fragmented.ME …
mind * body * soul ...

the waiting place …

Reading time: 7 Minutes

The waiting place; the place where everyone is always waiting for something to happen or for things to change.

I started to think about this after I saw the following quote in my journal notebook (Knock Knock, 2013), where it said, ‘real growth often happens outside of where we intend it to, in the interstitial spaces — what Dr. Seuss calls the waiting place’.[I]

It really struck a cord with me on a soul level. We do often grow whilst we’re waiting for something to change or happen. It moved me to the point of searching out the whole book so I could read the quote in context. The idea of the waiting place is taken from the book entitled, Oh, The Places You’ll Go! (Seuss, 1990)[II].

Of course being me, if you know you know, I perused the whole story several times and I found that I was particularly moved by the part quoted below and so I wanted to delve deeper and share my thoughts with you too.

  Oh, the places you’ll go!   
  — Dr Seuss  

the waiting place …

In his book Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, Dr Seuss writes the following, (Seuss, 1990, pp.31-34)[III]

You can get so confuse
that you’ll start in to race
down the long road at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place …

… for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

NO!
That’s not for you!

(Seuss, 2009, pp. 31-34) …

what is the waiting place …

On the whole, the book is really quite symbolic of the journey of life and the ups and downs we will encounter in our own personal life journey. Oh and the waiting … the waiting place that we will surely find ourselves in … many times …

My overall interpretation of the waiting place is that it appears to be an allegory and a place were you can maybe grow spiritually, if you wish to, or if you can use it to your advantage, and especially if your life journey keeps you there, as it does when you’re chronically sick.

However, it appears that Dr. Seuss is using it as somewhere that people are in their emotional state; a place where people are their emotional state; they are life’s crossroads, the state of being lost, unmotivated and confused. They are just waiting. (Shmoop Editorial Team, 2008)[IV]

This all feels very apt for someone with ME who never goes anywhere or does anything, but seems to be always in the waiting place; waiting for recovery and to get well; waiting for better days; waiting for tests and for treatments; always waiting … a never ending wait.

my interpretations …

So firstly, I was moved to write a haiku to summarise one of my understandings of the waiting place (Mijatovic, 2022)[V].

in the waiting place
time moving ever so slow
it’s where you can grow
— Denise Mijatovic (2022)

Secondly, I wanted to delve as deeply as I could in order to look at the waiting place and what else it could mean in order to grow.

my further interpretations …

As a person with severe ME, fibromyalgia, chronic migraine, and chronic pain, I find myself spending a lot of time waiting.

waiting for …

WAITING FOR
medications to work

AND
symptoms to abate

WAITING FOR
better days to come;
so I can wash myself and wash my hair

AND
have the energy to change my PJs

OR
make appointments and wait to be seen

WAITING
on hold on the phone
for someone to answer
for someone to help
for test results
for medicines
and for food too

JUST WAITING

online deliveries
medication deliveries

I could go on
you get the idea

I know you do
especially if you are like me
and you have ME too

If, my waiting list is as never ending and ever growing as it seems then it makes sense to conclude that my growing potential must also be limitless and endless too.

As well, after reading and pondering the meanings in this particular Dr Seuss book, I realised that there are things I can do whilst I’m waiting, which will benefit me. Even if I am waiting for something, like being well again, that might actually never come about, I can still grow …

waiting to be well again …

Being realistic, there is a very good chance that I am not going to recover from my condition, and even if I do I will not be the person I left behind. I have been ill since 1984 and over the years, as well as getting sicker, I have been getting older. To recover aged 25 is an entirely different sate than recovery aged 65.

Being realistic is my middle name.

Moving on, I will next discuss five things I may do whilst waiting for things to happen. I will link them to specific waiting scenarios. However, you will see that they are quite adaptable and so can be used for many different waiting aspects.

while waiting for …
    • my tablets to work: I could, and very often do, use this time to simply breathe; I cover the top of my head and eyes, which always hurt the most, with ice packs, snuggle down, and just breathe … sometimes I will fall back asleep, other times I will go on a mental journey, and on very special day I will actually find peace.
      • I find I often use ‘breathing’ and being mindful in other scenarios which might otherwise put me in a high emotional state and ultimately make my symptoms worse.
    • my energy to replenish so I can do ‘something’ ‘anything’: I find this extremely frustrating, this kind of waiting forces me to face my limitations and it is the one kind of waiting that can make me feel deeply emotional because of all the loss involved in having ME. So, in this case, I might take out my ‘compassion card deck’ and pull a card or two and really dwell on being kind and accepting to myself using the idea on the card. This sort of personal self work really helps me to realise the vulnerability of being so poorly and it humanises my experience. I find I am also a lot more patient and kindly with myself and other ps after I have done some self work.
      • I find that self work makes a huge difference to my overall attitude to the illness and enables me to hang on another bit longer.
    • someone to help: it is hard when you hang on to the end before asking for help and then frustratingly find that the potential helper doesn’t realise how urgently the help and they are now needed. I will often wait to ask for help and so when I do ask I am often at a stage when I cannot help myself.
      • I find to breathe, do something untaxing, or concentrate on something else, the easiest way to handle this. I think it may be a diversion tactic. However, if I do use it, sometimes force myself to do it, I am in danger of triggering adrenaline and ‘helping’ myself because of allowing the frustration to take over. All this means is I am making myself more permanently sicker and takes me closer to becoming terminal. Yes … sadly, ME can turn terminal.
    • deliveries / people to turn up: again it’s the same old thing … waiting … waiting and your adrenaline is often on red alert.
      • I find it useful to watch my driveway through my ring doorbell in my TV screen then I’m not shocked or scared when. The bell goes and I can actually get up slowly when they enter the drive without feeling like I’m keep them waiting. We have nice views as well so it’s very peaceful just looking out while lay on the settee.
    • someone to see you at an appointment: this situation is very stressful for most of us with ME. We’ve been gaslit and traumatised through the year regarding our illness and seeing medical people, which is the only reason I leave the house, often re-triggers those awful feelings linked with years and years of medical abuse.
      • I find taking my kindle and reading helps or putting earphones in and listening to soothing sounds or music. Whatever makes you feels less stressed or brings you the most peace. Anything … as long as you’re not going over what to say, what can go wrong, blah blah blah … you know the scenario.
waiting for the inevitable …

On a more sad, possibly sinister, yet very realistic note. Am I waiting to die … probably … but I do feel I can still feel valuable and worthy while I wait.

That said, or even thought, isn’t everyone waiting to die. It’s just that some of us are a lot more aware of our frailties.

I find it’s better to be real than in denial. Remember, no one knows the hour or day in which they will die and so make the most of what you get regardless of anything.

That is how I want to use my words, here on this website; as an escape back to life. I wanted to engulf myself in website and it’s words to become whole again, if at all possible.

I’m alive now, but I don’t know if I will be tomorrow.
The state of being alive is not guaranteed,
but should I let that stop me from living?
— Author: Innocent Mwatsikesimbe

in summary & in conclusion …

The waiting place …

I guess it’s just life and we ‘do’ things while we’re waiting to die. Each and every one of us simply fills our time while we’re waiting to die.

Today, I am waiting to be well or just feel a bit better …

a personal concluding note …

And much like a lot of the blogs I start these days I’ve had to cut this one short due to illness I’m feeling overburdened bye the depth I’ve begun to go to. I had determined that I would be aiming to do shorter and simpler blogs but I always get carried away with myself.

… namaste …

References:[+]

Please feel free to contact me to share your outcomes or with any questions you may have.

 fragmented.ME xXx

Last Updated on 12/05/2022 by fragmented_ME

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My birth name is Denise, but I’m know as Bella to those who love me. I have a first class honours degree in education & psychology and a strong passion to keep learning and educating others ... I have severe ME/CFS and lots of other chronic illnesses and I started this blog as an expansion to my instagram page, where I advocate for chronic illness. I am married and have two grown up boys, or should I say young men. I have three gorgeous grandchildren, one boy and two girls. And despite being chronically sick and housebound I am mostly happy. 🥰

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10 steps to practicing Radical Acceptance
according to DBT’s founder, Marsha Linehan:

 

1.  Observe that you are questioning or fighting reality (“it shouldn’t be this way”)

2.  Remind yourself that the unpleasant reality is just as it is and cannot be changed (“this is what happened”)

3.  Remind yourself that there are causes for the reality (“this is how things happened”)

4.  Practice accepting with your whole self (mind, body, spirit) - Use accepting self-talk, relaxation techniques, mindfulness and/or imagery

5.  List all of the behaviors you would engage in if you did accept the facts and then engage in those behaviors as if you have already accepted the facts

6.  Imagine, in your mind’s eye, believing what you do not want to accept and rehearse in your mind what you would do if you accepted what seems unacceptable

7.  Attend to body sensations as you think about what you need to accept

8.  Allow disappointment, sadness or grief to arise within you

9.  Acknowledge that life can be worth living even when there is pain

10.  Do pros and cons if you find yourself resisting practicing acceptance

Logo of ijpsych

2009 Oct-Dec; 51(4): 239–241.
doi: 10.4103/0019-5545.58285: 10.4103/0019-5545.58285
PMCID: PMC2802367
PMID: 20048445

The biochemistry of belief

Address for correspondence: Dr. TS Sathyanarayana Rao, Department of Psychiatry, JSS University, JSS Medical College Hospital, M.G. Road, Mysore - 570 004, India. E-mail: moc.oohay@91oarsst
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

“Man is what he believes”

Anton Chekhov

Beliefs are basically the guiding principles in life that provide direction and meaning in life. Beliefs are the preset, organized filters to our perceptions of the world (external and internal). Beliefs are like ‘Internal commands’ to the brain as to how to represent what is happening, when we congruently believe something to be true. In the absence of beliefs or inability to tap into them, people feel disempowered.

Beliefs originate from what we hear - and keep on hearing from others, ever since we were children (and even before that!). The sources of beliefs include environment, events, knowledge, past experiences, visualization etc. One of the biggest misconceptions people often harbor is that belief is a static, intellectual concept. Nothing can be farther from truth! Beliefs are a choice. We have the power to choose our beliefs. Our beliefs become our reality.

Beliefs are not just cold mental premises, but are ‘hot stuff’ intertwined with emotions (conscious or unconscious). Perhaps, that is why we feel threatened or react with sometimes uncalled for aggression, when we believe our beliefs are being challenged! Research findings have repeatedly pointed out that the emotional brain is no longer confined to the classical locales of the hippocampus, amygdala and hypothalamus.[1] The sensory inputs we receive from the environment undergo a filtering process as they travel across one or more synapses, ultimately reaching the area of higher processing, like the frontal lobes. There, the sensory information enters our conscious awareness. What portion of this sensory information enters is determined by our beliefs. Fortunately for us, receptors on the cell membranes are flexible, which can alter in sensitivity and conformation. In other words, even when we feel stuck ‘emotionally’, there is always a biochemical potential for change and possible growth. When we choose to change our thoughts (bursts of neurochemicals!), we become open and receptive to other pieces of sensory information hitherto blocked by our beliefs! When we change our thinking, we change our beliefs. When we change our beliefs, we change our behavior.

A mention of the ‘Placebo’ is most appropriate at this juncture. Medical history is replete with numerous reported cases where placebos were found to have a profound effect on a variety of disorders. One such astounding case was that of a woman suffering from severe nausea and vomiting. Objective measurements of her gastric contractions indicated a disrupted pattern matching the condition she complained of. Then a ‘new, magical, extremely potent’ drug was offered to her, which would, the doctors proclaimed, undoubtedly cure her nausea. Within a few minutes, her nausea vanished! The very same gastric tests now revealed normal pattern, when, in actuality, she had been given syrup of ipecac, a substance usually used to induce nausea! When the syrup was presented to her, paired with the strong suggestion of relief of nausea, by an authority figure, it acted as a (command) message to the brain that triggered a cascade of self-regulatory biochemical responses within the body.[2] This instance dramatically demonstrates that the influence of placebo could be more potent than expected drug effect.

An important observation was that, part of the placebo response seemed to involve the meaning of the disorder or the illness to the individual. In other words, the person's belief or how she/he interprets (inter-presents or internally represents) directly governs the biological response or behavior. Another remarkable study involved a schizophrenic. This woman was observed to have split personality. Under normal conditions, her blood glucose levels were normal. However, the moment she believed she was diabetic, her entire physiology changed to become that of a diabetic, including elevated blood glucose levels.[3]

Suggestions or symbolic messages shape beliefs that in turn affect our physical well being. Several cases of ‘Disappearance of warts’ have been reported by Ornstein and Sobel wherein they ponder on how the brain translates the suggestions (sometimes using hypnosis) into systematic biochemical battle strategies such as chemical messengers sent to enlist the aid of immune cells in an assault on the microbe-induced miniature tumor or probably small arteries are selectively constricted, cutting off the vital nutrient supply to warts but not touching the neighboring healthy cells.[2]

Findings of carefully designed research indicate that our interpretation of what we are seeing (experiencing) can literally alter our physiology. In fact, all symptoms of medicine work through our beliefs. By subtly transforming the unknown (disease/disorder) into something known, named, tamed and explained, alarm reactions in the brain can be calmed down. All therapies have a hidden, symbolic value and influence on the psyche, besides the direct specific effect they may have on the body.

Just as amazingly life-affirming placebos are, the reverse, “Nocebo' has been observed to be playing its part too. It is associated with negative, life-threatening or disempowering beliefs. Arthur Barsky, a psychiatrist states that it is the patient's expectations – beliefs whether a drug or procedure works or will have side effects – that plays a crucial role in the outcome.[4]

The biochemistry of our body stems from our awareness.[5] Belief-reinforced awareness becomes our biochemistry. Each and every tiny cell in our body is perfectly and absolutely aware of our thoughts, feelings and of course, our beliefs. There is a beautiful saying ‘Nobody grows old. When people stop growing, they become old’. If you believe you are fragile, the biochemistry of your body unquestionably obeys and manifests it. If you believe you are tough (irrespective of your weight and bone density!), your body undeniably mirrors it. When you believe you are depressed (more precisely, when you become consciously aware of your ‘Being depressed’), you stamp the raw data received through your sense organs, with a judgment – that is your personal view – and physically become the ‘interpretation’ as you internalize it. A classic example is ‘Psychosocial dwarfism’, wherein children who feel and believethat they are unloved, translate the perceived lack of love into depleted levels of growth hormone, in contrast to the strongly held view that growth hormone is released according to a preprogrammed schedule coded into the individual's genes!

Providing scientific evidence to support a holistic approach to well being and healthcare, Bruce Lipton sheds light on mechanism underlying healing at cellular level. He emphasizes that ‘love’ is the most healing emotion and ‘placebo’ effect accounts for a substantial percentage of any drug's action, underscoring the significance of beliefs in health and sickness. According to him, as adults, we still believe in and act our lives out based on information we absorbed as children (pathetic indeed!). And the good news is, we can do something about the ‘tape’ our subconscious mind is playing (ol' silly beliefs) and change them NOW.[6] Further recent literature evidences provided knowledge based on scientific principles of biology of belief. There are limited studies on clinics of traditional beliefs and if we get more scientific data, we can use these traditional systems in clinical mental health management. Human belief system is formed by all the experiences learned and experimented filtered through personality.[7] The senses to capture inner and outer perceptions have higher brain potentials. Some questions that arise in this context are, does the integration and acceptance of these perceptions result in the establishment of beliefs? Does the establishment of these beliefs depend on proof demonstrations? The proofs might be the perceptions, which we can directly see or having scientific proof or custom or faith.[8,9] Beliefs are developed as stimuli received as trusted information and stored in the memory. These perceptions are generalized and established into belief. These beliefs are involved in the moral judgment of the person. Beliefs help in decision-making. Bogousslavsky and Inglin explained that, how some physicians were more successful by taking an account of patient beliefs. Beliefs influence factors involved in the development of psychopathology. They also influence the cognitive and emotional assessment, addictiveness, responses to false positives and persistent normal defensive reactions. Total brain function is required in stabilizing the belief and in responding to environmental system. Some of the brain regions and the neural circuits are very important in establishing beliefs and executing emotions. Frontal lobes play a major role in beliefs. Mental representations of the world are integrated with sub-cortical information by prefrontal cortex. Amygdala and Hippocampus are involved in the process of thinking and thus help in execution of beliefs. NMDA receptor is involved in thinking and in the development of beliefs. These beliefs are subjected to challenge. A belief that is subjected to more challenges becomes stronger. When a new stimulus comes, it creates distress in the brain with already existing patterns. The distress results in the release of dopamine (neurotransmitter) to transmit the signal.[10,11] Research findings of Young and Saxe (2008) revealed that medial prefrontal cortex is involved in processing the belief valence.[12] Right temporoparietal junction and precuneus are involved in the processing of beliefs to moral judgment. True beliefs are processed through right temporoparietal junction.[13,14] Saxe (2006) explained that beliefs judging starts at the age of five years citing example of judging of belief questions on short stories by the children.[15] Belief attribution involved activating regions of medial prefrontal cortex, superior temporal gyri and hippocampal regions. Studies by Krummenacher et al, have shown that dopamine levels are associated with paranormal thoughts suggesting the role of dopamine in belief development in the brain.[16] Flannelly et al, illustrated on how primitive brain mechanisms that evolved to assess environmental threats in related psychiatric disorders.[17] Also were highlighted the issues such as the way beliefs can affect psychiatric symptoms through these brain systems. The theories discussed widely are related to (a) link psychiatric disorders to threat assessment and (b) explain how the normal functioning of threat assessment systems can become pathological. It is proposed that three brain structures are implicated in brain disorders in response to threat assessment and self-defense: the regions are the prefrontal cortex, the basal ganglia and parts of limbic system. The functionality of these regions has great potential to understand mechanism of belief formation and its relevance in neurological functions/dysfunctions. Now it is clear that biology and physiology of belief is an open area for research both at basic and clinical level. The future directions are to develop validated experimental or sound theoretical interpretation to make ‘BELIEF’ as a potential clinical management tool.

Perceptual shifts are the prerequisites for changing the belief and hence changing the biochemistry of our body favorably. Our innate desire and willingness to learn and grow lead to newer perceptions. When we consciously allow newer perceptions to enter the brain by seeking new experiences, learning new skills and changed perspectives, our body can respond in newer ways –this is the true secret of youth. Beliefs (internal representations/interpretations) thus hold the magic wand of remarkable transformations in our biochemical profile. If you are chasing joy and peace all the time everywhere but exclaim exhausted, ‘Oh, it's to be found nowhere!’, why not change your interpretation of NOWHERE to ‘NOW HERE’; just by introducing a gap, you change your awareness – that changes your belief and that changes your biochemistry in an instant!

Everything exists as a ‘Matrix of pure possibilities’ akin to ‘formless’ molten wax or moldable soft clay. We shape them into anything we desire by choosing to do so, prompted, dictated (consciously or unconsciously) by our beliefs. The awareness that we are part of these ever-changing fields of energy that constantly interact with one another is what gives us the key hitherto elusive, to unlock the immense power within us. And it is our awareness of this awesome truth that changes everything. Then we transform ourselves from passive onlookers to powerful creators. Our beliefs provide the script to write or re-write the code of our reality.

Thoughts and beliefs are an integral part of the brain's operations. Neurotransmitters could be termed the ‘words’ brain uses to communicate with exchange of information occurring constantly, mediated by these molecular messengers. Unraveling the mystery of this molecular music induced by the magic of beliefs, dramatically influencing the biochemistry of brain could be an exciting adventure and a worth pursuing cerebral challenge.

REFERENCES

1. Candace Pert. Molecules of emotion: Why you feel the way you feel. New York, USA: Scribner Publications; 2003. ISBN-10: 0684846349.
2. Ornstein R, Sobel D. The healing brain: Breakthrough discoveries about how the brain keeps us healthy. USA: Malor Books; 1999. ISBN-10: 1883536170.
3. Robbins A. Unlimited power: The new science of personal excellence. UK: Simon and Schuster; 1986. ISBN 0-7434-0939-6.
4. Braden G. The spontaneous healing of belief. Hay House Publishers (India) Pvt. Ltd; 2008. ISBN 978-81-89988-39-5.
5. Chopra D. Ageless body, timeless mind: The quantum alternative to growing old. Hormony Publishers; 1994. ISBN -10: 0517882124.
6. Lipton B. The biology of belief: Unleashing the power of consciousness, matter and miracles. Mountain of Love Publishers; 2005. ISBN 978-0975991473.
7. Bogousslavsky J, Inglin M. Beliefs and the brain. Eur Neurol. 2007;58:129–32. [PubMed: 17622716]
8. Gundersen L. Faith and healing. Ann Intern Med. 2000;132:169–72. [PubMed: 10644287]
9. Mueller PS, Plevak DJ, Rummans TA. Religious involvement, spirituality, and medicine: Implications for clinical practice. Mayo Clin Proc. 2001;76:1225–35. [PubMed: 11761504]
10. Patel AD, Peretz I, Tramo M, Labreque R. Processing prosodic and musical patterns: A neuropsychological investigation. Brain Lang. 1998;61:123–44. [PubMed: 9448936]
11. Tramo MJ. Biology and music. Music of the hemispheres. Science. 2001;291:54–6. [PubMed: 11192009]
12. Young L, Saxe R. The neural basis of belief encoding and integration in moral judgment. Neuroimage. 2008;40:1912–20. [PubMed: 18342544]
13. Aichhorn M, Perner J, Weiss B, Kronbichler M, Staffen W, Ladurner G. Temporo-parietal junction activity in theory-of-mind tasks: Falseness, beliefs, or attention. J Cogn Neurosci. 2009;21:1179–92. [PubMed: 18702587]
14. Abraham A, Rakoczy H, Werning M, von Cramon DY, Schubotz RI. Matching mind to world and vice versa: Functional dissociations between belief and desire mental state processing. Soc Neurosci. 2009;1:18. [PubMed: 19670085]
15. Saxe R. Why and how to study Theory of Mind with fMRI. Brain Res. 2006;1079:57–65. [PubMed: 16480695]
16. Krummenacher P, Mohr C, Haker H, Brugger P. Dopamine, paranormal belief, and the detection of meaningful stimuli. J Cogn Neurosci. 2009 Jun 30; [Epub ahead of print] [PubMed: 19642883]
17. Flannelly KJ, Koenig HG, Galek K, Ellison CG. Beliefs, mental health, and evolutionary threat assessment systems in the brain. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2007;195:996–1003. [PubMed: 18091193]

Articles from Indian Journal of Psychiatry are provided here courtesy of Wolters Kluwer -- Medknow Publications

HRPacing ...

Description

Heart Rate Pacing is a technique used to stay within ones energy reserves. The anaerobic threshold (AT) is the heart rate at which aerobic energy surges. The threshold is often around about 60% of a ones maximum heart rate, though each person is different and an individual's threshold may vary from day to day or within a day.

(Note: Maximum heart rate is 220 minus ones age. For a 50 year old, 60% of maximum heart rate is (220 - 50) x 0.6 = 102 bpm.)

Features:

* Changes colour to indicate:

- Resting - (REST) Lavender

- Recovery (RECOVER) - Green (RHR + 10%)

- Exertion (EXERT) - Orange (RHR + 20%)

- Anaerobic Threshold (AT) - Red ((220-50)x0.6)

* Set an alert based on:

- reaching Anaerobic Threshold Zone, or

- custom set Maximum Heart Rate.

* Set the Anaerobic Threshold Tolerance from 0.6 (default) to 0.5 if desired.

* Set a custom interval between alerts (15 secs default).

* Displays 12/24 hour clock based on user settings in Fitbit profile.

cognitive deficits in patients with ME/CFS …

where is the …

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… duplicitous …

duplicitous …

summary of the 5 major diagnostic criteria from 1988 onwards …

summary of the 5 major diagnostic criteria from 1988 onwards …

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