Over the past several years, Lady Gaga has started to open up about having chronic pain. Recently, she started posting about it on her instagram account, letting her fans get a glimpse into her world of chronic pain, and her pain management toolkit.
I have mixed feelings and thoughts about her opening up and sharing her struggles with the world. I’ve been reading other chronic pain sufferers’ responses, and it seems that I am not the only one with a mixed response.
Second guessing her experience
First off, I’ve never been a big fan of hers. Had to get that out of the way.
When this story first broke, I will admit the thoughts that first ran through my head were along the lines of “Oh yeah right, she’s got chronic pain? How does she keep up her schedule all of the time? How does she manage to dance all over, keep such a busy schedule, and entertain her fans?”
But then I put myself in her shoes. What if her life is all an illusion to us? We don’t live with her. We don’t see her with her painsomnia. We don’t see her moving slowly. We don’t see what she does 24/7. In fact, in one of the posts, she says “even on days when I feel like I can’t get out of bed.”
See? She has those same days of feeling like she can’t get out of bed. We all do. It’s the nature of chronic pain.
I always get out of bed, but some days I don’t make it further than the couch. Thankfully, those are far and few between, which leads me to my next point.
Lady Gaga’s Chronic Pain Toolkit
I love how she posts about some of her current tools that she uses for pain management.
Granted, I had some initial judgement about it. “Well, maybe if I could afford an infrared sauna in my house that I could use non-stop, get body work done, and have the best care team that money could buy, I may be able to jump around on stage for hours on end as well.”
Then I re-read her posts. Several times.
She’s offering practical ideas, “look around your community for a infrared sauna parlor or homeopathic center that has one.” My acupuncturist friend has added infrared saunas to his community acupuncture and wellness clinic. Affordable and awesome!
She also talks about a cheap and effective way to help with her inflammation: ice cold bath and good ol’ frozen peas n’ carrots! She mentions that her chronic pain tools “helps [me] to keep doing my passion, job and the things I love”.
“Having a frustrating day with chronic pain, but I find myself feeling so blessed”. Wow! We all have frustration with our chronic pain. Keeping focused on our blessings and gratitude is a real challenge. I do believe in the power of positive thinking (with a dash of realism), so, you go Gaga!
“If people in the world see her, and think ‘Oh, that’s what chronic pain looks like’, they will turn to me and expect me to be rock star awesome 24/7.”
Unfortunately, part of this may be true. “Lady Gaga can function, why can’t you?” I think that is a legitimate concern for those of us with chronic pain, as we have to deal with this type of stigma in our lives.
What alarmed me though was that even I fell into that trap when I was second guessing her. I’m not in her shoes, so why should I be balking at her experience?
I think I am partly envious that she seems to have it all together. I’m sure the grass only appears to be greener.
The truth is, if she is opening up about her experience and struggles with chronic pain, those of us in the chronic pain community should be the first ones to embrace her!
She’s taking the first steps to speaking out and to fight against stigma!
We are all different, yet similar
I couldn’t have said it any other way, “Everyone’s body and condition is different U should consult w ure Dr”. This is truth!
The chronic pain community is vast and wide. We all look different, have different diagnoses and symptoms, and we respond to treatments differently.
However, we are also similar. We are all faced with the same challenges that chronic pain brings: stigma, pain management, grief and loss, relationship strain, difficulties in the workplace, financial challenges, etc.
Lady Gaga refers to support and encouragement from friends, but I will also add it is important that this comes from within our community towards each other, “Hey Girl, we can make it easy if we lift each other.”
I was so overwhelmed by the empathy, confessions & personal stories of chronic pain in response to my previous post I thought what the hell. Maybe I should just share some of my personal remedies I’ve acquired over the past five years. Everyone’s body and condition is different U should consult w ure Dr. but what the heck here we go! When my body goes into a spasm one thing I find really helps is infrared sauna. I’ve invested in one. They come in a large box form as well as a low coffin-like form and even some like electric blankets! You can also look around your community for a infrared sauna parlor or homeopathic center that has one. I combine this treatment with marley silver emergency blankets (seen in the photo) that trap in the heat and are very cheap, reusable and effective for detox as well as weight loss! In order to not overheat my system and cause more inflammation i follow this with either a VERY cold bath, ice bath (if u can stand it, it’s worth it) or the most environmentally savvy way is to keep many reusable cold packs in the freezer ( or frozen peas’ n carrots’!) and pack them around the body in all areas of pain. Hope this helps some of you, it helps me to keep doing my passion, job and the things I love even on days when I feel like I can’t get out of bed. Love you and thank you for all your positive messages.
Her new album Joanne is named after her Aunt that died of Lupus when she was only 19 years old, before Gaga was even born.
I remember hearing an interview that Gaga did in 2010 with Larry King, and she said she was “borderline positive” for Lupus. I am guessing that means she had a positive ANA test, but she says at that time she didn’t have the symptoms.
This piqued my interest, as my brother has Lupus, and was in the first stages of his diagnosis at that time.
There are other reports I’ve seen of her over the years, like when she had to cancel shows in 2013 due to a hip injury and chronic pain.
Then, in March of 2016, she spoke about living with chronic pain for 10 years, and that it was related to sexual assault.
I wonder what all of her diagnoses are, and how many different doctors she has seen.
She also has come out and shared her struggles with depression and anxiety, which as we know, usually goes hand in hand with chronic pain.
I didn’t start off a fan of Lady Gaga’s, but I think after writing this, I may have become one.
Pain Camp is a safe place to share your thoughts, experience, strength and hope. Are you a Lady Gaga fan? How have you reacted to her sharing her experience about living with chronic pain?