With a positive attitude, Lena Dunham revealed that she uses a cane for “an Ehler-Danlos syndrome flare,” on Instagram.
On Thursday, the Girls star shared a photograph taken of herself while leaving a Los Angeles doctor’s appointment and using 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,” the 33-year-old writer and actress explained on Instagram.
Joking that her nightgown could have doubled for a Halloween costume, Dunham wrote, “But the truth is just: This is what life is like when I’m struggling most with chronic illness. An Ehler-Danlos syndrome flare means that I need support from more than just my friends... so thank you, sweet cane!”
“For years, I resisted doing anything that would make my physical situation easier, insisting that a cane would ‘make things weird,’” she wrote. “But it’s so much less weird to actually be able to participate than to stay in bed all day.”
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Proof: Dunham posted a second photo of herself standing in a yard, wearing an electric blue two-piece outfit. “And then an hour later, I’m in a meeting look tackling the job I love,” she wrote. “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. Tell me about your day!”
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome is described by the Mayo Clinic as a group of inherited disorders that affect the connective tissue, which gives the body strength and elasticity. The syndrome can causes very flexible joints and fragile, stretchy skin.
Dunham’s health has been up and down — in 2018, she wrote an essay for Vogue about her decision to get a hysterectomy at age 31 due to having endometriosis, a disorder in which the tissue that would cover the lining of the uterus, grows outside, according to UCLA Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Months later, Dunham revealed that she removed her left ovary, “which was encased in scar tissue & fibrosis, attached to my bowel and pressing on nerves that made it kinda hard to walk/pee/vamp,” the star wrote on Instagram sharing a photo of herself in a hospital bed.
Nevertheless, the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood actress shared her sunny outlook on life with US Weekly.
“But I have to say, the past two years haven’t just been the happiest years of my adult life, they’ve been the happiest years of my life,” she told the magazine on October 26. “And that’s not because they’ve been perfect. It’s because I now have the tools based on what I’ve been through — whether it’s losing my health or ending a long relationship, or, you know, challenges with addiction.”
Dunham later shared why she is so honest with the public: To help others feel supported. “But the reason I’ve been so insistent on sharing my experiences, I think, we have to be reminded again and again and again that we’re not alone,” she told US Weekly. “I know that even when people [are] like, ‘Enough is enough, quit talking about your, you know, uterus or whatever,’ I want other people to know that they’re not alone.”
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