On a bitterly cold winter morning five years ago, two days after Christmas I was excited to try out my new presents; a beautiful leather bridle for my horse, Esther. Justin and I headed down to the field where our horses were kept.
I tacked up Esther and fussed over her as I put on her lovely new bridle and led her down to the bottom of the field for some schooling. I was eager to show Justin how I’d managed to perfect her dressage routine during the week. Keen to compete her that year and so while everyone was still eating mince pies I was more focussed at the task in hand.
She felt a bit frisky, we had a large field so I decided to canter her around for a bit. Just as we rounded the corner something at the very top end of the field caught her eye, she put her head down and bolted, bucking as she went.
I knew I had two choices-bail or ride it out. I attempted what is called an emergency stop in horse terms but with a bucking, rearing horse this didn’t quite go to plan, and I ended up crashing to the floor.
I landed on the frozen ground at which point I felt and heard an audible crack.
Thinking it was my back or pelvis, I knew I shouldn’t move and lay on the freezing floor praying it wasn’t as bad as it felt. Justin called an ambulance and I ended up being air lifted in a helicopter to the nearest hospital.
Completely high on morphine what happened next went by in a bit of a blur and is still fuzzy and surreal in my memory. I was surrounded by so many people who kept telling me everything would be fine, but in my head I knew I was really hurt.
I do remember feeling such embarrassment as I went though the MRI scanner as they had cut all my clothes off to get a closer look at me and I was covered in just a flimsy gown with no knickers on. I’ve probably never felt so frightened and vulnerable as I did in that moment. I asked the radiographer what he could see on the radiograph and was met with only a look of sympathy as he told me it would be best to wait and speak to the doctor.
Back in A&E and with Justin holding my hand the doctor came to tell us what I already knew.
‘your back is broken, and at the moment we can’t be sure of the outcome’
My husband is a strong man, a man who doesn’t get overcome by emotion easily but at that point I watched him go visibly pale and his face crumble. Looking at him then, I have never felt so sad. It turns out my bottom two vertebrae were completely smashed to smithereens.
I kept wiggling my feet and touching my legs to check if I could feel them, for two days they were completely numb but gradually the sensation came creeping back in and after 6 days I was able to raise my knees up from the bed.
I lay in that hospital bed flat on my back for 12 days in total-only moving an inch or two when the nurses would come and give me a wash and move me about a bit to prevent bed sores.
12 days is a really long time to be lying in one spot and I did a lot of thinking and soul searching. I was mainly positive but at times I felt morose and couldn’t stop thinking ‘what if?’. Mostly I felt so loved and supported by my beautiful family and it made me realise how fragile, short and precious life really is.
Everyone kept saying how lucky I had been and Justin said when he called friends to tell them what had happened he would say 'she’s been really lucky, it could have been a lot worse' and so it stuck. He calls me ‘lucky’ on a daily basis now and even has lucky tattooed on his arm!
After I came out of hospital I was fitted with a full brace that covered my chest and back, after intense physiotherapy for 8 weeks I was back on my feet and walking again.
These days I do suffer from quite a bit of pain in my lower back and I know it will never heal entirely. I live life as normal even exercising frequently-in fact it helps to prevent me from getting stiff which is a great motivator and looking at me you would never guess what happened.
I’ve titled this post ‘seizing the day’ because this wasn’t intended to be a tale of woe. My intention is to uplift you and remind you to live in the moment because you never know what is around the corner.
Having my accident made me want to do something important with my life, something special. In the weeks and months that followed I began writing and making scrap books. I collected all my thoughts and ideas and carefully documented the children’s lives so that should anything ever happen to me they would know how much I loved them. A couple of years after my fall I became pregnant and subsequently, this blog was born as well as a new baby.
A place for me to write, to document our lives. To be our memory-keeper and story teller.
So before you go about your daily business today ask yourself this;
have you told everyone you care about that you love them lately?
Have you thrown caution to the wind and chased your dreams?
Have you seized the day?
Don’t forget how lucky you are too.
Original image from:Gravel hill
This is a great post. I had no idea your blog was new, hadn't thought of you for the fresh voice at all, I was assuming it was well established and that I just hadn't come across it before. I'm more than happy to nominate you. I've never got around to filling in the form before, but there are a few people I can't wait to nominate, I'm hoping to manage to put some time aside to do it at the weekend.x
Hi Natalie, that really means the world to me-thank you so much for always being so kind xx
You Baby Me Mummy
Fabulous post my darling. I know that feeling of lying on the ground knowing something is not well myself. Us riders just keep going until we physically can't, we both got to that point. Lots of love you should definitely win Fresh Voice, such a beautiful blog and lady xxxx
Thank you so much Aby, that means so much as you know. Love you loads xxx
Amazing post! While I am SO sorry that happened to you (and I hope your still riding) its amazing what "road blocks" become one of the best things that happen. Love you site!
Thank you so much Elizabeth yes totally agree these things are sent to test us and then what often transpires can be so positive x
Debs @ Super Busy Mum
Wow...what a post and your husbands right...LUCKY and then some!! What an experience to go through and be able to say you can stand and walk so soon after it is amazing! Thanks for much for linking this up with #MMWBH and good luck in the BiBs! x
Thanks so much Debs-so lovely of you. Thanks so much for hosting #MMWBH and for sharing my post xx
Oh my goodness, I can't believe that happened to you, that is shocking! I'm so glad you were okay. You are absolutely right, we do need to seize the moment and live our life to the full, you never know what is going to happen. Thank you for putting things into perspective. Sabrina xx #MMWBH
Thank you so much for reading and commenting Sabrina. It was pretty awful at the time but really helped me refocus on life and be grateful for what I have xx
Your blog is so lovely. Best of luck for Fresh Voice. So many great blogs out there, I didn't know you were new darling. Love it. Great post and you are so right we should all seize the day and the moments as life goes too fast. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme
Thanks so much Jenny, I feel so flattered when people tell me they didn’t know I am a newbie! xx
Lindsay @ Newcastle Family Life
Oh my godness what an awful riding accident, i use to ride and had a few nasty falls but nothing as awful as this. I bet it was so hard lying in one place in hospital for twelve weeks when you wanted to be at home with your family. You really were lucky x
Almost everyone I know that rides has had some sort of accident-it is a real dangerous sport. I should have been wearing a body protector which could have prevented the damage but you live and learn I guess. Thanks for reading and commenting x
“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” This quote came to mind when I read your post. Respect for sharing a defining moment in your life, and now your children have your beautiful blog and all its memories to enjoy. Happy something good came from all that pain. #ShareWithMe
Love that quote Milly thanks so much for sharing. Thank you for reading and commenting x
Oh my goodness, that must have been so frightening. So glad that you recovered from your broken back - as you say, it could have been much worse. Always good to be reminded to seize the day and make sure we tell our loved ones we love them - you really never do know what is around the corner.
Thanks so much Louise, yes we all must seize the day and live in the now and remember what we have. I’m a true believer in that. Thanks for commenting today x
That is quite a stroy, and told in a very uplifting way. You're right, realy should make more of an effort to tell the nearest and dearest how special they are. #BrilliantBlogPosts
Definitely John it does put things into perspective and some days I still have to remind myself how lucky I am to have all that I do. Thanks for reading x
The Giggles Family
Gosh how scary. I've had experiences that have reminded me how fragile life is. It's why I vlog so my son always has a video of memories should anything happen to me. Amazing that you were so positive through something so incredibly difficult. Could love with the nomination! #brilliantblogposts
Thank you, blogging and vlogs are such an amazing legacy really aren’t they. Thanks for reading x
That is quite a story, I agree with your husband that you were very lucky, but I think part of that is to do with the person you are - determined and spirited.
Thank you so much that is really lovely of you x
Nomita | Ebabee
I think we all tend to take life for granted until something happens. Thanks for the reminder that life is fragile and we should make the most of each day. I know you were considered 'lucky' but it still sounds very scary to me. The blog is looking great!
So lovely of you to say thank you. It was scary but I count my blessings that all is well now x
See? It's all about attitude. You could either think you were the unluckiest person to have had this happen to you, or do as you've done; feel grateful for having recovered quite well despite of some pains, having an amazing family and being able to do the things you love. I love this kind of positivity! The world is too full of negativity. We must all remember to remind ourselves how lucky we are, even if things aren't perfect.
Thank you! This is exactly the message I’m trying to get across, I’m just so grateful things weren’t worse. Thank you so much for your lovely comment xx
Renee @ Mummy Tries
What a fab post - the most amazing things can come from truly tough times. I'm glad your back is better now.
I've never injured myself like this, but I've been through 'rock bottom' which led to a similar outcome. Certainly inspired me to sieze the day :)
I imagine it is akin to hitting rock bottom and making a decision about how you view your life, I find it helps to be positive even though it is often the harder choice. Thank you xx
Merlinda Little ( @pixiedusk)
Wow amazing! I wont handle this as positively. You are such a strong person. Inspiring too! #Sharewithme
How lovely, thank you so much Melinda xx
Wow Amy I had no idea- what an incredible story. And to put such a positive spin on it too. I think sometimes these things happen for a reason and it make you indeed seize the day. What an inspirational post. x
Thanks so much Katie it was a pretty bad but I am fine and still trying to have a super positive outlook on life xx
Wow! I think we all need to call you lucky! If you were here I would touch you, perhaps it would rub off a bit. I agree with all that you have said, I had a stroke a few years ago, at 45 years of age. It certainly woke me up to what is important in life. I kiss my children daily, they are 15 and 22, and every conversation ends with an "I love you." The stroke was the beginning of a disease which causes strokes, so we try to always, even if we are not happy with each other, to make sure that we declare our love. It has made life sweeter, but I hope that we-you and me- get to stick around for the long haul!
Absolutely Nikki, I’m so sorry that your health has suffered but agree that we don’t know what is around the corner. We always say ‘I love you’ too. Yes here’s to hoping we’re in it for the long haul and are able to look forward to health and happiness. Thanks so much for reading x
A Cornish Mum
Lovely uplifting post! My eldest son nearly died when he was 5 as he was very ill from undiagnosed type 1 diabetes he's now almost 11 and I take nothing for granted and appreciate every day I get to spend with both my boys.
I also tell them I love them any time I'm leaving them as not to be morbid but if something ever happened to me I'd like them to know that was the last thing I ever said to them!
Glad you recovered clearly a very strong woman!
Good gracious Stevie, I can’t even imagine how frightening that would have been. I always make sure the last thing I said was ‘I love you’ too even when the kids are in a rush and a mood in the mornings on the way to school! I don’t think that’s morbid at all x
casey grice (dashboard dad)
Oh Wow!! Talk about some perspective. Hopefully we can all learn from your story and not have to experience something like this for ourselves. Enjoyed the read and I'm glad you shared it with us all.
Thank you so much, I hope people are able to read and take something positive away
Oh my gosh, this post made me cry, you and your husband are so strong and you were lucky, such an important lesson for us all to seize the day. So glad you are ok. Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts xx
Thank you so much Vicki, I really am fine now but it certainly taught me a lot at the time and when I look back I am so grateful that I was Lucky! Thanks for hosting lovely xxx
Katie / Pouting In Heels
Oh my! Amy, what a story and what a post! I'm so pleased you are now 'back on your feet' and living life to the max. What an inspiration.
I guess you are 'lucky' however I also think people make their own luck in this world, so well done you for not allowing your injury and the accident to consume you and dull your sparkle. Funnily enough I've done something to my back and pelvis and have been in quite a bit of discomfort for about six weeks now. I'm having physio and trying to remain positive but I've certainly had moments of 'why me?' which is pretty pathetic in all honesty and thankfully rare!
Thank you for sharing this and for reminding us how precious life is and how we have to seize the day. Loved this xxx
Oh thank you my darling, I really am fine now just the odd irksome pain when I get stiff. So sorry to hear you’ve had pain too, it’s hard to deal with at times. Thanks so much for reading xxx
Leigh - Headspace Perspective
Blimey, what a terrífying story. Glad you made it through. You're absolutely right, we must seize the day because we never know what's around the corner. It sounds like a cliche, but it is true, as I've learnt during the past year. A lovely post xxx
Hi Leigh, thank you so much. I know you made every second count with your darling boy Hugo and have seized the day since by ensuring his legacy lives on. Thanks for your words xxx
Babes about Town
Amy this post gave me goosebumps! What a story, and it makes a lot of sense to me now how you're such a go-getter, not waiting for that 'perfect moment' or wasting any time to go after your dreams. A beautiful testimony and an important reminder for all of us, thank you! x
Thanks so much Uju that really means a lot to me. Thank you for reading xx
Wow, what a story. I guess you really were lucky, despite it all. What an inspiration x x x
Thank you so much. Lucky by name lucky by nature ;) xxx
Wow what a story, and what a message. We should all make the most of our lives, you are completely right. What a terrible thing to happen but your positivity shines through and this post has really made me think of my priorities. X
Thank you so much Emily that really means a lot xx
When I read "an audible crack", I was so hoping it wasn't your back. Glad you were able to get through it while remaining so positive and what a beautiful blog that came of it. All the best with the Bibs. I'll def. nominate you in the fresh voice category xx
Hi Natasha, thank you so much for your lovely words. That means so much to me, truly. Thank you xx
Adventures of a Novice Mum
Wow, so pleased for you that it wasn't worse; that you made it through stronger! What a reminder of how fleeting life is, we only have the moment to make the most of. A real encouragement to definitely seize the day ... perhaps the seconds.
A scary but hopeful read! #aNoviceMumTwitterFeed
Thank you I am fine now but was scary at the time. It definitely served as a reminder to take each day as it comes x
Increddible story! What a tough time that must of been but good for you getting through it in a positive way and seizing the day!
Thanks so much x
This caught me by surprise. I just stopped by to have a look and got drawn into your story. It's wonderful when good comes from bad. We all need to remind ourselves how lucky we are EVERY day especially when we get caught up in the little things, thank you for sharing.
Thank you so much Juliet I really appreciate it x
Franki ~ Little Luca & Me
Gosh what a tale to tell! So glad your ok now though and your right, these things definitely remind us how delicate life is and to seize the day. One of my friends broke her back after a fall from her horse and my other friend her neck, whenever I ride now I am always a little more cautious than is probably necessary and ALWAYS wear and helmet and body protector. Life is precious and our bodies are delicate and it's something we forget too often I think. Xx
katy (what katy said
Such an inspirational story. I'm not sure how I would have reacted, I guess you find strength when it is needed the most. Glad you are ok now and glad you are taking life by the horns and embracing every second x
Thanks so much Katy that’s really lovely of you to say xx
Hannah Budding Smiles
What a powerful post. I end even phone call to my hubby and close family with "I love you" and it's the last thing I say to Toby as I leave his room for every nap and bed time... Even at 3am when he's had me up for the third time that night!
I had a terrible car crash in 2009 that I should have been badly injured in but somehow wasn't except for mild back pains.
I'm so glad you recovered so well, what a terrifying experience xx
I think it’s so important to say these things often. Thanks for reading and commenting hun xxx
Julia @ rainbeaubelle
Oh bless you, I have just as this and it sounds so scary, I am so glad your bones healed a little bit but how traumatic for you. Having spent so long in hospitals with my husband I can relate to the face crumbling pale feeling. Lots of love x
Unhinged Mummy (aka Janine Woods)
What an inspirational post. You sound like an amazing woman and because of that I will gladly nominate you for the fresh voice 2015 blogging thingy :-)
That is such a lovely thing to say and I really appreciate it thank you. The vote has closed and I wasn’t nominated sadly but I will try again next year. Just knowing you wanted to vote actually made my day today so thank you xx
Unhinged Mummy (aka Janine Woods)
Sorry I'm unable to vote. It's saying voting is closed even though it says voting is open until midnight. I did try though. Good luck ♡
Charlotte @ Educating Elsa
I have no idea why I have never read this post before, but perhaps I was just meant to read it today. I got news that someone I know (although was by no means close to at all) had died from the brain tumour they discovered they had only a few years ago. My heart aches for her family and for what she went through the past few years, and all I can think about today is that you really don't know what is going to happen tomorrow. I love how positive you are, despite everything you've been through. I have wasted so much time being sad.
So sorry to hear that Charlotte how devastating for her family. Thank you lovely, it sometimes takes a lot out of me-looking on the bright side but I know that is the best way to be (most of the time) thanks for your lovely comment and for sharing this post xx
Kat | Beau Twins
What a beautiful post. I had an accident on a horse which damaged my lower back but no way near as bad as you. But it's caused me nothing but grief since. My physiotherapist was amazing though. What a positive post and you are so right, we should always tell those that we love how much they mean to us. I'm glad you are ok now lovely, but how awful for you to go through this. I'm so thrilled you started you blog, it's beautiful. Xxx
It is an absolute bugger when you hurt your back isn’t it? Sorry to hear you had an accident too, these bloomin’ horses have a lot to answer for hey?! Thanks for your lovely words, as always xxx
You Must have been terrified... When I started reading, I thought it might be part of a novel you were writing. Really beautiful writing style, my lovely. I am glad you are ok. It can't be easy when your back gives you grief though x
Oh my gosh Amy what a post! You are so brave (and lucky!) and I'm glad you recovered. It's a great message to put out there, seizing the day and making sure your family know they are loved, brilliant. xxx
Gosh, it's hard to know what to say in response to one of those moments that makes you re-evaluate everything. You're right though, we never know what's round the corner. Mall we can do is hope it's something good. #morganprince