Posted by: Kate | October 20, 2008


I arrived home from my weekend away, and, before using the bathroom or eating or sitting down, immediately bundled Jacob into the minivan and headed to the emergency room.

Apparently he had rubbed his eye too hard, or poked himself, or who knows what, early in the afternoon.  He started by complaining that his eye itched a little, then hurt, but only once or twice an hour.  Willem spent the afternoon working through all of the typical hurt-eye remedies at home: rinsing with cold water, taking a warm bath and encouraging bubble-blowing and face-submerging, wiping with a cool washcloth, examining under bright light, eating Kit Kats, yelling at one’s sister, and so on.  By the time I arrived home, all of the typical solutions had been unsuccessful, and the nurse on the after-hours call-in line was pushing for a trip to the emergency room.  So, off we went.

Sure enough, the boy had scratched his cornea.  They diagnose this by first inserting some sort of numbing agent into the eye, then adding what looks like the ink from a yellow Highlighter, and looking at the eye with a magnifying glass and an ultraviolet light.  Well, actually, first, they wrap the kid up in a blanket like a burrito, because they need his hands out of the way and they want to break his mother’s heart into a million pieces when he says, politely and through gut-wrenching sobs, “Please let me out, please.”  And because I am a masochist, I paid attention during the exam, and now my brain has stored a permanent image of a 1/4″-long yellow-dyed scrape on my child’s eye to accompany that soundtrack. Forever.

Yeah, kind of a harsh landing after a weekend of self-indulgence.  Next year I’ll go out for a massage as part of the weekend and come home to a smoking crater where the house once stood, just for balance.

Anyway.  In a stunning bit of chronological coincidence, Kim – it’s Kim’s fault, I’m just the messenger! – sent me a link to a new and addictively addictive website called “The Eyeballing Game.”  Hah.  So, in honor of Jacob, click here and see just how spatial and accurate and obsessive you are.

You are welcome.



  1. Poor guy! But I’m glad you got to get away for the weekend. It often seems to me that when I’m gone, someone gets sick. C’est la momhood.

    And that game is cool!

  2. I was just playing that game the other day!
    Hope your boys eye feels better soon – I got to wear an eyepatch when I somehow lifted the corner of the lens-y bit. And that yellow dye always ending up looking like you’ve got a very old bruise around your eye!

  3. Poor Jacob! What do you do to fix a scratched cornea? Or is it just one of those wait-it-out kind of injuries?

  4. Hey, we spent hours at the ER last week, too. Must be something going around.

  5. I’ve been on the receiving end of those fun yellow eyedrops. (A cat scratched my eyeball in college, if you can believe that.)

    It’s bad when your child is polite about his suffering, isn’t it? We made a rushed trip to the ped. this summer after Maggie dove head-first from a picnic table onto concrete. Her head was swollen from her hairline to her eyebrow, and when the dr. mashed and pressed hard on the wound (checking for a crack in the skull, she later told me – yikes!), Maggie simply sat on the table, quietly saying “Oww.” It was worse on me that if she’d clawed and fought — which is her usual M.O. when confronted with a strep test, finger stick, or any other mildly bothersome procedure.

    I hope he’s doing better really soon!

  6. YOW! I did that when I was about 11, and it is so painful. My husband has actually done it several times (working with firewood, wire wheels, etc.). You know those drops are cocaine-based? And they are forbidden to leave them in the exam room because people steal them? Seems construction workers injure their eyes pretty often, and since there’s not a lot you can do for it other than relieve the pain, they “misappropriate” the little bottles of wonder drops for use the next time (without having to take the time to go to the ER). Just wanted to share that little fun fact.

    I hope he’s doing much better, by the way. It’s a miserable thing to go through.

  7. That is so scary. My heart broke a little too about him pleading to get out. It must have been so scary for him.

    I’m glad he’s okay, and no, there will not be a smoldering crater if you go for a massage. Really!

  8. Owie. Einey did that when she was about two. And yup – same dying the eye to see the scratch. Hope he feels better soon!

  9. What a way to end the weekend!

  10. Ooh – poor baby! Evan did that to me when Alex was a baby and I had to go through the same thing (the dye, not having my arms held down) and it’s not a pleasant experience. Is he wearing a patch for a few days? Alex has some pretty cool ones we could have sent the poor critter, but I suspect it will be long healed by the time they get there. (Especially if the mail still takes as long as your 2006 Christmas card did!)

  11. I especially like the fact that he can be so courteous and polite while under duress. Poor sweet boy. I hope he’s better soon.

  12. ouch poor kid…what a way to come home, a mother’s duty never ends. Does he have to wear a patch or anything. how long before it heals up?
    BTW go for the massage, you hated the house anyways! 😉

  13. Oh, this is such a heartbreaking experience for a mother, not to mention how traumatic it is for the child. My daughter was panicked and sobbing while locked into a plastic holding form for an xray at the age of 14 months.

    And I was stuck outside the xray room while the technician had to do the xray twice over a 15 min time span because (duh) the baby was moving! My daughter was out of her mind in fear. And all this for a “routine” check for TB before admittance to a hospital for an eye operation.

    My daughter now, at 28, runs and lashes out in all kinds of ways when she feels trapped in a situation. I blame it all on that stupid bureaucratic technician 27 years ago and the horror of that baby xray!

    And when we went for her second eye operation a year later, I absolutely refused to allow her to be xrayed like that, and the hospital let us in anyway. I’m SO sorry I allowed them to do it the first time!!

  14. Wow. Apparently I suck at eye-balling.

    Does Jacob have to put any gunk in his eye? I had a tear on my cornea when I was a teenager and had to put ointment in my eye every night for 6 months. Ick.

  15. Ethan’s friend poked him in the eye only 4 weeks ago, and he ended up with a very nasty scratched cornea too! It was so awful I could actually see the folds of it just gazing into his eye.

    My poor little guy didn’t need wrapping, but did pass out from all the pain once or twice that day. *sniff*

    I hope poor Jacob enjoyed being a pirate for the rest of the day.

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