Where's Furd?

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  #1  
Old 11-22-14, 03:50 PM
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Where's Furd?

My last post was Sunday evening when I wrote that I was going to the hospital.

Well, I thought it was just a kidney stone and I would be out Monday afternoon or Tuesday by noon at the latest. I won't bore you with the details but I didn't get out until Friday afternoon and while I am back home, at least for a while, I'm on oxygen 24/7 and have a few follow-up doctor appointments over the next few weeks.

Oh, yeah, the stone is still there although the urologist was able to get a stent in place so it allows drainage. It also appears that when I told people that I had multiple medical issues I really was telling the truth.

Okay, too many typos to continue, I'm going to take a nap. My sister should be here within an hour or so.
 
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Old 11-22-14, 04:11 PM
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Sounds painful... sorry Furd! Hope you're feeling better... get some rest!
 
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Old 11-22-14, 04:13 PM
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Well Joel... why the oxygen for a stone?? Just wondering.

Whatever though we are at the mercy of our own body's when we get older in life. I myself have many aliments and pain..

With that said sometimes the doctors dont always know better so proceed with caution on what they have to say or treatment options...

As always I wish you the best of health Joel and hope all goes well...

Post back as often as you can please...
 
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Old 11-22-14, 04:54 PM
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I'm really sorry Joel! I guess reading threads (w/o looking at the dates of posts) I missed your absences.

Thank you for your advice and help in the past. Me personally I mean.

Rest and feel better!
 
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Old 11-22-14, 05:03 PM
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Take it easy Joel and may you have a swift recovery. Just curious, is the stone too large to be broken up with ultrasound?
 
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Old 11-22-14, 05:51 PM
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That's a common problem. Go in for a oil change and they find you need tires, spark plugs and brakes. Hang in there. I hope all goes well.
 
  #7  
Old 11-22-14, 06:10 PM
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Sorry I missed your departure notice, I did notice you had not posted as much.

As lawrosa said, be careful of what they want to do. Textbook solutions are for textbook patients and many of us don't fit that mold.

Get better,
Bud
 
  #8  
Old 11-22-14, 06:10 PM
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Sorry to hear that Joel I was wondering about ultrasound too. I too understand how it is when you go to a doctor for what seems like one simple procedure they do more things to you. I wanted an update on my carpal tunnel syndrome and the doctor added an mri and a few other tests. Seems like they want to drag their feet and add on things you may not need. I hope you get better soon Joel and they do right by you.
 
  #9  
Old 11-23-14, 03:14 AM
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Okay, a few details.

I'm on oxygen because it turns out the kidney stone was one of my minor problems, it just hurt so much it made me go to the emergency room. Once settled in almost everyone that came through the room was concerned about my grossly swollen feet/ankles. When I told them they had been that way for years they started running more tests. It seems (not seams ) that even when lying flat on my back in a raised hospital bed my oxygen saturation level is borderline low and with the slightest exertion it goes way low. Without additional oxygen I couldn't walk even ten feet without dropping below 80% and with the supplemental it would still drop to about 87-88%.

Add in that after about three days I could not lift my left heel off of the mattress without having terrible pains in my upper thigh, this sent them thinking about blood clots so I got my legs scanned by a cute ultrasound tech. That evening I was taken to the nuclear medicine unit where I had to suck on a hose connected to a tank with a radioactive isotope for about five minutes and then spend twenty minutes having four digital images made showing the air points in my lungs. That was immediately followed by an injection of a radioactive substance in my blood with another four pictures to see if there were any gaps between the air side and the blood side which would indicate clots.

I'm not real sure of the chronological order but I also had an ultrasound of my heart and upper chest which showed a slight amount of fluid in my lungs as well as a thickening of part of my heart, I don't remember the details. Physical therapy people didn't want me to go home, fearful that I would fall and seriously injure myself. I admit that after Tuesday I DID have trouble just getting out of the bed but one standing I was okay, but they weren't buying it.

There's more but back to the kidney stone...Leaving out a lot of details it seems that I have about a 5-6 millimeter stone lodged halfway down the ureter of my left kidney. When the urologist went in to blast it with the laser he found that because of the shape of my prostate he couldn't get the fiber optic to turn sharp enough to enter the ureter but he was able to get the stent in place. That allows the urine to drain and relieves almost all the pain. He said that leaving the stent in place for a few days will also cause the ureter to expand a bit which might allow the stone to pass but I rather doubt it. He wants to carve up my prostate and then take another stab with the laser.

I DID have the ultrasonic lithotripsy done on my first stone, or at least the first stone that required hospitalization, back in September of 1997, the same day they buried Diana, Princess of Wales. I had to wait about a week for a slot on the mobile lithotripsy unit and it also required traveling to a different, but nearby, hospital. The stone I had ten years ago was zapped by laser within 24 hours of hospital admittance so I opted for another laser job. My mother died the night after that sonic lithotripsy.
 
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Old 11-23-14, 03:39 AM
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Joel, hope you're on the upward swing. Get well soon!
 
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Old 11-23-14, 04:02 AM
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Furd,

Can't add much to what was already said. Add my thoughts to you getting better and giving advice to those of us with less knowledge and experience. And if it helps, keep us informed of your progress. We're all your friends over here in cyber space.

Are you allowed any alcohol? If so have a toast with us to you getting better. If you can't then lift up your meds and say "here's to you".
 
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Old 11-23-14, 04:59 AM
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Furd, Here's thinking of you buddy! Get well soon! (and yes, keep us posted. )
 
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Old 11-23-14, 05:28 AM
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Good grief!! When it rains, it pours. Except for the cute ultrasound tech Prayers for your speedy recovery. Keep us posted, please.
 
  #14  
Old 11-23-14, 06:22 AM
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Consider a suction cup type small bird feeder for your window and a indoor cat down the road. Best wishes.
 
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Old 11-23-14, 06:59 AM
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Wow, what an ordeal. I suppose it's for the best but hearing about all those tests gives me the willies. I do hope you start feeling better.
 
  #16  
Old 11-23-14, 12:05 PM
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Thanks to all for the kind words and best wishes.


Are you allowed any alcohol? If so have a toast with us to you getting better.
No, I haven't been "allowed" alcoholic beverages for many years. I don't mind as I have zero tolerance for it and a half a glass of wine will get me quite tipsy. But I'll lift a glass of tomato juice and pretend it is a bloody Mary.

Except for the cute ultrasound tech
She was definitely cute but compared to the day nurse, just average. Oh, if only I had been some thirty years younger...no, best not to go there! Suffice to say that Nurse Jordan was a living doll.

Speaking of the nurses and their assistants I have to state I have never felt more comfortable or better taken care of in any healthcare facility. These wonderful people went above and beyond to take care of my needs.

Interesting point, there was a status board on the wall and I couldn't really read it all since I didn't have my distance glasses. I finally was able to read at the top where it said "unit' and someone had written ONC. I had to think about that for a while and all I could come up with is oncology (cancer) but as far as I know have no cancer whatsoever in me. Then I took a closer look at the ID badges of the nurses and assistants and they all had oncology written on them. I finally asked Nurse Jordan and she said yes, I was on the oncology ward but it didn't really mean anything as they took everyone and it simply depended upon where they needed room throughout the hospital.


All things considered, I feel quite well. Dragging the oxygen hose around is a pain but it beats not being able to move at all. This event has allowed me to re-connect (once again) with my sister and she took care of Douglas and Toby (cats) while I was in the hospital. Unfortunate side is that Douglas and Toby are not used to having other people in the house so they mostly hid when she was here. In fact, after Kate brought me home it was several hours after she was gone before I even saw Toby and he was not at all friendly UNTIL I went to bed. Douglas was unfriendly at first but soon came to me and both of them sleep with me.

Two doctor appointments this week and I have to make a few more for later. I guess they are pretty capable doctors that I see as many are listed as Seattle Top Doctors by Seattle Magazine. It might also help that the U of W medical school is one of the highest rated in the country, for internal medicine it IS the highest rated, or at least was a year or two ago. So I feel I am in competent hands.

Okay, gonna take a bathroom break and then a nap.
 
  #17  
Old 11-23-14, 01:06 PM
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I was kind of concerned for a while that they might not be giving you the best care but it looks like they are and they are being honest with you which is important with both doctor and patient and especially the doctor. Keep us informed Joel.
 
  #18  
Old 11-25-14, 09:04 PM
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Hope you're on the path to recovery, Joel. There's never a good time to be sick, but the holidays just seem to make it worse. Hope you feel well enough by Thursday to enjoy some turkey and dressing (or whatever kind of food appeals to you) and be thankful the docs are on top of things. Take care!
 
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Old 11-25-14, 10:58 PM
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Feel better, Joel! We'll always be here for you.
 
  #20  
Old 11-26-14, 04:56 AM
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Thanks, guys.

I went to see the urologist Tuesday and he detailed what he wants to do. Right now it is up to the pulmonary specialist to release me for the surgery. I have a call in to them and they should be getting back to me today (Wednesday) with an appointment time and if any other tests need to be done prior to seeing the doctor.

I've been using my portable oxygen unit, far easier than tripping on that stupid hose. I have a Philips Respironics oxygen concentrator as well as a supplementary device to fill (to 3000 psi) the portable bottles. Unfortunately I can find no REAL information on any of the units; sales brochures I can find but that is it. Downside to the portable is that it has an odor, plastic or something, that is a bit irritating. Oh, well, my daddy always told me that life wasn't easy.
 
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Old 11-27-14, 05:46 AM
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Furd,

In spite of everything, please have a Happy Thanksgiving.
 
  #22  
Old 12-03-14, 03:02 PM
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Thanks, Norm. I did have a happy Thanksgiving, I slept most of the day and had a turkey sandwich with cheese.

Yesterday (December 2) I went back to the hospital for some lung capacity tests. Of course the technician couldn't give me any kind of determination of what the tests mean so I will have to wait for my doctor appointment which is on the 16th. I will say that dragging this oxygen hose around has become a REAL hassle.
 
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Old 12-03-14, 05:30 PM
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I can only imagine. If it's any consolation we have two regular customers (one gentleman and one lady) who come to our store that must carry oxygen bottles with them. They seem to do alright and make the best of it. Always pleasant. I hope you don't need to have one permanently. In the meantime enjoy as much as you can.
 
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Old 12-17-14, 01:59 AM
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I saw the pulmonary specialist Tuesday and he spent over an hour with me. (I spent over three hours in the clinic.) I'll make this short by stating he did NOT clear me for surgery, which was supposed to happen this Thursday. He is quite concerned about my cardiac functioning and that coming out of the anesthesia could trigger a cardiac event. I did a walking stress test while I was there and passed (I guess) but he wants me to have another chest X-ray (two views this time) another ultrasound for blood clots as well as a cardiac consultation. I go in for the x-rays and ultrasound today (Wednesday) as well as returning a home sleep apnea test apparatus which I will don shortly after cleaning the cat box and taking out the garbage.

I wanted to get all this done before the end of the year but it looks like the end of January is the soonest it is going to happen. My insurance coverage changes with the new year and I have to make sure I don't get lost in the shuffle. Bummer!
 
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Old 12-17-14, 03:26 AM
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Furd,

Sounds like a mixed bag of good and bad luck. Hang in there. Keep us posted. We're all pulling for you.
 
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Old 12-17-14, 03:38 AM
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We're all pulling for you
Couldn't have said it better!!!

I had a stress test several yrs ago and nobody told me you were supposed to keep walking as they shut it down. I was about to keel over so when the doctor said we were done - I jumped off. The nurse said the doc almost had a heart attack because he didn't see me get off, just saw all the gauges reflect me no longer running.
 
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Old 12-17-14, 03:50 AM
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You'll do fine Furd...yer a tough old dawg...(or cat maybe?).

As to the O2, I'd never seen so many people with tanks and machines til I moved here. According to the old timers it's because of so much mining in this region (NM, AZ, NV, UT). That and the constant wind and dust.

Of course, there was also a bit of nuke testing 100 miles north, that could have a little effect.
 
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Old 12-17-14, 10:11 PM
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Sad, sad story. When I came home from the doctor/clinic Thursday evening I was absolutely dead tired (hadn't slept for probably 28 hours except for nodding off in the clinic waiting area) so after a bite to eat, a toilet break and writing an E to my sister I fell into bed around 8:30 PM. I didn't awaken until midnight and I still had to clean the cat box and take out the garbage. Bottom line is that after than nap I was wide awake so I couldn't go back to sleep until after six AM.

I had a couple of x-rays scheduled for 10-10:30 AM (I should NEVER schedule anything before noon) and I tried to call the clinic a couple of minutes after 8 but they didn't open until 9. I ended up napping and blowing off those tests. I woke up around noon and I was able to call the ultrasound place and re-schedule for Friday. What I still need to do is the home sleep apnea test, hopefully tonight, and return that apparatus either on Thursday or Friday.

It appears that Thursday is the last day I can straighten out my insurance mess.

Sometimes I just want to give up but I have too many projects I need to finish and too many people to irritate to die anytime soon.
 
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Old 12-17-14, 10:35 PM
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and too many people to irritate
That's the spirit....want me to turn off spell check so you can rag on me?
 
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Old 12-17-14, 10:42 PM
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and too many people to irritate to die anytime soon
I hear ya there..... AMEN.
 
  #31  
Old 01-01-15, 12:33 AM
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Update.

Tuesday I saw the cardiologist (heart doctor) for the first time. He wanted me to do a stress test so I was able to schedule it for Wednesday for the second half and next Monday for the first half. In case you are wondering why it is backward it has to do with the insurance billing as my insurance changes (for the worse) in the new year.

Also last Tuesday I returned the home sleep apnea study apparatus to the pulmonary clinic as I was able to get a good seven hours of data on it. Wednesday afternoon I received a call from the sleep center and the man told me that I had 47 instances where I stopped breathing in one hour as well as my blood oxygen saturation level having dropped into the 70% range numerous times. Well, I KNEW about the latter because just lying in bed I can watch my pulse oximeter drop into the high 70s on a regular basis while awake but I question if it is a breathing problem or a blood circulation problem. Amazingly enough when I am at the doctor/clinic and they watch my oximeter readings I rarely drop below 94%. At any rate, it looks like I will soon be trying out a CPAP machine and I am NOT looking forward to that.

On the bright side, I am no longer on the supplemental oxygen 24/7. Running that oxygen concentrator doubled my electric bill. Now if I could only get all the doctors on the same page and to release me for surgery so I can get rid of this stone.
 
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Old 01-01-15, 01:32 AM
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I'm feeling for you buddy. My problems don't seem as possibly serious as yours, but jeez, 3 weeks after blood work and nothing but a call to change my appt to an earlier date. No info, just an admin thing. Eyes still messed up along with a lot of other things now.

I have sleep apnea also, prob worse than when it was initially diagnosed since I've gained some weight (though lost some of it). Old roommate had a CPAP and he said it's not as bad as it seems, they've changed a lot. He said the better sleeping is really worth it in the long run. Looks like a big bulky contraption, but better than waking up dead I guess.
 
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Old 01-01-15, 01:41 PM
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Thanks, Vic. I honestly think the pulmonary doctor is being way too cautious by not releasing me for surgery. He is concerned that when they remove the airway after my surgery that I won't start breathing on my own and he wants to be able to immediately slap on a CPAP but also wants me to be used to the CPAP before the surgery. I have gone under general anesthesia four times in the past and never had a problem with not breathing after they removed the airway and I seriously doubt I will have any problem this time.

My EKGs are always non-remarkable and the only thing anyone has determined concerning my heart is that the left side is slightly thickened which translates to not completely relaxing in between beats. The heart doctor says this is a common thing with older people and by itself not all that concerning. The stress test will show if I have any problems with the arteries that actually serve the heart and if so, how bad. I don't think I have any problems of note in that area but I guess I will see. He also said the thickening is a treatable condition so I shouldn't get all worked up over it.

I've also picked up an irritating (non productive) cough the last couple of weeks along with increased post nasal drip and I think that this is an aggravating agent concerning the sleep apnea as well as just plain aggravating. Probably a result of having to go to so many medical facilities, after all, those places are filled with sick people.
 
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Old 01-01-15, 02:16 PM
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I had a stress test a few yrs back and it about gave the doc a heart attack towards the end of the test I was having trouble keeping up and when they said they were done - I hopped off The doctor had is back to me reviewing all the gauges and I guess when I hopped off they took a nose dive. Nobody told me I was supposed to keep walking [it was more like a run] until the machine quit

Be sure to have the sweet nurse shave your chest wherever she sticks those pads that hook up to the machine!
 
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Old 01-01-15, 02:55 PM
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I already did the stress portion of the test, they used a chemical that dilates all the blood vessels simulating exercise so I never even got out of the chair let alone on the treadmill. As for the chest hair thing...I only have about twenty chest hairs in total and they never came close to any of them.

Worst part of the test was that about midway through the injection of the stress drug they injected a radioactive tracer and about fifteen minutes later I had to lie on what they called the "ironing board" a table about as wide and just as hard as its namesake, while a machine spent twenty minutes rotating around me gathering images from the tracer. You try lying on an ironing board for twenty minutes without moving!
 
  #36  
Old 01-01-15, 04:33 PM
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Hi Furd,
If you are on any ACE inhibitors, one side effect is a persistent cough. Fortunately my daughter is a nurse and caught that, as I had mentioned it to the doctor with no reaction. I think Metformin was the one giving me trouble, but they now avoid all in that family.

May not be related, but wanted to pass that along.

Bud
 
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Old 01-01-15, 04:49 PM
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they used a chemical that dilates all the blood vessels simulating exercise
Wow, hadn't ever heard about that? Seems odd to me.

I know about the ironing board thing. Almost impossible for me. MRI and CT almost always have to be redone....I'm just a wriggler I guess.
 
  #38  
Old 01-01-15, 09:02 PM
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Bud, nope, no ACE inhibitors.

Vic, actually, they have had the chemical stressors for several years but there IS a (very) slight chance of problems with any chemicals so unless there is a fairly good reason not to use the treadmill that is the preferred method.
 
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Old 01-01-15, 09:11 PM
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Those tracers make you feel like you were wetting your pants?
 
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Old 01-01-15, 09:41 PM
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No, were they supposed to? I had the airborne radioactive tracer while in the hospital along with a blood borne tracer when they checked for blood clots in my lungs and then the blood borne tracer the other day during the cardiac stress test. None of them caused me even the slightest discomfort. I DID feel the effects of the stressor chemical and my reactions as I told the technician were entirely normal.

Here is a short video that explains the testing. https://www.cardiosmart.org/News-and...ne-Stress-Test
 

Last edited by Furd; 01-01-15 at 10:12 PM.
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