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Xander Eye Chronicles

Well, it finally happened. Xander is two and half years old and we had our first real scare and emergency room visit.

Sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a mighty slip. It started with a crazy boy ...

Whenever we try to change Xander's diaper, he plays this game, where he runs and tries to escape capture. It happens on a regular basis, so we don't even think twice about it. Unfortunately, yesterday, on July 31, 2010, he was running and had an accident. Let's start by showing you the defendant ... This child safety gate has been run into a number of times:
Child Safety Gate

Kristine was about to change Xander and he took off as usual ... After many times of running into that confounded gate, this time, our luck had run out ... Xander ran smack into the end screw that latches the gate. He hit the screw with his eyeball. I heard the pitter patter of running feet and then I heard the gate slam into the wall. This is a normal sound, usually followed by crying and us soothing the little boy. This time however, I didn't immediately hear any crying. That always stands the hair on the back of my neck on end.

Suddenly I heard that soft, muffled cry of someone in so much pain that they can't even let out a real scream

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. I jumped out of my chair and sprinted up the stairs three at a time. Xander was standing with his hands covering his eyes and his mouth agape in a fearful silent scream.

Pulling him in to me, I hugged him gently and said, "It's okay, boy." After a moment, I eased him away from myself to get a peek at the damage he had done. Kristine was there now and she was crying. She had seen him run into the gate and knew that it was bad. I tried to calm both of them as I carefully pulled his hands away from his eye. It was bleeding everywhere and I couldn't tell if the eyelid, or the eyeball was the damaged part.

Shortly after the incident

It was clear to me in that instant that we were headed for the emergency room. So, we got our act together and drove out to Frederick Memorial Hospital.

The doctor saw him immediately ... I guess they don't mess around with two year olds that have eye injuries. After cleaning his eye up and doing an exam, it was clear that the bleeding had come from the eyelid, instead of the eye itself. Whew! That was a relief.

We were discharged and started home. On our way home, Xander started vomiting. It was hardcore projectile vomit, so I was worried about a potential concussion. We called the doctor and she asked us to come back in.

Long story short, I was in the E.R. for a total of about five hours. Xander received a CT Scan, and he was a trooper. He was terrified of the CT machine, and he was shivering and crying. His hands shook as the machine spun and whirred around his head ... But, he kept his head perfectly still, as I had requested. I was so proud of him. In utter horror and fear, yet he did as instructed and kept his head still.

The CT scan came back negative for bleeding in his brain, and any eye damage. That was another relief!

We drove home and Xan-xan went to bed. This morning when he woke up, his eye was sealed shut due to swelling and some build up of stuff.

After a few minutes, he finally got his eye to pop open. It had some discharge and doesn't look all that great, but I think it is going to be fine.

I hope he has learned his lesson about sprinting away from us, and the danger of things like the child safety gate ... However, I know that this is only the first of many E.R. visits to come.


Posted by Vaughn Ripley

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  1. Xander, I have many memories of the ER with your dad. I have no doubt you were every bit as brave as he always way 🙂 Much love and wishing you a fast recovery, Oma

  2. Oh, Xan-man! Such a scary boo-boo. I would have been panic-stricken if I were there. What was Trin’s reaction? I am so sorry, but so relieved that no real damage was done. It only takes a second with 2 year old boys……….

  3. Dang…. I know that’s scary.

    We have the same gate. Remove the little pegs on the catch mechanism which make this gate directional. That joker can swing out the other way (over the stairs).

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