In September of 2017 Lady Gaga announced on Twitter that she suffers from
fibromyalgia, which causes her chronic pain. This week she announced that
she must now cancel the remainder of her world tour due to the recent
severity of her pain and struggles with pain management. Fibromyalgia
is a disorder that we see in a number of our clients. The Mayo Clinic
defines fibromyalgia as a “disorder characterized by widespread
musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues.”
It is also believed that the disorder amplifies pain by affecting the
way our brains process pain signals. Fibromyalgia can be triggered by
traumatic injuries, such as those often experienced in serious car crashes,
or it can slowly present over time without a triggering event.
This disorder is often misdiagnosed at first or can even be overlooked
for years. It is commonly referred to as an invisible disease because
there are no objective symptoms, such as the way we can see a broken bone
on an x-ray or tonsillitis through swollen tonsils. Fibromyalgia produces
no objective symptoms, and it can only be understood through the descriptions
of the patient.
In some of our cases where clients have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia
as a result of traumatic injuries, defense attorneys may try to cast doubt
on this diagnosis in hopes that the lack of test results, scans, or blood
work may make this disorder appear fake. However, when your brain receives
the signal that you are in pain, regardless of the lack of or misunderstanding
of the stimuli, you feel pain because that is exactly what your brain
is telling you. Patients who struggle with this disorder often face a
lifetime of medication with unpleasant side-effects or worse steroid of
nerve block injections, which can be painful to undergo. In these personal
injury cases, the client’s treating doctor often helps to explain
the science behind the disorder and can illuminate for the jury the chronic
struggles the client may face on a day-to-day basis.
Lady Gaga is helping to shine light on this disorder to bring a greater
understanding of its chronic nature, symptoms, and potential severity.
Watch her documentary
Gaga: Five Foot Two, which is available on Netflix, to learn more, and please contact our
firm if you have any questions if you think you may have a personal injury
case and have questions regarding a potential fibromyalgia issue.