Lena Dunham has a history of being real about what it’s like to live with chronic pain. She’s spoken out about her history with endometriosis and subsequent hysterectomy at the age of 31, and now she’s sharing her battle with another disease: Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
The star and creator of Girls wrote about the condition and how it’s impacted her on Instagram, after a paparazzi snapped a photo of her walking with a cane. “I could choose to be embarrassed by these paparazzi pics — I mean, that’s probably the point of someone publishing them in the first place — but I’m really not,” she wrote on Friday. “This is what life is like when I’m struggling most with chronic illness. An Ehler[s]-Danlos syndrome flare means that I need support from more than just my friends… so thank you, sweet cane!”
She added: “For years, I resisted doing anything that would make my physical situation easier, insisting that a cane would ‘make things weird.’ But it’s so much less weird to actually be able to participate than to stay in bed all day. And yes, you’d better believe I’m wearing my nightgown. I was walking four feet to the car to go to the doctor and I wanted to be full cozy.”
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is a group of inherited disorders that usually affects your connective tissues, specifically your skin, joints and blood vessel walls, Mayo Clinic notes. Symptoms tend to include “overly flexible” joints that can lead to pain and dislocations. Patients tend to bruise or scar more easily than most.
Just a month ago, the musician Sia took to Twitter to share her struggles with the condition. “Hey, I’m suffering with chronic pain, a neurological disease, ehlers danlos and I just wanted to say to those of you suffering from pain, whether physical or emotional, I love you, keep going [sic],” she wrote. “Life is fucking hard. Pain is demoralizing, and you’re not alone.”
Hey, I’m suffering with chronic pain, a neurological disease, ehlers danlos and I just wanted to say to those of you suffering from pain, whether physical or emotional, I love you, keep going. Life is fucking hard. Pain is demoralizing, and you’re not alone.— sia (@Sia) October 4, 2019
Hey. I was diagnosed with EDS 24 years ago and have a LOT of information… if you ever need any advice. Together we can raise a shit-tonne of awareness.— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) October 7, 2019
In March, Dunham opened up about her Ehlers-Danlos in an essay for The New York Times. “A specialist told me I had been living with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, of the hypermobile variety, a genetic disorder that can lead to widespread physical pain,” she wrote.
Despite the seriousness of Ehlers-Danlos, Dunham managed to bring some levity to her Instagram post and also add that her condition isn’t stopping her from achieving her goals.
“I can wear my glamour nighty for two hours,” she wrote. “And then an hour later, I’m in a meeting look tackling the job I love. That’s the two-fold life of a woman with chronic illness; we still rock our dreams and goals and passions (and fashions) and we live many lives in one day.”
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