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  • Does anyone have advice? On 12-15 Norco a day and would like to decrease.

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    Old 01-14-2007, 03:13 PM   #1
    Swany
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    Does anyone have advice? On 12-15 Norco a day and would like to decrease.


    Hi all. I've been reading the posts and I have never posted myself as of yet. Everyone seems so nice and helpful on this message board so I thought I would give it a shot. I will try to make my story short and sweet. I have a herniated disc (L5/S1), bulging (L2-3 & L3-4), degenerative disc, scoliosis, osteophytes, L5/S1 foraminal narrowing and mild spondylosis........whew.......lol. I sound in pretty bad shape I guess. Anyway, my pain started approx. 5-6 years ago and has just gotten progressively worse. [removed] I have since lost my job because I could obviously no longer do bedside nursing and they didn't have anything to accomodate me with my restrictions. I started my medication regime with Vicodin. To make a long story short the Vicoden was no longer enough to give me relief, so I finally was put on Norco. Norco is now no longer enough to give me adequate relief. So, I have a wonderfully understanding pain manag. doc who has had me try EVERY med out there practically!! I've tried Methadone, Oxycontin, Kadian, Dilaudid, the Fentanyl patch. I HATED them all!!! I really feel absolutely horrible with the sustained-release meds. I just cannot tolerate the long-acting medications. Which leaves me with this delema. I really do not want to continue on such a high number of Norco. At 325 mg of Acetaminothen per pill, I can't be taking this much Acetaminophen daily. I feel that I am damaging my liver. My last liver panel was normal, but I have gone up on the number that I was taking and I need to have another one drawn. My other delema is that I'm prescribed only 12/day. I keep going over my limit and as somone has stated on another post, you feel like a total criminal! That used to be plenty...........but the tolerance issue creeps in and now that's no longer enough. Where it used to be that I could take 1 with good relief, now I have to take 3 or 3 1/2 to get adequate relief. It is so true how you feel completely at the mercy of your doc, and you feel so depressed and hopeless. Surgery is an option, but being a nurse and doin pre-ops for people before their myelograms, I've learned that surgery offers no guarantees. I do not ever want to go there! Does anyone have any suggestions or advise? I was thinking of asking him if I could try Norco plus another short-acting med that does not contain Acetaminophen. Does anyone out there have this sort of med. regime. I really cannot tell you how much it would mean to me to get a response. Just reading all the posts has already made me realize that I am not alone. I really can't tell you how comforting that is in and of itself. Sorry for the lengthy post........and thanks for making it to the end.

    Last edited by HBMod07; 01-15-2007 at 04:32 PM. Reason: PLease read the posting rules regarding professions

     
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    Old 01-14-2007, 05:14 PM   #2
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    Re: Does anyone have advice? On 12-15 Norco a day and would like to decrease.

    Hi, and welcome to the boards!~
    Im sure you'll have some of the wonderful members who are really knowledgable leave you a few posts, but Im about in the same boat as you are...
    I am on Fent patch 50's, and have some b/t meds, 7.5 hydro/200 ibu, and tried norco last week and was allergic to it. My doc I can guarantee will not go to anything stronger, and if he would even think about it, I may be under contract, which is what neither one of us wants.
    I have a trip Im leaving on in the morning out of state, and had to call in today to ask for an early refill, and hes SO nice about it, but i was in such a fury last night knowing I had to ask, I couldnt sleep. Its horrible to have pain, let alone feeling like crap asking for what we need.
    I hope that you get some wonderful advice, as Im SURE that you will...
    Hang in there!~
    xoxoxoxoxo
    IZZY'SMOM
    PS...i dont like meds that can be in my system for 12 hours, ect if i have a problem or anything....I hate it. So i can see how you feel...id rather know that if something doesnt work, or i get a bad feeling or reaction, that it will be gone in a few hours. Im trying to deal with that on the patch;[

    Last edited by IZZY'SMOM; 01-14-2007 at 06:01 PM.

     
    Old 01-14-2007, 05:49 PM   #3
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    Re: Does anyone have advice? On 12-15 Norco a day and would like to decrease.

    Hi Swany and welcome to the pain boards! I take two short acting pain meds at once, the 50 mg tramadol (two tablets 4 times a day) and the Lortab 7.5 (one tablet 3x per day. Sometimes when my pain is really bad, she will change my Lortabs to Oxycodone (percocet) 7.5 (one to two tablets four times daily)
    I know I am unusual because of what I take, and also because I have been basically on the same dose of Tramadol for over a decade and still get excellent results with it. My breakthrough meds, the hydro or the oxy, has gone from 30 5/500 per month up to the 90 7.5 or even sometimes the 10 mgs. But I havent developed much of a tolerence at all, I think its weird that some people do, and quickly, others, not so much. Any way thats what works for me so yes there are people on 2 short acting meds and no LA ones. Hopefully Shore or Director will have more ideas for you. Best of luck, Fabby

    PS~I also take 2 10 mg. Baclofen a day, thats a muscle relaxer

    Last edited by Fabrashamx; 01-14-2007 at 05:57 PM.

     
    Old 01-14-2007, 06:05 PM   #4
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    Re: Does anyone have advice? On 12-15 Norco a day and would like to decrease.

    Thank you so much for your reply. YES!!! That is exactly how I feel about the long-acting meds. It just feels like you are never clear! Where as I take the Norco and it works wonderfully.......the only problem is that it wears off too quickly. Of course, there you go, it's such a double-edges sword because it's only logical that you would then use a long-acting med. But, can't tolerate them, so you just go around and around and around!! lol I also know how you feel asking for your meds early. Although your reason for asking early is totally legitimate. It's not that you finished them early, it's that you are leaving town and can't be here to pick up your refill. No shame in that. I'm have the finishing early story and I've done it before so I'm afraid that he is going to get fed up with me. Don't get me wrong he is just an absolutely lovely man. Very understanding and patient and caring, which makes it that much worse when you feel like you've betrayed his trust in you. It's just that I start hurting (that knawing........aching........unrelenting pain) and it's just so easy to reach for my Norco and get relief when I have them right there. Well, at three at a time you can see where I get into trouble fast. I have my appointment with my pm doc this Wed., so hopefully he has another idea up his sleeve. I really want to get off the Norco because of the Acetaminophen, but I'm SO SCARED because it has been the only thing that has given me relief! Thanks again for your reply and if you have any other advice I would love to here it!

     
    Old 01-14-2007, 06:14 PM   #5
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    Re: Does anyone have advice? On 12-15 Norco a day and would like to decrease.

    Thanks also for your reply. This board I can see is going to be a life-saver. I've been dealing with this, like I said for about 5-6 years, 2 years on the regular meds, I only wish that I had found this board earlier! That is helpful to know that. I've tried Ultram and it did absolutely NOTHING to help me, (except made me feel really sick). Is the Oxy that you're on sustained-release or short-acting? I tried OxyContin I believe and I didn't like it. But........I'm thinking that it was the sustained-release one that I tried. I'm wondering if I would get good relief from the short-acting one. I really want to get on a med that doesn't have Acetaminophen in it. I've been taking either Vicoden or Norco for so long now that I'm afraid for my liver. I have two teenage boys and I don't want to jeopardize my health. This part of my life has been beyond hard. I feel like in order to get pain relief and live my life somewhat normally, I have to jeopardise my health and take these pain meds. I HATE IT!! I have read so many posts of people feeling like a drug addict and it is SOOOO true! I HATE THAT ALMOST MORE THAN I HATE MY PAIN!! It's awful! Like I said.....I'm so happy that I found this board and am able to talk to people who are in the same boat. Again, thanks for taking the time to write me back.

     
    Old 01-14-2007, 06:21 PM   #6
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    Re: Does anyone have advice? On 12-15 Norco a day and would like to decrease.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Swany View Post
    Thank you so much for your reply. YES!!! That is exactly how I feel about the long-acting meds. It just feels like you are never clear! Where as I take the Norco and it works wonderfully.......the only problem is that it wears off too quickly. Of course, there you go, it's such a double-edges sword because it's only logical that you would then use a long-acting med. But, can't tolerate them, so you just go around and around and around!! lol I also know how you feel asking for your meds early. Although your reason for asking early is totally legitimate. It's not that you finished them early, it's that you are leaving town and can't be here to pick up your refill. No shame in that. I'm have the finishing early story and I've done it before so I'm afraid that he is going to get fed up with me. Don't get me wrong he is just an absolutely lovely man. Very understanding and patient and caring, which makes it that much worse when you feel like you've betrayed his trust in you. It's just that I start hurting (that knawing........aching........unrelenting pain) and it's just so easy to reach for my Norco and get relief when I have them right there. Well, at three at a time you can see where I get into trouble fast. I have my appointment with my pm doc this Wed., so hopefully he has another idea up his sleeve. I really want to get off the Norco because of the Acetaminophen, but I'm SO SCARED because it has been the only thing that has given me relief! Thanks again for your reply and if you have any other advice I would love to here it!
    Lordy, we must be long lost twins....LOL~
    Thanks for the reply, and Ill catch up tomorrow when I have a chance. I have kiddies to feed, and Im glad that you are here, and you'll meet some amazing ppl.~
    TTYL~
    xoxoxoxo
    IZZY'SMOM

     
    Old 01-14-2007, 06:56 PM   #7
    Swany
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    Re: Does anyone have advice? On 12-15 Norco a day and would like to decrease.

    LOL......I know that you won't see this until tomorrow, but I wanted to respond anyway. WOW!! This is so awesome! I can't tell you how much I have needed someone to talk to who is in the same situation as me!! My family is awesome, but I have a husband who won't even take an aspirin and all the rest of my family and friends will just totally worry about me so I don't like to talk to any of them. I just can't say enough what a God's send this is! I feel like a dork to keep saying "thank you", but I just really mean it SO much! lol I look forward to talking to you again!

     
    Old 01-14-2007, 08:05 PM   #8
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    Re: Does anyone have advice? On 12-15 Norco a day and would like to decrease.

    LOL!!!
    Too funny...and I WILL respond tomorrow, but i have to Get kids to bed. Also, just so you know, even though we have so many parallels, there are others that can and will post here that will help as well, so dont forget them, ok?
    My hubs wont even take a friggin advil...he is so sweet, but i totally can relate... he is such a sweetie, and I feel like such an a**.
    I have to get these lil buggers to bed, and will post tomorrow, i promise, so i will see you then, and remember, there are alot of ppl here that can help you, so dont hesitate to reach out to them.

    Talk to you tomorrow, hang in there ok
    xoxooxoxoo
    IZZY'SMOM

     
    Old 01-14-2007, 09:03 PM   #9
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    Re: Does anyone have advice? On 12-15 Norco a day and would like to decrease.

    Hi there,

    I am sorry to hear that you are going through such a tough time trying to find the right medicine....

    It has taken me about 5 years as well....I just had my 3rd neck fusion...(C5-C6 and C6-C7) the first two failed....First one in 2001 they took bone from my hip, fused the two levels but he didn't use any metal plates or screws....I was in a hard collar for 3 months!!! Ugh.....

    I was doing ok for a few years only taking Tramadol...and Flexeril for both muscle pain and to help sleep...But then the pain started creeping back up to the 8/9 area....

    The second surgery was in Dec. 2005....donor bone, one level, but with plates and screws....Unfortunately this surgoen was a friend of my pain mgmt. Dr. at the time who was such a jerk to me and would only give 5mg. of Percocet at 2 a day which did not touch the pain....nothing else....no shots, no PT, nothing.....And the surgeon sent me home from the hospital with NOTHING....Because he said, "well...I don't take Tyeleno for a headache....I "cured" you by doing the surgery"...AHHHH...

    So, after my pain was even more excruciating starting the day after the surgery....I knew something went wrong....so I finally found the VA Spine Institute in Reston, VA....and my most wonderful Dr in the world And....the best part is my new pain mgmt. Dr. is at the same practice...So, they work as a team to help with my recovery and living a life "with" pain but getting it to be as low as possible....and this means using all modalities....

    So, just had the 3rd surgery in Nov. 2006 and they went in from the front AND the back....VERY tough and painful surgery....especially cutting the back of the neck and the muscles...and they put cages....BMP.....plates, rods and screws.....He said that my last surgery was "botched" and all this time the metal plates and screws were moving and rubbing and my neck was VERY unstable...I thank God I didn't get into any accidents or anything during that time.....

    Anyway....I am now at a 4-5 on the pain scale and take Oxycontin 20mg 3 times a day....Percocet 7.5/325 up to 8 a day (because of the Acetaminophen)....Robaxin 750mg...which is a great muscle relaxer but doesn't make me tired.....and Cymbalta for nerve pain but is also good to keep my mood happy with the pain and then Ambien 10mg....usually cut in half to help sleep if needed.....

    As you can see....it's quite the mixture of medicine and like you....had tried so many other things out there....

    May i ask what side effects you get from the Oxycontin???? I know it's so different for everyone but that is one that doesn't seem to make me tired at all and keeps me being able to have an active day.....

    All I can say is keep working with your Dr. about trying different medicines....maybe adding an anti-deppresant.....muscle relaxer....etc....

    Please be careful about going against your Dr.s prescription....I know it's hard but you don't want to accidentally get into trouble and not be able to keep his trust.....I'm truly not judging....I've been there.....I just want to offer good advice and want you to find the right medicines to be able to live with minimal pain and enjoy life

    It really is hard to life the life we lead and it's so nice to come here and talk with others who really know what you are going through....it's something that I know for me...effects every minute of every day....pain is something that isn't far from my thoughts....

    Please keep us posted on your progress and pray that Wed. goes well with your Dr....maybe you can try Oxy or something else again that you had a "mild" dislike to...maybe it mixed with something else....I found that with the Percocets....at first they didn't agree with me...then I switched....then switched back and now they work great.....

    I'll certainly keep you and everyone else here in my prayers....

    Ingrid

     
    Old 01-15-2007, 08:13 AM   #10
    Swany
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    Re: Does anyone have advice? On 12-15 Norco a day and would like to decrease.

    Hi Ingrid,
    Man! You have really gone through it! I feel like a big fat whimp! lol You know...........you think you have it bad and then you here someone elses story, like yours, and then you think, "ok........maybe I don't have it so bad". I just want to scream at that second doc. of yours!! I don't know how you get past your anger at him. Especially the botched surgery! I'm really glad that you can because, along with all your other challenges that certainly would not be any good for you. But..........you should be so proud that you can get beyond it. It just infuriates me to no end!! Two Percocets!!!!!! Per DAY!!!!! After what you had gone through. He is a sadist, (or is it a masocist? lol) (did I even spell that right? lol). Anyway........enough of that! I'm just so happy for you that you found an awesome doc. How great for you after what you have been through. I know what you are saying about going over my limit with my medicine. AND........I totally don't feel that you are being judgemental! YOU! You have been through alot worse than me. I absolutely know that you are just trying to give me good advice. I know when I'm doing it that I need to STOP! Like I said.....it's just so convenient to get yourself out of pain that it takes over my better judgement. I still have the left over Methadone in which I tried for a second time and didn't like. Do you think that I should just not tell him that I finished early, take the Methadone (so as to not go through withdrawal) and go from there. Like I said, I really don't want to jeopardize my relationship with him since he is such a good doc for me. The PM doc I was seeing before only allowed me 4 Norco/day!, then he reluctantly bumped me up to 6. That was it. Not enough.......and he made me feel weak at that. So I am very greatful to have my new PM doc. I am going to ask him about maybe adding a new short-acting med to the mix along with the Norco, in hopes of cutting back on the number of Norco I'm taking. I'm just scared to totally get rid of the Norco because it has been the only med that gives good relief and that I can tolerate well. I'm thinking that it was Oxycontin (the sustained-release) that I was taking before. I didn't like it because I just felt like I was in a fog. There again. I don't like the sustained-release meds. So...I'm thinking that if I can try a different short-acting one that would be a better choice for me. What do you think? And, what do you think of me not saying anything about finishing early? Once again........I know I keep saying this, but you all are just saving me. I can't believe that I never found this board before. It just means everything to talk to people who are going through the same types of issues! Thanks Ingrid for taking the time to write me and tell me your story. I wish I could be there to give you a hug! I realized after I posted that we are not supposed to state our profession, but as you can see I did just that (oops!) and how that second doc treated you is nothing short of malpractice. How he could be a doc with absolutely no compassion is beyond me! Compassion is the name of the game in healthcare. People who have none have no business being in that profession. Anyway, I'm totally rambling. I really hope that you have the time to write back. Your post was very helpful and I appreciate it more than you know!

     
    Old 01-15-2007, 08:24 AM   #11
    Swany
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    Re: Does anyone have advice? On 12-15 Norco a day and would like to decrease.

    LOL..........How old are your kids. They sound like they are still young. I remember those days! Now my kids get themselves to bed.....but I miss those days when they were little! That IS funny that our husband's are both like that! And.........I really am being serious when I say that he doesn't even like to take ONE aspirin, or Advil! lol So it makes it hard. I just don't talk to him and he doesn't even ask anymore because I think he is afraid of the answer. If he knew how many Norco I take he would FREAK OUT!!! He would worry so much and I really feel that he would think I was weak and a whimp. He is one of those stoic construction workers (general contractor who runs his own business), and when he is in pain he just grits his teeth and takes it. So you can see my delema. Not only am I struggling with this medicine, but I can't even talk about my fears with my husband (who is my best friend).....................it really sucks! So........now you can see why I am so happy to find all of you! Also, my friends and the rest of my family would worry about me too. So.........I will be on this board ALOT!!! lol Thanks for taking the time to write and I hope I hear from you again. I think you can see my other posts so I won't repeat. If you have any advice, I would so appreciate it.

     
    Old 01-16-2007, 06:32 AM   #12
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    Re: Does anyone have advice? On 12-15 Norco a day and would like to decrease.

    Due to the risk of liver damage I am on short-acting oxycodone(percocet w/o tylenol) and I hate being physically dependent on these drugs. Every morning I wake up in a panic because I am sweaty and sick in wds....So...................I am tapering even with pain because I have reached the level of true disgust with the tolerance issue. Honestly what is helping me is my ad elavil..it lessens the wds and is helping with the pain. I take as little as I can during the day and always save 1/2 a pill for the night when the creepy crawlies get me(withdrawal) I am gonna do this.I have been in detox and they used ultram to detox me but I was in withdrawal anyway when I came home...I am gonna do it myself. I have no problem with discipline because I am not chasing a high...but will I be able to manage the pain? I know that withdrawals can cause pain(bad side to opiates) so I know I will have to suffer. Sometimes I think pain was better than being on all these drugs...So I am attempting a 5 mg. drop every 1-2 weeks. My goal is to be clean by April. They say "the lower the dose. the slower the taper"....the last is the worst. I am on pain mgt. for 6 months and honestly am not happy. Will I need the occasional pill? probably.But this everyday stuff has got me freaked out because it doesn't work anymore. Sharonn

     
    Old 01-16-2007, 07:16 AM   #13
    Swany
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    Re: Does anyone have advice? On 12-15 Norco a day and would like to decrease.

    Hi Sharon,
    OMG, do I know how you feel. I struggle with this on a daily basis. I also HATE, HATE, HATE being a slave to this damn medicine! But.....the alternative is living in pain, which I also don't want to do. The morning is the worst for me.......and at night when I get into bed I just have an unrelenting ache. It's awful! So......I struggle with being on this medicine for what........the whole rest of my life?!! Or.......not being able to get out of pain. THE WHOLE THING IS AWFUL! I'm very proud of you that you are getting yourself off. Maybe not totally, but I think that is OK! If you can get yourself down to an acceptable level of medicine....I think that would be great too. Maybe try not to beat yourself up if you have to stay on a small amount of med. For me......I don't think it's reasonable to be free from pain med. all together. I don't know. I always wonder, "if I had never started on opiate pain med., would I be in as bad shape as I am now?" Don't get me wrong. There are people who are 1000 X worse off than I am. I walk 1 - 1 1/2 hour every day and I pretty much live a normal life. I can function. I just have pain. My condition was always getting progressively worse......so I'm thinking "probably". But who knows. I think that's great that you've dedided to taper yourself. I really hope that you make it. I know that you will! You sound very determined. The tolerance issue scares the hell out of me also. I will talk to my PM doc. tomorrow. That is where I am with the Norco. I can't keep increasing the Norco. It's just too much Acetaminophen. I think that I will ask him about the Oxycodone that you take. I've tried Oxycontin (the sustained-release), but like I stated earlier, I hate the SR meds. I just feel that I am never clear of the medicine. So even though the short-acting meds wear off too quickly, I like the fact that I don't feel in a fog while taking them. Maybe I can take the Oxy that you take in addition to my Norco and cut back on the Norco. Maybe eventually replace it with the Oxy. What do you think? I realize that that is just exchanging one nasty med for another, but at least Acetaminophen is not involved and I can prevent liver damage. Have you ever taken Norco? And, if you have how does it compare to Oxy.? Did you get the same relief? Anyway.........I don't know if you feel comfortable answering those questions. I know you are on a different page as far as getting those meds out of your life. So don't answer if you aren't comfortable. I will really be thinking about you and hoping that you are kickin *** with your attempt to be free from Oxy. I talk to my phsychologist who tells me not to think in terms of "forever". Try to live in the moment. We don't know what tomorrow will bring. So.........I try to think that way. It's hard because I don't see myself getting better anytime soon. So how can you not think of the future. Anyway........thanks for writing. I'm not really a religious person (spiritual......yes), but I will be praying for you to make it. I have experienced w/d symptoms before and that is the worst feeling that I have ever had!!! I hope that you have lots of support from either friends or family. If you need someone to talk to I have been checking on this board frequently...so I will be here. Good luck!!!!!!
    Lisa

    Last edited by Swany; 01-16-2007 at 02:12 PM.

     
    Old 01-16-2007, 01:37 PM   #14
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    Re: Does anyone have advice? On 12-15 Norco a day and would like to decrease.

    Thank you for your words of encouragement...Last year, before I started with daily pain meds, I was on 25 mgs. of Elavil ..at bedtime. I had pain but it was minimal. The downside was that I gained a lot of weight and had some serious constipation. I wish I never started back on the oxycodone. It hardly works anymore and I am addicted. It will help your pain as good as the norco w/o the liver problems associated with tylenol. I wish you the best of luck...I just want my life back. 2 back surgeries and peripheral neuropathy in my feet...arrgh! But I hate feeling so helpless and I worry about procedures(colonoscopy) on this amount of medication. Opiates are a godsend when used properly but dependence is part of the package....and tolerance. Best of luck...Sharonn

     
    Old 01-16-2007, 02:46 PM   #15
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    Re: Does anyone have advice? On 12-15 Norco a day and would like to decrease.

    Thanks Sharon.......you're right.......they are a godsend, but there is a downside too. Just like ice cream. It's absolutely awesome, but if you eat too much of it, you get fat! Why does there always have to be a downside?! Good luck to you and remember, if ever you are having a hard time coping, please get on here to vent. I can't imagine going through that all alone. It so helps (at least it helps me) just to talk to all of you who can honestly and whole-heartedly relate. Some people mean well, but unless you have experienced w/d they cannot relate. I will be thinking of you.
    Lisa

     
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