Lost In Transition?

February 23, 2022

I could also be lost in translation or lost in Transformation – it’s been going on for several years and I am not sure any more.  I think of a worm that spins a cocoon, becomes a gob of goo and then transforms into a gorgeous butterfly.  I can visualize the worm becoming goo, but I haven’t been able to wrap my mind around from goo to butterfly.   At times I feel I am stuck in the goo stage without a clue how to transform to a butterfly or anything else.  Mainly I am stuck in pain, health issues – issues in my tissues – and clueless.

I checked out Google to see if there was an answer there and I found it.  The caterpillar has some kind of signal to stop eating and hang from a twig, then begins to spin a cocoon.  It digests itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all of its tissues –  caterpillar soup.  When I read about the transformation, I learned that when the caterpillar is hatched, it has certain highly organized groups of cells known as imaginal discs that survive the digestive process. Before hatching, when a caterpillar is still developing inside its egg, it grows an imaginal disc for each of the adult body parts it will need as a mature butterfly or moth—discs for its eyes, for its wings, its legs and so on.

Once a caterpillar has disintegrated all of its tissues except for the imaginal discs, those discs use the protein-rich soup all around them to fuel the rapid cell division required to form the wings, antennae, legs, eyes, genitals and all the other features of an adult butterfly.  Without the imaginal discs, it would be a cocoon of goo forever.  That makes a lot more sense than wondering how the gob of goo becomes a gorgeous butterfly.  Such an amazing thing about Mother Nature and God, all the bases are covered.

I know my knees went 3 years ago when I couldn’t clean the shower floor with my hands and Mr. Clean Eraser – so I used my feet.  Well, the shower was clean but I have had so much trouble with my knees since then.  Two days later we flew to Toronto to spend Christmas with our niece and her family.  I had to use a wheelchair in the airport going over and coming home, plus walk with my cane.  Needless to say, I didn’t walk very much because it was too painful.  After that, it seemed one thing after another started hurting, going to pot and whatever else describes it.  I like to think there is a light at the end of the tunnel – not the headlamp of a locomotive bearing down on me.

Now the question becomes, did my transition or transformation become stalled because of all the things I spent dealing with the last 3 years?  Or is it part of the transition but I can’t see it?  Are there  imaginal discs in my body parts as there are in a caterpillar?  Too bad I can’t spin a cocoon and allow my joints to reconstitute back to the way they were before all this started.   Maybe I am so focused on what hurts and how difficult it is to do things that I have missed the bigger picture, a better way to view the whole situation.  Covid hasn’t helped, I have spent a lot of time at home because of it – my immune system is suppressed and compromised, which means my body can’t really fight off anything that attacks.  We both had the 2 shots and the booster, so I feel a little better about it.  We also wear a mask when we go out, to protect ourselves and others.

It’s hard to be positive and I know I have been in a depression – getting out of it takes a bit more effort.  I will say that having a crown and a root canal before Christmas was not on my agenda.  That root  canal hurt like a son of a gun for a week, constant, unrelenting pain that nothing I have stopped it for even a short while.  The hard part about the crown was when the dentist put in the anesthetic – do I hate needles!!!!  I have another crown coming up but we need to pay for the root canal first – end of the year and we used up our insurance.

My right knee is the one that gives me grief, the left will put its two cents worth in every once in a while.  I’ve been using my wheelie walker to get around the house, fine until I sit down or stand up – then my knee crunches and hurts as if ice picks are being jabbed into my knee.  I have noticed that Facebook suddenly has a lot of ads for knee braces – someone must be listening  somewhere.  I look at them and think, if I can just walk comfortably, that would make such a difference.  I am also skeptical because they promise everything and I want to know how it actually works.  I have also noticed my right knee and thigh are a lot bigger than they were – I know it is not muscle.  Some you pull on – how will my fingers work with that?  Others pull on and then have straps.  I’ll see my rheumatologist at the beginning of February and will show her what I have seen.  I postponed my December appointment because of snow and ice, I was not about fall on my butt and possibly break something.


I did see my rheumatologist and she suggested a brace that wraps around instead of pulling on because the pull on type will stretch out.   She also said I qualify for a 4th booster in mid March.

Now I understand about caterpillars and butterflies, but it doesn’t answer my questions about my own transition.  There are times when I need something that states the obvious – a huge sign in front of my face with simple words to give me a clue.  I also wonder if I am just too close to it all – it’s been true of a lot of things in my life – and need some perspective on it.  Or maybe someone to just tell me what is going on with me.  One of those big “AHA” moments when “I know that I know”.

The World Is Too Low, Too High, Too Narrow and Too Steep

July 25, 2021

I wrote this in January of 2019, I have been trying to remember what was happening at the time to make me choose the title – I have drawn a blank.  I may have been thinking that the physical world had become more difficult to navigate than it used to be.  I realize I need an attitude overhaul rather than an adjustment – I choose to be more positive since it is so easy to slide into negative with this disease.  So I will say the physical world is more challenging than usual and leave it at that.

I realize my world has gotten much smaller and more limited, mostly from Covid and my suppressed immune system.  I have mostly been out  of the house for medical appointments, a trip to Bartells once in a while and a ride with Eddie.  I have also found it very painful to walk because of my knees – I have had painful times before and still went out driving.  I haven’t been driving for almost 18 months and have allowed myself to be be housebound a lot of the time. Then again, not much has been going on since everything had closed down – a pandemic will do that.

I avoid stairs, though going down is easier than going up; curbs, rough roads or surfaces – I am very selective (picky) about where I walk.  I haven’t been down in the basement for ages, it would have been great when we had weather over 100 degrees for 3 days.  However, we don’t have any beds down there and we survived the heat.  Not something I want to do again.   However, the weather people think it will come again.

Eddie is the one who food shops, actually shops for everything, takes care of the laundry, cooks and pretty much takes care of almost everything.  At times I feel as if I have abdicated my life to circumstances because it hurts to do almost everything.  Not the way I want to be.  I started seeing Dr. Cheryl again, she has done more for me than Physical Therapy –  I am actually worse after PT.  Maybe it is unrealistic to expect things to be at my speed there.  Dr. Cheryl had loosened me up and I feel more open and at ease.

She also gave me home work – a notebook to write in every day.  3 things I am grateful for – they can be the same every day.  The second part is a time when I was comfortable.  I kept thinking it had to be now, but it can be in the past because the mind doesn’t know the difference.  Comfortable is a bit harder because I have been in a negative mindset too long.  I sometimes forget to write every day, finding things to be grateful for is not that difficult, just need to be in the habit.  I can be there for other people and keep promises to them, but having trouble keeping promises and my word to myself.  No doubt a habit of putting other people first and myself last.

Too narrow – I remember flying to Toronto for Christmas and instead of being able to  lift up the armrest to get out of the seat, there wasn’t one.  It was such tight quarters that Eddie and some other passengers had to help me out.  On one flight, the flight attendant had me put my arms around  her neck and she put her arms around the small of back – I was up in no time!  I used it at the Polyclinic when the chair was too low – the tech and I worked out it well.

Too low – chairs, sofas and toilets are much too low in the real world.  When we remodeled both bathrooms, Brad put in taller toilets – what a difference.  When I am out, I use the handicapped stall because it is more likely to be a bit taller, but not always.  I look for straight back chairs, they too are more likely to be taller than soft chairs or sofas.  I spent a lot of my life stuck in a chair until Eddie could pull me up; it’s a lousy feeling to be trapped.

Too steep – almost all of activities of life require standing, walking or climbing up and down – steep stairs and steep streets.  We have been watching YouTube a lot lately  and this is the only way I can travel.  We were watching a program on Greece – they not only have steep streets and steps, the stairs aren’t smooth and evenly built, plus, a lot of them don’t have railings to hold.  So many places are like that around the world – I’m glad I  have the option to watch it from my living room.  What I also noticed is how much is built on high hills and mountains – my fear of heights really kicks in to look over the edge.  In Gibraltar you can climb up to the very top of the rock – Ye Gods and Little Fishes, what a narrow and rough path to have to navigate.

I have been working on this post for quite a while, usually I write it and publish it without delay.  I am still trying to remember what prompted it way back then – since YouTube, I have found things that fit well with whatever the premise was at the beginning.  Life tends to present me with things that I can write about, I am a little out of practice since I wasn’t able to get back into my blog.  So glad to have it back, now I need to program myself a bit more to write.  I think of things and then when I start writing, sometimes I forget what I wanted to say.   It is a little hard for a motormouth like me since I usually have plenty to say about a lot of things.

2019 So Far – Part 2

October 6, 2019

  I am cold all the time, even in warm weather.  I know my personal thermostat is wonky since menopause, but this is ridiculous.  I spent a few months going from boiling to freezing – maybe I can be glad it is more consistent now.  I find myself bundled up all the time, I started wearing my wool sweaters and turtlenecks and it is only September.  I have been very glad to have my electric blanket on at night – I don’t usually use it much.  Maybe this is menopause aftermath.

     This sounds very much a whingeing session, that I am so focused on me and how I feel that  I am oblivious to anyone else – especially Eddie.  I think about when I was taking care of my Mom as she went into dementia and how little patience I had at times.  I have scared Eddie a lot of times over the years and this year has been the worst.  He showed me exactly who he was when I was diagnosed with RA in Nov. 1970 – he stayed with me and has always been there for me, he is such a gift for me.  I also know when he is cranky and grumpy, he is worried and afraid.  If someone could show him what he could do to make it all go away, he would do it.  He is more of an action guy.  I often say he is a Point A to Point B by the shortest route person, I on the other hand am a Scenic Route person.

     Sometimes the hardest part is when he asks what he can do for me to help – I don’t always know what to do for myself.  How can I tell him when I am struggling to understand.  Sometimes I tell him I need a hug or to hold me – I don’t think he understands why it is important  to me because he doesn’t see any improvement.  There is so much mental, emotional and spiritual parts as well as physical and he doesn’t understand it.   It’s woo woo, goofball and Hocus Pocus to him.  Another scenic route would understand.

     Unfortunately I am not done – I have a Endoscopy in October to see why my esophagus is partly blocked – the doc wants to explore it – thank heavens I will be sedated during it.  He says I have a Hyanial Hernia and my stomach is up in my chest.  I’m not sure the consequences of it but I don’t feel anything so far.  Oh yes, he said I also have acid reflux.  My diagnosis list is getting a bit long.  It’s enough to deal with RA and Lymphodemia without constantly adding to the list.

      One thing I have found that keeps me from going bananas with all this balderdash is my offbeat sense of humor.  I know I march to different drummer, I never really belonged anywhere except Ike Pono – I miss that community so much.  When I am in a situation, I find my saying things without thinking first.  Not always the best policy.  I make my husband laugh, even when it wasn’t meant to be funny.  I have had all kinds of tests, in and out of the hospital and I find things pop into my head.  Mostly it is description of how it feels or looks – I can’t think of anything off hand.  I would remember them when I was writing my journals and since I have been here, in my blog.

     My blog has been a way to write about what has been happening to me – sometimes it helps make things clear or just get it out of my system.  It has been ages since I have written that one – giftofra.com – and I also was doing a blog after I finished my show – findingthegiftsshow.com – more on topics with some personal experience.  Neither of them have been updated for quite a while.

2019 So Far

October 6, 2019

This was an assignment from my Physical Therapist – not sure it was to get me to start writing again or see what I have been feeling over this year.

Hard to believe it is almost the last quarter of 2019 – what an eventful year it has been so far!  I’m not sure how to write about it without sounding dreary, whingeing or complaining because it has been very uncomfortable.  I’ve done things I never thought I would have to think about, much less do.

         We came back from Toronto after Christmas and had a fun time – only my knees weren’t happy.  So I went to my rheumatologist to see what could be done to reduce the pain – x-rays revealed I have osteoarthritis inside my knees.  That wasn’t unexpected.  Before we had time to work on the knees, I found myself so short of breath after just a few steps or doing something simple.  I had no idea what happened or what was causing it.  I ended doing tests, scans of my heart valves – so many I don’t remember them all   They decided my right mitral valve wasn’t closing properly and they wanted to do an esophageal scan – one that requires putting something down my throat.  Thank goodness they gave me sedation for that one.  After all that balderdash, they decided the valve was okay.

      I was still short of breath and all I wanted to do was sleep.  I was gaining weight until I felt like the Michelin Man – my clothes were getting tight and the idea of buying bigger clothes wasn’t appealing.  To add to that, I was having trouble with wounds on my left leg from the Lymphedema but no way to  lessen the fluid.  They know me very well at wound care, I see them every week .  They even discharged me a few weeks ago because the last wound was healed.  Twelve hours later I blisters again – this time the pain has been very intense at times – it burns like crazy.  They keep saying they are shallow – why does it hurt so much?

     While that was happening, I came down with Shingles.  I think I am one of the lucky ones because it didn’t hurt and was only on the upper right corner of my face.  Thank goodness it didn’t go into my eye.  It took some time to clear up, Eddie and I became rather good at eye drops.  A bit later I had conjunctivitis in my left eye – more eye drops.

      Sleep was not easy during those months – I would go to sleep with Eddie at night and 2 hours later I was wide awake and so hot I had to go into the living room so not to keep him awake.  I would sleep in fits and starts, sometimes for a few hours.  Then by 6 I could go back to sleep as if nothing had happened.  I had naps in the afternoon to make up for the sleep I lost at night – didn’t work all that well.  Poor Eddie, he was so worried about me and I was a mess.

        The week I slid off the bed twice, he had the Tri-Med guys haul me off to the hospital because he knew something was wrong.  By then, I felt I was on a parallel planet and wasn’t making much sense.  Twice I got stuck in corner and couldn’t stand back up straight without Eddie’s help.  I gave up driving in March or April because I didn’t think I had sufficient control over the car.  

     I spent a week in the hospital, they pumped liquid Lacix which meant I was constantly peeing.  They also diagnosed a UTI with Sepsis – that’s why I was so spacey a lot of the time.  They also finally gave a diagnosis for shortness of breath and several other symptoms – Congestive Heart Failure.  That was scary – was I going to die in the next 10 minutes?  No one really explained things to me in easy to understand terms – I figured I would wait until I saw Doc Pierce to get the straight scoop.  He told me it was wasn’t as serious as the name implies; I need to keep fluid down and not get dehydrated because my heart is having trouble pumping excess fluid back out of my system.  So I wasn’t ready to drop dead in the next t 10 minutes.

     I was so weak after a week in the hospital that they recommended I spend some time in rehab to strengthen my muscles, etc.  I went back to Stafford Healthcare since they had been so good to me in  2012  with my hip.   There were only a couple I recognized, the cast of characters had changed so much.   They were very good to me and I spent 3 weeks there with OT and PT.   Eddie and I spent our 50th anniversary there – not quite what I had in mind.  It took a while before the cleared me to go solo in my wheelie walker – I didn’t do much soloing because I didn’t have a whole lot of energy.

        Finally, at the end of May I came home.  Eddie was anxious I have home health care, so for the first time I had hot and cold running people coming and going.  They were a great group, I enjoyed working with all of them – I am not big on exercises and they had some for me. I did improve and was getting my strength and stamina slowly – certainly not fast enough for me.  I wanted to pick up my life and start doing the things I had been doing.  That was not to be.  I figured my job was to get well first.  At times it was hard to be homebound, not going out unless Eddie or Kathy took me places.  Many times it felt it was too much effort to do anything, my knees hurt and walking wasn’t comfortable.  The only thing I did well was sleep.

         I began to realize there was more to this than just needing rest – there were other factors I hadn’t really thought about.  Yes, there was depression and still is, but there is also depression about what my life might have been without RA as well as depression as a symptom of RA.  There was and is grief – about Mom’s death, about what could have been, probably other things as well.  Lately I wonder if I can take care of myself – I see everything Eddie is doing that I used to do – it scares me to be dependent.  It also scares me to see how much trouble I have doing things – everything takes so much longer to do.

        Lately I realize I have no goals, structure or motivation to do things.  I have lost my energy, enthusiasm and vitality – everything at times seems to take too much energy.  The odd thing is when I am sitting I feel I am much better – until I get up and walk.  Then I start feeling like an much older woman, an invalid – I don’t feel I am either but I seem to move that way.  Have I only lost myself for a while?

         My body wasn’t finished with me, I found I had very serious anemia – my hematocrit was 24, normal is about 38.  I saw Doc Pierce and he did a new test and found it was 23 – 22 sends you to the hospital for a transfusion.  The doc in ER didn’t think it was as serious Doc Pierce, until he did one himself and it was 19.  They admitted me to the hospital and gave me 2 units of blood.  They had decided there was  a leak somewhere, so they also did and Endoscopy and Colonoscopy.  The colonoscopy was clear but the GI doc found my esophagus had a tightening – he decided to do another one in October – he wants to open it up and see what’s going on.  Lately I have been bringing my pills back up without going down properly.  Thank goodness they sedated me for those two.  Even so, I had to drink a gallon of liquid to clear out my colon.  Not the most comfortable two days.  Then I was back on home health – except the company I was working with dropped me like a hot potato –  no explanation.  So they transferred me over to this new one.  Everyone is great, but I would not recommend the first group.  I also felt I had lost ground and at times felt back at square one.  But I haven’t lost as much as I thought, but walking still takes some effort.

     I was ready to practice driving, but Eddie wasn’t happy with my Subaru – he decided to buy a car that was higher so it would be easier for me to get in and out.  We went over to the Volvo dealer and I found myself driving an XC40.  It didn’t seem strange at all even though I hadn’t driven for several months.  I must admit, I feel safer in a Volvo than a Subaru.  It was  one of the last 2019 cars, so it had packages on it – I still haven’t learned all the bells and whistles yet.  Eddie has been my co-pilot, I even drove to  Kent by myself to see Dr. Cheryl.  However, if I drive myself around, I’m not considered homebound.

     Not too long after, I was back in the hospital for the anemia, etc.  I have to admit, it feels like a lot of car and I don’t quite feel I am in control yet.  I haven’t driven since, but driving again is one of my goals.  Once again, 3 steps forward, 2 steps back.

       I have trouble waking up in the morning – it is hard to open my eyes and keep them open.  Some days I feel as if I am trying to stay awake during the day – can’t wait for my nap!  There are rare days when I wake up and I am wide awake, feel energetic and do very well during the day.  I don’t have a nap or fall asleep in the chair in the late afternoon.  I keep wondering what thoughts, words, actions, beliefs or attitude has made a difference and how do I know what it was?  Those days seem to come few and far between, could it be my memory is faulty and they come more often than I think?  It is so much easier to do things when I have energy.  Usually I see it as too much effort and energy to do anything.

      Even if I was able to be energetic and do things, I still have to deal with the left leg being bandaged all the time.  I can’t take a shower easily – I have to have it taped up in a garbage bag so the bandage doesn’t get wet.  I don’t quite have the freedom I used to with 2 good legs.  This last set to blisters has really gone from a few blisters with clear fluid to a large bloody mess in the back of my calf.  Sometimes the bandages create more blisters or go straight to sores.  They keep saying it is getting better, that they are only shallow – seems to be more trouble than the deeper ones.  I notice the burning when I walk, when I sit and certainly if I inadvertently rub it against something.  I have to take Tylenol every night to be able to sleep.  No more Advil, even though it works better.

   To Be Continued

War of the Moles: The Battle Escalates

December 2, 2018










We have had moles for such a long time, but now they are rampant.  They are looking for food – grubs and such – but there aren’t  that many around.  They are bold as well, one day Eddie was at the kitchen sink and watched the soil move as they burrowed all over the grass.  There would be a large mound and as soon as Eddie got rid of it and stamped it down, the bugger made one in the same place.  They are wreaking havoc with our “golf course lawn”.  I’d say the lawn is now 25% grass, 25% weeds, 15% moss and the rest is mole mounds.  I have noticed there are fewer weeds where the mounds are.  This time they are also just breaking the surface of the lawn, not really making mounds – still looks terrible.

Eddie complains while he is stamping down mounds but not willing to do anything about it.  Until now.  One of the members of my breakfast group is a pest control guy.  He came out to get rid of a hello jacket nest in the Fotinia stump by the sidewalk.  He has check for rodents and any other furry creature that may want to spend the winter in the attic.  So I called Jeff and he came out about 3 weeks ago and spread his granules over the whole long and flower bed – little buggers aren’t content with just the lawn.  Fortunately it rained the next day.  However, they are still around and driving Eddie nuts.  So we had the next treatment last week while it was raining and I booked him for next week because I don’t want to hear Eddie complaining any more.

It does take time and Eddie gets impatient when things take time instead of working right away.  I’ve noticed that when it come to me and RA.  If I could give him something actively to do and he saw progress, he would be much happier.  It is so hard for him to not see progress from what I am doing or he does – he says it hurts him to see me this way.

I’m not fond of taking pills, so I decided I would do something actively myself.  I found Sun Tai Chi – it is slower and less strenuous and done with the Arthritis Foundation.  I found Dr. Paul Lam on YouTube and there is a free lesson plus warm up and cool down exercises.  So far I am still working on those because my goal is to be able to stand up all the way through before I buy the DVD and go on the Lesson 2.  I started  doing it sitting down because I was concerned about messing up my knees.   It is definitely a slow process but I have worked up to doing all of it standing.  I need a break in the middle, but it is much better than when I started.  Mostly I have noticed small things, nothing earthshaking   but progress to me.  I almost quit a while ago – so glad I didn’t.  I think it has been 2 or 3 months, I don’t remember exactly when I started.

I’m hoping it will help me when we go to Toronto for Christmas – my big concern is walking.  I bought a foldable cane to take with me so it will help with balance and my right hip.I’m looking for balance, strength flexibility from tai chi because I can always use all three of them.  We will be there a week, though most likely they will say again why don’t we stay longer?

I know it has been several months since I last did a blog post – lots of ups and downs that no one really wants to read.  I will say, part of my down has been closing down my radio show for lack of money.  I have missed it and in some ways I am mourning the loss of it.  I felt rather adrift this year, not sure what I want to do next.  Because of the radio show, I started writing a book, but I have lost my momentum without the show.

I did start volunteering at Burien Cares – a shelter for animals.  I go in and play with the cats – Cher says she is so glad I come.  I’ve been needing a cat fix and this way I can enjoy being with them without vet visits and latrine duty.  Since I have been going, it has been interesting to se who gets adopted and who is still there.  Some are very shy and scared, like Marissa.  She is a lovely cat but too scared to be friendly.  Call was adopted – amazing since she hissed and growled a lot.  She got to know me a bit and was friendly – so pleased she was adopted.  There is a black one called Hunny Bunny – loves to play but will scratch the minute you put your hand or finger within claw range.









This is Marissa









This is Mr. Meowgi – he is quite hefty, a little hard to tell.

I could easily take some of them home but Eddie has said “No Cat No Way!!!”.  When I get attached, it is hard to see them adopted, but I am happy they now have a real home.  I’m not sure I am willing to take on the responsibility at this point, so this works for me.

A little sunshine, it comes and goes and we enjoy it while it is here.  The Olympics are so gorgeous now with all the snow now.  I also enjoy the rain since we have needed it.  I see the map and it makes me so grateful to be here.

Not sure if I will do another blog post before Christmas – I will update on the mole wars as it happens.  Have a wonderful holiday!  I know I am very unPC but I wish everyone a very MERRY CHRISTMAS

Something For The Back Burner

July 15, 2018

I ran across this article and it really set me to thinking – I wish I had written it.  I need to read it several several times and let it simmer for a while until I can create a picture in my mind.   It comes from TheMighty.com – a site about chronic illness and the articles are written by people in the group.

The Wounded Healer Within: How Chronic Pain Can Have a Transformative Effect

Arjan Bogaers

One of the archetypes belonging to modern time is that of the Wounded Healer. The concept of an archetype can very briefly be explained as being an original model serving as a prototype of human behavior on which all other similar persons, objects or concepts are patterned. The Wounded Healer archetype is represented by the ancient Greek myth of Chiron.

Born of his mother Philyra, who, in order to escape Zeus’ attentions turned herself into a mare, and his father, the God Zeus, Chiron is half man, half god, symbolized in his body as a Centaur. Upon seeing her newborn, Philyra is so appalled that she abandons her child. This is Chiron’s first wounding: rejection.

Later, he is accidentally shot with a poisoned arrow by his friend Hercules.  This

is Chiron’s second wounding: that of trust.

This poisoned wound is very painful and cannot heal, and as Chiron, being a half-god, is immortal, he cannot die and thus be free of his pain. In his suffering and his attempt to heal himself, Chiron searches in the world for a cure, and through this profound sojourn eventually becomes a compassionate and wise master healer for others.

In Chiron we encounter the very opposites that are present in us also – we are of this earth and subject to our biology and personality, but we are also immortal beings of soul and spirit. Healing lies in reconciling those opposites. But this can only happen if one is willing to consciously experience and go through one’s wound to receive its blessing and emerge on the other side.

In the case of disability, physical illness and/or mental illness, the condition often has its origin in early conflicts of rejection and trust, or in its course gives rise to feelings of the same. Rejection by or loss of trust in: parents, friends, safety, life, God, a future, a lover, justice, etc. If you can relate to this in any way, your healing lies in being and doing for yourself what others could not or would not be or do.

“Nobody escapes being wounded. We all are wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.” – Henry Nouwen

Our immediate experience is usually that our wound obstructs our wholeness, but it is in truth the very expression of it, for it introduces us to the part of us that is whole, well and free. That awakening enables us to see that we are not our

wound, we have it. The wound, therefore, simultaneously contains both the pathology and its own medicine. Of this, Carl G. Jung confessed:  “I would

wrestle with the dark angel until he dislocated my hip. For he is also the light and the blue sky which he withholds from me. It is our own hurt that gives the measure of our power to heal.”

The wound’s inherent medicine however, is present as a dormant potential. Acceptance of what is and being receptive to what emerges is a necessary practice in the healing process. Sometimes this requires a deeply challenging change of attitude, from one of “doing” to one of “being done to.” At times, the task can be to await transformation, not manufacture it.

This is particularly difficult in a world where everything that does not fit into the healthy, ambitious, performing and (re)producing “archetype” is viewed as being less than whole or a disorder of some kind, that “should not be” and therefore needs to be fixed. Many of the qualities necessary for the transformative healing of the wound, such as patience, surrender and endurance are not part of our quick-fix consumer society. To be clear, I would at all times promote healing and the alleviation of suffering, but a balance may have to be found between what we want and what needs to happen, in order for the wound’s inherent medicine to be emerge. The real transformative and healing effect is found when you allow yourself to be recreated by your wound by going through it.

In this process, as with Chiron, the physical or mental affliction may not be cured and hence remain, but not your attachment to it.

Every strength has its weakness, every potential has its danger. A profound wound is a theme around which your life will be organized until it is healed and you have received the gift of that wound. In this, the degree of hold your wound has over you is also the measure of its power to transform you. But that power is at the same time seductive, and therefore: the degree of hold your wound has over you is also the measure of its power to entrap you. When you over-identify with your woundedness, you can remain stuck in its associated victimhood of rejection and damaged trust, long after the necessary suffering has served its purpose. You are then in danger of blocking the wound’s medicine and with it your transformation.

It is a difficult and sometimes painful task for us to develop discernment between what our wound presents in terms of necessary suffering as a gateway to wisdom and compassion, and the subconscious development of what is sometimes referred to as woundology. When finding comfort in discomfort and when pain and disability have become a tool for finding attention and have made you establish a bonding ritual with others of like condition, you become entrapped because healing would threaten that status quo.

A wound finds us not to destroy our life and keep us from what we wish to become, but to destroy our illusions and push us into who we really are. We each have the ability to move beyond our issues, our problems and troubles, albeit not on our own. What is considered to be a prison can be the very gateway into freedom.

This is from an article on Google.

Paolo Raeli

1. When you give other people advice, it feels like you are telling your younger self what you needed to hear. It’s this dynamic that makes you love to help others. Healing them heals you.

2. Since you were little, you’ve known that you wanted to help people. You may not have known how you were going to do it, but you were aware that you wouldn’t be happy unless your life amounted to service in some capacity.

3. Being recognized for your work is both your most intense desire, and your worst fear. You want other people to see you as a healer or teacher or writer or whatever, but at the same time, your deepest, most conflicting fear is being seen in that way.

4. You believe that without struggle, you cannot truly know happiness. You believe that there is a purpose in suffering, and that it is so we can see with complete clarity what it means to be at peace.

5. It’s hard not to let your work become your life. You give everything you have to what you do – and sometimes it’s hard for you to know when to draw a line. Your work is your life, but you wouldn’t have it any other way.

6. You sometimes help too much, and struggle to let people self-heal. You’ve learned the hard way that often, you can tell people the answer, but until they figure it out themselves, it won’t truly resonate.

7. Criticism feels particularly painful to you. As someone who has been deprived of love in some way (that’s what all wounds are made of, FYI) sometimes criticism can sting more than it should (but you pull through).

8. You are grateful for the difficulties you went through. You recognize that the most painful times in your life were the most deeply transformative; without them, you would not be who you are or where you are. They were necessary (and transitory).

9. You are always working on yourself. You are committed to self-growth, and you are always open to ways you could be more open-minded, more loving, or more aware.

10. You want to fix everything, sometimes to a fault. It’s hard for you to see the difference between being a perfectionist and being driven toward the life you want. You often blur the line between dedication and near-insanity.

11. You have a very sound sense of purpose. You know why you’re here, and you know what you’re here to do, even if it’s just be present and be as kind as you can.

12. Your life goal is to know that you helped even just one person, even just a little. You don’t have to save the world, and in fact, you don’t really care to. All you want to know is that you helped at least one person in their life. That, to you, is success.


In our everyday lives reminders that striving for perfection should be our number one priority surround us. The media perpetuates the myth that emotional and physical flawlessness is something that everyone should work towards and we are made feel ashamed by anything that looks or feels imperfect or ugly.

We can spend a lot of time and energy resisting change or taking the next step into unknown territory on our personal journeys for fear of being hurt or wounded in the process. But it is these very wounds that can make us grow and stretch into the warriors we were meant to be.

It allows us then to create a map for others going through this struggle and gives us a point of reference in order to help people on their personal journey.

In Psychology

The psychologist Carl Jung, when talking about a particular relationship between client and therapist first popularized the phrase ‘The Wounded Healer’. He believed that to be ‘wounded’ in some way could actually be beneficial to the therapeutic relationship. For Jung, ‘a good half of every treatment that probes at all deeply consists in the doctor’s examining himself… it is his own hurt that gives a measure of his power to heal. This, and nothing else, is the meaning of the Greek myth of the wounded physician.’

The therapist however needs to make sure that he is fully aware of his own struggles as his own wounds may be activated in certain situations, especially if his client’s wounds are similar to his own. This is the nature of healing and why many people go on a journey of self-discovery before embarking on a healing path.

Shamanic Roots

‘The wounded healer’ is a significant archetype in shamanic traditions also. The Shaman itself embodies what it means to be a wounded healer. Shamans are thought to be “called” by dreams or signs, which require lengthy training.

There is a phenomenon often referred to as the shamanistic initiatory crisis. This is a rite of passage for shamans-to-be, and commonly involves physical illness and/or psychological crisis. The significant role of initiatory illnesses in the calling of a shaman can be found in the detailed case history of Chuonnasuan, the last master shaman among the Tungus peoples in Northeast China. (Specific details of Chuonnasuan and his initiatory illnesses can be found in Richard Noll and Kun Shi’s essay ‘The Last Shaman of the Oroquen of Northeast China’ which is available to read online).

The wounded healer is a kind of archetypal journey that is very important to the novitiate shaman. He/she undergoes a type of sickness that pushes her or him to the brink of death. In the shamanic traditions, this happens for two reasons.

Firstly, the shaman crosses over to the under world. This happens so the shaman can venture to its depths to bring back vital information for the tribe and in particular its sick members. Secondly, the shaman must become sick to understand sickness. When the shaman overcomes her or his own sickness, they will then hold the cure to heal all that suffer from this.

As a Personal Philosophy

But what is the significance of adopting this archetype for yourself? We can see our lives through a variety of lenses, and our perception of ourselves and how we fit in the world around us is what makes our reality real. In CBT for example we are taught to restructure how we think about things to get a more positive and measured outlook on our lives. There is also the idea of ‘post-traumatic growth’ which is explored in Maureen Gaffney’s book ‘Flourishing’. It refers to positive psychological change experienced as a result of the struggle with highly challenging life circumstances. These sets of circumstances represent significant challenges to the adaptive resources of the individual, and pose significant challenges to individuals’ way of understanding the world and their place in it.

Post-traumatic growth is not simply a return to baseline from a period of suffering; instead it is an experience of improvement that for some persons is deeply meaningful.

The Dutch theologian Henri Nouwen is also synonymous with the concept. Henri, in his book entitled ‘The Wounded Healer’ tells a story to illustrate the idea of this archetype.

A Rabbi who came across the prophet Elijah and said to him:

“Tell me—when will the Messiah come?”

Elijah replied, “Go and ask him yourself.”

“Where is he?” said the Rabbi.

“He’s sitting at the gates of the city,” said Elijah.

“But how will I know which one is he?”

“He is sitting among the poor, covered with wounds. The others unbind all their wounds at the same time and bind them up again, but he unbinds only one at a time and binds them up again, saying to himself, “Perhaps I shall be needed; if so, I must always be ready so as not to delay for a moment.”

Nouwen adds, “What I find impressive in this story are these two things: first, the faithful tending of one’s own woundedness and second, the willingness to move to the aid of other people and to make the fruits of our own woundedness available to others.”

What this story also might illustrate is the idea that to become ‘The wounded healer’ there is a level of sacrifice that may need to take place. In order to fully embrace becoming a healer you must give over a part of yourself to the people that need your help.

Nietzsche recognized the transformative potential of negative experiences, and while you may not go as far as he did, to wish suffering upon those closest to you, it can be a consoling thought that hurtful experiences could be the very things that lead us to a more enlightened view of the world and a stronger version of ourselves.

More Technology Challenges – I Think I’m Ahead

July 4, 2018

I was looking at my last post and was surprised to find it was at the beginning of May – has it been that long?  I have been feeling better so I could get some things done finally.  I have been clearing out the office – I am working on the bookshelf in the corner right now, 3 shelves done, 3 to go.  I can’t believe all the things I have kept, plus running across things I knew I had but had no idea where they went.  There have also been days when I have no interest in doing anything – not sure why, only that it felt as if it was too much effort.

I had been having trouble with my computer, poor baby, I bought it in 2012 and  continued to upgrade it.  But it was time for another one, so I  went to the Apple store to buy another desk top.  I kept hearing people say I should get a laptop, it can do anything a desktop can.  Plus I can take it with me when I go somewhere.  I was tempted but decided to listen to my own knowing and went with a desk top.  It felt right.

I also decided to keep my old one – Eddie thinks I am nuts and wondered where I would put it.  I found a wonderful origami fold up desk on Amazon for not too much and it fits very well.  I will admit it is a bit high, but I was looking for something I didn’t have to assemble.  All I had to do was – Eddie and Brad actually did it for me – unpack it, unfold the bottom and lock the top into place.

I took both in together to have files transferred and my old one upgraded to High Sierra.  I had to leave it for 24 hours – that meant I could relax and not feel I ‘had’ to be doing on it.  I went back for it, they had me check it out to be sure it was working, then we took both home to set them up.  First off, there was no mouse.  So I went back with my receipt to pick up my mouse.  Seemed to cause a lot of consternation and head scratching until they finally gave me the mouse.

It is a wireless mouse and it worked fine, but the keyboard wouldn’t talk to anyone.  The computer kept looking for the wireless keyboard – I had a cord with my keyboard.  So I found myself using the old mouse and keyboard for both computers – that got old in a hurry.  I kept trying to figure out what was going on – it must have been a couple of weeks before it finally hit me.  I thought I ordered a wireless key board as well, so I decided to take it in to exchange it.

Eddie brought the box up and guess what I found?  Instructions.  Seems all I had to do was take the cord off and move the little switch to ON and there was my wireless keyboard.  That kept me from looking like a fool since I hadn’t noticed the instructions.  However, we did go back so I could buy an external hard drive – needed it for back up.  A good example of letting it simmer on the back burner for a while until it makes sense.  I doubt there is a job as a trouble shooter in my future – for some odd reason, they want things fixed right now this minute.

This is July 4th, now we should be having summer weather.  It’s supposed to be 84 today – not looking too promising at the moment.  However, I will take this weather any day of the week.  I have spent summers in places that are just plain hot; places that are hot, humid and buggy, plus others that were just plain miserable.  I am not a fan of extreme hot or cold, I am getting much more temperate in my later years.  Living here is my reward for supporting Eddie as he moved for promotions or new companies in some very uncomfortable places.  I was able to see a lot of places I might never have seen and each place had special parts to it.

I killed the paper shredder a few days ago.  I only put in 4 sheets and the poor thing choked on them – says it can take up to 12 sheets.   So we had to buy another one – the secret to making it work is moving the little button under the motor.   We also bought some lubricant sheets to run through every once in a while to keep it running well.  Eddie was most upset about it, now he is the shredder in the family by his own decree.

At the beginning of June, I had my Queen’s birthday.  Since Charlotte and I have birthdays close to each other, I decided to do what the Queen does – her real one is in April but it’s celebrated in June.  We met at Medici Pizza in Alderwood Mall – they opened up recently and have the best pizza.

Eddie is helping the new Highline Heritage Museum with the section on the airport.  He has found things for them at the Future of Flight and with his other contacts.  It is supposed to open this month, but it isn’t looking too likely since the building isn’t finished yet.  However, he is having fun and enjoys working with the curator for the museum.

I keep thinking I need to put a photo in here somewhere – just not sure what it will be.

Spanners In The Works

May 7, 2018

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     I used to write this every Sunday and I realize it has been only once in a while lately.  The past few months have been difficult at times – took me a long time to rest up after the flu in December.  But I learn something during that time – I found I coughed more at night and it was related to a dry mouth.  I tried Act lozenges when I went to be – I put them under my upper lip so I wouldn’t choke on it during the night.  I was amazed to find it stopped my cough and it went away faster than usual.  If I had gone to Doc Pierce, he would have given me an antibiotic, but I don’t want to use them unless I have to.  Then Eddie caught either a cold or something and this time I didn’t get it – you might say I went undercover.  That’s literally what I did at night.  I didn’t want him to breathe in my face so I put the covers over my head.  It seems to have worked because instead of catching everything coming down the pike, I missed it.

We’ve had crazy weather, sometimes some days are cloudy, others rainy, we have even have 70’s all the way up to 80.  We are back in cloudy weather and it has made me uncomfortable, not sure if it is change in pressure or just what it is.  I’m not the only one noticing  it -several people I know have mentioned it.  I’ve been doing much better, so it was quite a nasty surprise on Saturday to wake up with my knee so painful.  I had gotten up in the middle of the night and was fine – no idea what happened in the mean time.  I used my cane for the first time in a long time – it did lessen and I went out for a bit with Eddie.  I have no desire to repeat that again.

I am doing much better than I have been, I have been working with Dr. Cheryl with a new technique that teaches nerves new strategies.  I’ve noticed the past 3 or 4 weeks that my knees and legs are a lot better. Also, I am using CBD oil from both hemp (considered a supplement) and cannabis. I’ve been using it for a while but Eddie only found out when I was making a doctor’s appointment to renew my authorization.  He isn’t happy about it but I said “Why do you think I have been doing better?”  It isn’t addictive or do I get high.  I find the cannabis oil helps me sleep better and more comfortably while the hemp helps me be more alert and focused.  It isn’t cheap, but then again, I don’t use much at a time.  The hemp oil I bought this last time is from Amazon but I like the one I get from Dr. Cheryl better.

These days my computer is giving me fits.It takes forever to wind itself up so it will do things, Safari suddenly quits on me and I have to bring it up again.  It is so slow  that I sometimes think I spend more time watching the color wheel spin than I do actually using the computer.  For some reason, this little pocket of Century Link’s DSL is a very slow zone.  Why, I have no idea.  They advertise fast internet but an * that says “not available in some areas.  Guess where that is.  Plus, when Eddie and I are on the computer at the same time, it’s not very speedy at all.  For the moment, technology has defeated me but I won’t give up.

One of my clients has had a lot of problems ordering her lapel pins – it’s always work out well in the past but  for reason it has all gone kittywampus this time.  She’s upset, I am not happy and now Pete is very suspicious of the whole thing.  Right now the ball is in her court – not sure what will happen.  We have wasted a week trying to get it straightened, that means a week longer than it was going to take.  Sometimes I wonder if I am meant to be a businesswoman – or is it just the wrong business.

Flowers are blooming – the pink dogwood is going like crazy, the sculls were really lush this year until Eddie told Jorge to pull them out.  He left some clumps in different places – not quite the same.  I wanted to wait for another week or two when they had gone by.  The dark lilac is blooming, rhodos on the north side are in full bloom and the 2 pear trees have little fruit bits on them.  There are little nubs on the fig tree – not sure about the apple tree yet.

Eddie is working with the Highline Heritage Museum on 152nd and Ambaum.  He is helping with things about the airport and I suspect there will be other things as well.  It is due to open sometime in July, so he may be helping set up some of the displays.

I finished another post for my findingthegiftsblog.wordpress.com  – I’m a little behind on that as well.  I’m not sure what’s going on – I am not as on the ball as I used to be.  Not happy about it.

Winter Is Hanging On For Dear Life

April 6, 2018

The calendar may say Spring and flowers are blooming – it’s still chilly and rainy at time in spite of it.  We have had some lovely sunny days but with a chilly breeze.  Other times it is  raining and so windy that branches are blow off the trees.  Eddie says we have more wind because we are on top of the hill.  I was able to take off my shawl last Thursday in the afternoon.  I notice a 60 degree day in Spring is colder than a 60 degree day in Fall.

The scillas are in full leaf and ready to burst into blossom.  It is mostly in the garden by the back porch – I also noticed the blueberries are budding as well.  A few daffodils here and there, plus down the front bank with forsythia and daffodils.  The grape hyacinths are blooming by the garage along wth a few daffodils.  The pink dogwood is ready to bloom soon as well.  I expect to find wisteria shoots coming up all summer – stubborn little beast.  I had it taken out but I was told the only way to truly get rid of it is dig everything up in the bed and put completely new soil.

Looks as if there is another round of snow and very cold weather going east, truly winter is kicking and screaming before it leaves.  Even so, my sisters send me lovely photos on those days of sun and flowers.  They have been working together on some photos combining Ellen’s ocean photos and Candy’s roses.  It is quite a beautiful combination.

Thank you both for such a wonderful collaboration using                                                    both your photos and creativity.


I found myself stuck for a while on what to write about next – for a motormouth on paper and in person, it doesn’t happen very often.  My life hasn’t been terribly exciting for a while – I didn’t want to write about difficulties and whingeing about it.

We watched a squirrel go up Bob Allen’s pole to get to the bird feeder with suet at the top.  He has an orange baffle on it, the squirrel managed to make it to the top and pretty much emptied out.  His accomplice enjoyed everything that dropped to the ground without having to do much work.  The agile one started chewing on the plastic baffle, so Bob put a spring down the pole, things seem to be working so far.  However, the squirrel had no problem eating seeds on the railing feeder – just went up the short pole and was enjoying himself.  I didn’t see his accomplice on the ground that day.

We have also been watching and at times hearing the birds.  For some reason the flickers keep drumming on the roof – it’s composite so I don’t know if they find anything or not.  I noticed in the front yard the robins were wandering around the grass but didn’t seem to find anything to eat.  Meanwhile, the flickers were busy little bodies and seem to have found quite a lot.  Maybe the robins are more picky eaters.


This is taking longer than I expected.  Tuesday afternoon I went to have my eyes checked for cataracts – he says I will need to do something in the next 5 years.  Since my sight is bad, when I do surgery, I can either see up close without glasses or far away – not both.  That means I will be wearing glasses but not as strong a prescription.  He also checked for macular degeneration, it’s just starting and the eye vitamins seem to help it stay that way.  He wants to see me every 6 months to keep tabs on both.

When I was finished, I couldn’t see much clearly.  I had a nap for an hour but it wasn’t until later in the evening that things cleared up.  I didn’t turn on the computer on and watching television  was iffy but okay.

Wednesday was Breakfast Club – I had forgotten we were meeting at the coffee roaster.  I didn’t remember until I arrived at our usual place.  I had an idea where the coffee roaster was, Gene said they were way in the back.  I ended up taking the scenic route around the large set of warehouses – turns out the roaster was next door in a much smaller building.  Of course, I was late.  It is a small, rather bare specs, he has some tables and chairs and the roaster itself sits in the back corner.  It is Turkish made and looks as if it was made quite a long time ago – I kept thinking of a miniature steam locomotive.

He talked about coffee from different regions and how they differ in taste.  We choose three different kinds to make our own special blend – Kent Breakfast Club Blend – with a bag for each of us to take home.  They are whole bean because when you grind them, they lose their freshness.  Mine is still sealed but I am curious to see how it tastes.  I will try it out tomorrow for breakfast.

After breakfast, I went to see Dr. Cheryl.  She found I was tight in the shoulder and root chakra – not sure what is going on with that.  It felt better after the adjustment but all I wanted to do was go to sleep.  That’s what I did when I came home.  I was awake when Eddie came back from the archives – bad traffic and rain coming home on the 405.  We decided to relax at home rather than going out for coffee.

Yesterday we went shopping and did a couple of things before coming home – we seem to be homebodies a lot more than we used to be.  However, Eddie always has a reason to go out every day – I’m fine staying home.  I think he gets antsy since he does a lot of the work on his blog early in the morning.  He wants me to go with him – he forgets I have a business and clients.  He definitely needs something that takes him out of the house 2 or 3 days a week – he needs something to involve himself in and enjoys as well as challenge him.

This one only took me a week to write, let’s hope inspiration carries me through more efficiently the next time.




Ye Gods and Little Fishes!!!

March 25, 2018

I am amazed at how long ago it has been since I last wrote here.    I feel I am finally coming out of a long tunnel and the light at the end is sunlight.  I have a lot of ups and downs the past few weeks – I am tired of living them so I don’t think you will  enjoy hearing every detail.

Everyone has definitely been having weather for the past few months – quite a lot in fact.  My sister on the Jersey Shore just went through the 4th Nor’easter in 3 weeks.  She was glad they didn’t lose power – a lot of snow to clear.  My sister in Nashville also had her share of things – she is enjoying spring flower but a freeze didn’t help some that were at their peak at the time.  Although the calendar says Spring is here, the winter weather has been dragged kicking and screaming back to its own zone.

I ran across this on Facebook – it definitely tells the story for us here in Seattle.


How appropriate.  It’s been strange this week especially.  Last Saturday was a mild sunny day and Eddie used the BBQ – that steak tasted so good!  then we had some nice days of  sun, though chilly.  Then on Friday, we had sleet, snow, rain and then bits of sunshine.  I learned long ago after living in Southern California to dress in layers – easier to put on and take off layers than to guess what outfit will work for that day.  So many things are blooming right now, it is my favorite time of the year.  I also love the leaves turning color in the Fall, also my favorite time of year.  I realize I am not built for extreme temperatures  any more.  I found myself hibernating at home a lot when it was cold, wet, windy, snowy and not fun to be outside.

I am pleased to say I am feeling better and better – this last week has been very comfortable all week.  I’ve been experimenting with a couple of things and after some time, I will re-evaluate what is actually working.  My rheumatologist thinks the Remicade is finally kicking in – what ever is happening is a big, welcome change.

I have another blog I have been writing in since I had to end my show.  It is called – findingthegiftsblog.wordpress.com    I am in mourning for the show, now I have an opportunity to do a  90 minute show on internet radio.  It is a bit daunting after having a 30 minute show.  I need to find new music because I was using “This is The Moment” with Donny Osmond and Susan Boyle.   I don’t want to pay royalties on that.  There are some  sites with music without royalties, I haven’t found one that sounds quite right.  I am also working on what the structure and content will be – it will be the same show I was doing before on KKNW.  With more time to fill, I want to make it entertaining, informative and have some humor and fun – reasons people will tune in every week.  I will also be my own producer, a bit scary but I will be able to learn how to do it.

We are going to finish painting the house – outside is in desperate need and we also want to finish the inside.  I will confess we still have a lot of stuff to clean out and organize – ours as well as Mom and Dad’s.  Eddie has wanted me to do it for such a long time, I am feeling a little more energetic and so am working on small bits at a time.  One problem is not having a clear picture of how I want to organize – too much “stuff”.  I come from a long line of pack rats.  Also, we need to decide on color.  We may use the peachy color for a lot of it, but maybe something different in the bedrooms.

We finally had Daylight time again – still don’t know why we have it.  It is still dark as pocket in the morning.  We are enjoying sunrise and sunset on the mountains.  The sunrise makes the mountain snow pink and the color in the sky at sunset can be spectacular.  Plus, there is always something moving on the Sound – twice I have seen 5 ferries at once – and now that Eddie has had cataract surgery, he can see the names on the ships a lot better.    WE both wish they had the shipping news again – though he knows what a lot of the ships are – a car ship is very distinctive.  Now they anchor bulk carriers around Blake Island until they can go to the grain terminal.  Every once in a while a container ship is anchored there, they must be waiting to go into Seattle.  Seattle has certainly turned away business – most container ships go to Tacoma.  Things must be booming because we saw a ship going down there with 4 new cranes.

My two sisters send me lovely photos and this is from Ellen in New Jersey:

And this one comes from Candy in Nashville:

I have such talented sisters – I thoroughly enjoy having them send their lovely photos to me.


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