I’ve been really busy and tired as of late (legit tired – struggling to stay awake since we’re low on staff – colleague is still away on leave and I get to train not one, but two people, so it’s LEGIT busy and tired, not bullshit “lolz let’s bum around instead of blogging” busy).
I hesitated to write this blog entry because I’m not really sure about what to say since it’s kind of a sensitive thing. All I can say is that I’m shocked, and I’m scared.
The whole story starts when I last visited my “dentist” about a year and a half ago. Without knowing who my dentist was, I rocked up, got super annoyed to find that the stupid receptionist cancelled my appointment and rescheduled it to Sunday (which by the way, I CANNOT make because I work on Sundays). I was furious. I called the mobile phone number slapped on the glass door of the suite and I demanded that whoever it was who was working that day, come immediately – lunch break or not – to fulfill the appointment I had set but got wrongfully cancelled.
Upon closer inspection I realised that my regular dentist has apparently moved out of the suite – possibly to set up his own dental clinic – and he was replaced by two inexperienced, totally fresh dentists who I (and other people I talked to) found utterly useless. She was unprofessional, wouldn’t answer me when I asked how much a filling was (she kept telling me it depended… but she was looking AT the tooth so I don’t understand why she just can’t tell me how much it was) and didn’t do a good job.
After telling me which days she worked, with a forced smile on her face, I told her simply, “I’ll make an appointment when I get my work roster.” I LIED. I NEVER WENT BACK.
I delayed going to a dentist because I couldn’t find a good dentist that I was willing to trust. I went to Hong Kong and went to ease my mind as there were lots of things troubling me. Although I never really worded it that way in my previous posts, that was really what I mean – or else why would I go somewhere so far all by myself?
Through a colleague I finally got details of a dentist that she found to be very good. I got busy with work since we’ve been understaffed, and so I put it off. My days off never matched the days the dentist worked, until last week I noticed that my day off the next week was in sync with the dentist’s day at work.
I quickly made an appointment a week in advance, and I was able to make an appointment quite easily. I was satisfied until then – my main problem was really my bottom wisdom tooth which has been lurking under a flap of gum for the past several months, as well as the tooth that I was supposed to fill yonks ago.
I anxiously waited for my appointment, the day finally came. I planned to see the dentist, get the filling (if required) and to just get a general check up and a clean. Then I would go and do something totally anti-social, which was to go and watch a movie by myself. That was my day off, and I was going to take it off comfortably, in style, and wasting a lot of money in the process. But that’s okay. Because I don’t do it all the time.
The dentist was super friendly and asked me why I came – I told him what was bothering me, and then he did a check up of my teeth.
“There seems to be an excessive loss of calcium in your teeth. Do you drink lots of fizzy drinks like Coke?”
“No, I very rarely drink any soft drinks.”
This is true. I rarely ever drink soft drinks – to most of the people who know me, I’m a health food junkie in the respect that I don’t eat sweets, don’t eat much junk at all, and don’t drink soft drinks. My diet is pretty much 99% healthy, with just that 1% occasional junk.
“Do you have stomach acid or gastric reflux?”
“Do you vomit?”
“No… I don’t vomit. Just after eating I feel like I get gastric reflux.”
“Well it appears that you may have a problem with your stomach. What medical condition do you have?”
At this point of time I was super scared and didn’t really know how to react.
“… I don’t… have a medical condition.”
“Well, sometimes young girls diet and because they try to lose weight they end up skipping meals. Let’s hope that you’re not one of them.”
“No… I don’t think I am.”
“Well, I recommend that you go seeing a medical doctor and getting your stomach checked out. See what’s causing the problem and then we can do some treatments for your teeth to get them strong again.”
Look, at this point of time, I must say I was super super sad. It just only took this dentist one look at my teeth to tell me what was wrong with my health and I must admit, I screwed up. I never really gave a rat’s ass about my health – ever. If there was anything wrong with my health, I’d try to solve it myself without seeing a doctor. I hate seeing doctors. When I was young I absolutely hated exercise. Was my dentist wrong? No, he wasn’t.
After completing a series of X-rays and cleaning my teeth, it appeared that the things that seemed to be bothering me the most like my buried wisdom teeth and the fillings I asked about – weren’t the things that mattered the most at all. It was my overall health.
I continued my day off by visiting the cinema and bought myself a ticket to see The Dark Knight Rises in Gold Class in an hours’ time when I could eat food. I browsed my favourite bookstore to kill time. I bought myself a small popcorn and a bottle of water, and ordered a Pizzetta from the Gold Class bar and had it delivered to me at the start of the movie. But I couldn’t watch the movie in peace. My mind was drifting far far away thinking other thoughts because I was still upset.
Am I suffering from anorexia? Of course not. Though I must admit that I do stupid things that could sooner or later lead me to that path. I have little interest in food. If I had to chance to, I do skip meals, especially if nobody sees it. By this, I mean that if there’s nobody to cook for me, or eat with me, I will choose to skip meals, usually by substituting a wholesome meal with something ridiculous like a Boost smoothie, or in one case in the comfort of my hotel room in Hong Kong, my dinner consisted of three biscuits and a children’s sized tetra pack of soybean milk.
I eat only about 75% of my lunch that’s packed for me. At times I leave behind 50%. When my mum sees that I’m not eating my lunch, she gradually decreases the portion for me because she thinks that perhaps, just maybe, she packed too much by accident. Once the portion decreases, I still leave behind 75% anyway.
While shopping in Hong Kong, I fit into jeans that I never actually fit into before – I’d probably fit into a size smaller, but I wouldn’t know because I haven’t tried. I fit into all the size small dresses and tops in Forever21 with plenty of space to spare, but they didn’t stock XS so I went with it anyway. I brushed it off thinking that their sizes were more generous since they were an American based company based on American sizing. I fit into size 36 (a size 6 in AU) tops in H&M… but again I thought it was an error in their sizing. And all this happened, while I felt the fattest I could possibly be, when I travelled to Hong Kong.
A new trainee noticed that we had photographs in the office, pointed to one of the photographs and asked mym colleague, “who’s this?”. My colleague said it was me, and the trainee replied, “she’s so much thinner now” – again I dismissed it because photographs look different to the real person.
So was there REALLY a mistake in all the clothing sizing? I still don’t think so. Yes, I lost weight, but no, I’m not a skeleton, I still have fat. I ideally wanted to aim for something healthy and toned, but I guess I need to stop thinking about that now and rectify all the problems I really have at the moment. Am I healthy? In a way, yes, because I know I am healthier than I was before. Do I have a stomach problem? Yes, I think I possibly do, because this reflux thing has been going on for too long without me doing anything about it. Do I vomit? No, I don’t, but there are the instances when I do so accidentally, but that’s really uncommon.
I really want to get real about this issue because it can happen to anyone. At the very least, I never expected that it’d happen to me. How did my stomach get so bad? It must have begun a very long time ago when I was still in uni, because I never had regular meals since I was too busy meeting deadlines. I never really ate well whenever I went on holidays, even though I stressed that I needed to eat on time or else I’d get massive stomach pains if I ate too late.
Yes, I dieted. Yes, I skip meals – at times.
There are just sometimes when I feel super down, very lonely, or just so sad or feel so fat that I feel that I didn’t really deserve to eat much. I never was the type to spend money on holidays, or food because I felt that they were wishy washy items that are unattainable in the respect that you can’t grab onto it and keep it in your pocket – forever.
There are many factors as to why this is happening – I work a job with long hours and yes, I am constantly stressed. I have little time to myself, let alone time to go out, meet new people and have fun. Probably I am also depressed, but I don’t know because I don’t feel sad every single day, I feel miserable probably every other.
To anyone, absolutely anyone, don’t do what I did. I am regretting it slightly, but for now I’m scheduling a doctor’s appointment next week to get my blood tested out – just to get myself back to normal. I’ll probably ask to do a scan of my stomach as well, which I’ll probably need to get done in the next two weeks.
As much as I am feeling scared and super worried (considering that my worry was originally just like, two teeth – now it’s like my gastroenterologicalllllllllllspelling/word-is-that-even-right system we’re talking about), I really want to fix this problem for once and for all.
Perhaps my problem is just as minor as not getting enough calories in as I expend a lot of energy every day since I do a lot of active work (standing, running – occasionally). If only it were that simple.
Cheesy, but sometimes your dentist can be an important person – it’s not just some dude who cleans your teeth and tells you to do fillings. He/she can actually tell you what’s wrong with your health, and you’d be surprised how it shows even though you look healthy on the outside.
I haven’t told my parents about what he said about my stomach… all I could tell them was that I needed treatments because I was lacking calcium. That’s how disappointed I am in myself.
Girls (and boys, if any), treasure your health. You were only given one body, and you will stay in this body for many many years for the entirety of your life. Regardless of size, shape or colour, love your body as much as you can, keep it healthy, and it will love you back.
EDIT/ I’m not in denial. I know how much I weigh. To most people I probably look healthy. Yes, my BMI falls in the healthy range. It’s probably in the lower part of the healthy range, but it’s still within the healthy range and not in the underweight range. I’m still the same – I still just buy size 10 clothes (even if size 8 fits sometimes, whatever) and my pant size has more or less stayed the same though I’ve started to buy an inch smaller. I’m in no way thin, I wear size/ 28″ jeans. But unfortunately I do have a stomach problem. I knew about it a while ago, but it’s only now that I’ve decided to do something about it. I can just only hope that it’s nothing major and that it’s not too late. I just thought I’d add this because I don’t want this post to sound completely wrong. In my opinion, I’m a good size (better than before), and I weigh normal. I’ve just got poor eating habits and a lot of work to do health-wise. Hopefully after seeing a doctor, I will be able to be healthier mentally as well.