A hush falls over the room where Lady Gaga and filmmaker Chris Moukarbel are talking to the press about their upcoming documentary, Five Foot Two, focused on the singer's life. Moments before, Gaga was joking about whether or not the movie is suitable for a Netflix and Chill night. Now, she's tearing up over a reporter's question about the scenes that show her struggling with chronic pain.
"It's hard," she said about sharing those moments with the world. "But it's liberating, too."
In the Netflix preview for the documentary, we can see Gaga draped in a hospital gown, grimacing as a doctor sticks a needle into her skin. In a clip posted to her Twitter account, she sits in the doctor's office and nods along at her treatment plan.
Her treatment plan includes Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy — the "blood spinning" the doctor mentions — in which blood is removed from the arm, spun in a centrifuge to separate the red and white blood cells from the platelet rich plasma, and the plasma is then injected into the part of the body that needs treatment (in Gaga's case, her hip) so that it can stimulate healing. The same therapy has been used for beauty treatments.
While we can't know how well her three-pronged treatment plan is working for Lady Gaga, we have some idea of the isolation and emotional pain it may have caused her. Chronic pain sufferers are often misdiagnosed and misunderstood, or simply thought to be dramatic. And doctors are just now starting to understand how to treat this mysterious condition.
"It was incredibly hard, just on a basic, fundamental, human level, to be near somebody who’s experiencing pain like that and knowing there's nothing you can do," Moukarbel said during the press conference.
As difficult as it must be for her to relive those moments on screen, Gaga said she wanted them included in the documentary so that maybe someone else who's struggling with chronic pain knows that they're not making it up.
"There is an element and a very strong piece of me that believes that pain is a microphone. My pain really does me no good unless I transform it into something that is,” she said. “So I hope that people watching it that do struggle with chronic pain know they’re not alone.”
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