One year after 32-year-old Camping producer Lena Dunham underwent a hysterectomy to relieve crippling pain caused by endometriosis, she is looking back at how far she has come. Dunham has suffered from endometriosis for years, having to be placed on a multitude of different pain medications and undergo several surgeries. At the 2017 Met Gala, she even had to leave early to be rushed to the hospital as a result of endometriosis complications.
According to People, Dunham had to have both her cervix and uterus removed as well as her left ovary. Although the hysterectomy would eventually ease her pain, it wouldn’t be without months of grief and trials. In reflecting back at the past year, Dunham posted two side by side Instagram pictures of herself before and after surgery. “What a difference a year makes,” Dunham started. “First photo was indeed a year ago today, on the first night after my hysterectomy for severe endometriosis. I was smiling but my eyes say it all: full of anxiety and grief that I couldn’t locate through the layers of pain meds and benzos.”
The producer went on to say that she was unprepared for the startling side effects of the procedure. She suffered from anxiety and her hair began to fall out in clumps. She was prescribed Klonopin to help her cope with her anxiety and depression.
Dunham is now happy to announce that she is both free of pain and has been finally able to stop taking the drug. “The last year hasn’t been all roses and Kenny G songs, but it’s been proof enough for me in the presence of the divine,” she reflected. “The divine- it’s been there in the kindness of my family, friends, chronically ill folks online. It’s also been there in the moments where I cried myself to sleep, shocked by the sounds coming out of me.”
She found herself surprised by her own strength as she recovered from the procedure. Finding joy in the simple things like her friends laughing baby or dancing to good music. Dunham hopes that by sharing her story she can provide comfort to the many women going through similar situations. By showing that she fought her way out of a dark place and made it to the other side, she is proving that it does get better.
Her strength came from being vulnerable, she says, and relying on her friend and family during a time when she needed support the most.