Two weeks ago I had my first surgery ever. The trigger finger on my right hand had gotten worse since I found out about this condition two years ago. What made me anxious about my surgery wasn’t so much about the operation itself but more about the fact that I had to be put under. I asked the doctor, “Doc, this is just one finger and you have to use general anesthesia? Can’t you just perform it with numbing my hand?” I knew some friends with the same condition that didn’t have to go under during the surgery. It is for your safety, he said. I wasn’t satisfied with his answer but I didn’t really want to make him upset by arguing (you simply don’t want to mess with a doctor who will put you under, right? :))

So there I was, after an hour of prepwork: changing my clothing with a hospital gown, and putting an IV in my arm, I was escorted into the surgery room. My anxiety went up, especially when I looked at a room filled with all kinds of surgical equipment and several people dressed in uniforms with their mouths covered and I was heading toward the only bed therein. O man…I felt like a sheep going to be slaughtered on the altar. “Hop on the bed, Vincent.” One of the nurses ordered me. I did it without a single comment as if I was hypnotized. After checking my vitals, the anesthesia doctor told me, “I will put a mask on, and you will fall asleep.”

“Whatever doc, just get it over with…” I shouted in my mind. I nodded back to him silently. I saw a big mask was put on on my face, and in a second, I was out. Completely.

“Vincent! Vincent! Wake up!” a nurse’s voice came to my head. I opened my eyes and I saw that now I was in a completely different room. I saw my lovely wife standing near me with a big grin on her face. I smiled back at her. “I feel good!” that was the first comment I made when I woke up. Vania laughed.

The nurse was impressed. She said, “Wow, you are very chill!”

“What do you mean?” I was curious.

“Well, some people wake up arguing, crying, or wanted to put up a fight.” she said. Interesting, I said.

I was being honest when I said ‘I feel good’. To me, it was like one of the best naps I have ever gotten. I have a problem sleeping without dreaming. If I dream, it means my mind doesn’t get the full rest. That forty minutes under general anesthesia was the best nap, for sure, since I was completely out without a single thought coming in or out of my head.

I reflected on my first experience. I think that being dead must feel like. A moment where one is completely out. And heaven must look like when I opened my eyes for the first time after being out for awhile. The big smile of my beloved one who greeted me to welcome me back to the realm of the living is the best assurance that heaven is for real. I can only imagine…  If death and heaven are like what I just experienced, then I won’t mind them one bit.

No one knows for sure how death and or heaven looks like. But our Christian faith teaches us that we have this assurance in Jesus Christ. To Apostle Paul: “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” There is nothing to be feared in death for believers because to die works almost like a reward for Paul because he gets to be with Christ. Yes, and heaven is a place that no one wants to miss because it is a place of many rooms where we get to be with our beloved One, Jesus Christ, forever.

Well, in the meantime, while I am waiting for my real heaven experience to come, I need to work on my post-operative finger with lots of therapy hours to do to make my finger work like normal again. 🙂

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:1-4)


Love and prayers

Vincent Arishvara 03082018