A very strange thing happened to me at school on the last day before the winter break. My retina became detached. I wish I could say it was due to an old sports injury, like an elbow to the face in basketball, a hard hit as I threw the winning touchdown pass in the championship game, or an errant pitch during a little league game. However, most who know me would scoff at the fabrication.
See, (get it – I used an eye reference as a transition) even though I am helping coach my third grader’s basketball team, I just learned that if a foul is committed when the player is taking a shot, then he gets to go to the foul line. For forty years I had I not been able to figure out why players sometimes only got to pass the ball in and why they sometimes got to shoot a foul shot. I thought it was some sort of mathematical equation. However, with football I know the rules. I know the strategy. When I played, I knew what I was supposed to do as an offensive lineman. However, knowledge is not always THEE answer. Ability would have been beneficial. Meanwhile, in baseball, I held the record for being hit by pitches. Nonetheless, I can’t say this caused my detached retina. I was never hit in the head and little kids don’t throw that hard.
Well, back to the true cause of the injury. It just happens. It is hereditary. I get to blame Mom or Dad.
On the last day of school before the holiday break, I was having trouble seeing out of my right eye. The lower part was black and I could not see short people, which is my entire family. I was having trouble reading, but I did not let that deter me from visiting Wikipedia to try to self diagnose my problem. As an educator, I do not fully accept Wikipedia as a valid source, but it is a good starting point for research. This philosophy was validated as I read that I could be suffering from a detached retina or hemorrhoids. Further research confirmed it was an eye problem. I called the optometrist and he told me to come in right away. Next thing I know I am met with serious faces from all and they give me more tests than a student has during exam week. Needless to say, I failed.
Since I failed, I had to go to remediation. So, off I traveled to a retina specialist. More tests. More failures. Then, some good news. If I would have waited until after Christmas to come in, I would be blind in the right eye. Apparently there is a small window for surgery to work.
After a successful surgery, I feel disappointed because I only get to wear an eye patch for one day. I was looking forward to being a pirate for a couple of weeks. I was practicing all of my pirate jokes like: “What is a pirate’s favorite subject in school? ARRRT!” ARRG, twas not meant to be matey!” Instead, I spent the next two weeks with a gas bubble on my eye preventing me from seeing out of it. I also had to lie on my face or right side all of the time. And, no reading or writing. I am an English teacher! I live to read and write! I swear, If I wasn’t prone to seasickness, I would have run off to become a pirate.
After the gas bubble dissolved, I no longer had to keep my face down; however, reading and writing was still too difficult. I had to be off work for three more weeks. After two days, my wife was begging me to go back to work. My absence makes her heart grow fonder. You should hear about the parties she throws when my summer vacation ends.
Although my right eye is a little blurry, and it will always be this way, I can return to work. I may have to make a few changes, like have the kids type papers in size 14, or write bigger on the board, so I can read it from the front of the room.
I decided to change my blog a little. I really missed the students and want to try to focus on my memories from the classroom over the last twenty three years. Also, I am going to publish on Mondays and Thursdays instead of every day. I need the extra time to remember anecdotes.
I would also like to thank those who sent “get well wishes.”