Winter Fun, Games & Pain with Chronic Illness

Winter Fun, Games & Pain with Chronic Illness | A Chronic Voice


Oh my March. Time is a droplet of history, encapsulated in a bullet going at the speed of light. I feel like I haven’t met any of my goals at all, and by this time I’m close to the three month mark of being in Berlin. I am closer to being back in Singapore now than ever before! Which isn’t a pleasant feeling as I love the winter season here. Yet, I’m also looking forward to nuzzling and cuddling my birds once more. I’ve missed them quite a bit; hope they aren’t too angry with me for abandoning them for so long!

I haven’t really done anything too touristy, and have just been living here as if I were back in Singapore, save for the change in location. I suppose it’s a different vibe when you travel to a new place for a short time, as opposed to a few months. So far I’ve been to the Museum Island, the East Side Gallery, a few nice bars and people’s homes. I’ve spent a lot of time indoors, but am content with that.

Another strange fact – I have yet to make a single German friend here. I know, right?! I’ve met people from everywhere else – France, USA, UK, Australia, Ireland, Pakistan, the Netherlands, India, Spain, etc. Then again, Germans in other parts of Germany tell me that Berlin is not quite Germany :p The only German I’ve really interacted with at any length was an iTalki teacher I had for two lessons online.

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Time is a droplet of history, encapsulated in a bullet going at the speed of light.


Speaking of which, I think I did quite a lot in the past couple of weeks, as we were visiting family for a week in France. Flights, as all of us chronic illness people know, are evil. I tried illustrating it to my partner with my half filled water bottle on the flight. As we were descending, it was getting all squeezed and sucked in from the air pressure. I told him that was how my bones felt like whenever I take a flight, no matter how long or short the ride is.

Anyway, Toulouse was a pleasant little city and I enjoyed strolling along the cobblestoned streets. Speaking of which, my oh my, all the food, the glorious food on arrival! Every street corner had chocolates, cheese, wine, saucisson, and yumminess galore! This is quite in contrast to Berlin. The greedy foodie in me was much satisfied.

We stayed at my partner’s mum’s place for a couple days and it was so homely and cosy. Her cat, Kimmie, was the cutest. She loved nuzzling noses and rubbing heads. It’s always nice to have a furry friend at home. It’s too bad that I can’t afford a cat or dog at home, as I can barely take care of myself financially as it stands.

We also visited San Sébastien in Spain for a day trip, which was a short drive away. And lucky we were; it was the only sunny day for our entire stay there. I kept thinking, ‘this is how life should be’, as we spent our day together with quality family time. Sangria (for the rest) and thick Spanish hot chocolate for me, whilst live music played nearby. After which we had their famous tapas/pintxos for lunch, then visited the beautiful aquarium. Strolling around the town and seaside was super pleasant, too. I think I could live in a simple place like this and be happy.

And then of course, chronic illness had to get jealous and whipped my ass for an entire week. On the way back to Berlin, I barely slept for two days straight as I was up all night pacing in pain. I think I caught a UTI somewhere along the way, and just took antibiotics as it was burning, and we had much travelling to do. I also vomited at the airport, so that was really no fun. I am however, grateful that I had my partner there to support me.

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Plane Descending with Chronic Illness Quote


As for targets, I just clinched a new web development job, and am excited about it. It’s a nice change from writing jobs every now and then. The timeline will be a little more strict, but I believe I can do this.

Apart from that, I am also working on my new business site (it’s taking much longer than I had imagined), due to the fact that I’m stuck with carving out my services and exact niche. I am also reading up more on internet marketing and affiliate sales, and trying to push myself to do all these boring but necessary stuff (to me at least!).

Anyway, I’ll prioritise my client’s job first, and target to get my website out asap next. The book I’ve been reading on internet marketing has been somewhat helpful, and helps to give me a better idea of how I should carve my little corner of the web out next.


Finally, I think I’ve put on some winter weight, ha! Whilst it hasn’t been super cold in Berlin, it’s been an excuse for me to indulge in raclette, fondue, saucisson, cheese, and whatnot. I’ll just take it as a special, long holiday!

I remember my childhood back in Hong Kong, where I’d also put on some belly fat during winter even as a child. It used to be much colder back then, before the global warming rise in temperature. Anyway I’m not too worried as I’ll be back to sunny Singapore soon. For now, eat and as they say, ‘there’s more of me to love’ for now 😉


So I’m going to be as stress-less as I possibly can from now until I go back home (and hopefully after as well!). I’ll enjoy what I can, when I can. It’s a good way to be in life. I suppose after you’ve gone through a bad period or a bad pain flare, it’s easier to look at things that way for a while. It lends some perspective.

One thing I’m definitely not looking forward to when I get back in April – all the doctor appointments stacked back to back, week after week, that I’ve held off for the past three months. It will be a full month of hospital visits and with the coronavirus running rampant, let’s hope it’s not too much of a hassle. Anyway, I’ll find out when I’m back. For now, I’ll just enjoy what little time I have left in Europe. Cheers to life!

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I will enjoy what I can, when I can quote

*Note: This article is meant for educational purposes and is based on the author’s personal experiences. It is not to be substituted for medical advice. Please consult your own doctor before changing or adding any new treatment protocols.

Read More: Your Thorough Chronic Illness Travel Guide (with 25 Additional Resources)

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Winter Fun, Games & Pain with Chronic Illness

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  • Oh your journey just sounds so wonderful Sheryl. You managed so much pacing. Your analogy of the water bottle is spot on I usually feel like that at the end of the day lol Safe travels back to your birdies xx

    • Thanks Niamh! Yes when I looked at the water bottle it just felt like that haha! I did try to pace a lot, and whilst pain never fully goes away, I still had a lot of good memories! x

  • I loved reading about your travels. I’m so glad you got this opportunity!

    • Thanks Kathy! I haven’t really shared much as I tend to get a bit lazy and don’t want to share too much private life stuff apart from illness. Sending hugs!

  • “I suppose after you’ve gone through a bad period or a bad pain flare, it’s easier to look at things that way for a while. It lends some perspective.” – I love this quote, so true! You write so eloquently, and always resonates so much, regardless of diagnosis. You have such a talent! It’s such a lovely post and enjoyed reading your updates on your travels, although I am so sorry that pain has made it so difficult for you, it often has a habit of doing that, doesn’t it? I hope that you manage to enjoy the rest of your time in Berlin, and whatever adventures await you next!

  • Lovely to hear an update on your adventures. I totally get the part where you haven’t gone out and been ‘touristy’-its like that for me when we go near places like that on the boat. I just exist in those places like I do anywhere else mostly! Hope going home isn’t too stressful

    • Hi Naomi, I like how you put it – existing in those places happily on your boat instead of doing it all. Sometimes I think that can also defeat the purpose! It’s been a bit stressful as my flight home got cancelled, which I only found out about through waiting to get connected to the call centre at seven hours. But anyway managed to book a flight back tomorrow as I don’t know what the situation’s going to be like in Europe – seems to be going really fast so best to go home I guess. At least I’ll see my birds soon! 🙂 xxx

  • “I suppose after you’ve gone through a bad period or a bad pain flare, it’s easier to look at things that way for a while. It lends some perspective.” – so true!! O’ my, had to point out how right that felt when reading it. You just express things so well!

  • The time just flies by, doesn’t it? Your trip sounds great, but poor you at the airport!!

    • It sure does, it’s crazy!! Every year faster and faster! Yes trip has been a wonderful experience and opportunity so far. The pain was ‘worth it’. All part of the ‘game’. I am just really really grateful it’s not worse.

  • I can’t believe it is March already… I don’t feel like I have done much, yet the other day someone shared that they couldn’t believe that I have done so much. So I guess it is where you are when you look at it. With that said, from my point of view, you have been busy LOL. Enjoy the rest of your time in Berlin!

    • Hi Cynthia, I know right? I say this for nearly every month of every year though, haha! I guess the little things do add up, but it doesn’t feel like it hey! I’ve mostly been inside the house in Berlin, really. So the blog post features just some fun highlights 🙂 Thank you!

  • I am so sorry that you have pain especially on your trip. It can’t be easy experiencing it while your away.

    • Hi Jackline! It’s not so bad really, just that when you’re right smack in the middle of planes and buses, it can be a nightmare! But still, I am grateful for this opportunity 🙂

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