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LexAnger

LexAnger: tapering or no tapering, generic vs. name brand lexapro

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LexAnger

Another update for some changes lately. on-going with the micro taper, down to 3.625mg 3/2/2015 observing some typical WD symptoms like short fatigue, hot flash, anxious feeling etc 4-5 days from each cut then followed by couple days of severe needling before getting 1-2 fair days. The major problems are still pain related, the constent deep head/face pain and surface needling all over. One major improvement in the past month or so is the upper back pain/discomfort now is rarely an issue or at least tolerable.

One big scary new symptom is the severe jaw pain which showed up at the 3.625mg cut. Overall still dealing with various pain on different parts with changing severity every hour.  

 

Tried Magnesium 10mg, 5mg, 2mg seems all causing muscle twitch. Ended up with 4-6 fish oil (1400mg EPA & DHA) daily, OPC-3 only as supllement.

 

Trying hard to maintian the daily routine and exercise (40 min walk, 30 min swim), working from home most time, going through each painful day like in prison with daily torture but just pushing through with the hope being out of the hell someday.    

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Ssriwarrior

Sorry to hear about the pain! But glad to hear your back is feeling better. Small victories...sending healing vibes

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LexAnger

Kind of you! Indeed, regard

Ess the severe pain, at least not completely lost with brain not working the first couple,oaths after increase dose.

 

How are you doing? Still on 3 mg?

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LexAnger

Another update with more improvement. Still on the slow taper with 1%1 cut every 10 days or so. Getting more ok days and the bad days are not as bad as before. Overall feeling better both physically and mentally with hopeful thinking for future and life. Now get a sense of the so called stablizing.

 

Lessons learned #1, no big changes of anything, dose up or down, supplement, food, exercise,

Lessons learned #2, when being hit with severe symptoms, don't panic trying different things, just hang on, endurance and careful management is a must to get through the bad waves

 

Hope things move well from here without hiccups for the next few years till the end of tunnel.

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Tilly

Hi Lex,

 

I'm so glad to read that you are improving. I have experienced many of the side effects that you discuss and understand how distressing they are. It is good that you are getting some relief and stabilizing. I'm so happy for you. I hope that your progress continues. I will be following your progress here and cheering you on!

 

Be kind to yourself.

 

Tilly x

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LexAnger

Hi Tilly,

 

Thank you so much for your kind wards and support! I definitely hope i can continue providing some encoraging updates!

I hope you are on the right path of healing and feel better as it goes.

 

Lex

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Tilly

Hi Lex,

 

No need to continue providing encouraging updates. Post how you feel and you can receive the support that you need  :)

 

I feel very ill right now. But all the better for knowing you.

 

Be kind to yourself and keep updating.

 

Tilly x

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LexAnger

Hi Tilly,

 

So kind of you saying so! Unfortunately, I do have one quick but negative update. Immediately after my latest cut (0.05 mg out of 3.55 mg, about 1.6%). I experienced a very severe flu like day with lots chill, body aches, and low fever. It felt so much like the familiar normal flu. I never had this side effect in the past 2+ years of tapering so was guessing it a real flu. It only lasted for one day and now it's the third day since then it seems surely all gone, so I'm more convinced it was indeed from WD. Wow, I can't believe the flu-like symptoms ppl have been talking about can be that severe. I did have momentary chill feeling before and thought that was what is referred to as flu like symptoms.

 

Anyone has more experience on this sxs, as how bad, how long it can be etc.?

 

Other than that, I'm as always on the wave from the recent cut, with pain, numbness, nausea etc. which usually gets better after a weeks or so until the next cut. Hope this pattern continues with lower doses.

 

Another thing I forgot noting in the last update is, i havent had the needling pain (one of the worst and most intolerable sxs for me) since I was down to 3.6mg about 3-4 weeks back, actually it is the major clear improvement in the past 8 months, very grateful.

 

One other thing has been disabling me in the past 4-5 months is the low back pain. It started with the old L3 dislocation problem but this round it seems just not getting better after such a long time which made me thinking the possible relationship to WD induced nerve damage. I appreciate any thoughts/ experience in this area.

 

As strong I can try every little thing everyday to be, it's still feels very difficult somedays to think positive and hopeful for a better healthy and life even in a far future.

 

The longer i am Going through this journey, the more respect and admiration I have to each everyone here who are in constant and incredible suffering yet still providing support, steghth, hope to others, and fight to maintain high integrity, self esteem, and grace that have been harmed by these meds.

 

Sending love,

Lex

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ikam

Seems that you have similar problems, mostly pain related...my pain moves to different parts in my body. I have had my knee and pelvic pain from time to time...I used to be in severe pain in these areas when I was after Effexor...

Some of the pain mimic arthritis...

 

You doing GREAT! I like your mini-tapper schedule and mindful observing what happens in terms of symptoms...

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LexAnger

Thanks for stopping by Ikam!

You have been super strong which I admire!

Yes, we are more alike as lex users with pain related symptoms, although lately I found myself enjoying other stuff as well like nausea, chill, sickness and other misc I can't even remember. So Honestly, I don't think I can say I'm doing great, thought of being beaten up for life has been lurking around a lot.

 

I noticed you are on your way tapering by making liquid yourself. Hope things go smoothly for you.

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Altostrata

Lex, I would seek physical therapy, chiropractic, or osteopathic care for the back pain.

 

You might also hold for a little longer between cuts. Often the last bit is the hardest.

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LexAnger

Hi Alto,

 

Thank you for taking time and your advise!

 

Yeah, I think your advises of holding longer from now on is good. I did not want to hold for too long between cuts for the guess that most of my symptoms in the past 8 months were more from the bad reaction to a sudden dose increase mid last year, even my taper was rather slow already (about 0.1 mg per month). getting some classicl wd sxs as new ones can be a sign of too fast taper for the current dose and my cns situation at this moment.

 

I have been seeing my charapractor regularly since early this year. He helped me with a quick healing last year. I just hope it does not have much to do with the medication. After all these years, I feel the meds caused is the worst and the one I have the least power with. That's a good reminder of yours to seek physical therapy too. It seems charapractor is not working great until now, time to consider other options.

 

Hope you are doing great!

Lex

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Tilly

Hi Lex,

 

I can empathise with your symptoms.

 

Since withdrawal (and during periods of tolerance withdrawal when I was taking my regular dose) I have experienced flu symptoms at intervals, more prevalent after making a reduction. After reductions, my immune system always feels very compromised. Maybe as a result of  the CNS readjusting? During these times, I also experience gastric upsets, shakiness, increased pins and needles in my hands, a burning sensation in my shoulders, muscle tension especially in shoulders and neck, headaches, sweating and chills.

 

I have always been very warm blooded and lucky not to feel cold. However, I have become increasingly sensitive to cold in the past few months for no obvious reason other than withdrawal. Sometime a sensation of extreme cold has woken me even though my bedroom has been relatively warm.

 

It is funny that you mention back pain in relation to a previous injury. I had sciatica some 20 years ago which was remedied with physiotherapy and exercise. However, in recent months, lower sciatic back pain and spasms when bending forwards has come back and continues at intervals. Maybe in withdrawal, our vulnerable areas are triggered?

 

For the back pain and muscle tension, I use a hot water bottle, yoga stretching to strengthen muscles and  self massage to alleviate tension, including the facial area to reduce tension and headaches. If you exercise, make sure that you warm up and cool down with stretching to avoid a build up of lactic acid in the muscles which causes soreness and tension. If you have access to a steam room at your gym, this can also be used to ease muscle tension as well as a long soak in a warm bath.

 

How did you resolve your initial back injury? Reverting to a treatment that helped initially may be worth considering?

 

Try not to think too far into the future, Lex. Take each day at a time and be especially gentle with yourself during a reduction while your body adjusts.

 

I agree with Ikam. You are doing amazing! You might not be able to see this right now. The absence of symptoms is what we are all striving for. However the fact that you are working through your symptoms and starting to understand them as part of a withdrawal / healing process is real progress that will build your strength. "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it." Nelson Mandela

 

Be kind to yourself and keep us updated on how you are doing.

 

Tilly x

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LexAnger

Hi Tilly,

 

Your kindest care warms my heart!

Thank you so much for confirming, validating and providing so much insightful details!

 

I had the back issue the first time about 20 year ago (:)) too. It recurred several times in the past many years often being triggered by lifting heavy stuff. It went away by itself after couple weeks self care like resting without other treatment. This time, I use help from charapractor, jacuzzi, sauna everyday for many months.

 

Even though, what made me hard to get through each day is still the killer drug. I started to have couple of good days in between the cuts since 3.6mg but this round it's very different. Feeling only 10% of my brain is awake even after 9-10 hours sleep.

 

Anyway, guess its the whole scenario of constant changing nature of the process, brain catching up everything every second (used to think in term of minutes), os have to understand and live with it.

 

I used to be rather good keeping hopes for the final day. Guess the recent challenge in the aspect is also part of the entire package. Thank you so very much for your encouraging words, especially the great example you set by being so strong and positive yourself! I believe your current situation is more challenging for that I respect and admire you even more!

 

I will try to set my mind to believe it will get better and my thinking will be different when I feel better. It's the WD only and will pass.not thinking future is a great strategy, i need to be reminded especially when down.

 

My prayer is for you!

Lex

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Tilly

Bless your heart, Lex.

 

Your words are very touching. Thank you so much.

 

I have every faith in you. You are doing all of the right things to get well. Sometimes we just need to know that others are experiencing similar things as part of the process and that others believe in us. I believe in  you. You have such strength and support here that will see you through.

 

I wish that you lived nearer so that we could share a (none stimulating!) cuppa and chat :)

 

Know that you are not alone in this journey. Please get in touch whenever you need or fancy a chat.

 

Every time I light a candle here (most days unless I run out!) I light one for you :)

 

Huge hugs from your friend,

 

Tilly x

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LexAnger

Hi Tilly,

 

I feel myself so blessed knowing you and having you as a friend!

I will use your kindest encouragement and support for a good fight.

 

The candle alone makes each of my day brighter and always put a smile on my face. You are so sweet!

 

That's my wish too, to be nearer to such a good person like you!

 

You take good care and feel better soon.

 

Lex

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Tilly

Hi Lex,

 

Just stopping by to wish you a peaceful week.

 

Tilly x

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Tilly

Hey Lex!  :)

 

I'm stopping by, while I am able, to send you love hugs and continued healing.

 

Speak soon.

 

Tilly x

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LexAnger

hi Tilly,

 

That's so kind of you!

you take care of yourself and feel better!

 

Hugs,

Lex

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WinningThrough

Hi Alex. Thank you for visiting my thread. Wishing you healing x

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LexAnger

Been having bigger windows since 3.6mg with manageable pain and other symptoms (brain nonfunctional, nausea, fatigue etc.) disappearing or lessening gradually until the recent big hit after a root canal. Severe, intolerable, constant needling returned on top of the deep muscle/ bone pain. It has been quite a few days and doesnt seem going away anytime soon. Thank Goodness the Brain fog, nonfunctional is gone so still can get work done for job and at home while enduring the incredible pain. Didn't use any other medication likes in killer or antibiotics for the procedure and post procedure care for fear of interaction. Getting more sensitive over the course of tapering to everything like vitamins (got a huge headache after one pill of 2000 Vd). Eating lots fruits and vegetables and cutting more sugar and sweets, constipation is better.

 

Still on the same pace cutting 0.025mg every 2-3 weeks. And still not sure if all the symptoms are more from side effects or withdrawal.

 

Pain is my second name for the past 2+ years, often times the severity makes me wonder how much more/ longer I can endure.

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AliG

Hey Lex, . Take care, and be safe . :)

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bubble

Hello Lex,

 

I've been following your journey and our paths occassionaly cross on threads of fellow Lex victims but I never got the chance to say hi on your thread ;)

 

I admire the way you endure this awful and prolonged suffering and work despite it. I also got inspired for more frequent but less than 10 cuts on the Lex. I'm only starting my long way down with Lex after reducing benzo so I'm keen on learning from other Lex veterans.

 

When I CTed Lex I had severe sinnus issues as my almost only symptom at first. I also suffer from back pain but not sure it's connected to Lex. Also fear interactions with everything. My main issues is that I'd like to try and have a child and at 38 my time is running out. That's why I've been thinking if I can propose any bit faster tapering plan to my CNS.what I had in mind is tapering a bit over 10% till I reach the scary 2.5 threshold.

 

I will have to remind myself of that part of your journey when things took turn for the worse for you. I'm feeling great at the moment and will continue like that for another 3 months till we slide into late autumn.I d like to make use of that.

 

So much about me;) It's so positive to read that some of your symptoms decreased as the dose got smaller! Primarily your cognitive ones...

 

As Rhi often advises with micro tapers maybe you could do a longer hold like a month or two after a series of small cuts to make sure all delayed reactions have caught up with you...

 

It means so much to have an example and company of people like you and Tilly on this journey...

 

Wishing you all the best.

 

Bubble

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LexAnger

Thanks Bubble and Alig for stopping by and your support and encouragement! 

 

I dont update often as I feel its confusing if I do before I see a pattern and causal relationship myself, giving how unpredicable and mysterious these drugs impact our bodies.

 

first off, I am very grateful for the break I am getting today from the needling pain! Even the other pain still remains, I feel I can live.

 

Bubble, thanks for reminding me of the back pain! I thought I left something off in the update. yes, this is confirmed now that my back pain and discormfort is caused by the drug (either too much or too less) as I observed a clear pattern how the two goes together. My upper spine feels the stress from the drug the most so it explains.

 

some other info might be helpful to others:

 

 

Daily exercise: 20 min walk in morning to relax muscles ect, 20 min walk in evening for the same, then 20 min Sauna, then 30 min swimming. I do them all everyday not only I am discplined but I always felt desparte to go for relieve of my pain and discomfort. they all help a lot esp. swimmng

 

Supplement: no more try on any supplements or any other medications since the hit by the one pill of Vd. have been taking high concentration of fish oil twice a day, and OPC 3 (an life savor, a very effective antioxidant). 

 

Chirapractor: 2-3 times each week. My chiropractor works not only on my spine, neck, but also my always painful face, plus a machine rolling on m back, very relaxing, I always feel immediate relieve

 

Thanks also for your good reminder of the long holding! Yes, I think I should consider that from now on. The reason I did not feel sure about the longer hold in the past is, my worst situation was caused by bad reaction to dose increase. I felt my symptoms are mix of the reaction and withdrawal. SO I have been playing with both for a balance that I can maintain the basic life and work. up until now,  I still dont have very typical WD symptoms like fatigue, dizzness etc, instead more like drug side effects like pain related. I will try to hold a bit longer to see how it feels. I dont want to sta unnecessarily too long either if its indeed most are caused by too much drug.

 

For your situation Bubble, I feel you dont have to go super slow as you never gt a bad reaction to dose increase. My system was much tougher to dose change and other things before this bad reaction last year.  Otherwise I believe I can do a much faster and easier taper.

 

Also, are you still on Prozac?

 

Stay strong, even we all have been, continue staying strong for this extraordinary long and horridious journal.

 

Lex

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clearday

Lexanger,

 

Thank you for posting your encouraging words on my thread, I appreciate it -

 

You asked if I have had any adverse reactions to any medications since I stopped Lexapro -

 

I have not taken any antibiotics during this time, so I don't know how I would respond to them -

 

All other meds and drugs during this time, I have not had any adverse reactions; caffeine has never been a problem;

 

Although I do smoke cigars occasionally, I usually do not have reaction to the nicotine -

 

But six months ago during similar chest tightness symptoms, the nicotine definitely made things worse, so I stopped the cigars for six weeks until I could go back on them;

 

With this chest tightness wave, I am likewise avoiding cigars;

 

But today I had no chest tightness, so it only lasted four days this time, hopefully it will go away again. 

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LexAnger

Thank you clearday for responding!

I am happy for you the wave is short lived!

 

It's great that you don't have reaction to other meds, coffins and nicotine in general, it sounds your system is not messed up being super sensitive. Chest tightness is a indication of areas of lung/heart issues, making sense cigar can be a factor.

 

I asked because I had reactions to almost everything including vitamins. It's very stressful situation as it means in the next many years before I completely weaned off myself from lexapro, I can't take anything when I'm in the need for other health issues. I hope I won't be a problems after I am off the drug completely.

 

You take care and be kind to yourself.

Lex

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clearday

It's great that you don't have reaction to other meds, coffins and nicotine in general, it sounds your system is not messed up being super sensitive. Chest tightness is a indication of areas of lung/heart issues, making sense cigar can be a factor.

 

Luckily my heart and lungs are in great shape - I go running 3 miles every other day, and after a recent echocardiogram and stress test, my cardiologist says I am in excellent aerobic health.  

 

Cigars are not inhaled, so there is no effect on lung capacity. The nicotine is absorbed into the blood through the mucous membranes in the mouth. The nicotine can trigger WD symptoms. Yet in this case, it did not, since I am off cigars for a while now. Interestingly, nicotine is the only substance I know that makes the head noise disappear while ingesting it (it acts on GABA receptors, similar to lamotrigine. Lamotrigine - lamictal - is sometimes used at super low doses, less than 5 mg, to treat SSRI WD symptoms). But of course, tobacco in all forms is toxic and cancerous, so it is not a good option to treat SSRI WD.  I would try the lamictal if things get unbearable.

 

A few others have reported similar chest tightness  / can't catch a breath as a common SSRI WD symptom. It's just another system that's affected by all this neural chaos. Chest tightness is also a common anxiety response, and I had it for a short time decades ago during high stress - although for now it's SSRI WD; I have no anxiety lately. 

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LexAnger

wow, I am impressed that you run 3 miles every other day!

making me think that you are doing pretty good overall.

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clearday

Yes, I am doing very well overall. I have no depression or anxiety. I sleep great. The brain fog is gone for a couple months. I enjoy life. I can feel a full range of emotions. Many WD symptoms have gone away. And you're right, my system is not super sensitive to anything. 

 

But my one lingering symptom is so severe that it is enough to bring me down. I always say to myself, I am one symptom away from full recovery.

 

It is the head noise that is with me 24/7, and sometimes it is pretty bad. Usually it is tolerable. But it is evolving, morphing, so I have reason to hope that it will eventually go away. It's just taking so long. Thanks for letting me talk about my problems on your thread - sorry about that - 

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LexAnger

Hey, thanks so much for sharing! This is the greatest thing I heard today! Not only that I am so happy for you, it also gives me the very needed hope. I appreciate it.

 

I am still struggling everyday although I never allowed the situation to be too disabiling as I can't lose my job and have to take care of the very basics being single. I never had depression or major anxiety before or during meds, but the physical pain is massive and overwhelming most of days.

 

Hope the head noise goes away and I believe so giving how well you are doing and all the other symptoms went always in a relatively short time. Wish you continuous healing and recover fully soon!!!

 

Lex

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DaddyCee

Lex - "You can do it!!!"

 

I have been off of Lexapro / Escitalopram for a little under 2 years now. I was on the dreaded poison for 10 years or so.  I do not touch alcohol and have a very adverse reaction to Caffeine.  I am finding that my reaction to sugary foods has diminished quite a lot and my sleeping pattern is returning to normal.

 

The worst period was from 2 - 6 months after stopping, the side effects included suicidal thoughts, high anxiety, waking up with a thick head and then later with anxious stomach.

 

It is a tough journey, but you already know that.  Try to be kind to yourself and thank yourself daily. You will get through the bad times and the good times will be even better than before.

 

Peace.

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LexAnger

Dear Daddycee,

 

Your message is a God sent! For the first time I am feeling depressed today thanks to the daily battling and no stopping issues one after another for years.

 

I am so happy to know that you survived the incredible hellish journey! This gives me and other hope and strength to keep going. I tried to learn more about your journey on the forum, but seems it was lost in the PP forum.

 

I hope you are having a great day and continuous recovery to live the fullest life!

 

Lex

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LexAnger

Suddenly started having lots severe new symptoms since being on 3.3 mg and after a bigger meal at friends. Immediate reflux and mild heart burn followed by depressing thoughts, dizziness etc. Today it has been 16 days on 3.3 and I almost passed out while in a store, sweating all over while feeling fainting losing every bit of energy. Managed getting home still feeling the same, falling sleep due to the sever fatigue for two hours even I slept for 9 hours last night. Feeling a bit better but still very sick and weak. 3.3 mg is still a relative high dose for me as my dosage has been around the same for years except for 3 month on 10 in 2012, then 4.5 last year shortly going down to today's dose over the past year. My lowest dose ever was 2mg for a few days when I had my first panic attack but even then I didn't experience this severe sick/ weak feeling. I remember back in 2011, one week after I CTed the meds, I had something similar though.

 

So I don't have much clue what is causing all these. My past struggling always just on the physical pain all over various types and others but this round experience is very different and new.

 

I will hold on this dose for longer, the only thing I can do, as i can't increase dose due to severe reaction which happened last year. I hope this will spbe short lived as I can't do minimal work like this which is my primary goal doing the micro taper.

 

I feel sad about the new level of disability and suffering even i tip toesed on the road of tapering so deligently for years.

Thanks for stopping by, hope everyone is doing ok and having better days. Any thoughts are highly appreciated.

 

Lex

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LexAnger

there will be a free online mental wellness summit orgnized by the co-funder of point of return. please feel free to share it with others.

 

http://mentalwellnesssummit.com/

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Altostrata

The Mental Wellness Summit was organized by someone else. The founder of Point of Return, a commercial program that sells expensive supplements purporting to assist withdrawal, which we do not recommend, is only a speaker.

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LexAnger

Thanks for the correction Auto.

Apology if this is not supposed to be posted here, was thinking there might be good information.

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