For the people reading this, I actually came across Natalie’s story whilst doing my usual weekly blogging on Instagram. I became inspired by a story Natalie was sharing about her wonderful Father, and how he was such a support to her during one of her ‘low’ days. After reading a handful of other updates, I could feel what a beautiful human being she was, and so I decided that I wanted to send Natalie one of my YUYU Bottles. I knew that she was in New York and our bottles wouldn’t be that easy for her to get her hands on. So as the American’s would say, I “reached out” to her in a private message and offered to send her one of our YuYu Bottles. A couple of weeks later Natalie posted an update with her and my YuYu wrapped around her waist. It was wonderful to see that something I invented was genuinely helping her through her pain. Her post received hundreds of likes and I became more aware of how Natalie’s updates are an inspiration for others who suffer terribly with Endometriosis and Adenomyosis. Natalie has over 8870 followers on Instagram and I hope this interview gives us a chance to get to know this wonderful warm individual just a little better.
FOUNDER & CEO
Interview with Natalie Archer:
I am thrilled that you’ve agreed to share some of your world with us, and so I should start by thanking you so much for taking the time to do this.
What exactly is Endometriosis and Adenomyosis and when did you first find out about it?
N: Endometriosis is a very painful condition that occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus is found in other parts of the body, usually the pelvic area. For me it was everywhere including my bowels. Adenomyosis is similar, however the tissue is found in the uterus muscle. Both conditions can cause pain during “that time of the month” or even chronic pain, along with food intolerances, IBS symptoms, nausea and fatigue.
Who did you have to turn to at the time and what obstacles and barriers have you had to overcome?
N: There are two massive hurdles for women suffering from these conditions. The first is the medical community. For some reasons, endo and adeno are not frequently discussed and extremely under researched. I hopped from doctor to doctor, received dozens of tests, trialled dozens of medications and was never once correctly diagnosed for an entire decade. I missed many important days during my adolescence as a result. It was up to me to do my own research and find out why I was suffering so much, and then find an appropriate doctor.
The second obstacle was coming to terms with my disease. It took me about a year to speak out publically about everything I have been through. I was scared people wouldn’t believe me. That was my biggest fear. Actually people have been incredibly supportive. My family and my boyfriend are always there for me and I feel incredibly lucky. Now I am so glad I spoke out because I have helped so many other women on their journey.
How has Endometriosis and Adenomyosis impacted your life?
N: Although I have had my endometriosis removed by an incredibly skilled doctor who performed excision surgery, I still suffer from the adenomyosis. The last option for me is a hysterectomy, something I am not ready for as a 25-year-old woman. This suffering impacts my day-to-day life greatly. I am extremely limited. I can’t walk up hills, I can’t stand for more than 10 minutes at a time, I need to rest often, and there are many things I cannot eat. But my suffering has also led me to an incredibly strong community of women. It has helped me realize that many others do not even have the care I have been lucky to receive. It has made me passionate about changing the way some health care professionals and members of society perceive endometriosis.
Where do you go to find out the latest research or findings and are there any support groups that you can recommend to others?
N: I highly recommend Nancy’s Nook and Endometropolis, which are both facebook groups. If you are looking for an endo specialist, there is a list of doctors on Nancy’s Nook who have been properly vetted. For up to date information I like the website http://endopaedia.info/
You have built up a pretty fantastic network of followers on social media now. It’s obvious that it’s important for you to help others realize that they aren’t alone in this? But what inspires you and how important is their following to you?
N: I deeply believe that women deserve to live a happy and pain free life. There is so much misinformation about endometriosis. Inappropriate care is the norm and not the exception. I am passionate about educating people that there are actually a handful of doctors that can permanently treat endometriosis. But they are endo specialists that use excision as their surgical technique. Unfortunately general gyn’s usually don’t have the skill needed. What is worse is that some women are told that hysterectomy, birth control and/or pregnancy will cure endo – all of which are untrue. The more people I can reach, hopefully the more women will be able to get treatment earlier.
What kind of treatments have you found that are helpful for your condition and that you would recommend to others?
N: The only way to successfully treat endometriosis is excision surgery with an endo specialist. General gynaecologists or general OBGYNs usually cannot treat endo permanently. This is because endo takes many different forms, it is hard to recognise and even harder to cut out down to the roots. There are only a handful of endometriosis excision specialists worldwide who can perform this surgery. If you are looking at surgery be sure than your surgeon uses excision and not laser. Excision cuts out all the disease, whereas laser (or ablation as it is sometimes called), only shaves off the top, leaving the roots to continue to grow and cause pain.
When things get dark, who or what do you reach for and is there an order of play?
N: Since I still suffer due to the adenomyosis I have pain everyday. Some days are worse than others. I have a great medical team in NYC who support me. But I always reach for my hot water bottle and a cup of tea on the bad days. If I am feeling really low I will lie on the couch with my bunny for a cuddle. He always makes me feel better.
When you think of home, where does your mind drift to and whom do you see with you?
N: Home is Australia. By the beach. With my family and my partner.
What is your dream job?
N: Strategy consultant is my dream job. Actually that is another example on my belly. Recently, I have started my own social media consultancy, helping small business and start-ups with their social media strategy, and I am loving it ☺
YUYU had the pleasure of meeting the Endometriosis UK team.
After hearing how the YuYu heat has helped ease pain of some of our loved customers suffering with endometriosis, we wanted to find our more about the condition and how we can help!
Spread awareness with YUYU #YUYUPAINWARRIOR
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