Category Archives: Suffering from an ectopic pregnancy

Am I being punished?

I found the love of my life, after a first marriage and a lot of mistakes.  With having trouble conceiving I often think that I should just be happy with the life we have together, without children.  I know that both of us would be happy together no matter what.  We know a lot of couples who have struggles and who may not love each other the way that we love each other.  I’m thankful that I can say that I know what true love is.  If we don’t have a baby, I know we’ll be fine and live a rich life full of love for one another.  I can’t help but think that somehow I’m being punished though.  Through my battles of eating disorders and what I consider to be selfishness now (didn’t then), and say I didn’t want children (probably because I never found the right person to have children with until I met my husband), I tend to think that this is my punishment.  I have everything I’d ever want in a partner and soulmate and the universe is telling me I can’t have it all.

It just doesn’t seem fair.  Others have babies all the time without a problem.  Or, without having to go through several doctor appointments and drugs and special timing to have sex.  I’ve done my fair share of over-drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes and I feel like maybe that is why this is happening?  But then I think about crack whores who get pregnant and friends who chain smoked daily for years and years and they got pregnant.  I have a friend who smoked throughout her pregnancies (2) and her kids are amazingly perfect.  So why me, now?  Why do I have to think about my past, my 20’s, having fun, and think that perhaps those years affected me now – wanting to have a child with the man I love.  I now do everything that I need to do to be healthy, yet I’m overweight.  I like to try and blame it on the clomid but I’m sure that’s not it.  People who know me may say I’m not overweight, but I definitely am.  I can’t even lose a few pounds.  I can’t do anything right.  I remember my sister telling me this after she suffered from one (of 3) of her miscarriages.  She was trying to lose a few pounds and felt like she couldn’t even make that happen and felt like a failure (she’s tiny by the way) all the way around.  I tend to tell myself that I’ve been through a lot the past year, so big deal I’m a little overweight.  But then I think, if I was at the perfect weight maybe I wouldn’t have trouble conceiving.  Then again, there is an issue with my husband too and the shape of his sperm.  So I know it’s not just me, but I want to blame it on just me.  I also know people who are severely overweight and they have a ton of healthy children also.

Something my doctor said the other day has stuck with me.  After she explained that it seems perhaps I’m not ovulating and we should see a fertility specialist, I asked her how did I get pregnant once (ectopic) if I don’t ovulate?  She said maybe I got lucky.  Maybe I got lucky!?  I would prefer that we didn’t get pregnant at all.  Maybe I would have found out earlier that I don’t ovulate.  But I took ovulation tests before and they said I was ovulating (time to have sex).  So how can that be?  I found that pregnancy tests don’t lie.  I got one positive one before with the ectopic and I have never gotten a positive one again.  So do the ovulation tests lie?  Or, it’s that I ovulate “late” or something like that.  And, if I were to have gotten lucky that one time, why didn’t it result in a pregnancy that could come to term?

We have had names picked out for a long time.  It sucks when others we know are having babies right and left and perhaps they “stole” our baby name (which is impossible because we’ve only told a few close family members).  I know in the grand scheme of everything, it doesn’t matter if someone we know used the same name that we want that means so much to us.  But it disappoints me knowing that it may be years until we can possibly conceive and have a healthy baby and perhaps we will pick another name by then.  That makes me sad.  I want a baby now and I want to give the baby the name that we want.  I feel like that will never happen.

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It’s been one year

One year ago today we were informed that our first pregnancy was ectopic and I was injected with a shot of methotrexate.  The worst day of my life.  One year later, it doesn’t hurt any less.  We try every month to conceive (and now with the help of clomid) and come up disappointed over and over again.  I feel a punch to my gut every time I see an announcement that a friend is expecting or a baby was just born.  Actually a friend and her husband were told that they would not be able to conceive without the help of IVF (both having some sort of a problem) and a few weeks later she took a test and is pregnant.  While I’m happy for them I can’t help but think why can’t that be us?  We’ve been trying longer and have gone through so much heartache already.  I also hope that it is a healthy pregnancy too and they don’t find out at their first appointment next week that it’s ectopic.

My husband got me the greatest gift for my birthday a few weeks ago.  It’s actually being made and sized so we don’t have it yet.  It’s an eternity ring to stack on top of my wedding band filled with diamonds and sapphires.  Sapphires are the birthstone for September and that is when our baby would have been due.  It’s also my husband’s birth month.

I had plans for today – clean the house and organize a few things- but I can’t seem to get out of bed.  I want to just lay in the dark and hopefully fall asleep all day long so I don’t hear my thoughts of sadness and loss of hope.  I think I can allow myself to do that.  Chores can wait and tomorrow is a new day.

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Where is my Holiday Cheer?

It’s that time of year.  Thanksgiving has passed.  While I’m full of gratitude for a lot of things (my husband, our dog whom we consider our daughter, our cats, our home, our jobs and our wonderful family and friends), it’s hard to feel any sort of holiday cheer right now.  Now, it’s onto Christmas and Hanukkah and all the shopping that comes with it.  I have no desire.  None.  I walk into a store and walk right out (thank goodness for online shopping).  I’ve even asked my husband if it’s ok if we not put the tree up this year because it’s such a hassle.  He seems ok with that.  While the holidays are full of presents (it’s totally fun to open presents and get new things), it should be more about spending quality time with the ones you love.  That’s what I keep telling myself when I don’t feel like shopping and buying gifts.  I think the problem is, I’d rather be buying baby things for us, hoping that we were pregnant.  I constantly see families with kids doing fun holiday traditions together.  Tree lightings.  Polar Express rides.  Reindeer petting farms.  Elf on a Shelf.  Whatever.  We have fun doing those things together and possibly with our dog (if dogs are allowed) but it’s not the same when you wish you had a child of your own.  We also have an adorable niece and nephew that we constantly see pics of that fill our hearts with love (we don’t get to see them too often) but I still feel sad watching them, knowing we don’t have any kids of our own.  My husband and I took our dog for a walk today and talked a little bit about this…how long to keep trying and what is next.  We pretty much decided to keep doing what we are doing through the winter and then we look into more options.  We also are ok with deciding, if it comes to that, to stop trying and live a life full of love together.  We are in this situation due to our age.  If we were younger, I don’t think we’d worry so much, or even talk yet about what if we don’t have children.  We are doing everything right.  It doesn’t make sense that we aren’t pregnant yet and it’s just not fair.  I also have another cyst on my vagina.  Luckily it’s not on my labia like last time so it doesn’t hurt as bad and warm compresses seem to help.  It’s still just not fair.  Why is this happening to me?  Why am I always in discomfort and not getting pregnant in the process?

A lot of days when I’m alone I find myself feeling depressed or bored or wondering what to do with myself.  I’m sad.  I want to find joy in the small things but it’s hard.  Every time I look at a picture of someone’s kid I wonder what our kid would look like.  Would our kid smile so big and giggle like that?  Or is that just a dream?  Then, there are possibilities that something could go wrong in pregnancy and that is scary too.  After all the disappointment we’ve been through, could we handle a challenge if we were to get pregnant and something was wrong?

I just want to stop feeling sad and defeated and disappointed all of the time.  I think I’ll only find that joy and “holiday cheer” back if I were to become pregnant (a healthy pregnancy please).  I don’t want to feel sad all of the time either, so how do I get over that if I never do get pregnant?

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Can’t catch a break

Ever hear of a bartholin cyst?  I haven’t until today.  Earlier in the week I noticed something felt a little off when I wiped after peeing.  I took a quick look and didn’t really see anything.  This kept going on for a few days when suddenly it hurt a bit more.  I took a closer look and there seemed to be a bump on my right labia.  I had my husband look at it and we both figured it was probably just a zit or something in an odd spot.  This has happened to me once or twice before in my life.  The pain got worse and the bump got bigger and harder.  I felt discomfort when I walked and the area was very irritated.  Yesterday it was bigger than ever and really hard.  I googled zit on labia and found a few things regarding zits and cysts.  Suggestions were to take a soak, use baking soda and that eventually it would heal on it’s own.  I couldn’t imagine this huge sucker healing on it’s own.  Today I was in so much pain.  I took a baking soda bath and had my husband look at it again.  He was shocked at the size of it.  In so much pain I decided to call the answering service to my OBGYN’s office.  They got my doctor on the phone and after describing it to him he said it sounds like a bartholin cyst and said they are common and getting it drained is a must.  He suggested I go to the ER (since it’s Sunday) or I can wait to call the office in the morning and get an appointment at one of the 3 offices in the area for tomorrow.  Knowing I have to process payroll tomorrow for over 150 associates, I chose to head to the ER to get this taken care of.  As I checked in with the nurse and told her what I was there for, she asked how do I know?  Explained the conversation I had with my doctor and she seemed to agree.  She immediately showed empathy.  God, this f*cking hurts.  Maybe she’s had one before?  Or maybe she just knows how much it hurts from patients who have had this.  The lady who took my blood pressure gave me a sad face look too, like, “oh honey, I know you must be in a lot of pain”.  Then she said, “oh, those are from shaving”.  I did read that on one of the several links I pulled up on the internet but I don’t put a razor on my labia!  Who does?  There isn’t even hair there.  Sure I shave my bikini line but wouldn’t the cyst develop there then?  I chat with her as she walks me to room 49 and mentioned last time I was here was for methotrexate for an ectopic pregnancy.  She said she would pray for me.  That was nice of her.  I was just chatting saying this really sucks and it hurts a lot and if it’s not one thing it’s another since our journey to become parents.  We get to room 49 and someone is in there.  She then says, “oh, an ambulance must have arrived with a patient” (so it didn’t show in the system?).  I followed her through the area where doctors are and she asked me to wait there.  I hear the medics asking the patient in room 49 if she has a history of cutting herself.  That reminds me that my life isn’t all that bad and I felt sorry for the patient in that room.  She gets me into room 45.  I take my pants off and get comfy, turn on the TV and watch an episode of House Hunters Renovation on HGTV.

My husband and I just drove back from a 3 hour drive after visiting family.  He had to go to work so I drove myself to the ER.  I wish he could have been with me.  Finally the doctor came in and took a look.  He confirmed it was a bartholin cyst.  I asked my many questions.  How is this caused?  Is this common?  Now that it’s happened to me is it likely to continue to return (something I read online)?  Do I have to take antibiotics (because I don’t want to with actively trying for a baby)?  Can I still have sex, since we are trying for a baby?  You are going to insert a small catheter?  Will it hurt?  How long will it stay in?  Can you take a blood test to see if I’m pregnant now even though I took a home pregnancy test yesterday and it was negative?  You want to give me pain meds?  I don’t want them because I could possibly be pregnant.  Ugh.  So many questions and I feel defeated.  Another shitty thing is happening to me.  To us.  In the process of wanting to become pregnant.

They were very nice to me and explained everything.  There is no real cause.  The gland just gets blocked somehow and a cyst forms.  Mine was the size of a large cashew and was definitely infected.  They occur and sometimes people don’t even know they are there and they go away on their own.  Not me!  Mr. Cashew wanted to be seen and felt.  The bright side?  It wasn’t the size of a golf ball or larger which could happen.  I asked for something to squeeze before they put a f*cking needle into my labia.  I was handed a wad of gauze.  Before this happened I heard ambulance patient screaming things like “get away from me”…blah blah.  I reminded myself again that I don’t have it so bad.  Once the gauze was in hand and she told me she was ready to begin I felt the worst pain ever.  She poked me 4 or more times with a needle in my right labia to numb it.  Now I was that patient in the other room but I screamed “F*CK and JESUS CHRIST” more than once while practically lifting my pelvic to the ceiling wanting to jump off the bed.  They leave me be for a bit to let the numbing take place.  I’m glad I didn’t have mascara on or I would have walked out of there looking like Alice Cooper.  Then, there is a knock on the door from the hallway (not the area the doctor comes in from).  It’s a lady looking for her mother’s slippers.  Really!?  I replied that someone is in here and there are no slippers.  She then asked if I was dressed/covered.  I replied yes.  She walked right in, all smiles, saying sorry and looked for slippers.  Not there.  Seriously?  See you later a**hole.

Once they were down there attempting to put the word catheter in, I didn’t feel a thing.  Thank God.  They claimed it would just take one second though.  Before they started they did ask me again if I was sure I didn’t want any pain medicine.  I declined in case I was pregnant and they wouldn’t do a blood test to see if I was, saying it was too soon and it wouldn’t show since my last period was 10/5.  I said no medicine.  Plus I drove myself.  I was advised to take some tylenol.  Ok, that I can do.  So, one second was more like 5 minutes (watching the clock).  Again, thank God I can’t feel anything.  Turns out that my cyst wasn’t big enough to take the word catheter.  It didn’t want to stay in.  I guess that’s a plus!?  At least I would not have to go back to doctor’s office to get it removed in a week or so.  They stuffed it with gauze and said it’ll fall out on it’s own or I can remove it myself tomorrow.  In the mean time keep it dry and no hot yoga for a day or so (darn it..that’s my happy place at 6pm on Mondays).

It now just stings.  A lot.  I’m afraid to look at it or go to the bathroom.  I’m so uncomfortable but I feel like I’m probably not as uncomfortable as I was with a blood and puss filled cyst on my labia.  I’ll have to wait and see what I feel like tomorrow.  I wish my husband wasn’t at work but I’m glad to be home, in bed with nothing that has to get done tonight, with my dog and some DVR’d shows to watch.

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Do You Remember Dancing In September?

I love September.  It’s the beginning of fall, my favorite season (comfy jeans, baggy sweatshirts and decorative scarves, oh my)!  Brisk bike rides with my dog.  The leaves on the trees are changing into vibrant colors.  The smell in the air.  Pumpkin muffins and drinks.  It’s my husbands birthday month too.  This September is a little sad for me though.  It’s also the month that our baby would have been born.

We were trying to get pregnant for months.  I had an HSG test done to make sure my tubes were nice and open and my husband was checked out too.  We wanted to be sure to do everything in advance before our journey because we are in our late 30’s and my sister suffered 3 miscarriages (she now has two beautiful smart & healthy kids).  It’s a shame how some people get pregnant so easily or “by mistake”.  I’ll never understand how someone gets pregnant by mistake.  Never.  When we weren’t getting pregnant at first my sister gave me a lot of advice and actually told me what to get tested for (vs an actual doctor).  Turns out I carry the MTHFR gene mutation just like she does.  There is research that the gene could cause infertility.  Most say you have to have more than one copy of it though.  She told me to take prescription folic acid and a baby aspirin along with a prenatal vitamin.  Did my doctor suggest this?  No.  The woman who went through hell trying to become a mom told me this.  Does it help?  Supposedly.  At least my doctor agreed when I suggested it to him.  More recent studies show that people with MTHFR don’t process Folgard the way the body should.  So now I’m taking Metanx which is a natural form of folic acid.  Maybe that will help.  Who knows.

We did everything right.  Had sex during prime ovulation time.  Month after month when my period arrived and/or the pregnancy test was negative, we became disappointed but remained optimistic.  After the 6th month of trying we should have received more medical help since I’m over 35.  The doctor said just keep trying.  In January (my birthday month) I took a test and it was positive!  I actually took the test in a Meijer bathroom immediately after I bought it because I couldn’t wait to get home (and I was on my way to a friends baby shower).  POSITIVE!!  We are PREGNANT!  After telling my husband I told my sister immediately.  She told me to get blood work done to check my beta levels.  I did that.  And they were low, along with my progesterone levels.  The doctor office gave me some vaginal inserts for progesterone.  I asked that my initial first appointment be earlier than “normal” because of my fear of something going wrong after what my sister went through.  They went ahead and scheduled it.

January 17th.  A Friday.  We had the appointment.  The lady checking us in and taking my weight had a rude tone to her voice saying “you’re here early” after I answered her question of how far along I was.  Screw you bitch.  You may see a lot of pregnant people in here but if I want to come in at (what we think was) 5 weeks and my doctor allowed this appointment, shut your mouth and just do your job.

The doctor comes in.  Probing around in there.  Not seeing anything.  Sees something that possibly could be the sac but thinks maybe it’s just too early.  He sends me to the hospital for a more thorough look.  We get to the hospital and this lady was so nice.  She made me feel a little more comfortable but I could tell something was wrong.  She was in there for what seemed to be hours.  Moving that thing around all over the place.  Saying she had to make a call and have someone else look at it.  Can’t be good news.  And, it wasn’t.  My doctor was already on a plane to Florida to visit his brother so they had to call the doctor on call.  She told me that there could be a few scenarios of options and most likely this is an ectopic pregnancy.  This was over the phone.  Perhaps trying to keep us hopeful, we were instructed to go to the ER on Sunday for another ultrasound.  We didn’t quite understand this, but whatever.  I started the day thinking it was just going to be a morning appointment and I would go into work after.  I had to call off to my boss, 1.5 months after my start date.  Ugh.  At this point I’m thinking why go to the ER on Sunday?  Is this going to cost us a fortune?  Why can’t someone tell me something more concrete now?  Because it’s too early?

Saturday morning I wake up to go to the bathroom and all I feel and see is blood.  I quickly cry out for my husband.  Am I having a miscarriage?  Frightened and worried, we contact my sister.  She is just as upset if not more than we are.  All the pain she has been through and now she feels that pain for her baby sister.  I could hear it in her voice.  We got off the phone and immediately headed to the ER.

It’s an ectopic.  It needs to be terminated.  It’s life-threatening to me.  We have two choices.  Get a shot of methotrexate and the termination takes its course for about two weeks (so they said).  Or, I have surgery to have it removed but then my tube would be damaged and make it harder to have a baby later on.  We chose the shot.  To make a long story short from here, I bled for 8.5 weeks.  I had to have a second shot one week after the first shot because my beta number wasn’t going down enough.  What I thought would be 2 weeks of bleeding and suffering turned into 8.5 weeks.  I didn’t sign up for that!  But looking at the positive side, at least I didn’t have to have surgery and my left tube is still “ok”.  That baby was one tough cookie trying to hang on.  I had to get blood drawn weekly.  The first blood draw after the initial methotrexate shot I had to go to the hospital versus the doctor’s office.  The lady at the desk was giving me a hard time because my license had 4 names on it (my first, middle, maiden last name and married last name) but on their records it just had my first and married last name.  That IS my name.  I chose to keep all of my names though legally.  Really?  This is a problem?  After I burst out into tears and I explain to her the simplicity to this whole thing that she thinks is an issue, she finally admits she is wrong.  I never got an apology though.  I’m dismissed to join the phlebotomist to get my blood drawn.  She takes one look at my arm and says “do you get your blood drawn a lot”?  I’m assuming she asks this question because I have several bruises there from blood work and an IV.  I respond by saying “I was in the hospital for an ectopic pregnancy which I have now and have been poked a lot”.  She then says “congratulations”.  I had to tell her what an ectopic pregnancy was and that she should not be congratulating me.  Then she asks, “so you can’t have the baby”?  I think it’s clear that sensitivity training needs to take place in that hopsital for all of their staff.  Sensitivity and common f**king sense and knowledge training.

It’s been known to happen that a woman doesn’t get her period until 6 months after an ectopic.  I was lucky enough to get it in April after my beta number was finally 0 (actually 1).  We had to wait a few cycles until we could try again.  So we are spending money on metanx, prenantal vitamins, baby aspirin, ovulation tests, etc.  Making sure to hit the right days when we should be able to get pregnant.  Knowing there is only a 20% chance of getting pregnant during the time you can get pregnant isn’t very encouraging.  Again, I’ll never understand how someone gets pregnant “by mistake” or “by accident”.  As of right now, we are not pregnant.  Perhaps in October my period won’t arrive and maybe we will be.  Fingers crossed.  There is a higher percent chance that we will have another ectopic though since we’ve already had one.  And, with my age, downs syndrome is a higher possibility.

We’ve since gone to a new doctor recently.  The father of a friend.  He listened and gave good advice.  We felt a connection with him which is needed during this difficult time.  He actually joked that we were spending money on ovulation tests when he’d give us a free one – a piece of paper!  It does turn our that perhaps we weren’t starting to have sex as soon as we should have been during the ovulation time frame.  I know for a fact though which day we got pregnant in December for the January positive result because it just so happened we only had sex on one day during that time frame.  This doctor doesn’t deliver babies anymore though so we’ll have to figure all that out once we are pregnant.  Will we have my files sent to him and go to him instead?  Who will delivery the baby if it comes to that?

If you read my blog titled “Strong Energy” you know I went to see a medium.  One of the things she did say was that my late father in law has that baby with him and to think spring.  Meaning maybe spring time is a good time to get pregnant?  Not sure.  We’ll see.  I believe everything else that happened during that session.  I’m hoping the pregnancy happens sooner than that, but if spring is the time then spring is the time.

While I haven’t let the loss of our child put a stop to my life, I haven’t felt like dancing and enjoying this month as much as I usually do.

“The bell was ringing, our souls were singing”.  Hopefully next September I’ll feel like dancing more.

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Self-Sabotage

My weight has fluctuated up and down my entire life, totaling 141 pounds.  Wow.  Just did the math from when I was a teenager and became so obsessed with not eating (very limited) resulting in a 27 pound weight loss taking me down to 97 pounds, to today, including the several times I was up and down.  That doesn’t count a few pounds up and down here and there.  And to think there are some people who have never had problems with their weight or just have a great metabolism and are naturally skinny.  Why can’t I be one of those people?  I’ve lost weight on Jenny Craig and on Weight Watchers (not the first time as a teen – that was just really unhealthy).  I know what my happy weight is (at least the magic number on the scale) but yet I seem to always “let myself go”.  I sabotage myself.  I know what I’m doing and I know how to fix it, but I don’t.  I binge eat and drink.  Everything in my life is good.  Great husband, beautiful home, awesome job, dear friends and family and the best doggy and two cats in the world…but I have this one stupid thing that I could do without.  Then again, can I do without it?  Is this what an addiction to something is like?  I let this stupid eating disorder and body image disorder rule my life.  I take medication for depression yet that doesn’t always seem to help.  My thoughts are CONSTANTLY on my body and how fat it is.  I think about the fat hanging over my pants and my thighs spreading out in the chair I’m sitting in and my arm fat bulging out of my tops where the tops fit the rest of me just fine.  When I’m doing yoga and trying to meditate I’m thinking about my fat.  I am envious of women who truly are happy with their bodies when they have a few extra pounds on them.  I’d like to think that I can be that person – comfortable in my own skin no matter what – but I’m not.  I’m not comfortable in my own skin when I’m overweight.  I finally realized that most people aren’t looking at me thinking what I’m thinking about myself.  It probably doesn’t cross their mind when looking at me that I’m “fat”.  They look at me for me.  But when I look at me (pictures recently) I don’t see me.  I don’t know who that body belongs to.  I let the hatred towards my body define me.  Why?  Funny thing is too, when I’m “skinny” I still don’t like to “show off” my body.  I don’t wear shorts.  Period.  When I’m “fat”, I think, man, I should have worn shorts and other things that skinny girls can wear.  Oh what I’d do to be able to be skinny and wear those things now.  I have an awesome wardrobe.  In so many sizes (0 to 8). I know it’s really bad when I start wearing the same things over and over again just because they are comfortable and I feel those clothes also help hide my fat.  It’s too bad really.  All those cute clothes going to waste.  I also feel that I don’t dress myself up to look nice either.  I feel like a frump.

Feeling like this also doesn’t help while my husband and I are trying to get pregnant.  After suffering an ectopic pregnancy I feel like I’ve been sabotaging myself more since the termination.  Termination.  Sounds horrible.  I know the baby couldn’t survive, but there still was a baby growing inside of me.  When perhaps I should have been treating my body like a temple after that loss, I started treating it worse.  Like I’m punishing myself.  I have feelings of hopelessness about becoming a mom and my husband becoming a dad.  I used to say that I didn’t want children.  Honestly I think I said that before because I couldn’t imagine being pregnant and being fat and gaining weight.  How stupid is that?  Still, that’s what I think.  I also didn’t know my husband back then and finding him, the one person on this earth made for me, I believe that also changed my thoughts on having a child.  I want nothing more than to be a mom and a parent to a healthy baby with my husband.

Every week I come up with a new plan.  I’m going to do this and not that.  I’m going to eat only fruit and veggies.  I’m going to exercise like crazy.  Then I slip.  I let one small slip turn into a huge slip.  Then try to start all over again.  A healthy moderation of everything would be great.  I’ve been there at some points in my life and want to get there again.  The stress and obsession of trying to get pregnant probably doesn’t help.  The worst part is when people say “just relax”.  Are you kidding me?

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