Nevada, Day Twelve

31 03 2010


0610. I was sleeping quite well when Stripe Overload fell of the wall onto me. It scared the fire out of me, jolted me awake, and took me awhile to figure out where I was, and what had happened. After all the time I put into that thing, you’d figure it’d bee a little more grateful. 😀 So, now I’ve got some time to kill before I hafta get up and get this day started. . . . . . I’m just roaming around online. I’ve got posters to make for Alex, which I’ve actually already done, THREE TIMES, but the printer and computer in the office are apparently very, very, very weird. It won’t print anything with a picture, blows PDFs to 10x their size, and does all kinds of stupid stuff. I’ll find a solution, lol. Alex wants to have posters hanging in the bathroom so that we can read them while we’re in there. After awhile, you run out of things to talk about. I’m finding that as I enter a bathroom, I start rambling about anything and everything. . . . . . . it’s a very odd feeling. Half the time, now, I don’t even realize I’m doing it. *winks* That’s an odd quirk to have.

0713. Vitals are over, and I’ve moved on to breakfast. My weight is once again 155, and my other vitals have dropped. Weirdly enough, they’ve dropped almost as low as my “standard” anorexic range. 96.4 was the temp, and my blood pressure was 96/68. Julia suggests that it might be dehydration-caused. I drink a ton of water (and I mean a TON). In any case, time will tell.

0935. I’ve had my shower, and it’s about time to head upstairs for yoga. I can’t even BEGIN to describe how much better I feel after that shower. . . . . . . I got a chance to shave. *does dance* I feel like an entirely new person. . . . . . .

The snow is falling thick and heavy, and this storm will hang around for awhile. It’s supposed to be GORGEOUS next week, though. The camera is dead, so there’s not gonna be many pictures today. . . . . . . if any. I’ll see if I can get Alex to get the batteries for it, soon. I wouldn’t want to miss anything cool. 🙂 We’re starting a really big art project this morning. . . . . . . a paper mache’ of our head. I’m going to have to say I’m really apprehensive about this one. . . . . . . They wrap your head in saran wrap, with breath holes, and make the mask out of that. From there, it’s decorated with “The Face of ED” so that the voice in your head has a face separate from your own. It’s different; it’s not me. That’s what we’re starting. 🙂 I’ve been told that people are often apprehensive, but that nothing has every gone wrong while casting the mold, and that it’s a really cool sensation. It’s worth a try. 🙂

1125. Yeah, so I had my entire head covered in saran wrap, drizzled in glue and covered in newspaper, and then hair dried. We’re making a mask that we’re later going to decorate. It was an EXCEPTIONALLY interesting feeling, but a good one, I suppose. . . . . . . . . I couldn’t see, and could only feel. . . . . . I had to keep reminding myself that I could move, and that my hands were free. There were small air holes, so breathing wasn’t a problem, but it was just one of those innately human instincts to not want your face covered. We didn’t do yoga this morning; we talked about digital art and creation. It’s been an. . . . . . . . interesting morning. Now that the mask thing is over, I’m like. . . . . . yeah! That was awesome! I think it’ll be a good project, but it was interesting getting there.

1335. Lunch is over. . . . . . . . I had soup and a sandwich, and it was quite amazing. We got some really weird pictures from the start of the mask project, and I’ll probably toss a couple of those up later. Victoria and I have spent a good bit of the morning talking, and since lunch, I’ve done some work in my workbook, and am still reading my book. This workbook (The Anorexia Workbook) provides a good number of insights and new patterns of thinking. . . . . . It’s a great resource. We have equine therapy in a little bit. . . . . . I’m excited. Victoria isn’t riding today, since she still doesn’t feel well, but I most certainly am riding. 😀 I’m a bit more tired than I usually am. . . . . .

1617. Equine was GREAT. Maggie says that my biggest tendency is that when I perceive losing control, I lock down and get extremely tense and quiet. We worked very, very, very hard on that response, and by the end, when things got fast and a little chaotic, I was able to just sit back, relax, and go with the flow. It felt great, as if William (the horse I was riding) and I were actually working together, instead of fighting each other. After we got back to the house, I did my meal plan for tomorrow, and no matter HOW I tried to work it, I was WAY short. It took me forever to work it with enough calories, but after nearly 45 minutes, I managed. Yay. I’ve heard rumors of upping my calorie count. . . . . . . I’m a bit worried about that. . . . . . I’ve been invited to Easter dinner with a local family (Victoria’s family, actually), and I’m thinking that sounds like a good bit of fun.

1839. Dinner rocked. . . . . . . . . I made chicken nachos. They were AMAZING. . . . . . . . Then, Victoria and I had a movie playing in the background, just kinda as distraction. It wasn’t working, though, for her, and so, I started a rousing game of Dinner Uno. A normal game of Uno, with special rules in order to make it move faster. (Switch hands on 5s, clap on 7s) On odd numbers, you gotta take a bite of dinner. It’s gone before you know it. 😀

Then, we started some rousing rounds of Wii. Starting with Mario Cart, we quickly moved on to Wii Sport. It’s been a blast, and I’ve rarely known something to be such a great distraction. I’m lovin’ it, and kinda sad that it’s taken me this long to get this one going. We’re planning a Blindside party, since Maggie is here. . . . . . . It’ll be a good night.

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Nevada, Day Eleven

30 03 2010

0812. I slept really well last night, with only one nightmare. I don’t typically have problems with nightmares, but they’ve been coming pretty hard and heavy the past couple nights. In any case, I slept really well. 🙂 Julia woke me up this morning to tell me that there was no rush today, and to take my time, so we got started a good bit late. I had a PB/protein shake for breakfast, along with a big bowl of fresh cantaloupe. I’m learning that PB is a quick and easy way to get CLOSE to my calorie count. Vitals were a-ok this morning. My weight was 155 even, down half a pound from yesterday. That could be normal fluctuation. . . . . . I could very well, for the first time in years, be maintaining my weight. My blood pressure was a bit lower today. . . . . . 106/67, but my temp was close to my normal, 97.7. I don’t nearly as sick this morning as I did yesterday.

It’s a frigidly cold, rainy, snowy day. The mountains are shrouded in fog. . . . . . . I definitely can’t say it’s a pleasant day. And did I mention cold?

1110. I’m finished with my box. “The Box Project” is one of the big ones that is done here at Nouveau Vie, and it’s a good bit of fun. It’s not for everyone, they said, but those that embrace it truly do. My box is almost solid white, which is an absolute bold faced lie. The areas that can be SEEN are solid white, minus a black side on the back, facing away from everyone. There is a ring of color along the very bottom of the box, and those colors are RED, PURPLE, GREEN, ORANGE, BLACK and WHITE. (Remember, it’s a six-sided box). Extending onto the bottom, an area of the box most people will never see, those colors swirl together and mix. Red represents Ana. Purple is Mia. Green is NOS. Orange is drug addiction. Black is SI. White is me. 🙂 I’m intermingled in that mix, and it’s a mix very few people ever encounter. (I’m just gonna say that I’m over nine months clean regarding drugs, and close to 3 months on SI!) Inside the box. . . . . . now, that’s a different story. *simply* My box is glued shut. It’s not able to be opened. It’s full of glitter. . . . . . . . a substance light as air, yet with body and depth. My box is full of secrets. On top of the box is my name, spelled out in blue letters. That’s a meaning in and of itself. 🙂

It’s meant to be an external representation of myself. . . . . . and I think it is. 🙂

1238. Lunch is over. . . . . . I had a massive bowl of chili, with sour cream and chili. I also had some fresh fruit. It was pretty good, although Julia SCARED the fire out of me. She told me that the chili was “a little spicy”. This is coming from the person who eats HOT horseraddish for breakfast! I was like, “oh!” Actually, though, it was really good. 🙂 Two things have happened today, food-wise, that I can’t remember the last time have EVER happened. First off, I woke up hungry. Actually hungry. . . . biologically hungry. . . . like, my body was hungry, and I could feel it! That might not seem like much to most of you, but for me, that’s huge. . . . . I can’t remember the last time I was actually hungry. It’s not a feeling I’m familiar with. Second thing is that for the first time in a few years, I was left alone with food, and I didn’t have one of two thoughts. First, how to get rid of it, or second, how to hoard it for later binging. That thought hit me quite some time after Julia and Alex came back in the room, but still, WOW! 😀 I just enjoyed my chili, without thinking about how to do away with it all. How frickin’ cool is that?!!!??!

We have another resident coming. Victoria is coming, and I’m gonna hafta say that I’m really excited. It’ll be good to have someone else here, to say the least. She and I met yesterday, during the bowling outing. She adamant against coming. I shared a bit of my history and experience, and then, just let it be. I’m excited that there’s going to be someone else here.

1631. We’ve all spent the afternoon getting Victoria settled. It’s been really low key, but relaxing. I’m eating a snack of pineapple, and I’ll have dinner in a little bit. Meatballs and pasta tonight, with marinara sauce. Sounds pretty darn good, to me. 😀 It’s still snowing really hard, but the wind has stopped, for now. They’re getting 3 feet of snow up in the mountains, and they’re shrouded in fog. . . . . . . They can’t be seen at all, and I could hit them with a rock, standing in the front yard. Ashley is planning on coming over with a movie and hanging out for awhile, and that’ll be welcome. I’m starting work on a promotional DVD for Nouveau Vie, so that’ll likely take a good bit of time. It’ll be good to have something to work on.

Dinner was good, but anxiety provoking. Ashley has come to hang out, and there’s no telling what we’re going to do from here. She’s brought a few movies, and her hula hoop. *grins* Sounds like fun. 😀

2045. Ashley just left, and it’s been quite a night. Victoria wasn’t feeling well, at all, so after we got her settled on the couch and as comfy as possible, we started a movie. It was called “Year One”, and it’s got to be one of the STUPIDEST movies EVER, but it’s hysterically funny. I swear, I could feel my brain cells dying, but at the same point in time, I just couldn’t stop laughing! You sit back and think, “OMG how did I actually WATCH all of that”. . . . . while at the same time trying to process how incredibly funny it was.

After the movie, Ashley put on a hooping demonstration. She had an LED hoop, and it was MESMERIZING. I’ve rarely seen a person move like that. . . . . . . It was stunning.





Nevada, Day Ten

29 03 2010

0630. The wind is blowing again, hellishly and hard across the valley. The naked branches of the bushes scratch against the screen in the window, and the window (and house, for that matter), shake against the force of the wind. The direction of the wind will change, and another target, another window, another part of the house, will be chosen. Without warning, it’ll begin to scratch at the original window, harder, faster than before . . . .

Yeah, sounds like fun, no? I’ve got some pretty nasty PTSD . . . . that didn’t make for a fun night. I was having nightmares before the wind started, and after wards, it was royally not good. Monday. . . . . vitals, breakfast, yoga, art therapy, Alex, bowling, Dr. Dan. Full day. I’ve also got to talk to Gene today. . . . . . full days are busy days. . . . . . busy days don’t leave time for thinking and feeling. This is my first official day on the upped calorie count. I don’t know how I feel. It is what it is.

0751. Yep. Gained more weight. Isn’t this grand? I’m at 155, now. I think I’m starting to doubt that I WANT to see my weight. BP stabilized; same as yesterday.Temp is 97.5. Directly afterwards, I ate a massively huge breakfast and I’m way full now. This whole “meeting calorie count” thing is somewhat difficult. Way difficult. The rest of the day should be a little easier. . . . . . . those meals are about the “normal” sized ones. Normal for here, anyways. They’re sufficiently small, but bigger than I would have eaten at home. Anyways, breakfast was good, and that was its saving grace. I think I’m developing an addiction to those ham, egg, and cheese sandwiches. They’re really good.

1151. Yoga and art therapy are over. Yoga was a restorative session, which means that we got to relax, and lay down, and just breathe the whole time. In art therapy, we started the “box project”. This is an external representation of ourselves. It’s a six-sided wooden box, and you can do absolutely anything to it that one so desires. Thus far, I’ve painted 5 of the sides, white, and one black. I’ve also painted the letters of my name, in blue, but I haven’t put them on the box, yet. Lunch is in a little bit. . . . . . . . Alex and Gene are talking, and Christina and I are just hanging out.

1326. Turns out that the weight gain HAS been water weight. It is, my friends, my TOTM. Don’tcha just hate that? Mine is so irregular that I can never pinpoint it, so it always catches me off-guard. It would also explain the cravings that I’ve had recently, and the mood changes. We’re all getting ready to go bowling again, which is the Monday outing. We’re meeting up with several people at the bowling alley. . . . . it should prove fun. I’ve just gotta find the energy to enjoy it. 🙂

1713. It’s been quite an afternoon! A huge group of us met up at the bowling alley, and had a couple of rousing games. Victoria, a girl who has been looking into the program, came, and she and I talked for quite a while. I got totally creamed in both games, coming in dead last. Gotta love it! It was a good bit of fun, though. I’ve eaten dinner, and Alex discovered a discrepancy in my meal plan. . . . . . I was 175 calories off. I really DIDN’T do it on purpose . . . . I’ve got to make that up…… I hinted that all of the weight gain was because of water weight, and not my metabolism. Alex said that would be taken into account. In any case, I still have to meet my calorie count today. I can’t say I’m thrilled . . . . . I fought hard to “meet” my calorie count, and it wasn’t even close. Dr. Dan is coming at 1900. . . . . . . we’re starting to work through The Anorexia Workbook.

2100. Dr. Dan has been, and just recently left. I just finished my meal plan for tomorrow (several hours late. . . . . *gulp*), and FINALLY got it close to 1500. It took me FOREVER, but it finally settled at 1497. That’s as good as it’s gettin’. Dr. Dan’s session tonight had to do with the development of values, and how to weight them against feelings and beliefs. Feelings and beliefs often lie. . . . . . For instance, just because you FEEL fat doesn’t mean that you ARE fat, and it doesn’t mean that you should act on the impulsive to fast all day (in order to relieve the fat feeling), because that directly flies in the face of the values of “Good Health” which supports the values of “Education”, “Work”, and “Family”. ACT (Acceptance-Commitment Therapy) has to do with observing thoughts without judgement, and balancing that urge/impulse against your value system. Values are unchanging. They’re important today, tomorrow, and the day after that. They’re always important, even if you don’t FEEL like they are. Basically, negative thoughts will occur. We can’t make them go away, and the harder we try to, the more those thoughts intrude, and the stronger they get. Accept them; allow them to be there. Then, act on what matters to your VALUE SYSTEM, not what you FEEL. Feelings lie; values don’t.

Meal plan done. Session done. I’m going to bed.





Nevada, Day Nine

28 03 2010

0708. I slept like a rock, am warm, cozy, and settled. I don’t want to get out of bed, and I definitely don’t want to eat breakfast. . . . or anything, for that matter. I feel nauseous, and I’m back to my observation mode. I came to life for a few minutes last night. . . . . . and now, I’m not.

0801. Vitals and breakfast are over. Vitals sucked. I’ve gained a pound and a half since YESTERDAY. SERIOUSLY, how does that even HAPPEN!?!?!?!? I should be slowly, yet steadily, loosing on 1,200 calories . . . . I’m at 154.5. That does NOT MAKE SENSE. My blood pressure was fine; My temp was 97.7. Breakfast was. . . . . . . . difficult. I had an omelet with goat cheese, ground turkey, and beans. . . . . . . I’m full, uncomfortably so. . . . . . . I tried to tell Julia I wasn’t hungry, but I “had to eat”. So I did, along with my morning cup of tea. All that’s running through my head is a triggering comment I heard yesterday, and it’s more than a little difficult. Julia left during breakfast for a couple seconds to run to the restroom, and my all-consuming thought was to get rid of the food left in my bowl. Not only am I gaining weight; I’m incredibly ED triggered right now. I didn’t do it. . . . . . . but I really wanted to.

Today, I will finish Stripe Overload, and I’m working on lining up a job for my return. I can’t believe I’ve been here NINE days. It seems that I got here yesterday, yet time also seems to stretch infinitely. Things move so quickly, and there is a constant flow of people such that everything feels upbeat and energetic.


1217. I am FINALLY finished with Stripe Overload! This center, around the words, is a dark, murky gray, as if one is buried in darkness and desolation, but the edges of the letters all touch bright color. . . . . . . if only one will fight, color is close by. Freedom is Always Worth Fighting For. The entire time I was painting, Brittney and I were watching Eragon. It’s time for lunch. . . . . . . I’m having Mac and Cheese. My calorie count has been upped to 1,500, even though I’m steadily gaining weight. They tell me that the trick now is to eat MORE food, in order to convince my body I’m not going to starve it again. They tell me that I’ll begin loosing weight as soon as my body stops latching on to absolutely everything that I put in it. I logically know that eating MORE will help, but right now, I just want to totally freak out about it. After lunch, I’m going to clean up my work area, finish PDT, and hopefully go on a walk.


1555. I have Stripe Overload hanging on the wall in my room. . . . . . . . It took me less than a week to do, but it felt like, for a few days, that every waking moment was going into painting. Honestly, I’m glad I’m finished with this project, but now, I’m seeking out another one. This was a good one, one that I poured myself into, and one that I’m proud of. I folded my laundry, picked up my room, and grabbed a couple of quick pictures. *grins* Now, you guys get to see the final product. 🙂

2034. It’s been a wonderful night. I ate dinner early, and Brittney ended up staying late. Some wires got crossed on the admin side, and Allison, Alex’s wife, came down the mountain to stand-in for awhile. We headed to Carson City, to Trader Joe’s. It’s an organic health food store that has VERY reasonable prices, and some AMAZING in-house recipes. The feel is very small and homey, and it smells AMAZING. I tried a local specialty called a PB&J Bar, and I’m ADDICTED. I WILL be bringing a couple of these back with me. It was. . . . . . amazing. The texture and taste just blended, and the “special” part of the recipe was POTATO CHIPS. Yes, you heard right. POTATO CHIPS. With chocolate, PB, and raspberry jam. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever eaten, and I’m sure I’ll be eating more of them. I also got some tortilla chips with an identity crisis. I’m not kidding; it said so, right on the bag! (They’re a mixture of corn, wheat, and potato flower.) I got some homey touches for my room, including a cute little plant. I don’t know what it is, but I like it. 🙂 I’m signing off for the night, but I just wanted to let y’all know that I appreciate your support!





Dying to be Thin

27 03 2010

Alex asked me to write a paper for him on the documentary, Dying to be Thin. This is what I gave him. . . . . .I just watched this, and I’d highly recommend it.
Dying to be Thin was a wonderful resource, well researched, and very well laid-out. Starting with an overview of anorexia, it touched upon the most likely populations of girls to develop anorexia, and then it related it back to girls who aren’t dancers or gymnasts. It showed the girls touched by trauma, divorce, and perfectionism, and not merely the professionally skinny. Not to say that models or dancers have a struggle any less severe than any other anorexics, but that that’s an expected population in which to find an eating disorder. It’s the emotional basis that is less understood, as opposed to the all-consuming struggle to lose weight for one’s job, for fame, or for money.

I found it interesting when they cited the fact that “more than 50% of patients relapse within one year”. That honestly makes sense, especially if one takes into account patients who are forced into treatment against their will, or patients who weren’t able to reach a “normal” body weight. Starvation brings about very rigid thinking, and patients who are unable to begin to explore the seemingly “normal” thought patterns that come with a “normal” weight while in treatment would be doomed, it would appear, to relapse. Something that made a ton of sense was their theme of anorexics being very “quiet, sweet, and kind” about the whole matter. Anorexia is the slowest form of suicide, and the ultimate in passive aggression. While smiling to their (coaches, abusers, parents, educators, peers) faces, they can be slowly stabbing in the back, and never needing to admit a thing. Unconsciously or consciously, the sense of power can be exhilarating.

At first, it didn’t appear that they were going to touch on bulimia, but once they got to it, they really got to it, and covered it well. For bulimia being such an un-understood disease, this documentary did a wonderful job with it. I had no idea that it had only been recognized since 1989. . . . . . I figured it had just kinda always been around. Seeming as it carries a significant amount of stigma and shame, it makes sense that it was a bit of a “taboo” topic. I found myself nodding and being like, “Yeah, you nailed that point. . . . .nailed that one, too. . . . . “ The biggest connection was the sense of numbness and being somewhat “strung out, as if on drugs”. There is this spacey high that comes with binging and purging that nothing else, not even drugs, can bring. I also connected with the “lack of satiety” point. When I’m binging, I can easily eat 15 pounds of food, and it all hit me at once. When eating “normal” amounts, I feel driven to eat seconds or thirds, because my body just isn’t happy. I don’t feel the food; I don’t feel satisfied. Conversely, though, being full or knowing that there’s something in my stomach brings extreme anxiety (which is improving, btw). It’s a vicious cycle, needing to be full, and being unable to be full.

All in all, this was a very helpful and information packed resource. It gave a lot of hope hearing from several different recovered anorexics, and hearing from a bulimic who was working very hard that life does get better, and that it is well worth the fight. All the time, people tell me, “It’s worth the fight! Keep it up! Life is so much better!” and my first response wants to be, “How do you know? You don’t have an eating disorder.” It was great to hear it from people who had the grit and determination to work through the battle.





Nevada, Day Eight

27 03 2010

0801. Vitals are over, and so is breakfast. I’m gaining weight. . . . . . . I’m 153 today. Last Sunday, I was 151. I have NO IDEA how I can physically POSSIBLY be gaining weight on 1,200 calories a day, but somehow, someway, I am. It shouldn’t be physically possible. I don’t see where I’m gaining weight. . . . . I don’t feel like I’m gaining weight. . . . My clothes don’t say I’m gaining weight . . . . but numbers don’t lie. I figure it’s just taking time for my system to get used to all of this new food. My blood pressure was 107/68, and my temp 97.9. We actually turned the temperature in the house up, and it’s toasty warm this morning.

Breakfast was hearty and filling. . . . . . ham, egg, and cheese sandwich, toasted, with a bowl of oatmeal. *somewhat queasy* I think I’m going to be full the rest of my natural life. I have so much that I need to be doing. I need to be watching and writing a report on “Dying to be Thin”, painting Stripe Overload, and working through The Anorexia Workbook. Sounds like fun, no? Brittney and I are packing a picnic lunch and going to the park today . . . . There are several beautiful ones close by. My camera is THOROUGHLY unhappy with me, and has determined it will only turn on once a day, and that once a day will NEVER be when I want it to. In any case, yeah, plenty to keep me busy.

The past week has been a relatively good one. The biggest change, I’m going to have to say, has been in how long my anxiety lasts after meals. I’ve also warmed up to the idea of merely accepting thoughts and not acting on them.

1121. This morning, I have done a whole lot of. . . . . . . . .nothing. Well, that’s not exactly true. I have done enough Photoshop to frustrate a saint. No matter how I try to make it come out, it’s just not matching the picture in my head. Glorious. By the end of the day, though, I WILL have an awesomely amazing blog header. Until then, though, my blog can just be. . . . . . . ugh. Ugh. Lunch is in a bit, and then, the park. I will paint today, for real (not just in Photoshop), and I’m going to do laundry. What a glorious Saturday.

1233. I just ate lunch, which was a broiled tortilla with peanut butter. I got to cut out a bunch of not-so-fun stuff out of my meal plan, and we’re going for ice cream in order to make up the difference. How cool is that? I burnt my hand pretty nastily this morning. . . . . . I’d broiled my breakfast sandwich, and I pulled the plate out, and it took me forever to realize how hot it was. I honestly didn’t feel it, or really know until I looked down at my hand. Yeah, I’m feeling it now, though.

I still haven’t worked on any of my projects. I’m reading The Silence of the Lambs, and greatly enjoying it. Soon, though, it’s ice cream and park, and I will enjoy that more.

1504. We just got back from the park, and from our ice cream outing. It was awesomely fun. I got to cut out parts of lunch and dinner, and replace it with ice cream, which is actually very high in protein. 😀 My calorie count ended up lower than before, my fat content lower, and my protein higher. How cool is that??????

The temperature was amazing, the sky clear, and the park refreshing. Now, though, I’m just gonna lay down and take a nap. . . . . I’m tired.

1817. Dinner is long over; I ate around 1630. I had a turkey and cheese roll-up. . . . quite yummy. I’m still reading The Silence of the Lambs, although right now, I’m doing the homework Alex gave me, which is to watch Dying to be Thin and write up a report on it. Karen is the staff member who’s here right now; I’m working in my room so that she doesn’t have to sit through this documentary. I need to work on Stripe Overload, but I don’t know that it’s going to happen tonight. It might; it might not.

1953. I’m signing off for the night. I’m watched Dying to be Thin, and I’ve posted the paper that I turned in to Alex.





Righteous Walk

26 03 2010

Alex and I took a walk with Righteous, his German Shepherd. The normal post for today is beneath this one.








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