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Old 04-01-2003, 05:24 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Titusville, NJ
Posts: 260
HNPatL4L5 HB User
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Kristen, I thought you'ld never ask. Here's how to get the picture below:

[img]http://www.nhspine.com/img/hnpl53copforweb.jpg[/img]

When you are typing your reply, just type in the following (without spaces inbetween adjacent characters):

[ i m g ] h t t p : / / w w w . n h s p i n e . c o m / i m g / h n p l 5 3 c o p f o r w e b . j p g [ / i m g ]

This and other stuff you can do in your posts, like insert live links, is explained at [url="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/ubbcode.html"]www.healthboards.com/ubb/ubbcode.html[/url] .

Enjoy.

[img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif[/img] HNP (The MRI above looks just like mine!)

PS: It is great that you were happily anticipating surgery. I haven't quite been able to cultivate that attitude (yet). But I have started to look forward to it (despite considerable anxiety, even though for back surgery it's really minor).
__________________
HNP at L4-5 late Sept 2002
3 months PT and Ibuprofen
Reherniation late Feb 2003
Nerve block mid March 2003
Microdiscectomy 4 April 2003
3 months PT (trunk stabilization)
Walk 4 miles daily from now on.

 
Old 04-01-2003, 05:24 PM   #17
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Location: New York, USA
Posts: 1,708
BAXTER HB User
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Hi DDP,

Thank you so much for the encouragement, I'll take a little relief, no matter how small, it gives me hope that there will be an end to this road I've been on.

I never thought I'd need more than 12 weeks off from work, I usually play "Tough Girl" but I guess my body just doesn't like having a fusion, and it tells me so everyday.

I hope you also can find total relief, it takes awhile, but it is worth the wait [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/t_up.gif[/img]

Have a super evening

Be Well,
Baxter [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif[/img]

------------------
Two level laminectomy fusion L5-S1 & L2-3 done on 12/6/02.
Fifteen inch scar from the very top of butt crack (sorry), to the bra line.
BAK cages, rods & screws.(Titanium)
My pelvic bone was used for grafting.
Praying that the other two discs in between, won't have to be fused later, as I was told it was a possibility, due to the other two discs in between, not being in that great of shape.
Doc didn't want to fuse four levels, unless it is really necessary.
I would hate to repeat the surgery, as the recovery period, is so very painful.
I also have a free fragment in my T11-12 area, that I'm still refusing surgery for, at this point in time.
That surgery is way too dangerous for me to consider, until if affects my being able to walk.

 
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Old 04-01-2003, 07:18 PM   #18
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: southern, Maine
Posts: 126
hawks066 HB User
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Hey HNP

I was taking Percocet after surgery, but it honestly wasn't needed. I was taking it to just feel all in all good about everything. I had a micro discectomy on L4-5.
All I had after surgery was tightness and light pain in my back at the incision. Percocet does bind you up. It took my like 6 days to go to the bathroom even while using a laxative. My stomach felt so full, and it wasn't pleasent. LOL..
Take Care

 
Old 04-02-2003, 05:03 AM   #19
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Titusville, NJ
Posts: 260
HNPatL4L5 HB User
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Hi Jesse!

I really appreciate your taking the time to reply. My anxiety about surgery is obsessively centered on this one question. I've been going around and around on the issue. [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/dizzy.gif[/img] It is useful to hear from someone who had the same surgery (microdiscectomy) I will have.

I am reading with great interest your thread on PT. I've learned that PT after surgery is quite different from the PT I had to try to avoid surgery. I think it's great that you tried micro endoscopic surgery before a microdiscectomy (since it had a good chance of working). For me, trying PT for 3 months was the right thing to do. (I know it is not right for everyone, but I was able to scale back my job and domestic responsibilities enough to make the pain bearable.) Before I reherniated, I was angry at my insurance company for denying reimbursement of any more PT. I knew what to do at that point, but needed the physical therapist for emotional support and fine-tuning on bad days.

Thanks again for replying, and I'm glad your recovery is going smoothly. Do you think that at 6 months post op (coming up soon) you would be able without concern to take a coast to coast flight?

[img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif[/img] HNP
__________________
HNP at L4-5 late Sept 2002
3 months PT and Ibuprofen
Reherniation late Feb 2003
Nerve block mid March 2003
Microdiscectomy 4 April 2003
3 months PT (trunk stabilization)
Walk 4 miles daily from now on.

 
Old 04-02-2003, 05:55 AM   #20
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 190
ddp11 HB User
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Hi there HNP! Well, the day is quickly approaching--48 more hours, huh?
I just wanted to ask you a quick question. Just out of curiousity, how did you re-herniate your disc? This is my biggest fear and I'm trying to avoid it at all costs! I know there are many ways it can happen--something as simple as bending over, so I am trying to be [i]very[/i] cautious of all my movements.

That is cool about how to put the pictures in--thanks for showing me! Maybe I'll try it out soon!

Well, have a good one!

------------------
L4-L5 disc herniation
Leg/butt pain for one year
Laminectomy/Discectomy - 2/12/03
__________________
L4-L5, L5-S1 ALIF - September 2011
L5-S1 Discectomy - February 2007
L4-L5 Laminectomy/Discectomy - February 2003

 
Old 04-02-2003, 06:30 AM   #21
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 65
NucleoGirl HB User
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HNP -

I do have pics of the kitties, but not posted to the web so an URL can be inserted. I consider myself something of a computer geek, but thought this was a bit much to just insert a pic :>. Maybe you have a pointer or two?

Anyway, Jason (M, black, 11 lbs.) and Lizzie (F, tabby 13 lbs.) are litter mates and 6 years old. Pinky (F, white longhair, 12lbs.) is really my husband's cat, is 10 and is deaf and blind. Before you start to feel sorry for her, let me tell you she rules the house and knows everything that goes on! She also only loves her daddy - the rest of us are just taking up space :>

Jason does, in fact, like to sleep by my head at night. My husband wonders how I can breathe sometimes! I think it is very nice to fall asleep to purring.

As far as the Nucleo went. Yes, I did have two band-aids, one on each side of my spine. This procedure was recommended by both ortho surgeons I consulted. I live in Annapolis, MD and the hospital here has a special unit which does nucleo, IDET and some other radiological -plastys. Given the experience of staff and the recommendations, I thought I'd give this procedure a shot. (no pun intended) Both surgeons strongly suggested that I not have the fusion yet, which is the next step if for some reason this procedure fails (nonononononono!!!!!!!, ahem, sorry).

You must be excited/nervous/apprehensive/elated, etc. I am sure you will be fine. As I have mentioned to others - lay in a good supply of books and videos. TV is terrible and, at least, in my case, one of the worst things about recovering is/was boredom!

Tell me something about your furry friend. I must say the cats were both a blessing and a curse during recovery. One of the hardest things was not being able to pick them up for a month.

Oops. I seem to be babbling.

Note to Kristen - How are you feeling after 7 weeks? For how long can you sit now?

L.

 
Old 04-02-2003, 08:58 AM   #22
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Titusville, NJ
Posts: 260
HNPatL4L5 HB User
Post

Good morning, Kristen and L.,

Kristen, honestly I am not sure what caused the reherniation. I crashed on a weekend after violent coughing (due to a cold) during hour long commutes in a car (lying on my side in the back), which was torture due to the 4-5 Hz vibrations. The bummer was that the week before I had my longest pain-free period (6 hrs!) since the first herniation. The danger of reherniation must be especially frightening for someone in her 20's. My surgeon said one of his patients reherniated while standing on a workers' compensation line. Is it really true that you were advised never to run again? I am looking forward to walking 3 miles. I dread being told never again to sit through 4 two-hour movies in a day or fly to Africa (where one of my sisters lives) and Australia (for the Sydney film festival).

L, you must have wished that your cats were a bit smaller! My cat is big too. 13 lbs. So I won't be able to pick her up for 4 weeks. (I assume parents with infants also suffer this limitation during recovery.) I've been trying to convince her to lose 3 lbs (after all, I've lost 30 in the last 6 mo). She stubbornly refuses. She is quite talkative (purrs, meows, moans and "quacks"), moody (bored by my attempts to entertain her, jumpy around strangers) and cuddly (but only with 2 people). If you read what I wrote to Kristen, you've guessed that I'm a movie fanatic (one year I saw 200 films at 6 festivals), so I hope to avoid boredom during recovery by taking advantage of Netflix (they have a faster turn around now with the New Brunswick facility). Any recommendations? (Oh, I love talkative people. So you don't have to apologize for blabbing. [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/gabby.gif[/img] )

Hoping both of you have a pain-free day, HNP [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif[/img]


[This message has been edited by HNPatL4L5 (edited 04-02-2003).]
__________________
HNP at L4-5 late Sept 2002
3 months PT and Ibuprofen
Reherniation late Feb 2003
Nerve block mid March 2003
Microdiscectomy 4 April 2003
3 months PT (trunk stabilization)
Walk 4 miles daily from now on.

 
Old 04-02-2003, 09:24 AM   #23
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 547
kat721 HB User
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Post>>>I never know how long to wait for a BM, called "poop" on another thread , before taking something more powerful than colase. After 6 days I give up and use Senokot, but I'm afraid constipation caused by narcotics might be much harder to resolve.<<

Pat, 6 days is much much too long for a BM
I had total bowel shut down that required emergency surgery on less.
Trust me on this one, constipation caused by narcotics is nuthin compared to a bowel that is stressed and going on strike.
My bowel shut down 20 days after my hysterectomy.
I still had INTERNAL hysterectomy stitches.
I was not even doing narcotics.
I don't do well on narcotics so I don't take them
unless I'm agonized.
I was eating and following Doctors fibre and water orders and planning to get better so I would be ready for my warm weather sport recreations.
Then the Gynecologist finds this itsy bitsy urinary tract infection. She gives me a sulpha antibiotic and that was the last poop I had until I wound up in the hospital STILL not pooping even after the emergency surgery and STILL taking 3 more agonizing days before the bowel would come back to life.
Actually, at one point, the bowel was not budging so bad after the surgery the colon surgeon decided that I needed a GALLON!!!!!!!of Golytely after trying
a goodly amount of other laxatives.
I was so bloated I looked like I was going to have twins.
Because I was in so much pain, I couldn't imagine drinking a GALLON of a major surgery prep concoction
so I whined and cried until they gave me a shot of Demerol and phenergan and a xanax and a hyoscyamine and lo and behold the infernal impaction let loose like the Hoover Dam.
Yea!
Also, try not to take things like Senekot.
It's ultra rough on the colon.
If things are that bad there's prescription meds that don't wreck the gut as badly as senna will.
Herbs are not always the safe route contrary to popular belief.
Some cause the bowel to contract and you don't want that happening.
Even Aloe has it's down side although after I was recovering from the emergency surgery I did drink Aloe juice for a short while just to heal my poor little gut.
It's not something you want a lot of over a period of time.

Regarding the incision, the incision length probably has less to do with these problems than most people think.
I had 2 laproscopic surgeries in addition to the emergency Colon surgery.
That means itsly bitsy nuthin scars.
An inch at most and that's stretching it.
My hysterectomy was done with entry through the belly button, I tiny site at each pelvic bone and a tiny site at the pubuic hair line and all the internaal equipment taken out through the vaginal area like having a baby.
So incisions were not my problem.
Internal scar tissue, called adhesions, were my problem.
And looking back, most probably lousey pain control,
because I don't do well on narcotics so I try not to take them because I hate vomiting, even on anti emetics, for the whole ordeal probably didn't help at all.
If they give you a morphine pump you totally regulate your own doses.
You will never overdose because the doctor sets a timing thing to the maximum dosing you can give yourself.
So if you try to use the pump before the specified timing you are locked out of the pump and it simply does not give you the dose.
So you can use it or not use it at your discretion and according to the depths of your pain.So on the question on how long one should wait before becoming concerned about a BM that is not happeneing?
My personal opinion based on my personal experience is that I start worrying and taking action if I have not had a BM with in a 24 hour period or if a BM shows the unpleasant signs of heading in a disasterous direction with respect to difficulty and texture.
But definately a BM at least once in a 24 hour period is really what one should hope to have.
Even better if you can get two a day going with out the runs. A whole lot also depends on texture.
Runny stools or too hard stools are also cause for concern because that means things are not really all right in the bowel.
So, forewarned is forearmed and now you know, hopefully if there are any problems you will have no trouble at all in heading it off at the pass.
And that knowing takes the scaryness out of everything because you know what to do.
kat

 
Old 04-02-2003, 10:42 AM   #24
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 190
ddp11 HB User
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Hi there!
First of all, Nucleogirl, I am feeling great--thanks for asking! Today marks 7 weeks post-op for me. As far as sitting goes, I try to avoid it as much as possible. I was advised to not sit for longer than about 15-20 minutes at time and have been trying to follow those orders! I have driven for about 1/2 hour and noticed some discomfort--not pain, but it was just uncomfortable. How about you?
HNP, wow--that re-herniation thing really scares me. I guess it can happen at any time--even very simple movements can cause it. My physical therapist has been great in showing me different ways to move in order to put less pressure on the discs. He points out many of my movements that need to be corrected, so that has been very helpful! About the running thing, it was not my doctor who said not to run again--maybe that was someone else's doctor. My doctor said I can run at 3 months post-op. I'm anxious to being running again, although I know it's very hard on the back, so maybe I'll try to find other ways to get the same type of workout... we'll see.
In regards to the long plane flights, I think you'll be able to make those again, so long as you make a conscious effort to get up often and walk around. How often do you go to Australia? I went there for a month about a year and a half ago--it was the absolute BEST trip I have ever been on. I am hoping to go again within the next year or so. I have a relatives there, so I have a place to stay and people to show me around--it's wonderful.

Well, that's about it for now. Hope you are all having a wonderful day--it's sunny here. Could spring finally be here? [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/dance.gif[/img]

------------------
L4-L5 disc herniation
Leg/butt pain for one year
Laminectomy/Discectomy - 2/12/03
__________________
L4-L5, L5-S1 ALIF - September 2011
L5-S1 Discectomy - February 2007
L4-L5 Laminectomy/Discectomy - February 2003

 
Old 04-02-2003, 10:53 AM   #25
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 65
NucleoGirl HB User
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HNP -

Yes, those kitties are very uncooperative when it comes to weight loss. All of ours are talkers and at supper time you would imagine that they have not eaten in years. No finicky behavior whatsoever!

Movies -

Hmmm. I recent rented Road to Perdition - very odd to see Tom Hanks being the bad guy, but over all a good movie. Maid in Manhattan - although I love Ralph Finnes, I thought this one was only so-so. I found myself watching old tried and true movies and mini-series. We (I have 4 sisters) are particularly fond of Pride and Prejudice (A&E version). I also watched the Horatio Hornblower series, the 3 Indiana Jones movies, and the Star Wars series (old ones, new ones look like video games and have reeeaaallllyyy bad dialogue).

I also have a true affection for two recent kid movies - "Ice Age" and "Monsters, Inc". Makes a nice change from angst and drama.

Back to work. Pretty ouchy here today. Doing lots of grande plies, genuflecting and walking. Anything to avoid sitting down or stooping!

Kristen - I am glad to see I am not the only one who STILL cannot sit down for any length of time. You never realize how much time you spend on your B*TT until you cannot do it anymore! I am hoping to be able to sit through a movie soon.

:> L.


[This message has been edited by NucleoGirl (edited 04-02-2003).]

 
Old 04-02-2003, 03:04 PM   #26
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Titusville, NJ
Posts: 260
HNPatL4L5 HB User
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kat (great name, I wish it were mine), I had no idea that hysterectomies could be performed with entry through the belly button and exit through the vagina. I imagine the procedure was described to you as minimally invasive and that it was a horrible shock when internal adhesions led to such serious complications. What a nightmare. You must be strong.

I do hope I am given a morphine drip. I definitely want to be in control of the dosage. I'm so sorry that your sensitivity to narcotics made them useless to you when things started to unravel after your hysterectomy. So many people get much needed relief from narcotic pain relievers (constipation and temporary addiction minor complaints given the enormous relief narcotics provide).

And thanks for the warning about Senokot,
[img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif[/img] HNPatL4L5
(stands for Herniated Nucleus Pulposus at the disc between the L4 and L5 vertebrae)


[This message has been edited by HNPatL4L5 (edited 04-02-2003).]
__________________
HNP at L4-5 late Sept 2002
3 months PT and Ibuprofen
Reherniation late Feb 2003
Nerve block mid March 2003
Microdiscectomy 4 April 2003
3 months PT (trunk stabilization)
Walk 4 miles daily from now on.

 
Old 04-03-2003, 05:38 AM   #27
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 190
ddp11 HB User
Post

Good morning!
HNP, I just wanted to write to wish you the best of luck with your surgery tomorrow. I will be away from the boards for most of the day today, so I wanted to make sure I wished you luck this morning.
Try to stay calm--anxiety will only make it worse! You will be just fine and I'll be anxious to hear how things go for you. Will you be in the hospital overnight?
[b]GOOD LUCK!!!![/b] [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/t_up.gif[/img]

I will look for your post in a few days to hear how everything went.

[img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif[/img]
__________________
L4-L5, L5-S1 ALIF - September 2011
L5-S1 Discectomy - February 2007
L4-L5 Laminectomy/Discectomy - February 2003

 
Old 04-03-2003, 06:56 AM   #28
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Posts: 65
NucleoGirl HB User
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HNP -

My good wishes as well for your procedure tomorrow. Today's agenda -

1. Pick up your kitty a lot
2. Shave your legs!
3. Walk all around and (gently) bend over and twist a bit.

You will miss these things for a while. Chin up and all will be fine. Keep us posted! :>

L.

 
Old 04-03-2003, 07:25 AM   #29
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Ohio
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Lisawrites HB User
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Hi Everyone:
HNPatL4L5:
Good luck with your surgery tomorrow! FYI I had at least 5 doses of morphine in the recovery room. Not that I asked for them, the nurses just kept giving them to me. Kept me doped up because I had to wait 6 hours for a room to be ready for me. Oh well, that's another story. After I got to the room I had 3 pain pills all night and left the hospital at 9 a.m. the next morning. I highly recommend you ask for an ice bag. No one offered me one and I asked for one at 6:30 a.m. and it really helped. I used it on the ride home, (laying down on my side in the back seat). The next couple of days I used extra strengh tylenol and tylenol p.m. And the ice bag the first day. Worked for me. Didn't need any other meds until two weeks later when my leg pain returned. Called the doctor's nurse in a panic and she called in medro dose pack. (High dose of steroid anti-inflammatory you only take for 6 days). She felt it was the nerve acting up trying to heal itself and she must have been right. I'm pain free now. Had my surgery 5 weeks ago tomorrow. I've been walking and exercising for the past three weeks. I walked at least 3 times a day for 15 minutes from the day I came home after surgery. (I have a Maltese). Also, I'm a big water drinker. I probably drink a gallon a day. They say that helps keep things moving. I never had a problem so I'm not sure about that. I did take some darvacets and percocets and lortabs prior to surgry but I never experienced any bowel problems. I didn't use them much though. I always preferred my Tylenol.
You're in my prayers, after surgery you'll be feeling so much better. I woke up in the recovery room with my leg pain gone after 7 months of constant pain. It is so amazing that a couple of hours in the O.R. can give you back your life. Don't forget, drink lots of water.

------------------

 
Old 04-03-2003, 08:21 AM   #30
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 274
go*big*red HB User
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Hi, Pat

My this is a busy thread! I'd say welcome to the boards but you're already at home!

I didn't take the time to read all your responses, but did read all your pages to this thread.

Baxter mentioned me in her first reply to you. I had a PLIF (posterior fusion of L5/S1) March 5 and was off the morphine and valium March 6 at noon. Then took only tylenol every six - eight hours. Probably really didn't need that.

I don't know much about the procedure you're having done, but I was in so much pain prior to surgery that when I was in recovery, I had absolutely 0 pain. Honest. And, in the hospital, hiked to a ten the first time I tried to walk, but then only a 4.

My pain since the 3rd day out of surgery has really only been about a 2 but mostly 0. I think that is a-typical but I also have a high pain threshold. (I think actually most of us chronic painers do as we have adjusted to living with pain for so long.)

I do know that my surgeon and his office want to use me as their PLIF poster child! And, because I am and have been on no pain meds at all since I was released from the hospital on March 10, I am starting pt next week, which my understanding is that that is about 6 weeks early! But, I don't have any meds in my system to mask the pain, so pain is my guide. I am bending quite nicely and am very happy that this surgery and recovery is going so well.

I pray yours is relatively pain free as well - I know it is possible. I had alot of people praying for me also and that is a HUGE factor in recovery.

Good luck!



------------------
gbr

JDD
2 Discograms
4 Level failed IDET
4 Confirmed torn lumbar discs, 2 full thickness
Issues now with c-spine & thoracic
Fusion of L5/S1 scheduled 3/5/03
Fusion successful - feeling better all the time
__________________
PLIF 3/03
2 level ACDF 10/03
Redo 10/04 & hdwr remove L5/S1
10/10/06 PLIF L4/5, Dynesys L3/4

 
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