Friday, May 14, 2010


I typed "What's ur..".  Next thing I knew the car lost speed.  I tried accelerating but could not.  I pressed the gas pedal again but to no avail.  Maybe I have accidentally shifted the gear to neutral.  That was not the case.  All in a split  second.    I pressed the hazard signal on, my leg pressed onto the brake pedal and my left hand pulled the hand brake.  The car came to a standstill It was human brain and reflex working all at the same time in an emergency.  In that split second I accidentally pressed the "send" button.

The car came to a standstill on the fast lane of an uphill two lane viaduct on Jalan Pantai heading towards Kerinchi.  The gentleman behind me in the Estima was alert enough to stop.  I reckon he is one of the more cultured and refined motorist.  He was calm and did not honk.  He signaled, waited for the vehicles on his left to clear off, then maneuvered away from my car and sped off.  The rest behind him followed suit.

I switched off the engine.  After waiting for a while, I tried cranking it again but to no avail.  I tried a few more times.  In between a few calls were made to both my mechanics. One will be on his way soon while the other who specializes in this car is still trying to figure out if he should come.  I later found out that his wife is unwell.

Meanwhile, I sat in the car, viewed the rear mirror and watched in suspense the speed of the cars moving towards my stalled car.   Most were speeding, even though they going uphill at a gradient of approximately twenty plus degrees.  There were a few close calls.  One Persona stopped right on time just behind my car.  I got out of my car.  It was just so very dangerous.  I wanted to make sure I do not make third page news the next day.

The first mechanic arrived.  The diagnosis narrowed down to the defective fuel pump.  He tried many different novelty ways to get the car started again but to no avail.   I resigned myself to the fate that I would have to get my wheels ferried to the workshop.  It sure will cost me a bundle at this time of the night.  I asked the other mechanic to come.  He specializes in this car make.  Hopefully something will work out.

Sigh..  I took out my iPhone.  It is my move. It has been for a while already now.  "Words With Friends",  is a kind of scrabble like game.  I have started  playing it with two person simultaneously.  One I have met, the other I have not.  I am actually hooked onto this game.   I am not going to think of the car for the time being.   The mechanic's car is behind mine.  So there is also no worries of the fast moving vehicles smashing onto mine.

An hour and a half later the other mechanic came.  After checking, diagnosing, dismantling and refixing some of the fuel pump components up and checking again, he found out that the fuse to the fuel pump has blown.  The fuse was replaced.  The car was cranked and it started.  So off I drove while having my eyes fixated on the next move with my opponents on the Word game.

This early morning at 7.56am I got a text message: 
"Hi. What's my what?" 
Took a while for me to figure it out.  Then I realized.  I sent him a text to with words to this effect:
 "As I was texting you, my car died!!!"

I had wanted to invite him to play the Word game with me.  I did not know what his ID was.  I do not think he would use his pseudonym because his orientation would be to obvious to all.  Nice fella.  He is a smarty.  So that is why I hope to play Words with him.  I cannot wait for him to thrash me.  I am still waiting for him to reply with his ID. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Observation

I was having dinner with a friend.  We shared fried beef rice noodle and the house specialty, fried fresh wanton noodles.  I realized that it was easy for me to eat the beef noodles but not the wanton noodles.  I could just slurp the rice noodle, chew it a little bit and swallow it.  The beef slices were soft and I need not have to chew it long.  The wanton noodle on the other hand require some effort.  As I bite and chew the noodle and vegetables together, they became stuck the the braces and food debris began to fill up.  After the meal I ordered a winter melon longan sweet dessert.   I was able to bite the winter melon pieces in the dessert but not the soft longan. 

I am consciously compiling in my head the types of food that I can eat easily without much trouble.  I am also registering the type of food that should be avoided especially during formal meals.  Some food though soft can get entangled onto the wires.  Mushy overcooked leafy vegetables is one.  The longan with its fiber when you chew on it is another.  Any food that is springy and cannot be cut by the teeth at one go is another.  So my favourite calamari and squid is a no no.  

Food no longer taste as good as before.  Because I eat and chew small portions at a time, I  lose the taste and aroma of the food.  There is also a tendency to swallow food that is not fully chewed.  So I have to consciously make an effort not too.  The vestibule area; between the lower teeth and the inferior lips is always filled with food debris.  It is like a gutter.  I have to consciously use my tongue to try swirl the food back in again.

I am slowly getting used to eating with my braces on. 

I wonder how it will be when the upper teeth is wired and the wires are tighten this Friday.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I am Wired

I was supposed to get my braces fixed last Friday morning.  I remember clearly the thoughts that ran through my mind then.  I had some noodles that night.  I was telling myself this would be the last supper before I could really eat without metal pieces sticking on my teeth some two years down the road.

I arrived slightly late that morning.  I was called into the room and the orthodontist then found out that the brackets and what not were not ready.  He apologized profusely.  The nurse then put bands on the molars.  These were small little blue colored rubber bands which were slid in between the molar teeth.  Then I did not know why they put the bands on.  Eating was a little chore after that.

Finally on Friday afternoon it happened.

The bands were removed.  Brackets were fixed onto the molars.  The bands were inserted between the teeth last week so that it would be easier to for the bracket to be fixed. 

The brackets were sized according to numerical.  None of the ones they prepared for me could be fixed properly.  Apparently the model has shrunk.  After trying various other sizes, the orthodontist told the nurse to use I believe another set.  I could not figure out what the orthodontist and nurses were talking about during the procedure. They were all talking in codes of  letters and numbers.  So I could only assume it was another set.  I have a funny feeling this other set is for some other kind of procedure.  The nurse sort of asked the orthodontist to reconfirm that another set was to be used.  The brackets were dislodged from the molars again once the correct size were found.  Some cement was applied and the brackets were then fixed onto the molars.  A gun emitting blue ray was used to set the cement.

Next, small little brackets were fixed onto the front of each teeth.  The brackets were made of porcelain.  My friend told me that the government hospitals do not use this type of brackets because they were expensive.  The privilege was mine I suppose.  The first bracket set so quickly.  The orthodontist was surprised at how fast the porcelain brackets set. He had to make some adjustments. One by one the brackets were fixed onto my lower teeth.  The orthodontist then wired the the brackets.  They only had time to fix the lower teeth.  The upper teeth would be wired next Friday.

It looked weird when I first saw my teeth on the mirror.  At first I thought my mouth was bloodied.  But I never tasted the ferrous smell of my blood.  The orthodontist then told me that they had to dye the brackets because they could not see it.  The brackets on the molars were made of stainless steel.  The small porcelain brackets looked like plastic to me.  From afar, you would only be able to see wires. The brackets is not noticeable.

The orthodontist told me not to throw away anything that is dislodged.  I am to take it back to the hospital.  The Sister then  advised me on the type of food that I am not suppose to take.  No chewing gum, nuts and crunchy food.  I am suppose to tear the meat into smaller pieces before eating it.  I am to reduce the intake of colored drinks like coffee and coke.  She also showed me how I am to brush and clean my teeth, AFTER EVERY MEAL.

My first meal after the procedure was dinner.  Shabu-shabu it was.  Now I know why I am going to lose some weight.  Imagine trying to eat with fixtures on your teeth.  The debris of the food is lodged all over the mouth and teeth.  The left side of the tongue keeps brushing the side of the stainless steel bracket.  Food is less tasty when you have to eat in smaller pieces and chew slowly.  There is no strength for the teeth to bite and chew hard or rubbery food. 

I believe the worse has yet to begin.  I believe the orthodontist has let me off the hook this week.  There do not seem to be any pain or numbness yet.  I am sure next week the wires will be tightened.  That is when the challenge will begin!

I want to take this opportunity to thank some of you readers who are taxpayers for sponsoring my braces.  It is going to cost me only RM700 instead of the RM7-8K had I got it done private.  Thanks folks.