If you’re a fan of Bravo’s hit television show Married To Medicine, then you’re probably familiar with the outgoing Memphis, Tennessee transplant Quad Webb that constantly keeps her co-stars on their toes. In addition to her role on the popular Atlanta-based reality show, “Miss Quad” is a host on TV One’s groundbreaking talk show Sister Circle and recently released a healthy living cookbook. However, while Quad’s fame was continuing to rise following her recent divorce, her health was silently taking a decline; her dedication to a busy schedule prevented her from seeking attention to some serious warning signs. After experiencing several boughs of body pains, frequent urination, heavy menstrual bleeding, and weight gain, Quad discovered she had fibroids, a noncancerous overgrowth of smooth muscle tissue in or near the uterus that can inhibit a woman’s ability to have children.
After seeking treatment last year, Quad was able to rebound from the painful disease and is now on a personal crusade to make sure more women are prioritizing self-care and their health in their daily lives. In this interview with BAUCE, Quad shares riveting details of what it was like to find out she had fibroids and how overcoming this health issue changed her life for the better.
With over a million social media followers, you have truly built a name for yourself beyond reality TV. How did you leverage a reality show to build a national brand for yourself?
Quad: Married to Medicine introduced me to the world and then I ran the [reality TV] race and been running that race ever since then. I think my personality has a lot to do with why I’ve become so successful. I think people find me relatable. I’m very vulnerable and I’m very open a lot. A lot of things that have been shown on Married to Medicine, although sometimes have been challenging, at the same token, have been very rewarding. And I say rewarding because I’m able to be a vessel for people who may be going through some of the same things they have experienced me go through on television, but they don’t know how to navigate through. So, I am very, very grateful for having had Married to Medicine be a part of my life and to be a part of their family as well.
Like most BAUCE women, you lead a very busy life. We often are so busy to the point where we neglect the things that are important to us, like our health. Do you feel like the “race” of success caught up to you over the course of your career?
Quad: I’m a woman who is very in tune with her body – I even know exactly when I’m ovulating! I found myself in a position where I knew that my body was changing, but I purposely decided to kind of “put it off”. I kept telling myself that there’s so much more that I have to do. I have this interview. I have to go over here to these meetings. I had to do press. I have to go over my notes for Sister Circle. I have to make sure that I’m showing up and being what I need to be for Married to Medicine. I have to also make sure that I’m doing my recipes for my cookbook, Cooking with Ms. Quad: Live, Laugh, Love and Eat. I have to make sure that I get this photoshoot done. So, I got caught up in running the race of making sure that I sustain and really plant my brand on solid ground to the point where I did see certain changes in my body, but I put [them] on the backburner.
I saw that I was having abdominal pain. I could feel that I had frequent urination. I saw that my cycle had gone from seven days to literally almost 14 days, double the time it was traditionally supposed to be. I saw that my flow was a lot heavier. I also saw that I had lower back pain and then I had weight gain. I saw that. But I just thought that I had so much more time and a little did I know I really didn’t. With each month or each day that I let pass, those fibroids were growing within me.
What was it like to find out you had fibroids while you were busy building your brand? Where you shocked by the diagnosis?
Quad: By the time I went to the doctor, I already knew in my head it was fibroids. My mom suffered from fibroids. We know that every one in three African-American women will experience fibroids and one in four Caucasians will, so it wasn’t unlikely that I would be one of those persons. However, when I did finally go to the doctor, I learned how severe they were. I had about seven of them if I could remember, seven that they could see. And it really hit me at that moment to be a person who is thirty-eight years old, who is not a mom, has no children and is recently divorced. I think everything came tumbling down at that moment when I heard the news.
The only word I heard that day was “hysterectomy”. I was like, “Oh, my God! But I haven’t had a kid yet.” If I have a hysterectomy, they’re basically removing my uterus and then I won’t ever have the opportunity to have kids. So, a lot hit me at one time. And I got to tell you, it was devastating for me. I mean, you’re talking to a person who has never, ever been stung by a bee. Now I have to go in and have major surgery! So, this was heartbreaking for me. It really was.
Taking time out to treat fibroids can take several weeks and sometimes involves invasive surgeries. As someone who is the entertainment industry, how did you vet through your options to figure out how to fight the disease without sacrificing your job?
Quad: Fortunately, I have friends who I can call that are in the healthcare industry and are OBGYNs and they do surgeries and remove fibroids all the time. So, I got on the phone. I know a lot of people don’t have that luxury and I’m a very fortunate person that I could pick up the phone and call a physician at the drop of a dime get more insight. But that’s how I learned about the Acessa™ Procedure which I ultimately used to treat my fibroids. The procedure required little to no downtime and a someone in the entertainment industry, I couldn’t afford to be out on bed rest for six to eight weeks. The entertainment industry moves fast; as a personality, you could actually disappear and be forgotten about in six to eight weeks, so the recovery time was key in my decision making.
I also wanted to make sure that aesthetically the incisions would still be nice, you know. And that I wasn’t committing to having a cesarean if and when I do become pregnant. The Acessa™ procedure was a phenomenal treatment for me. I now have very small incisions and you can’t even really see the markings of it. I think within five days I was already up and moving around and somewhat Getting back to my normal everyday routine.
Do food and a person’s diet play a role in whether or not they will get fibroids later in life?
Quad: Food is directly affiliated with it. So, here’s the deal. I’m a southern girl by nature, by heart. In my cookbook, I have everything from branzino to slow-cooked barbecue ribs. But after being diagnosed with fibroids, I had to take a closer look [at my diet]. I went back, did research, and realized I need a variation of everything. And I learned that women what fibroids, especially when you catch them early on, can, just by altering your diet, actually shrink their fibroids. So, you want to look at foods that have low estrogen. For a person who has fibroids, of course, soy would not be ideal for them because we know soy has a lot of estrogen in it. But things like leafy green vegetables, legumes, and lentils — those are all really great for women who are experiencing fibroids. It actually pushed me to start incorporating recipes that are healthy because I, too, am a person who suffered from fibroids.
So, in addition to your diet, what else has changed in your daily routine since overcoming your fibroids situation?
Quad: Now, when my body tells me something, I immediately listen. I don’t care if it’s a pimple! [Laughs]. I am very, very much so more intuitive to what my body is telling me these days. Now, I will take a moment and just turn my phone off and not answer email and not talk on the phone and just sit in meditation and be at peace. I’ve learned to say the word “no”. I really want all women to take a moment and just kind of prioritize what’s important in life. If indeed it’s their family, then you can’t be here for your family if you don’t take care of yourself. So, by putting yourself first means you’ll be there for your family when they need you.
Health is wealth, right?!
Quad: Our health is truly our wealth. We’re out here chasing money, money, money, and I know we have to have money to sustain ourselves in terms of living. However, the most important thing is your health. Health is wealth. And I think if we can really grab hold of that mantra and run with it, I think we will be a lot better as a race of women. I think a lot of times we’re expected to do so much, and [as women] we rise to every occasion. We make sure that no one is going to have a lack thereof. But when we stop and think at the end of the evening or at the end of the night, we have no time for ourselves.
I just want to encourage women to please always put yourself first. It is an unselfish act to put yourself first. Secondly, I want women to educate themselves on their body and it really identifying with the changes in their bodies. And if you are dealing with any health issues, I also want women to just do the research, you know? There’s a number of surgeries that are out there. But I got to tell you, physicians sell what they know. You know, it’s just like if I know that I’m an expert in business consulting, then I’m going to push that. I’m not going to push any other avenue or vehicles in which you can take to get to the same place, right? And so. I just encourage women to ask about the options that are out there and do their research thoroughly.