Dear Lady Gaga, a.k.a. Stefani:
I, too, am a twentysomething who knows what it is like to have put on hold the things I love because of pain, and I interact with thousands of others every day who have felt the same exact way.
I read on your Twitter page that your doctor ordered you to postpone some shows due to synovitis, or, severe inflammation of the joints.
When I was about ten years old, my doctor told me that I, too, had synovitis. I eventually became diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. You’re familiar with lupus, right? It is an autoimmune condition that is quite similar. Like you, I had to give up something that I loved, but, it wasn’t singing, dancing, or performing, but rather, playing softball.
Luckily, I was able to hone in on my other talents and find ways to enjoy life despite living in pain.
But, also like you, I was disappointed. The words on your Twitter account, “I’m devastated. I hate this, I hate this so much. I can barely walk,” rang so true to me — they hit so close to home that tears sprung to my eyes.
I, like millions of other Americans, have been there. I, literally, have felt your pain.
Do not beat yourself up, or feel guilt. Take the time that you need to rest — these types of conditions need a balance of rest and exercise, along with proper medical care (natural or traditional) and, an overall healthy lifestyle.
You’ve inspired so many of us, and, in various ways, taken care of your “Little Monsters,” through your music and your philanthropic works. Now, it’s time to take care of YOU.
Gaga, you would not have known this, but, at one of Oprah Winfrey’s last episodes of the Oprah show, (April 29th, 2011, to be precise!) I sat in the second row of the audience as you performed. When you sang “Born This Way,” I was overcome with emotion. That song was relatable to me, particularly the lines that “God makes no mistakes,” and the part about life’s disabilities leaving you outcast, bullied, or teased — I’d faced those things as a teen with arthritis.
Ironically, I actually had brain surgery that February and thus had missed your Pittsburgh concert because of it. So that April when I was recovered and was seeing you in person, at the Oprah show, singing those inspiring words, I felt like I’d come full circle. It was a surreal, but very touching moment and, aside from my wedding, one of my favorite memories.
I got to share that memory with my Mom. Like you, I’m very close with my mother, and I hope, that during this time of difficulty and pain, that you are leaning on your parents as I leaned on mine.
It’s okay to hurt, it’s okay to cry, and pain is temporary. It’s not pleasant, and it’s something that we have to “get through” but also something we can GROW through.
Give yourself permission to feel, but not to dwell. Give yourself permission to rest, and give your body the time it needs to heal…and remember the words of your very own song. God doesn’t make mistakes. You will get through this, because you are strong.
And if you need any information about synovitis or various forms of arthritis and/or rheumatic disease, please don’t hesitate to contact me on Facebook or Twitter, or get in touch with the Arthritis Foundation!
In the meantime, I hope that you feel better, soon!
What’s YOUR weapon against arthritis?
Follow the Arthritis Foundation, Mid Atlantic Region on Twitter @MidAtlanticAF!
Arthritis is Unacceptable.
Let’s all unite against arthritis. Together, we will achieve the vision of a world free from arthritis