Archive for the ‘definitions’ Category


ec·ze·ma [ ék’səmə ] an inflammation of the epidermis characterized by redness, itching, and the outbreak of crusty lesions that may leak fluid

When I was young, the skin on my hands scaled so badly that while my palm was still raw, the layer below would start peeling — it was quite painful (was it cheiropompholyx?).  I don’t remember how my hands healed.  I do remember going to my family doctor at least twice and he prescribing or giving me small free samples:  Locoid Lipocream (hydrocortisone butyrate 0.1%) and Elidel (pimecrolimus cream 1%).  I developed a bad picking habit, especially with my cuticles.  Freshman year of college I went to see a dermatologist for the first time and she diagnosed me with eczema and prescribed some medication.  I went to a different dermatologist in 2009 when I started working and, along with getting a mole lopped off my right foot, again was prescribed some medication (Fougera‘s alclometasone dipropionate ointment USP, 0.05%?).  (The doctor asked me if I wouldn’t mind some guys observing (it was a teaching hospital).  At first I thought it would be okay then quickly changed my mind and declined.  I imagined bumping into a new member of BASIC or something and knowing I was seen half-naked — awkward.)

Recently my eczema flared up beyond my hands to the nape of my neck, the upper areas of my arms, my thighs, and even around my eyes.  My coworkers thought I hadn’t cleaned the boogers from inside my inner eyes.  Even my patients were concerned for me, saying, “Amy!  What’s wrong with your hands?!” as they were red up to my wrists.  This new development concerned me but I was quite busy and already took so many days off that I postponed the appointment to the end of February (on the 24th).   By then, most of it had resolved (also thanks to some cream from a friend) but there was enough on my body that he prescribed Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream USP, 0.1% to “apply to neck, trunk, and arms twice a day for 10 days” and Clobetasol Propionate Ointment USP, 0.05% to “apply to fingers twice a day for 10-14 days, cover with a bandage” (ointments are greasier than creams.)  He also recommended using Aveeno’s Ezcema Therapy Moisturizing Cream as a day-to-day lotion after my eczema cleared up.

Unfortunuately, the eczema returned around my eyes and even started around my lips.  Being hesitant in using the steroids for my body around my eyes, I scheduled another appointment (281-558-3376).  I have the record for having seen no dermatologist twice up to this point in my life (at least four different doctors) because I didn’t want to wait until April (which was when they had an opening).  This was actually a blessing in disguise because I received a referral from my coworker for a dermatologist who works just around the corner (so I could go to my appointment and come back to finish my work instead of taking a day off).  Almost exactly a month later (on the 23rd/today), I was ushered in by the nurse practitioner.  This time I was prepared and was probably the annoying patient LOL, asking so many questions (my appointment was at 3pm, I saw her at 3:30pm, and I didn’t leave until 4pm).

Some questions were superfluous from seeing advertisements in the waiting room.  For example, I definitely don’t have psoriasis (thank God).  Avoid “exfoliating” spa facial treatments. Bath oils won’t hurt you but won’t help you much either.  Others were secondary to my main concern.  For example, moles continue popping up until the age of 28 years old (since I noticed I had more black dots than before).  I asked what kind of soaps were advised (Dove and Caress).  I asked what kind of over-the-counter lotions were recomended (Aveeno and Lubriderm).  I asked what sort of makeup brands were endorsed (Bare Minerals and Jane Iredale)–basically any kind of mineral makeup.  I asked about sunscreen, and she said that as soon as I’m indoors to wash it off because SPF could also be an irritant.  I asked what I should use to hold me over until my next appointment if I discovered some eczema and didn’t have anything on hand.  She said that I could take some antihistamines such as 180mg Allegra (not the kind that also had decongestants), which is no longer under prescription.

I asked about an allergy test (I feel like I’ve been developing some, with me sniffling and always trying to clear my throat, being in Houston, and recently stumbling upon some reading material saying that adults can develop allergies due to their threshold finally being reached).  They don’t provide them anymore because they discovered that patients would receive their long lists and be overwhelmed and at a loss as to what to do next.  If I really wanted to know (to avoid them, say in reading labels in lotions), then I would have to schedule an appointment with an allergy and immunology doctor (I asked at the front desk and received a list of referrals).  She said I probably flared up this year because the past two years seemed to have been the coldest and driest that Houston has experienced for a while. Also, she said those anti-bacterial hand sanitizers are likely a culprit as well (e.g. at work).  Use with discretion, she urged.

The steroids prescribed shouldn’t cause too much side effects unless you use them every day for a year or something, she said (someone had told me that my bones would grow weaker).  But she confirmed that as soon as I felt my eczema cleared up, then there is no need to continue use of the creams/ointments.  She prescribed Desoximetasone Cream USP, 0.05% for my eyes, along with Ertaczo 2% cream for the yeast around my eyes?  I bought it then returned it because it cost $150 (the steroids each have only cost $5) and I figured if the eczema could heal without that other medicine, then the better.  (I like the clear instructions from the previous doctor, because the latter just wrote “apply to affected area twice a day”.)  I also bought Eau Thermale Avene TriXera+ Selectiose (rich formula / fragrance-free emollient cream for severely dry sensitive skin).

Daily regimen recommended by both practitioners:  Take short showers and BEFORE you dry off, apply lotion to your entire body.  For the latter, she said I should use the TriXera+.

Just wanted to share for those suffering out there :)


Read Full Post »


hymn by A.B. Simpson after a sermon with this excerpt:

I once saw a picture of the Constitution of the United States, very skillfully engraved in copper plate, so that when you looked at it closely it was nothing more than a piece of writing, but when you looked at it at a distance, it was the face of George Washington. The face shone out in the shading of the letters at a little distance, and I saw the person, not the words, nor the ideas; and I thought, “‘That is the way to look at the Scriptures and understand the thoughts of God, to see in them the face of love, shining through and through; not ideas, nor doctrines, but Jesus Himself as the Life and Source and sustaining Presence of all our life.”

Read Full Post »


The Old Testament has a lot of rituals for when someone dies, for resting, for celebrating (“appoint some to sing joyful songs”).  Sometimes it’s just following the motions, but other times it helps structure personal emotions.  What a sacred moment, when the Bible said that “Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her” (Genesis 23:2b).  “Mourning” refers to “the time of mourning” that was part of their customs, but the Bible added “weeping” as well because it was also very intimate.  Abraham suffered deep grief over the loss of his wife.

Read Full Post »


Originally in the email that I read, this was going to be an English workshop.  However, the speaker announced to us sitting in the room that he had decided he would speak in “Chinglish” instead.  Cynthia was impressed that this white man who was born in Tennessee and went to college in California spoke so well.  Speaking mostly Mandarin Chinese wasn’t bad except that Silky, who was sitting next to me, is Cantonese.  I leaned over to ask if she understood, and she whispered back that she can listen but not speak Mandarin.  Good thing for us that the slides were still in English, and that I could still understand some of the Mandarin, because hearing any speaker expound is generally useful, especially if it’s personal experiences and tales.  I’m surprised he didn’t explain why he named the workshop “Tentmaking” because initially Silky thought it was literally making tents.  I convinced her to come with me to this workshop because I told her I thought it refers to the time in the Bible when Paul was making tents with Aquila and Priscilla to support himself while preaching.  The slides (with notes I could interpret from his speaking) are as follows:

  • What is professional service?
    –purposefully seeking to fulfill the Great Commission in a cross-cultural setting while working withintegrity using professional or business skills
    –identity not the same as a missionary  (e.g. you’re completely welcome if you say you are a Christian since the country has many of those, but if you say you’re a missionary you’re inviting trouble)
    –more intentional that just getting a job overseas
    –normally known as believers, but identity is not that of a “religious worker”  (e.g.  in Denmark, Laos, and North Korea)
  • Why is professional service needed?
    –fewer and fewer countries grant missionary visas  (and these include any missionaries, not just Christians, in Vietnam, in Laos….)
    –even in places that can have missionaries, there is aneed to reach out more into the market place (e.g. Japan)
    –most of the unpreached or least reached people of the world are not accessible to “traditional” missions (he said that 80% of the world’s least-reached is in the 10/40 window)
  • Some strategies and platforms
    –Teaching.  Mostly in universities and colleges, increasing desire for teacher training
    –Language learning.  For reaching minorities, must learn both the majority and the minority languages
    –Development.  Often only way for contact with rural locations or minorities, need for urban development
    –Business.  Mostly entrepreneurs, but some multinationals.
  • Why teaching?
    –great harvest recently
    –potential great influence  (since the young people are the future of the country)
    –often difficult for local church  (e.g. they are looked upon as stupid just because they didn’t get beyond an elementary school education since they had to work the fields to support their family)
  • Why is teaching so strategic?
    –impacts future leaders (government, business)
    –influences worldview of next generation
    –key to reaching the cities for Christ
    –can impact all areas of society  (opportunities outside the classroom include doing cultural events with students and inviting family, thus the church can embrace the entire family)
  • Language study
    –a ministry, not a holding period
    –good to be a learner, you learn culture as well
    –natural bridge for building relationships
  • Developmental projects
    –opens doors and builds credibility in minority areas  (appropriate technology is key, don’t use wood but metal to collect water so that it won’t be contaminated and get sick)
    –demonstrates love in Christ in holistic way 
  • Urban projects
    –key to reaching Asia is the cities
    –demonstrates God’s love to the marginalized (street kids, disabled, AIDS, migrants, elderly)
  • Education, training, and development opens doors
    –cooperation with government  (be open about being a Christian and as they see that you really love the people, they won’t be so hard on their local believers)
    –cooperation with local believers
  • Business as mission (not for the faint-hearted)
    –many opportunities, but needs careful planning and appropriate skills
    –governments often don’t trust NGOs so business is the best or only option  (recently less welcomed due to Putin)
    –needs a team with the right gift mix
  • Short-term teams
    –campus outreach (teaching English, specialist subjects)
    –learning language (Mandarin, minority languages)
    –development projects (e.g. toilet/waste technologies, decreasing flies that spread disease)
    –best if coordinated with long-term personnel
  • Requirements and qualifications
    –a love for God and a love for people
    –similar professional qualifications are required here
    –older often better! (though some age limits) (e.g. they need older mentors with life experiences, they need “nai-nai”s and “yeh-yeh”s, more strict with foreigners as indicated by your passport, but if you’re older than 65 that might be too old)
    –flexibility (you can use the strategy of just helping a teacher instead of actually being the teacher so you will have a broader influence plus and maybe more time due to not having full teacher responsibilities)
    –some Bible training my help (for conversations)
  • Challenges
    –work load can be heavy–feel that you have two jobs (grade papers plus hosting students in the evening)
    –sometimes there are restrictions on activities
         –varies by both time and location (they can’t have Christmas parties but New Year’s parties are okay)
         –sometimes more freedom than U.S. (they allow a showing of the Jesus film but not in the U.S.)
    –avoid feeling sxhizophrenic about your own identity (go before God to cement your own identity before going overseas)
  • The joys of professional service
    –making lifelong friends
    –learning a new culture
    –seeing God use all your gifts, abilities and talents to make an impact for Christ
    –growing in your own relationship with Christ/God
  • A challenge and an opportunity
    –creativity required to remain relevant to a changing world
    –opportunity for tremendous impact
  • Questions?
    Could you give us your personal take of going out of your comfort zone?  When you go beyond your comfort zone and see God uphold you, God becomes bigger, so you take the next step, and God becomes even bigger.  If you do not have a sense of God’s will, it will be hard.  But if  called, there is no safer place.
    –How do you cope through spiritual droughts and obstacles?  Remember why you went.  Remember the love letters from God, where He has said, “I have put My Hand upon you.”  For example, the day that I graduated from seminary, I received in the mail a letter I had been waiting for saying that I had been accepted.  “Welcome to China” I read, with tears in my eyes.  Later on, I was kicked out of the country, but I remembered this and it sustained me and I persevered.
    Can you elaborate on mercy ministries?  It works with the government to offer social services to locales.  There are a lot of ministries that were shut down not because they were doing anything bad (they were actually helping), but because they didn’t let the government know, the government was nervous and shut them down.  Let the government know this is how Christians live, with compassion.
    How do you maintain fellowship with the Church?  Nowadays it’s easier through Skype and such advances of technology.  However, there is nothing like a small group accountability and intimacy that you find on a mission trip.  Still, one day I had communion back here in the States and I cried because it had been so long, since we had to be so secretive overseas.
    –After students come to Christ, what kind of follow-up is there?  It’s a case-by-case call.  The same goes with college students who return home: do they return to the church they grew up in or find a new one, and do they go to church at all or find themselves entangled in the busyness of a new career?  Overseas, we want to support the local church so we refer them there, but the church is part of the government and some converts are afraid, so we refer others to a home church that we are cognitive of.
    –How did you end up choosing these people?  Well, Ralph Winter’s daughter was in my same class, so I got to really know her and their family.  He said that the four major lost nations: China, those speaking Hindu, those of an Islamic background, and native tribes.  It was sort of a default since my heart didn’t have an aching for the other groups. 

Read Full Post »

from http://www.isthisyour.name/name.php?forename=amy&surname=lee

Top 5 Facts for this Name:

  • 50% of the letters are vowels. Of one million first and last names we looked at, 2.2% have a higher vowel make-up. This means you are extremely well envoweled.
  • In ASCII binary it is… 01000001 01101101 01111001 00100000 01001100 01100101 01100101
  • Backwards, it is Yma Eel… nice ring to it, huh?
  • In Pig Latin, it is Amyway Eelay.
  • People with this first name are probably: Female. So, you are constantly overcharged for beauty products.

Name Origin and Meaning:

Origin:  Latin
Meaning:  Beloved

Origin:  English, Irish, Welsh, Chinese
Meaning:  A pasture, meadow, lands not plowed, a common, a sheltered place; a river, a stream; a clearing in the woods; plum tree

3 Things You Didn’t Know:

  • Your personal power animal is the Arctic Lemming.
  • Your ‘Numerology’ number is 7. If it wasn’t bulls**t, it would mean that you are spiritual, eccentric, and a bit of a loner. Introspective and analytical, you think deeply and prefer seclusion.
  • According to the US Census Bureau°, 0.451% of US residents have the first name ‘Amy’ and 0.2502% have the surname ‘Lee’. The US has around 300 million residents, so we guesstimate there are 3,385 Americans who go by the name ‘Amy Lee’.

from http://www.pokemyname.com/firstname_1569_amy.htm

  • Amy in Braille (Blind) Alphabet, in Sign Language, in Morse Code, in Marine Flag Language, and as a Barcode
  • Usage as a first name is 94.66% and as a middle name is 5.34%
  • The sum of alphabetical order of letters in AMY is 39 and this makes AMY arithmetic buddies with words like Clear and Tame

Read Full Post »


We just admitted someone with Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, though we don’t know where the site is.  So I came home and read up on it:

Some settings have factors that make it easier for MRSA to be transmitted. These factors, referred to as the 5 C’s, are as follows: Crowding, frequent skin-to-skin Contact, Compromised skin (i.e., cuts or abrasions), Contaminated items and surfaces, and lack of Cleanliness.  Locations where the 5 C’s are common include schools, dormitories, military barracks, households, correctional facilities, and daycare centers.

You can protect yourself by: 

  • practicing good hygiene (e.g., keeping your hands clean by washing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and showering immediately after participating in exercise);
  • covering skin trauma such as abrasions or cuts with a clean dry bandage until healed;
  • avoiding sharing personal items (e.g., towels, razors) that come into contact with your bare skin; and using a barrier (e.g., clothing or a towel) between your skin and shared equipment such as weight-training benches;
  • maintaining a clean environment by establishing cleaning procedures for frequently touched surfaces and surfaces that come into direct contact with people’s skin.

Read Full Post »


I joined the FBCC flag football tournament, which spans four Sunday afternoons (started 12/21) over the holiday break.  The teams consist of college and career mixed together, so I don’t know most of the people on my team (Orange).  I’m glad Justine and BJ are our managers.  It’s been quite an experience.

You would think living here for so long I wouldn’t be surprised, but I still am.  Like that week when it snowed outside and then the very next day it was spring.  Well, the first Sunday we played it was INCREDIBLY cold, and it was the day after a sunny 70+-degree temperature Saturday.  Last week it was the same, though it was not as cold.  And then AGAIN this weekend: yesterday was so warm when we were playing basketball (my first time out there at 6000 Greenbriar) and then this afternoon the temperature is dropping with wind (though not as cold as last week yet).  Being sick (really since Wednesday but been trying to deny it), I will not be out there this afternoon.  Go Orange!

I think I just have a cold, thank goodness.  Yesterday my head hurt so bad that I finally took 100mg of ibuprofen–the last time I took a pill was probably at least a year ago.  Below is a handy chart from WebMD and an acronym for the flu:




Fever Rare Characteristic, high
(100-102°F); lasts 3-4 days
Headache Rare Prominent
General Aches, Pains Slight Usual; often severe
Fatigue, Weakness Quite mild Can last up to 2-3 weeks
Extreme Exhaustion Never Early and prominent
Stuffy Nose Common Sometimes
Sneezing Usual Sometimes
Sore Throat Common Sometimes
Chest Discomfort,
Mild to moderate;
hacking cough
Common; can become severe


Sinus congestion
or earache
Bronchitis, pneumonia;
can be life-threatening


None Annual vaccination; amantadine
rimantadine or oseltamirvir (antiviral drugs)


relief of symptoms
Amantadine, rimantadine, oseltamivir
or zanamavir within 24-48 hours
after onset of symptoms

FACTS about the flu:

  • Fever
  • Aches
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Sudden Symptoms

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »