Hospital Adventures: ER Visit #3, #4 in 2018 - Turns out to be Valley Fever

Discussion in 'Health' started by purr1n, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Yep. The Socal area can be bad. Malibu Canyon where I am at has a hill that hides us from LA proper, but we still have major ozone problems in the summer. We did not fly into Detroit this time around. We flew into Chicago instead. I will say that although we are from smoggy Socal, whenever we fly into Detroit, we smell nasty industrial chemical shit the moment we land. This nasty smell pemeates to Ann Arbor and beyond. Once you get used to it, you don't smell it anymore.

    One thing you have to understand about Michiganders is that they have an inferiority complex to the coastal states or more erudite areas in the USA such as Colorado, certain parts of Texas, New Mexico, Georgia, Iowa, etc. When I lived there in Michigan, I always found it annoying when the Detroit Free Press would print stuff like "Michigan's own Tom Cruise, or Michigan's own Madonna". I'm like SHUT THE FUCK UP. These people want nothing to do with Michigan. Why do you think Tom Cruise moved to El Lay and Madonna to NY? But I guess Katie Holmes to her credit did buy an exclusive property on Devil's Lake. However, I doubt she spends much time here. Or then again, this might be bullshit rumor from the locals because Devil's Lake is kind of shitty in the overall scheme of things*. When I arrived in Traverse City, my mother in-law's boyfriend told me that I need not fear swimmer's itch from the waters and lakes up there because the water was colder. Oh boy, was he wrong. Gen and I got swimmer's itch again. WTF. Please, please, please, do a realistic self assessment. Your shit in Michigan still stinks, just as the shit on the streets of Skid Row in El Lay stinks, just as the garbage on the sidewalks of Manhattan during garbage day stinks, just as the shit from gender flexible San Francisco tree huggers stinks. It kind of pissed me off when I searched on Google the terms "swimmer's itch northern michigan" and ended up finding resources on swimmer's itch from the state of Michigan. As long as I see ducks or geese and snails, Gen and I are going to be fucked if we ever touch slow moving water, which we did.

    We rented a kayak in the West Arm Grand Traverse Bay and went up the Boardman River to Boardman Lake and back. As we went up the river, we noted the water was very slow moving and a lot of ducks. Gen and I looked at each other. I told Gen, I hope we don't get another round of swimmer's itch again. Here is a photo. What do you guys think happened?

    IMG_20180801_133228.jpg

    I think everything would have been fine because we were being careful and not getting ourselves too wet. However, as we merrily row along, we suddenly hear thunder ahead of us when it was very bright and sunny with maybe a few clouds just five minutes ago (this is normal for Michigan BTW). We already reached the point where we could see the lake, so it was an easy decision for us to turn back away from the thunder. I was looking at the sky tracking the thunderstorm clouds seeing where they were forming until I notice dark clouds behind us dissipate and a BIG ASS thunderstorm cloud a little beyond a mile or two in front of us! I checked my weather radar app on my phone and noticed shit popping up left right top bottom all over the fucking map like the starship USS Discovery activating its Spore Hub Drive to bounce about us every minute. Well this is kind of fucked...
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  2. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    Holy moly!

    Man oh man, don't mess around with stuff like chest pains, especially if you feel short of breath or a little "draggy." I didn't have the pains, but had the shortness of breath and lack of energy. Like Marv, it turned out to be pneumonia. Which can suck massively.

    What's worse was my friend Mark--same symptoms exactly, shortness of breath and lack of energy. They thought he had pneumonia too, but nothing showed up on x-ray. Turns out he had congestive heart failure and finally had a heart attack that put him in the ER, which then led to a quad bypass. Seriously, don't ignore shortness of breath or exhaustion, even if it doesn't come with chest pain!

    Glad to hear you're on the mend, Marv. Hopefully it won't hold you back for too long.
     
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  3. Mr.Sneis

    Mr.Sneis Friend

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    Having spent some time in the hospital myself for freak stuff like this and it really gets you to slow down. Take care of yourself and stay strong boss!

    Also if you end up down a certain road, be asking if your anesthesiologist is in network for insurance. F*ck those guys... got us at least twice for thousands of dollars each time just to give a shot.
     
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    So we keep paddling east to get the mouth of the river which would actually bring us closer to the thunderstorm (it's location is stablized now). I'm thinking once we get the mouth, it's a fast straight shot back west to the beach where we started, which is opposite from the thunderstorm. However I noted the leaves on the trees start to rustle. Crap. High winds. Fortunately, there are a ton of overpasses over the river, and I pick one of the wider overpasses to hide under. We pull the kayak to the side of the river against the concrete banks. We wait there. The thing about Michigan storms is that they can disappear as fast as they appear. We sit there waiting it out. The river is now choppier and we are getting water on us. Oh great, there is water on our legs, our butts, our backs. I am hoping that there are no swimmer's itch bugs in the river water. The conditions are just getting too rough for us to stay under the bridge so we find a spot next to Front Street Mortgage, also a common fishing spot, to pull the kayak out. Julie, my mother in-law, and her boyfriend are there to help us out.

    My mother in-law's boyfriend (let's just call him Tom going forward) suggested we leave the kayak there and bring the oars and floatation jackets back to the rental place. I checked the the radar and weather reports indicating that things would calm down in half an hour. No fricking way Gen and I want to abandon mission. My daughter does not want to quit as we find the rougher waters more of a challenge - that is more fun. Gen and I head across the street to fuel up at the food trucks. Everybody wants us to quit, but I know better - at least I would say that I was pissed off that the prior day's pace was totally set by Tom and he burned (literally sunburned) the fuck out of me because he just would not quit, going at a 100% pace, despite everyone else being polite, giving him subtle hints to stop, and not visit yet another beach under the northern summer sun which is super fucking deadly if you are not used to it. Some people you have to be direct with and not subtle.

    Anyway, coming back to the current situation, Tom said I shouldn't do something I might regret on my birthday (dammit, I had asked Julie to keep my birthday quiet - I can be an extremely private person - especially with certain people). Tom suggests that perhaps if it were he and I, it might be fine because Gen is too weak. This kind of stuff just rubs me the wrong way. I know Gen's strength - she has her mother's welsh / scottish / british bad-ass colonizer DNA. Tom also mentions that he got a weather advisory notice on this phone. No shit sherlock, but I have more advanced technology which provides me with a lot more information, and I have a much better sense of of the water and weather than he suspected (I am not exactly a sailing pro, but I've spent my share of time on water and I did live in Michigan for eight years.). Tom then says he needs to get a haircut in 1.5 hours, so we need to be quick. Seriously? I knew that in exactly fifteen minutes, the winds, and the whitecaps in the open water, would go down, and that it would take us no more than 20 minutes to paddle back to base. I replied we will wait a little bit and re-assess the situation. Fifteen minutes pass by and what I thought was going to happen happened. The leaves of the trees stopped rustling - I noted the wind was already subsiding before then. The waves were still choppy, but the whitecaps mostly disappeared. Of course Tom says the waves hitting the sides of the kayak may tip us over. I'm thinking goshdarnit - just shut up already. There are ways to orient the kayak to prevent this - it's basic sailing 101 - common sense. Do you really think I am that retarded? We put the kayak back down into the water and make it back with little difficulty. It wasn't easy, wasn't too hard, it was a perfect challenge. Life without risk is no fun. It's best to determine a level of risk which is acceptable for yourself.

    Oh yeah, I should mention that in the day prior, I climbed up sandy hills to get a peak at Sleeping Bear point. No one wanted to go with me. Climbing sand is hard. It's actually easier if you step on other people's steps because the sand is already compressed. I would have gone father, but I didn't want to keep others waiting.

    37676332_267523943979779_7836010287856615424_n.jpg

    So more stressors: 3) Going at a 100% the day before (12 hour tour provided by Tom with no rest) with the addition of my hiking junket which I could not resist; 4) Thunderstorm kayaking with second round of swimmer's itch.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
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  5. thegunner100

    thegunner100 Hentai Master Chief

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  6. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    So back at the hospital. They stick an IV in me, which I hate; but I understand why because they need to give me IV antibiotics, the best stuff. I get zero rest that night because everytime I fall asleep, the nurse wakes up me just before I go into deep REM for tests, medication, etc. I forgot to mention that while I was downstairs in the ER, the chest pains became so intense, a pounding at 8 / 10 on the pain scale, that the doctor gave me Dilaudid (hydromorphone hydrocloride). Did I hear Dilaudid! Sweet! I already got morphine before that too. I am hoping things improve the next day because hospital stays for pneumonia for most people can last days if not two weeks. It's fricking uncomfortable staying in a hospital with an IV stuck into you.

    Around the morning of the next day, Tuesday August 15, 2018, the pain has gone down to 4-6 / 10. I still can't take deep breaths because the inflammation of my lung lobe causes pain on the bottom left side of my chest. I take a few deep breaths anyway because I would just like to take few a deep breaths - I'm sure you guys understand why - it sucks to only take shallow breaths all the time. Then a hear a "pop" and some gurgling of fluids inside my chest. Cool! And I realize I can take deep breaths with only minor pain now. Cool. It looks like the IV antibiotics worked extremely well. The inflammation is down and my body is sucking up the chest cavity fluids. I feel better, have more energy, and convince the doctor and pulmonigist assigned to my case that I am ready to get the hell out of Dodge. They concur but would like to check my oxygen saturation levels while I take a walk around the floor before discharging me.

    In the meantime, I get a full ECG (ultrasound). The doctor wants to make sure that there are absolutely no problems with the heart. The ECG tech does find some minor inflammation in the area between the heart and left lung, but this is normal. The orderly who pushed me back to my room says "you are getting out buddy! Once you pass the ECG, it's always the last thing!" I think it's funny how the orderlies are more willing to offer you information than the nurses. I know the nurses do need to be extremely careful and defer a lot to the doctors, even if they know just as much as the doctors. Let's face it, the nurses do the real work. But the doctors are the ones who get sued.

    Back in my room, a old lady comes in with an oxygen tank and puts the thingie on my nose. Seriously. WTF? I don't need this. We head out and the old lady asks me to slow down. I am walking too fast for her. My nurse comes by and puts the oxygen saturation sensor on my finger. We walk around the floor and the readings show 98% oxygen saturation in my blood. The nurse takes the oxygen mask off my face and puts the tank away. I look at her and say "Yeah, I know, that's cheating." We take another walk witout the oxygen tank. 100% oxygen saturation. Yup. I'm getting discharged based on my rapid recovery.

    My doctor prescribes me Tylenol and Levaquin to take when I get home. This is when it gets real fun.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  7. jowls

    jowls Never shitposts (please) - Friend

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    Rest up Marv. It can take weeks before you feel 100% again after pneumonia.
     
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I'm 90% today on Friday August 10, 2018. Being in great shape helps, although I did gain back a few pounds (not gonna hike in the summer in Socal.) I had built myself up from hiking to running up hills. Gen used to kick my ass up the hills - she is forced run 5 miles at least one day a week and a mile two other days. I kick her ass now up the hills. However I was seriously messed up from the day I came home until last night.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    So something very strange happens when I get home on Tuesday. I take the prescribed medications, but I feel like shit on Wednesday August 8th, 2018. I am super fatigued. Some of the spots where I got swimmer's itch sort of reactivate. I cannot get up from the bed to do anything other than take a quick piss, which seems strange because I felt stronger the days before. My muscles and tendons ache, but I know that this is normal for Levaquin (I am the kind of guy that RTFM), which is in the family of antibiotics as Cipro. I was prescribed Cipro after my kidney stone surgery a few months ago. I took one and then said fuck it to the rest because of the big warning of tendinitis, Achilles tendon rupture, etc. attached to the Cipro instructions. No way I'm taking this, I hike and run hills. Not going to risk an Achilles tendon rupture. This is bullshit. Stuff like this should not be sold or only used as a secondary choice or last resort. Keep in mind that this was a few months ago when it was cooler and I was more active outdoors. BTW, the Levaquin antibiotic also came with this same tendon rupture warning. Since it was summer and I was much less active, and my pneumonia condition could be grave, I decided to be a good boy and take the Levaquin. This was a BIG mistake.

    I am finally starting to feel better on the evening of Wednesday August 8th where I could catch up on Boondock Saints, and I take my second 750mg dose of Levaquin. Oh man, I am feeling itchy after the movie. I am totally uncomfortable throughout the rest of the night. I wake up at 5:30 am to take a piss and decide to take a look at my body. Holy shit. WTF. Here is a photo of my back around 7:00 am that I asked Julie to take. There are also rashes on my arms and legs which are not pictured.

    IMG_4089.jpg

    We call my primary care doctor and get an early appointment on Thursday August 8, 2018. BTW, evidently this is a known side affect of Levaquin (search the Internet), but none of the warnings made this clear. The only thing that was made clear was the tendon rupture risk. This is the kind of stuff that pisses me off about the drug industry in the USA. The drug companies have their fingers so deep into the hospitals and physicians. They hire salepeople (mostly hot girls) to show a leg to doctors or ask them to "present their research findings" at a hawaiian resort in order to mindtrick the more feeble willpowered doctors to prefer certain medications over others or encourage the unneeded use of new medications. My mother in-law used to be a pharma sales rep. I have no doubt they forced her out because she started to get too old. I used to hear absolute garbage from her like generics were inferior and could have 20% less than the actual dose. This is highly doubtful because the FDA would come down hard on any company that tried to pull that kind of shit. Maybe in China, but then again, any perp who did this in China would be executed by firing squad.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
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  10. Wilson

    Wilson Socially Anxious Volleyball

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    @purr1n , Jesus fucking Christ, I hope it all sorts out. You know you got a ton of people here who care and are concerned. Get and feel better soon.
     
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  11. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    Completely serious here. Any idea if the water you were drinking had high levels of lead, like Flint has?

    Get some rest and keep checking in with your doctor. Lung infections are nothing to mess with.
     
  12. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    Holy scheeeeiit!

    I was just about to post, "Um, er, I ain't a doctor or nothin, but I wouldn't be taking Levaquin." For, like, the same reasons you noted.

    Again, I am not an MD, but it's also instructional to look up what antibiotics are most effective for pneumonia. If I'm reading things right, it ain't Levaquin or Cipro.

    (Full disclosure: they tried to give me Levaquin. I looked it up, never got the prescription, and went back and said, "Give me a Z-pack (azithromycin)." They bitched, but they did as I asked, especially when I said I found studies showing it to be more effective than the new fancy fluorinated stuff. It worked fine (same day felt better), and without issues.)

    Again, even stronger disclaimer: I am not a doctor. Do not take my advice. Don't expect this to work the same for you. I do not take antibiotics unless I'm really sick (as in, that Z-pack was the only antibiotic dose I'd had in 10+ years), so not having any antibiotic-resistant crap may also have been a factor.

    Man oh man, I hope you feel 100% soon.
     
  13. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I'll get hives once every five years, and the course of action has always been an injection of some sort. I visit my primary care doctor on Thursday August 9th 2018 at 8:00pm. He is happy that I do not have any breathing problems. My oxygen saturation is 98%. My fever is down to 99F. My blood pressure is 107 / 74. All looking good. He orders an x-ray to ensure that the pneumonia wasn't expanding. He took at look at my hives and prescribed me Prenisolone, which is the active ingredient of the steroid Prenisone after it metabolises in the body. In other words, same difference. I take x3 4mg according to the instructions which I know is not much.

    That Thursday afternoon, things get even worse! No more dots. They've expanded and now I'm a puffball.

    5573.jpg

    Julie calls my primary care doctor for another visit. I realized that in hindsight I was too trusting of my doctor and should have asked for an intramuscular Epinephrine or steroid shot. If you guys have never had a epinephrine shot, they are something! Big big rush over the body, a shuddering wave of cold, and all the bumps disappear before your eyes. It's like how Bruce Banner must feel when transforming into the Hulk. The Epinephrine, really Adrenaline, closes up the unneeded small blood vessels - the ones at the surface of the skin - therefore many of the rashs, which really are small blood vessels being expanded by histamines, disappear. The Adrenaline routes blood most efficiently to facilitate fight / flight tasks. I understand why any physician would prefer not to go the Incredible Hulk route because of the risks, but 4mg Prenisolone pills for this? That's just playing it too safe.

    So getting back to our second visit: we are denied. Insurance only covers one visit per day. The RN advises us to visit an urgent care or ER facility. My primary care doctor was kind enough to offer us additional advice: the addition of a double dose of Allegra pills. Seriously, this is borderline malpractice. Julie takes me back to the ER in the Dodge Charger at light speed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
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  14. 9suns

    9suns [insert unearned title here]

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    I hope you get well soon, health issues are no joke, wish you a speedy recovery.
     
  15. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I found out later there is a study paper out there that highly recommends Zithromax or that family of antibiotics as the preferred first course of antibiotic treatment post hospital discharge. This is what the hospital used on me in the first place after all.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
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  16. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Jesus. That looks nasty.
     
  17. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Before I continue - LESSON LEARNED: Do research yourself. Don't be afraid to question your doctor's decision. I just wanted to be respectful because I hear stories about physicians finding it annoying that their patients want to be their own doctors. But the fact is, physicans can be compromised by the drug companies or not even have kept up with latest research. It's your body. If you read the medical papers and journals on the Internet, you might actually know more than them on your specific issue.

    Also, the "Internet" in 2018 might actually know more about adverse reactions to medication. Drug companies aren't exactly motivated to do research on adverse reactions to the meds that they make.
     
  18. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    If you want to have your hair stand straight on end, consider that there is ZERO testing for drug interactions.

    They are, however, starting to use the internet to find drug interactions, like Marv says. Not kidding: https://www.ted.com/talks/russ_altm...en_you_mix_medications/transcript?language=en
     
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  19. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    So back at the ER again in the afternoon of Thursday August 9, 2018! I'm kind of pissed I have to pay for another ER visit, and for the unnecessary pain and suffering I've had to go through. I get admitted in 10 seconds this time around. The nurses take my vitals, and the doctor sizes me up. I ask for an Epi shot. The doc says he will consider it if the triple combo of a mega steroid shot, a double Pepsid dose, and a Benadryl shot don't work after 20-30 minutes. The steroid and Bendrayl will block one kind of histamine, and the Pepsid another. The Bendrayl goes into the deltoid muscle. No problem. The steroid goes into the outer quad muscle. Oh fuck. Someone kicked me on the side of the leg really hard. Oh crap, someone kicked me in the hip and in the knee. It all went away after an hour.

    To be honest, I did not see any major affects to alleviating the hives. The nurse was honest and did say the hives will take another day or two to go down. Good enough. I didn't ask for a Epi shot because the doctor prescribed me with an Epipen that I could use myself at any time. It's probably a good idea for me to carry one around in case I get attacked by a swarm of mosquitos. I haven't picked up the Epipen yet, but I hope it's not too expensive after hearing stories about that how CEO bitch who owned the Epipen company cranked up the prices with the help for her corrupt Senator dad. I've said this before and will say it again: all 100 USA Senators are assholes.

    Once I got home, I did notice that I felt much better, stronger, not needing to lie down in bed. There were probably some internal inflammations that were reduced that I was not able to visibly see. I was able to view the entire length of Blade Runner 2049 (oops, I got the prior film wrong, it was Boondog Saints). I didn't think Ryan Gosling of La La Land could pull it off, but he was the perfect choice. LOL, Han Solo is such a mediocre actor, looking back, he's always been kind of a mediocre, but very charasmatic actor. Age does not do Han Solo good because of his limited acting chops.

    So basically I wake up this morning on Friday August 8th, 2018, and I feel great! The hives have gone down 60%, but most importantly, I don't feel any significant ichiness. I have a case of walking pneumonia where my coughs are dry, so an inhaler a few times per day basically takes care of any excess coughing. I've been up all day and felt no need to lie down at all. I am totally convinced that I could have felt this great already a day and a half ago had I not had the Levaquin poisoning.

    I don't like the idea, but I am thinking I might need to pursue a lawyer. I just want my two days of lost productivity and the costs for my ER visit paid for. If the lawyer can get punitive damages from J&J, then great. I can't believe that the FDA or J&J did not know about the severity of these adverse reactions and provide a stronger warning about them. If I had known, I would have been more vigilant about my symptoms and stopped Levaquin upon my first dose. Sorry, this is not a drug allergy, this is drug poisoning and could have been fatal to me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  20. BenjaminBore

    BenjaminBore Friend

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    Yeah, seriously, everyone should take this to heart. People tend to put doctors on a pedestal, but they are only human and susceptible to all the same faults as everyone else. The stakes are just higher, especially for you when you’re their patient. They make mistakes, get overworked, can be arrogant, lazy, judgemental, and all the rest of it.

    Myself and others I know have experienced more than a few instances where challenging a doctor lead to a better outcome, or the avoidance of a bad one. One time I was seeing a specialist privately, as I’d rolled my ankle badly. He was a cheerful Greek fellow who seemed perfectly competent. I was sitting across from his desk while he got up and went to one side to put the xray up to the wall mounted back-light. He took a look and proclaimed that “it all looks fine, just a bad sprain.” A moment later I got up, limped over to him, pointed at the vague super thin line I thought I could see while still seated and said “what’s that?”. His response: “oh, well, it’s a fracture”...

    Hope you’re feeling back to normal soon, I’m enjoying reading this mini-odyssey of yours.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018

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