Lena Dunham responded to paparazzi photos of herself walking with a cane in a poignant Instagram post over the weekend.
The “Girls” actor revealed that she has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a chronic disease that affects “connective tissues supporting the skin, bones, blood vessels, and many other organs and tissues,” according to the National Institutes of Health. Both singer Sia and actor Jameela Jamil also revealed their EDS diagnoses earlier this year.
“An Ehler-Danlos syndrome flare means that I need support from more than just my friends... so thank you, sweet cane!” Dunham wrote on Instagram.
“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,” she added.
The writer and producer said the syndrome is the reason she was walking with the cane, adding that she isn’t “embarrassed” by the photos.
“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,” Dunham wrote.
“I could lie and say it was an early Halloween look (Don’t you get it? I’m going as a con woman leaving a Florida Keys jail after being acquitted of murdering her husband, and now she’s trying to get disability license plates.) But the truth is just: This is what life is like when I’m struggling most with chronic illness.”
Dunham’s fans and celebrity friends voiced their support for the actor on her post.
“Love you, babe,” Chelsea Handler commented, while Kristen Bell added, “Beautiful in both.”
Eva Chen said she loved the nightie, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson offered up some humor.
“Honestly, a con woman leaving a Florida Keys jail is my next Halloween costume!” the “Modern Family” actor said.
Dunham has been open about her health over the years, regularly giving fans updates on her endometriosis and the total hysterectomy she had in 2017 in hopes of finding relief from the chronic disease.