I my haemoglobin went down to, I think, seven, between six and seven, which is about half of what you’re supposed to have in your body. And I was bleeding through a bag of pads almost every day.
Le’Nise: Oh, my goodness. And what was the effect of that? Two and a half months on you emotionally?
Sateria: It was. Horrifying because I. I didn’t know I was learning about anaemia. I didn’t understand anaemia. I didn’t understand why I was having difficulty breathing. I just was. And again, I still had that mindset from earlier in life with just trying to power through. So I was still trying to go to work and I was still trying to figure out ways to raise my haemoglobin. I was drinking beet and carrot juice and taking iron supplements and still trying to plan to go on a vacation, which sounds crazy. I actually did go on the vacation. So this is an interesting story if we have time.
Sateria: So I worked with a naturopath who practically saved my life, Dr. Pittman. And she would adjust my body head to toe during this time to reduce the bleeding because we were trying to stabilise the bleeding. So we got the bleeding under control. And then it was about raising my haemoglobin because I was so anaemic and I wanted to go on this trip. Oh my goodness. So we she said, okay, if your haemoglobin gets to nine, you can go on the trip. But if it’s below nine, you cannot go. So I’m drinking beet and carrot juice every day and taking an iron supplement that was organic so that it didn’t constipate me. So I got my haemoglobin up. We got the bleeding to stop. I get on the plane and unbeknown to me. I was going to a higher altitude. Well, naturally in the plane. But my ultimate destination was the higher altitude. One hour into the flight, I started bleeding. Because of the altitude. And when I got to my destination, which was Colorado. The haemorrhaging started and it would not stop. So I had no experience of altitude associated bleeding prior to that time. So long story short, I was back in Chicago a day later. I had to leave. I had to come back. And as soon as I got off the plane in Chicago and took in a breath of air, when I deplaned, I started feeling better because I wasn’t at that higher altitude that was thinning my blood, that was making me bleed. But then after that, I still had to have another surgery. It was it was. It was an absolute mess. I mean, just.
Le’Nise: I want to talk a little bit about altitude associated bleeding, because I know that there has been some listeners who had never heard of that before. So when you go to different altitudes, a higher altitude, the body needs more oxygen, in order to breathe. And if you already have low haemoglobin, so the protein that pushes oxygen through the blood. Talk a little bit about the link between the bleeding and the haemoglobin and the altitude.
Sateria: Well, you actually described it better than I’ve ever heard it described before because my doctor at the time said, I can’t help you. You just need to come back to Chicago. But I. Because you’re you know, as you mentioned, your blood thins because of the altitude to adjust to the higher altitude. You are really susceptible to more bleeding. And I really when I got to Colorado, my symptoms were worse because of the altitude. I actually was seeing stars, which I had never seen before. Like my haemoglobin was that low. I was walking in the grocery store looking for more pads because I hadn’t brought enough because I had stopped, you know, bleeding before I left. And I was walking in the grocery store seeing stars because I was losing that much blood that fast and becoming anaemic again. So it was very scary.
Le’Nise: And you went back to Chicago and then you had another surgery shortly after that. And what was that surgery for?
Sateria: That was my second fibroid surgery, and it was a laparoscopy where they enter your vagina and loop out with a heated implement, the fibroid. And it was a two centimetre small fibroid that was extending into my uterine cavity that my body was trying to flush out. I had other fibroids, two other ones, but that was the the small two centimetre one was the the really troublemaker. And and people think that when they hear fibroids, that it’s the large ones that are the catalyst for all the bleeding. It doesn’t have to be. It is contingent on the location, whether or not it’s pushing on the wall of the uterus and opening up blood vessels or in this case, it extending into the uterine cavity, that it can wreak havoc even in small sizes.
Le’Nise: So talk a little bit more about your journey with fibroids. You have founded this amazing charity called The Fibroid Foundation, and you do incredible work, truly incredible work. And, you know, I remember when I first we first connected, I was so amazed because you know, I have a personal experience of fibroid in that my mom had had surgery. She told me the other day about how she had a partial hysterectomy to remove her, a fibroid that was the size of a grapefruit. But then she didn’t know any more details. And I was asking her and asking her and she was like, Yeah, I had that partial hysterectomy and that was it. And I found that so mindblowing because, you know, it’s, you know, I just crave information, but I digress. So I am so curious about your journey with the fibroids, because, you know, when we stopped after your trip to Colorado, that was your second fibroid surgery. But when did you first learn that you had fibroids?
Sateria: I was 26. And even due to this intense family history, the bleeding got to be too much for even me. So I went to the doctor to find out what I could do and she said, You have a fibroid. She didn’t tell me what it was. She said You had to have a fibroid. And I immediately thought cancer and felt like very fearful. And she said the best treatment is a hysterectomy. And I was like, what? Like, the best treatment is a hysterectomy? I’m 26 years old. No kids like. And whether I have kids or not is a non-issue, which is something that I talk about all the time. It’s like, what? Quality of life and keeping a body part, you know, is the priority here.
So I actually found another physician who told me that they could remove the fibroid laparoscopy, do a laparoscopy, but they couldn’t guarantee that they could close my uterus after they removed what was then I think about a five centimetre fibroid on top of my bladder. So we scheduled this surgery and they prepped me for the surgery and they tried to dilate my cervix prior to the surgery. And so I’m walking around the hospital trying to have my cervix dilate, which is one of the most agonising experiences that I can ever describe and I get in the surgery. This doctor didn’t know what she was doing. She punctured my uterus with the implement and had to bring me out of surgery and no fibroids were removed. So I had flown my family into town prepped for three months on medication for this surgery was high as a kite from the drugs from the surgery came out and they told me that nothing was done and we were at square one.
So after that, naturally I was incredibly fearful about surgeries, which is why I had that experience of the breakthrough bleeding and tried to figure it out on my own. The second surgery was successful and I still didn’t understand the correlation between diet and hormones and fibroid growth. So I was eating the same things. And so from my experience has been that after every procedure, nine months later, my body has grown more fibroids and that I’m experiencing more heavy menstrual bleeding just like before. So. I. I went for five more years and powered through the bleeding until a doctor actually grabbed my hand and said, Sateria, you cannot continue to live like this. And he was very kind. He’s on our medical advisory board now, Dr. Milad at Northwestern in Chicago. And he drew me a picture of my, of the surgery and how he was going to perform it. And he sent me to get an MRI.
Until that point, with all the doctors I’d seen, I never had an MRI. And he explained to me that each fibroid has its own blood supply. And for him to be able to really perform a successful surgery, he would want to be able to see in 3D where the blood supply was and where every fibroid is. Because if you just utilise an ultrasound, the ultrasound sometimes fibroids will hide and you can’t see everything that’s there. So that was very new information for me. It made perfect sense, but I was really a little sad and upset that it took all of those experiences for me to get to a comprehensive provider who cared about me as a patient and my experience as a patient, and who would talk to me in a way that had a good bedside manner, which is, I think we don’t talk enough about and really wanted me to be well. He wasn’t just treating symptoms or just trying to get a surgery done. He was looking at the overall picture. So he performed an open myomectomy, which is. It was a successful surgery, but it’s also a very hard surgery on the body. And there’s lots of emotions that come with being cut open, your uterus, lifted out of your body, the fibroids, cut out, the uterus and back together and put back in. But he did that successfully. And then I had to deal with the emotional healing and being very tender for months and dealing with work and, you know, trying to survive and getting reimbursements for work and being out of income for that eight weeks, six, eight weeks, whatever it was. So. That was surgery number three. And of course, after that I swore no more fibroid surgery. So it’s like, no, there’s no way I became a pescatarian. I wasn’t eating any meat, which for me is coming from a family where if if you shed one tear, somebody puts a pie in front of you. It’s a huge, like, food related family. And so I stopped eating meat for seven years and I was still having bleeding that was completely out of control.
Being a pescatarian lengthened the regrowth significantly, which is an action that I wish I had known to take previously. But I still was facing another surgery, and at that time I didn’t want another myomectomy because I didn’t want to deal with that abdominal incision and just anything intrusive. So I opted for embolisation. With another member of our medical advisory board. And I was fortunate in the fact that because I do this work and the foundation was active at that time, but it took me like a month to get into surgery with probably the top embolisation or radiology expert in fibroids in the world. And so he performed my my fourth and final fibroid surgery.
But it’s been a journey. I mean, I know women who’ve had multiple myomectomies trying to conceive and we as women deal with so much of bodies. And it’s considered our normal plight. And it I think that’s a topic that needs to be further explored. And in terms of what the expectations are, you know, and how society frames how women deal with pain. I think it’s a just a huge burden placed upon us that should not be, and it has overarching consequences on society. I think society doesn’t fully grasp how everyone is affected. When we are in pain and in pain chronically and in it becomes our normal walk of life, supposedly or you know, that’s the expectation there. We need to and I’m glad that we’re having this conversation today because that reality needs to shift and we need to continue to talk about this because I don’t want anyone. And that’s why I started the Fibroid Foundation, is I don’t want anyone to have to go through what I went through.
Le’Nise: Here. Here. I completely agree. I mean, we’re singing from the same hymn sheet here. Everything you said about, you know, ending this normalising normalisation of pain. I completely agree. You talk a lot about the emotional impact of the surgeries, the the heavy menstrual bleeding, the continual menstrual bleeding. If we kind of go back to our timeline. When did all of this stop for you?
Sateria: A few years ago, I worked my last hospital visit, oh, my goodness, was 2018. I was experiencing bleeding, and I had this crazy idea. I’m not crazy, but I had this idea that if I stabilise my liver, I would be okay. So I did a celery juice cleanse. Well, that sent my whole body into shock. And my haemoglobin again dipped to 6.2.
Le’Nise: Oh, my.
Sateria: And I had to be transfused. And that was my last hospital visit. So I was transfused and sent home. And I stopped the celery juice. And, you know, apart from some perimenopause symptoms, I’ve been okay. But I did use a medical therapy to get through perimenopause, which is a medicine to help control my period bleeding. Had I not had that medication, which is used in Europe, but you have to request it practically in the United States. Um, and I probably would have had to have a hysterectomy. So fortunately, I have my uterus and. You know, it’s through platforms like yours. It’s all about educating our sisters on how to have a better quality of life.
Le’Nis: You mentioned meditation. Is that Transexamic acid? Yeah. So that is quite easy to get here in the UK.
Sateria: Yeah. Yeah. But not in the States. And despite all the work that I do, I had never heard of it until one of our board members said Sateria, why don’t you get this in? So I had I always select physicians who will work with me. And so even my general practitioner, I asked her to prescribe it for me and she wasn’t aware of it. She did some research. She said, Sure, I’ll prescribe that for you. And that’s how I was able to get it.
Le’Nise: Wow. So you have had to be your own advocate this entire time.
Le’Nise: And what I’m quite struck about is. What you said about how you had to power through this. You you know, you just kept going. You had to power through. And that doctor held your hand and said, it’s enough. You know, you need to you know, this needs to end. And just talk a little bit about why you felt like you just had to push through.
Sateria: Well, I hadn’t seen, that had been my life experience. Like for me to get ahead, I felt like I needed to exceed expectations and always be present and reliable and perform well at my job. And. And I also. It was a major and still am. Uh, my family’s very, you know, the person who is responsible for a lot of the financial needs of our family. And the thought of not working didn’t even occur to me until I could barely walk. And so I think that. That societal burden, which came from generations back. Because, you know, like I said, my my mom referenced the bleeding that my great grandmother had. And my grandmother and I watched my mother sit in agony. And then my mother took me out in a snowstorm to get boots for school and she had to double up on pads. And she I can’t even imagine what agony she was in, but that that was you know, those were the stories that I had, you know, had running in my mind. And so I really sacrificed my well-being to meet others expectations and to have income. I think those were the major drivers and I’m so proud of younger generations who are more focussed on self-care. That’s one of the reasons why we really make that a focal point at the Fibroid Foundation is that you have to care for yourself. And and I’m glad that there are conversations taking place that are making employers take on the responsibility of participating in avenues to self care for the people that work at their organisations. It’s so incredibly important to be able to have a better quality of life overall.
Le’Nise: So say a little bit more about the Fibroid Foundation. So you’re the founder and the CEO and the work that you do is fantastic. You went to the White House. You met the Vice President. Talk a little bit more about the work you do and your vision for the future.
Sateria: Okay. Well, I feel very fortunate to be able to see the Fibroid Foundation grow out of an experience that was so painful and that is very cathartic for me personally. And being able to actually speak with our community members and see how our information is helping them is probably at the height of of gratification for me when I when I think about the work that we do.
So we really focus on four major areas, which are education and information for treatments. We focus on legislation. We initiated the advocacy efforts for the introduction of the fibroid bill, which will be $150 million of fibroid research funding here in the United States, which the hope is that that research will then parlay into other research efforts and provide more information globally, because even though a lot of the work that we do is US based, the goal is definitely to have a global impact. We bring the patient voice to research. So so far, which I cannot believe Le’Nise, I’ve co-authored 12 medical papers as a non-physician and we are focussed on designing research studies as co-PR with our medical partners to bring forth the patient voice, because the patient voice is pivotal in all of this. And lastly, but not least is innovation. We’re always looking at ways, like I said, medical therapies, but the patient voice needs to be in that as well, because the well-meaning developers of the innovations don’t have the experience most often of the therapy and how life transpires when you’re taking it, when you’re preparing to take it, or the surgery. And so we always need the patient voice present. And I’m actually following in your footsteps and I’m writing a book called The Patient Voice.
Le’Nise: Oh, fantastic. And I can’t wait to read that.
Sateria: So we hope to hope to have that out next year. So fingers crossed.
Le’Nise: Fantastic. So if someone’s listening to this and they suspect that they have fibroids. But they’re kind of hitting a brick wall in terms of diagnosis and treatment. What would you say to them?
Sateria: I would say keep the faith. Find that a trusted resource. Don’t just take information wherever you find it because you’re fatigued. I understand fatigue and I understand the fear of experiencing some of these symptoms. But make sure that the source that you find is verified, trusted, has reliable resources who are licenced. Whether you go the holistic route and or the medical route, I advocate both. I think you should have what I call your toolkit of wellness providers that have medical expertise and holistic expertise, and both should have credentials that you really vet carefully. But find your, talk to people. Find those resources. Interview the physician. Advocate for yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask questions because your you’re the expert in your body and you know what you want for yourself. So find that practitioner who’s going to be skilled but also kind. And help you to accomplish your goals and then also do what you need to do to build in that self-care practise into your life overall. Try to get your partners engaged to bring them to appointments with you, because that partner support is important. And for me personally and a lot of other people, if you don’t get that support from your partner, that’s another area to explore so that you can be well overall.
Le’Nise: So a lot of what you’re describing requires a lot of energy. And thinking back to your experience where you’ve just described pushing through and pushing through. That self-care piece you mentioned is really important to kind of preserve energy and rebuild. But what would you say to someone who says like, that sounds really hard. I’m really frustrated. What would you say to them?
Sateria: Try, if you’re fatigued and I get that, try to find a friend who can help carry that burden with you. I have a dear friend who’s a physician, and she had another friend who was experiencing some pretty serious medical issues. And even though that person who was sick was a physician, she went to the appointment with her to help her to navigate those waters. So, you know, find those friends. And when you’re not feeling well, the people that you rely on, you’ll learn who they are, who they are. You you will learn very quickly who those people are in your life, who you can really depend on. That’s another big eye opener. But, you know, I understand fatigue and try to maybe take everything in bite sized pieces and lean on organisations such as ours. We have a peer network where we’re happy to do whatever we can to help you find the information you need, connect you with our ambassadors so you can speak with them.
And I’m of the mind that there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel like someone’s gone through this already. There’s information. We have information on YouTube. Look at that. And we have a list of questions you can take to your doctor on our website. And you can download those. And that’s a good starting point as well as our Fibroids Health Portal, where you can learn about treatment options. And, you know, if you start there, you will have good information to be able to help you have a conversation with your your physician.
And I will also say that if your physician comes in and wants to have a conversation while you’re in stirrups, ask them that. You tell them, rather, that you would like to have a conversation when you’re fully dressed. That that is incredibly important for you to be able to have the comfort of having a conversation. You shouldn’t have to do that in stirrups at any time.
Le’Nise: So much powerful information that you shared and all of the resources that you’ve mentioned will be linked in the show notes. So check those out to find out what the resources Sateria’s just mentioned. So you shared a really powerful, emotional story. You shared all of the fantastic work that you’re doing with the Fibroid Foundation. What’s the one thing that you want to leave our listeners with today?
Sateria: That you’re powerful. You’re absolutely powerful. And that you can create life as you need it to be for you and that you don’t have to suffer.
Le’Nise: You don’t have to suffer. Fantastic. You are powerful. I love that. I really feel that. Thank you so much for coming on the show today. For anyone who wants to find out more about Sateria and the Fibroid Foundation. Please check the show notes. Please look at their Instagram, their YouTube to find out more. Spread the word. Fibroids are incredibly common and really under-discussed, so please support their work. Thank you so much.
Sateria: Thank you, Le’Nise. I love all the work that you’re doing as well. And this has been probably my favourite, favourite conversation. So I’m so glad that this is going out into the sphere to help others. And I hope that you have continued success on all the wonderful work that you’re doing.
Le’Nise: Thank you so much.