Gaga for Lady

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Mallory Shamim is a young, enthusiastic woman who has lived with fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and chronic migraines for the last three years. She puts a positive spin on her life as a chronic pain patient and wants to help others feel better about their prognoses. Mallory is on her way to becoming a wonderful advocate. Check out her blog at Chronically Invisible

Written in G ♯ minor and at 120 beats per minute, the synthetic sound that rocks with pop beats became instantly recognizable. There she appears in a one strap black latex jumpsuit, glistening as she emerges from the water wearing a mask that looks as if it has been made from a dlady-gaga-poker-face-tablet.jpg.b2bd67a4fd3f952f0f8dab0968f8a80bisco ball. There she is in all her glory – beautiful, eccentric, bold. Since that first image of her, I have been a fan of this extraordinary woman.

Lady Gaga, who has since been named, Mother Monster by her followers, has never apologized for being outlandish. She is known for being provocative and unconventional in her ways of entertaining, hello remember the Meat Dress? She is also known for being completely open about her life and past and experiences.

But, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta has been in the news as of late not for her music, but for revealing she suffers from chronic pain and fibromyalgia.

This week alone this mega icon has canceled her European lag of her tour and posted her pain. Not many people are open about their private lives and for any person who suffers from anything, being open to the public critique and ridicule makes speaking out harder than just being mute, putting on a smile, and saying “Everything is fine.”

So why is her canceling her tour, coming out as suffering from Fibromyalgia, and promoting a documentary about her life behind the lights of stardom entitled “Lady Gaga: Five Foot Two,” news?

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Lady Gaga’s public admittance is bringing this disorder that is estimated to affect more than 100 million people* to the forefront. I believe her coming out and being truthful about the chronic pain she lives with is starting the conversation that hasn’t always happened. If a star as huge as Lady Gaga has chronic pain and fibromyalgia, then it solidifies that it is real because she is perfect, has a perfect life, and can’t possibly be faking it. Right? She’s never lied to her fans or the public about any aspect of her life, trauma, and beliefs so why would she make this up?

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“I use the word suffer not only because trauma and chronic pain have changed my life, but because they are keeping me from living a normal life.” ~ Lady Gaga

Her documentary is being looked at by some as potentially a negative based on how she portrays herself and chronic pain. Some people are saying they’re scared of how this will portray chronic pain because she, as a celebrity, has access to treatments and medication that those of who aren’t millionaires don’t have. I am sure she is with the best doctors and using the best “treatments” available because she does have the money, but I think speaking out about it is more of a win than whatever she shows us in her documentary. The words “chronic pain,” and “fibromyalgia” are now on the radar of millions of people thanks to her. I’m sure some of her fans who have never heard of fibromyalgia looked it up, are trying to understand it, and maybe even finding people they never knew who suffered are suffering all simply because she put it out in the universe.

I might not be saying it from a microphone to millions of people at once but I have a voice. I do not shy away from talking about what I have, what I “suffer” with. And, like Gaga says in her statement posted today:

 I use the word “suffer” not for pity, or attention, and have been disappointed to see people online suggest that I’m being dramatic, making this up, or playing the victim to get out of touring. If you knew me, you would know this couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m a fighter.   

To me Lady Gaga brings hope for awareness, understanding, and acceptance. She shows that a celebrity, a world-wide icon at the end of the day, struggles with the same issues you and I do. She is more than the woman we see in her extravagant videos or on stage doing amazing choreography in heels that most of us couldn’t even stand in for a second. She. Is. Human.

  • “Living with pain” U.S. Pain Foundation. Sideless Box Design Co. 18 Sept. 2017.

Read more of Mallory’s posts;

Benefits of Back to School; working with fibromyalgia

It is that time of year when school supplies are lining the store shelves and proud parents are posting first day of school pictures.

I have said it time and time again that I am lucky because I have found the right combination of medicines, supplements & integrative therapies to be able to keep working outside of home.  I LOVE my job.  I work as a paraprofessional helping kiddos (English as a second language) ranging from Pre-K to 12th grade. I could write a blog post talking about all of the things that I love about my job but the best thing is the kids and their families.

Today, is my last day of summer before going back to work.  I have been off since the last day of summer school on July 21st. It is definitely time to go back.  I miss my students and quite honestly I miss money.

If you do not have fibro you probably do not have a clue the struggles of working. Just because I am able to go to work does not mean that I am feeling great or even good. The levels change but everyday I am in pain and fatigued. It is a struggle to get out of bed, take my meds, get dressed and drive to work. By the time I get to work my meds have kicked in and my body isn’t as stiff and sore as it was when I woke up. It isn’t always easy being at work. We all have those triggers that can increase the pain, fatigue & brain fog.

However, for me on most days the benefits of getting up and getting out of the house are worth the early alarm and forcing myself to get going on my worst days.

How can a job help you feel better?  Certainly this is not the case for most but for me my job helps me get exercise, keep me from isolating myself, increases “happy” feelings & able to pay for my treatments.

First, we all know that exercise is important for many reasons but for someone that is in pain walking I am limited to what kind of exercise I can do. Low-impact exercise often reduces pain and fatigue, creates endorphin’s that help to reduce anxiety, stress, and depression.

It is important that fibromites balance movement and rest. My work schedule ensures that I do both. I follow the student’s schedules which means that each hour when the class bell rings I am up and walking to my next class.

Secondly, Fibromyalgia can be very isolating. The pain and fatigue can limit how much activity we can do. It is easy to withdraw from social life and stay at home. Even phone calls can be too much. Although, social media offers connections to others it isn’t the same as in person. I have spent the majority of my time off not leaving my house or yard. Partly because it is my time to rest, mark things off the to-do list, by the time others are off work or ready to do something I am tired and getting ready for bed and financial reasons.

Third, working with the kids has the same effect on me as volunteering. Creating positive learning experiences has a positive impact on me as well.  Helping someone else can help you change your own outlook and attitude.

Lastly, $$$ – Enough said?

Fibromyalgia is not cheap. In addition to the normal bills that everyone has fibro adds a huge expense. I have found through trial and error things that help to manage fibromyalgia and the “evil sidekicks”.  On a daily basis I use medicine, supplements, ice packs, heating pads, kt tape, essential oils, and pain relieving devices.  Each month I possibly could add having appointments with a doctor, my chiropractor or my acupuncturist.

Back to School means all of those wonderful things to me. It helps me to take care of me so I can continue to be a Fibro Warrior ~ Living Life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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