Monday, March 13, 2006

I'm Ba-ack!

Okay, I've been back for two weeks and I've just been too busy and lazy to post.

Tokyo Stuff:
Japan was absolutely amazing. As you probably guessed, I also don't have pictures downloaded yet but I got some great ones. Tokyo was so cool, I have never seen so much organized chaos in my life.
We were at one subway station in Shibuya, where one million people travel in and out of every day. And we crossed an intersection there where about 1,500 people cross every time the light changes.
Everything there was so clean and everyone was quiet and very respectful. There weren't even a lot of people chatting on cell phones (really, anywhere) and the subway was almost always really quiet, even when it was packed.
Businesses and people there couldn't have made things any easier for tourists (especially ones that stood out like sore thumbs and only spoke enough Japanese to order basic food and ask for the toilets. And say please and thank you. And excuse me.) Most restaurants had a glass case out front with a huge selection of dishes of food made entirely of plastic, but were all perfect replicas of the dish. So if we didn't know how to say what we wanted they'd just take us outside and have us point to the food we wanted. That worked out well every night except one when I thought I was getting a big plate of rice and chicken. They brought it out and it was jiggly. Turns out it was tofu. Jiggly tofu. I took a big bite of it before I realized. It was not yummy.
The food was so good. We had the best gyoza (little pork-filled, fried dumplings). And when we went to the fish market we had sushi and yakitori for breakfast. And met the nicest Japanese guy who gave us Japanese lessons. We got some hilarious pictures with him.
We got to go to this cool hangout in Harajuku where a lot of high school students get together on Sundays and dress up in these funky, elaborate goth costumes (Kev got some great pictures of that).
One of my favorite places was Kamakura, with the big Buddha statue. It was the coolest place. Got some great pictures there too.
But I won't blabber on and on about it, I'll try to break it up. But I can't wait to share everything.

More TMJ Stuff:
Got back from Tokyo and had a week to catch up at work and recover, then my husband and I went to Dallas weekend before last to see a TMJD surgeon who came highly recommended. I had to jump through a thousand hoops to get in, but he took a lot of time and explained exactly what was wrong and why my jaw wasn't working.
He said we have two options:
1) This artificial ligament called a Mytec Anchor, which they pin to the bone and wrap it around so it holds the disc in place, but he didn't know if the disc would ever be able to function like it should. He said there was about a 60% chance that it would be successful and the cost is about $60,000.
2.) A complete joint replacement on both sides with titanium prosetetics, called TMJ Concepts, which you can see on their website if you scroll down. Freaky looking. The procedure would involve amputating the condyle and removing the disc and the little crook up close to the ear that it all fits into and replacing it all with titanium pieces. He said there was a 90% chance that I would be pain free with almost full function (the joints don't move side to side, other than that they move like normal joints.) Oh, and estimated cost= $90,000.
Holy crap. The shock has worn off, I definitely wasn't thinking they would want to cut off part of my face! Things have been really bad the last two years and for most of the past year I've been on a very soft diet and in a lot of pain.
I meet with my dentist tomorrow and I hope we can discuss it and go from there. I have no clue what insurance will even cover.

Family Stuff:
My little sister is getting married! (Did I say that already?) I'm really excited for her. She's planning an outdoor wedding in August. She and Mom and I went to Dallas this past weekend to pick out a dress. And (this is so her) she liked the second one she tried on. Of two. And it comes with a little matching set with bridesmaid dresses and everything. It was good to spend the weekend with them, we don't get to do that much anymore. Have pics of that too I hope to post soon.

On the hooks:
Still joining the 63 squares ghan. I'm quite possibly the world's slowest joiner. I think people have joined the crochet along and finished since I have been joining squares, I swear. But I finally have a free weekend, after, like, seven weekends crammed full of plans, so I hope to get some work done on it then. I'd love to finish.

Crochetville's new round of Secret Pals started this month, I was so excited I got to join. My secret pal is someone I don't know very well but I'm learning more about her and have exciting things planned for her. And my secret to me pal has been really kind, I've gotten some sweet e-cards and emails from her.

More to come later this week....


Anonymous rebecca said...

wow! what a post! fabulous travels, sister's wedding plans and, I must say, the tmj thing is awful. If you've seen my blog, you know I've had serious dental work done while you where in japan. Eating soft food and being in pain is definitely NO good. I wish you luck on the consultation with your dentist.

Hope to see you soon at Sit&Stitch!

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you had a great trip!

5:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

90% pain free sounds good! Can't wait to see some pics. Thanks for updating your blog.
Secret Pal. :)

5:17 AM  
Blogger Kari said...

Glad you are back... congrats on the sis marrying. On the TMJ ouch holy crappola! 90K? aputation? My tmj isn't as bad as yours. I can still eat normally just with some pain, however the thought of being painfree is appealing even to me. I wish you luck on whichever way you and your dentist decide.

5:48 AM  
Blogger SheCrochets said...

Can't wait to see your vacation pics... they sound fab!

8:17 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

Cleary you've been much too busy having a wonderful time in Japan and travelling with family to join squares! Sounds like it was an awesome trip!!
So sorry about your tmj. Must be a bummer. :( Hope you can find a solution. :)

9:32 AM  
Blogger Tandi said...

Thanks for the comments everyone.
Can't wait to share the pics with you, we saw some pretty amazing stuff.

Rebecca, I didn't see that you had to have a ton of work done. Sorry to hear, that is miserable (and never cheap!) Hope you're feeling better.
Thanks Secret Pal! Good to hear from you. I've really enjoyed the sweet ecards you've sent.

Kari, I'll try to connect with you some time, there are some awesome TMJ message boards online where I have found much encouragement. I can give you that info if you're interested.

Sue and she, good to hear from you!
Forgot to post about my progress (or lack thereof) of the 63 squares, still joining...

11:34 AM  
Blogger Prayerful Knitter - Shelly said...

I was worried you were still lost in Japan and trying to get home. : )

It sounds like you've had some wonderful adventures and family fun.

I'll be praying about your TMJ decisions and that you will have relief soon.

I'm excited to see your pictures of everything. : )

Hope to see you at Borders on Thursday.


2:02 PM  
Anonymous rebecca said...

Tandi, I had an extraction and a bone graft because of a deep (not seen in xrays-only revealed by pain) infection between the two back teeth which ate all the bone up to the sinus lining; also the tooth opposite the extracted one needed a crown as it was broken in half. Hopefully in several months the extracted tooth can be replaced by an implant-the hole feels enormous to me! Now that that dental work has been done it's obvious the same dynamic is at work on the other side (the back teeth hit together first and drive me crazy). More dental work will come in April to prevent an infection and loss of chewing teeth on the other side-and my insurance only covers the first 1500 dollars per year-hope you have a better policy!

6:52 AM  
Blogger Tandi said...

Wow, Rebecca, that sounds miserable. I hope you are feeling better. Tooth pain is the worst.
I can imagine this isn't a cheap procedure, especially for you to have to do twice. Hopefully something will come through for you.

I have really good dental insurance but dental says it's medical and medical says it's dental. My health ins. only covers TMJ surgical procedures, so my whole balance to my former specialist (Dr. Moneybags), my new specialist fees, and both MRI's came out of pockets.

I'm seriously looking at getting a night job. I hear you can make a lot of money there, lol. Or maybe selling a vital organ...

10:38 AM  
Blogger Tandi said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Vik said...

Glad you are back!!! and waiting for the pics Tandi!

1:22 PM  
Blogger Yasmin said...

Welcome back Tandi!
Sounds like you had a great trip and had loads of fun.
Congratulations on your sister's wedding news! Now you can try some bridal crochet, maybe??
The TJM thing sounds so scary to me !!! I hate going to the dentist , my worst nightmare !I wish you all the best and hope things work out fine.

8:54 AM  

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