Lady Gaga “comes out” as a Fibro Fighter
Have you noticed the media frenzy this past week? Fibromyalgia is trendy!!
Lady Gaga declared on her Twitter feed that she too, battles with Fibromyalgia.
As she opened up about her chronic pain, her cancelled tour dates and stay in hospital; social media went into meltdown.
Love her or hate her, Lady Gaga’s announcement has definitely divided opinions.
I have never been a huge visitor to Fibromyalgia support forums. However, it has been “eye opening to say the least to see how opinions have been divided.
In one camp you have those, like me who think that this is great for raising awareness.
People are finally starting to ask questions about this relatively unknown and misunderstood condition. Facebook went into overdrive. Instagram was buzzing and Twitter, well just tweeted. Daytime TV interviewed doctors who gave the low down on Fibromyalgia. One of our regular presenters, got a crash course in pronouncing the word as well as learning what the symptoms are. In some respects, it felt better late than never. All of sudden, we are validated. Just sad that it has taken so long and a celebrity suffering to bring Fibromyalgia out in the open. Good on Gaga!!
Sadly, on the other side of the fence there are those sufferers who are playing the “my Fibromyalgia is worse than yours” game. They have declared open season on Lady Gaga.
They are questioning her motives for going public. Doubting that she could even have the condition given her long and energetic live performances. There have been those that have suggested that she would be better using her wealth by contributing to research. They deem this preferable as opposed to sharing her story. And believe it or not, there are some who are “whining” about her being in hospital. If she can “rest in hospital, why can’t I?” Really???
I am sure that she can think of better places to rest and recuperate without being admitted to hospital.
The reality of this condition is that nobody is immune, the pain has no regard for celebrity status. Because Fibromyalgia is so different and unique to each individual it is difficult to judge one set of symptoms against another. Fibromyalgia can prove to be more debilitating for some than others. We know that it tends to go hand in hand with so many other conditions such as Chronic Fatigue or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
For those of us with Fibromyalgia and chronic pain, it is important that we extend compassion not just to fellow sufferers but also towards ourselves.
It is imperative that we don’t turn our pain into some sort of competition by judging one another as to who can do what. We should be celebrating our successes and commiserating when the going gets tough. Not putting each other down because somebody had a good day!
I have, in some small part, been on the receiving of those who have doubted the severity of my condition. I have been slated for holding down a full time job and for not taking medication. All good reasons apparently to question my diagnosis by other Fibromyalgia sufferers.
Therefore, I have to say that I do feel for Lady Gaga. Although never a fan, I admire her honesty and her admission that shows she isn’t the super human everybody thought she was. By coming out and talking of her struggle with pain, she has made herself vulnerable to the doubters and naysayers. I am hoping that she also becomes an ambassador and a voice for those who genuinely suffer in silence.
She has the same frailties and struggles as the rest of us who suffer with this condition.
And, yes truth be told, she has more money than most. Without doubt, she will have access to some of the best doctors and healthcare. However, at the end of the day, her pain and fatigue will be as soul destroying and debilitating as it is for the rest of us.
As we all do, she will have the good and bad days. Sadly, she will have flares and periods of stability. She is now after-all a Fibromyalgia Warrior battling with the rest of us. Therefore, she is as deserving of our support as any other brave soul battling chronic pain.
Whatever your thoughts are on the performer, she has brought the word Fibromyalgia into the public domain and that can only be a good thing. I for one, wish her all the love and luck in the world.
I think the priority now for Fibromyalgia warriors everywhere is to jump on the Gaga bandwagon.
This is a great opportunity now to capitalise on her story and build the momentum by telling our stories. If you are feeling brave, why not get in touch with your local press and tell them about your Fibro journey. Post on your Facebook page, start up your own community or share your Fibro days on Instagram.
It is certainly a topical subject at the moment and ultimately, this can only be a good thing in educating people about our condition. It is up to us to get our message out there and highlight how many people are actually battling this condition day in day out, out of the headlines and away from the cameras.
Be brave, be bold and tell your story – no meaty outfits required!!
Featured image courtesy of Victoria’s Secret (Wikimedia commons)