The Digital Awakening Is Ten Years Old!

The Digital Awakening turned ten last Monday. It slipped my mind until just now when I was perching on the porcelain throne. What a way to remember my blog’s anniversary.

While I am happy that this blog is still around after a decade, I am a little disappointed that I did not manage to hit two thousand posts. I am still 384 posts short of that target.

Nevertheless, I am glad to have started this blog. It was through this medium that I am able to chronicle the most significant period of my life. It was also through this medium that many friendships have been forged.

Thank you to all who have made my life more meaningful. My life is richer because of you. Here is a toast to another decade of blogging and another decade of great friendship.

2012 In Review

2012 was another great year for me although the first few months of the year were slow moving. The new year did not start with a bang for me. I started on my first dose of 10mg Lipitor to keep my cholesterol in check. This made me feel that I have crossed over to the old age phase of my life.

In conjunction with Mother’s Day in May, The Star published the article I wrote about my mother’s sacrifices for me and the final few weeks of her life. I am truly grateful to have a mother like her who was always there for me no matter rain or shine.

After an overnight trip to Penang in May to conduct a one-day Disability Equality Training (DET) workshop in Universiti Sains Malaysia, Wuan and I went back to Penang again in June on our annual pilgrimage for durians. Having savoured durians from all over, we still prefer Balik Pulau durians for their intense pungence and taste.

In September, I participated in the “TENA Rediscover Dreams” initiative by conducting a Disability Equality Training workshop. The project included making a video of my work as a DET trainer, and also had me appearing in advertorials and articles that were published in major newspapers.

Majlis Perbandaran Ampang Jaya built a road hump right outside the house in that same month. I filed a complaint because the hump effectively became a barrier that impeded my free movement. The municipal councillor responsible for this area refused to entertain my objections. What made it worse was her partronising attitude when responding to me. The hump is still there after four months.

After many years having two front teeth with mismatched colours, I finally got the crown that I have had for thirty years replaced. Dr. Ammar Musawi of the International Medical University did a good job in restoring the aesthetics of my smile again. Yes, I admit, I am vain like that.

This was also a year of catching up with friends from far and near. On my trip to Kuching with Victor Chin in October to deliver a presentation on Disability Equality Training, I met up with Phyllis and Pierce, both online friends I have never met before although we have known each other for many years.

November saw me conducting Disability Equality Training for University of Malaya. The two and a half day workshop was participated by Disability Liaison Officers who are the point of reference on disability matters for the university staff and students.

Incidentally, Devyne was in town and since Wuan had taken leave to accompany me to the DET workshop in University of Malaya, we took the opportunity to meet up with her at Chilli’s and with friends we have not met in a while, namely Jocelyn, Mohan, Irene and Dale. Bryan was in town the next day and we met up for dinner, too.

That was followed by a presentation on Disability Equality Training at the plenary sessions of the 11th Asian Spinal Cord Network (ASCoN) Conference in the first day of December. The conference capped what proved to be a fruitful year for me where conducting DET workshops is concerned.

Generally, I am happy with how 2012 has unfolded. Here’s a toast to the best year of my life yet and wishing for an even better one this year. Cheers!

Dental Crown Replacement

Back in 1981, while kicking around a bottle cap with my schoolmates during recess, I fell flat on my face and caused a hairline fracture on one of my front tooth. My gums swelled and got infected. The dentist made in incision to drain the pus and recommended root canal treatment for both front teeth. The colour of the tooth with the hairline fracture turned progressively darker. One night, about eight years after that accident, it broke off totally.

The dentist at the Lam Wah Ee Hospital suggested a dental crown instead of dentures as my other teeth were in good condition. She charged a very nominal amount for the post, crown and materials only. The crown served me well. I had no problem eating with it and could enjoy corn on the cob and even chewing on sugar canes.

Dr. Ammar Musawi of IMU working on my dental crown
Dr. Ammar Musawi working on my crown at the Dental Clinic of the International Medical University in Bukit Jalil.

Over the years, while my natural teeth became a few shades yellower, the crown’s colour remained bright and unchanged. This discolouration is due to ageing and maybe from the occasional coffee, tea or cola that I indulged in. My gum had also receded, exposing some of the original discoloured tooth. Call me vain but I was very conscious of how it looked each time I smiled. I had wanted to get it fixed for the longest time.

As fate would have it, I got acquainted with Dr. Ammar Musawi of the International Medical University (IMU) Dental Faculty. He was looking for information on the distribution of disabled people in Malaysia for a project that he was working on. During one of our online conversations, I took the opportunity to consult him on replacing the crown with one that could make my smile more aesthetically pleasing.

Before and after dental crown replacement.

As I could not see him at the clinic on weekdays, he had kindly agreed to see me on Saturdays, first to take a dental impression and then to fit the replacement crown. I have a problem with stretching out on a dental chair – my legs would go into spasms. Each time the spasms struck, he would stop and let me get comfortable again before he continued. He also let me sit in upright position which helped in reducing spasms.

I could not be any happier when I held up the mirror and saw the result in the reflection. The colour matched perfectly. If I did not know any better, I would say that it is my natural tooth. Thank you, Dr. Ammar, for the excellent dental work. After so many years of muted grins, I now can smile again without being self-conscious.