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Answer the 13 questions asked to you. Make 13 questions of your own. Tag at least other people. Tag-backs are allowed. I kept explaining that this happened overnight. I had never taken any drugs before but at this moment I would have done anything to feel normal. I continued to express the feeling that no one understood, that something was wrong.
Blood tests revealed that I did not need the anti-psychotic drug but that I should increase my dose of Sertraline. But the blood tests also revealed that my thyroid was overactive and later that day I was seen by a doctor who gave me a diagnosis. The relief was immeasurable! I was told to book an appointment with an endocrinologist and prescribed beta-blockers in the meantime.
The symptoms persisted, with as much vigour as they ever had before. I battled some more. All this time though the professionals doubted that an overactive thyroid would present in such a way. I was, to them, clearly suffering depression and anxiety alongside this. Things got worse. I was placed under the care of a mental health home crisis team and promised that all of the services would liaise in order to treat my condition.
I just needed to make it to my endocrinologist appointment. I had an overactive thyroid so again I read, when I could, and this is when I found out about postpartum thyroiditis and that having an overactive thyroid could cause mental disturbances, mood swings and inappropriate anxiety. I also found out that after the overactive phase your thyroid could return to normal or you could become underactive and present with another set of symptoms. I went to the endocrinologist armed with questions.
The appointment lasted less than ten minutes. I was explicitly told that my symptoms were for the psychiatrist to deal with, and he had not seen these with thyroid issues before. However, he was certain that the fact I had given birth was not relevant. I was made to feel arrogant for questioning the expert. The following day I made an appointment at the doctors to get my bloods tested.
I cannot explain to you the elation I felt, I cried with relief and happiness. Not only were the bloods normal but I had been right to push and battle and keep going. I felt vindicated, empowered and like I finally, after five long hard weeks had information about what was happening to me. It was likely to be postpartum thyroiditis. I say likely because to date I still do not have a medical diagnosis from an endocrinologist. As with postpartum thyroiditis, I am fully aware that there is a possibility I will enter the hypo phase of the condition but the medical professionals are with me, they understand this is as a consequence of birth and that my symptoms were very much linked to my thyroid issue.
The hyper phase often goes undetected: I unfortunately presented with extreme and rare symptoms. The hypo phase is often where it is detected, tiredness, achy muscles, and depression. Perhaps there are many more cases misdiagnosed as postnatal depression, dismissed and not understood. I write this article not to complain or grumble but to raise awareness. During my harder days, I felt so alone but I found two accounts online that described almost exactly what I was going through and it gave me hope to keep battling for help. The profession was too quick to put me in a box. I was catapulted into the system like a pinball in a machine and slowly a crisis was created.
A crisis that needed responding to. If people had only listened, if blood tests had been done, I believe I could have continued to breastfeed with postpartum thyroiditis. This is what I want for other women. For them to be informed and understood; for them to be listened to and acknowledged. The mental health workers told me to stop reading about my condition, they said it would only feed my anxiety. My ambition was always to be successful in my career as a writer and eventually I would become a successful career woman.
The dream was I would live in a city as a journalist wearing the pencil skirt with that glossy lifestyle every woman wants. The once flamboyant, sociable and outgoing girl became a shadow of her former self as I was under weight at eight and a half stone at five foot six inches tall with constant panic attacks, palpitations and muscle deterioration. I was lost. Now, at nearly 28 years old I have battled this disease and come out the other side. This is my story. The beginning of the disease was more of a shock than anything else. What led me to go to the doctors was getting home, falling asleep almost immediately and being exhausted.
The doctors tried to control the palpitations and panic attacks with beta blockers and carbimazole. The stream of friendships I lost during the illness makes me want to weep but this disease is invincible and cruel. My confidence and self worth was decreasing by the day. This was a girl who has graduated from a top ten university and once worked as a trainee journalist. After that, I took part time bar jobs which helped me to pay my way during my illness, which I really enjoyed. Ever since, my dreams took a back seat and survival and anxiety was now the key element of my life. In April after a year and a half of struggle, depression and anxiety I feel like me again.
I thought, this is now the turning point of my life and I decided to be happy. The day was fantastic with a feeling of excitement as the Geordie crowds cheered on the runners. I have come out the other side of this disease as a woman and I have been on one hell of a journey but I will not let it define me as I still chase my dream of becoming a professional writer. I will never give up on my dream or happiness, which is what every soul deserves. Through this illness I want to raise awareness by writing again and doing something I love to make my struggles into a positive. I hope I can be a figurehead for other individuals who have suffered with this disease and that it is not the end, you still can follow your path.
I will not give up until my goals have been achieved, as remember, you only have one life, so live it how you want to. The GP arranged urgent referral to hospital and a battery of tests followed — ultrasound, fine needle aspiration, CT scan — which showed that I had a thyroid nodule but frustratingly could not confirm it was malignant. I made a good recovery from the operation itself but was off work for four months because of fatigue and my body adjusting to the levothyroxine medication.
Meantime, I had radioiodine ablation to deal with any remnant thyroid cancer cells in my neck. My work were very supportive over this period and I returned to my job on a part-time basis. Regular clinics over the months followed as the hospital team monitored my thyroglobulin levels. There was a gradual rise in readings, an indicator that the disease might be on the move. A CT scan detected some metastatic disease in my lungs so further radioiodine therapy was scheduled. This was to prove ineffective as in my case the disease was found to be radioiodine resistant.
It was a big disappointment: RAI is such a useful targeted therapy for treating recurrent disease. At the same time scans of my neck indicated new disease in my lymph nodes. Surgery and an intensive course of radiotherapy followed to deal with this. The radiotherapy was full-on: 30 consecutive weekdays of attending radiotherapy sessions.
Thankfully I live close to the hospital so at least I had an easy commute. I have most recently been taking Sorafenib, one of the TKI class of anti-cancer drugs, to treat the lung metastases. These powerful drugs come with many potential side effects but can help slow disease progression. In summary, what can I say about my continuing cancer journey? It remains a roller-coaster with unexpected twists and turns. My friends too are a huge help.
I was fortunate in that I was able to take early retirement so I can enjoy hobbies and interests to the full.
Despite all the ups and downs, there is much to be thankful for. At the age of 25 I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Interestingly, at the time I was working in ENT ear, nose and throat theatres so knew a lot about the surgery and had worked alongside my surgeon for a couple of years. Fortunately, this made hearing the diagnosis easier for me to hear and I was confident that I understood the process of surgery.
The surgery took five hours, longer than normal as the tumour had spread into my lymph nodes, 12 to be exact, which was a shock. Radio iodine treatment was the part I was unfamiliar with. I sat in an isolated hospital room with a huge window for comfort. I was there for four days and felt quite sick in that room. I didn't eat much, just salt free bread rolls my mam had made.
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I watched a lot of TV and felt like I was on a boat as the treatment worked it's magic. My mam sat in the doorway during visiting, and cried as she left because we weren't able to hug. This was painful but necessary and we had a huge hug once I was able! Now for the recovery, The main problem I have struggled with is fatigue.
Something that has taken time to learn and been greatly frustrating. I remember telling my husband how frustrated I was and that I feared we would not be able to have children because I was constantly drained, sometimes to the point where I could not physically move. I would feel these episodes coming and have time to prepare; have a wee, pjs on, and a blanket on the sofa with a drink near by.
Then lie for hours unable to speak going through the motions in my head of what I would like to say or do, down to the fine details. I'm sure people can relate to this! Now fast forward, here I am five years clear! Since my diagnosis I have gotten engaged and married, bought a house, got a new job AND I have my daughter, now 18 months old!
Looking back on my illness these are the things I remember, I will not let cancer define me. To anyone going through this awful illness, you can get back to normal! I still suffer with fatigue but it is better managed and as long as I don't over do it I am generally fine. I was diagnosed with an over-active thyroid in I hadn't really noticed I was ill until a friend of mine commented on how much weight I had lost.
I had been trying to lose weight, but hadn't realised how much I'd lost. So with other symptoms I'd been ignoring - sweating, the shakes, constantly on the toilet, feeling sick, I went to the doctors and discovered I had a very overactive thyroid. I had high blood pressure which I'd never had before , so they put my on carbimazole and the highest dosage of beta blockers my doctor could prescribe. I was seeing a consultant for a what felt like years, but was only monthly. On about the third appointment I was going to beg for my thyroid to be removed.
I was signed off work, couldn't go far without stopping for a break or sugar, constantly felt tired, drained and exhausted. I had depression also and had recently been made redundant so had no work, which I couldn't have managed anyway. They said they would remove it without me begging! My operation was in near Easter - the surgeon was brilliant and the scarring is gone. I was in hospital for a nearly a week.
My thyroid was very over-active and took some getting out and in the process it damaged the parathyroid glands, which I was warned it could do. I was drinking milk and taking calcium supplements for the week I was in hospital, I was like a pin cushion as they were taking my blood nearly hourly to check my calcium levels. I'm on mg of levthyroxine for the rest of my life now and alfacalcidol for the parathyroid as well.
It was the best decision I made or my consultants made to have my thyroid out. It has now been 10 years since the removal and my levels are fine. I couldn't fault the care I had and still have now. Each night is always just the same, Lying here counting sheep. Wishing, hoping, praying, I would fall into a deep sleep. I try to clear my mind, Thinking of nothing but to snooze. But nothing seems to help, To the insomnia, i always lose. Unfortunately this is only One problem of thyroid condition, Some of the other symptoms Can make life a bit of a mission.
The joint pain, dizziness And lack of concentration. Weight gain, anxiety And not to mention depression. Remembering every morning I must take my tablets, Although after a while This just becomes a habit. Trips to the hospital Another blood test, When's my mind and body Gonna get a deserved rest. Trouble with thyroid illness Is that its mostly unseen, Hard for others to understand And people can sometimes seem mean.
Its hard to explain to them Exactly how it makes you feel, That this isn't someones story But for you this is all real.
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I hope this helps people understand Without getting really deep I'll shut up now, lie back down And count those bloody sheep!! Since being diagnosed with Graves' disease overactive thyroid I've often wondered how long I've been affected by it. I have always been a poor sleeper, especially on Sunday night's.
On occasions, I have been prescribed benzodiazepines - while they did help a little their effect was minimal. Two years ago I had an operation and they struggled to anethetise me I don't know whether it's all connected. About eight months ago I started to lose weight and experience very high arousal levels and some nights had NO sleep at all. It was at this point I went to the doctors and the blood test revealed elevated ALT liver enzymes.
It was thanks to the internet that I asked for my thyroid to be tested but internet reading has been a good and bad thing for me. I have not yet felt ill and feel that the worst aspect of the diagnosis has been fear. As an empathic person I feel for the people whose lives have been devastated by thyroid conditions but as my understanding grew so did my health anxiety. I have dry eyes and have worried considerably that my eyes would become more involved.
Amongst other things I worried about how I would drive to work if I developed double vision. The wealth of information available is also scary. I now take selenium but some of the self help information I've come across makes for a depressing read with no wheat, caffeine, alcohol or vigorous exercise I have always exercised consistently before and since the diagnosis. Within just three weeks of taking Carbimazole I could really feel the difference when running up hills.
I swim against the clock and lift heavier weights now than I could handle 10 years ago. By anyone's standard I am a well person, fortunate to be in good health and still living life my own way. Rather than dwell on the possible demise of my future health I should be more grateful for what I have.
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I even sleep through the night now for the first time since Life is good. It was when I was just 11 years old when I had a lump biopsied whilst i was on the Ipswich Hospital's childrens ward. I remember the doctors told me that my thyroid was like a sunflower that was shedding seeds that were bad for me so it all needed to be removed. I also understood the conversation that they had with my parents about me having cancer in my thyroid gland.
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I was sent to Addenbrooks Hospital for major surgery and soon had an operation to remove my thyroid gland, lumps and four other small lymph glands. The operation took four very long hours and I remembered they kept me sedated for the best part of four days. When I woke I could hardly speak and couldn't look at my neck.
The inch cut which went from one side of my neck to other was held together by 3 stitches and a necklace made up of staples. Luckily the operation now is more advanced and the incision is usually only about 3 inches long. After that I was to endure a round of radio iodine treatment at Addenbrooks and three more at a local cancer hospital in Ipswich.
As I was so young at the time doctors were unsure of how to treat me and what doses I could have as they worried about how it might affect me in the long term. It was hard as I missed nearly all of my first year of high school, which put me behind. However I caught up and my voice though different came back and my scar healed to a very faint line. When I got closer to 16 I had depression and did a lot of silly things as I had started to understand how serious my illness had been and so I had the chance to see therapists who helped me come to terms with it all.
I am happy to say I have now been in remission for 25 years and I'm a fully qualified senior hair stylist. I'm married with two lovely daughters aged 3 and 6 that I'm very proud of. I've been on mcg of thyroxine for over 20 years now. I'll always need to have yearly check ups at the hospital as they are still so unsure as to how I might be affected in the long term as i was one of the youngest people to have had thyroid cancer.
So far though my life has been brill and I wouldn't change it for the world. My experience has made me the person I am today. I wanted to write this so that I may be able to help settle any worrying parent or child who gets diagnosed with this and to reassure them that you can still have a normal happy and fulfilling life after cancer. Beat it, don't let it beat you! Rewind to just over a year ago and I was a happy, healthy mother of two; a stark contrast to the person I am today but ironically looking seemingly no different at all; bar the scar I now wear with pride on my neck. I have been to more hospital appointments than I can count over the last twelve months, been hospitalised four times and lost and gained the support of many friends along the way.
It all started with orbital cellulitis take a look at the fetching photograph of me below. I have since suffered at the hands of cellulitis over twenty times due to having such a weak immune system. At the time we all believed I was just unlucky and happened to get an infection. I now know that adrenal insufficiency was the root cause. April of last year I woke up with a huge lump in my throat, swollen tongue and flushed face.
I went into work, being a secondary school teacher and taking great pride and enjoyment in what I do, to not go in was not even on my radar, but was swiftly told to go straight to my GP. My GP then sent me straight to get blood tests done as they suspected I had a goiter and thyroid issues. To keep it brief over the following six months I was in hospital twice I now know I was in adrenal crisis and misdiagnosed with anything and everything from MS to Cancer. My symptoms were debilitating and included muscle weakness, chronic fatigue, vomiting sometimes blood , diarrhea, trouble with my breathing and heart palpitations that felt like I was having a heart attack; to name but a few!
I had the tumour drained twice. It grew back twice. Each time bigger than the last and always within 24 hours. The only option left was major surgery to remove my thyroid and the tumour. This took place in December some more fetching pictures included below. I was so relieved, as were my family. We thought this would be the end of it and other than daily medication I would pretty much be fine and able to live a normal life.
We were wrong I recovered from the surgery pretty quickly and had a lovely Christmas with my family. However, my hormone levels were still all over the place and my symptoms were not subsiding. It was only when I was handed over to a new Endocrinologist that he noticed how low my cortisol levels were. He arranged for further testing which resulted in my diagnosis of hypopituitarism which causes secondary adrenal insufficiency and, if untreated, can be life threatening.
Basically my pituitary gland, which sits in my brain and is the size of a pea, does not send signals correctly to my adrenal glands. These are two little objects which sit on your kidneys. But it is. Cortisol is needed to keep you alive. The longer you go undiagnosed the greater the damage to your body and the greater chance you have of slipping into a coma and worse still dying. I am now on daily medication; my kitchen cupboard looks like a pharmacy. I am getting better but no two days are the same and you have to learn to manage your own illness, adjusting medication accordingly.
If I get a bug, suffer a bereavement or visit the dentist I have to alter my dose. My journey is by no means over. I still have referrals coming out of my ears for one thing or another. The most frustrating thing is that because the illness is rare many, including medical professionals, do not understand it. It does suck but life could be worse. I have a loving husband and two adorable children. I have the support of friends, family and my work place. I have learnt so much this past year about myself, others and adrenal insufficiency.
I just hope my story helps to make others more aware. People always call me Wonder Woman; unfortunately I do not have superhuman powers, I have adrenal insufficiency! Looking back I always suspected I had thyroid problems. I was often cold, constipated with itchy dry skin. When my sister had to have a thyroidectomy 15 years ago, I asked my GP for a blood test, convinced I had a problem. The results were normal so I thought no more of it. My first child was born in and many people commented on my neat, small bump. The baby was underweight but nothing out of the ordinary.
Three months after the birth I started to get strange symptoms. I felt sick and dizzy. We called the off duty doctor and they concurred with low sugar. Afterwards I realized that this was my thyroid — postpartum thyroiditis. After about a month I started to get more and more tired and slower in my thinking. I started finding it harder and harder with the baby as I was seriously sleep deprived from night feeds, breastfeeding and just trying to manage day to day tasks became a challenge. I would go to bed at 7pm every night, and then waking at 7am would feel like I needed another 9 hours of sleep — I was utterly exhausted.
The baby was crying 4 or 5 times each night — I never got more than 4 hours sleep at a time. I started napping in the day when the baby slept too. When my first child was 10 months old, my husband went away on business for a week and my mother came to stay and help with the chores and baby. I was suffering from dizzy spells by this time and my mum was having none of it — so marched me to the doctors.
My Doctor said he suspected anaemia and gave me anti sickness medication for the dizziness. However, he agreed to do a blood test to rule it out.
Two days later the GP called to confim I was anaemic and hypothyroid caused by postpartum thyroiditis. He was pretty shocked and told me to stop breastfeeding right away. My mum helped to resolve the baby crying at night using the crying it out method. It was very hard hearing her cry for hours but after a week she stopped the night waking and just slept, which meant I could sleep finally. I started iron tablets and Levothyroxine at 75mg daily. It took three months for the fog to lift and for me to start feeling more normal. After about nine months, I spoke to the doctor about having another baby.
He warned that it might take a long time as my fertility would be affected. Luckily it took a few months and my Levothyroxine dose was increased straightaway to mgs. I was referred to the endocrinologist at my local hospital and had to have 6 weekly blood tests and meetings with them throughout the pregnancy. My Levothyroxine was increased at about 6 months to mgs. My second baby was much heavier despite being three weeks early. Another blood test confirmed thyroxine too low, anaemia and my kidneys not functioning properly so I was advised to stop expressing and feed the baby formula milk.
Since then my blood was tested every six weeks until it settled at mgs. I managed to lose my 12kgs of baby weight through hard cardio exercise and a restricted diet. It was very hard but I am very glad I am back to my normal weight again. The blood test confirmed this and levothyroxine was increased to mgs. However, the next blood test was too high, so I now have to take mgs and mgs on alternate days to try and get the exact dose I need.
I am getting better at spotting when my thyroid level is low or high, now that I have had it for a while. I do worry about the long term potential complications such as cardiac disease and angina. I smoked for no more than 10 years from late teens.
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I smoked because I thought it looked cool and I was insecure I gradually became very dependent and at its worst I would smoke between a day. Most of these were in the evening with an alcoholic drink or during the day with a coffee. They were social times. A lot of my friends smoked.
I tried to give up many times but there was always a justification why today I needed to have one And then I'd slip back into smoking again. Then I met someone who would become my husband. He didn't smoke and wouldn't put up with it. I had a choice I wanted children. Cigarettes or them and their health. I finally recognised that I was an 'all or nothing' person I couldn't cut down or have just one.
So, the only way to stop was 'cold turkey'. I had to stop all the associations i. I thought I was going to die in the first week due to caffeine and nicoteen withdrawal symptoms I didn't want to be defined by them I was more than they!
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In short, I had a buddy to encourage me, a goal, willpower and breaking associations which all helped me to quit. I was fortunate that my TED was very mild and treated quickly with selenium so very non-invasive. I had two grandmothers who had both smoked and both had hyperthyroidism and one had quite protruding eyes from TED. Neither of my parents smoke and neither had thyroid issues. My sister never smoked and so far doesn't have thyroid issues.
I was unaware until I had thyroid problems that my Grandmothers had the same condition. I do wonder - if I had been told by a doctor that, due to my family medical history of auto-immune conditions, smoking would increase my risk of TED even in twenty years time, then I may have never smoked. Before doctors understood the endocrine system and developed medicines for thyroid disorders I would have died around the age of 46 years. For me anyway! One morning before leaving for my teaching job and later on reflection I counted twenty two tasks that I had done in preparing for the day and preparing my husband and our four children for theirs.
The fact that I never needed many layers of clothes even in winter were signs of something but reasons could always be found for life as it was. Thyroid disorders like lots of other conditions were not heard of as they are today so I never considered having any part of me malfunctioning. I had never heard this about my maternal grandma before. I consulted the doctor within a couple of days who checked my pulse which was 86 and I had a hand tremor.
I must mention that my pulse was normally 56 as I had taken up running for fitness when I was 35, I was now The doctor referred me to The Christie which was in my local area. I was seen two weeks later by a wonderful consultant whose name, unfortunately, I cannot remember, which is strange to me because I can remember every other minute detail of that day - what I was wearing, the consulting room, the scan room etc etc. The consultant arranged a scan so with a short walk to the scanner, a short scan and a vivid print out of my thyroid.
It was obvious that it was hyperactive as was I. I walked straight back into the consulting room, no waiting, where Dr. I was given three options:- an operation to remove some of my thyroid, medication, or radio active iodine. I have always had and still have the utmost respect for the medical profession so I asked for his recommendation. He favoured the third option and saying he had a quiet day. He phoned ahead and actually walked with me through part of the grounds and part of the hospital taking me to a room where I sat behind a screen, was given a tumbler with a centimetre of clear liquid in it and was instructed to drink every drop with a straw…….
I walked out within half a day of walking in. As I had had no qualms I had travelled alone but on driving home the enormity of what had happened hit me and I broke down in tears when I stopped at traffic lights. A normal reaction perhaps, but with hindsight there was no need for upset.
Initially I had two-weekly checks and since I have had six-monthly check ups on my thyroxine levels. These check ups, and having to take medication for the rest my life, ensure that my body, particularly my heart I think! I have led a very active life, raising four children, helping with 10 grandchildren, teaching full time until retirement and being an active, competitive orienteerer since Orienteering has involved competing most weekends at home and abroad, it has kept my mind and body active, brought me in touch with many, many people I would not have met otherwise and it is a sport that I would recommend for young, old, fit or unfit although a certain level of fitness helps and particularly families.
I can say that my thyroid has not affected my life style in any way so maybe I was lucky. I have lost some of my eyebrows, my pubic hair and gained a little weight recently but otherwise there are no signs that I have one of the twelve illnesses that have entitled me to free prescriptions. I do feel that immediate action on discovery of an abnormality and the efficiency of the NHS made my outcomes so positive and enabled me to live a completely normal life.
I realise now that I was grieving for the person that I used to be and coming to terms with the fact that I would have to ask for help just to feel better. Despite having the most supportive and understanding family, no-one knew what I really felt like. I had never felt so alone. I pushed myself to keep looking and behaving normally. I had a family to feed and look after and I was involved in lots of activities. I was miserable, had no interest in my lovely garden or even cleaning the house, let alone anything that I used to enjoy.
I went about my day, going through the motions but not really being there. What I did care about was the fact that my clothes were becoming too tight and despite a good diet I kept on piling on the weight until I was 6kg more than I had always been. I was always cold - my husband and I would have the battle of the thermostat every evening.
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My nails were weak and flakey and I had agonising cracked heels. I regularly lost patches of hair on my eyebrows. I struggled with accepting my appearance. I learned to take artificial sweat a bottle of water with me to splash on my arms, shoulders and neck to do the cooling job for me. I just thought all these symptoms were normal for me and never really questioned them or linked them in any way. Lewis Hamilton's Formula One team sacks four workers over 'racist bullying' after they called one employee a Sir John Major 'conspired with Margaret Thatcher's closest aides' to ensure she wouldn't stepped down and he Tragedy as Irish pilgrim, 35, drowns during sunset swim in Atlantic after mile hike across northern Up to three weeks' worth of rain is set to fall in parts of UK this weekend with 50mph gale-force winds as Property tycoon who drove a Rolls-Royce and was a Harrods elite customer pleads poverty in court battle that Yemeni athlete, 24, drowns as he tries to get into Spain on tiny refugee boat to 'start a new life and Desperate plea to trace girl, 14, who went missing a WEEK ago after a night out with friends and was last Can you handle pain?
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