It happened five years ago in a moment of stupidity, which seems to be the result of most horse-related accidents.
My hubby and I were releasing two horses into our paddock, putting them together for the first time. I was holding my former horse, which had just finished being shod and across the paddock hubby was holding the new member of the family.
My horse and I were faced away from my hubby and his horse. As I released my horse, I moved backwards instead of moving away sideways or forward.
I had no idea that the new horse had already started to move up behind us. My horse suddenly kicked out with both back legs. His newly shod back left hoof struck me on the right side of my breast. From there the hoof hit my right arm, which flew up from the force of the kick as if it wasn't attached to my arm. I recall air from the hoof grazing past the right side of my face, my eye and up past my temple.
It all happened in a blink of an eye. With the next blink came such intense pain, it was all I could do to stay standing. My right breast felt as if it had been split in half. I reached up, expecting blood and gore, but my hand returned clean.
The shoer was putting away his tools, waiting for payment and to schedule our next visit. I didn't think he knew what had just happened and I sure wasn't going to let him see the pain I was in.
I went into the tack room to get his money and there I did a visual check of my breast. It was still in one piece but was already turning purple. I grabbed the money and gave it to my shoer, telling him that I needed to go into the house and that I'd call him to schedule our next appointment.
In agonizing pain, I headed into the house and directly to the bathroom where I applied a cold wash cloth to the damaged area. There in the privacy of the bathroom, I burst into tears knowing that what had just happened could have been worse if that hoof had hit my head but that where it had hit might also have a direct impact on my future.
I lost my Mom at age 46 to breast cancer. And by how I'm made up not only physically but also internally, I'm noted as a high risk candidate for this terrible disease. I'd already had one biopsy prior to this accident and I dreaded that this incident might change my life.
I called the Doctor's office the next day to report my misadventure, concerned about the color of my breast and the implications of the injury. It always kind of irks me when I call them with a horse-related injury. I feel a strong sense of remoteness from my medical team towards my horse-related incidents. It's as if I've been hurt on the moon by aliens vs at my home by my horse. I guess it reflects a gap between those who live in the city and those who don't although we all live in the same county and pay identical taxes. Probably best to not get me started on that topic. :(
My doctor visit was uneventful. The bruise was as beautiful as a spring rainbow and took months to fade. I now carry a large mass where I was kicked, a reminder of how to NOT release a horse.
Last spring I noted a tiny lump above this mass. I scheduled a doctor's appointment which led to a mammogram/ultrasound a few weeks later.
I recall coming down with the cold/flu the day of the mammorgram/ultrasound. I was miserable and couldn't wait to get back home and into bed. When the doctor briskly came in and told me to not worry, that it was just more scar tissue, I didn't push the diagnosis and request a biopsy, I headed home coughing and sneezing but with a lighter mind.
But this nagging little thing has continued to bother me. It's not like my other lumps, which are fibroid and painful to push on, nor is it like the mass from the kick. I've run on the word of assurance from the radiologist I saw last year that all was well. But internally I've kept asking myself, "Is it really ok?" I've thought about going back to have it looked at during sleepless nights, but in the light of day have chosen to ignore it.
I can't ignore it any longer. This nagging little thing, initially hard to locate, has now become easy to find. A few weeks ago I had another mammorgram. I told the Technician about my concerns and she documented it on my chart, showing me what she'd written to be sure it was accurate. She assured, as they always do, that if there was an issue that I'd get a phone call.
I got that call last week and returned for an ultrasound. This time I got my favorite Radiologist, Dr. Stuart, who had done my previous biopsy. As with my experience before with Dr. Stuart, she projected some concern at what she saw but also makes me feel assured that if there is anything to be concerned about, she's going to get to the bottom of it and take care of me.
I return for the biopsy this coming week. Sure I'm worried but I'm also relieved that I am dealing with this nagging little thing that has been in my thoughts for the last year. Could have, would have, should have's are now in the past. What will be, now will be. I regret that I waited to have it readdressed and hope that last year's diagnosis is accurate.
If you have a nagging little thing, please go have it checked out and get that peace of mind. That is something I sure wish I had right now.