Ms. O’s life in a paragraph!

born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona (AZ)
bachelors degree Univ. of Arizona, chemistry
worked in industry 1 year
summer with Senator DeConcini’s office in Wash., D.C.
began teaching middle school math in Arlington, VA
masters degree George Mason Univ., Ed. Leadership
taught and coached HS in Arlington, VA
moved to San Jose
taught middle school math/science, Saratoga, CA
joined Monta Vista community 2000
retired from coaching and competitive sports April 2011

Years at Monta Vista: 17 (since 2000-01)

Other Schools: Redwood MS (Saratoga, CA);Williamsburg MS/Yorktown HS(Arlington, VA) Place of Birth: Phoenix, Arizona Education: University of Arizona; George Mason University

(VA) Previous activities at MV: varsity boys soccer jv boys tennis frosh girls volleyball jv girls soccer ropes course leader table tennis advisor chess club advisor tennis club advisor Subjects taught at MV: algebra, geometry, pre-calculus, chemistry, chemistry honors, sheltered chemistry

Summer Vacation!

Ms. O’s almost 4 week absence due to an eye injury + 2 more weeks + more worry (report on 11/4/06)

On Friday, Sept. 22, 2006, Ms. O was playing soccer. She was hit in the eye with the ball. She knew something was wrong because there was no vision in the eye. It didn’t hurt though. The bleeding of the eye that resulted ended up being 17 days of bed rest and almost two more weeks at home because the eye bled two more times. She returned to school on Friday, October, 20! Even though she was back at school, it was another week and a half before she was allowed to actually lie down flat to sleep. The healing process isn’t over because she is still on drugs and the eyesight isn’t back, but as of the first week of November, she has resumed her regular routine minus the sports. Before the injury, Ms. O was playing soccer 4 nights per week and volleyball one night per week. She slowly jogged about 50 yards the other day and her muscles could feel it. She has permission to begin non-contact, non-weight movement, but she is still a little gun shy. (report on 12/13/06)

Ms. O thought everything was going well. The initial trauma is healing well, but high pressure remains in her eye. She has tried quite a few different medications and is hopeful that things will improve. However, she hasn’t been allowed to run (and she’s afraid she’s forgotten how) and has been missing a class here and there to continue her check-ups. She probably will not be able to visit with her siblings, parents, and nephews in Arizona for the two weeks of break due to doctor’s appointments. She has her fingers crossed that no surgery is necessary, but unfortunately she received literature from the doctor about the types of surgery she might need the last time she saw her doctor. (report on 2/16/07)

After 4 months of non-activity, Ms. O was allowed to exercise beginning in January! When Ms. O tried to do sit-ups, she didn’t really get off of the ground. Ms. O is still out of shape, but she can jog a lap (!) without stopping now. She also doesn’t get little throbs in her head as much. She also has permission to begin soccer…that will be the real test. Ms. O isn’t out of danger, but it appears that an eye drop regimen might last for a while. Her last doctor appointments were 2 and a half weeks apart and her next one is in six weeks. Not having to go to the doctor each week is already a huge improvement. (report on 5/8/07)

Ms. O has been playing soccer since mid-February. She is still not fit and the non-activity has made getting back into shape a long term event. However, she has headed the ball several times and was even knocked in the goggles (two different colored lenses that look absolutely fashionable..NOT) the other day. Inner occular pressure is still a concern, but soccer only affected the original bleeding injury. Therefore, Ms. O can participate in sports as long as she wears her goggles all of the time (even while coaching and just standing on the sidelines). Her medication regimen is still changing and from the last doctor’s appointment, it appears that changes will occur for the rest of 2007. However, if the pressure remains stabilized and there is no evidence of nerve damage (with a test at the end of the year), then surgery might be avoided for even longer! (report on 6/11/08)

The last 12 months was a good eye year. No major problems detected at this time. The goggles are a hassle, but the fewer doctor visits have been a blessing. (report on 10/9/09)

Now people just look at Ms. O like she’s weird. The injury was so long ago she doesn’t talk about it but she’s always wearing different goggles even as a spectator. Some people ask odd questions, but many do not. As for the eyesight, it is o.k. It appears that aging is changing things, but nothing can be attributed directly to the injured area at this point. (report on 10/26/10)

On Wednesday, August 25, 2010, Ms. O managed to get hit in the same eye again. She was wearing her protective goggles playing indoor soccer, but the ball came from below, knocked off her goggles and hit her in the eye. She knew her eye had bled again because there was no sight in the eye. After driving herself to emergency using only one eye in the dark, she was assigned to “chair- rest” for over two weeks. She was super cautious because last time she had the multiple bleeds. After the two weeks, the blood cells had diminished and she was allowed back to work with minimum activity. After another month, Ms. O was allowed to return to normal activity within reason. It’s been two months since the injury and Ms. O is only just beginning to jog. She was so weak after the lack of movement/exercise, it’s been a struggle to be active again. She has stayed away from sports so far for two reasons: doctor has asked her to consider not playing soccer again and she still has not felt physically strong/her eye is still “weird” feeling. (report on 5/12/11)

Ms. O was optimistic in February. After staying away from soccer for almost six months, she felt that it was time to begin playing casually. She played pick up and then only a few minutes a game during the women’s season. She laughed when she was lectured for “heading” the ball because it wasn’t really a header in Ms. O’s book. She only had to redirect a bouncing ball over the keeper to score! Unfortunately this will be one of her last soccer memories. On April 10, 2011, Ms. O had minimal contact with another player but she knew immediately something was wrong. She managed to injure her eye a third time without even having direct contact to the eye. She didn’t need to miss school, but is currently finishing up steroid eye drops and is on limited activity again. Based on this “third strike”, it is probable that Ms. O will not be playing any ball or contact sport again…EVER!. All of her soccer and volleyball gear are bagged up ready to take to Goodwill. She’s holding out on her tennis gear, but tennis was also listed as a don’t do as well. Rather than look at her new predicament as a life change, Ms. O is telling herself that she’s taking a couple of years off. Hopefully it won’t be as depressing a thought to NEVER play sports again in 2013 as it is now. (report on 6/4/14)

Well, 2013 came and went without ANY sports. It’s been hard–the Goodwill donations occurred in phases (keep a little just in case until hardly anything left). She tried golf, indoor climbing, and a variety of other activities, but nothing stuck. She continues to hike, but admittedly, it went from 5 to 6 days/30 miles a week to 3 to 4 days/12 miles a week. However, Ms. O has decided to experiment a little. She bought a softball face guard and has placed it over her goggles and has been hitting (barely) a tennis ball. She thinks that any force of getting hit in the face will be distributed across the mask and not to the eye or head. She has not decided if it’s safe enough to actually PLAY vs just rallying on the baseline…but rallying was never such a feeling of freedom…to move from side to side after so many years was just weird!