Lena Dunham on having COVID-19: Even as a chronically ill person, I had never felt this way

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Lena Dunham revealed Friday that she’s one of the more than 4.6 million Americans who’ve contracted COVID-19. And while the Girls creator said she has since tested negative for the novel coronavirus, her symptoms have not entirely gone away.

“But seeing the carelessness with which so many in the United States are treating social distancing, people jogging without masks and parties on Instagram,” Dunham wrote, “I feel compelled to be honest about the impact this illness has had on me, in the hopes that personal stories allow us to see the humanity in what can feel like abstract situations.”

The 34-year-old went on to describe some of her symptoms: achy joints, crushing fatigue, numbness in her hands, a loss of taste and smell, a pounding headache, random red rashes and an inability to breathe after simple tasks.

Most but not all of those symptoms subsided after 21 days. Some lingered even after the virus no longer registered on a test, about a month into the ordeal.

“I had swollen hands and feet, an unceasing migraine and fatigue that limited my every move,” said Dunham, who’s previously spoken out about suffering from endometriosis and fibromyalgia. “Even as a chronically ill person, I had never felt this way.”

Dunham’s doctor concluded that her pituitary gland, a part of the brain responsible for regulating important functions, “had almost entirely ceased to function.” She had to be treated for a flare-up of the arthritis she’s mentioned struggling with in the past.

39 PHOTOS Lena Dunham through the years See Gallery Lena Dunham through the years NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 01: Actress Lena Dunham attends TimesTalks: A Final Farewell to the Cast of HBOs Girls at Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts on February 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images) NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 02: Actress Lena Dunham attends the the New York premiere of the sixth and final season of Girls at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on February 2, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Zak Photography/FilmMagic) NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 02: (L-R) Actresses Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet, Lena Dunham and Jemima Kirke attend the the New York premiere of the sixth and final season of Girls at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on February 2, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage) NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 07: Actress Lena Dunham is seen on December 7, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images) LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 14: Actress Lena Dunham arrives at Glamour Women of the Year 2016 at NeueHouse Hollywood on November 14, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic) NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: Lena Dunham leaves Lourdes birthday party at ZZ� Clam Bar on November 7, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images) LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 14: Actress Lena Dunham poses backstage during Glamour Women Of The Year 2016 LIVE Summit at NeueHouse Hollywood on November 14, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images) NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Honoree Laurie Simmons, daughter Lena Dunham and Tip Dunham attend ICPs luncheon honoring Laurie Simmons on November 1, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for ICP) NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 27: Jennifer Konner and Lena Dunham attend 12th Annual New York Television Festival - Creative Keynote: A Conversation with Girls at SVA Theater on October 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic) NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25: Jenni Konner, Lena Dunham, and Jessica Grose attend Hearst MagFront 2016 at Hearst Tower on October 25, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Hearst) NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25: Lena Dunham (L) and Abbi Jacobson pose onstage before discussing Abbi Jacobsons book Carry This Book at Symphony Space on October 25, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images) LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 0434 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actress Lena Dunham during an interview on October 11, 2016 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images) NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 24: Actress Lena Dunham is seen walking in Soho on October 24, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images) NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 02: Lena Dunham discusses Let Girls Learn at The American Magazine Media Conference at Grand Hyatt New York on February 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage) PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 24: Actress Lena Dunham speaks from the podium at the Lena Dunham and Planned Parenthood Host Sex, Politics & Film Cocktail Reception at The Spur on January 24, 2016 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images) NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Honoree Lena Dunham speaks onstage at Varietys Power of Women New York presented by Lifetime at Cipriani 42nd Street on April 24, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Variety) WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 13: Actress Lena Dunham attends ELLEs Annual Women in Television Celebration on January 13, 2015 at Sunset Tower in West Hollywood, California. Presented by Hearts on Fire and Olay. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for ELLE) BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11: Actress Lena Dunham attends HBOs post Golden Globe Awards party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic) BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11: Actress/director Lena Dunham (L) and singer/songwriter Taylor Swift attend HBOs Official Golden Globe Awards After Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic) NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 05: Lena Dunham attends the Girls season four premiere at American Museum of Natural History on January 5, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage) NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 02: Actress/Author Lena Dunham reads from her book, Not That Kind of Girl during the 2014 Ally Coalitions Talent Show at New World Stages on December 2, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/Getty Images) BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Actress / Director Lena Dunham attends Pen Center USAs 24th Annual Literary Awards Festival at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on November 11, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic) LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: Lena Dunham meets fans and signs copies of her book Not That Kind Of Girl at Waterstones, Piccadilly on October 29, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images) LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 14: Actress Lena Dunham signs copies of Not That Kind Of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What Shes Learned. at Barnes & Noble bookstore at The Grove on October 14, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic) NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30: Television personality Robin Roberts (L) and actress Lena Dunham tape an interview at Good Morning America at the ABC Times Square Studios on September 30, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images) LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: Actress Lena Dunham arrives at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic) WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 23: Actress Lena Dunham attends Variety and Women in Film Emmy Nominee Celebration powered by Samsung Galaxy on August 23, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Variety) NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: [EDITORS NOTE: Image has been digitally processed] Lena Dunham attends the Charles James: Beyond Fashion Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images) NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: Director Lena Dunham on the set of Girls on April 23, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/GC Images) NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Lena Dunham filming Girls on May 1, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Sands/GC Images) NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 07: Lena Dunham attends the 2014 Point Honors New York gala at New York Public Library on April 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Nomi Ellenson/FilmMagic) NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 18: Lena Dunham visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at Rockefeller Center on March 18, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/NBC/Getty Images for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon) NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Actress Lena Dunham attends the Fox Searchlight Pictures Dom Hemingway screening hosted by The Cinema Society And Links Of London on March 27, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage) NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 13: Actress Lena Dunham attends an evening with Girls at Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre on March 13, 2014 in North Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic) BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 13: Writer/director Lena Dunham poses with Best Actress in a TV Comedy Award in the press room during the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 13, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 09: Lena Dunham attends the premiere of Girls season 2 hosted by HBO at NYU Skirball Center on January 9, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images) Cast member Lena Dunham arrives at the premiere of Universals This Is 40, December 12, 2012 at Graumans Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images) AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 12: Writer/Director/Actress Lena Dunham attends Girls Greenroom Photo Op during the 2012 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Paramount Theatre on March 12, 2012 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for SXSW) SANTA MONICA, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actress/filmmaker Lena Dunham, winner of Best First Screenplay for Tiny Furniture, accepts award onstage during the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards at Santa Monica Beach on February 26, 2011 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) Up Next See Gallery Discover More Like This HIDE CAPTION SHOW CAPTION of SEE ALL BACK TO SLIDE

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