Learning to Die with Your Disease

owls-in-pepper-tree-learntodieHave you heard the latest ‘medical wisdom’? It’s become a mantra for chronic diseases, from arthritis, to diabetes, to depression to dementia.  “Learn to live with your disease.” But it’s a lie.  What is really being said is “Accept the fact that you are going to die with your disease.

Learn to die with your disease. There are no cures for chronic disease.

Modern medicine has abandoned cures. There are lots of reasons cures are problematic, but it’s not what you think.

It’s easy to imagine conspiracy theories about drug manufacturers.  They want to sell us drugs, not cures, because drugs that cure don’t sell much – they work themselves out of business cure. The best selling drugs are those that don’t cure. But it’s not so simple.

The truth can only be found in opposites. What’s the opposite of ‘learn to live (die) with your disease’?  Cure your disease. But modern medicine has a few simple problems. Most medicines don’t cure any disease. Most diseases simply cannot be cured by medicines. Not only that, ‘cured’ is simply not defined for most illnesses – especially those that are easily and often cured by health, like the common cold, measles, and influenza.

So, most medicines can’t cure, and most diseases can’t be cured by medicines, what’s to be done? Promote “learn to live (die) with your disease’. Bonus: When patients learn to live (die) with their diseases – there’s a steady cash flow for sick care.  The medical market is booming. And the proof is easy to find. There are organizations raising funds to help you ‘learn to live with’ every disease. Lots of money is being raised. But no one is looking for cures:

Diabetes.org “Living with Diabetes”. “There is no cure for diabetes, but it can be managed.”  Learn to live (die) with your diabetes.

Obesity.orgThe Obesity Society is committed to improving the lives of those with obesity” Learn to live (die) with your obesity.

Heart.orgWe provide science-based treatment guidelines to healthcare professionals to help them provide quality care to their patients.” so they can Learn to live (die) with their heart disease.

Arthritis.orgLiving with Arthritis” Learn to live (die) with your arthritis.

What would happen if there was a cure for diabetes, obesity, heart disease, arthritis, cancer, and more?  These organizations would be out of business.  But as long as we accept and promote ‘Learn to live (die) with your disease.’ Donations, and business are booming.

Cancer.org “Mission: The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem.” But farther down the cancer.org web-pages, we see: “When a headline from a major, respected news organization shouts ‘Cure,’ all of us need to stop  and take a breath.” Translation: There is no cure, cure is not defined for cancer, if someone claims a cure, stop and take a deep breath. But we are working to help you: Learn to live (die) with your disease.

I could go on… I often do.  Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, hypertension, chronic migraines, lung disease, Chron’s, asthma, allergies, and more. Learn to live (die) with your disease.

You might ask if there is a Cure.org, and what is there mission.  Actually, there is a Cure.org, and a Cure.com.   Cure.com sells car insurance. TheCure.com is a rock band.  Cure.org is a religious organization dedicated to ‘Healing the sick (children) and proclaiming the kingdom of God‘. There is no medical or scientific organization that studies the science of cures. Learn to live with it.

Take note: Sometimes people actually cure their disease. It’s not hard to find people who have cured their obesity, their arthritis, their Parkinson’s, even their cancer.  But they can’t prove their disease is cured – because ‘cured’ is not defined for these diseases. It is not possible to prove a cure, only to wait and see, only to ‘Learn to live with” the fact that your disease might not be cured.

What happens to people who cure their disease? They disappear. They are simply ignored. Every single cure is a single case, a single event, an anecdote. There is no disease to be attended.  Nothing to see here. Move along, move along, we’ve got work to be done. There are lots of sick people in need of medicines.

Disease organizations raise a lot of money. But if there are no cures, what can they do with the money raised?  Invest in cures? Not likely. Medicines simply can’t cure most diseases. Most diseases are cured by health, not by medicine. Cures are hard. We can’t put health in a bottle and sell it.  What’s to be done? Invest in new medicines that don’t cure. Make them newer, better, faster, stronger. No. They don’t cure, but they “don’t cure” better than the old medicines that don’t cure.

You might give up and accept the fact that you must ‘learn to live (die) with your medicine’, but that doesn’t actually work either. Every medicine that doesn’t cure actually creates a new side illness. They’re not called illnesses, though, they’re called ‘side effects’.  A side (illness) effect is simply an illness caused by a medicine. There are always ‘newer’ medicines that don’t cure.  Just when you get comfortable with one medicine, along comes another one that “doesn’t cure” even better. And it has fewer documented side (illnesses) effects, because it’s new.

Maybe you should try an ‘alternative medicine’. Sorry. The medical establishment is often telling the truth, just not the whole truth, when they claim “alternative medicines don’t cure“, the truth is a bit longer sentence. “Most medicines don’t cure, and most alternative medicines don’t cure either.”

Alternative medicines might “not cure” better than conventional medicines, because their side (illnesses) effects are less dangerous. But if a disease can’t be cured by a medicine, it can’t be cured by an alternative medicine.

If we want to cure a chronic disease, we need healthicines, not medicines. Chronic diseases are caused by chronic, unhealthy habits. They can only be cured by healthy habits. A healthicine is not a thing you can manufacture and test in clinical studies and put in a bottle. It is the practice of healthing.  The practice of making yourself healthier. It is the only cure for many diseases – and the only cure for all chronic diseases.

But today, there are no healthicines. When a healthicine cures a chronic illness, the cure is not noticed. There is no market for healthicines. There isn’t even an approval process for healthicines, only for medicines.

to your health, tracy

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What if Mass Murders are Suicides?

Did you see the news about yesterday’s suicide? No, you didn’t. News agencies seldom report suicides. Suicide.org offers guidelines to news agencies on how to report suicides because, “the way suicides are reported in the media can either CAUSE suicides or PREVENT suicide.”

Suicide-Mass-MurderBut what if mass murders are suicides? Many acts of suicide include acts of murder as well. There is considerable evidence that most mass murders are actually successful murder suicides. According to the psychiatrist Karl A. Menninger, Èmurder and suicide are interchangeable acts – suicide sometimes forestalling murder, and vice versa.“.

When someone commits a murder, followed by a suicide, is it a murder, or a suicide?  How should it be reported? How should it be researched? When someone commits a mass murder and then forces the police to kill them, is it a murder, or a suicide?

Suicide.org gives about 50 recommendations on how to report suicides, including this: “DO NOT say “committed suicide” say “died by suicide.” But, Suicide.org’s recommendations for suicide do not mention murder.

We hear a lot about mass murders, but not a lot about suicides.  News agencies avoid reporting suicide.  But if it’s a murder – it’s big news. Even if it’s clearly a suicide, you will hear reporters asking silly questions like “what was the motive” (for the murder), even if it’s clear that the motive was suicide. According to Wired researchers Tricia Wang and Xiao Mina, more than half of multiple murders commit suicide immediately after the killing. Suicide frequencies rise as the number of murder victims rises. James Alan Fox, writing for Crime and Punishment noted that “Mass murderers do not typically see themselves as criminal, but instead as the victim of injustice.

It also makes some sense to view most murders as a form of suicide. Most murder victims are family members. Most murderers are killing ‘a part of themselves’ or their family, that they cannot escape. Hoping that through murder – they can escape. There are clear parallels to suicides, where the victim is trying to escape their life, themselves. Many murderers, not just mass murderers, see themselves as victims.

According to Suicide.org, “The number one cause for suicide is untreated depression.” (my emphasis).  I don’t believe it. It might be valid to state that no-one would commit suicide unless they are depressed, but the claim of ‘untreated depression’ does not make sense. I don’t think many people commit suicide ‘as soon as they become depressed’. Once depression is diagnosed, it becomes ‘treated depression’. It seems more likely that the number one cause of suicide is failure to successfully treat depression effectively.

When we look at murder suicides, mass murder suicides, one very common factor is ‘treated depression’, not ‘untreated depression’.

Maybe the solution to the mass murder problem is simply to recognize that most, perhaps all mass murders are not murders first, they are suicides first. Not every suicide is a murder suicide – not even 1 percent. But most mass murders are suicide mass murders.

If we want to begin to understand, to deal with, and to prevent mass murders, we must begin by recognizing that they are suicides. We need to talk about them, and report on them, as if they were suicides.

We should call them suicide murders, not murder suicides.

to your health, tracy

 

 

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The Disappearance of “CURE” from Modern Medicine

IMG_6781fDo medicines cure? Can medicine cure? Last week, I reported that Webster’s New World Medical Dictionary does not contain the words cure, cured, cures, nor incurable. I thought it was an exception.  I was wrong. It’s not an exception, it’s the rule.

I’ve done some further checking.  The words “cure” and “incurable” do not appear in The Oxford Concise Medical Dictionary, Ninth Edition, 2015. They do not appear in The Bantam Medical Dictionary, Sixth Edition, 2009.  “Cure” does not appear in Barron’s Dictionary of Medical Terms, Sixth Edition, 2013, although “incurable” is defined as “being such that a cure is impossible within the realm of known medical practice“. Medical Terminology for Dummies, Second Edition, does not contain the word “cure”. Continue reading

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Each Illness has a Single Cause, Every Cause has a Cure

WhereIsTheInvisibleIllnessMedicine has a problem, and it’s getting worse, not better. The problem is disease. The more we study diseases, the more contributing factors we find. Cancer, the most extreme example, is caused by everything, and at the same time, prevented by everything – a statement supported by our best scientific research.

As a result, we no longer search for cures.  Five recently published medical dictionaries do not contain the word ‘cure’.  Ridiculous, but true. Medical reference books like MERCK, Lange’s, and Harrison’s do not define cure, avoid the word cure, or do not use the word cure consistently. Now that’s just silly. This leads to many treatments that ‘do not cure’; to encouraging patients to learn to ‘live with their disease’; to chronic disease. Ridiculous. But true. Gradually, more and more diseases are becoming ‘incurable’ and ‘chronic’.

There is a path out of this dark forest. It’s almost trivial.  We need to simplify.

           Each illness has a single cause. 

Can this be true? Yes, it can. We can make it true! Make it so.

There is a clear difference between an illness and a disease. The difference is well defined by the field of medicine, and understood by every doctor.

An illness is what the patient presents to the doctor.

A disease is what the doctor diagnoses and treats.

InvisibleIllnessEvery illness is invisible. We see the symptoms first. We can track the symptoms back to the cause, although in some cases this might be very, very difficult – in some cases it is trivial. But where is the illness?

It is possible to suffer many causes, without symptoms, without illness.

Many symptoms can be a result of different causes, different illnesses.

Where is the illness?  An illness is the concept, the intersection of a single cause, and a set of consequences and symptoms. Every illness is invisible.

In most cases, the doctor treats symptoms of disease.  The illness is diagnosed, but only the disease is treated. Cures are seldom attempted. If you are diagnosed with hypertension, depression, arthritis – and more – only the symptoms will be treated, with little attempt to identify, much less address cause. No attempt to cure. Cures is not even defined for these diseases.  As a result, if one is cured, it’s not possible to recognize, much less to prove, the cure. Cancer researchers study cause to death, in statistical studies. But when you have a cancer diagnosis, cause is ignored – treatment proceeds directly against the symptoms, the cancer cells.

Many diseases once considered curable in most cases, like depression, are now considered ‘treatable’, but not ‘curable’. Medicine, the practice of medicine and the science of medicine, is broken.

There is a simple way out. We need to move in the opposite direction, to search for causes, to search for cures.

Each illness has a single cause.  Addressing the single cause cures the illness. 

Can this be true? We can make it true. We have many illnesses to use as models.

  • Pneumonia can be caused by a bacterial infection, cured with an antibiotic.
  • Scurvy – is caused by a deficiency of Vitamin C, cured with Vitamin C.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning can be caused by an unhealthy work environment, cured by addressing the cause, by healthing the work environment.

In each example, curing the illness is simple. But, of course, there’s a challenge. Not every case of pneumonia is cured by an antibiotic.  Not every case of scurvy is cured with Vitamin C.  Not every case of carbon monoxide poisoning is cured by healthing the work environment.  In each case of an illness, the cause can be a bit different, or very different.

To cure each case of an illness, we need to find the true cause. Scurvy might be caused by poverty, by addiction, by lack of dietary knowledge, by food likes and dislikes, even by living on a faulty diet prepared by someone else. Each cause is unique. In each case, the illness can only be cured by addressing the specific cause.

Every illness has a single cause. But the disease – scurvy – does not have a single cause. Only a specific case, a single illness, has a single cause. As a result, each specific case, every illness, has a single cure: address the cause.

Each case of an illness is a single case with a single cause. Every disease has many different cases, many different causes.

But…. but… Aren’t there illnesses that have multiple causes, that have many contributing causes?

That’s not a ‘fact’, it’s a view. Sometimes, it’s a useful view, but…  It’s the view that has led us into this morass. We need to abandon that view, if we are to to find our way out. We must adopt the view that every illness has a single cause.

Let’s take a commonplace example – although this example might not be in any medical text. A patient is diagnosed with depression.  What is the cause? Are there multiple causes?  In the 1960s, depression was ‘curable in most cases’ according to medical reference texts. Today, depression is incurable.  What  has changed? Our view.

Depression is actually a symptom, not an illness. But today’s medical practice, when it cannot cure, often gives up and names a disease after a symptom.

Depression symptoms have many causes.

  • Depression symptoms can be caused by dietary deficiencies.
  • Depression symptoms can be caused by dietary excesses.
  • Depression symptoms can be caused by relationship problems, by loneliness, by financial strain, by physical abuse, by addiction, by chronic pain, and more.

What if someone is suffering from symptoms depression as a result of several causes?

They are suffering from several illnesses. Each unique cause, and the resulting symptoms, is an illness.

Unfortunately, many doctors are suffering from medical blinders. Doctors use the word ‘depression’ to describe the symptoms. Doctors also use the word ‘depression’ to describe the disease – the entire concept of the disease of depression. They also use the word ‘depression’ to describe depression in a single patient. They also use the word ‘depression’ to describe several different depressions, in a single patient. As a result, ‘depression’ becomes complex, mysterious, and then…. incurable.

When we take a different view, everything becomes clear – depression becomes curable.

The other view:

Each case of an illness has a single cause.

If a patient has four causes of depression, that patient has four illnesses, four depressions. Each is a single illness. Each has a single cure. To cure the patient’s depression illness, we must cure every case of depression, by addressing every cause. Once every depression is cured, the patient is cured. Health is also a powerful curative. Sometimes, curing one or two of the depressions lift’s the patient’s spirits, and their health does the rest.

But if only symptoms are treated, it is much more difficult, sometimes impossible for the patient’s health to recover. The depression becomes ‘incurable’, because no-one has attempted a cure.

Theory of CureThere is a simple (although not too simple) process to cure any illness. The steps are straightforward, although not trivial. Note: This post is about an ‘active illness’ with an active cause, not about a disability or injury illness.

In theory, every illness can be cured, and many can be cured with this process.

To cure, using this process, requires two fundamental changes in our view of illness.

We must accept that:

  1. Every illness can be cured.
  2. Every illness has a single cause.

How can we be certain we have found the cause of an illness? Only by curing it.  How can we be certain we have cured the illness? Only by knowing we have addressed the cause. Yes, it’s a circle. The cure is the cause, the cause is the cure. Escape is only possible – with a cure. Proof is never perfect, but a cure is a cure.

Once we adopt these rules, many cures can be found.  But when we stop looking for cures, cures cannot be found. We can only find cures when we search for them, or by accident. But today, in today’s medical paradigm, when cures are found by accident – we seldom notice them, they are ignored. Cure ignorance abounds today’s medical theory and practice.

It’s time for a change in perspective.

When we understand, we can cure. When we do not understand, we cannot find cures, cannot see them when we encounter them.

to your health, to your cures,
tracy

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Searching for a Zipless Cure

zipless-cureIs modern medicine searching for zipless cures, cures that are absolutely pure, single chemicals, patentable, free of side effects, cures that do the job, and leave quietly?

Zipless cures are rarer than unicorns.

In 1973, Eric Jong wrote in Fear of Flying: “The zipless fuck is absolutely pure. It is free of ulterior motives. There is no power game…. No one is trying to prove anything or get anything out of anyone. The zipless fuck is the purest thing there is. And it is rarer than the unicorn.

Zipless cures are efficient and easy. They don’t require complex analysis, nor a serious relationship between the physician and the patient. The diagnosis is completed, the physician prescribes the cure, the patient takes the cure, never to return. Zipless.

Health, and illness are not zipless.  Health is about life, constantly changing, until we die. The health of an individual is about their life, their activities and habits. Most illnesses are about the life, the activities and the habits of the patient.

There are three types of diseases according to the World Health Organization and the ICD10 – the International Classification of Diseases:

  • communicable diseases, HIV, TB, etc.
  • non communicable diseases : hypertension, breast cancer, etc.
  • external causes of injuries : traffic accident, drowning.

No medicine can ‘cure’ an injury. Injuries are cured by health and healing.

Medicine is searching for zipless cures for communicable diseases, like the common cold, pneumonia, HIV and Tuberculosis. We might believe that antibiotics and antifungal and antiviral medicines are zipless, but the more we use them, the more we understand their problems. Medicines that fight and kill unhealthy living organisms also fight and kill healthy living organisms in our bodies. Not only that, bad bacteria evolves. Medicines that kill them only work for a short time, until a more dangerous organism evolves, it’s evolution assisted by the not so zipless cure – which killed off the original bacterial competitor.

Modern medicine is also searching for zipless cures for non communicable diseases like hypertension, diabetes, breast cancers, arthritis, and obesity. But, this is an error in the logic. An illness can only be cured by addressing the cause.  There is single conceptual flowchart, a clear path to find the cure for any illness – if one is to be found.  But it’s not zipless. It can take time, and commitment from both the doctor and the patient.

An illness can only be cured by addressing the cause.

We can’t kill the cause of obesity, or hypertension. The cause is lack of healthiness. These illnesses can only be cured with health, not with medicines.

Health is not zipless. Improving healthiness requires commitment. If the doctor, if the medical establishment really wants to cure these illnesses – they need to commit to a relationship with the patient, not look for a zipless cure.

Many illnesses can be caused by the actions of the patient, or the non-activities of the patient. Obesity is caused by eating too much, scurvy is caused by ‘not consuming enough of specific healthy foods’.

What if you get the common cold? If you get a cold, is it your fault? Are you to blame? It’s not difficult to blame the patient, in fact it’s commonplace. You shouldn’t go out in the cold. You should have worn a sweater. You should wash your hands. Blame is all around us.

Your doctor doesn’t want to blame you for your cold, although they might agree, if you blame yourself, to help you feel better. The cold needs to be treated. It needs to be cured. Modern medicine needs a zipless cure for the common cold, a cure that zips in and gets rid of the cold, without putting any responsibility on the patient, without any responsibility on the doctor – except to sign the prescription.

There is a cure for the common cold. The cure for the common cold is trivial.  It has been described, accurately, by Darrell Huff: “Proper treatment will cure a cold in seven days, but left to itself, a cold will hang on for a week.

The cure for the common cold is health. The more health you have, the faster the cure. People who are healthier get fewer colds, and cure them faster.  The best preventative for the common cold is also health.  The more health you have, the fewer colds you get.

But when you have a cold, or any other illness – you don’t want blame. You want a cure, a zipless cure.  A doctor who gives you blame is wasting time. You don’t want to hear it. Not only that, when you have a cold, blame won’t help. Blame does not cure. Blame is not zipless.

So modern medicine searches for zipless cures.  Not just for colds, for every illness. But zipless cures are rarer than unicorns.

What can be done? There are two solutions, and both are in use today.

First: modern medicine must avoid the word cure, preferring ‘incurable’. The common cold is incurable. Obesity is incurable.  Depression is incurable. Heart disease is incurable. I recently checked six current ‘medical dictionaries’. Five of six did not contain a definition for the word ‘cure’. The single definition provided is simplistic and does not mention any ’cause’ of the illness to be cured.  Is it possible to ‘cure’ any illness if the cause is not addressed?

No. It is not possible.

Modern medicine has given up searching for cures, because modern medicine wants zipless cures – which do not exist. So, what’s next?

Modern medicine searches for ‘therapies’ and ‘treatments’ instead of cures.  Treatments and therapies provide many benefits over cures:

  • they can be bought and sold. Many can be patented and manufactured.
  • they are provided by a doctor, not based on changing the patient.
  • no-one expects a treatment to cure.  If they cured, they could be called ‘cures’.
  • because there is no need to cure, it’s easy to find new treatments.
  • although treatments have side effects. We expect side effects from treatments.
  • treatments carry no guarantee. It’s normal that they don’t work in many cases.
  • treatments can be tested in clinical studies, documented as such, and approved by the government, the US FDA. Note: Cures cannot be tested in most clinical studies, because cured is not defined scientifically for most illnesses. Every actual cure is an anecdote, not a clinical study.

The preference for therapies and treatments, and ignoring of cures can clearly be seen in the titles of major medical reference texts:

MERCK Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy
Lange’s Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment
Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine: Disease Parthenogenesis and Treatment

None of these tomes has a definition of cure or cured. They occasionally use the word cure, although not consistently, because the individual sections are written by different authors, who have no common scientific definition of cure.

What is the main difference between a treatment and a cure?

A treatment prolongs your illness. It reduces symptoms, and helps you to live with the illness, to live longer with the illness. In doing so, it helps the illness to live longer as well. Treatments, that do not cure, create chronic illnesses – a market for more treatments. Treatments are more financially successful than cures. There are powerful economic incentives to develop, test, and market treatments over cures.

Should we be surprised that so many illnesses have become chronic? As long as we search for zipless cures – and only find treatments, we will continue to create and maintain chronic illness.

A cure cures. When an illness is cured, it is gone, no further treatments are required. Cures trump treatments.  After your health cures a cold, you might get another cold.  It is not a ‘recurrence’ of the same cold, it is a new cold, because the first cold was cured. That’s how cures work.

But, cures for most diseases cannot be proven in clinical studies. Does that surprise you? If you have an illness caused by a nutritional deficiency, or a dietary toxicity, or a sleep deficiency, or an exercise excess, “cured” is not defined. Even if you have the common cold, easily cured by health, cured is not defined scientifically.

If you check the medical reference books for scurvy, for example, MERCK, Lange’s, and Harrison’s offer treatments, but not cures. Why not? Because there is no medical test for cured. Even though the cure is understood, even by many schoolchildren, cured is not defined scientifically, and cannot be tested. As a result, official medical texts do not document a cure for scurvy. Scurvy cannot be cured.

The cure for scurvy is not zipless.

No one pretends the cure for scurvy is zipless. If we give the patient ascorbic acid, synthetic Vitamin C, the symptoms of scurvy will go away.  As soon as the treatment is discontinued, the illness returns. More medicine, more ascorbic acid addresses the symptoms.  Ascorbic acid, the treatment recommended by all major medical references, creates a chronic illness, requiring a chronic medicine, a chronic treatment – a lifetime of medicine.

What about alternative medicines?

Can a homeopath, a naturopath, or a chiropractor, or a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine, or Ayurveda, find more cures than a ‘modern doctor’?

Let’s be frank. Often, these practitioners make exactly the same mistakes as western doctors. They recommend treatments for symptoms. Different treatments, but exactly the same results. In many cases, the dispute between conventional and alternative medicines is simply a nonsense debate posing a nonsense question:

“Which medicine, conventional or alternative, does not cure better?”

Sometimes, a naturopath, or a chiropractor, or another alternative practitioner, sometimes even a western medical doctor, spends more time with the patient, listens to the patient, talks to the patient, and changes the actions and habits of the patient.

Sometimes, they actually CURE the patient. Not a zipless cure, because zipless cures are as rare as unicorns.  It is a cure that involves the patient, that arises from changes in the actions and inactions of the patient. A real cure. When a doctor, any kind of doctor, or even a patient, without the aid of a doctor, follows the cure flowchart – sometimes cures are found. But those cures cannot be proven, they cannot be tested scientifically.  Cured is not defined scientifically for most illnesses.

Modern medicine ignores these cures. It’s easy. Cure is not defined for any illness that is not cured with medicine. If you cure someone, really cure someone, of a non communicable disease, you are a Saint, not a doctor.

Meanwhile, back at the medical research lab, perhaps a few scientists are still searching for a zipless cure.  A magic cure. A miracle. Truly, as rare as a unicorn.

to your health, tracy

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