Unfortunately a collision in our final race on Day 4 resulted in a stretcher, ambulance, X-rays, morphine, etc.
We were sailing upwind fast and the next thing I knew, the wing of a boat coming downwind was pointing straight at my ribs and I had no time to react.
Thank you for everyone’s support on facebook. I’ve had a lot of questions as to my condition and what it means so here’s my attempt at some answers. I’m on morphine for the pain, amongst other meds, so please bear with me 🙂
The X-rays showed that I fractured the left transverse process of my eighth thoracic vertebra. (Correction, 10/10/13: it was actually my second lumbar vertebra) This is where the vertebrae meets a rib. The transverse processes are attachment points for muscles and ligaments (thanks, Wikipedia!).
The best news is there’s no risk of paralysis and right now my arms and legs are fine, it’s just my back, ribs and abdomen that’s really stiff and sore. My abdomen feels like mush and I don’t have a lot of muscular control but it was a huge relief as the bleeding gradually stopped.
I’m taking it easy and I will be able to fly back to the US tomorrow with help from my skipper and her family and my dad waiting for me on the other side. Then I will see more doctors at Stanford, of course.
I am so, so grateful to everyone that helped me through so far – Paris, coach Luther, coach Charlie, Hans, and Tamra and Ed Henken. I can’t thank them enough.