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.
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 47 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.
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