It's been an incredibly tough month for mother monster, Lady Gaga, who has very recently opened up about the battle she's facing with a chronic pain condition known as fibromyalgia. On Friday (Sep. 15) the singer began posting a series of photos from a hospital in Rio, Brazil explaining that she was unable to continue touring due to agonizing and severe physical pain. And while Gaga's Netflix documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two, was supposed to look at her battle with pain, the actual reveal of her chronic illness came Monday (Sep. 18) on Instagram.
"I have always been honest about my physical and mental health struggles. Searching for years to get to the bottom of them. It is complicated and difficult to explain, and we are trying to figure it out. As I get stronger and when I feel ready, I will tell my story in more depth, and plan to take this on strongly so I can not only raise awareness, but expand research for others who suffer as I do, so I can help make a difference. 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. 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. They are also keeping me from what I love the most in the world: performing for my fans. I am looking forward to touring again soon, but I have to be with my doctors right now so I can be strong and perform for you all for the next 60 years or more. I love you so much," Lady Gaga said, announcing she needs to reschedule the European leg of her tour.
The news brings back into the spotlight a disease that has been often misunderstood by the public, one that is characterized by chronic pain and excessive fatigue with no known cause. Billboard spoke with the Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Arya Mohabbat and Connie A. Luedtke, R.N., nursing supervisor of the hospital’s Fibromyalgia Clinic, about what people should know.