Friday, 29 January 2016

What's Happened to This Generation?

Another young life is lost.

A 14-year-old boy jumped from his 14th floor home after he was brought to the police station to be questioned over a molest case.

The crux of the matter that is discussed seems to be whether the course of action by the police had been appropriate and if the boy had jumped because he suffered much shame and humiliation as the police had taken him straight out of school and into the police station.

As a parent, would you not reprimand your boy if he was questioned by the police over a molest case?

As police, would you not bring the alleged suspect for questioning no matter where he was?

As parents and police, these were natural courses of action. I would be more surprised if they didn't carry them out.

But no one would expect the boy to jump to his death.

Most of us have utmost faith in our police, that they only do the necessary when they have substantial evidence. I feel that there is hardly a moment we would deem 'appropriate' to bring someone back to the police station for questioning. They were just doing their job. I would dread the day when even police have to over-consider the feelings and circumstances of the accused/suspect.

I remember a teacher sharing what she had observed when a few of my secondary school mates got into trouble with the police. She said she was surprised that the police were very rough with those boys,'like gangsters'. Surprised as I was, I felt the treatment was justified as the boys were ruffians themselves. Even as a teenager, I was quite convinced that those boys would be frightened into behaving properly in future, and I believe they did because I never heard about them misbehaving again in the remaining years of my secondary school life.

I am not suggesting that the police in this case had treated the boy roughly. In fact, I highly suspect that the police these days are inclined to treat their suspects in highly civil manner because of how our society has evolved.

I am just wondering how the boys in the yesteryear would have reacted if they were brought back by the police for questioning. Despite immense shame and humiliation, would they have jumped? Likely not.

What has happened to this generation?

Friday, 22 January 2016

A Traumatic Treatment II

After the gum disease treatment, I took a train to pick Baby up from school and took her to lunch.

Although my gum was still relatively numb, I could feel that I had a swelling from the inside of my mouth on the left side. I used my tongue to tease it and felt that there was a flap-like thing on the outer side of my gum.

I called the dentist and asked him what it was.

He dismissed it as 'loose gum' since the gum no longer contained germs and bacteria. He said he was surprised that I only felt it on the left side as he would expect me to feel it on all sides and that I should not be afraid to brush my gum though.

I told him I felt like I had a piece of meat stuck on the gum but he did not understand what I was saying.

But he was surprised that I had not gone home to rest 3 hours after the treatment.

When I got home, the 'flap' felt like it had grown. I tried lying down on either side but I did not feel comfortable.

When 4 hours were up, I started to brush my gum.

My toothbrush was all bloodied.

And the flap came off - it was a huge blood clot!

What you see here is just part of the clot

I had the experience of having more gigantic clots falling out of my body after my first Caesarian, so I accepted it being 'normal'.

When the second and third clots continued to form on the same spot in the next 2 and 4 hours respectively, I called up the dentist again to check if it was normal. The dentist confirmed that it was normal and advised me not to rinse my mouth as the act of rinsing would cause more fresh blood to flow.

However, my little ordeal did not end there.

Throughout the night, the clots continued to form in my mouth on the same spot. Each time, I waited for 1.5 hours to 2 hours before I removed them as it got very uncomfortable. It felt as if half a fishball was stuck in my left cheek. 

I also could not sleep as blood continued to flow into my mouth. When I dozed off, I would wake up after being choked on my blood, coughing involuntarily.

Most of the time, I swallowed my bloodied saliva since spitting it out could encourage fresh blood to flow, but I did not dare to drink water as I thought the act would be equivalent to rinsing my mouth, which also encouraged fresh blood to flow.

I decided to revisit the dentist the next morning since 24 hours were up and my condition did not get better.

The dentist felt it was not normal for the blood to flow after a day. He applied some thick grey paste which I later learnt was periodontal dressing, all over my gum to stop the bleeding, after which he proceeded to explain something which I did not hear, because as I got off the dentist chair, I felt weak and collapsed on the floor.

They immediately moved me to another room to rest and fed me some glucose.

After some time, when the other dentist came in to check on me, she saw that the bleeding had started again.

She gave me two jabs to stop the bleeding.

After that, I was wheelchaired to the taxi stand to take a cab to the A&E department at the hospital as the dentist suspected that I might have bleeding disorder which they could not help me with.

At the A&E department, my blood was drawn to have some tests run.

After an hour or so, the tests showed that my blood count, platelets were normal and I had no blood disorder.

So, the hospital sent me to their Dental department to see what their dentist could do for me.

By now, new blood clots were forming in my mouth again.

As I did not have an appointment, I was asked to wait for 3 hours before I could see a dentist!

I explained that I was bleeding and if anyone could do something for me before I saw the dentist.

That helped. After a little wait, a dentist checked on me. However, she said since blood clots were formed, it meant that I had stopped bleeding! I just had to wait for the clots to dislodge themselves.

I was indignant,"But I can't eat, can't drink, can't sleep with these clots in my mouth!"

The dentist was equally exasperated,"But if I remove all these dressings and blood clots, new blood will flow again and you will have to wait for the clots to form and dislodge themselves all over again!"

I explained that these clots grew bigger and bigger until like a fishball and sometimes they burst and all the blood would squirt into my mouth, and I could not possibly swallow so much blood!

After some arguments, the dentist relented. She said if I insisted that the clots would keep growing, then I might want to wait at the recovery room for a few hours and she would check on me periodically to see if the clots grew bigger.

William saw that it was fruitless arguing so he replied that we would wait out.

While at the recovery room, a nurse checked on me and found that my left side of the gum was bleeding.

So the dentist came and asked me to return to her.

This time, she proposed to remove all the clots and dressings for her to check. And I was the one who opposed, using what she had told me earlier on,"But blood will flow and I have to wait for new clots to form and dislodge."

She assured me that if there was bleeding, she would use the dental materials to help me stop the bleeding.

On that count, I allowed her to remove the clots and dressings.

She called in a more experienced doctor to help. It was clear to me that there were at least three spots that were oozing blood. They tried stopping a few spots together but it did not work, so the experienced doctor suggested doing one spot at a time.

The dentist explained that they were using plant cellulose to stuff into the bleeding spots to stop the bleeding. They had to push quite hard onto the spots to apply pressure so that the bleeding would stop.

The dentist had suggested injecting me with anaesthesia so that I would not feel the pain when they pushed hard at the spots but I was too traumatised by the experience to have another jab.

After the bleeding was stopped, the dentist explained to me that gum treatment is a traumatic treatment itself. When I looked surprised, she introduced herself as a gum doctor and so she knew that it is a traumatic treatment on the gum. She felt that I was not prepared for the treatment and thus it was very traumatising for me.

She said that cases like mine do happen, except that my blood clots were huge.

I was just grateful that I did not have a bloodied mouth anymore.

However, when I went to the toilet at the hospital, I fainted again in the cubicle.

When I came to, I saw myself and my phone on the floor, back against the door.

I heard some voices outside my cubicle discussing,"Did you hear the sound?" so I struggled to open the door, and collapsed again on the floor because I was too weak to stand or sit. The ladies ran out to get a nurse, a trainee doctor and a wheelchair.

They carried me onto the wheelchair and wheeled me to the pharmacy where William was getting a mouthwash for me.

Then William wheeled me to the foodcourt to have some porridge.

I had not drunk or eaten the whole day. Within two days, I had lost 2 stubborn kilograms I had not been able to lose!

The next day when I went back for a review, one of the spots was still bleeding so the dentist had to stuff the cellulose back.

The bleeding only stopped a few days later.

A truly traumatic experience for me.

On hindsight, I should have sought a second opinion and find out more about gum treatment to prepare myself. I was not prepared for what came after the treatment.

The dentist who did the gum treatment sent me a Get Well Soon hamper though.

A Traumatic Treatment I

It all began some time in last November when I felt a pain in my last upper tooth when I took a sip of the free cuppa at Baby's dentist's.

After seeing Baby's good experiences for tooth extraction and cleaning with the dentist and hearing of a friend's account of how she could have dinner at Soup Restaurant the next day after her two wisdom teeth extraction at her dentist's, I decided to visit Baby's dentist to check if I had tooth decay, and hopefully it would be dealt with with some filling.

The x-ray showed that I did not have tooth decay. However, as I have not visited a dentist ever since I left secondary school, I had developed gum disease. It simply means bacteria and germs are hiding in the gums, and the dentist recommended gum disease treatment for my condition.

She explained that each time, only half of the mouth would be treated as it would take an hour, and it would cost $1200 w/o GST for each treatment using laser.

She assured me that it would not be painful and the only pain I would experience would be the one from the anaesthesia injection, which would be over within a few seconds.

Armed with all the good online reviews of the dentist, the assurance of the ease of the treatment, I braved myself for the appointment a month later.

I had a classmate who went for a double-eyelid surgery when she was 18. She said she didn't want to spend too much time to consider about whether she should have the surgery as we tend to stick to the safe side and not have the surgery.

This episode has quite an impact on my life after that as I would often tell myself,"Just do it lah!" if I am offered something supposedly beneficial for me but requires me to go through some inconveniences or pain.

So, on the very morning when I was to go for the treatment, I stood at my wardrobe, hesitated for some moments,"Or maybe I don't go lah? But the dentist said I would lose my teeth if I don't do it. So go lah?"

and in the end, I still decided to go.

The treatment started with not one, or two, or five injections. It was between ten to twelve anaesthesia injections on my upper gum!

The dentist had applied numbing gel prior to the injections, so although some jabs were painful, none was excruciating or eternal.

I went on to have the treatment which required me to swallow pockets of water that the assistant jetted into my mouth throughout the remaining 45 minutes.

After the treatment, the dentist briefed me on how to brush my gums and said that I could eat after four hours.

All seemed good and dandy.

I left the dentist's not knowing what trauma awaited me.