Donna O'Donnell Figurski's Blog

It's All About Me!

Musings by Donna #38 A Day at the … Hospital

Funny …  you take you car to an auto mechanic to be repaired, to change the oil, rotate tires, flush the engine – and your car comes back new – or at least in better running order. You run to the nearest computer geek when your computer fails or begins to rundown. Hopefully the geek/”genius” will restore its hard drive and save your files. You take your shoes to a cobbler for new heels – maybe a new shine. When the clasp of your diamond necklace  (wishful thinking) breaks, you take it to a jeweler for repair. So where do you go when your body breaks down, when it begins to fall apart, or needs a tune-up? To your local hospital, of course. That’s what David and I did today.

Since David’s traumatic brain injury in January of 2005, he has suffered and endured a plethora of disabilities. One of them is a variety of eye/vision ailments. He sees objects in duplicate. They are tilted. And his vision is blurry. Those complications plague David each day, but he can’t escape eye discomforts at night either. Before he succumbs to his pleasant dreams … and some not so pleasant, (but that is another story – another time) I must lubricate his eye with drops and squeeze a dab of a gel onto his eyeball before I gently draw his upper lid down and patch it securely for the night. Then I kiss him goodnight and turn out the light knowing that I am preserving his cornea for another day – another night.

But, though this procedure was lubricating his eye, it was not the optimum solution. So David and I set off to Doctor L. and ultimately to our local hospital to repair his broken down eye.

We arrived at the hospital at about 9:20 A.M., after wending our way through Garden State Parkway rush hour traffic. We spent most of the day as guests of the hospital. Much of it before the surgery, (about two hours) was spent with Sue S., the charge nurse who admitted David with a million questions and a sharing of lots of stories. Sue relaxed both of us and made our time in the pre-op room fun and interesting. We learned about her life. She learned about ours. Everyone has a story!

Though David’s surgery was outpatient eye surgery, it was surgery just the same … and NO surgery is inconsequential. No surgery comes danger-free. No surgery occurs without the autographed papers releasing the hospital and the doctors from any mishaps that might occur. I remember all too well having to sign away David’s life on those papers during each of his three brain surgeries. At least today … he signed.

When the doctor and the operating room were ready, David was wheeled away on his gurney. A very unpleasant feeling of déjà vu engulfed me. Didn’t I already do this? Three times? Just yesterday? Just six years ago? I kissed David and watched as the operating attendants wheeled him away and I went to the waiting room – to wait.

Dr. L. put a small metal weight into David’s eyelid to pull it down so his eyelid would close – so it would not expose the cornea. Stitches! He also raised the lower lid so that David’s tear duct would work properly – again to spare the cornea from drying out. More Stitches! We had been trying to have this surgery for two+ years. (think insurance woes) Now it’s done.

The surgery took place at Overlook Hospital in Summit, NJ. Where is that????? Everyone at the hospital, the nurses, the nurse aides, the folks in the admitting and registration department, was wonderful and made the experience a good one. Again, I want to mention Sue S. who really went out of her way to make us feel comfortable.

It was a long day. But the surgery is now over – soon to be just a fleeting memory. We are home. And David and I are both breathing a lot more freely.

The aftermath of the surgery – David looks like he was in a brawl, which he didn’t win. Some may think he looks like he is ready for Halloween with blood occasionally tearing down his cheek as it drips from his eye. Some, meaning me, think he should be in bed resting, recuperating from his ordeal, but no, he is back at his computer – working – doing what David does best. But before he sat down at this computer, he enjoyed a mushroom, onion, and red pepper omelet (He had to have the red peppers.) and my left over french fries from Donna’s Cafe at the hospital.

Some folks bring their loved ones Get Well balloons. Some bring flowers. I know what will most make David happy … dessert!

So for dessert he had Boston Cream cake. YUM! After not eating for nearly twenty hours, he was ravenous.

It was a long day. We are happy to be home.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)


October 25, 2011 - Posted by | Musings by Donna | , , , , ,


  1. I am so glad all went well. I imagine it was an exhausting day for you both! I saw where you called this weekend, and I will give you a ring tomorrow.

    Much love to you both.


    Comment by Sanner | October 26, 2011 | Reply

  2. Thank you, San. I appreciate your thoughts.

    Comment by donnaodonnellfigurski | October 26, 2011 | Reply

  3. Warm thoughts for a quick heal! Hugs to David and you of course!

    COD and JOD

    Comment by COD | October 26, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks, Carol. It’s just another step on the way to this very long recovery. I just hope that the operation does what it is expected to do.

      Comment by donnaodonnellfigurski | October 26, 2011 | Reply

  4. Thanks for sharing a day in the life of… Made me smile, laugh, worry, but in the end there is Boston Creme Cake(Pie?) and that ain’t all bad!

    Comment by Kathleen Richardson | October 26, 2011 | Reply

    • Hi Kathleen,

      Yes, another adventure to chalk up. David is doing well – just looks like his eye met a baseball bat. Thanks for reading and commenting. It’s good to know that my words are not simply floating in the cyber space.

      It was/is Boston Cream cake. Again … YUM!

      Comment by donnaodonnellfigurski | October 26, 2011 | Reply

  5. Wow! Thanks for sharing the story, Donna. I am glad to hear the surgery went OK, and David is back home eating desserts! Looking forward to seeing everyone in just a few short weeks. XOXO, Emily

    Comment by Emily Hanlon | October 26, 2011 | Reply

  6. Emily, thanks for commenting. It’s always a good excuse to eat desserts.

    Hugs, Donna

    Comment by donnaodonnellfigurski | October 26, 2011 | Reply

  7. Thanks for the post mom. I am relieved that it all went well. Love you guys!

    Comment by jared figurski | October 26, 2011 | Reply

  8. You’re welcome, Jared. Daddy and I are just relieved it is over. Now he just has to heal.

    Love, Mom

    Comment by donnaodonnellfigurski | October 27, 2011 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Fight Stroke

Resources for stroke patients, caregivers, and family members

FindingStrengthToStandAgain's Blog

Overcoming obstacles with Optimism

Braingirl and Next Doors Cat

Life after Traumatic Brain Injury

101 Books

Reading my way through Time Magazine's 100 Greatest Novels since 1923 (plus Ulysses)

Miss Clara's Corner

Be the change you wish to see in the world -Gandhi

Views from a Window Seat

Jeannine Atkins on Writing and Stuff

making our way

Making our way in the mountains

In An Instant Your Life Can Change Forever

Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts Blog

%d bloggers like this: