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Monday, March 28, 2011

As many of you know, Saturday was my first 5K. I did Just a Short Run (JASR) with a friend and had been involved in the SP team leading up to the race. Saturday morning dawned bright and.....actually, no. I conned my hubby into taking me to the race (we were going to have lunch and hang out with his sister in Pittsburgh), and we left BEFORE the first vestiges of dawn even appeared. So, cold (18 degrees) and dark was the way our day began.

Around the halfway point of our journey the sun decided to stretch her fingers and toes, and we began to see sprinklings of light on the horizon. By the time we reached North Park (the location of the race) daylight had descended, and the sun had nudged the temperature up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

My friend and I met in the parking lot and huddled in her car for a few heated minutes before emerging to pick up our race packets. Running back to her car (the hubby had long since taken off....HE was not "crazy" enough to stick around in below-freezing weather!), we dropped off our bags and subsequently made our way back to the starting area.....and heated bathrooms. Our next move was to wait ~30-40 minutes out in the starting area talking to people and keeping our extremities moving.

FINALLY, we made our way to the starting line and ran into several fellow-sparkers. Funny thing about that.....they had all met INSIDE the Rose Barn instead of in its parking lot (which is where I had erroneously thought....no wonder we didn't see any other sparkers before the race.......hmmmm......LOL). After some chitchat and how-do-you-do's, we were ready to go.

And go we did! The first mile was a breeze! It already felt much faster than I had trained, and it felt faster than our "trial run" the week before! Wow, we were keeping up with the pacer! Neither one of us could believe it when we hit the first mile marker; we felt like we had just started. And the large hill that had seemed to laugh in our faces last week? Piece of cake. We conquered it and were running on for more. Elation was my middle name.

Around mile two my lungs began to protest the cold air. They began to scream with indignation of the injustice of being forced to work in such cruel conditions. I turned to Kate and informed her of their complaints. Kate just looked at me and told me to try auto PEEP..........Her statement had the effect of doubling me over with laughter - not exactly conducive to breathing. For those of you non-respiratory nurse types, auto PEEP is a condition where patients on mechanical ventilation are unable to expel all of the air in their lungs before the next breath. This condition increases the pressure within the lungs. It's not a "good thing" by any means when you have a patient on a ventilator. HOWEVER, it was just what we needed to do. Sooooo, once I had stopped laughing, I tried it and voila! It worked.

The last mile was uneventful except for this growing knowledge that we were going to make it. And then I saw the clock above the finish line. 37 minutes? Really??? By the time we passed under the banner, it read 38:13. That was my best time EVER! My previous best time was 38:24. I was on cloud nine.

While we were waiting for the official times to be posted, Kate and I wandered over to the massage tent. Did you know they give FREE massages post-race? FREE????? SCORE! After our massages and a couple of waters and bananas, we headed over to where they were posting times.

Having never done 5K's before, we were a bit confused about the three posted numbers. We asked the woman posting them and were informed that while the first number was the time we passed over the finish line, the second number was actually more accurate because it was the true time between when our chip passed over the start and finish lines.....and our chip times were both 36:59! Wait, what? I finished 1 minute and 25 seconds faster than I had ever trained? REALLY? To say I was pretty thrilled is a vast understatement. I ran 3.1 miles in 36 minutes and 59 seconds..........an average of 11 minutes and 56 seconds per mile. Insane.

But perhaps the best part about the entire race didn't happen until later - at the end of the day. My emotional state has been fragile over the last couple weeks. I have been fighting just to hang on to the very edge, and last Wednesday it seemed like my grip was loosening and I was slipping into oblivion. I hibernated indoors and didn't deal with people until Saturday morning. That's the backdrop to race day. The best part about race day to me? I went to bed happy. Not exhausted or numb or tearful. Happy and with a smile on my face. My grip is back. And I'm reaching hand-over-hand until I can find a foothold again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BILLALEX70 4/10/2011 8:54AM

    Thanks for YOUR recap of the day. I love seeing how everyone 'takes the day' and through their eyes.

That's so great that you had the race of your life that day! It's amazing what a little adrenaline can do for you on race day.

Hopefully by next JASR you'll have that time below 30 minutes or you'll be looking at one of the longer distances!


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DDOORN 4/4/2011 8:44AM


Would have been even MORE awesome if I had been there with all of you too...! :-)


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MIAMIA7 3/31/2011 7:09PM

    Wow!!! You really did great! Congratulations on your great 5k! Sorry you missed us at the Rose Barn. Truly, if you ever want to run together just let me know. I have been running 32-33 min. 5k's for a while now. It seems to be the best for me. I think I need to auto peep too! And isn't it amazing what a good run can do for your mental state? Great job. Anne

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ROBBIEMARIE 3/30/2011 11:16PM

    Wow! I am impressed with your fortitude, great PR and ability to show that cold weather a thing or two! Congrats on a job well done.

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    Way to go on the PR. emoticon I'm sure it's the first of many.

I'm so glad we got to see you at the starting line, I was wondering if you were going to make it. Hopefully next even we'll get to chat longer.



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DJS-DEBBIE 3/28/2011 9:18PM

    Congrats on the PR! I am sorry we didn't get to talk...

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BAM0827 3/28/2011 7:15PM

    Good for you, Jenn! You deserve a great race!

I saw you pass me :)

Bonnie and I may make a few more patches this week - I'll let you know when we do.

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DREBENEZER 3/28/2011 7:08PM

    Fantastic job on that PR!! Considering that course you deserved a medal, too!

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MOXIE-IN-MOTION 3/28/2011 5:28PM

    Congrats on the awesome PR! Sounds like you had a fabulous race!

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LYNNANN43 3/28/2011 5:15PM

    To get a PR on that course is emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I'm so sorry you missed us inside the Rose Barn, but I'm glad I saw you at the starting line!

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IPA-RAY 3/28/2011 2:52PM

    You got a PR on that course? With that endless hill in the beginning? Wow!

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69NURSE 3/28/2011 2:45PM

    Great job on your PB time. emoticon Unlike you, I was not prepared for that hill and I did think it was difficult (I could use the excuse I am a LOT older but these days even that doesn't wash LOL.) That is such a great time and I am even more pleased that you were able to go to bed happy and in control. Sorry you didn't get to stay warm in the rosebarn and be in our pictures, but next time for sure. Have a great year and stay strong and healthy. emoticon emoticon

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KAREN42BOYS 3/28/2011 1:00PM

    oh, i feel so good for you! a fabulous personal record and you fell asleep happy. tis good! tis good!

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BRIAN36 3/28/2011 10:58AM

    I've been auto PEEPing all along and didn't know there was a name for it. Cool.

And great run! I was hibernated in the Rose Barn. Can't imagine how you could even walk after standing out in that cold for so long let alone run.

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BOBBYD31 3/28/2011 10:53AM

    thanks for explaining peep. i wish you could have gotten in the rose barn to meet up with the team. at least we were able to meet up at the start of the race. congratulations on SMASHING your 5k record, that is fantastic! i hope we get a chance to meet at a future race this summer, i am going to try and set up something with the local runners for a fun run or two and a couple of races. again congrats! wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! when i saw your time on the race results you are from ellwood????? anne and i live in ellwood too!

Comment edited on: 3/28/2011 10:56:18 AM

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DARK_CINDERELLA 3/28/2011 9:33AM

    The best way I can think of to explain it is to take a large breath in, followed by a smaller breath without exhaling between them. Then exhale longer than normal. It should feel a little uncomfortable at first. When you do it, you should feel like you are engaging your lungs all the way at the bottom. Does that make sense?

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8THTIMEUP 3/28/2011 9:21AM

    Congratulations on your PR!!! Great write up.

Can you explain how you auto PEEP? Sounds like it might be a handy skill to have.

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Update on my HSG:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Well, it looks like there is no problem at all with me. And the test hurt, but not unbearably. The bad cramps didn't come until AFTER I got off the table. Then they hit with a vengeance. But even those only lasted for about an hour. For those of you medical nerds (like me), this is what the test looked like:

In a nutshell, you're seeing dye in my uterus and nicely spilling out from my tubes on both sides. In fact, the doctor said mine was one of the easiest and smoothest HSGs he's ever done. Woohoo, normal female anatomy!

Now it's just time to go clean my house for the company coming this weekend......

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUFFALOGAL1952 3/26/2011 6:58PM

    Glad it went well for you. I went through this years ago and it was how I found out I had an allergy to iodine! LOL!! I was a rashy mess! LOL!

Glad you have been able to cross another "?" off your list!!!

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LYNNANN43 3/24/2011 8:22PM

    YEAH!!! emoticon

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K82BTHIN 3/24/2011 4:24PM

    oh I remember those days... that test was the worst for me. I hope it was the worst for you too in that everything else is smooth sailing from here!

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    I'm so happy for you; you were terrified but now got the green light. On your part, at least.

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ROBBIEMARIE 3/24/2011 4:07PM

    Hugs galore for the good news!

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KAREN42BOYS 3/24/2011 1:47PM

    very very very sweet news. i'm actually a little teary for you. :)

i bet you'll dance through your house cleaning!

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Has it really been a month since I've posted a blog?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Time sure has flown....I've written at least a dozen blogs in my head, but none of them ever made it here. The funny thing? I've been so bombarded that I didn't even notice that fact until now. In case that statement alone doesn't clue you in, it's been an intense couple of weeks.

First of all, two weekends ago started a heckish couple of weeks at work. On a side note, what good does it do to complain constantly about your situation instead of just working through it? It makes your work day that much longer. AND it makes your COWORKER's work day that much longer....but I digress.

I went away for a couple days of intense training which - while it was extremely exhilarating and amazing - was emotionally and mentally draining. Then, I was running last week (my only periods of sanity it seems lately), and I didn't see one of the million potholes in the park......yeah, you know this part I bet. Stepped in the hole and twisted my ankle. That was Friday. Felt fine Saturday, so I went for another run.....and it's been sore ever since. It's gotten better each day, but I'm a little nervous about Saturday (the Just a Short Run 5K).

And then there's tomorrow. Tomorrow morning is my HSG - the test I referenced in my last blog. To say I'm scared is a very large understatement. It's more like terrified. And the stress of the last two weeks has gotten to me in a way that makes me wonder if I'm starting to spiral again. And that's terrifying in and of itself. So many things plaguing my thoughts......and I haven't been able to beat them back with a run over the last couple days.

Wow, this was not intended to be a depressing blog. Just wanted to update you all, and it has turned into this. Think I'll end now. I'll update you after my test tomorrow. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers if you can! Thank you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CBAILEYC 3/24/2011 10:18AM

    Good grief girl, you HAVE been under a ton of stress, eh? I'm so sorry. I'm glad, though, that you got it out here a bit. I know what you mean about writing a bunch of blogs in your head but none of them ever making it here. I do that a LOT!

You've got some intense things coming your way soon. The test - I agree with Karen, the anticipation is likely going to be worse than the actual event, and it will be a good thing to have done in the end. Plus, JASR will be a great opportunity to meet up with Sparkers and simply run for the joy of it - if your ankle is feeling up to it.

Hang in there, sweet. There will be days and weeks like this, and they are a necessity to make those sweeter more peaceful times all the sweeter.
emoticon emoticon

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KAREN42BOYS 3/23/2011 11:06PM

    Thinking about tomorrow it won't hurt as much as your ability to imagine it hurting. The waiting is the worst. And even while it will hurt some, it's also interesting because they're figuring stuff out, and honestly when do you ever get to learn how exactly you're working there. it's geeky cool while being scary and painful. and it will be so good to have it over.

hang in there!!!

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BOBBYD31 3/23/2011 10:02PM

    good luck with the test, see you saturday!

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Good News and Bad News

Thursday, February 24, 2011

So, I had that doctor's appointment today. I won't lie; I was all kinds of nervous. Turns out there's good news, mediocre news, and bad news.

Good news: he doesn't think I'm too fat. Honestly, this was a huge worry of mine. I thought he was going to look at my chart, look at me, and say "Lady, you can't come in here and ask for help with conception when you weigh this much. What are you, crazy?" Well, needless to say, he didn't say that. In fact, it wasn't an issue at all.

More good news: my doctor doesn't think the problem lies with me. But just in case, he wants me to have a hysterosalpingogram (HSG).

Mediocre news: insurance pays for part of that test.

Bad news: he thinks there IS a problem, and it lies with Brian. Based on his semen analysis, he's on the low end of normal. To complicate things, only half of his "swimmers" were good. So, half of low is really low. My doctor thinks my best shot at getting pregnant - provided that my HSG is normal and my tubes aren't blocked - is artificial insemination (AI). Downside? There's only a 20% or 1/5 chance of it working each cycle. BIG downside? Insurance doesn't cover it at all.

So, gotta wait until Brian gets home to decide on the next step or even if there is a next step. I'd appreciate any prayers you might send my way. Also, if there's anyone out there that has had HSG or AI or if you know anyone who has, could you pass my page along? I'd really like to talk to someone with experience. Thanks so much!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

--MAY-- 3/5/2011 9:33AM

    I,m no help either ,though i will send good thoughts your way, I also agree with what my derivative said, she has some very good points. Whichever way you go, know I will be thinking and sending good things your way.

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8THTIMEUP 3/5/2011 6:58AM

    Remember that this may be extra hard on your DH. Guys seem to have a harder time with issues concerning their 'manhood' than women do. Prayers for you both.

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BUFFALOGAL1952 3/4/2011 11:07PM

    Jenn...been there...done that...for 15 years...shots, tests, inseminations (7 - but back then my insurance paid for almost all of it including the clomid, pergonal...it was stressful and ended up contributing to the destruction of my 1st marriage. Not trying to scare you...just saying you need to sit down with your DH and discuss how far you are going to go before you cry uncle. The kicker was, it was because of my DH too. Check and see if there is a Resolve group in your area. Sometimes the hospitals have groups. They can help get you through it and help you find information too.
I am sending up prayers for you and your DH. Stay positive and support each other!

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CBAILEYC 2/26/2011 8:46AM

    News, good bad or indifferent, is something you can deal with. FAR better than a total unknown. This is a good step in the right direction.

I'm no help either, other than moral support! That you have in spades and lots of positive hopeful energy is winging your way.

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KAREN42BOYS 2/24/2011 11:37PM

    my guy's swimmers weren't that hot either. for us, lowdose prednisone ended up solving things. way cheaper solution than other things they had us try.

HSG i vaguely remember as something i didn't really like but got through because that's the deal to know we were dealing with all the variables (meaning that we knew then it really was mainly my guy's swimmers and not me, although i did discover that sometimes my feelings of gassiness were really mittelschmerz meaning that when i'd be feeling put off for sex by the "gas" were sometimes optimal pregnancy opportunities missed).

hang in there!

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1MIN17SECB412PM 2/24/2011 10:28PM

    Okay, I don't have any experience with this Jenn, but... I do have a few questions.

Why, if you're not suspected as *the problem* should there even be a *just*in*case* test?!!

Why not use that $money$ you'd have to spend on that test, instead, to buy whatever herbs, supplements, organic, natural, raw, to *fix* the symptoms instead of $$$$$$$$$$$$ on artificial insemination?!!

IMO, you need to get a 2nd opinion from a doctor who is more concerned with both of you being organically healthy, than one who's offering PRICEY treatments that have ONLY a 20% chance of working, when... Brian (who could just need a liver detox or pH balance) still has a 50% chance- even in his current condition!!

It may sound like *they've* got a quick fix, but *they* don't, Kharah.

Comment edited on: 2/24/2011 10:29:19 PM

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PONYFARMER 2/24/2011 5:21PM

    God has a plan, it may include you being PG and it may not. But I can tell you this with 100% authenticity, if it is God's plan for you and Brian to have a baby, then no insurance, slow swimmers, your weigth, NOTHING will stand in the way of you being preg. NOTHING. Believe that because I have seen it happen.

Good for you that you are checking things out, information is your friend. Hang in there because having a baby is just about the greatest gift from God that you will ever get. Looking forward to seeing some baby pictures when it happens.

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ROBBIEMARIE 2/24/2011 4:49PM

    So, you are starting to get answers. I think that is definitely a step in the right direction. Wish I could help you on the HSG. I will do what I can though. I'll say lots of prayers that you and Brian will find solutions to help you move on to a part of your life you want so badly. emoticon

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LYNNANN43 2/24/2011 4:48PM

    So sorry to hear.

I'm no help, if I looked at Hubs, I got pregnant. My 24 year old is proud to have gotten through 2 forms of birth control. lol

But seriously, best of luck to both you & Hubs.

emoticon emoticon

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SUETINGE 2/24/2011 4:38PM

    Sorry, I'm no help with any of it. emoticon and good luck.

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Progress, FINALLY!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

First, a confession: after the second consecutive disappointing showing two weeks ago, I began to eat everything in sight. At least, it felt like I did.

And yet, last week's weight really didn't reflect that. I remained stable. And then, this week's weight went DOWN. This week's stats:

Weight 2/21/11: 177.2lbs

Measurements: (current/previous/change)
Waist: 34 in / 34 in / 0 in
Chest: 34 in / 34.25 in /-0.25 in
Hips: 43 in / 44.5 in / -1.5 in
Bicep: 11.5 / 11.5 in / 0 in
Forearm: 9.75 in / 9.75 in / 0 in
Thigh: 25.25 in / 25.25 in / 0 in
Calf: 16.75 in / 17.0 in / -0.25 in
Body Fat Percentage: 40.9% / 39.8% +1.1% change via Omron Full Body Analysis Scale

There are a couple of possible explanations as far as I'm concerned. First, it could be as simple as muscle replacing fat, and this is just my body "catching up." While I would like to subscribe to this idea, I'm not so sure it is plausible. Secondly, it could also be as simple as water weight from my period. The problem with that theory is that I started gaining TWO weeks before. If that trend continues, that means I'm going to gain weight two out of every four weeks. Oh, heavens, I hope that is not the case. And the third possibility? Maybe I'm not eating enough. Maybe by eating more last week I gave my body enough fuel to "allow" it to become more efficient. Wouldn't that be nice?

Of the three possible theories I've just outlined, I think the most plausible would be period weight-gain. So, for now, I'm just going to keep doing what I have been.

On another note, I have an appointment with my OB/Gyn on Thursday. I am both nervous and excited for this appointment. Maybe it will shed some light on why we haven't gotten pregnant yet. Here's hoping.....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

8THTIMEUP 3/2/2011 8:53AM

    Congrats on the progress. I'm with the combo causation group with a focus on making sure you're eating enough calories. I hope the doctor has some information that will help you at your visit.

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CBAILEYC 2/23/2011 1:36PM

    Yay for progress! Here's to a good appointment on Thursday.

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1MIN17SECB412PM 2/22/2011 6:43PM

    Ya' know, it *could* be a glitch, as in, your body went into *starvation* mode, and since then, refuses to let go of any weight- kind a like a survival wire got crossed somewhere. Maybe there's foods you're eating that... even though they're from a health food store, aren't really healthy cuz' of the way they were processed. You might have 'blockage' of some sort that a healthy cleanse/flush would cure- just make sure it's one that uses mineral and/or herbal replacements back into your system. Check out all the best of i.e. Chlorella, Sea Salt, Aluminum FREE Baking Soda, Foot Reflexology, even the cleaning products may be causing an allergy/inflammation... deodorant, make-up, toothpaste... check into it all, Kharah. Certain medicines might be messin' with your pH balance. Perhaps, get a hair analysis done. It'll show up with whatever your body has in excess, i.e. if you need a heavy metal detox, or... whatever your body is lacking. I'm anxious to find out what's going on, my friend. Hope you'll deduce the problem soon!! ::hugs::

Comment edited on: 2/22/2011 6:44:09 PM

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ROBBIEMARIE 2/22/2011 6:38PM

    Whatever the reason I'm very glad you are seeing some positive changes. I truly hope you have a productive appt on Thursday and get some answers.

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BAM0827 2/22/2011 5:07PM

    Keep doing what you're doing and see what happens. Some times there's really no explanation - our bodies just work in weird ways!

Good luck on Thursday! I hope you get some answers!

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LYNNANN43 2/22/2011 4:54PM

    Stress is definitely NOT your friend right now.

I hope the appt. sheds some light on your questions.


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COWGIRLUPINOK 2/22/2011 2:31PM

    My guess would be it is a combination of reason 2 and 3 from what you described. Hope the OB/GYN is able to shed the light that you need for your other reason. With that being said if there is some stress surrounding that process and stress around trying to get pregnant then I would say it is a combination of that and then reason 2 and 3.

emoticon on your loss this week!

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