that what is worth of words

Posts tagged “Personal

Of oral health and medical paranoia

I finally faced one of my fears last week.

I had put off going to the dentist for two years because I believe my last visit had caused the once tiny sore in my inner right cheek to enlarge after being hit by the careless, I think neophyte, dentist I saw. In the past, I wrote about my hesitation to go to the doctor for either a consultation or medication. I’ve always thought either my mother or a traditional doctor could fix whatever bad I feel. But I know a dental appointment is necessary. I actually don’t fear the pain. What I don’t like is the expensive cost (especially that our company’s Health card only shoulders the basics) and the self-shame brought by the confirmation that I don’t have a very good set of teeth now. I sometimes blame myself for not taking care of my biters much when I was a child up to my teenage years when chocolates and junk snacks were the ultimate rewards for my achievements. Now, I have to face whatever dental nightmare I have.

And so I went to a clinic last week. I had the cleaning part, but I just wanted to know what the dentist would say about this pea-sized circle in the inner part of my right cheek. I had my guesses already since I had researched about it. I might already know what it is, but I need an expert’s words. He was not sure, he said. Great. I was tempted to relay to him all that I had read but I knew some medical people are annoyed with smart aleck patients. He said I have to undergo an x-ray, and then, maybe a surgical removal of the thing if the x-ray supports his guess. He also said I might already need dentures because he surmised the lack of bony support in some areas of my mouth could be causing the condition. Another great.

I was still hesitant to do his recommendations. First, I am skeptic about x-rays because of the effects of their radiation. Second, I am more skeptic about surgeries because they’re, well, surgeries. And so, my reading began. What I just wanted to get was something that would tell me that I should not worry about my worries. But of course, I would get both the “anti” and the “pro”, and what I got made me worry more. Great, again. I chose to trust one of the answers I got when I e-mailed a question about the effects of radiation from x-rays to a medical site especially that I also needed to get a chest x-ray the same week for work permit purposes. A doctor responded:

“I have received the question you sent to the American Association of Physicists in Medicine regarding your x-ray procedures. There are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, radiation from an x-ray source such as for your chest x-ray or the dental x-ray is localized just to the area that they are looking at. In this way, it works sort of like sunshine: you can only get a tan if the sun is shining on that part of the skin; the part that’s not exposed doesn’t get tanned. So there is no relationship between a chest x-ray and dental x-rays. Secondly, the dose from each one is actually so low that, if there is truly any risk at all, it is so small as to be completely dwarfed by any other daily risks or the natural occurrence of cancer. I hope this helps.”

With this disclaimer: “The opinions expressed in this message are the product of the gray and white matter loitering in my cranium. I speak for myself and no one else, unless I say otherwise.


I went for the dental x-ray. I walked in without any thought or sign of nervousness or idea of how the test would be done. I thought it was just like the one that checks the state of your lungs wherein you’d be asked to take your top off and replace it with that ‘gown’, face a machine, breathe in for some seconds (which also makes me paranoid), breathe out, and wholla, done! But no. It was a moving x-ray machine! It was an x-ray robot! Not only that. I was like locked in the machine after I was asked to bite that rod-like thing, and then was told not to move while the machine does its thing seemingly extracting something from me or imprinting something in me, which made me think that if I did, either I or the machine would explode. I’m not exaggerating. Panic really crept into my brain when the machine started to warm up especially that the woman who prepared me for it left the small room I was in after she did her routinary tasks. What if something wrong happened, who would save me? What if I moved? What if that thing I saw in the movie Saw because of a similar machine happened to me (body shattered into pieces… and so, think hard whether you would let your child watch the movie)? To the machine’s dismay, my reflex moved me the moment the sound of the revolving thing entered my ears and started to deafen my system also causing my jaw to lock for some long seconds while my sane reasoning and utmost desire to be orally healthy tried to keep me from giving in to that black stillness that was starting to show not far from where I was standing at that point. I didn’t even have the chance to tell myself, “Think of happy thoughts. Think of happy thoughts.” I didn’t know FEAR could be that robotic monster with marking lights that would seep through the tiniest particles in one’s mind and eat the person’s sanity up if welcomed fully. With a little prayer, I was later successful to shut my door to it.

not me. a google search result.

not me. a google search result for “panoramic dental x-ray.”

But you know what was even more “exciting”? I had to do the test again right after the first one. Agony, fear, panic, paranoia times two. The first one apparently didn’t show a clear result of the inside of my mouth. I mind-shouted at the woman. I don’t know why I was blaming here. But was the error caused by my accidental movement? I don’t remember if the woman responded to that query. The second time though I realized I just had to close my eyes. Soon (although it felt more like the opposite), the test was over, but still not in a smooth way. I had the confident thought the second time that I already knew the machine, and yeah, the fear it brings, but a part of the machine touched my shoulder when it was completing its 360-degree turn. I was scared that I had to do it again increasing my fear of dying from radiation. Thankfully, the radiologist said the film was already acceptably clear. A big sigh, not much of relief though because after the test, every sudden jerk with even only little pain my body created caused me to think, because of my radiation scare, that I was doomed.

This week, I went back to the dentist, who told me, based on the x-ray, that two teeth have to be extracted, that a surgery should be done for the lump (his hypothesis: a fibroma) that will then be sent for biopsy, and dentures should already be placed in the toothless areas of my mouth. Great, for the nth time. I am still young for this– dentures, that is. And can/do you kiss with them on? (Just asking.)

I did the first must-do. No fear and only little pain, and no thanks to the anesthesia since I felt the numbness after the extraction was over. I will never be in good terms with these technologies.

I know that I am somehow over reacting to this medical situation I am in right now. I have a 50+-year-old friend who underwent several operations already, and she seems perfectly fine. She was also one of my moral support in this. So I tell myself now that I really should worry less or not at all. Think of her. Think of Pi (even if he’s fictional). Think of the family in The Impossible (which I really want to write about but still haven’t). They all survived much more physical pain and scary predicaments; mine must be a needle prick compared to theirs even if I say it’s a prick from a huge needle because still, how dare me.

I will be back to the dentist for surgery next week. I am not afraid of the impending pain but of the thought of undergoing surgery. I’ll be doing it anyways because I do not want that thought to continue making me down and because I look forward to writing about how it’s successfully over.

and this is saw just outside the mall (Taguig's Market Market) where i had the x-ray, and which i also look forward to riding with my kid cousins after the operation. :)

and this i saw just outside the mall (Taguig’s Market Market) where i had the x-ray, and which i also look forward to riding with my kid cousins after the operation. 🙂


to ride or not to ride?

i remember being about to hop on a roller coaster in one of the city’s amusement parks with a friend who convinced me to do so. i also remember backing out the second the ride personnel opened the small gate for us to enter the what-supposed-to-be “ride of my life.” my friend went with it, and i ended up holding his bag while he was going up and down there screaming his lungs out of utmost thrills, so he said when he got down.,r:4,s:0,i:90&iact=rc&dur=2503&sig=110840359043387686743&page=1&tbnh=174&tbnw=290&start=0&ndsp=15&tx=108&ty=32

credits: move the cursor to the pic.

i was in my usual excitement waiting for this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge’s theme while wandering the net Saturday night. the notification finally came in. and i didn’t know one word can be that much of a downer to me. love. that’s the theme. not surprising since february is setting in soon. i don’t hate the word. in fact, i adore it. and i know there are different kinds of it that i can focus my photograph on. but i would want to have something to say or capture about the romantic kind of it. the kind that terrifies me so. and i don’t have any yet to showcase it.

my love is miles away from being a physical realization. i’m not sure if i am already on this roller coaster. sometimes, my heart screams when i’m up there with him with all its thrills. sometimes too, it makes me wanna vomit, and cry, with its nauseating, neuron-crushing what-ifs and why-so. or maybe i’m still not totally riding it, and that i’m still debating whether to hop on it or not. fear. trust, the lack of. the banes of romantic love. especially if it’s the unconventional kind.

i just realized later on that i didn’t fully trust that person with me during the first (and probably, last) roller coaster ride i was supposed to have. that time, i was relatively new to the city, thrilled of having a new job that came with a new set of friends that accompanied me in most of my “firsts” after eloping from my traditional, provincial ways. while i enjoyed most part of it, i was still too cautious to let all my guards down. i guess because of that fear too, that i did not maintain a good friendship with most of those i made from my past work places. i was afraid to be too close to them because i fear of feeling bad in moments of inevitable goodbyes. and yeah, i also got lazy catching up.

and so, i did not participate in this week’s WordPress challenge. i will just be content browsing entries of lovely submissions about love and drool over candy-coated sights and words of romance. (here’s the first i saw, “The Story of Us,” from one of my favorite bloggers. she takes compelling photographs and presents intelligently-written posts. and in this link,, the rest of the entries.)

i’m not always afraid to do risky things. the roller coaster though is one feat i am yet to conquer. that, and committing to love… the real kind, where i am supposed to embrace all the cliche-ish ups and downs of it and where i am supposed to just let go and not be scared to have a heart attack. i will get there i know. i’ll try. like they say, die or die trying. or something like that.

for now, i would like to boast this one “fearless” thing i tried. again, a friend talked me into it. but i trusted her (and she is still one of my closest friends at present), so i hesitantly agreed with her persuading, on the condition that we will do it together side-by-side instead of doing it separately (and that i could curse her throughout the entire thing). ziplining. i wouldn’t do it again.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Resolved.

Happy 2013! Boom!

I am glad 2013 has finally come. True, every new experience or a resolution for a better self and a better existence can be started any day of the year, but a new year brings MORE “ump” to it. 2012 was more than a good year for me (although i did not have my yearender post here on WP since i started only during the last quarter of last year and holidays got me very busy), and i wish will work on making my 2013 even better.

Just like most people, i have a list that will serve as my checklist for this year, my “13”:

13. save and dispose– and i mean, really save. i admit i am never good at this. but a little each day will go a long way, right? and who knows, i might finally have the amount i need for my first dream trip: india! and then, dispose. throw away the unessential and unused objects in my box and all the negative emotions hidden underneath the “box.”

12. travel– this is part of almost everyone’s list. and just this early in the year, i am almost through in completing the itineraries of my first ‘big’ trip (hint: lion and building). excited. 😀

11. volunteer– this one’s scary for me. one, like i mentioned in one of my past posts, i can be socially awkward at times, and groups really scare me. but i want to defy that fear and limitation of mine. and of course, i want to take part in that responsibility of sharing oneself to others. this one i am really praying for to come true this year.

10. wordpress– yes, post more. although i am a beginner here and still exploring writing again, i hope to have more experiences to post about. i also hope to divert from being personal in my writing and instead, write more practical posts based on my own experiences that can help others who stumble upon my page (finally coming up with a 2013 project. will write about it in a separate post). and there’s more reason to do so. read number 9.


9. quit– i don’t smoke or drink, but yes, everyone has a habit they are eager to quit. i’ve quit facebook. and Gary’s post ( excellently sums up my reasons for quitting. and i’ve quit that one person who makes me feel happy at times but makes me feel miserable most of the time. crossed fingers. to both.

8. family– to beat last year’s record of going home and personally (as i don’t have facebook anymore) keep up with my close relatives and friends. and play with my kid cousins more.

7. move– can be to walk more often. or run, even inside the house. and maybe, move to another house (2 years is my maximum stay in one place; i’ve been in my current abode for a year and a half now). anything that entails moving. and moving on.

6. decide– to stay in the country or go abroad? invest on a property or be a nomad still? really hard, these ones.

5. something new– last year, i started a hobby of decorating my walls coming up with creative (?) images using post-its. i eventually stopped. walls are not my thing. i also started wordpress. so far, it’s making me happy journaling again. this year, will explore more on taking photos.

4. something old–  restoring old good habits, hobbies, and interests (bookstore bum-ing, movies, walking, and riding a bus to unplanned destinations).

3. smile for me– just a simple project here on WP. taking photos of people.

2. repost– really good posts of people on WP and other sites. (so i wouldn’t miss much FB’s “like” and “share” buttons.)

1. blank– can be something life-altering. or something stupid or risky but would make me a better and happier person. or just something ordinary. i don’t know. i leave it blank for now.

To all of you who have similar goals, only the best wishes.  As we started with “resolved,” only one word is what we all wish we can write at the end of our list 359 days from today: ACCOMPLISHED.

2013-01-06_14-36_Online Stopwatch

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate


she cries like it’s the end of the world. boy, she cries. she sets everyone in the house in panic once she does it. i sometimes think she does it intentionally to test who in the house will race to her first to try to pacify her. she always wins it anyways. once we give the thing that we think she needs or wants, she brings out that..that tricky tooth-less smile or giggle or laugh that sets everyone in the house in craze adoring and patronizing what she’s doing. 

i can’t endure a baby’s cry. but seeing her like that, post-tears and all, makes me forget that fact and hope that someday, i will also hold my own delicate one that will forever warm my delicate heart.


moral lesson for today: just say sorry.

at work.

sometimes, i’m amazed of how i can get so proud and pushy about something in the first place i know is not really a big deal. not to mention, stupid. i am glad to be in an office that despite the imperfections (what office does not have anyways?), i can easily raise any concerns, feedback i have to my immediate superior. i was critiquing a file and i was irked by something i believed was wrong and i think i got a little into the extreme when i tried to insist it was wrong. the issue was so small that it is better not to say what it was. okay, i’ll tell. it was about whether the word “who” is an interrogative pronoun or a relative pronoun in one particular sentence. a few e-mails were sent back and forth, from me to the boss, and from the boss to me that discussed the issue (well, more e-mails from me, actually… pushy me). i was not really the type to usually insist myself even if i know i am right. i am usually nonchalant about things besides being generally quiet. but sometimes when ego strikes, it can change the person. some things probably factored in, like previous trust issues with the superior, conflicting personalities, and the belief that i could never be wrong with the concepts i know by heart having had the job for many years now. this instance could be very trivial i know, but it brought in one big wake-up call. the boss’s last e-mail about the matter kicked my unnecessary guts to where they should belong when she wrote, without a tone i know, that i should not worry much about it. i knew she was still anticipating a yet another aggressive assertion from me. but i gave up as soon as my eyes caught the word “worry” in the boss’s e-mail. yeah, i went way too assertive and worried about something too small, to the point that i might already be offensive, and that’s something i am not proud of. i was reminded that there are a lot more things to be worried and concerned about than that little grammar issue. funny how knowledge or mere information can get into someone’s head and make her forget the more important values she knows. i was swallowed by my ego and then, i was humbled. in regard to my superior, i might have doubted her acts sometimes but i never have doubted the fact that she was the right person in the position. but how do i recover from this self-humiliation? i hope writing “noted” in my last e-mail did it.

inside my box.

selena gomez and justin bieber. kristen stewart and rob pattinson. rihanna and cris brown. by now i know, you have already guessed the one thing common in these celebrity couples. yes, paparazzi, but besides that… love. or is it really love that they have? they hurt each other (emotional or physical), broke up, said hurtful things aimed toward one party or both, said their sorries, and now, got back together. all happy and so in love again like nothing ever happened. the question is… why do i care? no. the questions are: should i say sorry, too? should i accept the apology? should i also sing “we found love in a hopeless place”? arrghh. sometimes, i’m amazed of how i can not get proud and pushy with something i know from the beginning could be a big deal. not to mention, would make me happy. i hope i can finally get the tune of my song right, or better yet, get the right song already. i know, i am in my puzzle-tongue now. but trust me, i’m more confused than you. now, i should feel sorry for my current state. unfortunately, i am not. because i am more giddy. but still confused. i love this day. in a sarcastic tone, yes.

blame it on PMS.

lately, i’ve noticed myself getting emotional.

i began this post with that statement to also warn you (yes, you, who have intentionally or accidentally gotten to this page) that, yeah, this is no different from the usual personal ramblings of some other rambly bloggers out there. so, if you do not want to divert from your good vibes, do not, as in do not, proceed. but if you still want to, thank you. for choosing to join me as i wallow in those emotions.

don’t get me wrong though. i don’t hate the universe. i may be socially awkward at times but i don’t hate people. i don’t smile much, but i giggle and laugh a lot. i stopped indulging myself in high-schoolish diaries after my first real heartbreak as a promise to myself that i will never again rant or grieve that way, or never again rant or grieve, period. what i just always tell myself is that there are people who are in deeper sadness or deeper poverty than i am in. not that i don’t sympathize but it’s a reminder that i don’t have much right to feel bad about myself. but we all know that emotions are stubborn. we will feel for the simple fact that we feel. and even if my occasional sorrow is none compared to the other problems the world has, it’s still not non-existent. i’m just trying to justify my being emotional lately and actually giving in to that.

i know i have a choice not to. i can do any activity that will require me to think of other things, to move, and to have fun. but even having fun stirs emotions up. not really crying. but usually, ending in that. happy or sad things, every little thing seems to poke my lacrimal gland. a co-worker and her newborn son. a predictable movie scene. a game-show contestant winning. an old woman asking for alms. and even those pesky kids in the street who want to grab the cold drink in my hand. worse, the emotions don’t choose a place when they attack. at my work station while trying to understand the English a grade-one-or-so student attempts to write. on the bus when i am standing and people pushing me in, brushing off my boobs and butt, and stepping on my foot. and even inside the restroom while trying to endure the not-to-be-mentioned kind of smell because one irresponsible fellow did not flush. but the worst place is in my little space called home because here, when emotions knock, i do not only let them in. i also entertain them by playing the how-i-met-your-mother episode where depressed Robin came home and Ted surprised her with the singing and dancing Christmas light display he had set up. i wish i had that, too. not Ted. the singing and dancing Christmas lights.

i know this emotional state i am in lately is really bad. i am not self-pitying; i am world-pitying. i would want to say i’m trying to be funny with that line, but i am not for right at this moment, it is creeping in again.

sure, i can blame it on PMS.

or maybe on the fact that i turn a year older today.