Stiff Neck: A Pain in the Ass

The pain was between WTF and OMG. I couldn’t move my head without wincing in pain. My back and my arms also hurt because of it. I thought, it’s only stiff neck and the pain will go away if I just rub my nape with some Omega Painkiller. I also popped a Flanax and an Alaxan for good measure. Ate Brenda checked my bp and it’s normal. It provided a wee sense of comfort knowing it wasn’t hypertension or a prelude to a heart attack.

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Twenty-four hours after, the pain was still there. The salompas and mefenamic acid that our company nurse gave me did not help at all. By Monday afternoon, the pain intensified. I couldn’t move my head without wincing in pain. I couldn’t even swallow. Anything that required my neck muscles to move was killing me. So I was brought to the Makati Med ER by Nurse Marlene.

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Never felt anything like it before. I could only guess that what caused it was when a naughty kid pushed our booth in Trinoma 12 hours before I first felt the pain. I hurriedly looked up because I felt the booth’s post move and I checked if the lamp was gonna fall. Contrary to my friends’ jokes, I did not get my stiff neck because I engaged in some hardcore you-know-what. Haha.

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I was given some painkillers through intravenous injection before going through a cervical spine x-ray. The pain lessened a bit so I was able to get my spirits up and take a couple of selfies. :p After that, I was given some muscle relaxants. That hurt when it was injected. My friend/baby sis Guia (see photo below) who is an intern in MMC visited me. Good thing she did because if she hadn’t, I would have fallen asleep. The meds made me drowsy.

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An hour after the xray, Dr. Ivanka Tadeo went to see me. She said that the xray showed it’s just spasmodic torticollis, aka stiff neck. I was told that usually, this would be resolved in 1-2 weeks. She prescribed some muscle relaxants and painkillers. For follow-up care, a visit to the orthopedic surgeon is recommended. I went on sick leave the following day to rest just as she instructed.

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It’s been a week and I am okay now. I can turn my head to the right with ease. I still feel discomfort when I turn to the left but I bet I’ll be 100% okay in a couple of days. I wanna thank the radiology department, Dra. Tadeo, Nurse Alex, and the rest of the MMC ER for taking good care of me. You’re all great but I hope I never get to see you all again. Hehe. :p

// listening to Boomkat – Rip Her to Shreds

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Smoke

They say if two people light their cigarettes with the same flame, they will have sex with each other.

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I think above tale is stupid. Feel free to prove me wrong though.

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Some say smoking makes you look desirable. Sexy. Like you have a secret. Or clouded with mystery.

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Well, yeah maybe. It can also just make you smell like an ashtray and look gross. Uh… What the scum can do to one’s pores.

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They say smoking can you look cool.

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I agree with the look part….

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But looking and being aren’t the same.

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Because the thing is, smoking kills. Every puff is a call to death.

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It may not be in an instant but it will definitely be painful.

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It’s something I did for 16 years. Still something I wish I did not do.

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Can’t turn back time. I am happy though that I finally got to stop.

* all images from Tumblr

// listening to the UST vs DLSU game

I quit smoking exactly a year ago today.

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Some of you might think that this isn’t an upworthy milestone that deserves 120 Facebook likes (and counting, hehehe) but it is definitely a huge achievement for me and my closest few.

I started smoking when I was 14. Thought before I lit that Marlboro Menthol, “Try lang ito”. Unfortunately, I liked it. I loved it. I craved for it until I became a regular smoker when I was 16. I was a chainsmoker by 18. I consumed 1 to 2 packs a day. Di bale nang hindi kumain, basta may pang-yosi at pang-Coke.

I made my mother cry angry, frustrated tears because of it. Made my daddy ground me and cut my allowance into half because of it. Still managed to support my then-favorite vice though.

I thought of quitting several times. After being confined because of pneumonia when I was 25, I managed 2 months of zero cigz. It was easy because I was basically on house arrest while recovering. When I was finally able to go out and see my friends, I couldn’t take being a passive smoker and I started smoking again. Winston was my buddy.

I tried again when I was 28. Two months again of zero cancer sticks until I stepped on the weighing scale and saw that I gained 10lbs. I was ready to say goodbye to smoking but I was not at all ready for the weight gain that usually goes with it. I smoked immediately after I stepped off the scale.

I had numerous attempts of quitting, stopping, minimizing, blah blah blah. I tried substituting with lollipops. (Oral fixation daw eh.) I tried not hanging out with smokers. I even had a bet with someone who also wanted to stop, that the first caught smoking will treat the other to a dinner in Circles. I won, but I ended up going back to the habit eventually.

But things were specially different last year. As any life changing story begins, it all started out with beer a boy. I met someone that I really, really liked. It made me feel guilty when I’d offer him a cig and he’d smoke it even if I know that he didn’t want to smoke anymore. Nakakahiya. Ako pa talaga ang bad influence. I think we were in BGC when he said ayaw na talaga niyang manigarilyo. Paninindigan na daw niya. I ended up smoking alone. As I was looking at him and our friend from the smoking area, I thought, if he can do it, so can I.

That, and like I said, I really liked him. I guess some people are annointed to speed up implementing the changes that we ought to make and commit to. He really made me want to become a better person. You can label the reason whatever you want but I just really am thankful and grateful to him.

It took a few more weeks, an electronic cigarette with mentjol drops and lots of prayers before that September 25 morning when I woke up thinking I didn’t care anymore if I was gonna be around smokers and I was prepared to get fat gain weight already.

The first few days were hard especially when some would mock me and tell me WEH?! DI NGA? TOTOONG QUIT NA ‘YAN? Couldn’t blame ’em. I failed many times so naturally, it was difficult for them to believe when I said ayoko na. Ayoko na talaga.

What made this time different are the authentic willingless to trash the habit because of the deep desire to change and the 120% discipline that comes from the commitment I have made to the better Iya that I want to become.

I’d like to thank him for inspiring me to quit. I don’t know if he has gone back to smoking or if he is keeping his word to quit. I wouldn’t know. I removed him from my Facebook and phonebook recently. That’s a different story though. Wait for it. Hahaha.

Thanks to my friends for not asking me to smoke with them anymore. Buti naman gets na nila na hindi nila talaga na ako mapapayosi! :p And thanks for telling me I look better now that I am not skinny anymore. Super palubag loob sa pagtaba ko ‘yan.

Thanks to my parents for showing me how glad they are that I already stopped smoking. Their joy motivates me to say goodbye to my other bad habits.

And of course, thanks to God for allowing my heart to be broken just to save my lungs. Hahaha! And for always reminding me that He is in control and always offering me strength and encouragement when I feel I cannot go on any longer.

A shallow milestone, it may seem, but my goodness! I am so happy! I still cannot believe that it’s been a year!

Happy anniv to my happy lungs and I today. Looking forward to more smoke-free years!

*featured image grabbed from Tumblr

// listening to Kings of Leon – Notion

Goodbye, Wisdom Tooth! Part 2

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The nightmare is over. My infected upper right wisdom tooth is out! I had the minor oral surgery last Saturday morning.

The extraction of my wizzie was a success- all four roots were pulled out even if the crown was already cracked. I did not experience swelling so much. My cheek only swelled for 30mins after the procedure. So much for the bags of ice I prepared!

I did not experience pain either. No pain during the surgery because I prayed so hard (seriously) and I was anaesthesized perfectly by my dentist Dr. Tugade (who also happens to be the dentist of the Binays). He was assisted by his sister (my main dentist), Dra. Carandang who chose Les Miserables to play while my tooth was being extracted. I believe Jean Valjean was singing when I heard a crack and doctora shouted, “It’s a boy!” when my wizzie was pulled out.

The surgery took only 30 minutes. I was asked to rest for 3-4 days to make the healing process fast. I had to be careful not to dislodge the bloodclot from the extraction site. I avoided getting a dry socket because according to my dentist (and Google), that hurts like hell.

I only ate ice cream on the first day and by the second day, I was already sick of it, so I switched to chilled oatmeal.

I went to the dental clinic earlier to know if the bloodclot formed well and if I could already eat normal food. Doc said, instead of a bloodclot in the extraction site, there is granular tissue. Meaning, my healing process is pretty quick. Meaning, I can eat normal food now, provided I chew on the opposite site of where the wisdom tooth was pulled out. So for dinner, I made tomato soup with sausages and cheesy garlicky mashes potato sweet potato.

I was still advised not to talk much so that the healing will not be disrupted. Doc said I’ll be fully okay by the weekend which is fantastic because I’m scheduled to eat at Sofitel’s Sunset Buffet!

Yipeeee!!! I’m very happy that I’ve gotten over my fear of dentists! Thank you Lord for sending forth knowledgeable and kind dentists my way! My dentists’ clinic is located at the 2F of the Executive Building, Gil Puyat Ave corner Makati Ave. Do visit if you have any dental concerns! Look for Dra. Carandang or Dra. Aligaen. They’re sisters. :) As in family of dentists! Ang perfect siguro ng ngipin ng buong angkan nila pati mga pets nila! :p

P.S. I’m so tempted to post a picture of my bloody extracted third molar just to gross all of you out!!!

// listening to Roxette – Listen to Your Heart

Goodbye, Wisdom Tooth! Part 1

I had my aching upper right third molar (aka wisdom tooth) x-rayed yesterday.

Boooo because my dentist told me that the infected tooth really has to be extracted. If I get all bratty and resist, my gums will be filled with abscess and I will die it’s gonna be so yucky I might be forced to kill myself it will damage all of my precious teeth, which will make me ugly. :(

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Yaaay because the extraction seems easy enough. Two hours of surgery doesn’t sound bad. My dentist is also the dentist of my boss. Ace had 2 of his wisdom teeth removed by Dra. Carandang and he told me that “magaan ang kamay ni doktora”.

It’s the recovery period that looks challenging. Imagine, I can’t speak for 3-4 days! I mean, hello? Sa daldal kong ito? Effort, di’ba? The suggestion that I should just eat ice cream or froyo on the first day of recovery is something I look forward to though. Ano ba ang masarap na flavor ng sorbetes ngayon? :D

I’m getting my tooth extracted next, next weekend. No reason to wait that long for ice cream. Caramel sundae (and fries!!!) to celebrate, in advance, the successful extraction.

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=)

// listening to DMB – Stay