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Post Info TOPIC: Looking for info on 'wet brain'


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Looking for info on 'wet brain'


Hi All....

 

I'm just trying to find all I can about 'wet brain'.  My roommate and best friend had a seizure of some type about a month ago.  After being admitted to the hospital, she was diagnosed as toxic.  The hospital detoxed her and released her 4 days later.  When she got home her memory, especially short term, is gone.

 

After a follow up visit to dr., the term 'wet brain' came up.  In all my life, I have never heard of this.  Of course, I have been furiously searching the internet for info, and have found a lot, but no real life experiences.

 

Doc did prescribe B-1, so from what I've learned she must have had a thiamine deficiency.  To me, she was not a heavy drinker, but now I don't know if she hid it? 

 

I feel stupid for not noticing, it's just she was totally normal up until the morning she woke me by flicking on and off the lights throughout the house, and acting really weird, and not acknowledging my presence.  Scary.

 

Does anyone have experience and did your person come back?



-- Edited by msmith6352 on Saturday 25th of November 2017 03:58:16 PM

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I have no experience with this condition here is what the web says:


the term "wet brain" is not scientifically valid, but refers to a very real condition known as Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. This chronic brain syndrome is caused by long-term alcoholism and is accompanied by a triad of symptoms:

Mental Disturbance
Confusion, Drowsiness and Paralysis of Eye Movements
Ataxia, or a Staggering Gait
A primary cause for this is a thiamine (Vitamin B1) deficiency due to severe malnutrition and poor intestinal absorption of food and vitamins caused by alcohol. The wet-brain person acts much like the Alzheimer patient with loss of recent memory, disorientation with regard to time and place, confusion and confabulation, or telling imagined and untrue experiences as truth.

If wet brain is identified in its early onset, an infusion of thiamine (B1) may have some preventive value. But, unfortunately, there is no recovery from Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome; therefore, it is one of the most tragic consequences of alcoholism.



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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


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Thank you, hotrod,

Had you read my post, you would know I already searched the 'web'. I know the info you copied.

I guess I was hoping for more info. Never mind. I've had experience with AA, being once married to a loser that goes to that program. what a crock of s**t. There are people out there, like me, that don't understand this sitting around and moping in your misery. Geez, I was just wanting some info to help a friend, who, most likely is another loser. Just never mind. I'm so over this crap of people claiming these diseases and thinking it's an excuse for just not owning up to your responsibility, it makes me sick.



-- Edited by hotrod on Saturday 25th of November 2017 11:32:48 PM



-- Edited by hotrod on Saturday 25th of November 2017 11:34:28 PM

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Thank you ((((Hotrod)))) for the information you shared on here - as I'm new too and hadn't heard of this term yet. My Active AH has many health issues and I'm learning so much in this program as it's for me and there is a We in here and I am grateful for many members who have joy and serenity. Thank you also for searching the web and posting the wet brain information too :) Thinking I may have to read the big book everyone is talking about :) have a great day!



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You are welcome Maggie  Glad that it helped someone.  aww That is what the Board is all about 

Since there has been few responses to the question, it  might be a question addressed to the AA section of this Board at:   http://aa.activeboard.com/forum.spark?forumID=42735

By the way --Welcome and do keep coming back.  There is hope. 



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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


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I spent two years living in a house with a landlird whose alcoholism was escalating.  Some people are very good at hiding it.  Indeed he generally worked every day.  Furthermore he had a pretty vigorous exercise program. 

I dont believe it is stupid to miss that something is wrong with.someone.  in general it is very vety difficult to be arpund people who are drinking themselves to the point of ruining their health.   Anyone who was remotely conscious would be upset by that. 

Maresie 

 

 

 

 



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Maresie


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I'm sober for 9 years in AA and am not a loser. I also work in teatment and have extensive knowledge of this topic that could have answered this poster's question. Oh well.

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Really?, Pink Chip

Do you realize to someone with absolutely no experience in AA, how frustrating this is? Yes, I lost my temper, and yes, I responded badly, I can admit that. I posted I have searched the 'web' and the one response I got was a quote from the web. Yes, I'm human and that pissed me off, and if I called AA losers, it was because I'm watching someone I care about struggle and become a fraction of the person they were. And the only other person in her life, IS an AA member that keeps wanting to drag her to a frigging meeting.

She can't even remember what day it is, what good is a meeting going to do? I apologize for offending you, but you holding back info as to how to help, well, to me, that is just as bad.

I am waiting on a call from a friend who went through this with her husband, so maybe I will find some answers, but let me ask you this: would Bill W. treat someone like this, when he knew he could help, just because he got his feelings hurt? I think not.

No matter where I am in my life, I would reach out to help a fellow being, even if they said something that offended me.

Oh well. Life sucks.

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ms smith for your admission that you lack the awareness most of us have or are gaining on a daily basis from the many experiences we share on a daily basis I would also suggest that you keep coming back and listen and consider what it is that is being shared and what it is that you don't know.  Anger and judgement are what I brought into recovery myself and when more experienced and recovered alcoholics, addicts and family members use to share with me my mind used to respond over and over and over..."bull shit, bull shit, bull shit"  and so I left the program ...which was and is an option.  Before I left I was told that the chances were that without the program life would get worse and no kidding I ended up sitting in the parking lot of a shopping center at 3AM waiting for a space ship to come take me off the face of the earth...what happened in reality was I got back into Al-Anon, sat down and shut up and listened...I got my sanity back, and my life and went on to become a therapist in a rehab.  My alcoholic/addict was my former wife and she was like my former families and friends...none of them losers as this is a AMA (American Medical Association) recognized disease. Alcoholics and Addicts are very sick people and not bad...not losers in anyway.  Wet Brain syndrome and other toxic syndromes which come from the use of the poison alcohol and drugs is among many things a demonstration of the power of the chemicals which is huge.  This isn't milk we are dealing with and a mind and mood altering chemical and your friend can sail right past wet brain to fatality whether you care or not.  The shortest distance between drunk and not drunk is the distance from the tongue to the central nervous system...Alcohol doesn't need the stomach to start the process and will attack all systems in the human person without discrimination.  

Read your first two posts as if you were someone else and see if you come up with more self awareness beyond your last one and consider attending open Al-Anon Family Groups as often as you can also getting as much program literature as you can and working the steps and traditions and slogans and suggestions from those who have come before us over the last 65 years.  

You sound angry...very angry...I learned how to practice unconditional acceptance to get rid of my anger and rage rather than kill my alcoholic addict wife and myself.  I don't know where you are or how many meetings are available to you on a daily basis.  The area I was in when I got into Al-Anon and then AA (I am also a double) had 439 meetings a month.  It was suggested I do 90 meetings in 90 days so I did 102 being the grand overachiever I was then.  Today I accept with gratitude.  I have not heard my mind say "bull shit, bull shit, bull shit" to a members share since 2-8-79 my last meeting was 12-2-2017 on the miracles of sobriety.  Happy to come home to your post.

Trying reading the entire journey of Bill W and his wife Lois and come back and share the discovery.

I pray your friend follows thru with treatment for WBS and arrives at total abstinence from mind and mood altering chemicals...It can be done if she is willing.  I have several program friends who are still sober after being pronounced dead from over dosages of alcohol...  It can happen I know from experience.   (((((hugs))))) wink



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Thank you, Jerry F

Your response was exactly what I needed to hear. First of all, you gave me a glimmer of hope, yet, you did not sugar coat. For that, I am grateful.

Also, you are correct, I AM angry, but you pointed that out and made me think about my anger. I thank you for your honest response. You will never know how much I needed that.

You are also right, I probably need to attend an Al-anon meeting, but I have never been a group person, so I will give that thought.

I am not a mean person, I'm just uniformed, obviously, and I so appreciate you taking the time to tell your story, so I could take time to pause and assimilate this problem. I was raised to pull up your boots and move on, and a 'disease' was a medical condition that could be taken care of in a doctor's office.

So, I apologize for my anger and accusations, I was only looking for help, which you, Jerry F, gave. I did not mean to belittle anyone, and I feel ashamed at my responses....trust me, they were out of total frustration, not even anger. But, my frustration, turned to anger. Geez, I'm really not like that, normally.

I will keep coming back, and if you guys want, I'll keep you posted on my friend. I just never realized what booze could do. Sorry, please forgive me.

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All good Ms. Smith. So...I was thinking several things could produce your friend's state other than wet brain. Straight out of detox, it could be effects of librium. It could be ongoing detox, as a proper detox for many alcoholics takes longer than 4 days typically. It could be some sort of temporary mental break, as she created insult to her brain and the whole hospital detox was probably traumatic also. I bet she would rather NOT remember it and that is powerful on its own. Hence, it is likely she will be more back to herself (if she stays sober) soon. It is not uncommon for people to emerge from detox saying they don't remember stuff. Weirnicke-Korsakoff's usually only develops after years of HARD drinking and not eating on top of it (hence, thiamine deficiency). If she was that hard a drinker, you'd know it. Hope this helps!

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Thanks, Pinkchip...

It has been 32 days since the onset. She woke me on 10/28 doing weird stuff. Turning lights on and off, acting like a walking zombie. She had no idea I was talking to her, so I called an ambulance. She remembers long term, but not for the past couple of years.

She was functioning the day before. Working, talking to her brother, etc. I came home from work in the afternoon, and she was doubled over with stomach cramps. As, she has had this before (gastritis like) I thought nothing. I checked on her at 11 pm before I went to bed and she was lucid. Then the next morning around 6am,, I was woken with the weird behavior. She has had seizures in the past, but this was different.

I might add, she does not have insurance, so health care is minimal. I am taking her to a free clinic. They did blood tests, which I read is how they determine the Weirnicke-Korsakoff's, but doc acted like she would get better. I am taking her back on Monday night and asking more questions.

I do believe she may have a tendency to bury her head in the sand, and the hospital did prescribe B-1, which is thiamine, and I have been giving her this 3 times daily. My daughter-in-law, who is a nurse in our county jail, was very familiar with 'wet brain'. She said everyone is different as to recovery time, but my housemate was a functioning, good salesperson, and on top of things. I didn't think she drank that much, but her eating habits aren't good and the hospital said it can only take 2 drinks daily for the weird detox symptoms. I am at a loss.

I have read, if she did have thiamine deficiency, it is irreversible. OMG.

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Just some hope for you when I had lost all hope.

First off our disease is called cunning powerful and baffling and it is on so very many levels for both them and us.  My first definition of alcoholism that I accepted from the AMA journal read in part ..."it affects everyone it comes into contact with..." and so over time I came to see that it was true.  I had met hundreds who were affected in hundreds of ways so I became a believer.  The definition goes on to say about the non-drinker that "we are affected in much the same way only worse because we do not have the anesthesia of alcohol to block out reality so therefore we experience it full time".  That was what was happening to my alcoholic/addict wife and I...She could not and would not remember past the first drink and I was left with the full event without blinders.

You experienced your friend ignoring you and turning lights (flicking) on and off...I would have been empowered to burn the house down ifn that was me.  My alcoholic/addict wife would leave the club and go wandering off in the woods where the bears roamed at night and then finally at home she would panic state as she felts "huge rats" crawling and running over her face and body.

At a later date while we were separated I succumbed to a date with her as she mentioned that "of all of the men she knew she would rather go to the Christmas party with only me"...cunning, powerful and baffling...the disease found a door ajar the one that was titled ego and so I went...with rules of my own which the disease didn't care about or honor.  The rules were I would not drink and I would not stay after the party and then it was my wife who was the pawn to be used...my alcoholic/addict.  She went to the bar to get a drink and I went with her and didn't and in a short time it took her.  When the party was over and we were walking to the door to leave she fell backward to the concrete and hit her head and so I was filled with the need to be needed and instead of taking her for medical help...I was the only help she needed and had...which demonstrates the insanity of enabling because my input and attempts at good would make it worse for us both.  I was powerless totally and didn't act as if I knew that.  We made an appointment with a physical therapist clinic and I took her there "instructing" the doctors with,  "What ever you do after massage and therapy do not even think about wiping her clean with alcohol".  (alcohol has the ability to "pass thru" derma and cells without having to be consumed thru the mouth".  They of course were doctors and they of course ignored the plea of a ignorant husband.  I understood that and it didn't keep from happening what happened.  After 45 minutes of therapy one of the doctors came out to the waiting room and asked for me telling me my wife wanted to speak with me.  Looking at his facial expression and body language I knew what was going on...they wiped her down with alcohol and she went into neuro-shock.  She told them to get me because I was the only one who could help her out of the condition and when I walked into the treatment room there she was on the table with uncontrolled tremors on her right side and totally locked and frozen on her left.  I cry every time I envision that event over again.  Dear God what the hell are we doing?? I squeak.  I asked them to leave the room and then played the part I had worked as a husband enabler lover which is really what we think we are doing all the time...loving.  She came out of the trauma and we were asked to leave by the back door and I do not believe they actually billed us.  If you have imagination try picture your loved one (and you and the doctors) going thru such powerless event.  Scared?  Hell yes!! ...even believing that there was nothing which could scare me.

In time she would admit herself into the inpatient portion of the Hospital rehab I also practiced in and I would hear the amazing story of how she began her recovery which fills me with awe and also brings tears to my eyes as I under stand how deeply a higher power loves and cares for us.  My former wife, alcoholic/addict because her recovery sitting at the edge of her hospital bed with a bag over her head which she would keep in place over her head for two weeks before taking it off.  When asked why and what she was doing her response to her counselor was, "I have come to understand that if I do not allow myself to be led thru this program blindly, I will never recover".  My sponsor told me that the definition of humility is to be teachable and the picture of that for me is the bag over her head.  I pray she is still alive and that for every person that crosses her path with the need to be sober comes to understand.

Keep coming back there is more coming for us which we should not let pass...Thanks for letting me share.  (((hugs))) smile 



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Hello msmith,

I have just read your post or I would have responded sooner. My ex-boyfriend ended up in the hospital with a thiamine deficiency and possible the onset of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. It effected his ability to walk and he ended up in a nursing home for three months. He could not walk, he had to have physical therapy to get better. He was a heavy drinker and did not eat well at all. From what I have read about Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome it effects everyone differently. He did not have any problems with his memory or weird behavior luckily. It was a very scary thing. He was not eating, he had not been eating well for a few years. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome can be subtle and symptoms might appear that you would not recognize. Mostly, because people are drunk all the time and you think that is why they are walking or acting weird. A human body needs nutrition, it cannot function on straight alcohol. My ex-bf used to vomit a lot too. He has cirrhosis or his liver and he had hepatitis. From what I have read about Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome it causes cells in the brain to become damaged and recovery can depend on how soon that person get to the hospital and gets the vitamin B. Some people never recover and have what is called alcoholic induced dementia. I hope your friend gets better. My ex-bf is better but some days his legs still shake. He has not been drinking for about 8-9 months.



-- Edited by shrnp on Saturday 2nd of December 2017 11:01:13 PM

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Hrm. I also wonder about if she was doing benzos? Xanax? Taking ambien? All this could add to memory loss and seizure proneness. The seizure alone could have done some brain damage. I hear she has no insurance...ideally, she could utilize a neurology appointment. Not being able to remember recent events is consistent with A LOT of things...stroke, early alzheimers,...so add alcohol and seizures...It needs teasing apart. The not knowing and the lack of control of what it really is with her and if she will actually do what is healthy for her is where alanon comes in for you.

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Hey, Pinkchip...

Yes, your are correct. I thought back to the hospital stay and they did say she had valium in her system, also, and alcohol, and oxy. Geez.

I talked with a friend today who's hubby had encephalopophy? (sp)....and I am beginning to believe she does not have 'wet brain', but a combo of the withdrawal from benzo and alcohol could be playing a role.

I am armed with questions for a follow up visit tomorrow night at the free clinic. They actually are very caring doctors, and hopefully will get some answers.

Any input as to any other questions I should ask, I'd be grateful.

Thanks to all for your input. After a rocky start (my fault), I have found this forum to be quite comforting and knowledgeable.

Bless you all. I don't know how you could possibly monitor someone not to go back to these vices, and I know I can't, but, for now I'm gonna try to help all I can, and then re-evaluate my life.

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One thing about Bill W. 

He was human.  When you are dealing with alcoholism especially at then end stayed expect it to be horrible 

There is no.sugar coating it.  No amount of information is going to change that.  Expect non.coperation expect.confusion expect immense frustration. 

Expect to be angry that someone threw their life away. 

If you want to stay in.the thick of that it is a good idea to learn a few skills. 

1. Take care of yourself

2. Learn to detach. As much.as you don't want to give it a try 

3.  One suggestion in Al.anon is to give up.arguing. You can't argue with alcoholism. Alcoholism is gonna win especially in the late stages. 

4. Wet brain is a euphemism that belongs to the dark ages. It helps to have the correct name.  You have that now.  If you look it up it is really not pretty.  That is what you are looking up. 

 One other addendum. BILL W died from smoking. In essence he was still addicted. He was very very human.   That is the grace of this program. We are human but we do our best. 

Maresie

 

 



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Maresie


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Best of luck MsS.

I know of one case that touched my life indirectly in terms of the wet brain and it was heartbreaking to listen to, ironically not alanon person. I do know life was never the same really and I have no idea the outcome of that story.

I hope you will keep coming back here and just know many people have lived with different versions of what you are describing, there is a book called Under the Influence and it talks about what happens to the brain as well as the body in the throws of addiction, specifically alcoholism if I am not mistaken. It might be worth the read because it answers a lot of different questions as well as outcomes.

That whole vitamin deficiency is huge and very damaging, then just the issue of the walking blackouts, I know I have had moments of complete sobriety I was in a total zone and went by an exit I needed to take without realizing the time lapse that had happened, so I can't imagine seriously not remembering and wondering what happened and not necessarily drinking.

I hope for the best with your friend after reading through some and reflecting it really sounds like a good time to focus on you and take care of your own health. Unfortunately, people are going to do what they do regardless if it's healthy or good for them.

Hugs S :)

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Just an update to all that were kind enough to respond.

My friend will make a full recovery, according to doc.

BUT, it will be months. They caught the onset soon enough, and with the correct vitamins, she will be fine....they say.

Seems, odd to me, but am accepting what they say and moving on. Of course, the bills don't stop while one recovers from a condition they brought on themselves, but hey, what are you gonna do.

I am being patient, but, I wanna say, when she gets better, I'm gonna give her an earful about her selfishness, and if she doesn't like it, bye-bye. I really can't take the selfish behavior of alcoholics, and I know everyone says its a disease...well, to me, you are just a selfish little baby that can't deal with life. I know you guys won't agree with me, but really? Who should have to deal with this? I'm just not that codependent to keep buying into this disease.

However; I will do the right thing and help her through this.



-- Edited by msmith6352 on Tuesday 12th of December 2017 10:23:30 PM

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(((MsSmith)))...Your friend is not a naughty person...she is a sick person and a very very sick person.  Before I accepted my alcoholic/addict wife as a sick person to me she was just a "B**" and I came to accept after further discovery against my total ignorance about "...a compulsion of the mind and allergy of the body" (just a partial description of alcoholism) I was totally wrong.  No person in their right mind and spirit would wish this disease upon anyone else.  Your friends has the disease of alcoholism and it is also killing you and others.  Amazing.  I will pray you into the face to face groups and maybe you can consider my experience of it being suggested that I go to 90 meetings in 90 days and just sit down and listen.  I actually did 102 and then that is what it took for me.  90 X 90 is an old process for changing habits.   Keep coming back ((((hugs)))) smile



-- Edited by hotrod on Wednesday 13th of December 2017 07:34:14 AM

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Lucky you. You aren't effected the way i was by this disease or maybe you are but are in denial. I was effected and so my thinking became disturbed and distorted and i had the mental obsession so i became addicted to the drinker while the drinker was addicted to the drink.  Many people ask that question. Why would people do this? Its a powerful disease and takes a whole lot of looking inside to see it in the first place. Its called Baffling.



-- Edited by el-cee on Wednesday 13th of December 2017 02:17:37 AM

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((((mssmith)))) that means hugs :) Yes there is hope here in Alanon :) I can so identify with your intense feelings that were written initially about your friend :) For me what's helped is to view the Alcoholics in my life as sick and the sickness, which is "cunning, baffling and powerful" is pulling me into the never-ending-pit-of-doom.

I've written a few things on here one in particular where I was super Overwhelmed with medical issues and my need to help ... I've been told many things I liked and didn't like to hear in Alanon - yet know everyone says Keep Coming Back for a reason: the reason is You're worth it! I've learned it's alright to have compassion yet mine goes beyond that where it becomes hurtful to my own life. There are many things I'm learning by reading this board and the meetings online are great - one click and then in a room for a topic of experience strength and hope - I'm not alone! The first word in the first step is "We....." great! I can't take on all this alone - its way too much really! I want to live! Someone recently told me he Alcholic in my life has the right to be sick. They won't stop drinking, other addictions too..... which frustrates me and then they stop for a while and then they start again all with mannerisms and behaviors that are not healthy ... then this lady at a face to face said to "So they are drinking, what are you gonna do?".... my Mouth Dropped! What?! And then I got it - so focused on them that I can't think about anything else including my own needs.

My Alcholic and I are married yet separated physically not living together for sooo many reasons in all regards yet I'm still trying to help with medical encourage remind and clean up after their choices - hmmm not healthy for me or my children or anything in my life. Just for today on a very limited budget I made a boundary that works for my serenity. "How important is it?" .... that's the other one that has helped me today :) My life is very important to me and I love to search on this site on the search link :) gives me comfort and piece when I can't get to a meeting. My goal is to read Courage to Change every morning and get on here everyday. When I can't smile and say It's ok I'm not perfect and don't need to be :) Alcholism is in my family too - seems to be all around - two neighbors and a spouse who demands I answer the phone at all times and wants to know what I'm doing. This Alanon has been a life saver for me! Keep coming back!

There is a big book supposed to be worth the read and Alanon think has been around since the 1940s? Great! They knew something that's been passed down :) love everyone's ESH on all levels. Big smiles and yes as everyone who has said - and who have way more active sobriety in Alanon than me thank you so much for being here and being like a friend who's been there to me! :)



-- Edited by MaggieRuth on Wednesday 13th of December 2017 08:33:04 PM

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