• Lena Dunham shares vulnerable Instagram surgery photo

    Lena Dunham posted a photo on her Instagram post-surgery to remove her left ovary on Tuesday. The 32-year-old Girls star posted: “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.”

    The surgery follows Dunham’s decision last year to have a hysterectomy. “The pain becomes unbearable. I am delirious with it, and the doctors can’t really explain… With pain like this, I will never be able to be anyone’s mother. Even if I could get pregnant, there’s nothing I can offer,” said Dunham.

    Never one to shy away from a confrontation, Dunham responded to critics who insist on having an opinion about her health. “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). 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!).” The HBO darling recently pulled out of some press commitments for her upcoming show Camping. The lead character Kathryn, played by Jennifer Garner, has also had a hysterectomy and had both ovaries removed.

    Ultimately, Dunham says that surgery was her best course of action and she has taken a valuable lesson from her struggles. “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.” And in the midst of everything, she’s choosing to be optimistic (and to make solid political points!). “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.”

    Camping premiered on HBO Sunday night.

     

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    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. 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.) *** 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). 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. But 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. 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 shit scars and mesh “panties” are the fucking jam. Join me, won’t you? *** 📷 @lauriesimmons

    A post shared by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

    Allison Kilkenny

    Allison Kilkenny is a writer and performer living in NYC. She is a contributor at Reductress, a performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, and the host of the political-comedy podcast Light Treason News (lighttreason.news)

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