Even a broken neck and back can’t keep my away from blogging on my new website! Haha
Well… Unfortunately I did a little damage to my neck and back yesterday in a race. My team was in Canyons, Utah racing a U.S Grand Prix Ski Cross.
I was winning my heat (I had FINALLY pulled a good strong start!) and had made it through the toughest part of the course! I flew over the “hip” jump which was the most challenging/biggest jump on the course then skied in to the compression bank turn out of the hip jump.
My crash happened too quickly for me to remember exactly what happened… I must have caught an edge right before the step down feature which was right after the compression turn out of the hip, performed some gymnastics with a few cartwheels on my skis and then I beached whaled it for some meters on my belly, before doing another gymnastics move and slapping down on my back. Who knew I was so graceful! I definitely got the wind knocked out of me for many seconds it felt like, but after that I tried to get up and get my skis back on to finish the race (SX is becoming embedded into my brain apparently! You never know what can happen in this sport (go figure…) so you should always try to finish the race) but as soon as I stood up and moved my head to search for my skis I could tell something was juuuuuuust not right.
The snow patrol was there right away. They strapped me in and tobogganed me down to their hut. From there I was driven to the Park City Hospital about 20 minutes away. I had CT scans there, then was driven to the Salt Lake City Hospital to be assessed by a neurosurgeon… I remember the back of my head was absolutely killing me because it was “resting” on the stiff wooden board from the time I injured myself and was put on the board on the race course to the time I arrived at Salt Lake’s Hospital. Chinese torture much…
I spent last night here in Salt Lake. I’ve progressed from being completely horizontal with my neck brace on lying in my bed to being able to get up, walk around (after some minutes of feeling extremely light headed and nauseous when vertical) with an upper body brace and neck brace on. A few of the nurses, doctors and aid workers here more than once have expressed their surprise and how impressed they are with how I’m coping pain wise and my general comfort level. I didnt know what to say in response… I’ve never broken my neck before. I guess it’s the German in me…
So. To the facts we go. Ive fractured my C7 and T2 and T3. Because I fractured my Thoracic spine, those broken bones actually cushioned my neck from potentially a much more detrimental and severe injury of my neck and entire body. The surgeon explained this to Mike, my team’s physio, and me (thank you Mike for staying with me!!!) That was pretty scary, but obviously postive news, to hear… I’ll be wearing this upper body and neck brace I have on currently for the next 2 to 3 months.
My season is over… Obviously. It has definitely not been one to write home about (excuse the pun… Is that a pun? Seeing as that is exactly what I’m doing right now?) but I have learned a LOT in this crazy awesome sport already which I’m grateful for.
We have got the go ahead from the surgeon which is excellent news to get the frick out of here! I will be spending the night here and Mike and I will be on an 11:00am flight tomorrow morning back to beautiful YVR!
I am going to be taking it day by day in terms of my recovery… I am one extremely lucky girl. This injury, surprisingly, is by far not the most painful of the few tumbles I’ve taken from skiing in general. I believe that I am a tough girl and will recover even stronger both mentally and physically from this.
Thank you again for all the positive healing vibes, from everyone. It means a lot to me seeing everyone’s kind words via the various forms of social media, and phone calls. Seriously though, social media is crazy, but so amazing.