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I am an only child and my parents are in their mid-70's, For the most part they are in good health other than the regular health issues that come with age: high blood pressure, arthritis, mild depression and with my Dad, maybe some early dementia. Also, becuase of finances, I moved in with my parents - which alone is stressful; however, being with them has made me aware of how they are really aging and I am having issues with that.

My Mom has always been the type of person who could come across as curt. The older she gets, the worse this curtness is specifically towards my Dad (who retired 5 years ago). She hates everything that he does and it is always wrong. She is always in a horrible mood and constantly complains about everything. She claims that she doesn't feel well and to date we can't find anything physically wrong with her other than high blood pressure (which is under control), allergies and arthritis in her hands, which she can correct with joint replacement but refuses. I do think that she suffers from depression but she refuses to talk about it much less take medication for it. At times she will say she is very depressed but even during those conversations, she refuses to get help. URGH

My Dad has become a very grumpy man since his retirement and I think he may have early stages of dementia. It is as though aliens came and took his brain. He has problems remembering things ranging from conversations to incidents, his vocabulary has changed, and did I mention he is grumpy/croctchity. I also think he is suffering from some depression, but nothing like my Mom. He misses work, misses being busy and having challenges. He also has some back and leg pain from prevoius injuries, which at times prevents him from doing what he wants.

I am having so many issues with this - they are driving me crazy, they bicker all the time, they won't listen to the advice I give them, they are STUBBORN and I am going to lose my mind!!! I have seen a therapist to try and figure out how I can deal with the changes that they are going through and deal with them without losing my mind but I didn't find that that was really helping. There are times that I am at my wits end - I want to run away and never look back. Of course I would never do that. And I realize that this is just the beginning - who knows what I will have to face in the future. And being an only child, who happens to be single, I will have to deal with this alone.

When we are younger and our parents are younger, we know that they will eventually get old. But when it actually happens, it is very scary and stressful. Some days I feel like I will be able to handle whatever is coming my way and other times I feel like I am going to snap. Does anyone have any advice on how to deal with this and how to deal with stubborn, older, cranky/grumpy parents?

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Hang in there. I am going through a similar situation. Although my mom is in pretty good health ( praying thanks to god), she recently hurt herself and needs me to help her. I do, then she criticisizes how I am "not helping her". She snaps at me, tells me I'm diving too fast, when I only going five above the limit. I live at home, financial issues, I try to help her by cleaning, she freaks out and blames me when stuff is missing, I say I did not touch her stuff, I find it close to where it was lost. Tonight, we got into a little huff, so I decided to stay away and I kept to myself in my bedroom and organized a few of my own things. Thank goodness I have my own space to go to. I love her dearly, she is great lady and lets me keep my pets, they love her too, but I am getting distressed and feeling down.
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Hang in there. I am going through a similar situation. Although my mom is in pretty good health ( praying thanks to god), she recently hurt herself and needs me to help her. I do, then she criticisizes how I am "not helping her". She snaps at me, tells me I'm diving too fast, when I only going five above the limit. I live at home, financial issues, I try to help her by cleaning, she freaks out and blames me when stuff is missing, I say I did not touch her stuff, I find it close to where it was lost. Tonight, we got into a little huff, so I decided to stay away and I kept to myself in my bedroom and organized a few of my own things. Thank goodness I have my own space to go to. I love her dearly, she is great lady and lets me keep my pets, they love her too, but I am getting distressed and feeling down.
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I just want to say thank you to you all for sharing. I feel better just knowing that I'm not the only one going through this.
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TRIPLE STARS FOR LYNNPO
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So - you've received empathy, sympathy, understanding and some practical advice - I'll add this - try to find some acceptance and then balance. Easier said than done I know but it's the best thing to do for yourself. My parents were married for 55 years - the worst years were the 4 after my dad retired. He felt useless, Mom was angry to have him underfoot all day. They had to get reacquainted and learn to enjoy each other all over again. THEY had to do this, I could not do it for them. They also had the luxury of relatively good health, your parents may not. Getting old is hard - with a failing body, I'd be grumpy too. I found that living with my parents made ME crazy, it didn't have any effect on them except causing them a little more stress to share a small kitchen and one bathroom. If possible move out - it might be difficult but you can do it - roomates, part time jobs, studio apartments. YOUR needs for peace, privacy and space are as important. As long as your parents are okay without a live-in aid, you don't NEED to be there. If you can't move out then GET OUT often - be a volunteer, work in the yard, take a class, go to the library, walk, do yoga . Realize what you can do to help versus what they want and really need. They may not want your advice; they may be complaining because there is nothing else to do. Old people are also like little kids - they are narcissistic, they worry about themselves only and no one else - perhaps its because they spend so much time alone.

For yourself - I suggest finding and attending a support group for caregivers. These are generally free and you'll find all kinds of information, suggestions and support from people who've been through the same situations as you. It also helps keep you from becoming isolated - and possibly narcissitic yourself, it's easy to do because we don't want to complain or whine to we keep everything bottled up.

Good luck to you. Even though your parents are grumpy, they probably appreciate that you care enough to listen and try to help.
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I deal with some very difficult situations, and can relate. Opera, I'll keep you in prayer, that God will guide you, and be your help.
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Thanks for the support... However I personally believe that it is entirely my own fault for not being firm enough to go ahead with what I want to do, out of respect. What you said in your comment has made me think again and thank you for seeing it the way I do.. I sometimes feel that its not fair for them to be moved out of their surroundings at this age. But God bless them they are both strong especially my mom and I hate the thought that I have to see them gone before I can improve all our lives. For all I know I may be gone before them for that matter... I know I am not ungrateful to the fact that they offered me my life , my education and who I am today. I owe it all to them.. I shall never stop caring or looking after them.. So I think I will move on with my decisions . Thank you alwaysmyduty... Elizza my mum is so stubborn she will never take any such medication... tnx anyway...
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I strongly - STRONGLY - recommend everyone check out anti-depressants for your grumpy parents. It made a world of difference when my mother became more pleasant. Still takes aLOT of time in care, but we are not resentful - and, the best part: we have a lot of fun together and laugh. This is because of zoloft. Not all medications work equally well for all people, but there is something out there that will help. Wouldn't you like to enjoy your parents? Good luck.
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Opera,
This is what I don't get about selfish parents. Why in the world would they allow you and your son to be miserable? It's beyond me how some parents can be so mean. My mom was always mean so now that her main ambition in life is to make me miserable, I am not surprised.
I think some of this is their generation. They have ideas that are so out in left field, we the next generation, can't fathom them. My mom says because she's old, she's "entitled" just because she's old. What???? She's always said it so again I am not surprised.
I hope you can find a happy medium. If not, I'd tell them as nice as possible that life is about change and you feel that you and your son deserve a life also and to be happy and it's time for a change. If they still refuse, you have your answer. . . it's all about them and you two don't matter. At that, you have a right to be bitter and resentful. Heck, reading your post makes me mad and they aren't even my parents.
I wish I had a solution for you but I don't. Keep working on them. You sound so sad and full of despair, I pray they will come around. How sad to know you are stuck and have no way out. I will keep you in my thoughts. The best to you.
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I am 62, my parents both alive, God bless them, my mother 87 and dad 95... They live in the same plot that we live , are together 3-4 times a day and also talk on the phone several times .. Understandably they are becoming more and more dependant on us-- but also as a result, more and more opiniated about everything- my mom especially- in a way that she is trying to rule now my life. Have come to a point where she wants to know everything but everything of what I do or dont do... Financial reasons are forcing me to contemplate selling, and for good money too,the plot of land where we live and go to new house /- flat for us and one for parents- and they refuse stubbornly whenever a great deal arises ....They decided they want to live for ever in the house they built since 1950 which is humid old and needs constant restoration.So I am forced to live in a house adjacent to a big commercial noisy avenue, suffer financially both us and our son .But they insist and refuse to consent to the sale as they dont want to move, the actual reason they dont want me to sell the land..which is in my name...So I pray to God to give me patience to go along with my life as a pauper, see my son suffer financially now that times are harsh - I want to help him buy a house and open a studio-I am still a good nurse and companion to my aging parents..I am very bitter and desperate about the whole thing and I am also taking lessons though not to do the same to my only son..Enslave him forever around me and my needs as a parent. I wonder..do parents become selfish when they become old? I'll try not to be...
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Your parents may be open to a neutral facilitator, especially if you suggest that would help you in being there for them. Of course, a review of meds would be much in order. Beyond those, part of your resentment may arise from anger at yourself for not taking better care of yourself, which does neither you nor your parents any good. Instead of therapy, or in addition to it, you may simply need permission to do what is right by yourself as an act of love to you and those in your life.
Rabbi Scott B. Saulson, PhD
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You do not have to be completely broke. There are different levels of care. In NJ we have 2 separate levels of prescription care. One if you have over a certain amount and one for under that amount. Re-check and talk to your DR. You are not being told about the state programs and federal, I think. You can spend down his money rather quickly. Talk to a nursing home. They can give you more information. Good luck.
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To kmr: Whew! What a life you have had! May you be blessed in your struggle and your decisions. If it were me, I would not take the advice of therapists who say: "Walk away". Count the days until you can see the light again. The main thing is to get someone in there to help you. Your paycheck will be affected, but your mental health will be sustained.
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kmr, you have character. You'll be blessed for that. It's simply amazing how that happens when you have been through so much. I've heard that "doing what's right is it's own reward," but so is not being ashamed. You are amazing. Take care.
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Dear Secret Sister,

I would love the option of Medicade, but my father has enough money to just get by for approx 3 more years paying for just his daycare (while I am at work). Because of this the Social worker who came to my home to evaluate if we can get any assistance said no...once he is completely broke, then we get help. I love my dad, and can not allow him to be in a home or care facility right now (maybe when he is so mentally challenged he doesn't know where he is).He has cried to me and begged that I don't "put him away". The part I am struggling with is that he abandoned my mom, his wife, when she suffered a stroke when I was 17 and left me to care for her (while he ran off with his 35 year old girlfriend, who later married him, bled is bank account, and then left him for a younger man!). I watched my mom die, and he was no where to be found. 8 years ago his friend called me and said he had fallen many times, and needed care. So I stepped up and did what I had to do. I feel that everything that has happened to him is karma. I have spent countless hours with therapists who say "walk away", "save yourself"...but I can't because then I would be just like him. I will, for as long as I can, do the right thing and stay with him, and count the days until I can see the light again.
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Good idea Secret Sister - lets direct the conversation away from the sad remarks that you made and probably will continue to make when the mood strikes you. I went to your wall to send you a hug and was terribly disappointed to read the comments you posted about others to your group of regulars. When I suggested that you might be depressed and stressed clearly I had no idea who I was actually posting a kind comment to.

do the moderators read these wall comments?
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kmr,
Listen to Secretsister. She has been through all of this. The nursing home route with medicaid is the best way to go. Start doing your homework and get your life back. The help is there for you to take. If he has no money or little of it, then medicaid will help.
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Dear Weeza, since you started this thread, I think it would be nice to get back to supporting you. You talked about the stress involved, and we seemed to have gotten away from that. Many can relate to your struggles.

I think N1K2R3 presented a balanced perspective in reminding us that time is short (losing her husband 1 year ago) and that we won't always have our loved one around to "complain" about. True. And we can have compassion for her loss. So sorry for you, Norene. Have you thought of starting a thread to deal with that loss, where anyone can lend their support to you during this time? As you know, I have posted on your wall my condolances.

As for Weeza (and this thread) we hope to give you encouragement. Many of us understand the stress involved in caring for our parents, and the difficulties involved. It is not always easy for children of aging parents to become the Caregivers to ones who cared for us. As N1K2R3 suggested, we should strive to be kind (to everyone), giving and cheerful. I think the giving part is who we are and why we do what we do. The cheerful part comes a bit more difficult, at times, depending on each person's situation. While there can be much joy found in Caregiving, there is sometimes sorrow and frustration, as well. As Weeza asked for suggestions, I think we should support her in that. Does she have the right to complain about a difficult situation? Many of us can relate to that, and strive to encourage her efforts to care for her parents, anyway. Just know you're not alone, Weeza, and that many understand what you are going through. Take care.
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The person who jumped on the lady who wrote about losing her husband and wrote the long complaint about the PC police is pretty judgemental in my book. How bout starting a new topic if you want to keep on complaining about other people.
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Sister, I hear the cry of your heart and am right there with you We care for a parent with mental illness.
We care for them because in spit all the dysfunction, they are still our parent and they need us. We seek to honor them as the bible instructs us to do. We have chosen to be our mothers keeper and God is pleased.
Those who grew up in a loving home with "normal" parents could never understand the trauma of our childhood. They could never understand what we have overcome. And so when we get stressed and come on here to vent, they view us as complaining, and mean spirited. I have chosen not to vent here anymore, but sister, I had to respond to you.
I implore everyone who posts a response to a previous post, please choose your words wisely. You may not realize that you are being judgmental. Words can wound deeply.
And if you post solely to judge, don't.
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Secret Sister, you are the one who always posts about her mom who is a "narcissistic personality" right? I've read your stories on many posts. Its very sad that something in what you read has caused you to have a keyboard meltdown. Maybe it is time to take a break from the internet and deal with whatever stress you are having in your life. Often in depression and stress people become overly sensitive and start misinterpreting others words and actions.

Everyone deals with stress differently. My grandparents survived the holocaust, so I was raised to read between the lines. I appreciate your cry for help and understand if you are defending yourself online perhaps because you don't feel your family is defending you in your real life situation. But we are all anonymous and friends here. None of us has any agenda other than to get through the day and feel connected to others without judgement. I can see you feel bad, but please take care of yourself. I can see how it would be a bitter pill to swallow reading about someone else's good relationship when you don't have one with your mom. But sometimes criticizing others is like wishing the bride would cry at her wedding because your own marriage is sad; it harms you in more ways than you will know.

Take care, maybe read some of the caregiver depression articles that are on this site and go see a doctor tomorrow. Things can get better. Be well, take care
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Who will defend the frustrated, overwhelmed, gireving, sometimes angry Caregiver??? I know of people who have left this site in despair because their feelings were condemned, as if expressing something negative is criminal. For those who have difficult situations, you know what I'm saying. Many of us grew up in horrible situations with less-than-ideal parents, and still try to care for them in their old age. For those who have parents who only think of themselves, and take advantage of their children's sacrifices sometimes without compensation, reward or kindness, you know how hard it can be.

For those of you who had loving, supportive parents, you may not understand the difficulties those of us who have not had it face. And if someone needs to express a negative emotion, it should be equally as valid as the ones who don't have to. I am not pointing fingers at anyone in particular, but requesting sensitivity to those who are struggling with the negative feelings associated with this difficult task. Often people don't have the luxury of hiring outside help, and many times face difficult situations alone. Is it wrong to feel negative about Caregiving? I think a wide range of emotions is natural, and part of the process in life's cycle. For those of you who struggle with the Caregiving job, and sometimes feel less and "happy" about it, know you're not alone, and it's OK to express it. Denial and condemnation helps no one. Please be sensitive to those who are struggling, even if you do not understand. Some people are caring for elders who cuss, hit, and complain about everything. How is that Caregiver supposed to respond? With joy at the positive experience? Elders aren't always nice to their closest family members, and that gets excused and defended. How is that fair to someone trying to please a tyrant? Someday it may be you striking out against loved ones who are only trying to help, and you may be the one someone is struggling with negative emotions about. No one is immune from negativity from time to time. It is OK to express it here, and be supported for it without the PC police prohibiting freedom of expression. Or are only positive emotions allowed??? Think about it, and please, please, please be sensitive to Caregivers who are doing the best they can under extremely difficult conditions, caring for impossible-to-please parents, and need your support. If you have a positive situation with the loved one you are caring for, be thankful for it, but please understand we don't all have it that way. Take care, fellow strugglers.
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I would like to applaud N1K2R3.....she is speaking from her heart.
What she shared with those of us who still are caring for our family was priceless. I wonder which one of us would not reflect on our days of hands on caregiving once our loved one passed away.

I don't think that her posting was at all negative, but wonder why anyone would think that it was ok to 'call out' others for what they choose to write. I wonder if it might not be kinder to let people say what they will with.
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Take heart, september21. I understand wanting some space for yourself, and think it's perfectly natural and understandable. Constantly observing decline can be overwhelming at times. Glad you are here to take away some of that lonliness. I also understand about feeling sad, and grieve over all the losses that have occured and continue. Prayer, loving friends, this site, and support groups help along the way. You take care of you in ways that comfort and refresh your spirit, and let go of false guilt. Reward yourself from time to time by doing things you love, and you'll come back renewed.
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I understand completely how you are feeling. My mom is 88 and lives with me. She is healthy but I can see the aging that my family members do not see on a daily basis. It is VERY HARD. We always did things together and were joined together and now I am sad, lonely and depressed because I am facing her daily decline alone. I need to get away to feel better but always feel bad when I return. How can I love somone so much and want to be away from them? I am in counseling but I doubt it will help. Prayer is the only thing that gives me strength when I think I cannot take it any longer. I wish you the best.
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I have been talking with my parent's Physicians, Social Workers, Nurses, and etc. They tell me that it is common for some people to refuse their medications, and for some to not think they need help. It is hard for those of us who want to help and see the needs, but get grief and criticism no matter what we do. Some people are very hard to please. Remember the saying, "They're not happy unless they have something to complain about..."?

What I find even more frustrating, is to come to this site to share my struggles, and unload a multitude of feelings, including anger, then be criticized for doing so. Some people can be very harsh in their responses, and condeming in their judgements. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but don't necessarily need to impose those on others. For those who struggle with anger and frustration, I feel for you. You are not alone. I hope you feel free to vent, and for those who don't like to hear it, should refrain from negative cricitisms. I grow weary of reading the same harsh responses by the same people over and over. This site should be a place of encouragement, not a place to inflict judgement on another. Please keep negativity to yourself!

I personally find this to be the second most challenging thing I've done in my life. The other was surviving the situation in the home I was born into. Now, as an adult, and as my parents age, I am finding it increasingly difficult to deal with. Not everyone can hire someone to take on the tasks, due to finances, personal situations, or other reasons. And some parents demand their expectations be met, no matter how unreasonable, infringing on the time, resources, and rights of others. For those who understand what I'm saying, my heart goes out to you. For those who don't, please keep silent.

For many here, Caregiving is not a joyful experience during our elder's "golden years." Dealing with incontinence and decline is hard on family's emotions, finances, and physical health. Caring for an elderly person cannot be compared to caring for an infant or children. These are entirely different scenarios, as txmaggie said. I do believe some on this site face incredible challenges, and difficulties, and need to be supported, encouraged and understood. That is the beauty of this site. To encounter judgment and hostility has sent some poor struggle souls away. That is not right! Some need to learn to be a little more sensitive, tolerant, and less opinionated. Grace listens with the heart, and responds in love.

I applaud you, fellow hardworking Caregivers! That you are trying, against sometimes difficult situations, makes you a role model to me. Thank you for being here and sharing your true feelings. By doing so, you give me the freedom to explore, acknowledge and express mine. Thanks for hanging in there during seemingly impossible odds, and facing difficullties with determination and grit. Caregiving is not for sissies. Not everyone has charming or grateful loved ones they care for. We hear you when you need to vent, and sometimes cry with you, and pray for you. Just to know you're not alone can make the difference somedays. Take care.
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You have come to the right place to seek guidance and comfort. It is really a heartbreaking thing to see our parents get older. When we were little, we saw them as our rock, our superhuman and to see that slowly deteriorate is not easy to watch.

I hope that you continue to seek comfort in this forum. It is okay, and completely natural, to feel the way you are feeling. Take a break and do something you love to do.

If taking care of them is too much, you also have the option of hiring in-home care. Have someone come over to take care of your father, so that you have a burden lifted from your shoulders.


Best,
Jackie
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Thank you for your heartfelt advice and reminder about appreciating our loved ones while they are here in our care.

You deserve a million stars & hugs - take care.
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To all who may complain: One year ago today, my husband of 49 years died in my arms. For two years (almost) I fed him , changed his paper panties, dressed him, wheeled him around, talked to him, doled out his pills, adjusted his O2 cannula, and read to him, gave him the puppy to hold and showed him magazine pictures, let him watch TV programs and bathed him daily.\\ I actually couldn't wait to walk down the stairs in the morning to see him in his hospital bed (set up by Medicare in a separate room). We drank our coffee together and we talked and talked. It was very hard "work". What I wouldn't give to have just one hour of that caregiving time back again. I re-live that last day, October 2, 2008, the day I almost died myself.
Of course, many of you have more difficult situations, but let it be.
Someday your parent, husband/wife/relative will be gone. Yes, you'll be free of responsibility and exhaustion, but if I may suggest, please take this time to be kind, giving, cheerful. You probably won't be writing in any more after they are gone. No need to, it will all be over and sooner than you think.
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weeza - when my dad went on the antidepressent he was having anxiety issues and really could not sleep which added to his frusteration because it was harder for him to remember things and harder for him to have any type of dicussion without getting his words mixed up etc.. When I spoke to him about it i threw it in as it would help him sleep, which would help in all the other areas. After doing some research I also learned the the elderlys hormones etc are changing just as are do when get older. It is not uncommon at all that the elderly are on some type of anti depressent medicine. It is certainly NOT a sign that you are crazy it just means your body has changed. The DR went ended up taking my dad to was great. He actully confirmed my research in his discussion with my dad. The medicine he is one is only designed for people typically over 65 and had two great side effects... helps him sleep better and increased his appetite. It is too bad that she will not listen to your dr. That is where I have the most support. Both of my parents do what their drs tell them to do. So that is a true blessing. Do some research on the intranet. Maybe by giving her more data she will see it is quite normal at her age to get support. Give her examples of other people that you might know that are on medication and proof to here that those people are not crazy. Tell her if it makes her feel better than why not. See if you can convince her to try them for 6 months and go from there. I wish you the best of luck. You are in a frusterating position. Let us know how it goes. Hang in there
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