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    Old 01-20-2007, 12:22 PM   #16
    dwalt
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    My ear is still healing. Sometimes it feels like my ear drum is still swollen a little. Other times not. Also, once in a while I have some pain in that ear- last night (after 4 1/2 weeks) when I lay on that ear for several minutes. But it was temporary and went away.

    The taste issue is back and annoying. I have to say that I have a generally sweet taste in my mouth. That can be annoying when you are eating popcorn or chips and salsa and you are looking for a salty taste. I have to say that I also am liking stronger tasting coffee than before the surgery! I really hope the taster returns to normal... but it may take a while.

    Ringing is steady but not overpowering. I obviously still hear much better out of my left ear.

    CAB did you say you did not get the packing out until the end of Feb? That seems like a long time. Mine stayed in for 10 days and as soon as it came out I physically felt much better. I did start driving about 6 days after surgery.
    Diziness was only a problem for 4 days.

    Being patient is the hardest part. The only medication I am still taking is antibiotic ear drops. I took vicadin for about 10 days to help with the pain, and without side effects. Now other than pain medications or something to keep my nose clear, I take only the drops.

    Hope you both continue healing with patience. And don't worry too much about sneezing and blowing your nose. Avoid it if at all possible, but if it happens it will probably not wreck your surgery.

    At this point faith and patience are the operative words.

     
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    Old 01-20-2007, 06:23 PM   #17
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    Hi guys,

    Today was a MUCH better day!

    It's 8pm and I have taken no pain meds or dizziness meds, just my antibiotic today. I was up and around quite a bit today too without feeling like I was the walking dead or something.

    My taste is still fine and my appetite has returned. I can't get enough to eat now.

    My first post-op appointment was for Wed, the 24th. But when I popped my ear on day 2, I went to see the doc the next day about it. He said it was all good and that he would see me in a month and that my appointment on the 24th wasn't necessary. So....I guess i'll call and see about when the packing will be removed. He did shoot some powder or something like that in my ear on Friday when I was there, but didn't "remove" anything. I was pretty out of it when I was there and didn't think to ask about the packing staying in until Feb. 28th.

    I am hearing my "heart beat or pulse" or something in my operated ear most of the time now. It's kind of annoying. I have had very little ringing/buzzing in the ear today and when it has happened, it didn't last very long.


    My kids have been at their dads since the surgery. They come home tomorrow (they have been visiting me every day though for a lil whle) and it's back to meals, laundry, homework, etc. I hope I can handle it. They have for years been told....talk louder, speak up, etc. Now it's going to be...shhhhh, don't yell, etc. It should be an interesting adjustment period for all of us.

    I went to my youngest girls basketball game today. I wore ear muffs and it helped with the loud noises. The loudest thing I heard that rattled my head....was me hollering every time she scored. I wasn't sure if I would be able to endure the entire game, but I did. She was excited to see me there.

    I'm going to try to drive a little tomorrow and see how that goes since i'm not having the dizziness anymore.

    I guess DAY 4 for all of us was the magical end of the major dizziness days!

    Patience - I don't have any, but I'm working on it

    More later,

    -CAB-

     
    Old 01-21-2007, 02:23 AM   #18
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    It seem like everyday my hearing is getting a little better.
    I first noticed my hearing problem about 6 years ago. I was in bed listening to the radio, and I turned my head with my left ear to the pillow, and I thought "what happened to the sound?".
    Now I do that, and I am amazed at the improvement.
    The only problem here is that when my wife has the TV on in our room and I want to sleep, I can no longer sleep on my left ear to quiet the sound

    dwalt, my packing removal was scheduled for 1 month after surgery similar to CAB, and I was told to keep water out of it during that time.
    I don't know why there is such a difference in schedules.

    Also, I was told that for three months, I can't fly in a plane, lift anything over 10 pounds, blow my nose and to avoid sneezing (which is why I was concerned about that issue).

    Just curious if both of you were given the same limitations.

    Probaby the hardest thing for me now is not being able to lift my son.
    He is 1 year old and weighs almost 25 lbs. He holds his arms up for me to pick him up, and I can't.

    Andy

     
    Old 01-21-2007, 10:01 AM   #19
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    Ok Guys, here's my story. Share yours with us if you feel comfortable doing so.

    My hearing started getting bad when I was 18. I joined the Navy and during boot camp they almost sent me home because of my hearing. I never noticed that I was having hearing issues and pretty much just ignored it until many years later.

    I went to the audiologist at age 26 and he told me - "your bone is hardening and doesn't wiggle like it should, it's partially hereditary and very common. Your hearing isn't too bad, just get hearing aids." At that time both ears were affected but the left one was a lot worse than the right. I asked if there was any surgery that could be done to correct it, he said "no, just get hearing aids". I was young and dumb and took him at his word that there was no surgery available. I was also too worried about appearances and refused to wear hearing aids so I just said "huh?" alot to everyone.

    At age 27, I had my first child. I weighed 93 lbs before I got pregnant...and I gained 65 lbs during the pregnancy. I lost all the weight in about 3 months and was back at 93 lbs - That is when my hearing went downhill extremely fast in the left ear. The doc said that gaining all that weight changed the bone structure of my entire body - including my facial and inner ear bones. Then loosing it so fast changed the bone structure AGAIN... which really messed up the "bones ability to wiggle" to make sound.

    I gave in and got a hearing aid for the left ear because I really couldn't hear much at that point out of that ear. I could still hear ok in the right one, not perfect, but ok enough to function.

    At age 29 I had my second child. Same story - 93lbs before, gained 56 this time, lost it in 3 months...and lost the hearing in the right ear in the process.

    I was going to loose the hearing in both ears regardless - all the quick weight gain and loss just accelerated it about 10 years is what the doc said.

    So, a hearing aid for the right ear was now a necessity. Every time I went for hearing tests, then went to get new hearing aids over the last 13 years..no one - I mean NO ONE, has ever said that it could be corrected with surgery. I asked the first 5 years of going to the ear docs and was always told "just wear hearing aids". I finally quit asking and decided that this was how life was going to be and I would just have to live with it.

    If divorce is EVER a good thing, it was for me. I had to get on my own health insurance. I also got a bf. He did some research and found out in September 06 that there was indeed a surgery to fix it and I now had a health insurance company/doctors that wouldn't lie to me. It was then that I realized that it was because my insurance during all those years was Kaiser Permenante HMO..and they just didn't want to pay for it and had trained their docs NOT to tell people that there was a surgery to fix it

    So, here I am now at 42 years old, feeling stupid that I never checked things out on my own and I just took the doc's word about no surgery being available. I am also very excited about the future. The last 5 months have been a whirlwind of excitement/hope for me.
    I went to a couple of specialists in Dallas, went through many many hearing tests, etc. and decided to get it done, the left one first because its 90db. I'm on the road to recovery on the left ear and already excited about having the right one done. The right ear is 60db.

    I'm really excited about joining the world again because I had really withdrawn from everyone the past few years. I avoided social functions of all types because I knew it would be more of a hassle than anything to even try to have conversation and I would only get bummed/upset/depressed, whatever you want to call it, if I did go. I haven't watched TV in almost 2 years because it just frustrates me. Again, my bf finally got me hooked on the "captioning" on the tv so I wouldn't get frustrated and i've been able to watch movies reading the words the last few months. He has been such a blessing to me.

    Now for current stuff.
    A little pain in the ear today but nothing unbearable. The "heartbeat or pulse" sound rattling my head yesterday lasted about 7 hours and thankfully has not started again yet today. Still no taste issues. I did get really dizzy this morning getting out of bed and almost fell but I caught myself. It was so good yesterday not being dizzy all day that I forgot to be careful. I won't make that same mistake again. I'm hearing a little out of the ear but it's still really muffled sounding. Packing is still in there and the cotton ball too. Ear is still draining but not too much.

    Yes, I was given the same restrictions that Andy was given. No flying, elevators, lifting, nose blowing, sneezing or anything else that creates "internal pressure" on the ears for 3 months. No water in the ear for a month. My doc even said that it's possible to do the right ear as early as March. We'll see. I've read stories where some people still have side effects for up to 6 months. When all mine are gone...we'll start over again.

    Andy - just spend lots of time laying on the ground rolling around and playing with your wonderful son. The months will pass quick enough and you will be able to toss him in the air before you know it - and be able to hear him giggle!

    I will ask you both tell everyone you know that wears hearing aids that there are different surgeries available. They may choose not to go that route, but make sure they know it's an option. I just wish someone, anyone would have told me years ago. There is a lady at my work in the same situation - for 10 years - and no one had told her either. She goes in Feb to my doc to start the process.

    I'm so happy that however you both found out about the surgery possibility that at least you DID find out.

    Dwalt - is your hearing loss a recent thing or an issue you have dealt with for years also? Andy has been dealing with it for 6 years, I'm going on 24 years.

    I know i'm prolly make my posts too long, but i'm just so excited about many things these days that I want to tell the world. I feel like i've been given a second chance at a near normal life and my children will no longer feel like they have to speak for me, be embarrased for me or explain that I can't hear every time we go somewhere. The burden will be lifted off their shoulders.

    More later,

    -Carol-

     
    Old 01-21-2007, 05:53 PM   #20
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    Andy and Carol:

    Thanks for the updates. I am 56 and my hearing has been declining for about 8-10 years or maybe longer. My loss was not as dramatic as you. But, the ringing was more of a problem that drove me to the ent. For my birthday last year I received a really nice set of stereo headphones for listening to music. When I put them on I really heard the ringing first more than the music and that really bothered me. The actual hearing loss was there at maybe a 25% reduction. The ent gave me 3 options- do nothing, get a hearing aid or surgery. Financially, surgery was the most affordable option. And now I believe, the best.

    Seems my restrictions were not quite as tight a both of yours. Packing came out in 10 days... no lifting over 20 pounds for 3 weeks (my grandons is one and loves to be held- so I know that issue)... no flying for 2-3 months... nothing about elevators... same stuff about sneezing and blowing my nose... no water in the ear although I am now 5 weeks since surgery and may relax that one now... My hearing test is Feb. 9 and that will give me a measurable index to show improvement in my hearing. I am feeling better each day.

    I heard the heartbeat thing in my ear for a while but that passed fairly quickly. Taste is still off- still have a sweet taste on the right side of my tongue... just wonder if the ear drops are causing that.

    You have both take an important step. Hearing is good and is not overrated.

     
    Old 01-22-2007, 05:07 AM   #21
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    Carol,
    The fact that your doctor did not tell you of the surgery option makes me angry. Your doctor should have at least mentioned that the option exists - especially since you asked for other options. The insurance may have chosen to refuse to cover it, but at least you should have been informed of it. That's a pretty poor doctor in my book, and it may be a case for malpractice.

    Your hearing loss was much worse than mine. Although there is some mild loss in my left ear at certain frequencies possibly due to listening to very loud music when I was younger, my right ear hearing loss is hereditary according to doctors.

    I can only imagine how difficult your situation must have been like when you felt you had to avoid doing things due to frustration.
    I am very happy for you, and it sounds like you have a great bf.

    As far as restrictions, I was not told to avoid elevators, or at least I don't remember. That would be a tough one if I worked in a high rise.
    The only other limitation that I forgot to mention from my previous post was that I can never go scuba diving. I'm sure that goes the same for both of you.
    One of the reasons I held off on the surgery was because I thought I might want to try this some day. Well, I have so many interests, and I realized that scuba diving just doesn't appeal to me, and I would rather have my hearing back without the use of hearing aids.
    I think I'm more of the type that likes lying on the beach and watching the waves, rather than being under them

    Now, like dwalt, I am just hoping for improvments in clarity, and a reduction of ringing over the next few months.

    Andy

     
    Old 01-22-2007, 07:09 AM   #22
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    It's now 7 days after surgery and...

    O M G!!!

    I heard airplanes this morning with the cotton ball in the operated ear and WITHOUT the hearing aid in the other ear. I was sitting on the back porch drinking my morning coffee and there was this loud rumbling sound. I asked my friend who's been staying with me - what the heck is that? She just smiled and said "it's an airplane". Within about 10 minutes 2 more planes were in the area. One sounded different and I asked her why. She said it was one of those little private planes. It was sooo cool! Not only did I hear them but I recognized that one sounded different.

    Of course, this got me running around the house listening for things. I asked my kids to talk - say something, anything - just talk. They looked at me like I had lost my mind...until they did talk and I said...OMG...I can hear you pretty well. (still without the hearing aid in the other ear).

    It still sounds like i'm in a barrell but I can definantly hear my girls talk and can actually understand what's being said. (I used to hear them but it was just undistinguishable words/sounds - unless I had both hearing aids in and cranked up all the way AND they had to talk really really loud).

    The other new thing this morning is that I now have a new noise inside my operated ear. It sounds just like the hi pitch squeel of a hearing aid when the air hole is clogged or covered. It's weird. I can change the "pitch" of the squeel if I lean my head to the left or the right.

    I do not know if this is one of the things that will come and go or if it is here to stay. It's not too annoying, it's just there. If I lay down it completely stops.

    More later - I just had to hop on the let you all in on my excitement!!

    -Carol-

    Last edited by CAB1; 01-22-2007 at 07:12 AM. Reason: typos

     
    Old 01-23-2007, 06:37 AM   #23
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    Hi Guys,

    The high pitched squeel lasted pretty much all day yesterday but this morning it's gone. I had some pain in the ear last night and ended up taking a pain pill.

    I'm either getting my normal winter cold or a sinus infection and...I can't blow my nose. My head is very clogged up. I coughed all night long because of the drainage from that. Doc said I can now take anything as far as medicines go so I started popping the tylenol allergy sinus stuff last night. Hot showers helps with the no nose blowing issue.

    Other than that, I feel ok today and there are no new issues so far.

    My hearing is about the same as yesterday.

    -Carol-

     
    Old 01-24-2007, 08:32 AM   #24
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    Morning All,

    I was on the porch having my morning coffee and I heard:
    Birds, Dogs, and the highway noise - it's about a mile away.

    (I did not have my hearing aid in the other ear).

    I also heard the toilet running in the kids bathroom off and on and I was the only person home. It took me forever to find out where the sound was coming from because by the time i'd realize I was hearing it again, it would quit. So...I'm going to take my first drive today to Lowes and get the stuff to fix it. HEHE, I wonder how many years that has been going on!

    I'm going back to work tomorrow. That should be interesting. I work in a computer room and the guys tell me it's loud in there (all the fans running on about 100 pieces of equipment). Of course, I've never really heard it much.

    I have lots of cotton balls and tylenol ready!!

    I'm really having trouble with the "no water in the ear" thing. I took a shower with a shower cap on and then washed my hair in the sink. It took me about 30 minutes just to wash my hair by myself this morning. Other people have done it for me the last week. Any secrets for keeping the water out? I held a small cup over my ear. It worked but was really hard to do by myself.

    Is it no water in the ear for 3 weeks - OR - no water in the ear until the packing comes out? I ask because my packing will actually end up being in until Feb. 28th (6 weeks).

    I'm going to call the doc and ask, but I thought I'd see what you were told.

    At times the ear "opens up" and I can hear more clearly then it shuts again. I can still hear when it shuts, it just has the tin can sound during those times. The "open" times are getting more frequent and starting to last longer each time.

    So far, so good with the hearing improvements. It's like a whole new world for me!

    More later,

    -Carol-

     
    Old 01-24-2007, 05:28 PM   #25
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    All I can say is "HOLY COW"!

    I had heard and read that when your hearing returns, it kinda drives you nuts at first.

    Boy O boy is that true!

    I drove today for the first time. The road noise was incredible but other than that, I did fine. Then I went to the mall just to get out of the house for a while - big mistake!

    Holy Cow - I was in there for about 30 minutes. I heard everything loud - very loud. Kids, music, machines, escalators, strollers. At first it was very cool. Then, the noises just kept building and building and literally drove me crazy. I couldn't escape to back to my vehicle quick enough once it started getting bad. I literally ran to my truck, and when I closed the door I just covered my ears and cried. My head was pounding and I felt like I was in the twilight zone or something. It took a good 15 minutes for the noises to quit rattling my head and for me to calm down.

    Now I know it's a wonderful thing that I could hear everything and I also knew there would be a "psychological" adjustment period but I never dreamed it would affect me the way it did. I will stay away from public places a while longer if at all possible until I get used to hearing stuff again. I'm glad my kids weren't with me, they would have been freaked out at my reaction - cause I was freaked out by it.

    Tomorrow is first day back at work and now i'm really worried because I do work in a noisy environment (I've just never heard it very well). I think I'm going to hide out in my office all day and avoid the data center as much as possible. I also may look a bit goofy, but I'm taking some ear muffs in case I do have to spend any amount of time in there.

    So for anyone out there that has a stapedectomy and goes from having only 10% of your hearing to much - much more hearing capability after surgery - take things VERY SLOWLY. I don't know how much mine has improved yet because hearing test isn't for another 4 weeks - but I bet it's very close to 90%.

    Again, it's a wonderful thing to be able to hear again!!!

    I just need to rejoin the "hearing" world SLOWLY.

    More Later,

    -Carol-

     
    Old 01-25-2007, 11:00 PM   #26
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    Hello there,

    I've just registered today. I was searching for info on "after stapedectomy" and am so glad to find other people which also had it done. I've had a stapedectomy done om my one ear on the 11th of jan 2007. Yesterday was 2 weeks ago. Doctor took out some packing, but I still have 2 "gel"like plugs lying on my eardrum, which will apparently dissolve by itself. The only side effect so far is the tinnitus that's gone worse after the opp. Can't hear well with the opperated ear yet but the Doctor says I must not get despondend and that it will take another few weeks before I will hear propperly and the thingies that has to dissolve is also "blocking" sound...I'm very worried. How soon did you start hearing in the opperated ear? If I close one ear and there's no distractions, I can justjust hear if my husband talks, but it is very faint...

    I'd appreciate some advice
    Thank you,
    Noeli

     
    Old 01-26-2007, 05:54 AM   #27
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    Noeli,

    I agree with Andy's post. I am now almost 6 weeks removed from surgery and I still have ringing in my ear but I had it before the surgery. I believe it is not as severe as before. My understanding is that as the healing takes place and the hearing improves the ringing will reduce. I do not know about the plugs your doctor put in your ears. I was given ear drops to use (antibiotic).

    My hearing has steadily improved since I had the packing removed (10 days). The ear still feels thick (swolen) sometimes and I still feel like yawning to pop the ear, much like you do while flying. I have my hearing test in 2 weeks to see if my hearing has improved.

    By the way, I spent 10 days in South Africa last July, your winter, with my 21year old son who was staying in Jo'burg for 4 moths. We spent most of our time in Cape Town and Durban although we did do the most exciting thing of our lives- go cage diving in Gansbaai to see the great whites! The water was 55, water was choppy, rainy, cold and we saw so many sharks from 5-6 feet away in the cage. We also did a one day safari (all time would allow) in Hluhluwe. I would love to go back someday.

    As for your surgery, congratulations! I believe you will be feeling much better about everything in another 2-3 weeks. Best wishes in your healing...

    Dwalt

     
    Old 01-26-2007, 07:40 AM   #28
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    Hi all!

    OK - yesterday was my first day back at work. The first 30 minutes or so drove me nuts, then I got used to the noise and was ok after that. I did get completely worn out and crashed hard when I got home. My ear "shut" around 6pm and didn't open back up until this morning. I don't know if I was just so tired that my body shut down or what. I was worried, of course, but I knew it was just a "bump in the road" and it would open back up when it felt like it.

    Noeli,

    Hi, welcome to the Healthboards!

    I think the variation in the reports from some people hearing a lot immediately and some not is the degree of hearing loss they had before the surgery. In my case I was 90db. In other words, I was deaf in that ear and heard nothing before, so now I am hearing even though I still have packing, swelling, and lots of healing time left. Remember, I had no where to go but UP. My ear still "opens" and "shuts" when it feels like it. Sometimes I can hear and sometimes not, but the "opens" are getting more frequent.

    I agree with Andy and Dwalt - It does take 4 weeks to 6 months for hearing to completely stabilize. My doc told me that and I have ready many posts that support that time frame. Some from people back in 2002 forward that were wonderful and kept posting for about a year on their progress. It was around the 5 month mark for most of them to say things finally leveled off and changes stopped occuring. Here is the link if you would like to check out the older posts.

    [url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=58124[/url]

    It's great reading, there are 37 pages of posts and yes, I read the entire thing. Zip2play was the cheerleader of the group and keep talking about all the "bumps" in the road of recovery. (The story of the sizzling hot dogs is also in there).

    What was your hearing in that ear before your surgery? Were they trying to close the gap by 10% (in which case you will not see much difference very soon) or were they trying for 90% like in my case (so any little change was very drastic)?

    Please keep us posted of your progress and I wish you well. Like your doc said - please do not get worried. It's waaaaaay to soon for that.


    Dwalt - It's good to hear from you. I have been wondering if your hearing was still steadily improving. I hope your hearing test goes well and that the ringing does go away.

    Andy - It's good to hear that your hearing is also still improving daily. Do you have any ringing or any other crazy things going on in the ear anymore? I also want to say a special thanks to you for your "cheering" me and others on to the "hearing world". That was very sweet and made me laugh.

    Rah, Rah, Rah - let none of us get discouraged!

    More later,

    -Carol-

     
    Old 01-26-2007, 07:54 PM   #29
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    Hi all,

    Today at work was a lot easier. I handled the all the sounds pretty well. I also actually had a little energy left when I got home

    I'm still fighting the sinus issues. My hearing opened and closed every time my head would get clogged up and then clear up. It was wierd and annoying. If only I could blow my nose - hard - for about 10 minutes!!

    I had a little ringing in the ear today also but it was very faint and only lasted a few minutes every time the hearing opened up.

    Tomorrow is another basketball game and I just can't miss it. I may end up in my vehicle with my ears covered again, but I hope not. I think I'll handle it much better now that I know to leave any setting that is really loud when it starts getting to me before it has my head pounding.

    More later,

    -Carol-

     
    Old 01-28-2007, 07:41 AM   #30
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    Re: My Stapedectomy report

    Hi All,

    Zip2play was banned. For what I don't know - he had over 5000 posts. You couldn't find the info because he had misspelled "stapedectomy", he put "stapedectoRmy". (Again, praise to the bf from me - he found the info from zip, not me).

    I'm still having ringing in the ear off and on. I can barely hear it, but it's there. Like Andy, when I take out the cotton ball, it's even less noticable. Hearing is still good even though some things are distorted because of the packing and waiting on the ear drum to heal completely.

    Apparently the loudest part of the bball game yesterday was ME, according to my kids. HEHE! I did walk outside a few times to let the sounds clear up and then went back in. It seemed to help quite a bit. No panic attack!

    Noeli - where did you go? Please give us an update.

    More later,

    -Carol-

     
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