Late in our friendship, before it became a relationship, Hillary started dropping some hints that she had some medical... things. Beyond the obvious one of the hearing impairment. Usually this was in the middle of one of our lengthy instant messenger conversations.
I didn't prod too hard the first couple of times it came up and likely missed (not so) subtle hints about her bad days. Eventually though, I had reached the point where I understood the rough shape of what was going on and wanted to know more.
Given she started the SCD diet while still in Parkdale, I'll assume she was having a flare around the time this conversation happened.
One evening Hillary talked (typed) a little bit about having a bad day due to some issues and was super vague. I knew a little bit about gastrointestinal things as I have various extended family members with Crohns and colitis so I prodded a little bit more.
I don't know what she was thinking now or what was going through her head, but Hillary eventually typed out something to the effect of, "I don't want you to know this, but it's not like I can hide it. I have something called ulcerative colitis."
I hit up wikipedia and read.
Hillary's version of the disease was mild. At it's worst, you could call it moderate. It still wasn't a fun thing to live with. It absolutely affected what kinds of activities we did. It changed how we planned out trips and vacations.
I look back now and like so many things, I wish I had her to interview about it. I can't imagine what was going through her head as she decided to tell me about this. We were in our mid twenties. Our relationship could be described as nascent at best. She was sharing this detail with a guy who she was actively interested in and courting.
Maybe she had already figured me out and was comfortable sharing. I think perhaps the former and not the latter. I think it probably took a lot of courage on her side and she considered it a huge gamble.
But what do I know?
I can say that I can still picture my bedroom at Dynes Road that evening as we had this conversation. It's one of the very few virtual conversations we had that I can remember details about. I knew she was trusting me with something big.