“I wanna be in the light as You are in the light. I wanna shine like the stars in the heavens. Oh Lord, be my light and be my salvation. All I want is to be in the light”. These were some of the lyrics to my favorite song growing up. I prayed many nights that God would make me a light for Him. I always wanted to shine brightly like Him. The light was better than darkness.
The doctors warned my parents that I maybe be a little loony and not ‘with it’ when I would wake up from the LVAD surgery. They also said since I would be pumped full of steroids that serious nightmares may occur. This was my first open heart surgery and the first time I would be in induced sleep. No one really knew what to expect when I would wake.
A couple days after the surgery the doctors and nurses felt it was time to wake me. I remember the extubation process like it was yesterday. Let me tell you it was a scary feeling waking up not knowing what was going on, wondering how I ended up here because I do not remember going into surgery, not realizing where I was (literally), not understanding why there is a large tube coming out of my mouth, not feeling very well, confused as to why my parents are holding my arms down, etc… As frustrating to me as things were it was made better by mom calling Mandi. It was like dark to light when I heard Mandi's voice. She told me she loved me and she would be on her way soon. Since I couldn't talk yet because of the tube in my mouth, I squeezed moms hand. Mom then called Nana because it was her birthday. I did the same and squeezed moms hand. This was my way of saying, "I hear you". I had so many thoughts running through my head that I wish I could have expressed.
Even though I “slept” for two days I was very tired when I woke up. My eyes were constantly closing but each time they closed I saw frightening things. I saw scary and very ugly/distorted faces. I saw satanic like things. I saw people or monsters that looked like they just wanted to hurt me and scare me. However, every time I opened my eyes they were immediately gone. Of course after realizing this I tried keeping my eyes open. It seemed they would just fall to the closing position and low and behold the scary visions would be back.
Later in the afternoon there was family in my room all gathered bedside. I kept looking over to my right. I saw a man sitting there in all white, but I didn’t know who he was. I closed and opened my eyes a few times and every time I opened them the man was still there. For some reason, I felt a peace with him. He made me feel safe and comfortable. Everyone just kept talking and going on as normal, but I kept wondering who that man was. I finally asked quietly, “Who is in here? Who is that man?” My family had no idea who or what I was talking about. I pointed to the ‘man’ in the corner, and with their eyes there was no one there. I told them what I saw (he was no longer there) and asked who it was, and my aunt burst out, “It must have been your guardian angel!”
What a cool thought! When my eyes would close I saw scary and satanic things, but when my eyes were opened to the light I felt comfort and peace. "I wanna be in the light as You are in the light..." Keep your eyes open, for the Lord is your light and your comfort!