That Asian Ophie

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I’ve been seeing videos on social media that are titled ’15 Types of Asian Girls!’ or ‘What Do Asian Girls Like?’ Although these videos are for comedic purposes and not meant to be taken seriously, they’re a little irritating because… why can’t a girl just be a girl without having to be referred to as Asian?

For instance, the United Airlines incident. There are people on Twitter or social media who make Asian jokes about the doctor who was involved. They tweet things like, “Go to United Airlines if you want Chinese takeout.” Although he is not even Chinese, I find it interesting that people refer to him as an ‘Asian doctor’ or ‘Asian’ or ‘Chinese’ as if that has some bearing on the incident itself. He’s an American citizen who pays taxes just like you and me and he had a bad experience on an airplane. What relevance does it REALLY have if he’s Asian?

In my previous post about UA, I wrote about wondering whether or not this incident would have occurred if he had not been Asian due to the way that Asians are portrayed in the media (friendly, doesn’t want any trouble, easygoing)/ Although there is a very real incident of Asians being portrayed stereo typically in the media (if they’re even on these shows at all), even Dao’s own lawyer admitted that this wasn’t an incident related to race.

Once someone says, “Regarding the incident that occurred with the ASIAN DOCTOR who was on the airplane” I’m immediately turned off. Why can’t he just be a doctor?

Back to the issue though, I watched a video that listed all the types of Asian Girls and it disturbed me a little. Why can’t an Asian girl just be a human being who doesn’t have to fit a particular category? So I like video games, I don’t wear full-on makeup every time I step out of the house, I’m focused on my career and I love working out – why can’t I just be Ophie instead of being a ‘yappie/fitness Asian girl/Normal Asian Girl/nerdy Asian girl”? Btw, yappie stands for Young Asian Professional. Why can’t a Yappie just be a Yuppie?

So if an Asian girl dyed her hair blonde, started wearing circle contacts and went to clubs a lot, she’d called an ABG by some and then people would assume things like maybe she’s not the sharpest pencil in the box or she’s got an attitude.

If I see such a person outside, I don’t gasp and think, “She’s an Asian baby girl. She’s probably an import model (as the stereotype goes).” I just think she’s attractive. For all I know (and care) she could be going to med school or pursuing a career in design.

My issue is that these types of posts and acronyms are perpetuating stereotypes.

Listing ’10 Types of Asians You See on the Street’ has the risk of making the Asian community look like we’re television characters or people in a play. Not real. Not human beings with unique personalities but little barbie dolls encased in plastic cases with a little string that you pull to make them say something oh-so-typically ‘Asian’.

And as a last note, the lack of Asians in mainstream media has always bothered me. When I grew up, I found that all the characters in the stories I wrote were Caucasian. It never occurred to me why until I realized later on that most of the actors I saw in movies or people I read about in books weren’t Asian. Thankfully that’s changing and more diversity is being introduced these days.

There are some who are threatened by the increasing diversity we have in this country. America was formed on a foundation of immigrants and the unique cultures each of us brings. Many immigrants, such as my own family, are small business owners and help to stimulate this economy by paying taxes and creating jobs. I am a strong believer that making this country more diverse and bringing people of all color into mainstream media is one of the ways that we can truly “make American great again”.

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My Impacted Wisdom Tooth Removal Experience

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After getting my wisdom teeth removed. Cheek became HUGE a few days later.

I got my wisdom teeth on my left side removed about a month ago. I’m healing nicely so far but the recovery process was a bit difficult so I thought it would be worthwhile to write about my experience in case it would help anyone.

Both of my wisdom teeth were impacted, the upper one had been bothering me for almost two years and frequently got infected or even when it wasn’t it kept trying to push through and was uber painful. Both of them were either partially emerged or in the gum.

The Removal:

Local anesthetic with nitrous

Total Cost: $865 with nitrous at $65

The removal was quick and took less than ten minutes. Basically all the specialist did day-in and day-out was remove wisdom teeth so he did it like a pro and it did NOT hurt at all. I felt a little bit of pressure and cracking but he was otherwise very gentle. The nitrous oxide helped and made me feel happy. I highly recommend the nitrous, yo!

I’m happy I wasn’t put under for this because it seems like it would’ve been a waste.

Also, my dentist gave me two Edwards movie tickets. I’ve been going to my dentist for years now and have had a great experience! She did my Invisalign as well and helped me with everything from fillings to cleanings to my past root canals so I feel lucky to have a supportive dentist. Her name is Dr. Peggy Kang and her office is 4Ever Smile located in San Gabriel. What I appreciate most about Dr. Peggy is that she doesn’t try to sell me on procedures and is honest.

The specialist (his name escapes me) comes into Dr. Peggy’s office to help with wisdom teeth removal. Like I said, he was really quick and efficient. Didn’t hurt at all!

At least I had something to look forward to once I recovered. I’m going to catch a movie with my good friend this week (Bible study and frozen yogurt, then Boss Baby, and then probably dinner at Applebee’s woooo!).

The Recovery:

Lord, help me. This was the worst part of the entire process.

Day One to Day Two

Day One as in the day of the surgery. I came home and felt fine. I felt fine enough to exercise (which I didn’t of course) and fine enough to walk around freely. There was lots of bleeding but that was controlled by the gauze. I bit down on the gauze for the first two hours and when it got soaked I removed it and then packed in some more gauze like my dentist’s assistants showed me how to.

The first two days I binged on Real Housewives of Atlanta and ate lots of porridge and got lots of rest. Speaking of RHOA, YASSS!! This is the first reality show I’ve seen where I really like the cast and connect with them. My favorite is definitely Kenya. She is hilarious and makes this show. #IwantMOORE! I’m on season 9 right now and Sheri is pretty cool too!

Day Three to Day Four

Day Three was when things got pretty bad. I guess I didn’t coat my stomach enough with food for the pain meds (they put me on hydrocodone) because I started getting queasy whenever I took the pain meds. The pain meds would make me throw up and feel nauseous so I stopped taking them.

Dun dun dun! The throbbing in my jaw and the pain wasn’t as bad as the nausea from the pain meds though. But it was not fun. I went to my dentist panicking a few times because I didn’t know if the pain was normal. She assured me that I was healing extremely well and to just get some rest and relax.

I was afraid of getting dry socket but I actually turned out okay! The hole in my upper gum, according to my dentist, sealed up in less than a week.

To prevent dry socket, I avoided straws and vigorous exercise. Other than that, all I could do was wait.

Day Five to Day Six

I was still experiencing intense swelling and throbbing. Ibuprofen helped a lot but the pain went away and soon I could eat normally (within day seven or eight). I used the syringe they gave me on day four on both my upper and lower extraction sites and had no issues. I rinsed with salt water at least three times a day and made sure to eat things that wouldn’t get stuck in the extraction sites.

By the second week, I started to feel much better. It’s been over a month now and the hole for my lower wisdom tooth hasn’t sealed up yet but it’s been healing.

I am very grateful that I’ve been healing fine. I certainly felt very worried during those days of healing because I didn’t know if the pain was normal and I was afraid of getting dry socket. So I followed the specialist’s instructions to a T and tried not to do too many Google searches (haha).

Then it was all fine! :] Thank You, Lord!

I still have my right ones in but I’m still debating if I should get those taken out or not.

 

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How I Deal with Sebhorreic Dermatitis: Seb Derm Survival Guide

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I’ve had seb derm almost my entire life. Only, it got worse over time and I never really noticed it until it got really bad. I would have the occasional flaking on my face and sometimes my skin would look dry, but that was the worst of it – before. This time though, I had trouble sleeping because my face was just so unbearably itchy.

I’ve been dealing with random things healthwise and it led to a much greater use of antibiotics. I caught impetigo while traveling in Vegas in December and my doctor prescribed me both topical and oral antibiotics. (I still have the scars from my impetigo and they’re barely healing, even three months later. I pray every day that the impetigo won’t return.)

When I came back from China, I had this pesky wisdom tooth that kept bothering me so I had both my wisdom teeth removed and my dentist also gave me a boat-load of stronger antibiotics.

Long story short, I’ve been taking a lot of antibiotics and the more I took, the more I saw that these white flakes were appearing on my face particularly my cheeks and nose. I feel that the seb derm I have was aggravated in part by how many antibiotics I was using, which were messing up my immune system.

According to SebDermInfo.com, increasing your consumption of antibiotics can aggravate your seb derm.

While antibiotics have saved an incredible amount of lives, they have also come with some drawbacks. One of those drawbacks is killing the good bacteria in your gut and disrupting the balance of stomach flora. Your gut normally has a balance of good and bad bacteria. If the bad bacteria start to overpopulate your gut and digestive system, digestive issues will inevitably follow. Moreover, there is very strong evidence that the over growth of bad bacteria can cause the body to develop a myriad of different diseases and ailments. So if you happen to have digestive issues, there is a strong possibility that it is negatively effecting your immune system as a result. Moreover, there is a possibility that a compromised immune system could cause the development of new allergies or sensitivities.

The morning after that night of unbearable itchiness, I went researched my symptoms and found that I most likely had seb derm. A visit to my doctor a few days later confirmed my suspicion. By the time I saw her, however, I was already feeling much better. And here’s how!

DermaDoctor: Calm, Cool and Corrected (Pyrithione Zinc) 

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By the time I went to Ulta, I was already itchy and irritated. At $30, this cleanser by DermaDoctor is made specifically for those who have seb derm and I honestly need to go buy a second bottle because this product has really helped. Its primary ingredient is Pyrithione Zinc 2%, an ingredient that’s supposed to help kill the fungus responsible for seb derm.

I put it on while I’m in the shower which is when I find it’s easiest to apply it well. As I’m showering, I first wet my face and then I put the cleanser in my hands and lather it up all nice before rubbing it in gentle circles on my face.

The alternative to this was using salt water on my face and while that was cheaper and did help me feel somewhat better, this cleanser gave me SO much more relief!

After using the cleanser, I follow it up with this lotion I bought from CVS specifically meant for sensitive and dry skin called Exederm. It doesn’t aggravate my seb derm and actually alleviates some of my itching. But because there’s a certain ingredient present in many moisturizers that actually feeds the fungus contributing to the seb derm, I take it easy on the moisturizer.

Using Coal Tar Shampoo 

I used coal tar shampoo from CVS to kill off the fungus in my hair (which was also itchy and had dandruff). I made sure to rub some on my eyebrows and sideburns (don’t tell me sideburns aren’t cool) as well. This gave me a lot of relief as well.

However, my mistake was putting the shampoo on my face. I woke up a few hours later and my skin felt swollen, red and hot. So I wouldn’t recommend putting it on your skin, haha.

Getting Lots of Vitamin D and Probiotics 

Finally, sunlight can actually kill off the fungus that’s causing seb derm as well. I started taking more walks with my mom early on in the park or playing tennis outside and felt better. I’ve also been taking more vitamin D3 supplements as well. I’ve also been taking Probiotics to build up my immune system.

So far, my skin is far less itchy, irritated and unbearably flaky than it was before I took these steps.

Anyway, I wanted to write this post for the same reason I wrote the impetigo one. Itchy and irritated skin SUCKS! And I really hope this helps you out and gives you some good ideas. Seb derm doesn’t currently have a cure but it’s definitely a manageable and common condition.

Here’s to healthy skin for all of us! 

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My Experience with Impetigo

 

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First, a disclaimer:

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only. This blog post makes no representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information contained on or available through this web site, and such information is subject to change without notice. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.

Impetigo is a bacterial skin infection. Usually found in children, it’s occasionally present in adults. While the skin infection can go away on its own in about five weeks, leaving it alone can also cause it to get even worse as the infection passes into your second layer of skin and becomes echthyma. 

Impetigo looks like cold sores but the difference is that it spreads and gets bigger over time. Non-bullous impetigo, which is the one that I had, starts out with blisters that eventually pop and then crust over.

It took about 2-3 weeks for my impetigo to fully heal with no scabs left.

I caught impetigo during a trip from Las Vegas. The itching started during my flight back to Los Angeles. The blisters started off as skin-colored. I had never heard of impetigo before so I didn’t think much of the blisters. I actually couldn’t even notice them at first, so I scratched them. By day 3, the patch had started and it was noticeably itchy, noticeably painful and noticeably ugly.

I thought it was a cold sore even though I had never had one before. The abreva further irritated my impetigo and putting vaseline on it irritated it too. So… the infection was really bad by the time I got to the doctor. It had spread in three different spots and ‘angry’ is the perfect word to describe it.

The Lord came through for me though. My doctor’s office is usually booked pretty full in advance, especially the 7:30am time slot. Fortunately, I could get a 7:30am appointment in just a few days.

I went to the doctor in time and was able to get a prescription for topical antibiotics and oral antibiotics before it got worse. By the time I got to the doctor’s office, the skin under my lower lip had broken out into crusty sores that my mom even hurt to look at.

My doctor examined my proposed ‘cold sore’ and said, “I am pretty sure this is impetigo. I’ve seen enough of it to recognize it.”

The process of healing from impetigo hasn’t been fun. I would research on the internet for information and find a lot of it lacking. I didn’t get to ask my first doctor all the questions that I had, so I also used Dr. Phil’s Doctor on Demand to connect with a doctor in my local area. She was very helpful and provided a lot of great information.

I’m sure that if I hadn’t seen the doctor as early as I did, it would have gotten worse. On the other hand, if I had gone earlier, the infection would have been very minor. The biggest lesson I learned from this is to go to the doctor. I usually delay going to the doctor as much as I can, but this experience showed me that I need to take care of myself and that means getting medical help when I need it.

FAQs I had: 

Please be reminded that this is just my personal experience. I am not a doctor.

How Did I Catch Impetigo?

When I asked my doctor how I caught impetigo, she shrugged and said that it was everywhere. She said maybe I had a cut on my chin and that was how the bacteria got in. My research also showed me that impetigo can be spread through direct contact. It could’ve been a towel napkin I used at the buffet, the blankets that I slept on in the hotel or the towels I used. It could’ve been anything, really.

I also should have been more careful about washing my hands and picking my face. I’ve been blessed with clear skin all of my life, but I pick at my face when I’m nervous so that’s probably how I got the bacteria on my skin.

Will impetigo scar?

Impetigo usually doesn’t scar. The second doctor told me that since I usually don’t scar from injuries or bug bites, this probably won’t scar either.

While impetigo heals usually without any scarring, ecthyma is more prone to leaving scars and takes longer to heal as it basically creates an ulcer in your skin. That’s why you should really go to the doctor. If I could turn back time, I might have actually used Doctor on Demand first so that I could get a prescription. :/

When will the scabs go away/how will I know that impetigo is healing? 

After the antibiotics took care of the infection, a process that took about seven days, my skin started to heal. When your wound scabs, it’s usually to protect that wound from infection as your body starts making new skin. The scabs will take about 1-3 weeks to fully leave, depending on the severity in my opinion.

My scabs kept falling off and then growing back. This means that the wound is still healing. You can tell your wound is healing as the color changes from red to pink and the scabs become smaller. If you see new blisters appearing, this might mean your antibiotics aren’t working and you should go back to your doctor before the infection gets worse.

How can I tell the difference between a cold sore and impetigo?

Impetigo usually spreads in multiple places. When the scab of my impetigo fell off, it revealed even more blisters. Basically, it gets a lot worse before it gets better.

My first doctor took a look at my extremely angry impetigo and said, “If this were a cold sore, it would not be this inflamed at this time.”

Cold sores usually heal more quickly than impetigo, she said.

If your cold sore isn’t getting better in about 7 days and it keeps spreading around with new blisters popping up, then it just might be impetigo.

What should I do about aftercare for impetigo? Should I wash the scabs off?

My first doctor prescribed me oral antibiotics and topical antibiotics.

My second doctor suggested that I gently soak my scabs in warm water and clean the affected area each day. She said that the ointment would help with scarring as well.

Keep the affected area clean and follow the instructions for your antibiotics.

Some online sites suggested washing the scabs away. For me, I found that washing some of the scabs away would really hurt so I would only wash off the ones that were ‘loose’. If there were new scabs that hurt to touch, I would just leave it alone.

Why did I make this post?

I caught impetigo about two weeks before I was set to travel to China. I remember feeling the feeling of fear and insecurity when the infection was at its worst and even when it was healing. Impetigo, thankfully, is an easily curable infection but it’s certainly not pretty to look at. This post is meant to help others out there who are going through the same thing, or who aren’t sure what’s happening to their skin.

It is not meant to substitute for medical advice, and if there’s one thing I stress in this post, it’s going to the doctor because a bacterial infection on your skin is obviously very serious.

Interesting fact: During my impetigo, I binged on America’s Next Top Model because I needed to stay in the house while the infection was contagious. Michelle on Cycle 3 caught impetigo too. I recognized it before she did, haha. That moment actually put a soft spot in my heart  for Michelle… catching impetigo while on a national television show for modeling is just not fun. The other contestants thought it was a flesh-eating virus and got all scared. In the words of Tiffany’s grandma, “grow up and read a book, girls!”

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I feel you, Michelle.