Got Bed Bugs? Bedbugger Forums » Psychological and Health problems caused by bed bugs (besides bites)

Trouble finding peace of mind, even with nothing on passives

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  1. paranoidintoronto

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jul 20 2011 10:30:23
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    Apologies for this post, but I just need to vent somewhere, and I know you friendly people will hear me out.

    I live in an apartment building. Neighbour across the hall had bedbugs 3 months ago; they were treated then, and had no bites/signs afterwards. In the same time frame (even before I knew about the neighbour's infestation) I started noticing the odd red bump on my skin on occasion. Mostly I try to dismiss them, but sometimes they seem to be in a weird place for a zit or something-- they don't look "familiar", if you know what I mean? Like nothing I've had before in my life. Yet maybe they're only unfamiliar because I never obsessively checked my skin before :/

    I got encasements for my mattress and pillow, a BB Alert Passive for my bed and climb up interceptors for my sofa two months ago. Nothing on passive nor interceptors. I re-positioned the BB Alert Passive a month ago on the advice of David Cain. A month later, still absolutely nothing.

    But I still get the occasional odd red bump in a weird place, which triggers my anxiety, when that happens I inspect my bed frame and surrounding area and find nothing.

    Why can't I relax? I start to doubt the effectiveness of the monitors and my searches. How can I find peace of mind? Any tips??

  2. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jul 20 2011 14:25:53
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    Hi,

    A long walk in the park and doing things to take your mind off the subject of bedbugs helps.

    Sometimes I encounter people who have a hard time letting go and accepting that its all over and that the odd random bump and spot may just be "normal".

    Time away and relaxing is the best solution and getting back to a more "normal" life helps but with most it gets better with time.

    Hope that helps.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

    If you have found this information helpful please consider leaving feedback on social media via google+ or FaceBook or by like/loving the images.

    In accordance with the AUP and FTC (legal requirements) I openly disclose my vested interest in Passive Monitors as the inventor and patent holder. Since 2009 they have become an integral part in how we resolve bed bug infestations. I also have a professional relationship with PackTite in that they distribute my product under their own branding. I do not however receive any financial remuneration for any comments I make about products.
  3. scaredpea

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Wed Jul 20 2011 14:33:07
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    hey David,

    thanks as always for your help here.

    I know you can't make absolute claims, but what's the average time frame would you say someone with a light infestation would see something on their passives? or congruently what's the average time frame you would say someone who doesn't have anything on their passives be almost certain they don't have bb's? weeks? months?

  4. bugnut

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Jul 21 2011 18:06:04
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    Paranoid - It gets better it just takes a while. I had them 2x (got rid of them-now over a year bb free) and had a real problem getting out and being "exposed" to the outside world. I ended up going to a hypnotherapist which helped a lot but time passing was the best remedy. I often felt the whole world had them and while it is true that many people do, a great many more do not. Even back before DDT when 30% of households had them there were still 70% that did not.

    Continue to keep an eye out and be careful with your stuff (I never hang my coat in a restaurant anymore but at least I go out to eat now) and I promise it will get better.

    Enjoy your summer!

  5. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Jul 22 2011 0:33:23
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    Hi,

    As you say we can't make absolute 100% definately claims but I would say you can be about 99% certainty after 2 weeks of activity and nothing on the passive even in a light case.

    The only failure to detect at all that I can recall out of about 10,000 units was a single case where bedbugs were oddly living on the inside of the pillow case and nowherelse which I have only seen once.

    David

  6. persephone86

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Jul 22 2011 1:47:16
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    It does get better. It's been a year and a half since my last treatment and a year since I moved into a new place. I am still vigilant and use my Packtite and travel precautions daily, but even though it took a while to get there, the paranoia subsided. Though I will admit my panic returned for a couple of days this week when I discovered an apartment across the alley has them and they use the common laundry room on the floor below. But I realized that I am in a more solid building this go around, not that that is a guarantee but I am educated now and have an arsenal of passives, a better fully encased bed with no box springs, bins and bags galore and knowledge on how to deal. And as hard as it was, once I was in the clear for a few months, what helped the most, was telling my friends my "big" secret and educating them. Lessening the stigma placed on my situation helped immensly. And I discovered some of them had been through it too. It sounds like you are doing everything you can do to stay on top of it. Talking about it on here is a great thing too. There are some wise sages on here who really know how to help with the emotional aspect. So take yourself out for a nice dinner, watch your favorite movie, anything to distract you for a couple of hours and you just may find that those couple of hours can turn into four, then a little longer and so on. Stay vigilant, guard your items, but go out there and enjoy life. Best of luck to you!

  7. paranoidintoronto

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Jul 22 2011 11:20:49
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    Thank you everyone. I will try to relax.

  8. peppy

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Fri Jul 22 2011 21:53:03
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    I just wanted to let you know that you're not the only one. I was exposed to BBs over a year ago--but didn't get them--and became completely obsessed. I still Packtite, check my monitors, and inspect my bedding (not the frame, but the sheets for signs). In the past few months I have felt much calmer about things, and even when I do see something that might be a sign (a bump, a mark on my pillowcase), my first instinct is no longer that it is BBs. My instinct is that it most probably isn't. I do still think about them, but I feel so much more normal.

    One thing that helped me was getting periodic K9 inspections done. I don't know if that's something you can afford, but it did help to calm me down--basically, with every negative I felt more confident about saying "okay, then these bumps and bumps that look like them aren't BBs, this mark on my bed and ones that look like it aren't BBs," etc., because those bumps and marks had appeared before the inspection. Good luck!

  9. paranoidintoronto

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Sun Jul 31 2011 21:07:46
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    Thanks peppy. I wish I could afford K9 inspections. I strongly doubt the building management would pay for that.

    I just hate that I have become so super-aware of skin bumps (and they're all different) that I never know whether or not I've ever had bumps like them before. I waste time peering at them for minutes at a time. It's pointless, I know. It's the uncertainty.

    Thanks everyone again for your input.

  10. uggabug

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Mon Aug 1 2011 16:45:35
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    I found bedbugs in my house this summer. I combed this website and found such great encouragement and advice. Because we live in a single-family dwelling, I wound up putting all our belongings into moving van and had them fumigated while I had the PCO come out and treat all the rooms. (This was after completely decluttering, removing carpet in my kids' rooms, and bagging and discarding anything that was "suspect" of harboring these insidious creatures). However, I am so glad to know that I am not the only one who continues to look for bedbugs and fear things that go out or come into my home. I am constantly scrutinizing my pillow and checking myself for bites. I imagine things crawling on me and panic at the sight of anything that crawls. I realize how easily they came in the first time, and refuse to go through this ever again. My steamer is actively steaming something almost every day. With three busy teenagers, it's really hard to get them on board with my paranoias...however, they have willingly allowed me to steam possessions and bake clothing to my heart's content. They like the bare wood floors and reduction in clutter, too. I appreciate this forum for being here!

  11. bugnut

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Aug 4 2011 18:21:36
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    Uggabug

    i truly hope they are gone for good - FYI even after 1 year we still come in and change our clothes while standing in a tubtrug. Stuff goes into the dryer on high for 20 mins (I heard 5 is plenty but I like 20 in my very hot gas dryer) Shoes stay outside until they can be heated. No sleepovers and ANY new things coming into the house from book to magazines to clothes to a waffle iron get packtited. ALL of our clothes are still in stored in air/water tite bins. Got rid of the dressers. Most of my papers are still in ziplocs and will most likely stay there.

    My house looks normal to an outsider if not sparsely furnished. TO me, peace of mind is way more important than anything else!

  12. paranoidintoronto

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Thu Aug 4 2011 19:27:38
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    I'm getting worried again, because a few days ago I suddenly got a whole lot of bites all over my calves I'm hoping they're mosquito bites, as all the bites are exposed skin when I wear shorts. I just don't remember mosquito bites looking this red on me

    I will keep an eye on the passives and sheets etc... wish I could afford K9.

  13. whcosta

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    Posted 8 years ago
    Tue Aug 9 2011 14:08:20
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    I'm paranoid too like you wouldn't beleive! I had BB for over a year before knowing. (They were in my inlaw set up part of the house) So by the time we knew about it, it was pretty serious. Now we had the 3 treatments, one fogging, with spray and then 2 more sprays 14 days each. After the final day I woke up and for the first time since the whole thing started had red marks on my neck that looked like pimples but certainly weren't. (we all know what a pimple feels and behaves like). Now I don't know what to do!!!! I called my PCO since they have a 90 day gaurantee and they are coming back but it will be 19 days not 14 due to scheduling. I feel like I am going insane! My husband and I sleep with flashlights and everytime I wake up I turn it on and look all over my bed and all over my husband. I just learned about the CO2 bed bug trap thing to see if I can catch one to be sure whether or not I still have a problem. All my belongings are still in boxes and my clothes are still in trash bags. I just had my daughters brand new bed delivered but won't let her sleep in it yet in fear of contaminating her room again. I hope nothing goes in there since she hasn't lived in there for over a month now. My God I just want my life back!

  14. micrzy

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Sep 11 2011 18:48:00
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    I have to say getting on here is always bittersweet. I'm glad I'm not the only one obsessing, but it seems to me we all have reason to.

    I've had climb up interceptors for more than a month now, today was the first time I found anything in them. My question is: Can a small spider get trapped in them? The thing I found has a more spherical body, not flat like I believe bedbugs to be. Also, it's grey, not reddish brown. I'm freaking out, but really don't think it was a bedbug. I'm hoping some kind soul will tell me it was just a spider if it looks like a spider.

    Also, I'm freaking because my granddaughter slept over last night and fell out of the bed. If she were a pillow I would have dryed her for 30 minutes before allowing it back on my bed. As it was, I felt she was too traumatized to make her change pj's and bathe so I just cuddled her back up against me. I didn't sleep much after that. Something I've really noticed is the more sleep deprived the more paranoid I get.

    Anyway, I like to get good news. Please, let me know if it's possible about the spider.

    Thanks,
    Micrzy

  15. futureBBmom

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Sep 11 2011 21:31:29
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    Micrzy, I'm so sorry......but.....pop ran out my nose I laughed so hard....when I read about putting your granddaughter in the dryer. The other night I was just thinking the same thing about my cat and dog (of course I never would). But I thought I was the only one that was that bad. Thank you, I don't feel so alone anymore. Believe me if anything touches the floor for even 3 seconds it is NOT allowed back on my bed or anywhere near me for that matter. My poor dryer is giving out on me I've used it so much. And I'm suppose to be, hopefully are, bug free now. But geeze I still do it.

    I have caught so many different bugs in my climbups. I didn't even know half of them even existed on this earth, let alone in my house. So it is totally possible to catch any and every kind of bug on earth in those climbups. I've even caught flying bugs in them. And a few lint balls that caused a heart attack because they sure looked like a bed bug until magnified. So yes, if it looks like a spider, it probably IS a spider.

  16. micrzy

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Tue Sep 13 2011 11:10:22
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    Thanks, futureBBmom! I'm supposedly bedbug free, too. But, I can't get over them. I'm much better now according to my PCO. He's coming out in about a week for my last (90 day) inspection. I have to say he's been wonderful about my overly emotional responses to everything he has to say. I'll refrain from telling him the granddaughter story, because he'd probably freak out and think I'd really do it. lol

  17. futureBBmom

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Sep 14 2011 23:39:52
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    I'm still just a nut job anymore. Funny things is, the only bugs I ever saw were the few that I caught on tape or in a climbup. I don't know what I would have done if I were finding them all over the house like some do. I would have died right there on the spot!

    Let me tell ya it doesn't help when the family won't cooperate and take precautions to keep them out. But no, they drive me insane by coming home from the theater and not changing clothes. Or order something and open the package inside the house! Yup let's drive the mom totally freakin insane even more than she already is.

    Little by little I'm using less alcohol (that's good). And I'm only checking the climbups every 2 days instead of every hour (that's good too). But my ground zero was mainly in my bedroom so I still can't bring myself to sleep in there. And yes I still creep in there tip toeing like something is going to jump out and get me (and get out as fast as I can). And that floor thing I can't get over yet. I still have a seizure if I wake up and find anyone's blanket touching the floor. I wish so much I could STOP doing that though! But I can't. I need more time for that I guess.

  18. jrbtnyc

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Sep 15 2011 11:33:03
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    micrzy - 3 days ago  » 
    ...
    I've had climb up interceptors for more than a month now, today was the first time I found anything in them. My question is: Can a small spider get trapped in them? The thing I found has a more spherical body, not flat like I believe bedbugs to be. Also, it's grey, not reddish brown. I'm freaking out, but really don't think it was a bedbug. I'm hoping some kind soul will tell me it was just a spider if it looks like a spider.
    ...

    Certainly it could have been a spider in the ClimbUp. People report that all the time. Did you count the legs because if there are eight legs it can't be an insect such as a bed bug, it could be a spider. According to my non-expert understanding, relatively few spiders are harmful to humans.

    The thing is, if it has eight legs it could also be a tick and ticks can definitely be harmful to humans, such as deer ticks which can transmit Lyme disease, a serious and chronic ailment. Deer ticks are very very small, something like 1/8 or 1/16 of an inch I believe, and I don't think they're "spherical" – unless, could one be somewhat "spherical" if it had just bitten you and was engorged with blood.

    Concerning deer ticks and Lyme disease, which everyone should be aware of in any event, see...

    http://bedbugger.com/forum/tags/lyme

    ...or...

    http://www.google.com/search?q=Lyme+site%3Abedbugger.com&hl=en&num=100&lr=&ft=i&cr=&safe=images&tbs=

    ...and for photos of deer ticks see...

    http://www.google.com/search?q=%22deer%20tick%22&hl=en&num=100&lr=&ft=i&cr=&safe=images&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&biw=788&bih=770

    ...although it doesn't really sound to me as though you had a deer tick in your ClimbUp.

    Best thing, whenever you have any concern about a crawly you've found, is don't vacuum it or squish it or throw it away, but instead catch it such as on sticky tape or in a jar, then take a good sharp up-close photo of it, including a coin or ruler in the photo for size comparison, and post that here on bedbugger.com for, usually, a quick ID by experts.

  19. whcosta

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Sep 21 2011 20:25:30
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    I found a tiny bug in my BB Beacon and luckily I own a microscope so upon further (actually interesting) examination found it to be some sort of flying insect. I am on the 43rd day or so and haven't seen any activity what so ever THANK GOD! However still sleep with my flashlight on the nightstand so I if I wake I can do a quick search. Uggg. I hope to be normal again someday!

  20. paranoidintoronto

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Oct 13 2011 2:52:26
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    I never followed up after posting about the leg bites. I assume they were mosquito bites from being outside because I didn't get any more.

    Still nothing on passive monitor on my bed; still nothing in climb-ups on my sofa (and I, too, freak out when I see specks of dirt or whatever in them! But investigation with a magnifying glass reveals the truth. Caught a flying insect in them once, too). I occasionally do a more thorough check of my bed and mattress with a flashlight but so far nothing.

    Still, though... I still get the odd unidentified bump every few weeks. And being in an apartment building, I worry about them arriving from neighbours' units. Still too broke to get a K9 inspection.

    I sound like a broken record, LOL. Apologies...

  21. bed-bugscouk

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Oct 13 2011 4:14:07
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    Hi,

    I would say after this length of time with no confirming signs on the passive I would say the source of your issue is not bedbugs. Its certainly at a stage where the odd are heavily stacked against it being bedbugs.

    David

  22. paranoidintoronto

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Oct 13 2011 11:00:35
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    Thank you. I know logically it probably isn't.

    I want to put a BB Alert Passive on my sofa instead of using the climbups, but I'm not quite sure where to place it. The underside of my sofa is a little odd, I think. I will post pictures later if I can.

    Thanks again David for all your help.

  23. tryingtostaysane

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Oct 13 2011 12:40:31
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    i love this thread. i too have almost gotten back to 'normal' after being bb free for 3 months... but then the odd skin itch or unidentifiable bug will send me straight back here and straight into panic mode. it helps to know i'm not alone in this, and i'm not completely crazy. getting over this mess just takes time.

  24. paranoidintoronto

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Oct 27 2011 23:20:00
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    Wow, my building management is actually getting a K9 inspection for my unit tomorrow!

    I am both glad and afraid.

    Unfortunately I won't be able to be here during the dog visit. I'd feel better knowing the results ASAP. I don't think I'll get much sleep tonight...

  25. AshamedandScratching

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Thu Oct 27 2011 23:55:45
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    I'll be pulling for good results for you! This was one of the first threads I ever saw on bedbugger

  26. sickofthis2

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Wed Nov 2 2011 20:55:09
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    In a sick sort of way, I don't feel alone. I am so sorry about that. That means there are others going through this too.

    I'll never be the same again. I see bedbug danger everywhere. But I intend to try to get back to normal. I will never be happy seeing my walk in closet empty. I will never be content with my feather pillow that is now encased in a bug cover and feels like I'm sleeping on a balloon. Someday I want to invite people over again (and not be tempted to strip them down and hose them off on the front porch).

    I think I've really handled this pretty well, probably because there was never a bug found in my bedrooom. But I'm angry. Where is the technology? It's just disappointing to find out that the human species is being made a fool of by a little bug. After decades of mortage payments, my home is not a home. This experience has flown completely past inconvenience and moved straight on to life disrupting. I've given up my morning coffee in my robe since it's just more trouble than it's worth to launder a bathrobe daily. I have to consider myself potentially contaminated if I sit on my own couch. A leather handbag is a thing of the past. My coat and shoes are in the garage, at the same temperature as the outdoors. My car is in the driveway because the garage is full of stuff. I've become a chronic liar (reference to the posting from the person who got fired). Thanksgiving dinner will not be be served in this house this year. We'll eat. Just not here. This is ridiculous. I don't blame anybody who becomes neurotic. I only vow to fight the temptation.

    My PCO can't find any and has, essentially, declared me a nut. Today he came for the 5th time and in his own delicate wording told me not to call again unless I find a live bug. I showed him my bites but he was completely unimpressed. Someday, somehow, this will end and I WILL BE NORMAL AGAIN and I will cook the turkey next year. And my PCO is a jacka88.

  27. paranoidintoronto

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    Posted 7 years ago
    Sun Nov 6 2011 1:26:56
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    Update:

    I was actually home when the dog team came by. I was not allowed to be in the unit while they did the inspection. Worse, after it was done, they weren't allowed to tell me the results!! They could only tell their boss, who would tell the building management, and eventually they'd tell me. They wouldn't even tell the building superintendent-- just the head office.

    Almost a week goes by and I don't hear anything, and neither does the super. On Friday, I call building management, and finally get the good news: no bed bugs. Yay!

    So now I will just keep an eye on the monitors, and I also now know for sure that these seemingly odd occasional bumps are not bb bites. That makes a huge difference.

    Thanks to everyone for your help and support.


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