Some people can be such bloody misery guts. It’s disheartening that those who suffer with chronic conditions/pain, can sometimes be so lacking in empathy for those in a similar position.
So Lady Gaga has recently come forward to talk about her fight with Fibromyalgia, whilst Selena Gomez, who suffers from Lupus, has admitted that she received a kidney donation from her bestie as a result of organ failure. Each of these stories have hit the headlines around the globe bringing with it much needed attention and awareness to conditions which are often poorly understood or in the case of fibro, much maligned. And yet, the comments section of many articles are littered with such vitriolic and spiteful comments.
Some believe that it’s counterproductive for celebrities to speak out because it shows them struggling yet still able to function. Some say that they aren’t suffering enough. Others believe that it’s nothing to come forward about and others still, think that they are exploiting their illnesses for publicity. Oh, and apparently, “it’s okay for them to be ill with all their riches”. Seriously, when did wealth make it okay to be chronically ill? Yes, they may be able to afford medication and urgent treatment which are unavailable to the rest of us mere mortals, but that doesn’t mean that because of their statuses, they are more likely to be cured, because there is no cure. All we can do is to find ways and techniques on how to manage and live with these conditions. After all, chronic illness doesn’t discriminate between race, gender, age, or the rich and poor.
In the case of Lady Gaga, I do understand the whole debate that people will undoubtedly compare the fact that she is still able to perform, (although she has recently cancelled a few performances) to the way in which others live their lives, and there will be the usual unhelpful remarks of “well if she can do it, then why can’t you?” As well as “Well it can’t possibly be that bad then.” But surely by opening up a dialogue on such subjects can there be any kind of awareness as to how it affects everyone differently. Only through awareness can we stop people’s immediate reaction of “oh, don’t people usually die from that” when they hear about Lupus, or “my friend had that Fibromywhatchamycallit but was cured after she danced naked by the light of the moon, whilst eating the umbilical cord of a baby Unicorn, and chanting to the moon goddess Tsukuyomi-no-Mikoto.
It’s unfortunate that the plight of the little people go unheard whilst it only takes one celebrity to bring focus to the whole thing, but at least it’s out there. The only way to bring about awareness and to educate people is to have an honest and frank discussion. Does it really matter who it comes from if it gets it out in the spotlight?