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It sooo 'sucks' - and I miss it so bad...........

SueDSSueD Posts: 545
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in Stop Smoking
Oh boy, do I miss it - having a ciggy that is. I haven't had one at all today and it's doing my head in. It's gone one in the morning and I cannot sleep. This evening for example, to try and take my mind off ciggies, I've had some fruit, a drink (diet pepsi), more fruit, some crackers, yet some more fruit, a yoghurt, and.... yeah, you guessed it, another handful of fruit - BUT I still desparately crave a cigarette!!!! Aaaarrrrgh!! What can I do to kick it's butt?

I started the nicotine replacement therapy this morning by putting on a 16 hour patch (which itches!) and using an 'inhalator' as/when required (which does something strange to the back of my throat when I try and puff on it).

I know this should probably go under a different heading on the forum, but I think the 'chronic pain' section has more viewings so I'm hopeful that more people may respond to help me with.....

Giving me some tips?
Telling me how you gave up?
Being honest about your success or failure?
Saying when you last had a ciggy?
Telling me how you increased your will power?
Does it get any easier, and if so - when?!!

And, by the way, I do still have chronic pain similar to before the 2 level fusion, which is so disappointing. What's worse is that I now also get pain from different areas entirely, but I'm being looked after by my local GP and my surgeon is performing spine injections (probably in May) to hopefully help alleviate all the pain. Although I'm still considered to be in recovery, I'm really grateful that my work's doctor is finally allowing me to return to work, which could be very soon.

The new nicotine patches just adds to the 2 I'm already wearing for a slow release morphine dose. If I save them all up and sew them together, I'll have a "patch" patch-work quilt, ha!

I know it's only been ONE day, but it sucks already and I hate the world today!!!! I know I should be thinking about all the benefits of not smoking, i.e. saving money and how it will help the healing process etc., but what inspiration can I use that'll increase my will power because it's very very low at the moment. Oh yeah, and another thing, my hubby smokes and it's even more frustrating when I see him across the room puffing away like a little chimney.

This is so difficult. I don't think non-smokers have the foggiest idea what we go through at times like this, and when we're having a bad back pain day, it's even worse.

Thanks for letting me have a good old moan and letting off some steam!!!!
2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!


  • I quit before by taking Wellbutrin(zyban) maybe you should see your Dr. and see what he says about medication to help. And those patches stop itching if you wave it in the air before putting it on as it dries the alcohol adhesive off. I found smoke assist was good just google that it has no nicotine just water vapor used as smoke. It's really hard I know just brush your teeth or smoke a carrot stick or in my case I fake smoked red licorice and try to get out for a walk and not feel out of breath while walking or go up some stairs and you'll remember why you want to quit. It's the toughest thing to do. Vent away when you need to. We're here to support you. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Hi Sue!! first, I want to say, Good for you!!! Quitting is such a hard thing to do, but you were strong enough to decide to follow through, and I believe you are strong enough to see it through!

    I am a smoker too. I did quit a couple of times (lol). The first time was after I had major knee surgery done, and my mom came up to help me out. I guess I caved one night about 3 months later when out with friends. I quit again the next year, ended up with severe bronchitis that developed into pneumonia, then ended up going into septic shock from an unrelated incident a couple of months later. I started again, when driving across the country by myself... Had to keep myself occupied and awake somehow!! I wish now that I hadn't started again. One day I'll quit again!

    Stay strong, keep eating that fruit and veggies!! You can do it!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • I quit for 2 reasons Feb 2009. One, I thought that after my discetomy I had in Oct. 2008 and was still experiencing pain from, actually more pain and larger area than before the surgery, that if I quit smoking that I would heal faster and quit hurting. That didn't work so well. I still hurt. LOL Two, I had my first grandson born around that time too and I saw a tv show/movie where a grandmother was puffing away and it looked disgusting to me. I did not want my grandson to view me that way. Nor did I want him to smell that smell on me. That was my two reasons for finally quitting after different attempts throughout the years. I had smoked for over 30 years. I chewed Nicotine Gum. I would break off part of a piece, then work up to maybe half a piece. I kind of had my own plan. I used it a lot longer than what you are supposed to but it was better than the ciggarettes. I finally then started to wean myself to cinnamon gum, mint gum, anything that packed a punch to the flavor senses of the mouth. I was always with a piece of gum (sugarless) in my mouth. That lasted about a month or two and then I just quit chewing and was ok. I haven't craved a cigarrette since the day I put them down. I always bought the off brand of Nicotine gum. They run sales on them. I don't miss them at all. I only wished I could have quit them when my son was growing up. They always told me when you are ready mentally, you will be able to quit. And don't beat yourself up if you don't make it. You tried and you will one day put them down for good when your ready.
  • Hi Sue,

    Congrats on starting on giving up smoking. I've got a few answers to your questions, though I'm not sure they'll be what you are looking for! This is going to be long ;p
    Giving me some tips? First, you have to accept that you are doing this because you want to. Any other reason, and it's a lot harder... it might be possible... but... I can't imagine it!
    First, stop thinking about it... I know it sounds harsh, but truthfully, for some people it's a mental and/or a physical addiction. Your addiction center is looking for nicotine... and its doing every thing it can to make you give in. Think of all the talk that goes on about NOT getting addicted to pain meds... then think about how quickly people pick up a cigarette again :p It's that little voice whispering upstairs trying to talk you into giving in... don't. 3 days and the nicotine is out of your system... then you just have to work on your head!

    If you are one of those people that have to light up when someone else does... don't be around them, at least for awhile. You need to fortify your will, and being jealous of others doing what you want to do makes it harder.

    I tried lollipops and gum... it really didn't help me... straws and coffee stirrers actually did for a wee bit. I used the patch and the nicotrol inhaler... but only when I really felt the need to puff.... no, it doesn't taste like a cigarette, and it's not going to be as enjoyable... but it will give you a minor hit of nicotine when you need it fast. For me I would say that I used the inhaler mostly during my work commute... traffic in NY sucks the big one... upstate NY on small not highway lane highways...sucks even more!

    Think of why you are quitting. I had 2 very specific reasons which carry through even now. Think about why you are quitting... are there other things that will also benefit from you not smoking? Add them in!
    Telling me how you gave up?
    Okay I smoked from the time I was 13 until I was 49. I quit for 6 weeks back when I was 35 to show I could... then started up because I still liked doing it.
    I have a couple of things to say here: first, your reasons have to be your own. As I said, I had 2 main reasons why I quit: First, my nephew was with me more and more often, and I did not want to smoke around him. I could have, I know people smoke around their kids (!!! eww) but that's them, I didn't want to do that. Number 2 has to do with me being cheap, LOL! I always brought cartons and they were always around $42-$45. a carton. One day my sister in law asked me to stop and get her a few packs... so I did. It was the first time I'd bought packs in way too many years... so, when the lady told me that my purchase came to $42 I told her, no, I only have the cigarettes... she must have thought I was crazy :p I asked her how much they were a pack (I'd gotten my sis in law 5 and me 1) and they were 6 and 7 (mine!) a pack!!! I said to her, I won't ever pay $7 a pack again....and I never did. I stopped when I finished that pack. Now they're like 10 dollars a pack... and I'm sorry, but anyone that pays that is truly a moron. (please realize, I had this same speech with myself at $7. a pack)
    Being honest about your success or failure?
    As I said, I tried quitting for the first time when I was 35 and I succeeded. When I realized I could do it, I was done and started smoking again, lol... a moron of the highest order, that's me!

    I tried quitting again right before valentines day... it was supposed to be a "present" to my non smoking bf. (remember what I said about doing it for others? NO!) well, we broke up on valentines night.... so that was a bust... oh well...:(
    Saying when you last had a ciggy?
    My last cigarette was sometime on Feb 23rd, 2009. I'd paid that $7 for the pack and decided when it was done, so was I. I think I was actually on my way home from work when I ran out, LOL... talk about deadly commutes... I was MAD!
    Telling me how you increased your will power?
    This is a hard one, because for me, a lot of it was sheer stuborness and an unwillingness to give in to something everyone else said I would. Understand, I loved to smoke, if I still smoked, I'd probably still love it. But...I have other things I love more...and I guess I'm cheap~
    Does it get any easier, and if so - when?!!
    It does get easier, but I'm not sure you'll like my answer as to when :(

    It gets easier when you "get over yourself". It gets easier when you realize that no one ever died from quitting smoking.... from having smoked before, yes... but not from quitting. It gets easier when you realize that you really do not want to use or put something in your body that someone else is making money off of because you cannot stop...

    It gets easier when you realize that you Are breathing better even though you swore nothing was wrong with your breathing before.

    It gets easier when you realize that when you come out to the car in the morning and open that door... it doesn't smell good, but rather it stinks... just like everyone said it did :(

    It gets easier when you realize that you put so much worry into maybe not wanting to be "addicted" to pain meds but were willing to do so with smoking without even a tiny fight.

    It got a lot easier (and a lot more ironic) when I realized that I could walk into work, open my drawer, take out a bottle of booze and take a drink... and they'd refer me to EAP :P But... if I walked into work and lit up... well, I would be fired immediately, no quarter given.

    It got easier when I realized that I'd spent the last 20 years telling guys that they needed to get off the drugs, get off the methadone and get a life... but I hadn't told myself the same thing about nicotine.

    But it really got easier when I realized that I was no longer a hostage to some rich folks with tax breaks nor was I paying even MORE taxes to NYS.... just by quitting.

    Sue, if this is something you WANT to do, you will. One thing I hope I can say without meaning any pain or ill will.... I think sometimes we, as chronic pain people... we live a lot in our heads. We spend way too much time thinking about ourselves... how much we hurt, how hard it's going to be to walk up the stairs, how much anger someone is going to have because we can't do something, go somewhere, BE someone... because we hurt all the time. And feeling that way, sometimes makes us feel like we're "giving up the only me thing we have".... I can't tell you how many times I've said... sure, I'll give up smoking and I wont have ANYTHING left to enjoy (oh the drahmer!!!)

    So I won't wish you luck... you don't need it. I will wish you strength, love of yourself (and those that have to smell you, LOL!) I will wish you one day. Because if you get through one day... another is a little easier (remember, stop thinking about it! and day three... a little harder (sorry, that last day out is a kicker) but better too, because you know you've BEATEN them (those rich blah blah blahs making all the money off your black lungs, you know?) and you'll know that you are one of the strong. One that CAN do anything :)

    Plus, if you're smarter than me, you'll put that damn money that you save away... and buy a car or an Awesome vacation in a years time!

    *hugs* Much strength to you Sue!

  • Sorry, I left something out!

    I quit smoking and have not smoked in 2 years (and umm... hey 1 month!) but... my sister in law still smokes and we all live in the same house, though on different floors.

    She's at least considerate in that she doesn't smoke around me (but... that didn't really bother me, as it was her, not me? does that make sense? It's like most things in my life... I don't much care what someone else is doing, whether I want to do it or not isn't based on whether they are... )

    Okay, so yes, you can really talk yourself into feeling bad, mad, sad and frustrated just by THINKING about him sitting over there smoking away (puff puff) while you chomp on your carrots... but, again, that's him you know? It'd be great (maybe...) if you both quit at the same time... but I don't know... can the universe, or rather your universe stand the two of you quitting it at the same time?

    Now, one more piece of not so good news, along the lines of having loved or at least, enjoyed smoking. I still think about it occassionally. I still want one sometimes... usually when I'm about to walk into a store and someone right ahead of me tossed theirs in the ashtray... and you get that "good" whiff... but it does pass, because you allow it to.

    I was lucky in that the biggest part of my addiction was my hand and mouth issue... and not the nicotine itself. As long as I could occupy my hands and mouth (damn that BF! *cough*) I'd be fine. So, I brought a knifty knitter or whatever it's called and started knitting (it's more like a mini hand loom kind of thing, and it fits the bill for occupying my hands) straws took care of the mouth thing...and truly, the nicotine thing didn't really bother me... of course it's easy to say that now... I Did use the patches and the inhaler, LOL :)

    Truly, having read some of your posts, I know you can do this. Stop for 1 day. then try to stop for another 1 day (that will be 2!)

    while I don't want to put the thought in your mind.... you can always try it again if you slip. But... it Does get harder (for me at least it did) each time you try again.

    Night :)
  • Sue,

    I feel, and understand your frustration!! I quit once back in '87' using a non nicotine product (not used today), and it worked for 3 weeks. I was a FEDEX Feeder pilot at that time, and we had a nasty weather system (Occluded front) come through with lots of icing aloft. A dear friend of mine went through icing on his climb out, and crashed - fatal. I was such a basket case, yes I smoked....re-hooked right there.

    My problem is I still "like to smoke" even though I know it is in my better interest, and health to quit. I think for me, when my brain gets on board (and I do think you have to FULLY feel you WANT to quit) I will quit. I think I will go the cold turkey mode. I don't want 'nicotine' products to replace ciggies... I need to cut loose.

    My dad quit years ago in a unique way... he would take Sunflower seeds to replace the "hand to mouth" issues. He would take a sunflower seed, hold it between his fingers for a while, then move it to his mouth as though smoking - would even 'take a puff', then suck on the shell, and then crack it, and eat the shell. Odd, but for him it worked!!!

    I think of quitting (I guess trying to get my brain in agreement with it?) daily. I am on the cusp of joining you in your internal battle!!! Stick with it woman!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • All your comments have been so helpful, thank you. I'll try my best - it's now day two! I know it's early days, and I'll take your comments on board.

    Thanks for the support.

    This thread has been moved (as I thought it would be), which is a shame as not alot of people view this section, but such is life.

    Thanks again, you've helped me alot.
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • Sue,

    I'm one of those people that just pop in and read from "recent post" so I get a taste of everything on here. Perhaps there are a lot out there like me. If you want to keep the thread alive just keep giving it a bump now and again.

    I agree with a lot of what Clandy said. The bulk of this war will be played out in your head. Oh sure it would be great if you could get your husband to smoke outside. It would be awesome if all these substitute products would just take away the craving but the bottom line is, it's all you.

    Like you, I talked about it for a long time and tried several times. Finally I knew the time was right for me. It really sounds like it is right for you too.

    I truly loved to smoke. I did. Why did I quit? I really started hating the smell and the cost but that was never incentive enough. My health and my fusion completed the final incentive. I knew I had to if I wanted a successful fusion.

    ONE MORE DAY and you have passed that magical 3 day period. I have to tell you. I used that thought to get me through. I quit cold turkey. After I HIT that THIRD DAY, no matter what happened no matter what tempted me, I just kept telling myself, I am no longer addicted to nicotine therefore this is just a mental craving and I can beat it.

    I did not discuss quitting with many people and just did it. I wanted nothing to draw attention to it. The less it came up the less I would think about smoking. The minute I had a craving of any kind I would find a way to take my mind off it. Get on the phone, check my email, clean something, or turn on the music. I avoided replacing it with snacks or straws in an effort to completely quit the entire habit but that was just my choice.

    Of course, you have to change your habits. Get up from the dinner table and immediately start cleaning or go for a walk instead of lighting up. Get in the car and roll down the window instead of lighting up. Get on the phone and wipe down your counters or doodle instead of lighting up. You get my point.

    It wasn't easy. It will never be. You can do it though. You really do sound like you are ready. Remember it is all about you. When I quit I was at a point in my life when I had spent a long time fighting chronic pain with no end in sight and I was determined to have control over SOMETHING IN MY LIFE.

    Good Luck Sue. Don't give up. You will be successful.
  • All the posts have been really helpful.

    It's been TWO WEEKS now. I have to blow into a special machine when I attend clinic each week. The first day my reading was 16, last week it was 12 and today it was a FOUR!!!! They said that anyone whose reading is 6 or less is considered to be a non-smoker!

    I won't say I've totally cracked it yet because I still get the terrible craving for one - but I'm heading in the right direction.
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
    I am an on & off smoker. I am one who can just do the cold Turkey thing. But I some how always go back. I never smoked much usually between 2-5 cigs a day. I once went 8 years smoke free! Then just started up again. My hubby smokes and not shifting blame but it makea it harder to be a non smoker when your partner smokes, again, not his fault all me. Funny thing is I HATE the smell of cigs! NO smoking in house or car...
    so my man spends a lot of time in garage & lanai.

    I quit before my fusion and was smoke free for 4 months and then just started up again.... stupid I know... when I'm ready I'll follow your lead!

    I can tell you, you are OVER. the hump, 2 weeks any cravings are purely mental. The hardest part is behind you. So just keep your eyes on the price and you will do fine!

    I'm very proud of you & your number 4, you go girl!

  • Woo Hoo! Woot Woot!!! I am so PROUD!

    Oh Sue You have CRACKED it. YOU ARE A WINNER.

    You may have the cravings but if you are not giving in to them you have cracked it. You are only blowing a 4 girlfriend. You are doing AWESOME. (I wonder if even that 4 could be the second hand smoke? Is hubby still smoking in the house?) You truly are the winner here. You, your health, your fusion, your pocketbook, your self esteem, I could go on and on.

    I am so pleased. So very very pleased! Keep it up!

    Try to avoid that second hand smoke too. Is the weather breaking in your corner of the world. Could it be time to spring clean and set up the smoking section outside maybe!?!? How would that fly? After all, you're just thinking of getting all the smoke stains and smell off the walls, out of the curtains, fabric of the furniture, off the glass of the pictures and windows blah, blah blah-Not to mention YOUR LUNGS and THE GROWING BONES in your spine. It is worth a shot isn't it? Win Win for everyone!

    Either way, keep up the awesome work. Never quit quitting!
  • Oh WoW!!!!!!!! wonderful success !!!!!!! :grin:" alt=":grin:" height="20" />

    Do share your tips with those of us who hope to join you some day.....
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • I had to be quited for 3 months before my surgeon would work on my back and the pain was bad. I used Chantix. For me it made the cigs taste and small bad. Been smoke free 3yrs now, was almost a 30 yr smoker! If I can do it, then you can do it! I loved smoking too! I might have to have surgery again and I don't want to go through quitting again.

    Good Luck!
  • Congrats sue keep on going!

    I quit Jan 12 or 13 when my doc said I had another blockage in my carotic artery, the one in my neck leading into my head!It is pronounced a Brew-wie.I thought, my God, I really am killing myself.I hope you keep on trying as I am.I went to my gp and chantix..it is working great.i take only 1 supposed to take 2 a day.I will quit them soon, in a week or so.I am looking at more knee surgery this month and am hoping I see results in healing after..like as before smoking and after smoking rehab.We'll see. Anyway brushing your teeth helps me a lot and keep on the veggies, raw is better..watch the yogurt,,calories..Good luck and gentle hugs
  • so far! It's been FOUR weeks now, YAY!!!! I can't understand why the cravings NEVER go away - but I am trying to take my mind off of it by doing something else (having a bath, brushing my teeth, going out into the garden - which results in increased back pain and the need for a ciggy) - But I haven't given in yet......

    Long may it last.

    I hope others who are trying to give up are also doing well and managing to resist the very powerful urge to have a ciggy. Think of the positives!!!
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • I'm just now where you were, Sue, when you first posted. It's time to give it up. I have a vast array of reasons and one is not fusion. I always have fused wonderfully.

    I just want to now. It takes too much time and too much money to smoke. Hubby and I have cut down considerably, but need to quite.

    Clandy, thank you thank you thank you for your detailed quiting smoking story. I needed that. I have to do this, and I know it won't be easy. At least I'll have the support of hubby.

    I think I'll keep checking this link, Sue, because you and the others are giving me hope that I can indeed kick this awful and expensive habit and now that I'll have support to help make it happen.

    Thanks to all that have contributed to this post. Let's keep this one at the top, ok?

  • Well done you!!!! I know it's not easy - nothing worth having ever is. But I'm sure, with your own determination, and the support of your family, friends and here on Spine Health, you can do it.

    Funny thing happened to me. I have to visit a stop smoking session at our local doctors clinic each Wednesday. Well, last week I went along quite happily (in the knowledge that I hadn't smoked!) and I blew into their machine that detects how much nicotine is in your body.

    Anyway, to give you an idea. When I first attended, I had been smoking 20 a day. I blew into the machine and it registered a "16". The week after I blew a 12, 2 weeks ago it was 4 (considered to be a non-smoker at this level and below) and last week it was.....................SIXTEEN!!!! What!!!! Can't be!!!! If it's gonna read that then I'm gonna smoke again! It turns out the machine was wrong. I used a different one and, low and behold, the reading was a 6. Phew!

    Today I went along, quite merrily again, and I blew an ELEVEN. Oh no! The machine was faulty again. All this wonderful technology and they can't get this silly little machine to work properly.

    Still, I know I haven't smoked. I can't go to future sessions as I'm hoping to return to work (on a phased return) next week. They're going to leave my prescriptions for nicorette patches, chewing gum and the inhalator for me at the doctor's surgery, which is nice of them. So, all being well, I can carry on the good work.

    It is so difficult, there's no getting away from it (especially as my hubby still smokes around me), but I've got to try as it's the last thing I can do to help myself. I've done everything else - I've lost 5 stones in weight, I've tried loads of different treatments to try and alleviate my chronic back pain, I've even stopped biting my nails - so, if I can now stop smoking, I'll be absolutely PERFECT!!! Yay!!! ha, chance would be a fine thing.


    Just remember that after 3 days the nicotine has LEFT your body.
    You only get that awful craving for about 3 minutes - SO TRY AND DO SOMETHING ELSE (brush your teeth, have a chewing gum, have a bath, go for a walk - ANYTHING, just keep busy)
    Just take one day at a time
    If you can put the money you would have spent on ciggies in a jar - just see how it accumulates!!! (I can't, cos I've spent it already ha!)
    Food tastes nicer
    Things smell fresher
    You won't feel like such a social outcast anymore!!!!
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • Sue,

    Listen to yourself, reread your post!
    Spoken like a true non smoker!!!
    Especially those last 9 or 10 lines! I am so impressed!

    You are SO right! Even months later, there will be cravings and urges. They are just psychological and best handled by getting your mind off them and finding something else to do until it passes.

    I especially applaud your conquering this while your husband still smokes in front of you. You truly are doing this for you.

    Cath, I'm glad the smoking did not seem to bother your fusion but when you start adding up all the other health risk along with the cost, smell, the fact that everywhere seems to be nonsmoking these days.... I'm sure you are about ready. I hear it more and more everyday.

    I truly believe quitting is mostly a mental battle. I lost count how many times I quit before I was truly mentally ready. Once you are ready mentally, you WILL accomplish your goal. YOU HAVE TO WANT IT FOR YOU, YOU, AND YOU. In the meantime don't quit quitting and seeking praise when you do well!!!!

  • Sorry I'd been away from the board for awhile and just now checked back here today! Congrats Sue!! You are doing fantastic! Don't pay attention to the machine, you know you're good :D

    Cath, congrats to you also!! It's a good thing to give up, as it doesn't really do anything for us (well, anything good at least!)

    I know you will both do your best and continue to keep the care OF you in it's most important place!

    Nice work ladies!! :)

    ps- I TOLD you about saving that money, lol! You think... whoa... that will be a lot of savings, but then you never see it, LOL!
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