Losing “Wisdom”

Hello from my bloated gums and face. I had an impacted wisdom tooth extracted yesterday, and I’m just so glad to finally tick this off my checklist. I’ve been putting it off for months, and I even got sick before my original surgery schedule. This really deserves a huge sigh of relief.

A combination of trust in the Lord (seriously!) and trust in my dentist helped to boost my confidence and actually get me excited (weird, I know) about the procedure. I was a bit worried about feeling pain having already experienced getting 2 of my upper molars out, but I was generally more enthused and just wanted to get it over with as I have accepted it as a part of #adulting.

Side note: I love the dental clinic that I go to in Eastwood. It’s called Smileability Dental Clinic, and I’ve been going there since 2014 for cleaning, check-ups and permanent/temporary filling. My usual dentist is Doc Sara, and she’s pretty awesome–very welcoming, and not masungit at all even when I’m makulit and ask a lot of questions. My favorite thing about their clinic though is how friendly the receptionist and the assistants are. We banter and joke around whenever I visit. My mom also goes to Smileability for her dental needs, and we’re about to line up my sisters. If you aren’t convinced to try them out yet (they are accredited by Maxicare anyway), you should know that Marc Nelson also goes there. So, if you are #blessed like me yesterday, you’ll have a chance to sit beside him in the waiting area, get a quick smile from him, and move your foot to let him pass by. Hahahaha!

Before I had my procedure, I may have bugged 10+ friends regarding their wisdom tooth extraction experience. So that you won’t have to ask me in person (I’m not masungit, I’m just efficient lolz), here are some things I have learned wisdom tooth extraction (and life) through personally going through the process:

  1. Do not scrimp on yourself. I asked around and found out that there were some dentists who were offering wisdom tooth extraction for a low low price of 3,000-4,000 pesos. That’s such a “steal” considering that mine caused my wallet to take an 8,000-peso hit. I do not have regrets though, since I was worry-free about the procedure and I realized that it was something that I had to do for me. I’d pay 20,000 pesos to buy a gaming console. What’s half of it for my health? Also, I’m so distrusting when it comes to medical/dental procedures, so I can only imagine the stress that I would’ve gone through if I picked a new dentist for an important procedure. I’m not saying here that it has to be expensive to be good, but I’d suggest that you go with your usual dentist no matter how much it might cost you because…
  2. You need to do it with someone you trust. Just like how you wouldn’t get into something serious with somebody you do not know, it doesn’t make sense at all to undergo this procedure with someone you just met. If you trust people and are not bothered by having a stranger working on your mouth for two hours, then good for you. For me though, it mattered that I already was comfortable with my dentist and dental clinic. I had so many questions pre- and post-procedure, and I was brave to ask them ’cause I knew the people already.
  3. Don’t overthink it. For the first time in my life (a hyperbole, maybe), I did not overthink something. I just sat on the dental chair, ready for the experience, just trusting that God will take care of the outcome. It felt good. I did not spend my precious time in fear or worry while Googling wisdom tooth extractions gone wrong. I just wish I can apply this learning to other areas of my life.
  4. Come prepared. While you do not need to overthink, you still need to come prepared. I drank the meds I was required to drink 1 hour before the procedure (amoxicillin, hemostan and paracetamol). I wore comfy clothes, as I didn’t want to feel cold for 2 hours. I freed up my day and took a sick leave. This honestly helped in keeping me at peace before, during and even after the procedure–knowing that I did my part.
  5. Use your “downtime” to reflect/relax. I am fortunate enough that I had my procedure when the dental clinic already moved to their new office at the 11F. The dental chair was facing the roof-to-floor glass window and I had a nice view of Quezon City/Marikina. It was relaxing, and helped me not to think about the slight pain in my mouth or the time it was taking for the procedure (mine took more than an hour). When I couldn’t stare outside, I just closed my eyes and thought happy thoughts (e.g. Marc Nelson, Nate Archibald) and relished the moment of not having to be in the office. Haha.
  6. This too shall pass. Despite my generally pleasant experience, it is a known fact that it’s difficult to have your mouth open for almost 2 hours. I wanted the procedure to be done. Also, some minutes into the procedure, I heard Doc Sara mentioning something about having difficulty taking out part of my tooth. I chose to ignore, and just assumed that it was a common occurrence, but I must admit, there was a slight concern on my end. Towards the end of the procedure, I was even coughing up that I felt like I was gonna choke since I had all these dental apparatus in my mouth and I was having a slightly tough time breathing. But, I knew that all was well when the dental assistant exclaimed a “Praise the Lord” followed by Doc Sara pulling out the last piece of my tooth’s roots. I breathed an inward sigh of relief. All difficult things come to an end.
  7. It’s not as bad as you think it is. Doc Sara caution me about bleeding, swelling and pain after the procedure and I was scared that I would not be able to function for a week. Surprisingly, upon getting home, I just had a one-time gauze replacement and the bleeding already stopped. There was pain and discomfort, but I just slept it out. When I woke up today, my cheek and gums were swollen, but the pain was very tolerable. I was even able to take a call with my boss earlier, though speaking has been very difficult. Right now as I type, I am feeling very uncomfortable–as if someone stuffed a huge chunk of cotton balls inside my mouth. It’s tough to eat food–solid and liquid alike. Yet, it is not as bad as I expected. Thank God. The major thing that I do not like post-procedure is that I cannot exercise. How sad. (Wow.)
  8. Take care. I normally am one who will not follow directions for “taking care” of myself. This is part of my being a pseudo-independent woman. Haha. This time though, I actually read through the brochure given out about post-procedure care and I followed it almost down to a T. I used cold compress, I gargled with salt solution, etcetera. Sometimes, we really have to follow the rules and stop being a rebel when it’s actually better for us :)
Wisdom Tooth

Unflattering photo of me pre-actual procedure. That is disinfectant all over my mouth that made it yellow/orange. Also, already had anesthesia so I couldn’t feel the right side of my fez.

U Can’t Touch This

I had a slight screamfest with my sister recently when I found out that she was using my phone without my permission when I was just literally 1 meter away from her. I was so consumed by Gossip Girl and exercising, that I did not realize that she was tinkering with my phone to go on Facebook. I, of course, was annoyed with the fact that she touched my stuff and that she doesn’t seem to understand why it’s a big deal for me.

Because of that episode, I have decided to make a list of my belongings that you cannot touch:

  • My phone – Nope, I’m not hiding any conversation. I just don’t want anyone rummaging through my stuff.
  • My planner – NEVER TOUCH MY PLANNER, PLEASE. It is an extension of myself. An officemate of mine once randomly picked up my planner and skimmed through the contents. I wanted to tackle her, but SOBC.
  • Food that I like & crave too much that I cannot afford to share, and food that I explicitly express to be MINE – Examples: Salted egg potato chips, cheese doughnuts, French toast, ice cream, chocolates, cookie butter, Potato Corner fries. Side story: I once craved for fries for HOURS and finally decided to walk to the mall beside our office to buy some. Upon returning to the office, a friend asked for some. I couldn’t say no, but I wanted to SO MUCH because it was what I was having for dinner. I can only imagine the look on my face when she was getting some fries ’cause she didn’t ask for seconds.
  • Clothes that I have set aside to wear
  • Clothes that I have not set aside to wear, but you know look good on me so there is a chance that I will end up wearing them tomorrow
  • My mess, when I do not ask for your help to get it sorted out
  • Whoever my special someone is of the moment – I do not like sharing.
  • My nose – I’m just saving you from its oiliness.

On the other hand, here are some things you can touch:

  • Food that I leave on the table for anyone to eat
  • Food that I explicitly offer to you
  • Stuff I buy that can repeatedly be used and are not that costly – Examples: Paper, pen, Sticky notes
  • Stuff I buy that are a bit expensive but you promise to take care of when you use them – Examples: XBOX, laptop
  • My mess, when I ask for your help to get it sorted out
  • The sky – While your knees hit the ground.
  • My hair – Only if you are my hairdresser, or boyfriend.
  • My hand – Only if you are David Archuleta. Haha.
  • My heart – Only if you are God.

Hooked with the “Same Drugs”

Nope, nothing illegal. I’ve just been hooked with Chance the Rapper’s song “Same Drugs” since October of last year. I thought I’ll get over it after a month or two, as what usually happens with my favorite songs after I claim that them to be the “BEST SONG EVER”. Obviously, I am not over this song. Same Drugs has oddly become my go-to song for rainy days and gloomy times. I listen to it at so many random moments ranging from when I’m folding and organizing clothes, to when I’m working on an intense task in the office.

While most people (including Chance) listen to Same Drugs and think of love lost, the song instead make me feel nostalgic. It feels like a conversation that I’m having with myself about the better times of the past, when I still had child-like wonder and vigor. As the repeating line in the chorus and the first line of the song says, “We don’t do the same drugs no more.” While I have never taken drugs (other than those prescribed) in my entire life, this paints such a clear picture to me. I sometimes look in the mirror and do not recognize who I am becoming anymore. I’ve grown up—too much to my liking, in fact. I no longer have the interests of my youth, and my experiences from just 3-5 years back feel like they happened a century ago. Growing up includes growing apart from who you’ve been–and that fact is just a mix of awesome, scary, and depressing.

The first verse of Same Drugs got me smiling, especially when I first heard the Peter Pan references.

When did you change?
Wendy, you’ve aged
I thought you’d never grow up
I thought you’d never
Window closed, Wendy got old
I was too late, I was too late
A shadow of what I once was

Does it get any more real that this? I can’t really pinpoint a specific moment in time when I “became” an adult. Even up to now, there are times that I don’t believe that I am one. I never saw myself being 26, working and unhappy. When I was younger, I’ve always assumed that life was going to be all fun and games. Too bad that it isn’t. Growing up means closing the window, and abandoning the trips to Neverland. It’s time to go home and be responsible.

Peter Pan and Wendy

(Photo not mine; found online)

The second verse is even more heart-breaking:

Where did you go?
Why would you stay?
You must have lost your marbles
You always were so forgetful
In a hurry, don’t wait up
I was too late, I was too late
A shadow of what I once was

Those two starting lines are lines that I’ve asked myself so many times–especially regarding my career and general direction in life. My growing up journey has been full of craziness (losing my marbles), hurry, and forgetting the ideals of my childhood. Before I knew it, I already made decisions for myself. It was too late for any regrets, or for starting over.

I particularly am in love with the next two lines of the song:

‘Cause we don’t, we don’t do what we say we’re gonna
You were always perfect, and I was only practice

There have been so many times that I’ve said that I was going to do something (quit a job, pursue a passion, follow my heart, travel the world, fall in love, etc) and I’d recant on my statement because of uncertainty. As I said earlier, when I was younger, I had an image in my mind that the adult/grown-up version of me will have things all figured out. Everything was going to be perfect. Fast forward to reality, my grown-up life is nowhere near perfect. It has always been like practice–trying something out, failing, picking myself back up, and trying again. It eventually got too scary to be bruised again, that practice eventually just meant staying in safety (like playing a game and saying that it’s not counted because “practice lang”) to give myself a cushion in case I fall flat on my face.

The next three lines just directly ask the tough questions:

Don’t you miss the days, stranger?
Don’t you miss the days?
Don’t you miss the danger?

I miss being more child-like and being more risky. I miss having the courage to try out something new. Nowadays, it’s become more about security and comfort–sticking with the familiar. Definitely no flying.

The first part of the outro is such a technical beauty with its phrasing and wordplay:

Don’t forget the happy thoughts
All you need is happy thoughts
The past tense, past bed time
Way back then when everything we read was real
And everything we said rhymed

Similar to Peter Pan, who says that all you need is happy thoughts to fly, I try to convince myself sometimes that I just need to think of all my youthful ideals and dreams to somewhat encourage me to be more bold and daring. And indeed I do think of them. I look at old files and old photos, from those times when life was filled with more wonder and fantasy–so simple, yet so easy–as if everything in the world is ours for the taking.

The second part of the outro brings me back to reality though:

Wide eyed kids being kids
Why did you stop?
What did you do to your hair?
Where did you go to end up right back here?
When did you start to forget how to fly?

To me, this is the best part of the song. I get teary-eyed whenever I hear these lines as I feel some form of longing for the younger version of me who was “wide-eyed” and knew how to “fly”. We go through so many changes as we grow up that everything just seems to lose its magic. There are just so many questions that I ask myself–why, what, where, when. And more often than not, there are just no straight-up answers.

The song ends with these lines:

Don’t you color out
Don’t you bleed on out, oh
Stay in the line, stay in the line
Dandelion

True enough, the older we get, the more society dictates us to stay within the boundaries and never color outside the lines. I say some form of this to myself every night before going to sleep to remind myself that I need to be mature and suck it all up–just do what needs to be done.

It’s a sad thought, but yeah. I don’t do the “same drugs” anymore. I seem to have used up all of my pixie dust.