When news of yellow Wiggle Emma Watkins’ health crisis hit the media, little Wiggles fans flooded the skiviied star with gifts, cards and kind messages, worriedly willing her to get well – and get Wiggling – very, very soon.
“Freaking me out”
It seems that all those bolstering well-wishes – and Emma’s fighting spirit – have her on the mend. She’s feeling a lot better and is gearing up for a new Wiggles tour (of the US) – and many more Wiggly years.
Emma had stage four endometriosis, becoming an ambassador for Endometriosis Australia as she went public with her diagnosis. She’s hoping to raise awareness of a condition that affects one in ten Australian women.
While she’s generally a very fit and chipper person, Emma admitted that her persistent health woes had really started to play on her mind.
“I really didn’t know what to expect,” she told Weekend Magazine. “What was freaking me out leading up to the surgery was I was starting to feel not great doing lots of shows.”
Endometriosis is a condition where the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus, in other parts of a woman’s body, causing pain or bleeding or infertility – or all (or none!) of the above. There are a variety of ways to treat this condition, but an actual diagnosis can be elusive, with the average woman living with endometriosis for SEVEN YEARS before the cause of her ill health is found.
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“I lost so much blood”
Emma says that ideas about periods generally being awful for women – and the way womens’ menstrual cycles can align – had her thinking that what she was going through was “normal” and delayed her own diagnosis.
“When we’re touring, all the women start going through their cycles together … I just thought that by adding more people into the cast, my body was going along on a longer cycle,” she explained. “I had had really bad periods since school pretty much.”
The bleeding that often goes hand-in-hand with endometriosis started to take a real toll on her body and she realised that those “really bad periods” might be something more serious.
“I lost so much blood I had an [iron] infusion, and that’s when it started to hit me, only then.”
Ready to Wiggle
Thankfully, a surgical approach to treating Emma’s endometriosis has set her on the path to good health again. It’s a great example of how getting to the root cause of “heavy periods” can lead to treatment – and a much better quality of life for women. Don’t put up with heavy periods, ladies! Be like Emma!
While Emma says she’s not quite back to match fitness yet, she’s most definitely in it for the Wiggles long haul.
“I’ve been recovering five weeks and I’m back on set already; it’s lovely to come back and start dancing,” Emma told Weekend’s Wendy Tuohy. “Jeff wiggled till he was 60, and I made a pact with him that I’m going to try to get up there!”