Thursday, July 24, 2014


So ive recently took out my braces and I just thought I'd share my experience and just what I thought about the whole thing in general, so here we go!

People often asked me why I started wearing my braces so late instead of during my teens, and it wasnt beacuse I was afraid of the pain but more so because my sister had such a hard time with braces, my parents didnt want to put me through it. Over the years I countlessly pointed out that I was in fact not afraid of such said pain but since I had no income, the decision still lied within their hands.
Come 2012 after maybe five to six years, when I was 21, I gathered some funds and lots of resolution and finally took things into my own hands.

I didnt have any medical issues when it came to me wearing braces, meaning to say I did not have an irregular bite that was detrimental to my gums/teeth/health. Obviously if I had those issues, I would have long been wearing braces. Mine was basically to straighten my teeth & to bring my teeth and lips into proper alignment. In other words, it was for appearances and vanity - lets be honest; who am i kidding right.

So here are some photos pre-braces:

So my central incisor (front tooth) is protruding out from my alignment as you can probably see above so, I have trouble closing my mouth. In a state of relaxation, I wouldn't be able to keep my jaw closed but would rather have to consciously do so. In fact, I have to use my lower lip to envelope my protruding tooth.
Hence why you often see me smiling with all my teeth in pictures rather than a closed mouth grin because I simply, cannot close my mouth. I would end up smiling like picture #1 above. 
Evidently, I have developed years of practice; mastering the right angle (literally just one angle) to mask my protruding tooth in pictures so it wasn't noticeably apparent.

I honestly believe my protruding tooth wouldnt have been an issue if I could properly close my mouth. That would have been a different story because then, I probably would not have considered wearing braces, since like I said, it wasnt always apparent in pictures anyways.
Also because by the time I wore my braces it was three times more expensive than when my sister had her's done pfft!

I also had a slight gummy smile aka excessive gingival display, seen in picture #4 and #5. So if i smiled too wide or laughed to hard it almost looks like my jaw was about to drop out of my mouth. In other words, my mouth was too small for my teeth. 
My lower set of teeth were also crowding in all directions and i unfortunately never got a picture of it for documentation.

So before I had my braces mounted, I had to go for an X-Ray to check if my wisdom tooth would be of a problem later on - pushing my newly aligned set of teeth etc. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, one of my four wisdom tooth had to be extracted for me to proceed because it was an impacted wisdom tooth. I say fortunately because I would never ever want to go through that procedure again. One wisdom tooth removal was better than four.

Side note: usually if people had to remove all four wisdom tooth they would be put to sleep with a general anesthesia. In my case, one wisdom tooth removal would only require the local anesthesia which numbs you but you are fully awake.

Bottom impacted wisdom tooth

Ive consulted many peers who went through the similar removal process but we all have our own different stories and experiences. Some said that the anesthetic injection to their gums and tongue was hella pain but their tooth removal was peanuts and quick. 

Mine however was the complete opposite. The injection to my gums was a completely bearable pain, almost peanuts to me ( I didnt get the tongue injection) but the removal process itself literally had me sobbing. I didnt feel any pain when the surgeon had to cut my gums open. Rather, during the removal, it felt like I was in a dark room waiting for someone to jump out and scare me. The kind of pain that you keep anticipating till it got so uncomfortable. I think I suffered more discomfort rather than pain, but that discomfort alone was horrifying. In descriptive terms, I was conscious and aware, and could feel the surgeon  cutting my gums, cutting my wisdom tooth, and yanking it out but just not the actual pain.

My wisdom tooth was also a little tricky because since it was an impacted wisdom tooth, it was hiding beneath my gums; hence, why I had to have my gums cut in the first place. The surgeon also had to saw the tooth in half in order to remove it because there wasn't an angle for him to yank it out with his tool because it was lying down. 

The whole procedure had quite a shock to my nervous system that I ended up swelling for weeks.

Three pictures above are the progression of my wisdom tooth removal healing process. The healing process was alright although I had trouble putting a spoon in my mouth for the first few days. One side of my face just felt like it was numb.

That one side of my face swelled soooo badly that I had trouble speaking properly. I did however find how I looked very amusing. I would wake up everyday and be amused by how much that side of my face grew.

So after a month from my wisdom tooth removal, I also had to have four teeth extracted since there was crowding and there had to be space. These four extraction were completely peanuts to me that I would rate the pain equivalent to getting an injection.

Overall, in general, I would say that the whole braces experience for me was very bearable, a very different experience compared to my sister and a many others. If any pain it would be on the scale of six out of ten. But then again, Ive been told I have a rather high tolerance for pain (?). The only time I have had a nightmare was having the orthodontic spacers (sample image below)  a week before the braces could be mounted.

This was to push the teeth apart so there would be space for the braces to be established. That one week was completely horrendous (an eight out of ten) and I would say it was the most pain and frustration I experienced in my whole experience of wearing braces.

Again, this is subject to individuals, because I have had friends who have had no pain during this process that they could barely recall it happening.

So this is me right before I was about to leave to the dentist's.

During the first few days I had my braces in, I had to learn how to speak again.
According to friends my pronunciation was noticeably different, especially when dealing with my Fs and Ss.

Eating was also another thing I had to get used to since food got stuck everywhere, but honestly, all these was easily adaptable. I eventually felt so comfortable with it I sometimes forgot I had braces on, though my pronunciation was never the same haha.

Also this varies by individuals and orthodontics, but I actually enjoyed picking the colours of my braces' rubber bands each month. I realize some orthos dont provide this option but mine did and it was a love-hate situation because though I enjoyed the different colours, I had to live with the consequences for a month when I chose a very unappealing colour. The lighter colours often get stained as you eat and turn colours (Example: Blue turns green after consuming curry). 

Apparently my less than two-years experience was a rather speedy one. My teeth moved really quickly to close the gap left from my four tooth extractions. It wasn't entirely a good thing because I found out that it would mean that my gums/teeth, in lament terms, are not strong, for my teeth to move so quickly. 
This kind of freaks me out because my family has a really bad history of weak gums. I dont want to end up with falling teeth in the future! After this whole experience, Ive honestly taken a much more greater concern for my dental hygiene.

These were taken about a year plus later and you can see how much my jaw has moved in comparison to picture #4 and #5.

Three months before my braces removal

So in total I have had my braces on for approximately one year and eight months.
I am currently subject to wear my retainers (picture below) daily for the next few months except when I eat to allow my gums to get used the post-braces pressure of my moving teeth and preventing it from moving back to its original form.

It is definitely very tedious because I have to remember to keep a container with me at all times and I have to quickly disappear into the loo before I can eat, but other than that all is good. :)

Hope this was helpful or informative!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Birthday week

Birthday week:

Around the time of my birthday last year I was busy studying for my finals in my final semester.
On my birthday, I was between papers and was studying for my 3rd out of 4 papers and although I had 3 days before my 3rd paper I just wasnt in the mood for any celebrations. I even forbid Darren from coming over. I didnt see the point in a short meet up if I couldnt will myself to enjoy it. So my 22nd birthday came and gone.

So here was my 23rd birthday week in pictures:

13 June 2014
Dinner with Ausmats '09

15 June 2014
Brunch treat by highschool girlfriends at Frisky Goat.
I really honestly like their stuff!

15 June 2014
Birthday dinner plus Father's day dinner with Darren's family
Black forest cake above made by his mom

16 June 2014
Surprise package left on my desk from a colleague from another floor :)

17 June 2014

17 June 2014
Birthday lunch treat from CSR team at Kita No Zen

18 June 2014
Moreeeee cake left on my desk

The biggest handmade card ive ever received!

Thank you Meiyee dearest, it definitely deserves a big spot on my wall of notes/cards

Cant help but to post this.
A freaking flipping French Press from Lillian & Xin Yi.
Ive always wanted one but never could get myself to buy one. SOO excited to use this

Also celebrated my birthday together with Father's day with my family on the 14th and colleagues from my department on the 18th but no pictures :(

Thank you to all that took the time to wish me via text/calls/social media. :)

& of course a big big hug and wet kisses for those who brought me out for lunches/dinner and the amazing cards/notes/gifts. I know it doesnt sound like much, but I am completely grateful and thankful for everything. <3

Friday, May 2, 2014

37 Degree(s)

37 Degree(s) Graphic Design and Illustration Exhibition

Congrats Sueen! You did well :)

A piece of Rachel in her portfolio

Lillian being Lillian

It was Labour Day and we headed to Publika to support Sueen for her exhibition.
Honestly we did not know what we were going to besides her "graduation thing". We literally went to show her our support and love and didnt know what to expect. Personally I had loads of fun going through art pieces and hand made goodies.

Plus its always a ball of fun when we're all together. 
I met a majority of them exactly ten years ago. Big groups are hard to manage I have to admit. We are extremely diverse in every way possible with very different likes/dislikes and personalities; that we even range from graphic artists to psychologists to financial analysts to a chef. I cant even explain it, but when we're all together, it fits.

Minus one in UK, one in USA and one in Australia.

and for the sake of it:
Six years ago: Post SPM

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Quar/tet (Quartet), TTDI & Sukha/Mukha, TTDI

It was a good day out with my very pretty friends above!
Met all of them through Darren during his college days.
One of them was in his course, and the other two were (and still is) his course-mate's girlfriends.
Needless to say, we click :)

Short review:
Decided to try Quar/tet at TTDI. 
Actually found the pricing very reasonable for their portions and I love how quiet the area was (for now) instead of the usual overflowing crowd/no parking cafes. Food wasnt amazing but it was satisfactory enough for me! & I lovee me some bagels anytime. They also had to serve our food in paper plates and cups due to the water rationing, but hey, they were of good quality & I thought it was cute!
Took a detour to Sukha/Mukha also in TTDI for some cakes. Meh.

Quar/Tet TTDI
21, Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, 
Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 
Kuala Lumpur.
Sun-Thurs, 8am-9pm. 
Fri-Sat, 8am-10pm

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

tapered paper

Edited :-

So there are a few things ive been wanting to I guess, speak about now but was never actually able to hit the publish button. 

Obviously, when this space is so public it scares me to say some things for the fear of being critiqued. I guess that never changes anyways -

Growing up, I guess you could say my family lived a decent lifestyle. We had a house that we owned, cars my parents each had before my sister and I could drive and basic daily necessities, just like everyone else. My dad worked and my mom worked from home so she could ferry us to school, and just take care of me, my sister and the house because we never had a maid. Even though she worked from home, it wasnt a full day job that warranted a fixed monthly income. (Side note: It wasnt that my mom could not find a job. Infact she was a tailor and had the opportunity to open her own establishment and had many articles published commending on her artistic work, but she forgo-ed that for us.) I guess with a sort of skewed income, “fancy” food (like Jap), techy gadgets and overseas holidays were very rare or nonexistent as far as I remembered.

Fast forward to the future, it was time for college. I remembered clearly the day my sister got the call. We were in Penang when she was informed that she succeeded in getting a scholarship to study in Singapore. I was too young to realize it at that time but it was also around the time leading up to the Global Financial Crisis. Just like everyone else, we had to be prudent financially. I guess it was a no-brainer for her to accept it. So after 15 years, my one and only sibling left home to study abroad, and to this day, live in another country. 

Then came my turn to attend college and I was beyond blessed to receive my own scholarship. I say blessed because I wasn’t the smartest in my class, I wasnt the most qualified, and I certainly wasn’t the most deserving candidate among my peers, but against all odds, I was given this opportunity. It wasnt somewhere overseas but I considered myself lucky nonetheless. Those doors were open merely at the right place, and at the right time, if you may. & for that, is why I say I am blessed.

I had my own turmoils and there were loads of tears but that’s for another story.

So, for about four years I was not only funded to pursue the degree that I hold now, but also given monthly allowances. I could pay for my own petrol consumption, my phone bill, my daily meal expenses, and still have enough to save. Since I was 18, I stopped accepting allowances from my parents.

I am now a working adult and I now understand how difficult it is to earn your keep and realize how (again) blessed we are to have been funded financially. I was told that without those scholarships, my parents could probably not afford to send me and my sister to any private institutions thereafter.

With all that being said, yes, I now (and while I was studying) occasionally indulge in Jap, I have techy gadgets like smartphones and tablets, I have my own car and I have had the opportunity to travel beyond what I could have imagine. But I never took any of that for granted. While I was still studying, I paid for my flight ticket to London - my first overseas trip in 10 years (discounting Singapore, to visit my sister)  and I paid for my own iPhone. It may have seem like I had it easy; I didnt. They were not something I requested and simply received. I funded it with all the money I had so prudently saved from my scholarship's monthly allowance after sustaining myself monthly. Despite me and my sister both having our own individuals scholarships, we never settled for more than we needed. I am not saying that we were ever poor or whatnot. Up to this day, I am still driving my second-hand car for five years and I paid a portion for the braces I am having on now. Basically what I am saying is that, my parents did not owe me anything merely because I saved their money on my education.

Moving on from that phase in my life, I am still that frugal spender. Guilt me for being occasionally thrifty but money at one point in my life, was, I would say, not completely disposable. 

You might review me as someone who is often ever so parsimonious and yet awash with so much, but frugality has given me these comforts. The things and possessions I now own; the clothes, the bags, my techy gadgets etc, are what I worked hard for, what I saved on my own, while I was still a teenager; even when I didnt have to and something that was not from my parent’s pockets.

I may be exasperatingly frugal at times despite seeming like Ive had my share of the little luxuries in life, but know this: Know where im coming from, know where I came from.

Friday, March 28, 2014

So lately I am completely uninspired.
Have I hit this virtual brick wall.?
I don’t really blame the transition, truthfully ive been astray for a while now. I lost a part of me.; simultaneously. Ive become incoherent, disjointed. I am (more so) now apprehensive; physically, emotionally, mentally. But isn’t this part of what we’ve all sign up for. Fullstop. Statement not question. There is no denying of the non-altruistic nature of what this is. But it is what it is. Im here for the long haul.
No this is not what you think it is.


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