Monday, October 20, 2014

Day 120 (4 months!): Self-questioning

It's really early in the morning and I find myself drafting my powerpoint slides for charting the Vision 2020 for the company. There seems to be so many things on my mind and I feel like I just need to get it all out.

The company is in a very interesting transition now where we are making decisions whether to move premises. There are so many things that are on my mind - Whether to rent or to purchase, how is the team going to change and whether there are changes to the business model that need to be made... As my whole life starts to revolve around work - and all the organizations that I've begun to participate in in order to support it - I wonder if I've short-changed myself in terms of my personal life which seems to be going nowhere because I haven't made much time for it. From spending time with my family, friends, and even plans for the future.. it seems I've neglected the "more important" things in life.

One of my goals this year was to be more open to people and make more friends. I guess I've kinda been doing that...except it has been mainly for work. It's weird, but I feel like I've not laugh-laughed for a long time.

I guess I need to be a little kinder to myself as a lot of changes have kinda happened in the past two years - one of which was the surgery which was a pretty big deal. It's a little shocking to think that it's already been four months! Time really passes. I guess I'm still adjusting... as some people around me are (already in this past week, I've re-acquainted with two groups of business associates who seemed a little uncomfortable with the fact that I look different). But I totally understand that it's probably a little weird for them and I just need to give them that space and time to readjust and "reacquaint" with me. Takes a lot of patience and firmness in my own self-worth though. Guess it's a process all jaw-surgery patients need to go through. I can't imagine how much worse it must be for people who look a lot more drastically different than my case. I really feel for them.

I'm looking forward to this week ahead.

Monday and Tuesday are going to be "charting days" where I hope that my management team will be able to make some important decisions...and I should really finish my grad school applications. If all goes well, I should be off to Myanmar for the weekend, and hopefully back with some clarity with the road ahead.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Day 113: Coming to terms with depression

Pain Level: 1 - My teeth have started turning a nasty yellowish colour so I started getting more vigorous with my brushing routine by digging around more with my interdental brush... and that doesn't always make my gums too happy. Gross bloody brushes...
Swelling: Surgeonman still thinks there's some and says it's normal. I think that's a good thing.  
Sleep last night: A little better, but I think I would be happier if I could get even more restful sleep.
Other weirdness: Just weird gross yellowing of teeth... I have no idea why... oh wait, maybe it was that Mocha from Starbucks... and that tea... dang!
Mood: Having my monthly girly cramps. >_<

So I made a decision today. 

I decided that I really need to take a courageous step to come to terms with the depression that I've been struggling with for a long time. I've decided to take up Surgeonman's offer for help to deal with it. I think his guess was that I may have already been a little depression-prone pre-surgery, or may have already had a mild form of depression before the surgery. Or at least I think he was hinting at that. Do I give off highly-anxious-patient vibes? ^^ I suppose I should be thankful that I know that I'm struggling, but it isn't something that's really deeply hopeless - but rather that I probably just need someone more professional in helping me talk through my struggles with work and life right now. Surgeonman mentioned that sometimes some patients get into really deep depression - especially when they come out looking extremely different from before, or that they have severe adjustments they need to make like speech impediments and stuff. For me, I suppose it's just these past two years have been such a struggle for me - with issue after issue coming at me - how it's now physically affecting my health and having this really bad hair-loss due to stress and all, just isn't too good for me anymore. I'm literally losing little mounds of hair everyday. :(

So, I'm going get help (yay for courageous decisions) - I think Surgeonman has some connections with some counsellors or something - and we'll see where that goes. I do have a hard-rule on that route though - no psyche medications. After studying psychology, and numerous conversations & debates regarding treatment of mentally/emotionally-ill patients, I'm totally against psychiatric drugs unless it's a situation of life-and -death. So no, no meds.

In the meantime, I've also decided to take things a bit easier on myself, and to attempt to reduce the amount of stress on me as much as possible. Last weekend I'd just spent some time cleaning out most of my office - compiling files, cleaning, organizing... it did make me feel quite a bit better. I've started on some of my files at home too. This coming week, I'm going to try to clear out as much electronic data too... there's just too much to handle everywhere now and it's time to simplify life for a bit.

I'm praying that this week will be my "Breakthrough Week" for me - where things at the office will be a little more settled. I've plans to head to Myanmar for a wedding for one of my staff and perhaps to Chiangmai, Thailand after that - just to improve our Thai product selection...and maybe just to get a breather from all the stress here.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Day 109: Learning to love myself more.

Pain Level: 1 - A little bump of a bone in my upper palate hurts sometimes, but otherwise things are alright.
Swelling: Right cheek still tight. Same part of lip and chin still numb.
Sleep last night: Not too good. Been having trouble sleeping. Not sure why.
Other weirdness: I stutter sometimes as the jaw goes a bit wonky. Surgeonman says it's normal and it takes time to adjust.
Mood: A little tired.

Something has been affecting my energy levels and even Surgeonman was a little concerned about that. I suppose with my dropping hair and really bad rashes, I've begun to be increasingly concerned about my health. 

Chopped off something like 5 inches!
Had to do something to stop
the dropping!
This week, I popped by the polyclinic to check if my rashes was some issue with my immune system - because everything seems to be showing up only on the left side of my body. Two hours later (with a lot of waiting in between), the doctor's diagnosis was that my rashes and dry skin and scalp (which is apparently is what is causing the hairloss) were probably due to stress than a problem with my immune system or my stylist's guess of hormonal fluctuations. Surgeonman seemed to similarly guess the same - that it might be from stress due to the major changes in how I look and adapting to that.  I didn't think stress was that big an issue, but I suppose with all that's been happening, they might be right. And it doesn't help that I haven't been getting much exercise and that my diet hasn't been very good for me. I have yet to sign up for the Pilates classes that I've been wanting to do for a while, but I somehow feel like too much is going on in life right now for me to take anymore on.

I cleared a couple of questions with Surgeonman today too... including:

  • Q: When can I get my plates out?A: Preferably not. It's not necessary. If anything, maybe one year later.
  • Q: I think I have a cavity cause one tooth really hurts when I brush.A: <was referred to an in-house dentist who took a little xray and showed no cavity> Might be a sensitive tooth. Consider swapping to a toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
  • Q: What's the bump on my upper palate that hurts sometimes? It feels like a bone.A: Turned out to be some hook thing that's connected to some muscles. Surgeonman says that it's normal because the upper jaw was moved up, but the hook wasn't, so it just needs time to adapt. 
  • Q: I've been having weird rashes. Does the surgery affect the hormones or the immune system?A: No. It's probably from stress. Think about what might be the cause of it. (Surgeonman was really nice about it saying they have the resources and stuff... but I don't think I want to go to a therapist. Issues might shift to old memories and I don't want to go there.)

The doctor at the polyclinic has referred me to the National Skin Centre for them to take a closer look at my rashes (which are honestly really gross with little bubbles). My appointment with them is scheduled for December... I hope I'll still have some hair come December. Please stop dropping! Oh, did I also mention that I decided to chop my locks to try to reduce the amount of hair that falls? Hasn't quite worked because I think the same number of strands are dropping....except that it doesn't look as scary as before because they are slightly shorter. 

Sorry, little roti prata. :/
About the memory lapses - things are a little better now. At least I can shower properly without weird "second-takes". The latest victim to my memory lapses was a piece of roti prata that I forgot on the stove though. :/ 

The plan is for me to try to take things a bit easier... I probably have to tell my sister and staff that I am under doctor's orders to breathe easier. I'm going to start a habit of taking walks in the mornings. Maybe that will help some. That, and to pray that the situation with my factory improves that would help to take some stress of life for a bit. 

Gotta remember that I'm still healing!