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Posts Tagged ‘pain’

Neck Update, Part 637.

Saw the nurse practitioner who works with the pain doc yesterday.

MRI does show a bulged disc at C4-5 that is pressing on nerves. First thing to try is a higher-risk epidural, next month, so see if that provides some short-term relief.

Second thing to try is an endoscopic discectomy (I think I got that one right).  The NP looked at me and said “I won’t lie to you, it hurts like hell”. What the hell does that mean, exactly?  Pain is really really subjective.  I am like the guy from XKCD below…

Imagined Pain.

How long?  Two to three weeks of extreme pain.

Huh. Well, by now I’ve developed a healthy fear of pain and am kind of spooked by the idea but at the same time I don’t feel like I’ve got a choice – what this is like now is not really living.  When you are afraid of moving your head the wrong way, deathly afraid of sneezing, and are using a cane or walking stick to keep your balance, rest your head on when standing still, and to keep from bouncing around as you walk you probably need to do something.

If only there was a way to map “hurts like hell” onto my pain scale.  Ten for me is a compound fracture.  I’ve gone to the hospital twice for nines that went on for hours.  But what if the NP’s “hurts like hell” works out to a new measurement’s “10”?  How do I know in advance?  Or could it be that I’ll get there and say “Oh, this is how I feel after a long day in the lab anyway”?

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Don’t give up yet…

Blogging took a backseat I’m afraid.  Had a rough few weeks with last night being the crowning touch.  I’m only blogging now because I’ve actually felt guilty about not posting anything in days.  I will go back to bed shortly.

Making sammiches for the kids, I turned my head ever so slightly (thinking of the next inane thing to say to Cruel Wife), and hit the floor.

You have heard me say that there’s pain and then there’s pain. I am used to vanilla pain. I’m not used to tear-your-spine-out-with-pliers-bit-by-bit-and-replace-it-with-molten-silver pain or badgers-just-chewed-outmy-hernia-and-appendix-and-are-working-on-my-liver pain. The amount you can actually do when hit by it sounds very disturbingly like what I’m told being tasered is like. You can’t *do* anything other than drop like a rock. That’s it. Your choices are to (a) drop like a rock, or (b) drop like a rock.

Some time passed before I stopped scrabbling my feet along the floor and punishing the front of the stove. Not sure how long. Cruel Wife just stood there in horror because if she did the wrong thing it could make things worse and she wasn’t really sure what the right thing was, either. Well, that makes two of us, because I didn’t know either.

After some time I grabbed the handle of the fridge and scrabbled along the stove and counter and hauled myself up. Moved glacially slow to my chair and sat down.

It’s 22 hours later (roughly) and not much has changed. I called CW a bit ago to see if that was her that called earlier when I couldn’t make it to the phone. She said “How you doing?” She KNEW what I was going to say:

Don’t worry about me. I’ve never felt better.

Easier to say that than for the millionth time “I kinda feel like donkey shiat”.

Back to bed.

Addendum:  NO, I’m not looking for “Sorry” or “Get Well” comments.  I was simply feeling guilty for not posting and then saying “WTF am I feeling guilty about?  There’s a reason dammit!” and then thinking “Geez, grow some, you puke” as I was writing all this out but figured I’d at least say something anyway so you didn’t feel like I was (God forbid) stopping blogging or something dire like that.  “Man up!” I said to myself as I kicked my own ass silly.  And then hit “Post” anyway.  It’s complicated.

****

Curtal, you are a better man than I…

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First, thanks to Nicole, I was led over to Weasel’s place where her take on the Osama picture should make any American adult demand to see the photos.  I wanted to share one profound nugget, then you need to run over and buy lots of her shit.

[Obama] doesn’t own those photos. We do. We were wronged as a people and we have the right to see justice done. We watched office workers jump off the top floor of a skyscraper — jump rather than burn — and we have a right to see the dead face of the monster who ordered it.  – Stoaty over at Sweasel.com

Thank you, Stoaty.

****

The Cleansing Fire.

I eat chilies daily.  Without them life would be a dreary barren place devoid of color and life.

I love them all – from the sweetest Bell pepper to the Jalapeno to the Serrano to the Cayenne to the Bird’s Eye to the Scotch-Bonnets and Habaneros and Red Savinas.

All of those chilies have their places.  Stir fries, soups, omelettes, salsas, sauces – all benefit from capsicum.

Thai food is a blessing in this world largely due to chilies, a culinary newcomer to the Thai, and they have done wonders with them – all the curries and noodle dishes and sweet/salt/savory flavors punctuated with fire tantalize the taste buds.

Endorphines are released when capsaicin in the chili burns the tongue and mouth, and the rush that follows the heat is better than Taco Bell after sex.  (To quote Aggie Sith:  Stop judging me!)

Imagine my joy that day when Cruel Wife brought home some Bhut Jolokias for me as a gift a number of weeks ago.  It spoke volumes to me – she in essence said, “I am in tune with your needs and what makes you tick.”   The bag of peppers had this scent of smokiness and danger.  You could feel the crinkle of the cellophane packaging as you squeezed the package and the aroma of peppers was lofted, given wings so that it might caress your sinuses.

So last night I was watching Dexter –  for some reason I get hungry when I watch Dexter- and  I said to Cruel Wife “Got any plans for that can of chili in the pantry?”  She said “Nope.” and bade me goodnight.  Then I cooked up a sausage, threw the chili in there, and made up a quick quesadilla.  So far, so good.  I wolfed all of it down.  It was really quite tasty.

As I put my plate in the sink I noticed a glint of light from between the flour jar and the food scale.  “Ho ho!” said I, gently teasing the package from it’s hiding place.

I shook a pepper out of its packaging and held it up.

It appeared much like any typical dried pepper.  It was not much bigger than a man’s thumb, was of a dark chocolate coloration, and had that unmistakable smell of smoke and heat.  I put it down and trimmed roughly a third of the pepper off with my chef’s knife.  There it lay, a pepper divided, next to a few seeds that had spilled out onto the cutting board.  I lifted the pepper, gave it a quick visual inspection, and popped it in my mouth.

As I have said, I know chilies.  I knew it was a dried pepper and that normally one would reconstitute it or cook it into a dish before consumption.  In this case I decided I’d chew it up and savor it as it softened.

Although the timing from thought to thought varied, my thought processes proceeded like this:

Mmmm.  Nice smoky flavor, not fruity like a habanero, some sweetness but more of an earthy tone.

Not a lot of heat though.  Hmmm.  Well, every batch is different.

Oh, there we go, nice!  It’s a delayed sneaky heat – I love those!  Heat and flavor still playing nicely… that there is some serious gour-may shit.

Wow!  Zippy!  I gotta tell The Dude about this tomorrow.

Huh.  That’s a longer burn than normal.  Maybe these aren’t such a wimpy batch after all.

Hoo-hoo!  Mr. Toad’s wild ride!  Hold on to yer butt!

Uh… wow.  Just… wow.

Uh… ow.  Damn, these are vicious.  Aren’t you fellas cute?

Holy ****.   Stop the ride, I want to get off.

JESUS CHRIST.  LIKE DRINKING ****ING BATTERY ACID.

(grunting, and the sound of flesh bubbling)

WHERE THE HELL IS MY TONIC WATER?

OH **** ME.  Carbonation makes it WORSE.  I KNEW THAT!   Am I… sweating???  I am!  Oh, this is bad.

(mewling noises and faint popping sounds as tooth enamel shatters)

Okneedaglass.  Wherearetheglasses?   Needaglassnow.  NOCLEANGLASSES, SH*T.  DIRTYONEWILLDO!  What is that in the bottom??  DOESN’T MATTER!

MILKMILKMILK, FORTHELOVEOFGOD MILK.  POUR, DAMN YOUR EYES!  POUR FASTER!  Does milk even have eyes?  POUR FASTER!

(willing milk to pour faster, now hissing with the sound of gravel on a metal rooftop)

(chugging sounds and the very audible hiss of milk flashing into steam)

Okay.  Calm.  Be calm.  Be cool.  Little Fonzies.  We got this shit cool…  Ow Goddamnit!  Be cool…

(glass shatters on floor)

IT’S NOT WORKING!!  WHAT NOW???   AAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHH!

(the smell of scalded burned milk grows stronger)

SUGAR!  ALTON BROWN SAID *SHUUUUUGARRRRRR*!

(Hands scrabble through the utensil drawer, narrowly missing sharp edges on items and tossing them on the floor:  Peeler, a grater, a cheese slicer, an apple corer, a meat thermometer sans cover, a bread scraper, and a pair of food shears sharp enough to cut through steel siding – no blood, no wounds – out comes a 1/3 cup measuring cup)

(pour contents of sugar container into cup – never mind asking why the sugar container could not have been tipped up in a pinch)

SSSSSHHHHUUUUUUUGGAAAAAARRRRRR!

OK… whew!  That was sure lucky that it…

(spleen and eardrums burst and starts bleeding profusely)

Oh damn.  That isn’t working either.  OW!

By now, ten minutes have elapsed, and it was still getting hotter.  At some point the brain ceases to register pain in  a linear fashion and everything goes mute, the brain having overloaded and blown a fuse.  This is not a circuit-breaker.  We are talking about honest-to-God old-style screw-in fuses and in order to get any use from one’s brain at this point requires removing the fuse and inserting a penny into the socket, then screwing the fuse back in.  That is the only choice beyond just waiting it out and going stark raving bugshit.  At least bypassing the fuse allows some mental capacity – enough to babble to one’s self, much like babbling to one’s wife when your child is being born.  It gets you there and seems ineffective at the same time and you have no idea what you said later on.  Yes, bypassing the fuse may cause the house to burn down.  It is  a calculated risk and I’ve also stretched the metaphor beyond the breaking point so just let it go, ok?

25 minutes after the event known as The Cleansing Fire the heat subsided to a painful fire and by 35 minutes the ordeal was over.

Exhausted by the ordeal, I slept like  a baby.

I woke with the worst case of the “zactlies” I have ever had, bar none.  The “zactlies,” as a friend once put it to me, is where you wake up and your mouth tastes zactly like an old tractor tire with lots of little furry things living in it.    My stomach, esophagus, nose, and mouth hurt.

This morning I discovered that your alimentary canal can move food through your system in eight hours or less if it really is motivated to.

Still hurting around lunchtime I went with The Dude as kind of a going-away lunch and ordered a ten-star thai meal  (they only go to four or five stars on the menu but will “kick it up” if you ask them to).  I figure if your stomach hurts you – you just hurt it right back!   Fire with fire, I say!

I had mashed potatoes and pork for dinner.  The butter was a little spicy but I ate it anyway.

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Ooooh. Ow.

The Dude, wondering what my pain level was, asked if it was an 8 on a regular scale or an XKCD scale.

I told him on the “compound fracture” scale, 8.  On the “slowly fed into a woodchipper”, yeah, probably a one.

Also, being an alert reader, he passed this on to me… (original source was The Patriot Post)

Which means these two are in serious trouble

****

Nearly 200mph electric motorcycle.  Be still, my beating heart.  (really)

Speaking of hot, Mitchell (Enas Yorl) passed the link to the new world’s hottest chilie.  Of course that title is sought after by different groups behaving like children in their competition antics so it’ll always be “up for debate”.  Like who cares if a chilie is off by 100,000 units either way once you get past 1 M-su’s?

And no, Enas, I haven’t tried the Ghost Chilies yet.  I’m thinking an orange roughy in a tamarind sauce would be a nice place for it.

****

ID10T Killer passed on the derriere collision with two jets youtube.

Ok, so now you idiots will sit down and put on your damned seat belts next time!

****

Wow, now Fukushima has detected Strontium!  Fire up the dairy and we’ll see what Sunny Strontium flavored ice cream tastes like.

They’re saying it is another Chernobyl.  I have no idea what that means.  Chernobyl looked bad and was worse.  This?  On the face of it, it doesn’t look like it can compare yet.

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Friday Update:

Yes, I do feel like hell.

But the bright side is that I’ve seen a product that is more lovable than The Candy Man… Bacon-Flavored Soda.

J&D Foods owner Justin Esch told AOL News that his company recently partnered with Jones Soda to create a special-edition bacon-flavored drink just in time for the holidays.

*****

Yep, they toasted six cervical nerves today.

I am (at the same time) drugged and in pain.

Bright side:  Getting ’em all over with at the same time.  Yay!

I’ll post something more substantial tomorrow night while Cruel Wife is out of town.  She’s going bar-hopping with the other church gals.

Soon, very soon, I will be posting in parallel a new Soylent Eco-Dollar that I’ve just about completed for C Monster.  (He should be proofing it sometime soon.)

C Monster came to me and said “Lemur, I have just volunteered you to do another graphic for me.”

I had a question for him (I said “yes”) and he responded in the affirmative that I could indeed throw Eco-Dollars up on Zazzle and see if anyone should care.  I’ll do it sometime soon and y’all can look ’em up there.

He’s going to have the hi-res one up soon…

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Out today.  Felt rotten enough to call in sick, although I’m not sick-sick.  Neck thing still.  Got bad yesterday and kept getting worse.

Please enjoy this in the meantime… how to be worshipped as a god in a third-world country.   Sent to me by Inscrutable Half-breed.

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We moved my scheduled neck-nerve-frying-day up to next week, Thursday.  I couldn’t see going for another 23 days and then go through the post-procedure “afterglow”.

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Sorry Folks.

I am not asking for sympathy.  Just putting this in as a placeholder and letting you know why I’ve been scarce.  The nerves in my neck grew back.  Once they started sending signals again they set up shop, built roads, formed vibrant cities,  had small wars, entered brief periods of tranquility, have had large wars, erected skyscrapers, built satellites, started a space program, formed a body-wide telephone network into a thriving communications web with good information and lots of bad information, and yet generally pretty much have tried to destroy more than create, on balance.

So what was killed off to control pain is back and as big and bad as life.  I’m going to set up that radio-frequency procedure sooner than I’d planned – next month – and go for this week or next if I can pull it off.

I will see if I am up to finishing the Truck/Michigan/Silver d’Cat story tonight but I can’t make promises.

Cruel Wife asks me if I need anything yet tells me we’re fresh out anytime I ask for a suicide pill with a mild laxative side-effect.

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Update:   I finally had the last straw with Firefox.  For some reason they’ve had v3.6 out for some time and not done a thing to fix an issue with Google Gears and WordPress.  Blogging has been a huge festering boil on the figurative ass of the blogging world.

So I’m trying out Flock, which is Firefox based but seems to not have some of the most annoying features of Firefox.  It also seems a bit more tailored to be of use to a blogger.  So far I like what I see – I’ll keep you posted.

Damn Firefox.

Supplemental update:  If you blog, you will want to at least try Flock.  It has an external (read: Not WordPress’) editor, and it rocks.  You then hit a button when you are done and it posts your blog entry for you.  Oh so nice.

****

Had another radiofrequency neurotomy done today.  C2-C6 – I basically asked the doc to do most of the right side because I’m rather tired of going in for one region at a time.  It means more pain over a larger area, but it gets it done in fewer trips.

Prior to the procedure my doc comes in and says “Well, I’m now a member of the group.”   He had a herniated disk and was experiencing his own pain.  I told him that at least he was in a good place where the partners in his practice could treat him.   His response?   “Oh I don’t trust anyone here to work on me.”    Oh, sure, doc… way to instill confidence…

For whatever reason, it seems to take longer for me to recover from the procedure but the nerves also regenerate faster for me.  They should stay deader for longer each time a region is done.

Two vicodin and a muscle relaxant later, I’m still smarting. It is like having Freddy Krueger mucking about in your neck but using pieces of sharpened rebar instead of razor-sharp knives.  I am very loopy right now and am having to re-type everything.

Months ago I had the second one done for the C5-C7 region (left side) and it helped very much to reduce the number of flareups in that region.

Here’s to hoping that it heals up before we go on vacation.  The last procedure took about 3 to 3-1/2 weeks before they died (half the time of the first one in that region).  If there’s an end in sight it is much easier to tolerate pain.  If it is long and drawn out and there is no end in sight, that is the hardest thing to deal with.

I am also hoping that I can contemplate getting on my bicycle this summer. Start out slow and see if it can be done.

***
Speaking of discomfort, at last there seems to be a politician with guts. Good on ya, Gov… good luck.

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Lets get this out of the way, shall we?

If this be truly a religion of peace they’ll be offended and let it at that…

… but we know that’s not going to happen, right?

****

I think it’s nearly done if anyone has last minute comments or critiques speak up now or forever hold your feces peace.

****

Scarcity has been especially for the Kingly kind of Lemurs – so sorry.  I’ve been out of touch and not posted much.

Lately I’ve had cause to be rather pissed.

See, the legal system doesn’t really recognize you as being damaged unless you are in a wheelchair, have missing body parts, or are otherwise visidbly disfigured.

I would just like to have my insurance co. cover my medical expenses, but one of the hurdles is that I continue to work (I have a work ethic).  See, if I’d laid around and missed lots of time at work rather than do my best to not miss work in spite of daily pain then legally I’d be better off.  I have missed time at work but I’ve made up nearly every hour that I missed.

The system rewards you for being a burden.  I’ve worked regardless and – I hate the word “suffered” because it makes one sound like a victim but if you boil it down, suffering fits – suffered for years as a result of that auto accident, and the result of having a code of ethics is the life lesson that ethics don’t pay.  Well, that’s a lesson I am going to ignore.

Why bring it up?  Because the remodel job started by my father-in-law still needs completion.  I had a friend come over yesterday to help with the electrical issues.  I did my best to aid him where I could and he even took on sheetrocking for me.  I did try to help him.  I tried to patch screw holes today, screwed a piece or two of sheetrock up, spackled some seams.

And so I find myself in a significant amount of pain today.  Painkiller-bad pain that resists painkillers.  If past events hold true then I stand to have a rough time of it tomorrow and Tuesday.

The question becomes:  What the hell is the difference if you “can” do something vs. can’t (paralyzed perhaps) if the payoff is that your life is fundamentally f***ed up for days?

This isn’t a poor-me post – this is a rant-against-the-system post.  In nearly every other area of this country we do the same thing – we reward those who go by the default position, which is the one that requires the least effort and provides the most burden for others.

We’re giving all sorts of second chances to people who are in danger of defaulting on homes that they can’t afford.  We aren’t taxing half the nation and some of them are getting PAYMENTS come tax time.  We are socializing our health care at a time when entitlements are at an all-time high and growing higher.

Where did we stop having a higher degree of respect for intestinal fortitude, a can-do attitude, and a desire to succeed in spite of personal cost?

****

I can’t stand the New York Times and I know the slant they are shooting for in this article on soldiers with PTSD coming back from Iraq, but there’s some truth to it.

There’s a tough-it-out mindset in the military that doesn’t lend itself well to the realities of the mental/emotional damage that happens to our soldiers.  They are human beings, not machines.  And they don’t need just pills, they need someone who is trained to help them through mental and physical pain, too. Sure, meds are important, but they aren’t the whole story.  And, being human, every single one of them needs someone to sit down and tailor their treatment – you can’t assembly-line this stuff.

Update:  The Army has issued statements to refute the NYT article.  This doesn’t change the fact that the military could do more in the area of mental trauma and psych issues – especially given the strain it can put on families as well as the soldiers.  Like I said, I KNOW the NYT has a slant on it, but there’s a bit of truth, too.

****

Over at WeaselZippers, a news tidbit – a seeing eye dog refused entry to a restaurant because the waiter thought it was gay

stunned silence.   more stunned silence.   crickets chirp once and go silent.

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I’m being tested.

I started tapering off the narcotics again this week because it makes life hard at work and it also destroys any creative drive in art.  That is a real bummer for me.

I’m choosing between fogged with pain vs. fogged with painkillers.  Fogged with pain just makes you cranky (like anyone could tell the difference) and fogged with drugs just makes you a drone.

But tonight, two vicodin didn’t even touch the neck/headache.  It leads me to believe that the nerves burned out several weeks ago are dying in earnest, finally.  Really it is the ends of the nerves that are finally giving up.

How shall I put this?  I don’t know what it is like for anyone else nor do I care, because for me – this is a damn painful thing.  I’d rather compound fracture my arm again.  When ice, heat, and drugs don’t fix the problem, it is reasonably awful bad.  A few more days of this and it should be over.

Click to embiggenify. Or rub it.

I’ve done very little tonight.  Tried two pistons and found that they interfere and went back to one.  Crossed the attachment points over the center per Enas’ suggestion, and incorporated cam-levers into the front of the corset to allow it to be initially cinched prior to steam/mechanical assist.

Tomorrow I’ll start adding in text, additional illustration touches, grunge, etc.  It’ll look a bit more colorful.  But for now – I’m off to see if I can sleep the worst of this off.

****

This here is what we call a Grade-A Prime Weirdo.

Man, I tell you – searching for corset stuff sure takes you to some weird places.

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Update…

Well, thanks for all the well-wishes.  You’re all great, really.

I’d love to say that I’m feeling great but true to the normal way these things go, they hurt worse before they hurt less.  Even with the pills I’m a-smartin’ today.  It’s just easier to care about it less, is all.

Ah well, this too shall pass.

****

Here’s a little something that just came to me, S.T. Coleridge style.

****

I am speechless.  Seriously I’m at a loss to understand what she’s using for brains.  The idiocy implied in her utterances is bottomless-pit deep.  If I were a Democrat I’d be ashamed of the Speaker.

Pelosi: GOP has had its day; confident Dems can pull together on health bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday that Republicans have left their mark on the healthcare bill and should accept that the bill will go forward.

“They’ve had plenty of opportunity to make their voices heard,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning. “Bipartisanship is a two-way street. A bill can be bipartisan without bipartisan votes. Republicans have left their imprint.”  Kim Hart and Jordan Fabian

I do believe that a remark like that should be noted, along with the deafening silence on the part of Democrats in the wake of the utterance.  Then, at a later date this remark and its complete lack of outrage on the part of the majority should be brought out and shared like a quality red wine or scotch.

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Don't know the source but I like what it says.

Subtitled:  The Font of Youth

All right then… you know the cards I’ve posted a few nights now?

When I installed Windows 7 from my XP OS, somehow a few fonts got shredded.  I won’t name the guilty party but it was Microsoft.

To finish the cards with the same font, I would need to find it.  But there’s the rub – I could not remember the font name!  I had a bitmap example of what I was looking for, however:

So what did I do?  I searched and searched and searched some more.  Did you know that out of a million fonts online you will find that fully 999,993 of them are complete utter pieces of crap?  Sure the makers were well-intentioned but they were also completely lacking any talent whatsoever when it comes to making a font that has flow and balance.

I searched high and low:

dafont.com – betterfonts.com – simplythebest.com – 1001freefonts.com – eknp.com – topnotchporn.com – (just checking to see if you were reading this)

I have visually inspected literally tens of thousands of fonts.

No joy.  No luck.  Fail.  Epic Fail.  Painful bone-grinding failure.  Soul-wrenching spirit-mulching consciousness-rending failure.  Mind-numbing repetitive drone-work.

So we try a different tack when desperation kicks in, right?  This option was for me much like stopping to ask for directions.  But at some point you give up.

I went to WhatTheFont.  You upload a scan or bitmap of the text you do have letters for.  You verify that their OCR of the image resulted in the proper letters.  Then it comes back with a list of possible fonts.  It guessed the very first time the proper font – Calligraphic 421.    How about that?

Thing is, I know that font.  Know it well.  I’ve danced with that font, bought it dinner, had my way with that font, and used it mercilessly countless times in my graphics.  Could I recognize it on sight or name it?

Damn, I’m getting old.

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