Saturday, November 30, 2013

the sickies and meeting the Co-surgeon

This has been me for the whole week. :(
I've slept all day and though my system's still all clogged up, I've decided to take time out to do some writing....especially before memory decay sets in (or my on-off fever burns it up) and I completely forget how the meeting with Cosurgman went.

During the consultation, most of my time was spent with Charlotte, this super nice nurse (who actually could be full-fledged doctor if not for foreign employment guidelines). We chatted about all sorts of things whilst she got some more moulds done and pictures taken. Charlotte said that my profile has changed since I've had braces.

Cosurgman was a generally nice friendly person. The meeting started with him asking me "So, tell me what do you not like about your face?" and I was a little taken aback because I had never thought about it...which eventually led to me explaining to him how I embarked on this purely on functional reasons. He seemed to have understood really quickly, and just dropped the question and went on to doing the moulds and stuff. I wonder if that was supposed to be the most difficult part of the meeting - where he probably had to consider the expectations of his patients and see what he could do, or not do. Perhaps I made his life a lot easier?

Cosurgman then went on and took a lot of measurements of my face. At one point, I couldn't help but burst out laughing when he reported that my left eye was one millimeter higher than my right eye. I think I surprised him when I burst out laughing because he was in complete serious "1 millimeter, this, 2 millimeters that" measurement mode, and I just cracked up. I found it extremely hilarious somehow because I guess one never really notices much unless you're a trained eye. It just thoroughly amused me. Other than the measurements, there was a head contraception thing I had to put on as they calculated how my jaw aligned with the rest of my skull. It was pretty uncomfortable, but still very interesting how the medical field has developed all these amazing contraptions.

What bothered me a little though, was that quite a few things he said seemed to contradict some of the things that Surgeonman told me before. Stuff like how Surgeonman told me that my nose was a little curved, whilst Cosurgman deemed it straight, and how Sgnman (I'm getting tired of typing :D) said that my jaw was misaligned, and Csgman said that it was straight. It scared me a little that two professional doctors had two different readings. All the more cause they're working on my face!

Perhaps I should be thinking a bit more about the aesthetic part of this... even though I've really been thinking "just make my jaw sit right so I don't hurt when I'm 50", I suppose I should really make a bigger deal out of the aesthetics since that'd be affected in some sense. Interestingly, after all the measurements, Cosurgman said that I had quite a symmetrical face - which is apparently a rare thing in people. I guess that's a good thing right?

Oh, Garrett's.... <3
The meeting ended with him asking me if I had any questions or concerns, and I asked the same question of "how do I prepare for the surgery?" And he answered me with the response I've heard from the rest of the team, "Try to put on some weight." Everyone (and I mean everyone on my ops team - Surgeonman, Cosurgman, Orthoman, Consultman, and even Charlotte - seems to be telling me that I need to put on weight. Perhaps I should make a list of all the really fattening items I would never indulge in otherwise - like Carnivore, or some deep fried Southern battered onion, or a huge bucket of Garrett's cheese popcorn - and tuck in.

Okay, next in line is deciding on the hospital, getting the insurance settled, firming up the details, Christmas, anesthetic tests, blood donations, New Year's Day, then the surgery.

Can't believe it's almost December already.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Caught a bad bug :(((

I've met Cosurgman and it was such an interesting meeting. I meant to write about it, but have been too sick to do much. A bad flu has crept up on me and, for someone who barely falls sick, when I get the sickies, they really hit me bad. My fever is blocking my thoughts now so I'm going to stop writing now.

Will write again when this clears up.

Pray I'll get through this soon so I can get back to work and prep for my jaw surgery. Body, please cooperate with me!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

growing up.

It's interesting how life changes when one door closes and you start wondering, "What the 'ell do I have left?!" You putter about life, mumbling and bumbling, then one day you finally realize, "Oh."

For the past two days, I've been attending this:

I was actually deeply privileged to be part of the Young Leaders' Forum.
And gosh, it has been such an eye-opener.

From the energy crisis to food security, agriculture and forestry to sustainable cities, being in the company of so many amazing visionaries and concerned global citizens - from governmental ministries, to energy conservationists and people in the public and private sectors involved with all sorts of things like water and carbon credits - has been most inspiring. The ideas and concerns shared, as well as the visions-casted... I don't know how to even express how awesome it was to know that there were people who have invested their lives in issues so epically and fundamentally meaningful. From the panels, to the working groups, to the presentations, and sharing about international talks with the UN and between countries in the area of sustainability... it's been a long time since I felt so deeply inspired that I could be part of something so much bigger than myself. It was awesome, and very humbling to have been invited and...simply having been given the opportunity to be there.

The reason I attended was simply because I have been interested in the issues of food waste for a while now - of which I recently opened a blog space to store all my random bits of research, but simply haven't had the time to look into (what with work, the mad year-end rush, plus two Coursera and two EdX courses) - and this was my opportunity to try to get like-minded people to come together and come up with solutions for this huge problem in my industry that I care about. The results of my attendance with regards to the meeting of that goal was probably mixed. I'm not sure if I have found the right people to work with, or met the appropriate parties to point me in the right direction, but I hope to be able to work out something that will make a difference - at least in my small, maybe big, way in my industry.

It seems like as I enter into a new phase in life, my life has begun to revolve around work and growing the business, looking into issues and participating in groups that I care about, and spending a little more time and effort into friends, family, as well as investing in the lives of my staff...Oh, that and taking care of myself. The issues that I've been learning that I care very much about are in that of leadership (in my own capacity at work, in the realm of family businesses, in the stewardship of spheres of influence, and in women), productivity (in our operations and that of people-development), and sustainability (mainly environmental concerns). And in taking care of myself, it's mainly been about education - which means reading lots of books and taking a lot of educational courses.

 It's weird, but I feel like I have grown up a little.

I wonder what life is going to be like after the surgery. I've heard a lot of mixed anecdotes about how people do, and don't, change after their jaw surgeries. I don't know how to describe it, but part of me feels like something more than my jaw is going to break within me. Is that weird?

Weird how I never noticed that I
 had a mis-aligned jaw until my eyes
were"opened" and trained to see
what the dentists saw. :(
Later today, I'm going to meet my co-surgeon who will be working with my amazing Surgeonman during the surgery. We're going to take more X-rays, and moulds I believe...and hopefully Cosurgman (Co-surgeon man) will be able to give me a little more details about the surgery... I mean, I'm amazed when I read jaw surgery blogs and all of them seem to know exactly how many millimeters, what way, and how, their upper or lower jaws are going to be moved! For me it has really been a very simple "I have an impending jaw problem. I need to fix it. I'll find the best surgeon. He connects me to the best people. I figure out the costs. I trust them, and don't need to know all the minute details. I'll just show up." kinda thing. But I suppose it doesn't hurt to know a little more - just for a little post-surgery trivia perhaps.

On other interesting notes, apparently Surgeonman told me that they actually do a "mock-surgery" together before the real surgery so that they will have "practiced" before the real deal. (Amazing isn't it?!) And yes, I know, there seems to be like, SO many men involved in my surgery. But I really thank God for all of them. I don't think I've ever had the jitters when I have been with any of them. I think I've only gotten the little ones when I'm alone and allow my silly mind to wander about strange things. I guess I'm a little excited, but kinda afraid to meet Cosurgman - I blame it on stranger anxiety. I hope he's nice. I think I'd be a little sad if I had three nice amazing guys (Surgeonman, Consultman, and Orthoman), and one scary Cosurgman on my team - I might just freak out. Okay, stop! Stop running, thoughts! Stay calm, everything is going to be alright!

Just a few days left of November, and then I'd be in my last month before the surgery!

Lord, please help keep me healthy and really really productive with work so that I will have complete peace when the time comes!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

jaw surgery date: 3rd January 2014

Special delivery for Surgeonman: Two sets of moulds of my upper and lower teeth. :)
I wish he could have unwrapped them to show me what they looked like!

This week, I visited the hospital that I will be staying at for my jaw surgery in January and got all the administrative work settled. I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but I'll say it again: "I can't believe this is happening!" And only slightly over a month to go!

During the meeting with Surgeonman this week, I was introduced to another dental consultant on my case and it was so pleasant to know that he's a consultant (and not an assistant-something which my Surgeon told me may be the level of person on my operating team if all the doctors take leave for the period my surgery is scheduled). I don't know if he's a senior consultant, but his name was pretty high up next to Surgeonman's name on the dental organizational chart, so I'm assuming I'm in pretty safe hands. Thank you God for providing some of the best people for my surgery. :)

Consultman (I'm getting into a habit of giving everyone names now. Haha.) was pretty nice in answering my questions and he seemed to be really relaxed about talking about my surgery, so I suppose it's not going to be too complicated. He did ask me "Do you have any concerns?" and I couldn't help but tell him that I'm just worried that people would say things like "You used to be prettier" after the whole ordeal.

I suppose as the surgery date draws closer, I've been thinking about all the possible scenarios that could play out after the op is over. And one of the worst scenarios I could think of was people negatively judging my appearance. Perhaps it's vanity that I shouldn't even consider, but it somehow just conjures some really scary emotions to think that people might make a comment like that for a decision you had made and invested so much in, and have no way to turn back and change.

Consultman was really sweet though cause he reassured me with a simple, "Don't worry, you have nice features. You'll definitely be prettier."And then he went off to do something else... maybe tutting in his head about how shallow this patient probably is. :( Still, even though I didn't make this decision to embark on a jaw surgery journey with a single iota of aesthetic intentions, I suppose the girlish part of me was thankful. It seems like all Surgeonman, Orthoman and Consultman seem to be pretty confident about this surgery. I'm really thankful for all these men God has provided to see me through this journey. I don't think I could have wished for any better. Even though random concerns sometimes arise in my anxious heart and mind, I'm actually really looking forward to the surgery in January now.

I think I'm going to put a countdown clock in my sidebar now that I know the date of my surgery. I will have to spend the next month tying down all the work that has to be settled before the surgery. That, and preparing those whom I love to embrace this season in my life and support me through. I don't want to lose anyone to preconceived judgemental mindsets simply because of a lack of understanding of my intentions or of my heart.

40 days to the surgery.

40 - the number of breakthrough.
How coincidental.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Surgical hooks in. And it didn't hurt!

So after a whole hour of taking moulds and taking out wires and putting all sorts of metal in, I've finally gotten the surgical hooks and all sorts of metal stuff(ed) in my mouth.

It really wasn't as big a deal as I thought it was (or as it sounded). And what it really looks like is very much like what Orthoman did before I left for Hawaii - i.e. binding all my teeth together with a pretty white wire. :) I love it that it's white - it kinda makes me feel like my teeth are nice and a self-delusional "your teeth are actually really all gross now cause you haven't been brushing hard(er) enough after you put your braces on, but hey the white wire might be a little distraction to all that crap" kinda way. I do, however, feel like I have a lot more metal in my mouth...well, I suppose that's because of all the extra little hooks now. Not to mention that the little warning that Orthoman gave me about probably getting a couple of ulcers (because my mouth isn't used to the new hooks), wasn't happy news. Still, I'm glad this part of the journey is over, and now I'm in the hands of my surgeon for the next couple of months.

It was a pretty sad feeling knowing that I won't be seeing Orthoman for a while... it's been such a joy having him as my orthodontist. My mother kinda freaked out a bit when I told her I'm going to put my surgical hooks in today. But after the whole ordeal, when she asked me, "So, how was it?" I couldn't help but say, "I guess it helps that my dentist is cute." Haha. XD But honestly, Orthoman is kinda cute... I guess cause I find him a hilariously awkward sort of way. I almost burst out laughing in the middle of my appointment today as he was awkwardly finding something to do whilst holding the mould steady on my teeth as the clay(?) set. He ended up standing up, looking away, and walking in place or something. It was SUPER awkward. But even more so, it was hilarious! I think I might have been grinning like an idiot, but I didn't burst out laughing...stuff like that is pretty hard to do with a big-ass mould of metal and moulding clay plus his fingers in my mouth. (Gosh, that sounded wrong.) Still, he's 5 stars for awkward funnies. I recommend him anytime. (If you're doing your teeth in Singapore, and are looking for a nice awkward friendly dentist, look him up: Dr Wee @ Alfred Cheng's Orthodontic Clinic. Sweets for anyone who can make him smile/laugh. He really needs to relax and smile more. :D He may be married though, so no seducing Orthoman! I need him to be happy and secure in his job! (At least till this whole jaw surgery journey for me is over! Haha..selfish request. #^_^# But PLEASE! I can't afford to lose him! I can't have another ortho halfway through! I  have stranger anxiety!) Here's his ortho blog filled with all sorts of random teethy stuff.

Alrighty, after this, it'd be the hospital visit on Friday (along with blood samples and blood donations and all sorts of interesting things that Surgeonman has roughly briefed me about), and then an appointment or two with Surgeonman, Christmas, the New Year, then the surgery.

Time is moving so fast.

Surgical hooks day. Be brave.

So today's the day I get my surgical hooks installed. I'm a little nervous about it and it seems like things are going a little too fast for me to keep up psychologically. My feelings about the op nowadays swing from "I can't wait for this to be over" to "Am I really doing this?" And yet I'm still going through the motions.

My op is now scheduled for the 3rd/4th of Jan 2014. As the day draws nearer, I'm beginning to worry about a billion things - from finances to risks to social rejection to questioning my motives for getting this done. It's the jitters, most definitely.

A friend asked me yesterday whether I was scared. And I replied "Yes, but don't tell anyone. It's a secret." And I suppose that was the most honest answer I could muster. It's true - I like to play it strong and not let anyone know when I'm afraid. But I'm thankful that at least one friend knows now.

This Friday is apparently "hospital admission day" where I go to the hospital and get all my vitals checked. My surgeon has also advised me to get some blood donated to the blood bank because he thinks I might be slightly anaemic. :/

On the upside, I guess I'm going to have a wonderful Christmas and next year will really start with a bang... Or at least with a big milestone in life. I'm thinking that I had better spend the end of this year preparing my body for a speedy recovery by getting some exercise in.

Okay, one step at a time. Surgical hooks first.