An Open Letter to Lady Gaga: Synovitis Stinks! – from Ashley Boynes-Shuck


Dear Lady Gaga, a.k.a. Stefani:

Synovitis stinks.

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! 🙂  Image

In the meantime, I hope that you feel better, soon!

Stay Well,

Ashley Boynes-Shuck


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8 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Lady Gaga: Synovitis Stinks! – from Ashley Boynes-Shuck

  1. I understand this. I have RA and other auto-immune issues..work 40+ hrs a week for 10 MD’s,chase teenagers,wife,etc. Even the STRONG must REST. I wish you pain free days Lady Gaga and Ashley…as well as I wish anyone who is suffering pain free days. God bless!

  2. Loved the article, different from your norm but entertaining,and enlightening, Goes to show you auto immune condtions and joint pain can affect anyone, even a superstar like Lady Gaga. How wonderful it would be if she would use her stardom to spread awareness of these conditions!

  3. GaGa, I sincerely hope you don’t have rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. These diseases are incurable and those of us living with it (I have RA and fibromyalgia) don’t get to see the light at the end of this tunnel. Some are lucky enough to be well controlled on oral meds or to go into spontaneous remission, but the majority of RAers will struggle with pain and disability for the rest of our lives, while paying cancer drug prices every month, just to slow the progress of the disease and hopefully have a few more years with our loved ones.

    I hope with all my heart that your synovitis is confined to one joint, maybe due to the injury you spoke about. I would never wish this pain and heartbreak on anyone. But if by some twisted game of fate, you are in the midst of the onset of an autoimmune disease, know that you are in amazing company. Some of the strongest, kindest, most compassionate yet fun-loving, willful, stubborn, ornery people I have ever met was through my support group called Squeaky Joints (a closed Facebook group).

    Many of us have been thinking of you and we hope you get over this like any other athlete’s/dancer’s injury. But if you do find yourself needing some support and a few laughs, you’re welcome to look us up and be anonymous if you want. We’re like a family and we don’t care who you are, we’ll do our best to help.

    Sending loving thoughts your way, and hope that your injury will heal and never turn into something far more serious.
    Kryssie ❤

  4. It broke my heart to hear you are dealing with this. I was diagnosed with JRA at 15(though I started having symptoms at age 6). A year and a half ago, I started showing Lupus crossover signs. While these diseases can be awful and frustrating, they do not mean the end of living. While set backs are inevitable, so many things can still be accomplished, fun can still be had, life can still be lived.
    Best of luck to you. I hope you start to feel better soon.

  5. Pingback: When Celebrities Do Good: Thank You, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, and Robin Roberts! | Arthritis Ashley

  6. Pingback: No, Lady Gaga Did NOT Confirm That She Has Rheumatoid Arthritis | Arthritis Ashley

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