Lena Dunham is continuing to be open about her serious health issues.
On Wednesday, the 32-year-old Girls creator revealed that she underwent surgery on Tuesday to remove her left ovary. The procedure comes after Dunham underwent a total hysterectomy — the removal of one’s cervix and uterus — in February.
“Yesterday I had a two hour surgery to remove my 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,” she wrote on Instagram alongside a picture of her showing her stomach while lying on a hospital bed. “Over the last month it got worse and worse until I was simply a burrito posing as a human. My mother took this picture after I spent 9 hours in the post op recovery area with v low blood pressure, the nurses were diligently monitoring.”
“I was so out of it that I thought I looked sensually moody a la Charlotte Rampling (turns out it was more of a constipation vibe.),” she continued.
Dunham went on to note the criticism she’s received about her ongoing health complications.
“A lot of people commented on my last post about being too sick to finish promoting my show by saying my hysterectomy should have fixed it (I mean *should* is a weird one),” she wrote. “That I should get acupuncture and take supplements (I do). That I should see a therapist because it’s clearly psychological (year 25, y’all. These are the fruits!) But a big lesson I’ve learned in all this is that health, like most things, isn’t linear — things improve and things falter and you start living off only cranberry juice from a sippy cup/sleeping on a glorified heating pad but you’re also happier than you’ve been in years. I feel blessed creatively and tickled by my new and improved bellybutton and so so so lucky to have health insurance as well as money for care that is off my plan.”
Dunham says her surgery has inspired her to advocate for access to heath care for all, especially for women.
“I’m simultaneously shocked by what my body is and isn’t doing for me and red with rage that access to medical care is a privilege and not a right in this country and that women have to work extra hard just to prove what we already know about our own bodies and beg for what we need to be well,” she wrote. “It’s humiliating. *** My health not being a given has paid spiritual dividends I could never have predicted and it’s opened me up in wild ways and it’s given me a mission: to advocate for those of us who live at the cross section of physical and physic pain, to remind women that our stories don’t have to look one way, our pain is our gain and oh sh** scars and mesh ‘panties’ are the f**king jam. Join me, won’t you? ***”
It’s been a challenging year for Dunham, who aside from undergoing a total hysterectomy, split from her boyfriend of five years, musician Jack Antonoff, in January. But the writer and actress has always been candid about her personal struggles. In July, she shared side-by-side photos of herself, noting her weight gain.
“On the left: 138 pounds, complimented all day and propositioned by men and on the cover of a tabloid about diets that work,” she wrote about an older picture of herself. “Also, sick in the tissue and in the head and subsisting only on small amounts of sugar, tons of caffeine and a purse pharmacy.”
About the more recent image of her carrying a dog, Dunham commented, “On the right: 162 pounds, happy joyous & free, complimented only by people that matter for reasons that matter, subsisting on a steady flow of fun/healthy snacks and apps and entrees, strong from lifting dogs and spirits.”
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