The next time Asha saw Remi was at a café for a quick coffee date. Asha decided then and there that she would ask Remi about his odd behaviour of late. She asked him why he seemed so distant and, after what seemed like a long moment of silence, he tried to explain.
“I’m sorry I haven’t been the same. I guess I’ve been going through something and it’s been hard to say. I’ve honestly been thinking about when and how best to put this but I guess the easiest way is to just say it. I’m sick Asha and I found out what it is recently. It’s nothing life-threatening in my case but it’s definitely life changing – in the long run especially.
“See in the months before our first date I’d started having these weird sensations – I could barely feel anything below my waist and my fingers were acting funny like I couldn’t control them fully. I went to different doctors and had different tests. No one really knew what was wrong with me. Not until I went to see this neurologist who put me in this big, loud machine and later on stuck a giant needle in my lower back. He told me results from the fluid he’d taken out would take a few weeks. And as the pain from that test started to fade, I reached out to you. I guess I was scared about what was happening to me and that made me want to reconnect with someone close to me. That was my real intention that night and maybe I should have mentioned this then but I didn’t even understand what I was going through. And then something happened that night. Something between us I didn’t expect. After that, I wanted to spend every moment with you.
“When I finally found out what I have, we’d already gone on a few dates and you’d just told me about your daughter and your past. The doctor calls it Multiple Sclerosis or MS for short. It’s this auto-immune disease where my immune system attacks my nervous system and eats away at this myelin sheet that protects it. My neuro says I’m relapse-remitting for now which means I’ll get a relapse and then recover. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on it lately and to be honest, it scares me. I live with a whole lot of uncertainty, meds are expensive, and I don’t know when the next relapse will be.
“So lately I’ve been distant because I’m trying to figure things out. I know what you’ve told me about your past and your current situation and part of me feels like us being together would be a burden for you. So that’s what I’m struggling with basically. And I know that’s a lot to take in but please say something.”
*If you would like to read and/or listen to the previous chapter of this story, click on the next page.*
*I, Ivan, personally live with Multiple Sclerosis having been diagnosed with it 7 years ago now. You can learn more about what MS is and watch a quick video explaining it by clicking HERE.*