About – I am What I am

and that’s all I am – Popeye, the sailor man

It’s always a little awkward, meeting new peoples, trying to describe who you are and what makes you – You. Under normal circumstances, or I guess we can call it, in Real Life, getting to know one another might take some significant time. It might involve our having long conversations over a glass, er, I mean bottle of wine. It might involve phone calls and texting. Building a relationship takes some serious effort, patience, and time. 

But here on the internets, well, things are way different. And in a good way. So I am about to divulge some things about me that will hopefully lead to us building a beautiful relationship, one that grows and flourishes, one that is symbiotic. Here it goes:

The Humble Beginnings of the Me:

I was born a poor black child. I remember the days, sittin’ on the porch with my family, singin’ and dancin’ down in Mississippi.” If you haven’t seen The Jerk with Steve Martin, it’s time to add it to your list

No, ok, ok, I wasn’t born in Mississippi. My roots take me much further north, Upstate New York, where I was born and raised until we moved when I was about 12 years old. Growing up in a very rural area, we grew almost all of our own food. We traded eggs for raw milk from the farm down in the valley. My mom made bread and butter from scratch and just about everything else. Either are clothes were handmade or they came from the thrift shop. The winters were harsh and so most summers were spent finding wood, cutting down trees, chopping up trees, loading the Ford pickup, unloading at home, and then buzz sawing it into decent size pieces. Yes, a real old buzz saw. *I will try to find an old photo and scan it so we can get the real deal. Although we worked hard almost all of the time just to survive, there were many, many amazing experiences my 2 younger brothers and I had that I wouldn’t change for the world.

And then, some not so Humble middle:

While we were in N.Y., my dad taught Physics at a local high school. For the most part, I’m not sure he liked it much. My dad is a very intelligent person, but not great at making connections with other people, especially his kids. Anyway, while teaching, he also ran an electrical service on the side and around about 1982, he became an electrical engineer, securing a job working at a Pennsylvania nuclear power plant. For me, and I am sure for my family, it was a tough move. Like I said, we lived in a very rural area. I had lived my whole life in that house, in that area, with childhood friends. There were 25 people in my class. That’s right, 25.

Life changed for us a lot once we made that move. We went from living on one salary, a teacher’s salary no less, to living on an engineer’s salary. We moved again to Kansas when I was in 8th grade. Any and everything done in 8th grade is a tragedy, don’t you think? Then onto Texas when I was 16. So I lived somewhere a long time (in kid years!) in my formative years, moved around during my teenage years, and settled in Texas for the end of high school and college. Did bunches of stuff happen in between? You bet your sweet ass it did, but all will be revealed at some point, hopefully.

What Else?

Look, I’m trying to give you the highlighted version of Me. Remember, building a relationship takes time and effort. I want you to “know” me but I can’t give you the rundown of 46 years in 1,000 words or less AND keep you interested. College was a cocktail of my studies, English literature, Psychology, Rhetoric and Composition, of my work, waiting tables and bartending, and the Family Unit Meltdown. Honestly, a lot of it is blurred for me now. Let’s leave it at that things got really insane, but we all managed to live through it. Yes, that insane. I promise to speak more on it at a different part of our journey together. Trust me when I say, this decade was the absolute craziest and the most stressed out time in my life.

Now What?

Are you still with me? OMG, I love you. We are already fast friends. Thanks for hanging in there.

Now for the big reveal of what and why I started this blog! You made it! After struggling with several and supposedly unknown illnesses for about 4 years, I was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease in March 2013. Luckily, I found a doctor who tested me and luckily, I was CDC positive. I say I was lucky, not in that I actually have Lyme disease, but in the fact I tested CDC positive for Lyme.

Many people out there do not test positive for Lyme due to the insensitivity of the lab tests and then go for years undiagnosed and suffering greatly. Some are never diagnosed and treated properly for Lyme disease. Instead, we carry other vague autoimmune diseases as our companions, such as MS, ALS, and Lupus. I myself was diagnosed with Mono several times, Fibromylagia, and Chronic Fatigue syndrome before finally getting to the root of it all, Lyme disease.  And if I would not have pursued better answers and had the means to to do so, those would still be my final answers from several different medical professionals in many different specialties. I would be getting much worse and with added issues due to the undiagnosed Lyme Disease. I have been an educator for 15 years, and I am still working. Many days, it is a real struggle, but I am hoping I can keep my job while I heal.

On my expedition (oh, and it has been an expedition) with Lyme, I have learned a lot about this disease as well as a lot about myself. I want to share this with others, I want to share this with YOU!  I think it is important to speak up, to educate, to emphasize, to understand, and to make connections. Shouldn’t an authentic life be built upon these pillars? Maybe, we’ll see. Come on in and sit awhile. Let’s break out a few glasses – bottles – of wine, and begin this amazing journey of friendship. Thank you for being here with me.

Peace, Amigos and Amigas- B

Read Between the Lyme

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65 thoughts on “About – I am What I am

  1. Stephanae V. McCoy January 21, 2016 / 7:59 pm

    Hi there, I found your blog through Opinionated Man and wanted to stop over to say hello and check out your site. I’ve heard of Lyme disease and actually had a bizarre rash (only on my legs) and my doctors thought at first it was Lyme but after a skin biopsy my dermatologist ruled Lyme out and said it was just hives. 10+ years later (I was taking Benadryl all that time for relief at night) and it’s abated but everytime I get a bug bite or just a minor itch I cringe because it was so awful every time I had a flare up. I don’t think I knew that Lyme was autoimmune but I have uveitis which supposedly comes from an autoimmune disorder but I’ve not investigated it any further. I’ll be interested to learn from your blog what Lyme is all about. Thanks ~Steph

    Liked by 2 people

    • ReadBetweentheLyme January 21, 2016 / 9:45 pm

      Hi Stephanie! Oh my gosh. I’m sorry you are dealing with this. Are you having other symptoms? Did they do a blood test for Lyme?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Stephanae V. McCoy January 21, 2016 / 10:06 pm

        Hi Again, for the past year I’ve been fine just on edge whenever my legs get itchy (I think it’s more of a mental thing). But I can’t remember if they did a blood test but I’m almost sure they would have because the rash initially did look like typical Lyme but the dermatologist wanted to make sure by doing a biopsy. It was pretty bad for a while because I couldn’t wear pants (only long skirts with no hose) because anything brushing up against my legs was an irritant. And they’d turn red/purple these huge welts. But as bad as that seems I’ve heard Lyme can be so much worse. How are you feeling these days?

        Liked by 1 person

      • ReadBetweentheLyme January 21, 2016 / 11:34 pm

        That sounds terrible! No wonders you are paranoid! They probably did a blood test since that is the only way at this point to test for it (although even this is only accurate 50% of the time). I never had a bulls eye rash ever. It took me about 3+ years to get a correct diagnosis. For the longest time I suffered extreme fatigue off and on. My GP kept telling me it was reactivated mono. Yeah. No. It just progressively got worse and more symptoms started cropping up along with severe fatigue like daily headaches, daily neck and lower back pain, muscle pain, stiffness, memory issues, brain fog, etc. I’ve now been in treatment almost 3 years and I am making progress 😊 I am just glad I didn’t stop pursuing even after I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia. Lyme was very progress in my case. My doctor has no idea how longI had had it. People can have it for years before it just progressively takes over pretty much every system in the body. It’s some scary and smart bacteria! I’m so glad we have connected!

        Like

      • Stephanae V. McCoy January 21, 2016 / 11:41 pm

        Reactivated mono? Seriously? Don’t you just love when doctors come up with this made up stuff? Instead of them saying “I really don’t know what’s wrong” and making a referral it seems they just pull stuff out the air. Remember Epstein Barr Syndrome back in the 80s? I remember all of us in the office thought we had it because we all exhibited symptoms. I have heard of some of the symptoms you mention as it relates to Lyme – horrible. The fact that it can take so long to get a diagnosis I’m sure is frustrating as well. Good to hear that you’re making progress. I’m glad we connected as well. I’ve met so many wonderful bloggers just by a chance meeting of a “like” or “follow” and I like the sense of community.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ReadBetweentheLyme January 22, 2016 / 12:54 am

        You are so right! I actually did see an infectious disease doctor as my gp referred me to him. He was horrible and so condescending. He had all of my records, never even took blood and basically poo pooed all of my symptoms. A month later I tested CDC positive for Lyme. Blogging has really helped me process this life- changing diagnosis, but the best thing is meeting new people from all over the world! It’s so awesome. And I can do this even when I feel like crud. And agreed. The community of bloggers is so wonderful and welcoming. Let’s talk again soon! Where are you from? I’m down near Houston, Texas.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Stephanae V. McCoy January 22, 2016 / 12:57 am

        I’m from Pittsburgh, we’re getting hunkered down in anticipation of the nor’easter. And yes, we will talk again soon. I make it a practice to do the blog rounds at least twice a month. I’m actually working on an updated schedule to improve the process. Houston, I was there once a few years back when I worked for Deloitte. Had to visit the office down there. It was summer and I loved the heat.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ReadBetweentheLyme January 22, 2016 / 1:07 am

        I think that cold is headed here too but it won’t be anywhere near your temps! We get excited when we hear “article front.” The low tonight is 32 but by Saturday daytime temps will be back up to 65. I’m not a big fan of the hot weather myself but I really do love November through early March. Although on Christmas, we had the ac on because it was scout 82 and the humidity was and usually is ridiculous! I lived in Bloomsberg PA for a short time while in middle school. I’m originally from Upstate NY but I guess since I’ve now been in Texas for about 30 years I guess being a Texan is official now lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Stephanae V. McCoy January 22, 2016 / 1:13 am

        Oh okay so you’re a little familiar with the area. My best friend is from Rochester, NY and she lived down here for about 11 years and went back when we got laid off a couple of years ago but she still comes down a couple of times a year and I’ve been up there as well. Me, her and one of our other friends have tossed around the idea of doing a Golden Girls type arrangement but we’re all so independent I’m not sure how we’d make it work. Wow 30 years yeah I think you’re officially a Texan.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Haylee January 27, 2016 / 8:06 pm

    What an awful condition to deal with, especially the ‘not-knowing’ and wrong diagnosis. My mum has symptoms of chronic fatigue yet getting a diagnosis is such a long process – all the while people believe it’s made up or laziness. So I think you’re doing a fine thing by educating people about Lyme and hope you have more good days than bad with your health.

    Liked by 2 people

    • ReadBetweentheLyme January 28, 2016 / 2:01 am

      Hi Haylee! Your poor mom. I was diagnosed with CFS and Fibromyalgia before Lyme. Has your mom been able to find a doctor she likes? Your mom is lucky that she has your support. Having an invisible chronic illness can be such a challenge in so many ways. Thank you for reading my post and thank you for your encouraging words!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haylee January 30, 2016 / 9:16 am

        She’s finally found one that is taking her symptoms seriously, so that’s a positive. Referrals to the CFS consultant take months though. And you’re welcome, if only words could cure people.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ReadBetweentheLyme January 30, 2016 / 2:05 pm

        That is wonderful that she has found a doctor she likes and one who believes her. I’ve been through many doctors , first trying to get correctly diagnosed, and now, after being treated for 3 years, I am shopping around again. Has your mom been tested for Lyme? I only ask because I was also diagnosed first with CFS and Fibromyalgia.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haylee January 30, 2016 / 2:17 pm

        No, the only thing she’s been repeatedly tested for (and every time it’s negative) is thyroid problems. Since she’s finally on the waiting list to see the CFS consultant, I doubt they’ll test for anything else until this has been diagnosed or ruled out. But at least it’s good to know that there are other avenues to explore if, worst case, this line of enquiry leads nowhere 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. ellenbest24 January 29, 2016 / 6:06 pm

    I popped over from http://yadadarcyyada.com/ A blog share party and I am so glad I came.
    you have a very interesting blog, thank you for sharing and I wish you much better treatment and health. My husband had his thyroid just stop, it didn’t slow down, or speed up, it turned it’s self off, other than being very close to death as pulse heart etc. all slowed drastically he was just keeping alive ; which it would not have been if he left his chronic exhaustion another DAY.
    Auto immune…

    Liked by 2 people

    • ReadBetweentheLyme January 29, 2016 / 10:04 pm

      My name is Ellen as well! 🙂 I use Belle on my site because my hubs calls me Belle. How is your husband doing? I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s about 2 years before Lyme. Then, with all the reading and researching Lyme, I found out that it can also attack your thyroid so I am pretty sure that is what happened to mine. Is he able to get back to his normal quality of life? I hope so. Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I’m glad we have connected!

      Like

      • ellenbest24 January 29, 2016 / 10:15 pm

        He seriously struggles with weight because of meds, and is on the edge of type two diabetes, they are watching in case his pancreas just turns off… type one if it does. They don’t know familiar history , as he was adopted, but it is also autoimmune.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ReadBetweentheLyme January 30, 2016 / 12:56 am

        That is a lot to deal with for the both of you. Has he tried changing up diet? Or juicing?

        Like

      • ellenbest24 January 30, 2016 / 1:01 am

        Diet yes we only cook from raw eats lots of veg, no red meat fats olive based. Would never juice, and cant change that… i tried.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ReadBetweentheLyme January 30, 2016 / 1:22 am

        I’m in the process of over hauling my diet too. It’s hard!

        Like

  4. Soul Gifts February 1, 2016 / 4:52 am

    I just popped in to say hi and thanks for the follow. Got caught up in browsing and reading comments. Lyme disease is horrid, and one that the medical community don’t always accept as a legit illness. I wish you and your blog all the luck in the world and then some 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • ReadBetweentheLyme February 16, 2016 / 3:30 pm

      Hi there! 🙂 Are you still treating the Lyme/ I have been treating for 3 years and just a week ago, I tested CDC positive. OMG. This is some crazy bacteria.

      Like

  5. willowdot21 February 16, 2016 / 2:11 pm

    Hi and thanks for stopping by and following my blog, I am always grateful! I am so glad you finally got the correct diagnosis for Lyme’s though I am sorry to hear that you have it . Do you know Busy mind thinking at http://busymindthinking.com/ she also has lyme’s disease . I look forward to reading your blog!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. jacquelineobyikocha March 3, 2016 / 7:05 am

    Lyme disease was not something I knew about until a cousin of mine got it. It opened my eye to the caprices of such a struggle.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Roos Ruse June 30, 2016 / 2:30 am

    Looks like you found an audience! I found you by way of MsNutterblys and am so glad I did. I hope I can keep up!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. chelsea w July 16, 2016 / 6:59 pm

    It makes me so upset that it either takes forever for someone to get diagnosed (it took me years as well) or that they live misdiagnosed for so long due to those stupid unreliable tests. Ugh!

    Liked by 2 people

    • ReadBetweentheLyme July 16, 2016 / 7:09 pm

      Same here, Chelsea! You would think by now a reliable test would have been made. I just don’t get it. There is a blood test now for Fibromyalgia with an 85% rate. But most insurance won’t cover it. I called about it but it’s like $800. Ugh.

      Like

      • chelsea w July 16, 2016 / 7:25 pm

        I had no idea about that. (But of course insurance doesn’t cover it…) Thanks for sharing!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. tarnishedsoul July 28, 2016 / 11:57 am

    Hi there!

    First, thank you for the follow on my blog.
    Secondly, I am in awe at your story. I admit, I know absolutely nothing about lyme disease, so hearing a first-hand perspective is probably the most important introduction someone on the outside (so-to-speak) can have.

    Anyways, I look forward to reading what you write hand being able to connect to another person in the blog world is always a good thing.

    Tar

    Liked by 2 people

    • Read Between the Lyme July 28, 2016 / 12:02 pm

      Hey Tar! I’m glad to find your blog and connect! I’ve only read a few of your posts right now, but wow, I love your writing style. Sincere thanks to you for checking out my blog. When I began blogging, I really didn’t know if anyone would be interested in hearing about my journey but I’ve found that many are not familiar with Lyme disease

      Liked by 2 people

      • tarnishedsoul July 28, 2016 / 12:08 pm

        You’re too kind. 🙂 There are days, like this morning, when I write like a 4 year old…lol. Writing is something I have never felt “good” at doing, so I am always humbled when someone tells me they like the way I write.

        And I really am looking forward to seeing your journey. I love the idea that people out there face struggles with courage and have a story to tell that others might be able to relate! It’s true power, if you ask me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Read Between the Lyme July 28, 2016 / 12:17 pm

        Hey I have days like that as week. Thinking, speaking, and writing like a 4 year old, fer reals. But you know what, we still got game.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Read Between the Lyme July 28, 2016 / 12:04 pm

      Whoops pushed send too soon ha ha! Anyways, I’m looking forward to exposure to more of your writings! Have a good one! Peace.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Moi July 28, 2016 / 12:17 pm

    hi, Thanks for following both my Cognitive Reflection and habitat for Heavy Hearts blog, may I ask what drew you to them?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Read Between the Lyme July 29, 2016 / 11:46 am

      Hi Moi, I found your blogs through a comment on another blog I was checking out. What drew me to these 2 although, confession, I’ve read more on Heavy Hearts at this point than CR, is the style of the writing. The fluency and the diction seem to work so well together. So there’s that. And next, I enjoyed reading several posts on HHH in that the content was varietal. And interesting. As an avid reader all of my life, when I got hit with the Lyme disease, my brain has been affected in several ways. One is that reading for quite some time was very difficult for me. I won’t bore you with the details but I can say it was heartbreaking for me not to have the skills to do much of it for a very long while. Recently, I’ve made some progress and the skill of reading pieces longer than 100-200 words has improved. Ecstasy!! Needless to say, I’ve been trying to get my reading on again all summer! Long story longer, your blog makes my brain work and makes my brain happy. Thanks for writing. Peace. -b

      Liked by 1 person

    • Read Between the Lyme July 28, 2016 / 5:42 pm

      Hi Shannon. Thank you so much for the award! Your kindness is appreciated. I hope your week is going well and that it is as pain-free as possible. Thanks again! 😘

      Liked by 1 person

    • Read Between the Lyme August 6, 2016 / 10:35 am

      I did and thank you so much! I’ve been semi back at work this past week and my husband’s birthday is today but I promise to get to it asap. 💜💙💙💚

      Like

  11. spearfruit August 17, 2016 / 9:15 am

    Please to meet you and learn more about you. I did read each and every word here because you had my attention with your introduction. Thank you for following my blog, I will certainly take time to visit yours as well. I hope your day is a happy one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. theoxymoronmom December 16, 2016 / 11:31 am

    I’m late to the party, which is really nothing new for me, its a lifestyle for me actually. I’m stoked ( oh yes I just used the word stoked) to sit down and veg out on your blog today. After two years of searching for answers I finally was diagnosed with lymes. three positives and the doctor was convinced (I guess he’s a skeptic). Now I await my mri and eeg for results on the damage, have to get my kiddos tested bc I likely had the lymes before I became pregnant and get to decide on treatment choices, which is a lot of heavy decision making. so glad to have someone whos been there as guidance! Big shout out to shatter in him for bringing me to your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Read Between the Lyme December 18, 2016 / 11:44 am

      Hi there! I hope you can find some decent information on my blog to help you face the Lyme battle. It has been a roller coaster ride for me for sure. I’m still fighting almost 4 years after my original diagnosis (CDC positive). But I am beginning to have good cycles now in between the sick ones. Please let me know if and how I can help. You are not alone!!!

      Like

  13. Vina March 14, 2017 / 11:36 pm

    You really saved my skin with this innfimatroo. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Rosalinda March 15, 2017 / 12:15 am

    Et voilà c’est mon tour et je dois le dire oui je suis un Ortehaope ! chaque soir je rôde dans la maison voir si des fois y’en a pas un qui c’est perdu et… hop plus d’Oreo !!! bon en plus je sais qu’il y a un nid dans mon congel ! oui j’ai un vice de plus je congel l’Oreo avant de le manger… tout cru !

    Like

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