It was worse than anyone knew. Two months after her publicist announced that Carrie Underwood had taken a “hard fall” down the stairs outside her Nashville home, the singer gave fan club members a sobering update. Though she’d initially only mentioned a broken wrist, the Nov. 10 incident — which forced her to miss three major events, including being inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame — also left her with severe facial injuries that required between 40 and 50 stitches.

“Even though I’ve had the best people helping me, I’m still healing and not looking quite the same,” the seven-time Grammy winner wrote. “When I am ready to get in front of a camera, I want you all to understand why I might look a bit different.”

The new account of her injuries set off a firestorm of speculation online. Wild conspiracy theories swirled, with some questioning whether Carrie, 34, had secret plastic surgery, while others suggested a possible domestic dispute. The star’s rep made a point of saying Carrie’s hubby, Mike Fisher, was out of town when she got hurt — but that did nothing to lessen the mystery. “The buzz in Nashville is intense, with everyone wanting to know the same thing: What really happened?” an insider tells Life & Style. “The stories have really been all over the map. People want to get to the bottom of it and find out the truth about her accident.”

While her rep says Carrie was hurt on a Friday night, two members of her inner circle maintain the injuries happened in the morning and forced her to undergo not one but two reconstructive surgeries. “The fall was very bloody,” a friend says. “And she had to call the ambulance herself.”

carrie underwood mike fisher getty images

Carrie and Mike two days before her fall.

One theory making the rounds? “People are wondering if Carrie was hungover or drunk and tripped over her dogs,” notes the insider. “Carrie’s clearly not a drunk, but she loves her wine and champagne. Some think she’s just embarrassed to admit that’s what really happened.”

The blonde beauty posted just one new pic on Instagram in the first seven weeks after her accident, and it only showed off her eyes — the rest of her head was wrapped in a Calia by Carrie Underwood scarf. Every other photo has been a throwback. Her suggestion that fans may not recognize her makes it sound like she was horribly disfigured, but one of the only people who’s actually seen the star since the accident didn’t spot any signs of an injury. On Dec. 12, Below Deck alum Adrienne Gang ran into Carrie at the gym and posted a photo with her. “She is adorable,” raved Adrienne, later adding that the singer looked “amazing” and she had “no clue” Carrie was injured.

Whatever caused her injuries, and however severe they are, the episode has clearly taken a toll. “Carrie has been having nightmares. She hates looking in the mirror,” a source shares. The accident, confirms the Carrie insider, “was an emotional roller coaster for her. She’s felt like she was losing it. She’s been a total wreck.”

The “Before He Cheats” singer has leaned on her loved ones for support since the incident. Despite reports in 2017 that she and hubby Mike were having problems, “He always has her back,” the insider says. “He’s been super supportive throughout everything.” And Carrie feels like she’s finally starting to heal. “I’ve still got a ways to go in the recovery process,” she wrote in her fan letter, “but it’s encouraging to see every day be a little better than the last.”