Chronically Rediscovered Chapter Two: I’m Late! I’m Late! For a Very Important Fort War!

Merry-go-round in the snow


A truth I have learned: chronic illness means being chronically late.  With any chronic condition or pain, it is easy to feel like the disease has control, not you.  My ability to arrive on-time is certainly one of those areas.  To be fair, I was never a punch-in early kind of gal, but my perpetual lateness has multiplied since becoming ill.  And it’s not for want of trying.  Chronic illness is simply unpredictable.  I can factor in an extra 30 minutes to get ready, but my interstitial cystitis or inflammatory bowel disease will keep me in the bathroom (my own or public restrooms on the way to/at the destination) for an extra 45 minutes.  I can set my alarm (quacking ducks – much more fun than the standard death-horn) with every intention of getting up and getting moving, but my nausea, pain, or fatigue will keep me horizontal for awhile longer.  Even if I respond to my quackers, I’m likely to have a seizure and fall back asleep.  Seemingly “simple” tasks like responding to emails or completing household chores can also fall victim to my confused haze or lack of spoons.  Why am I telling you this?  To remind you why it’s February and I’m still talking about December.  Thanks for sticking with me!

Onward and upward with the great Tosha recap!  If you remember from Chapter One, my husband and I hit the open road in December.  We visited friends in Delaware where Mike mauled a puppy, made a stop in Annapolis, MD, and then drove to West Virginia to be with his family for Christmas.

Mike with goatee driving the car.View driving over bridge leaving Annapolis. Shadow of car is visible.Little Sandy Church of the Nazarene decorated for Christmas. Christmas tree is lit in white lights.

My mom holding our Schweenie in her Christmas dress.

My Mom & Eleanor Roosevelt (in her Christmas dress)

Tyra Banks.

Image found at

After we left WV, my parents met us back in Virginia Beach with my niece and nephew so that we could have our own Christmas celebration and enjoy some New Year’s Eve festivities.  Their amazing Christmas gift to us was our own puppy to maul.  She is a beautiful Schweenie (her fur-father was a shih-tzu and her fur-mother was a long-haired miniature dachshund), and she is the smartest, most adorable, best puppy in the world.  This is coming from her unbiased mother, so you can take that to the bank.  Following a discussion of many names, we christened her Eleanor Roosevelt after the illustrious First Lady.

We had a wonderful week with my family.  There were fort-wars (constructed with boxes, fancy duct tape, and spray paint, and defended with dart guns), we visited the Children’s Museum in Portsmouth (where my sister and her husband live – Portsmouth not the museum – but how fun would that be?!), we drove through the light display at the Botanical Gardens in Norfolk, and we introduced my niece and nephew to the classic “Christmas Vacation” movie.  On New Year’s Eve we watched the ball-drop.  My nephew, Eli, stayed awake to see the 11  change to a 12; my niece, Ella, fell asleep during the last ten seconds of the

Minnie with "World's Best Mom" Ribbon


count-down (despite my poking).  We then went outside to set off some poppers (courtesy of mi madre) and glimpse nearby fireworks.  All-in-all, I had a wonderful visit with my family, including some great cuddle time with my niece and nephew.  And, my mom once again earns a commendation ribbon for keeping everything coordinated and all of us scrumptiously fed.

Cardboard fort with wings

The Boy-Fort

Cardboard fort - pink and purple

The Girl-Fort

My niece in a tube at the Children's Museum

My niece Ella at the Children’s Museum

Eli in an oversized chair at the children's museum in Portsmouth

Downtown Portsmouth - Christmas Tree in Window
My sister’s Christmas tree seen from the street
Fire-breathing sea-serpent

The fire-breathing sea-creature at the Botanical Gardens in Norfolk was a kid favorite.

Waterfall made of blue twinkle lights

Driving through the blue “waterfall” was the adult favorite.

My niece and nephew washing my deck

My niece and nephew washing the deck with a toothbrush and small scrubber. I swear this was their idea.

Wisteria on a brick wall

Wisteria on a brick wall in Portsmouth. Photo by RayRay (my dad!) Photo editing by Tosha (me!)

That pretty much sums up December.  Woo-hoo!  Time to move onto January and this great New Year of ours!  But not in this post.  This post is quite long enough don’t you think?  And yes gentlemen, size does matter.  So once again, let’s keep that ticker-ticking and the anticipation growing.  Come back for Chapter Three and find-out what 2012 has wrought.  Hint: It involves my ability to see a brick wall!

In the meantime, I want to know about you!  What were some of your favorite memories from this past holiday season?  Do you have any tips/tricks for holiday fun when you’re not feeling well?  Get your comment on!

And, thanks for reading!

Related articles from this site:

Missed the first Chronically Rediscovered Chapter? Catch Up Here: Chronically Rediscovered Chapter One: Colitis for Christmas and Sky Lanterns for the Soul

Michael and I in front of the Christmas tree at the Irish Pub.

Learn a little more about my haze, seizures, and Keppra medication.  Keppra- Grape Flavored Brain Drain and Mood Swings in a Bottle

Doris Leachman as Maw Maw

 You know those unpredictable bathroom trips mentioned in the beginning?  Of course you do – you’re smart!  Here’s something you might not know – I’ve even had trouble getting access to a bathroom at a gastroenterology office where I am treated for my Inflammatory Bowel Disease.  Crazy right?  Right!  Read a little bit about this need in Let’s Caca!: Raising Awareness about Crohn’s & Colitis, IBD Symptoms, and Medical Care 

Toiletpaper and Poop with "Friends Forever" written around them

Related articles from other sites:

  • Chronic Illness and Guilt ( Remember my rant at the beginning of this post about the unpredictable nature of chronic illness?  (If not, scroll back up.  Go ahead, this writing’s not going anywhere.  It’ll be here when you get back).  In Chronic Illness and Guilt, Shari, who’s diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome, explores the  difficult aspects of having an unpredictable disease and the accompanying guilt that comes with disappointing others.
  • Trying to Remember (  In this post I recounted some great memories from December.  Chronic illness doesn’t just affect our ability to participate in memorable moments, seizures can also prevent us from holding onto these memories.  In Trying to Remember, David discusses his memory difficulties due to his seizures, including his inability to remember his own wedding.

8 thoughts on “Chronically Rediscovered Chapter Two: I’m Late! I’m Late! For a Very Important Fort War!

  1. Thank you for the linkback! 🙂

    I love the Botanical Gardens at Christmas & I’m sad that I didn’t get to go this year. Were you able to see downtown Portsmouth lit up? They really do it nicely down there as well.

    That children’s museum is a blast, isn’t it??

    I don’t so much have issues with arriving on time so much as just having to flat-out cancel. I’ve learned that the people who really matter are okay with it, and those who get upset? I’m just glad that they’ll never have to know just what it’s like to live a day in our shoes.

    Better late than never, huh? 😉

    • Shari-
      Having to cancel is so difficult. I often find myself scared to make a commitment, even a fun one, because I worry that when it arrives, I will have to cancel. Like you mention in your post, Chronic Illness and Guilt, I’ve also missed some major family events. And yes, guilt. Lots of it. 😮

      I saw on your site that you too are a military wife. Since you were asking about the Hampton Roads things, does that mean that you’re also currently stationed in this area? We did get to see Portsmouth lit up. Beautiful. My sister and her husband could see the lighting ceremony from their condo. A bit jealous! The children’s museum was great but also very crowded when we went since kids were off from school. It was the first time that I’ve been in it since the remodel.

      Thanks for stopping by! Hope you’re having a “rainbow” kind of day.

      • I’m glad to find someone else who “gets” how difficult it is to cancel things.

        We are military, although we’re Air Force so on the other side of the water, as we local say, meaning we’re on the Peninsula side of the HRBT.

        🙂 Catch ya soon!

  2. Pingback: Chronically Rediscovered Chapter Three: Crashing Into Inspiration and Lasik Eye Surgery | Bottled Time – Living, Loving, Laughing, Learning, and Growing through Chronic Illness and Pain

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