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KimberlyH

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Just wanted to see how you''re doing with all of the dental work you''ve been having.
 

monarch64

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Thanks Kimberly for your concern--it''s so nice of you to think of me!

Well, this past Friday I had my rapid palate expander device placed in the roof of my mouth...I tried to find a picture of one but didn''t have much success, and didn''t really feel like posting my own...maybe I''ll post before and after pics when all is said and done though. Anyway, I have this appliance which has a square center piece attached to four bars which are attached by metal bands around my teeth. It''s difficult to speak clearly and I''ve been practicing reading a passage often used for speech therapy at night, hopefully within the next week or so my tongue will figure out where to go! Eating and talking very much are a chore, and I never realized how much of a workout this would be for my tongue! Eating requires more prep and more time as I have to do smaller bites, no crunchy things (too painful), and be careful not to choke as food gets caught up in the whole contraption and if I accidentally sort of "slurp" the wrong way I could get something lodged in my throat
. DH "supervised" all weekend--he made sure not to leave me alone when I was eating a quick lunch while he was trying to get an outside project finished, it was very sweet. I was all ready to plop down on the couch in front of the t.v. but he convinced me to eat at the table so if I choked and he couldn''t get to me right away I could give myself the Heimlich with a dining chair, LOL!

So the next few weeks I am manually turning a key in this thing to see if my palate bones will actually "pop" apart without surgical assistance. It''s highly unlikely, since most people''s bones fuse together for good by the time they are in their late teens/early twenties, but my orthodontist says his niece did this when she was 21 and it worked. I''m 29 and I really doubt it will happen, but we''ll see. I have a surgery date scheduled the first week of May to go ahead with the surgical expansion, as well as getting all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed, and another procedure called a Lefort osteotomy which is where my jaw will be released to close my open bite. After I heal from that and finish the expansion (again manually using the expansion appliance for about 6 weeks, which will leave me with a nice ~6mm gap between my front teeth), I''ll keep the expander in to hold the bones open while everything heals for about 4 more months (6months total) and get upper and lower braces in the meantime!

Still with me? LOL! When I first saw this ortho about a year and a half ago, I had NO clue that I would have to go through any of this. I thought I just had a mild case of crooked teeth, but it turns out my bite is completely out of whack and if I don''t correct it I could face serious long term issues. I''ve suffered from migraines for years, and more recently TMJ issues to the point that the left side of my jaw pops almost every time I open my mouth. Not to mention I''ve always been a mouth breather and this whole procedure will also open up my airway a bit more to allow for better breathing. After much research and a lot of soul-searching I decided to go through with all of this because I know that a couple years of remodeling total will not only improve my physical appearance, but also my overall health.

Ok, so I hope this sort of excuses my recent lack of participation in the workout thread...I spent the last couple months knowing I would be on a very restricted diet as far as texture and consistency and had been indulging cravings left and right, and also anticipating some weight loss--if it is to be at all dramatic (average I keep reading as far as those who''ve gone through this type of surgery is 15-20 lbs.) I kind of wanted to bulk up just a little so I wouldn''t end up skeletal with a swollen face, ha! You may not see me too much on the workout thread, but I will definitely be spending a lot more time on PS during the month of May--I am taking a three week leave of absence from work to recuperate.

Thanks again for your concern, and your support, Kimberly. You are another great PS virtual friend and I always enjoy reading your posts! Oh, and btw I saw your pic on the thread in Hangout and you look amazing! Your weight loss and dedication to your health are impressive!
 

IrishAngel7982

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 5, 2006
Messages
1,412
Wow that is a lot you have going on there! I didn''t know you were having all of these procedures done. I''m glad it will be good for you in the long run, as far as your health and well-being. Hang in there and let me know if I can help in any way. =)
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
monarch wow you are going to be going through all sorts of fun stuff huh...ugh! i feel for you woman but you will make it and come out on the other side sooo much happier i am sure. i had an ex who broke his jaw while we were together and he was so happy when it was all done and better hehee. he drank a lot of baskin robbins ice cream shakes...mmm!!!! any excuse for a milkshake right? and he drank a lot of Ensure as well which has so many vitamins because he wasn''t able to get much else down unless it was liquid form. he also lost i think 15-20 lbs which he didn''t really need to. but after it all came off he put the weight back on as well.

anyway, hang in there woman and vent anytime you want to us on the WWT...!!!
 

monarch64

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Thanks Irish! I''m very sad to say I probably won''t be attending the gem show in May in case you or anyone else was planning on going, I''ll miss getting together if you all do. And it is so nice of you to offer assistance--like I mentioned before when you visit your grandma in B.field again let me know, I would love to get together for a coffee or maybe a milkshake depending on my oral ability, ha!
 

diamondfan

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Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
Wow, Monnie, you are brave but I am sure in the end you will be loving the results. As a migraine sufferer it is nice to know that this may give you some relief, as well as help with your breathing etc. Once you get past this part, I am sure it will be so worthwhile! PS will definitely help with any boredom you feel!!!
 

Kaleigh

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Joined
Nov 18, 2004
Messages
29,570
Monarch,
Both of my kids had to have this. One had it longer than the other. I had the fun task of turning that key every night. It was super hard to get used to, eating was hard and speaking is hard. But after a week or two they DID get used to it. Hang in there, it''s worth it in the long run. HUGS!!!!
 

monarch64

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Date: 4/4/2007 12:29:52 AM
Author: Mara
monarch wow you are going to be going through all sorts of fun stuff huh...ugh! i feel for you woman but you will make it and come out on the other side sooo much happier i am sure. i had an ex who broke his jaw while we were together and he was so happy when it was all done and better hehee. he drank a lot of baskin robbins ice cream shakes...mmm!!!! any excuse for a milkshake right? and he drank a lot of Ensure as well which has so many vitamins because he wasn''t able to get much else down unless it was liquid form. he also lost i think 15-20 lbs which he didn''t really need to. but after it all came off he put the weight back on as well.

anyway, hang in there woman and vent anytime you want to us on the WWT...!!!
Thanks Mara. Yup, I''m getting stocked up gradually with Boost and Ensure and will definitely pick up some Odwalla and Naked juice/protein drinks, and I have lots of soups and pretty much anything can be blended and then thinned out with water or milk (or almond milk, hee hee). My problem will be that even after recovering from the surgery portion of this whole "ordeal" I will still have this appliance up top and then braces so eating will continue to be impeded by those things...I worry most about keeping my energy level high enough to continue working full time as well as find strength to work out enough to avoid losing muscle. I do feel that in the past year or so I''ve gotten in pretty good shape and now I''ve been smoke free for 6 weeks which will definitely aid in my healing process (gosh I just realized I''ll have been "quit" for a little over two months when I have my surgery) and that is something I''ve wanted to accomplish for a long time now.

I''m excited and apprehensive at the same time. Thankfully this is an elective procedure, it''s not like I was in a car accident or a bar fight or something and HAD to have surgery so whenever I start feeling at all down about the whole thing I reassure myself pretty quickly by telling myself I''m doing this for my overall health and that I have a great man who is going to take good care of me throughout this. And then I dream about what sorts of gifts i will reward myself with once all is said and done, LOL! DH and I discussed my dream of an emerald RHR recently and he says he wants to "do it right" so it will not be for my 30th in May, but maybe in a year or two so I have that to look forward to now. Although I bet it would get me through some tough times during recovery...j/k.
Most of this will be out-of-pocket although insurance will cover a little, so my ring fund isn''t looking so great right now, and DH just isn''t one to do the placeholder thang, God love him.

Oh, and there are all these neat little gadgets which have come along in recent times for people whose jaws are wired shut for whatever reason...they have these zip n squeeze bag things you can stick in your mouth and swallow from, and I''ve been reading all about liquid diets and nutrition and things like that, plus I''ve known this was on the horizon for about 6 months now so of course I''ve been researching the heck out of it, so I''m pretty prepared as far as that aspect. I have friends and family volunteering to come over and help out with the dogs and housecleaning (boy clean is so different from girl clean in our house anyway), and just for company in general. And of course I have PS, so I think I''ll be all set! Now if I could get my mother to come up for a few days and baby me I''d be totally set, but she takes care of my father full time so that is not an option, but we have IM and email so that will help.
 

monarch64

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Date: 4/4/2007 12:37:57 AM
Author: Kaleigh
Monarch,
Both of my kids had to have this. One had it longer than the other. I had the fun task of turning that key every night. It was super hard to get used to, eating was hard and speaking is hard. But after a week or two they DID get used to it. Hang in there, it''s worth it in the long run. HUGS!!!!
Hi Kaleigh/Lisa! I did have one of these appliances when I was a kid, but it turned out my mom had been turning it the wrong way (like a key in a door instead of front to back) for 6 months and it didn''t do the job...by that time my older bro was in braces, my dad was self-employed (so everything was out of pocket as far as dental/ortho) and I had dance/piano lessons, proms, homecomings, etc. and all the other expenses that go along with being a teenage girl so my orthodontic treatment fell by the wayside. My point is actually that I basically knew what to expect from this appliance and it has lived up to my expectations so far, lol! I know it will get easier...right now my tongue and cheeks are just getting toughened up and the pressure is sort of annoying from turning the key every night, but I''m doing ok all things considered. Thanks for the hugs!
 

monarch64

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17,749
Date: 4/4/2007 12:34:12 AM
Author: diamondfan
Wow, Monnie, you are brave but I am sure in the end you will be loving the results. As a migraine sufferer it is nice to know that this may give you some relief, as well as help with your breathing etc. Once you get past this part, I am sure it will be so worthwhile! PS will definitely help with any boredom you feel!!!
Thanks DF! I don''t know if I''m brave or simply crazy. When people talk to me about this (co-workers or friends/family) they tend to look at me like I''m nuts!
I honestly would not go through this if I didn''t feel it was necessary to the future health of my teeth and the rest of me! I knew you had talked about migraines before...no one is certain this will actually alleviate them for good but it would be such a relief (as you can understand) if even a fraction of them were removed. I think I''m less scared to go through some of the pain involved with this surgery just because I''ve been in crazy head pain every month or so since I was a kid, ya know? that''s how I''m approaching this, anyway!
 

IrishAngel7982

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 5, 2006
Messages
1,412
Hey Monnie~I actually haven''t seen my grandma in a while but I''ll let you know. =) I was thinking maybe yoga or pilates will help you keep your muscle tone without doing any strenuous workouts? A core ball will do wonders, and it''s fun too. I hope you feel better soon!
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
11,016
there are so many benefits outweighing anything here, and I think, though the set up for surgery is tough, you have accomplished so much already. Plus you quit smoking, great for you in the future and for the surgery. Honestly, if it even helps a little you will be in good shape, TMJ is so painful and can cause head and neck pain too, and mouth breathing is not good and airway obstruction or apnea is certainly not good...the domino effect from this should be of great benefit to you. And to lose of few pounds, which you do not need, but hey, milkshake city...well, I think you will look back, even though you endured pain etc, and you will not have regrets once you are through it and healing! We are all here for you!
 

monarch64

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17,749
Date: 4/4/2007 1:05:15 AM
Author: IrishAngel
Hey Monnie~I actually haven''t seen my grandma in a while but I''ll let you know. =) I was thinking maybe yoga or pilates will help you keep your muscle tone without doing any strenuous workouts? A core ball will do wonders, and it''s fun too. I hope you feel better soon!
Irish, core ball is a great idea, I keep meaning to get one. We have a pilates DVD we bought for DH that neither of us have been using but I think I could definitely incorporate those things into my workout routine because I think my only restrictions after the initial recovery will be not lifting anything over 10 lbs. and staying away from activities where I could potentially bump or hit my face/jaw area. I broke an ankle and had surgery on it about 6 years ago and was back on my feet within 5 weeks (walking cast/crutches) but got rid of the crutches early...it takes a lot to keep this girl down for long! Thanks again for the well wishes!
 

KimberlyH

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Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
7,485
Date: 4/4/2007 12:01:25 AM
Author: monarch64
Thanks Kimberly for your concern--it''s so nice of you to think of me!

Well, this past Friday I had my rapid palate expander device placed in the roof of my mouth...I tried to find a picture of one but didn''t have much success, and didn''t really feel like posting my own...maybe I''ll post before and after pics when all is said and done though. Anyway, I have this appliance which has a square center piece attached to four bars which are attached by metal bands around my teeth. It''s difficult to speak clearly and I''ve been practicing reading a passage often used for speech therapy at night, hopefully within the next week or so my tongue will figure out where to go! Eating and talking very much are a chore, and I never realized how much of a workout this would be for my tongue! Eating requires more prep and more time as I have to do smaller bites, no crunchy things (too painful), and be careful not to choke as food gets caught up in the whole contraption and if I accidentally sort of ''slurp'' the wrong way I could get something lodged in my throat
. DH ''supervised'' all weekend--he made sure not to leave me alone when I was eating a quick lunch while he was trying to get an outside project finished, it was very sweet. I was all ready to plop down on the couch in front of the t.v. but he convinced me to eat at the table so if I choked and he couldn''t get to me right away I could give myself the Heimlich with a dining chair, LOL!

So the next few weeks I am manually turning a key in this thing to see if my palate bones will actually ''pop'' apart without surgical assistance. It''s highly unlikely, since most people''s bones fuse together for good by the time they are in their late teens/early twenties, but my orthodontist says his niece did this when she was 21 and it worked. I''m 29 and I really doubt it will happen, but we''ll see. I have a surgery date scheduled the first week of May to go ahead with the surgical expansion, as well as getting all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed, and another procedure called a Lefort osteotomy which is where my jaw will be released to close my open bite. After I heal from that and finish the expansion (again manually using the expansion appliance for about 6 weeks, which will leave me with a nice ~6mm gap between my front teeth), I''ll keep the expander in to hold the bones open while everything heals for about 4 more months (6months total) and get upper and lower braces in the meantime!

Still with me? LOL! When I first saw this ortho about a year and a half ago, I had NO clue that I would have to go through any of this. I thought I just had a mild case of crooked teeth, but it turns out my bite is completely out of whack and if I don''t correct it I could face serious long term issues. I''ve suffered from migraines for years, and more recently TMJ issues to the point that the left side of my jaw pops almost every time I open my mouth. Not to mention I''ve always been a mouth breather and this whole procedure will also open up my airway a bit more to allow for better breathing. After much research and a lot of soul-searching I decided to go through with all of this because I know that a couple years of remodeling total will not only improve my physical appearance, but also my overall health.

Ok, so I hope this sort of excuses my recent lack of participation in the workout thread...I spent the last couple months knowing I would be on a very restricted diet as far as texture and consistency and had been indulging cravings left and right, and also anticipating some weight loss--if it is to be at all dramatic (average I keep reading as far as those who''ve gone through this type of surgery is 15-20 lbs.) I kind of wanted to bulk up just a little so I wouldn''t end up skeletal with a swollen face, ha! You may not see me too much on the workout thread, but I will definitely be spending a lot more time on PS during the month of May--I am taking a three week leave of absence from work to recuperate.

Thanks again for your concern, and your support, Kimberly. You are another great PS virtual friend and I always enjoy reading your posts! Oh, and btw I saw your pic on the thread in Hangout and you look amazing! Your weight loss and dedication to your health are impressive!
Wow, Monnie, you are going through quite the process. And I am thinking of you, I''m sure this was a really hard choice for you to make. You don''t need excuses not to participate, but please come by and visit and update us on your dental progress. It''s always good to hear from you.

There''s a large possibility that John and I will be moving to Chicago sometime this summer, I''ll take you out for a milkshake! It would be a fun opportunity for me to meet you and explore the sububs!

Thanks for the kind words, as always you are just so sweet and encouraging. Please do keep us posted, you will continue to be in my thoughts.
 

monarch64

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17,749
Kimberly, I THOUGHT I saw mention of you maybe moving to Chicago! I hope that it works out and you do end up here and we can meet up sometime!
 

KimberlyH

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Joined
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Messages
7,485
Date: 4/4/2007 12:41:32 PM
Author: monarch64
Kimberly, I THOUGHT I saw mention of you maybe moving to Chicago! I hope that it works out and you do end up here and we can meet up sometime!
We''re 95% sure we''re moving, and I''ll be taking you up on that offer!
 

FireGoddess

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
12,145
Wow Monnie I had no idea you were going through all of this! I know it is a long process but am sure it will definitely be worth it for you - it sounds like this is something necessary to prevent future issues and treat the ones there currently - good luck with this, sending healing vibes your way!
 

monarch64

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Messages
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Thanks FG! I actually just saw my ortho again yesterday and found out I will be getting braced top and bottom a week BEFORE my surgery, so that is actually great! Although I''ll have a ton of metal (or as I prefer to say, "jewelry") going on in my mouth throughout the surgery and recovery, in the long run it will cut a month or so off my actual time in braces, which at this point is estimated to be about 18 months. My ortho wants to do everything involving teeth movement very slowly so as not to damage anything since I''m an adult and my teeth won''t move as quickly as a teenager''s would. And a funny related story: at my last gyno exam the doc asked me why we weren''t trying for babies yet so I told him about my anticipated oral "remodeling" and he said "great, so after surgery you can start trying, because pregnant women''s teeth actually move faster!" He''s so funny! I can''t imagine being pregnant with braces, but we''ll see.
 

monarch64

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Well, I had my expander placed two weeks ago and now I sort of have a speech impediment, lol! It''s sort of painful and eating is a bit difficult, but it''s not so bad. I don''t get braced until the 25th, and my surgery isn''t until May 2nd so right now I''m feeling pretty good actually. I will definitely let you know how everything goes when the time comes!

How was your visit to Chicago, or have you gone yet?
 

KimberlyH

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Messages
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Date: 4/13/2007 10:26:39 AM
Author: monarch64
Well, I had my expander placed two weeks ago and now I sort of have a speech impediment, lol! It''s sort of painful and eating is a bit difficult, but it''s not so bad. I don''t get braced until the 25th, and my surgery isn''t until May 2nd so right now I''m feeling pretty good actually. I will definitely let you know how everything goes when the time comes!

How was your visit to Chicago, or have you gone yet?
I''m sure your DH thinks you sounds quite adorable! I''m so sorry you''re in pain, but really glad it''s not too terrible.

We leave on Tuesday, I''ll tell ya all about it when we get back.

Take care of yourself!!!
 

Skippy123

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Date: 4/26/2007 5:56:08 PM
Author: KimberlyH
Just a bump to see how you''re doing monarch?
I am thinking about you too.
 

monarch64

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Hello my sweet friends! I''m doing fine, I just got my braces put on two days ago so I am going through that adjustment right now. I just have the brackets on my teeth, but no wires yet, those will go on after I recover from the surgery I''m having next Wednesday. So I''m not really in pain or anything, just using little bits of wax to keep my lips from developing sores inside from rubbing against the brackets...the worst part of these things is eating, it seems like more food gets stuck in the braces than I actually swallow!
It certainly helps me with portion control, though--I get tired of chewing after about 5 minutes now and I''m ready to go brush and floss due to all the debris, lol!

I did go ahead and get all clear brackets put on my front teeth, top and bottom, so I don''t look like a complete metal mouth! They actually are pretty low-profile, especially without the wires on yet, you can''t really see them. My DH is OOT right now so he hasn''t seen them yet, I''m anxious to hear his reaction!
 

Skippy123

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He wil think you are beautiful because your spirit sure is !!! Best wishes for your upcoming surgery.
 

Mara

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Messages
31,003
yay monnie you sound like you are in good spirits and doing okay!!

i was having some root canal/crown problems like about a year ago and it totally helped with portion control haha. something about having to chew on one side of the mouth all the time really cutting down on how fast you can eat or how much you can eat at once kinda thing. i''d then get bored with eating and move onto something else hehe.

anyway hang in there lady!
 

KimberlyH

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Messages
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Sounds like you''re adjusting well! Will be thinking of you on Wednesday!
 

Lorelei

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Date: 4/28/2007 2:32:33 PM
Author: KimberlyH
Sounds like you''re adjusting well! Will be thinking of you on Wednesday!
Ditto I am late to this thread, but I will be thinking of you Mon, take care of yourself!!!
 

monarch64

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Skippy, Mara, Kimberly, and Lorelei, THANK YOU for your encouragement and support, I really do appreciate all of your warm thoughts and well wishes!

It''s Sunday night, getting ready to go back to work for the next two days and then *drum roll* SURGERY!!!!
Needless to say, I''m excited yet apprehensive at the same time. I''ve been so sure of this decision for the past few months and now that the time has come to go through with it I''m definitely not having second thoughts but am certainly a little freaked out, which i think just comes with the territory! Fortunately I have a lot of support as far as friends and family, lots of people who have offered their assistance and encouraging words and that means a lot. I think the worst part of this whole thing is that I will have to be totally dependent on people to take care of me for a few days, and that''s a tough thing for me as I am used to being very independent and in control of things! I hate for people to see me vulnerable and that is just what will happen...but I am still certain of my decision. I''ve had a couple women with whom I work tell me I''m "nuts" and that I will be sorry, sadly. I don''t think very many people really understand that I''m not doing this for cosmetic reasons (although that will be a major benefit), rather, they have it in their heads that I just want perfect teeth.
Of course I am trying not to let that sort of racket bother me, but to be completely honest, it does nag at a small part of me.

Anyway, it''s nice to come to PS and get great support from everyone...I''ve been frequenting this forum for a couple years now and I won''t give it up for anything. It''s such a great break from everyday life and even better knowing that there are likeminded individuals out there and such wonderful personalities in the "virtual" world!
Thanks again to all of you, and I look forward to tuning into PS during my recovery, I think it will really ease some of my restlessness/anxiety/worry.
 

Skippy123

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Messages
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Monarch, I think when you''re at peace with your decision, that is great! That makes it so much easier and I am sure you will be so happy after it is done.
I will be praying for you and sending you go vibes Wed.
 
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