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Old 10-26-2007, 06:33 AM   #1
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Breathing issues due to cervical spine PRE surgery.....??

Just wondering if anyone's breathing is aggrivated by their cervical spine problems? I notice when my neck is feeling at it's worse my I find it hard to breathe. I told my neuro this is one reason why I am scared to have surgery because of the chance of damaging larynx or something, he said he would have his ENT in the operating room if it makes me feel better. At any rate I am just wondering if my current breathing could be due to my neck, I have spinal cord compression on C5-C7 plus bone spurs, stenosis, degeneration you name it!

Thank you all

 
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Old 10-27-2007, 09:28 AM   #2
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Re: Breathing issues due to cervical spine PRE surgery.....??

if you have actual spinal cord compression going on,it 'could' be part of the problem.cord compression just affects much more than having a nerve compressed within the spine.considering where your problem is,this could explain what it is you are feeling.the one big thing when you have some level of damage or compression to the actual cord is you will 'feel' or 'percieve" really strange types of things like actual things are being done to certain body parts?do you 'feel' like there is some sort of a 'banding' around your chest area that is responsible for feeling like you cannot breathe properly?if so,this could be just the perceptionary crap that comes along with spinal involvement.if you have been checked out for actual lung issues and everything is fine,this is probably the most likely reason for what you are experiencing right now.it kind of comes with the territory with cord involvement,believe me,i have 'felt' some really incredible indescribable sensations and feelings like someone is actually "doing' certain things to my body parts since my spinal cord was injured.very strange stuff.pain can also cause breathing issues too espescially when it hits you kind of suddenly.it could also be some level of anxiety as well.or a combo of all of this stuff.hopefully once your compression is relieved,alot of things will feel better for you.good luck with the surgery.please let me know how things go,K? Marcia
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
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Old 10-27-2007, 05:58 PM   #3
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Re: Breathing issues due to cervical spine PRE surgery.....??

Marcia, THank you for that great response, it was very informative. I notice that my breathing is definitely worse when my pain is worse. My lungs are clear and that is why it throws me off...its a feeling of not being able to get a full breath in, even though my oxygen level is fine.
I think like you said its just a perception but it's another very annoying and scary side effect of this problem.

Thanks again

 
Old 10-29-2007, 04:13 PM   #4
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Re: Breathing issues due to cervical spine PRE surgery.....??

I have been diagnosed exactly as you. C4-C7. Spondylosis, deterioration, the whole works. And, thank God I found someone with breathing problems associated with it. I didn't mean it that way. I'm not glad you're having problems breathing, because believe me, I'm going thru it and it sucks. I meant it's nice to have someone to relate to. I was scheduled for a 2 Level ACDF in Aug. and I backed out. I was scared that with my breathing problems, I'd quit breathing on the table. I've been to a pulmonoligist and had all the test. My oxygen saturation was always at 98%. My lung capacity was always in the normal range. Last time 86%. I know it's related to my spinal problems. The days that my neck bothers me most, my breathing is the worst. It feels as though I can't get a good breath. Sometimes if I force myself to yawn, I can catch a good breath. My neurosurgeon says he doubts if it's related, however, my neurologist says it's very possible. He gave me an example. Christopher Reeves broke his neck at C4-C5 and needed a respirator in order to breathe.That's an extreme example but it does prove that your cervicle spine has an effect on your respiratory system. I wish I could find someone who had the same symptoms that had the surgery. I want to know if their ability to breath normal returned. So, if anyone out there can help, please post. And Alex12, stay in touch and maybe one of us will actually get the nerve to have the procedure done. I wish you well. Any questions, feel free to ask. I have other symptoms, too. lol. Ray

 
Old 11-02-2007, 06:11 AM   #5
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Re: Breathing issues due to cervical spine PRE surgery.....??

alex, I have the same problem, can't seem to take enough air in,or something was sitting on my left side of my chest. but oxy. level always comes back ok. Feels like there is not enough room in there. Very scary, When my problem first started I would break out into a sweat trying to get a deep breath or enough air in, the doc said it was asthma but I could not control it. even with meds, so I have had docs. disagree on that score, I did fail a test for asthma & then after seeing a specialist he said I did not have asthma. It was the most confusing & scary thing I have ever went through. Had some docs. say it was anxiety, which of course it was not, but sure caused anxiety. It just feels like you can't take enough air in. since this problem is reoccuring I was going to put a post up, so thank you. The physical therapist noticed right away that there was a big differance between the left & right side when inhaling in the back rib area(by how it expands during inhalation). Now I know I am very inflammed & I am sure that is causing alot of it, bad thing is nothing seems to keep the inflammation down. I hope you get more responses. Does anything I am saying sound familair to you? Sammy

 
Old 11-02-2007, 06:45 AM   #6
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Re: Breathing issues due to cervical spine PRE surgery.....??

Sammyo1
That sounds just like me... it feels like air hunger, like when I breath my lungs are not fulfilled, yet my oxygen is always fine.
I do anxiety , but most of it come from this feeling.... I have had panic attacks and this is not the type of breathing that feels like a panic attack, it feels like I have to yawn. I have a slight case of asthma but even with inhalers it feels the same...I have tried everythin and nothing works. I was told it could be due to acid reflux so for a year I have been taking a bucket load of ant acids but still have no results. The only thing I can contribute it to is my neck! Ugh.
I am sorry you are feeling this too, but at least we are not alone, maybe we can help eachother.

 
Old 11-03-2007, 06:03 AM   #7
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Re: Breathing issues due to cervical spine PRE surgery.....??

alex, oh my gosh, that is identical to me. When you do yawn it is like it is cut short, you can't even get the air in when you yawn. Very weird, I know it is nothing like an anxiety attack, & I had so many doctors tell me that is what they thought it was. I would just start sweating because it would get so bad, hit me out of the blue, after while my heart rate would skyrocket. it caused my to fall into such a depression because it scared me to death & the doctors could or would not believe or listen to me. I was also told reflux was contributing to it & was also on a huge amount of meds for that, & asthma, nothing fully stopped it. I will admitt that eating late at night made everything worse, but no matter what I did it would not go away. It finally seemed to go away on its own & now is back & I admitt it scares the heck out of me. I know alot more about my body now & am hoping it can finally be dealt with. It just started back up this week & I will talk to the doctor about it monday, I will scream if he says anxiety. This is the thing asthma the breathing problem is on exhalation, this problem is when I try to get air in, I just can't seem to get in a full breath, & I swear at times I can feel it go up the neck & throat, at times I will get this weird tingling sensation, I just start to sweat right off the get go, my feet ended up soaked. When it first occured I noticed it was after alot of moving around or being real active, but eventually it would happen at any given time on a daily basis, doc even ordered a nuebalizer for at home. That was the start of all my problems was with the breathing issue. Please tell me how yours started & if anything else I mentioned sounds familier. I am curious to see what your doc. says also. I also feel the urge to cough for some reason not like coughing with asthma it is just to weird. Sammy

Last edited by sammyo1; 11-03-2007 at 06:08 AM.

 
Old 11-03-2007, 06:46 AM   #8
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Re: Breathing issues due to cervical spine PRE surgery.....??

WOW we are the same person! haha I have been saying for a year that if another Dr. tells me its anxiety I am going to crazy on them, especiallyw ehn I know what anxiety feels like. This also gets worse when I am exerting myself, or even worse if I am talking to much, I start to feel like I cannot get a breath in. It's crazy. I do notive when my neck is hurting a lot my breathing is worse, this makes me think that some how it's related. I am sure my reflux makes it worse, but the odd thing is that I never have heartburn or feel agita in my stomach. I am a yaer like this and it has driven me into depression..... I get really nervous when my breathing gets bad and just remind myself I will not stop breathing. But I am young and not over weight , look healthy, yet I cannot walk up a flight of stairs!!!
Have you noticed anything that has helped you in the times when you have felt better. Maybe we can trade dieas!
Also, have you had surgery? I am so afraid of ACDF since I think I will wake up and my breathing wil be worse.

Have a good weekend!

 
Old 11-03-2007, 08:26 AM   #9
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Re: Breathing issues due to cervical spine PRE surgery.....??

just a big thought here guys.one huge thing i noticed once i started this new therepy called craniosacral therepy along with myofascial release is that my diaphram(your breathing muscle?)was very very tight.sometimes i could feel it but other times it just felt like my usual body wierdness.the thing is,once my therepist actually 'released' it,wow,my breathing became much better and deeper than before that release.this could be going on to some degree with the both of you too.if you have nerves that are irritating that muscle,it could send it into spasm.thus not being able to fully expand your lungs.the diaphram is just abit too tight and you are actually kind of 'fighting" that muscle everytime you take a breathe,you know what i mean?i just didn;t truely realize how badly this was being affected til it suddenly went away after that release.once it goes into spasm,it just stays naturally a bit more 'tight" than it should be.depending on just what is actually involved in your upper back and neck area or espescially with some level of cord affectation,this could be part of your problem too.just an FYI.my problems were both spinal and also kidney related.i have polycystic kidney disease and my right kidney,last year,suddenly shifted from my back and into the upper abdominal thorasic areas.it pushes up against my diaphram,stomach and right lung now.not good.perhaps just trying myofascial relaese could help you.hope it gets better for you both soon.Marcia
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 11-05-2007, 04:07 AM   #10
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Re: Breathing issues due to cervical spine PRE surgery.....??

feelbad, I will ask for alex & I what is that? Is it some type of breathing therapy, such as deep breathing exercises? I know I am extremely inflamed in the entire upper left side from the upper chest to the rib cage so what your saying makes me wonder if that is causing problems, the pt has noticed my left side does not expand like the right when breathing.perhaps the same is true for alex, meaning there is some inflammation going on. What do you think? Could all this inflammation be causing breathing problems? Thank you for posting the info. It is a horrible feeling. Sammy

 
Old 11-05-2007, 06:34 AM   #11
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Re: Breathing issues due to cervical spine PRE surgery.....??

alex, this is to weird, same thing here, it would actually come on at first after alot of movement, or at times after alot of singing(I would sing alot with my daughter) I am a petite person & before that was very active, it was the strangest thing I could feel it going up the neck area when the breathing attacks would occur. Same exact thing It became to difficult to stay active, I was afraid to do much like running up & down the stairs because everything triggered the breathing problem. I went from being extremely active to nothing. I know I became afraid to tell new docs.because they would just look at me. This occured after moving in my new home, which I know I hurt myself lifting, but ignored it, thought it would go away. The pain did for the most part then the breathing thing occured.I never put it all together until recently. I just became worse & worse. For the life of me I could not breathe, could not get enough air in, it finally started occuring everyday. The doc . diagonosed me with asthma & reflux, although tests showed reflux was minor. They thought the reflux was aggravating the breathing. I was put on pretty large doses of steroids (after seeing all kinds of specialists)for about 8 mths in the beginning the steroids helped the breathing but only large doses, which is extremely bad for you.After approx. 8mths of steroids the breathing became difficult again & the steroids no longer worked. Not alot of pain then. The pain started up around last may bad, I could not take a deep breath because it was to painful especially in the ribs. there for gave up one of my asthma inhalers, the pain just got worse & worse & started radiating through base of the neck, shoulder, scapula,ribs any movement was to much, muscle spasms like crazy, & it got so you could see the inflammation in the chest & ribs. My husband & I wondered did I really have asthma or was it all part of the same problem, the breathing got better but the pain became worse, know the breathing problem is coming back. It scares me more then I can say. I am stumped, but convinced it is all part of the same problem. I know I am super inflammed.
I was afraid to go through any procedure thinking It would interfer with my breathing. I will say this to you, if the pulse ox. is ok don't worry about any procedures, tell your doc. about your worries, if it is listed that you have asthma or COPD they will be extra careful. After everything I have been through I am convinced this is due to an injury or an existing problem that an injury triggered, so if surgery will help your problem it may actually help your breathing, once again asthma is on exhalation not inhalation & our problems with breathing are identical, I am shocked to finally hear someone with this problem, I honestly felt like a freak.The doctors tried anti depressants hoping to help with the discomfort & they made me feel worse, between the breathing & side effects I fell into such a depression I could not get out of bed, would never go through that again. Do not let it get you depressed like it did me, I regret giving in & allowing it to take over my life. I do know xanax kept me calmer when this would occur. I started doing deepbreathing to get through it. I believe I never had asthma honestly although I stay on singulair I have given up all the other meds. Keep in mind my problem manifested over time into where I am today, in alot of pain, nothing keeps the inflammation down, the doctors are stumped. I honestly believe I had a hidden injury or problem that caused every bit of this. I would jump at the chance to get rid of it, but the docs have not even found away to control the inflammation,I have lost strength, mucsle & range of motion. I have an appointment today & have to tell the doc about the breathing & I am nervous about it, If he says anxiety I will scream. It has been over 2 yrs., closer to 3 yrs. since this has occurred so I am trying my best to remember & explain it to you, I try not to think about the time I have lost because I would loose it, I love to be active & to laugh to help others & so on. I am scared that they will never pinpoint the problem enough to correct it. My insurance will not approve the last of the tests the docs wanted to do. I would not wish this on my worst enemy & I feel for you more then I can say, it takes over your whole life, & you live in constant fear. I am sorry this is long but I am blown away someone else has this problem. I hope this helps you & please keep me informed, Perhaps Marcia is on to something. Sorry so long. If I remember anything else I will let you know, by the way how long has this been going on with you? Sammy

 
Old 11-07-2007, 04:40 AM   #12
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Re: Breathing issues due to cervical spine PRE surgery.....??

So I went to the neurosurgeon yesterday and I asked him if the breathing issues could be made worse by my neck, his reply was "No way"!
I was like OK! I left frustrated because I don't believe him! I don't uderstand why my breathing is always worse when my neck is hurting most! They should do a study on this because i don't think we are all crazy.

 
Old 11-07-2007, 07:21 AM   #13
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Re: Breathing issues due to cervical spine PRE surgery.....??

hey sammi,just had a couple questions for you.you mentioned that your breathing issues actually became worse or actually STARTED when you moved into a new house?just a thought for ya here,but have you ever actually had the air quality in this new home tested in anyway for things like mold hidden somewhere or even radon?there are alot of 'hidden' problems within certain homes that CAN and DO exacerbate or can even create breathing problems in some people that are more susceptable,you know what i mean?i really do think you should have someone come into your new house and just check out alot of possible breathing triggers.just to be safe,you know what i mean?there are just so many things that you can have within any given home that you cannot see or smell even.that could be maybe all of or part of the cause for your particular symptoms.just something i think you may want to consider having done.you just need to make certain your home is a safe place for your family.

just an FYI for having breathing problems and also having surgery?while you are actually under anesthesia,YOU are not the one doing the breathing,a machine(and the anesthesiologist) does that for you.so 'your" breathing issues,i would think,would not actually be too much of a problem for you since you are not the one actually controlling it,you know what i mean?it is all pretty much not within your own control at that point.but they do and will take every precaution when you are waking up in recovery and every imaginable type of recessatative type of equipment availiable right there with just a reach should anyone ever experience problems.

alex,personally,i really do think your neurosurgeon is wrong there,just based upon my own experiences with this very issue which WAS being triggered by my particular c spine and spinal issues.the thing is,when you have constant irritation of the c spine nerves or espescially with spinal cord irritation or compression going on,it can create the perception for you that you cannot get air in and in other cases,since your breathing muscle(the diaphram) can actually become irritated by the very same type of nerve irritation that can send out the signals that cause muscles to go into a spasm like state,well it could possibly be triggering it to a certain degree,you know what i mean?

i just recently started a new therepy called craniosacral and also deep myofascial release?my diaphram ALWAYS is in a 'tightened up' type of state due to the c spine problems i have which are creating spasms there along with having a very enlarged right kidney from polycystic kidney disease that caused that kidney to actually 'shift' out from the normal spot in the back and right into the front of my thorasic and upper abdominal area now.too freaky for words,let me tell ya.but right where this huge kidney sits,it really was giving me some problems with eveything really feeling this over tightened feeling or actual banding perception around my upper chest area,all the way around.the kidney is pressing against my diaphram and stomach and my right lung.well once i started this new therepy,the therepist 'released' that diaphram muscle for me,and wow what a difference in that area now.that banding sensation is currently gone,as well as the inability to even take in a full deep breath,all becasue of that release that was done about three weeks ago.if there is any way that you could try at least the deep myofascial release,i think it could possibly help with that sensation and the inability to take in that deep breath feeling.just loosening that diphram muscle could really help with alot of the more upper torso issues that come along for the ride with c spine issues,and T spine too,if they are located in that particular area.just a suggestion for you.it should at least be tried.i know when i was still in acute rehab post spinal cord surgery to try and learn to walk again and reuse my left hand,one huge thing i desperately needed,recomended by my therepist,was myofascial release since my whole upper back was just filled with these huge very noticable muscle wads(trigger points)from where they had to cut thru all that heavy upper back muscle and go thru the lamina(tri level lami)just to even reach my spinal cord.but despite my therepist doing ongoing fighting with my ins co,it was a no go from them.they just refused to even pay for this therepy back in 03.well,move on up to 07,and amazingly,now,they are more than willing to pay for the myo release AND this new craniosacral therepy to boot.same ins co,but i think now they have really discovered the true benefits of having it done.they sure didn't back in 03 when i was just miserable with that horrid pain.go figure.

honestly,the myofascial release has truely helped with my ongoing non stop trigger points that i have been having to get injected at my PMs now for years.they are not regenerating like they used to,not by a long shot.this has lowerd my overall upper back hell that was making me insane too.no other therepys that i have tried over these past four years has even come close to doing for me what these past four sessions of the myo release along with the craniosacral therepy has.nothing else ever worked for me til this.just a suggestion for you guys to try.if it can help with my spinal cord and c spine mess,i really do think it could help just about anyone else too,at least to some degree.these therepys are not a cure all by any means,but they have helped me soo much with the overall intensity of my pain(and even my leg spasticiy which is caused by SCI) and thats huge for me.i hope things will get better for you.please let me know how you are all doing.K?marcia
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 11-08-2007, 06:09 AM   #14
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Re: Breathing issues due to cervical spine PRE surgery.....??

Hey guys, first of all I did indeed think of the new home triggering so did some investagating called the health deparment & so forth, I even went & stayed twice in different homes(my sisters), I was desperate to find out what the heck was wrong. So I am pretty confident it is not the house. The diaphram mucsles makes sense, now I wonder if inflammation going on else where in the body can cause problems in that area? Since I swell so much in the rib area sounds like like it could be a possability.

Alex, I believe like me your problem is real & scary. Something is causing it. I have the upmost respect for doctors but I do not believe they can easily pinpoint everything that is wrong in the human body. I also brought it up to my doc. on monday, he said he thought it was because it was painful for me to breathe, but that is not the case. It can be at times but this is different. I just can't get the air in. It is that simple. Our symptoms are to much alike there must be a cause for this. I am do to see another doc. in the mean time I will pray it does not get out of control again. Perhaps one of us will find out something. Perhaps keeping a journal or diary would give help to give some clues to the docs. I know I can't go through that every single day again. Also the large doses of steriods brought it under control for a while so there has to be something going on. Hang in there, just hearing someone else is going through the same convinces me there is indeed something going on & we just have not found out what it is. Also I could have sworn I heard that problems in the cspine could cause breathing problems. Sammy

Last edited by sammyo1; 11-08-2007 at 06:11 AM.

 
Old 11-08-2007, 03:33 PM   #15
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Re: Breathing issues due to cervical spine PRE surgery.....??

Quote:
Originally Posted by feelbad View Post
my diaphram ALWAYS is in a 'tightened up' type of state
It's funny you say that because mine is as well. I took a yoga class this week for the first time in a long time and during the breathing exercises I could not coordinate my breahting. It was like my abdominal muscles were not responding... Does that sound similar?

 
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