- hello ZaBeth Marsh
- Username: zabethmarsh
- In response to: "What was the comfort food you enjoyed most growing up?" mash potatoes
- zabethmarsh's latest answers
- It's not over, it's the beginning.
I consider myself extremely lucky. I've experienced for 5 years a period of solitude that can only come from living through severe health issues and on June 14, 2010 I was given a chance to escape my prison and rejoin society.
I suffered with arthritis in my right leg since March 1991. While I tried all the standard and then cutting-edge treatments nothing held my pain level at bay for long. I spent 10 years living mostly on prednisone, a steroid used to as an immunosuppressive. While prednisone kept me walking it also made me gain a lot of weight and made it difficult for me to heal.
In the fall of 2004 I tore my right Achilles's tendon. On Dec 19, 2010 I had surgery to fix that tendon and it turned out to be the last day that I'd walk. While I waited for the tendon to heal, my right knee froze in a slightly bent position and I become caught in a Catch-22 situation. My ankle still wasn't right; the tiniest movement to the left or right sent lightning sharp pain through me. My knee was frozen solid and would not bend nor straighten. The ankle and knee surgeons argued back and forth over which needed to be resolved first. Meanwhile, I lived in constant pain and tried to come to grips with the fact that my life was now bound to a wheelchair.
Then in early June 2010, a minor bump of my knee sent me the ER and I found knee surgeon #7. He understood that the goal was to get me mobile and back to the active lifestyle I enjoyed before arthritis interrupted my life. We discussed amputating the right leg above the knee. This will allow me to get fitted for a prosthetic and learn to walk again.
On June 14, 2010 I willingly became an above the knee amputee. It has only been a few days but I'm very excited already about my new beginning on life. I'm stronger. No longer is my body fighting the constant pain. I'm looking forward to doing everything that I thought that I had lost. I'll never take my legs for granted. I know that this beginning is a second chance that I might not have ever been granted.
- My Favorite Summer Memory
My favorite summer memories are those spent at Maple Park campground [http://www.mapleparkfamilycampground.com/] with my family. Camping with my family from second grade until I graduated from high school kept us close and taught us to entertain ourselves and depend on each other.
I remember when we still camped in a pop-up tent my oldest brother thought it would be a good idea to read me to sleep. Except his choice of reading material was "Alien", by Steve Perry. I'll never forget the scene when the alien rips out of the guys stomach. Honestly, I can't even think about reading it now as an adult because it was far too scary with all the campground noises at night; crickets chatting, tree branches settling, and raccoons playing in the dead leaves and pine cones on the ground. I was sure the next shadow on the side of the tent was the alien coming to get me.
By the time we had upgraded to a solid trailer I was very familiar with the campground. My friends and I prided ourselves on knowing all of the paths and cut-thru's throughout the park. The campground was our playground. We felt safe there. But our parents were forever cautioning us not to forget our surroundings and stay together. But as children we didn't have any sense truly of our own mortality. To teach us a lesson, my brothers and a friend decided to waylay my best friend, her sister, and I walking along a small path used by vehicles only during fire emergencies. As my friends and I walked down this path late one night my brother put his hand out in front of my best friend sister's eyes. He didn't touch her, just put his palm in front of her eyes. She became catatonic and fell to the ground as stiff as a board. My best friend screamed and ran. She ran like the wind and the track star she was on her hometown team. There was no catching her. Me, I grew up with 3 older brothers. I punched the closest shadow to me, which just happen to be one of my brothers. This wasn't the first time I had hit him in our childhood, but I still think he was shocked that I chose to punch when my friends had chosen completely different tactics. My best friend had indeed run home and in moment re-enforcements had arrived only to discover that our attackers were friendly. I remember this because it taught me that my parents were right. Even when I am in an environment I feel completely at home in, I still need to be aware of my surroundings. And second I realized that everyone reacts differently to a situation, and you never know what that is until a crisis happens. In life, I have learned to practice for disasters and then I react better.
Finally, my favorite memory is playing hiding-go-seek with my father and our dog, Lady. The three of us would go for walks and Lady was one of those rare dogs that was more part of the family than pet. She would run ahead of us (yes, off the leash) and sometimes get around the bend in the corner and have to wait for my father and I to catch up. She would just sit down on the side of the road and wait. But every once in the while, my dad would want to play with her. He would wait until she was around the bend and then he would take off into the woods. It worked better in the Fall when the leaves filled the ground with a thick underbrush. But well off the road, my dad would fall to the ground and cover himself over with whatever ground cover he could find. Sooner or later, Lady would grow impatient at our lateness and come back to see what was taking us so long. As soon as she spotted me alone in the road, her nose would hit the road. The precision of Lady's nose was incredible. My dad might as well have run string from me to him in the woods. Her nose would follow exactly the path that my dad had taken. And once she was close to him, she would jump on him and kiss him and wag her tail like he had been gone for years. My dad, of course, would encourage this greeting and roll around on the ground with her like a little kid. Suddenly, I felt grown up watching my dad have complete joy. I cherish that memory more than any other.
Summer brings a flood of memories but all are of my family and friends. And most are of the time we spent camping.