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Recovery Time Post Gallbladder Removal? (Page 9)

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May 3rd, 2011
Recovery time from gall bladder removal surgery
I had surgery on the 21st of April. I came to this forum because I thought there was something wrong with me. I feel a bit relieved that other people have had the same experience. Here are my tips for anyone who is recovering or going to be having surgery.

Day 1 - walk a bit to get the gas out of your system. Don't over do it. A few trips down the hall every couple of hours. Listen to what your body is telling you.

Drink lots of water - or you will be constipated... this is definitely something you DON'T want!

If you are feeling naseau, tell your doctor - he/she can prescribe a medication to relieve this. This will help a lot!

I was told to leave the dressing on until my follow up visit. I did take showers with the special water proof dressing on. It's clear so you can detect if there is any bleeding or seepage. If you do see this... notify your doctor and get a follow up sooner.

After the dressing is removed.. the areas do feel dry and a pulling sensation. I found this annoying. I used bag balm in the areas and it made a big difference. Any antiseptic cream would probably work just as well.

Try to sleep only on your back and not roll to your side. Might consider putting pillows around you to keep from doing this for the first week. The rolling on the side seems to create more pain. Might also want to prop up your head and back a bit to releive the pain in the back.

Take the medication as prescribed. You will feel a lot better. Advil worked well for the inflamation. Ask your doctor about taking this in addition to the pain medication.
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Users who thank droseflowers for this post: Julie30665 

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replied June 24th, 2011
Thank you so much. I have surgery coming up next month and this was helpful. What do you eat. I'm thinking my diet will change again. It's never been normal... thus the stones. I all but stopped eating weeks ago but the weight continues to come on me, I've gain 10 pounds. I wish I had loss weight (yeah I have a little sickness in that area) but anyway, I don't want to gain anymore... I heard you lose some after the gall bladder is gone. Is that true?
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replied May 28th, 2011
I have just been diagnosed with gallstones after suffering on and off for about 9 years. My GP has referred me to a surgeon and I am waiting for him to contact me.
I've read lots of the most recent posts with interest, as I've been lucky enough to have escaped any form of surgery for anything at all until now.
My boss had her gallbladder removed about 5 years ago and has told me to take as much time off as I need, which is really great as that's one less thing to worry about.
I'd like to give my very best wishes to all my fellow sufferers and will keep bobbing in to see what's new.
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replied August 15th, 2011
Good luck with your upcoming surgery (It has probably already occurred by the looks of the date). I had my gall bladder out 4 days ago. The first two days were the worst. The doctor told me that the longer you are open for surgery the worse the gas is afterwards. I was in surgery for an hour. The worst pain was the gas pain in the shoulder, neck and jaw. A heating pad works wonders. I found that I felt the best if I was laying on my back, but try to move around as much as possible. Four days out I feel pretty good, I just feel like I did a million sit ups and my back hurts from compensating. Now I am just concerned that I will gain weight. I have heard that after gall surgery people sometimes gain weight. I have also heard that some loose weight. I don't think my gall bladder was functioning very well for years so I am hoping that now that it is gone I will be able to loose weight easier.
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replied July 15th, 2011
I had my gall stone bladder removed 24 hours ago. Unusual experience ;-/ still in pain, cant sleep on my back. But the most important thing, what about my diet? No one gave me instructions about food. My concern, I am nervous if I put weight on. Please can any one tell me if they put weight on after operation? Thank you.
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replied July 18th, 2011
My mother had her gall bladder out on 6/15. She was "normal" about 3 weeks after. Then this weekend it got bad again. Throwing up and bad pain. I can't see how this is normal?
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replied July 20th, 2011
hello fellow sufferers i had my gallbladder removed 6wks ago and its the best thing i ever did i am a "new woman" the strained look on my face has gone i feel less stressed and can eat mostly anything in moderation i am not bak at work though am going bak on monday as i am a kitchen assistent so quite a physical job i still hav a little nawing pain on side where gb was and i get tired easily but i suppose thats the healing inside still. i would say to anyone just go for it i didnt realise how much my bad gallbladder was draining the life from me till i had it removed. good luck to all of you.
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replied July 22nd, 2011
Experienced User
Had surgery on the 8th of July, two weeks ago today. Don't think the morphine they used right after surgery sat well with me and neither did the vicodin. Came off of the prescription pain med by Sunday (2 days out from surgery). Took Tylenol for about a week as needed and was fine with that. Did have one bout of vomiting about 5 days out but a spice mix we used had some red chili in it and I didn't know that, bad choice!

Due to the meds I think that my feeling good time was longer. Took around 9 days to feel like I was on the mend. Belly button cut was the only one that really bothered me and is still a bit tender now. Getting in and out of bed was slow for at least a week. Quite a bit of bloating for a week and a half, a lot of belching and some hiccups. Still not eaten "normal" as recommended, keeping it low fat.

I have taken the full two weeks off because quite frankly my internal healing is more important to me than a job! Probably could have went back to work a couple of days ago but glad I didn't. Still feel like I need a nap by mid afternoon.

The only complaints: have noticed a bit of anxiety which could be from the meds and the anesthetic. Have also noticed I seem to be having some hormone elevation issues. Primarily seems like Estrogen might be high. Have not had tender breast and cyclic type headaches in over two years. Upon speaking to my mother and some friends, seems they noticed sudden increase in hot flashes and menstrual like symptoms. Would love to hear from anyone else that experienced similar.

Positive things I have noticed. No more chronic side, back, shoulder, chest pains. The very strong anxiety like symptoms are gone along with heart racing I was having when lying down. Still losing weight at the moment but have continued with a similar pre GB diet because I am scared to do other wise!

All in all not a bad experience but like others noted, I thought I would be up and running a marathon in a matter of days, not true at all. Plan and give yourself time to heal. The outside heals rather quickly, the inside can take six weeks! Wear lose clothing, get yourself a laxative of some sort to have for the first few days, drink plenty of fluids and go light on the eating.
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replied July 27th, 2011
Gall Bladder Recovery
After reading scads of recovery experiences on this forum (dating back almost six years), I thought I was in for quite an ordeal.

Here's some perspective:

I'm a 64-year old male, about 10 pounds overweight, in good health, and reasonable condition.

One day after day surgery:

1. I didn't any problems with excess CO2 in my system; I wasn't excessively gassy.

2. The four wound sites were tender, more so after I removed the gauze that was taped on the wounds, but no more than when healing from a deep knife cut on my hand. Holding the wound sites when I coughed or sneezed helped decrease the pain.

3. I tired more quickly than usual -- and took it slow than usual for the three days after surgery.

4. I'm now five days post-surgery and except for not lifting items over ten pounds, I'm feeling relatively okay, with only some tiredness towards the end of the day.

--Steve
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replied July 29th, 2011
Experienced User
This is a great thread. I just wish I'd found it before I went through the operation, I wasn't given clear information and think I had unreasonable expectations about the recovery, especially from the idea that it was "day surgery". I was given very little information about pain relief and if the discharge nurse hadn't mentioned almost as an aside to keep on top of the pain, I would probably have gone back within 24 hours thinking something was seriously wrong.

I had my surgery late in the afternoon and stayed in hospital overnight. I was fine and eating within an hour of waking up. I was uncomfortable rather than in pain and would happily have gone straight home. The next day I was fine in the morning but quite uncomfortable by evening. Possibly I shouldn't have been pottering in the garden, and probably I should have been taking painkilers. The wound pain wasn't too bad, although the belly button was a nuisance when I bent over. The main pain was a badly swollen abdomen and the intermittent gas pains in my shoulders. I had to sleep on my back for the first few days which is really difficult for me.

I started taking over the counter painkillers for the next few days and these helped a lot. I was very tired at first, and couldn't comfortably walk more than a few hundred yards until the end of the week. The shoulder pains became less frequent, although I still got them occasionally even a week later. The four small wounds healed very quickly and cleanly. I stopped taking the painkillers after after a few days but got quite a bit of pain where my gallbladder used to be and had to take them for a few more days. Possibly I'd been overdoing things a bit.

I've been able to eat more or less normally right from the start, which is a relief after nearly a year without fat and steadily losing weight. I definitely get more wind than I'm used to and am not quite so regular but no real problems.

I wouldn't have wanted to go back to even a desk job after 1 week, although could probably have managed with enough painkillers. I was mostly back to normal after 2 weeks.

A month on and I still get "stitch" pain on my right side when stretching or lifting too much. I've tried some ball throwing to loosen up the muscles on that side but that made the pain worse. Fingers crossed I don't have any serious adhesions that will cause longterm problems.
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replied August 6th, 2011
Gallbladder key hole removal sugery...
Well what a find this thread is!! I have been suffering from digestive problems for about 2 years now, and along with a myriad of other symptoms, the gallbladder symptomshave been by far the worst! After x-rays, scans and endoscopies no stones have been found but some 'growths' and crystallisation; possible beginnings of stones I have been told. Therefore I have been scheduled for gallbladder removal via key hole towards the end of September. Having never had an operation before I am rather anxious, but all of the comments on here have really helped. I am a first school teacher, so my job is very stressful, physical and I work on average 80+ hours a week, so am concerned about when I can/should return to work. My boss wants me to take it easy and come back when I am ready, but I am hearing very different advice....some friends were back after 2 weeks, whereas some were off for 6 weeks and still felt very unwell. I guess I will just have to play it by ear...I shall bookmark this site though as it is very helpful and reassuring to know so many other people are going through the same thing! Good luck to all of you....here's to being able to enjoy food again!! X
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replied August 8th, 2011
Experienced User
Whatever you do, take the two weeks at least. This past week (4 weeks out) I finally feel like I am not running out of energy by mid afternoon at work. Even if you feel up to going back, get your rest! You have one chance to heal.

My four week update. Finally feel almost normal again. Some tinging around the incision sights but nothing unusually painful. If I sit for long periods of time, I notice this more. Had my first diet soda in over three months and my first spicy food as well and handled that fine this past weekend. Still avoiding fatty foods. Actually put 2 lbs back on this week, had lost 33lbs since the onset of the really bad stretch.

Like Iann, still having irregular bowel issues. Mostly constipated despite everyone telling me it would be the opposite. When I do have the bouts of diarrhea, my stomach sounds like an alien and cramps like it is trying to get out!

My best bit of advice, start on Metamucil or some other fiber right after surgery. It will help to bind up any excess bile in your system, until your body can adjust. It also helps keep you some what regulated. Also lots and lots of water!

Don't listen to those people that were back to work in two days. Everyone is different and some take longer to heal. I ended up in the ER two weeks out from surgery with terrible bile fluxing up. Was expecting I would be well like all of those other GB removal troopers who were AWESOME after their surgery. Again took me nearly 4 weeks to feel nearly normal.

Really glad they finally found this and that I had it taken out.

Best of luck to anyone going in for surgery soon and hang in there for those reading this after surgery, thinking you won't get well. Give it time.
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replied August 9th, 2011
Just had my GB yanked 2 weeks ago...I had 8 days off...certainly could have used 3-4 more honestly...I did stop using painkillers at the end of day 2 though...
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replied September 4th, 2011
Gallbadder recovery
This is a great thread and I thank all of you who have posted their stories...here is mine

My symptoms were:

Dull pain under my right breast,going towards the middle of my chest.
A feeling like my bra strap was on way too tight.
Constant dull discomfort,fullness,bloating and a feeling like i was 3 ms pregnant.
Dull pain no matter what i ate, even healthy foods.
After abdominal ultrasound,i did have gallstones.

I had gallbladder surgery on July 22, 2011...the surgery went well, i was admitted at 8:30am, given an IV and fell asleep, they did 4 small incisions,2 on my side,1 in the bellybutton and 1 next to the gallbladder,they pumped CO2 in me to get a better view and took the gallbladder out..when it was over, i did wake up to a lot of pain and they gave me pain meds and antibiotics and was home by 2:00pm the same day.

It took me 5 weeks to feel better..

Everybody is going to heal according to their own time-table,so it's ok if your body doesn't heal as quickly as you would like it to...annoying maybe,but ok..

The first few days were awful..my husband helped me in and out of bed,and to the restroom..i could not do it my myself.
I needed lots of pillows,2 behind my head and 1 on each side of my body, that really helped.
I had abdominal pain/pulling,felt nausea,had headaches,and felt dizzy during my recovery.
I used crushed ice in baggies on my head for headaches and sometimes across my stomach on a towel to help with the abdominal pain.
I slept and rested a lot the first 4 days.
I did start walking around slowly on the 5th day to help with my recovery.
After the 6th day, i did small tasks and then went back to rest as i felt very winded.
My mother came and stayed with me for a week to help me heal,take care of the kids and cook.thanks mom
I had a lot of movies to watch.
I held my stomach if i sneezed,coughed,or laughed.
I did have soft stools and some pressure going to the bathroom the first week.
I took pain meds for 5 days and then i switched to tylenol for the pain and headaches.
After the first week through the fifth week, i still had a pulling feeling in my stomach,dull pain where my gallbladder was and a feeling of being very tired
and out of breath quickly.

I ate jello,soups,unsalted crackers,ice-pops,italian ices,toast,mashed potatoes,rice with a little bean juice sauce that comes from cooking red beans using the recipe in back of the goya beans can..such good flavors,small pieces of chicken,water,apple juice and gatorade for the first week and then slowly introduced other foods.

I would like to say that everybody does heal very differently and i am one of the slow healers and even though i knew this because i had my wisdom teeth taken out and a c-section done in the past...i still felt like i needed to come to this thread every so often just to make sure that i was ok..i felt comfort in reading everybody elses experiences..and it made me feel better..thanks to all & a speedy recovery
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replied September 11th, 2011
I had my surgery on 8/16/11 so I'm 4 weeks out now. Laproscopicaly 4 small incision. They are little bumps that seem to be shrinking with time. I still have some discomfort but its just a twinge now and then. Unless I do some heavy lifting or strenuous exercise. Then its a bit more. Take it slow and don't over do it. I took 2 weeks off work and would have probably felt better taking 3. My first week back I still had some discomfort and tiredness. I think when all the body's energy is going into healing your insides you tire faster.
As for the surgery: I went in at 10am, surgery at 2pm and woke up around 5. I think I woke up once before because I vaguely remember talking to the doctor. I had to stay there untill I could pee. Since I kept falling back to sleep I didn't go home till about 8pm. Any kind of drug makes me sleepy so this reaction wasn't unusual for me. That night the pain started getting bad so I took the pain killers and went back to sleep. Woke up in the middle of the night with pain. I remembered something I read on another site and started walking. I paced through my house for as long as I could stand it. This helps your body dispell the gas they inflate you with during the surgery. I think it was the best advice I got. The next day I felt a lot better. Still needed pain meds but it was a lot better.
I kept to a low fat diet and this helped. (under 25 grams a day) I had a few loose stools so added Metamucil fiber supplement clean and clear and that took care of that. I'm still eating low fat and add a new food once a week. Yesterday I had two eggs (total 9 grams of fat!) and was fine.
I think the trick to feeling better after gall bladder removal is watching fats and adding more fat to your diet slowly. Most people I talk to say that the body's ability to digest fat comes back slowly as your body figures it out. This could take up to a year so be patient. (I'm 54) Good luck to everyone.
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replied September 26th, 2011
I'm so glad I found this. I'm going in for my surgery here in 4 days and I'm very nervous. It'll be my first surgery. I am not looking forward to the pain I'll have after the surgery. I'm going in for the 5 little cuts type. I'm a wimp so I know it'll take a long time for me to heal...
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replied October 15th, 2011
i hope your surgery went well. i was like you too this was my first surgery and i was feeling very nervous, i had mine out by lap(key hole)and im so glad its done now.
i had mine removed on the 10/10/2011 and was in a good bit of pain for the first 24hrs, due to the gas they put into your tummy so they can see what there doing.
i was home the next day and off the pain killers by day 2. and im sleeping really well. and can sleep on my side. im still a little sore mostly my side. it feels like ive done loads of sit ups.
i had no stitches so left with 4 small wounds, they are heeling great apart from the one on my belly button thats still pulling and is very sore still. but every day i feel a little better.
i have 4 small children so find not being able to pick them up hard Sad but ive been doing all the house work and cooking i just have to take my time but i cant manage to bath them yet. and on the 5th day ive started driving again.
one thing which is driving me mad is the belching, just cant stop even when im not eating or drinking im belching, so i hope that goes soon.
and ive been trying to keep on a low fat diet and drinking plenty of water.
also i have to say after hearing so many storys i thought i would be back to normal after aday or 2. even though im not to bad i know it will be a good few weeks before im 100% so for anybody due to have this done it is well worth it. but listen to your body and dont rush yourself
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replied October 15th, 2011
i hope your surgery went well. i was like you too this was my first surgery and i was feeling very nervous, i had mine out by lap(key hole)and im so glad its done now.
i had mine removed on the 10/10/2011 and was in a good bit of pain for the first 24hrs, due to the gas they put into your tummy so they can see what there doing.
i was home the next day and off the pain killers by day 2. and im sleeping really well. and can sleep on my side. im still a little sore mostly my side. it feels like ive done loads of sit ups.
i had no stitches so left with 4 small wounds, they are heeling great apart from the one on my belly button thats still pulling and is very sore still. but every day i feel a little better.
i have 4 small children so find not being able to pick them up hard Sad but ive been doing all the house work and cooking i just have to take my time but i cant manage to bath them yet. and on the 5th day ive started driving again.
one thing which is driving me mad is the belching, just cant stop even when im not eating or drinking im belching, so i hope that goes soon.
and ive been trying to keep on a low fat diet and drinking plenty of water.
also i have to say after hearing so many storys i thought i would be back to normal after aday or 2. even though im not to bad i know it will be a good few weeks before im 100% so for anybody due to have this done it is well worth it. but listen to your body and dont rush yourself
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replied October 18th, 2011
Response to recovery message
Its day 5 and I'm in so much pain that I rather throw myself out the 17th story window than deal with it. However, I can pee now! Whoo-hoo! I'm so glad I can pee on my own now. Whoever said they went back to work the next day is lying thru their @$$.
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replied October 18th, 2011
...and I did have a nurse tell me she returned to work the very next day. Whatever superwoman!

My gall bladder was so infected it was yellow and began to crystalize. Has anyone else had a crystalized gall bladder? I think that's stranger than normal.
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replied November 3rd, 2011
I had my gallbladder out 20 years ago, luckily it was laproscopically. I was in the military at the time and flew from Las Vegas to Texas for my surgery. I was in the hospital the night before surgery and then one night after and then flew home (with a connecting flight) the day after my surgery. My recovery went pretty well, pain in my shoulder from the gas, but I was able to go back to work fairly quickly (I think I was out a week total, including travel time).
I have continued to have pain on and off, like when I had my gallbladder, but thank God it's short lived, usually about 20 minutes as compared to 10-24 hours when I had my gallbladder. I also developed 'dumping syndrome' after the surgery. Unfortunately I haven't been able to completely narrow down which foods cause it so it is hit or miss whether or not it's going to affect me. This can be difficult as I'm an RN and I can't take breaks as needed. I've also gained a lot of weight since my surgery, but I"m not sure it's tied to my surgery or just my busy lifestyle.
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replied November 4th, 2011
Gallbladder recovery
Thank you all for your storys and words of encourgement. I am due to have my gallbadder removed the day before Thanksgiving Mad (Guess turkey and dressing are off the menue.) Thought I might be able to go back to work on Monday but after reading all of the post I decided to schedule to be off the next week.

I do have a couple of questions and hope someone can answer them for me. 1. Should you cleanse your colon before the surgery. The only instructions I received was no food or water after midnight. 2. Does physical condition affect recovery time? I am over weight but not obese. If I start walking now would that help my recovery?

Thanks for any advice.
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replied November 4th, 2011
Experienced User
You might be surprised what you can have for your Thanksgiving Dinner. I could eat pretty much anything straight away and so can many people. Although you shouldn't go mad and you should probably keep the alcohol to a minimum. Don't expect to be doing much though, even carving a turkey could be too much for you.

Beyond that, don't panic too much. Exercise isn't going to do you any harm but it isn't going to make much difference in the next two weeks. Likewise there are no special procedures to follow before surgery, other than the simple fasting. The fasting itself is much less than used to be recommended, just a few hours. For example, if you know you would be having the surgery in the afternoon then you would be able to have a drink for breakfast.

Just follow the instructions you are given. Some of the things that don't always get explained clearly revolve around cleanliness and shaving. Obviously, have a shower before you go in, or at least the night before. You may have been given a special shower gel if you are carrying one of the common bugs like MRSA. Use it because dying from an antibiotic-resistant infection is no fun, and killing someone else would be just bad karma. But don't be shaving anything near your stomach because close shaving is a potential source of infection. The surgeons (or anaesthetist's assistant) is fully trained in what and how to shave, and will leave you with a lovely set of stubble across your stomach!
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replied November 11th, 2011
gallbladder recovery times
After a clean ultrasound, had a HIDA scan. No stones, but poor ejection fraction. Meeting surgeon in 10 days. Supposed to go on extended travel (out of country) in two weeks. My GP said I would be in/out in a day and ready to go... glad I found this site. I am not having horrible problems (so far) sooooo I think I may just postpone until I get back. Last thing I want is to be sitting on a plane, wondering when the seatbelt light is going off, or trying to find someone that speaks English better than I speak Spanish.
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replied November 18th, 2011
gallbladder surgery
I had my gall bladder out yesterday morning,and I fretted about it all month, especially after reading all the horror stories in here.

Surgery started around 8 am and I was leaving the hospital at 1 PM. I had no problem eating their liquid meal. (actually the cream of chicken soup was pretty good). Last night I slept on either side as well as on my stomach!

Today I am relatively pain free..... I mean, I can feel something was done, but it's not any worse than doing 100 sit ups. So far it's been a piece of cake. I feel I could go back to work and drive, if not for the extreme drowsiness that the meds give me.
Get up and move around.... otherwise you can get stiff. Oh, the only complaint I might have is that it feels like my mouth has glue in it, and it's a little hard to breathe or sleep because of all the phlegm at the back of my throat. I keep waking myself up snoring!. Smile
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replied November 24th, 2011
I may have been getting the start of a cold prior to surgery... hence the laryngitis I had afterwards... OR it may have been from the tube they put in your throat ( YOU WILL NEVER KNOW THIS because you will already be under the anesthetic).....but anyway, it is all cleared up within a couple days.
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