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As some of you may know (I've certainly whined about it enough) my husband and I caught whooping cough in November.  We recovered - it really does take a hundred days - but I was left with an unpleasant problem.  The only thing I can smell or taste is death and rot.  It's awful.

I've had a bunch of tests, and they think there's either a) an antibiotic-resistant infection (Augmentin, Zithromax, Avalox, Doxycycline and a little prednisone for shits and giggles), b) a fungus, or c) something worse in one of the cells of my ethmoid sinus.

So tomorrow I'll be in the hospital while a good doctor explores my head with tiny sharp wicked tools.  He has to fix my deviated septum so he can get to my sinuses first.  I hope to be back over the weekend.

So let's all talk about things we hate about surgery.  I'll start after the elegant squiggle.

1.  Fear.  I'm sorry, i know he's done it before, but your ethmoid sinus is up behind your eye and near your brain.  My luck has not been so good over the last few years.  

2.  Hunger.  I very seldom eat after 8 at night anyway.  "Nothing after midnight"?  I'm sitting here thinking of fried eggs and cookies and all sorts of things.  And I can have them if I want, it's only 10, but I can't taste them.   Well, it's really worse than that.  They smell and taste like carrion.  I will be starved tomorrow.

3.  "Be here at 8..."  and we'll get around to you when we can.  Once I waited until 4 in the afternoon.  

4.  Answering the same questions again and again.  I understand it's for safety.  I don't like it.

5.  The garage - the room where they leave you with a bunch of other people waiting for surgery.  Invariably, I have to use the bathroom.  I'm a fall risk.  Bedpan time!

6.   Going through that door into the dark.  

7.  Pain.    The only thing I've ever had done to my head is corneal surgery, which was pure hell.  I hope this isn't.

8.  Pain pills that either make you sick or comatose.

9.  Uncertainty.  There's a good chance that the taste/smell nerves that run through the ethmoid sinus may be permanently damaged already.  

So what do you hate about surgery?  

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Comment Preferences

  •  {{{{{{HUGS}}}}}} (31+ / 0-)

    for a good outcome and the return of taste and smell of good things!

    I haven't had surgery since I was six and had my tonsils out, but I sympathize with your list.

    Let us know how you are as soon as you are able, thanks!

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 06:58:35 PM PDT

    •  Ready for more drugs (0+ / 0-)

      but I can't have them until 3:00.  

      Pain, lots of bleeding, and since the only way to keep from it running all over is to put a a gauze pad over my nostrils and taping it there, and I'm allergic to more or less all tape, I look awful.  Nose is hugely swollen.    


      I can taste a ham sandwich.  I can taste fruit cocktail.  I can taste orange juice and bad hospital scrambled eggs.  I CAN TASTE.

      "Republicans are poor losers and worse winners." - My grandmother, sometime in the early 1960s

      by escapee on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 11:47:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  HUGS, thoughts are with you. I'm going in (18+ / 0-)

    for a very minor outpatient thingie Friday where they have to put me under and all of that. I always dislike having to get nekkie the most. :)

    I'll tell you what justice is. Justice is a knee in the gut from the floor on the chin at night sneaky with a knife brought up down on the magazine of a battleship sandbagged underhanded in the dark without a word of warning.

    by BFSkinner on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:00:28 PM PDT

  •  Boredom, but that's just me. (18+ / 0-)

    I hope your surgery is painless and successful.

    Sequestration? GOP=Family Values, my ass.

    by blueoregon on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:06:49 PM PDT

  •  Everything. (19+ / 0-)

    Just make sure you have an advocate with you. That's the best advice I know. Best of luck escapee. May your doctors be geniuses and your nurses angels.

  •  What OPOL said. (16+ / 0-)

    The only good thing about surgery is being under so you don't know what's going on.

    I woke up once.  Thankfully, I woke up before the surgery had begun.  An OR nurse yelled "She's not under, give her more!" to the anaesthesiologist, and from that point I really was out.

    I think the worst part is waking up to pain you're going to have to live with, sometimes for weeks.

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:11:51 PM PDT

  •  What I hate most (13+ / 0-)

    is how I come out of anesthesia vomiting, every single, stinking time.  I've torn out sutures more than once that way.  Ugh.

    Wishing you all the best and that this goes as smooooothly as possible for you.

    You are my brother, my sister.

    by RoCali on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:24:17 PM PDT

  •  First of all - good luck tomorrow! (9+ / 0-)

    I hope you will wake up with the ability taste again.

    The only thing I hate about surgery is the kind you have to be awake for - like a tooth pull.  I would rather be asleep.

  •  I've had a dozen & I always get the shivers (9+ / 0-)

    in "the garage".  Hot blankets don't help at all.  

    But the worst is the waking up, especially when they overdo the anesthesia and I have to work at waking up.

    But in the end it works out and it all becomes a distant memory.  Good luck with your surgery.  I've had a deviated septum done.  It really helps.  And you will be absolutely amazed at how much gauze they can pack up in your sinuses!

    •  Me, too. Lots of surgeries. 2 knee surgeries in (5+ / 0-)

      elementary school and 1 in high school. (Shouldn't have tried to keep up with male cousin racing on our bikes)

      Oral surgery for the wisdom teeth. Never been so miserable for so long in my life as I was after that one for about two weeks. No one told me the summer heat makes it worse. I had it done in July.

      Belly button surgery in the early days of that. Hated the anesthesia that time. Felt like I needed to crawl out of my skin, but at worse, it was creepy, not horrible.

      Two c-sections. (Do not cough afterward. If you do, a pillow is your friend. Hold against your belly, so it won't feel so much like it's going to split open and your insides fall out.)

      But it's just not a big deal to me. I hate the IV in the back of the hand. Think that's the worst part. From there, it's off to sleep, maybe being cold in the OR or afterward, but not bad.

      My advice: ask for percodans afterward or whatever passes for those these days. I've found after surgery, you don't hurt so much with those and you can sleep.

      Good luck.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:36:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Waking up with a tube down your throat (9+ / 0-)

    Worst moment of my life. It sucked.

    I'm going to predict this one will be as easy as possible and successful. Maybe you'll wake up to the smell of flowers.

  •  Hooo Boy! (6+ / 0-)

    I'm going through the same sinus hell.  Finished my last Avalox tonight.  I'm beginning to think this was brought on by Allergy shots as it started a couple of weeks after my first shots.
    Best  of luck with your surgery and that you'll soon be smelling the roses!

    Sunlight is the best disinfectant

    by historys mysteries on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:29:47 PM PDT

  •  I hate to tell you this, but I had the surgery for (8+ / 0-)

    a deviated septum and it wasn't pretty.  They pack your sinus cavity with gauge afterwards and then about a week later, they pull it all out and you start to breath through your nose again.  I still have sinus problems but nothing like the problems I had before the surgery.  It was definitely worth it, but not something I would want to repeat, ever.

    Good luck, and take all the pain pills that they give you.

    And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

    by MrJersey on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:31:58 PM PDT

  •  After surgery two weeks ago... (7+ / 0-)

    ... to have a pair of terrible tonsils removed, my least favorite part of surgery has been the recovery! Apparently, it's best to have this procedure when you're a kid, because you bounce back a lot more quickly than a woman in her 30's. :) The description my ENT gave me of "It will be the worst sore throat of your life" doesn't quite cover the discomfort one experiences, and when people tell you "At least you get to eat a lot of ice cream!", they are awful liars who don't realize that dairy creates mucus and that is a VERY BAD THING when you have had your tonsils taken out.

    However, in the end it will all be worth it, as you will find out when you've had your deviated septum repaired. Stay hydrated, take your pain medication, drink protein shakes so that your body can heal itself quickly, and have someone there to take care of you so you can get plenty of rest.

    Best of luck.

    An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. - Gandhi

    by missLotus on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:42:25 PM PDT

    •  I had my tonsils out in 1965 (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueyedace2, ladybug53, chimene, missLotus

      I think they offered me ice cream but they also made me drink a 16 oz Coke or Pepsi every night during visiting hours.  I remember them bringing it when both of my parents were there and, in spite of the horrific pain, I was expected to drink the entire thing.  Of course, I did it, tears coming down my face (that's the part that they remember), but I was only 5 years old.

      •  Wow. That's terrible! (0+ / 0-)

        I wasn't able to tolerate anything carbonated, though they did give me two sips of sprite out of a straw when I woke up from anesthesia. At the time I was still pretty numb back there so it wasn't a bad experience, but I couldn't imagine having to do that the next day or the day after that. I'm so sorry that happened to you!

        An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. - Gandhi

        by missLotus on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 10:51:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Waking up in the middle of it is not fun (9+ / 0-)

    Came to while they were using a hammer and chisel type set of tools to take out the wisdom teeth in my lower jaw. Didn't feel any pain at the time, just the pounding sensation. They put me out again as soon as they noticed I was paying attention. Took 2-3 days for the swelling of my cheeks to go down.

    I remember that the first thing I did after waking up from having my appendix out was try to sit up... Didn't get too far. The next day when the nurse came in and told me it was time for me to take a stroll, I thought she was joking at first. Who would have thought the end of a hall way could be so far away?

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:46:45 PM PDT

    •  I had my wisdom teeth hammered out at a (6+ / 0-)

      Dental College.  They gave me Demeral, which I don't think actually put me to sleep, it just rendered me incapable of giving a flying flip.  This was decades ago, but I still remember them giving me the D and then waiting till it took effect.

      Then they came in, showed me the hammer and chisel, and asked me if I would mind if they just knocked out ALL my teeth.  

      I laughed hysterically.  At that, the instructor turned to the student and said "he's ready."

      Until I saw the hammer and chisel, I had no idea that's how they did it.  Nobody had told me.  But at that point I really didn't care if they knocked out all my teeth, or for that matter, if they just beat me in the head with the hammer for the sheer entertainment of it.  I just did not care.

      The only other thing I remember is lying on my side on  some sort of gurney making a poor attempt to recover my senses.  The door to the hallway was open and people (other patients on their way to their procedures I imagine)  walking by could see me.  My mouth was packed full of gauze or something. I was drooling blood and babbling, have no idea what I was saying, but the people walking by looked horrified, which made me laugh some more.  I suppose watching someone with cheeks like a chipmunk bare his bloody teeth and spit out a (literally) blood-curdling laugh would be a little disconcerting.  Something very Stephen-Kingish about the whole thing.  We all float down here

      Maybe they gave me some nitrous oxide too, I don't know, but I was what I would call "semi-conscious" the whole time.

      Now, some of this may be wrong.  It's what I remember, but you have to take it with a grain of salt, considering it is the memory of what amounted to a raving lunatic.

      Don't get your wisdom teeth knocked out at the Dental College.

      Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

      by ZedMont on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:20:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sinus surgery (9+ / 0-)

    Four years ago last September, I had the sinus surgery to remove blockage and correct a deviated septum.

    I didn't have the horrible odor, but I had had a loss of taste
    and smell for years before, increasingly frequent headaches
    until they became continual and great difficulty in curing the recuring infections.

    Sinus problems are lifelong and nothing can cure allergic reactions, but afterward there was great relief and improvement in the senses, ease of breathing, and cure of infections.  There's been gradual regression the last three years, but more bearable.

    The last statistics indicated only a 75% success rate for at least some improvement and it's uncertain how much of that will be permanent.  But when you're desperate it doesn't matter.  Since your problem seems to be related to a specific infection which can't be cured, I would think that the surgery will likely solve that problem once air circulation is restored.

    So it sounds very favorable.  Since yours is more localized than mine was, it could be different, but it's a very bloody surgery and slow healing.  That's generally explained but it was understated in the literature and only lightly touched on in conferencing.

    Best of luck and again, I think your success is probably very likely.

    More: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it?

    by blueoasis on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:51:35 PM PDT

  •  Yikes, the memories are fresh for me. (6+ / 0-)

    I had a hip replacement at the end of February and I agree with most everything on your list.

    Oh, also, the TV went out in my room the second day and I was left there staring at a blank wall. Not fun. Not to mention the truly wretched food — oh, and the obsession they all have with bowel movements. Gross.

    There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

    by slksfca on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:11:10 PM PDT

  •  jaw surgery at 18 (5+ / 0-)

    the surgery entailed reducing length of mandible, moving maxilla forward and widening it with artificial bone. 15 hours is how long they told me it took. The absolute worst of it was waking up in SICU when the surgeon pulled out the nasal trumpets, assured himself I had an airway, then stuffed them back in. If I'd been able to scream past the wired-shut mouth, I most certainly would have.

    Anyone who scoffs at happiness needs to take their soul back to the factory and demand a better one. -driftglass

    by postmodernista on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:22:41 PM PDT

  •  "This may be a wee bit uncomfortable". When your (5+ / 0-)

    dentist says these words, it's time to start screaming.

  •  {{{{escapee}}}} (3+ / 0-)

    I will keep you in thought and prayer.

    What I hate about surgery? Recovery room. I am coming up from the depths. I have someone calling my name, and I am hooked up to all sorts of things. I want to get up and get out, but I can barely move. Eventually, I think I am OK, but they tell me I have to wait some more.

    I really hope they find the things they need to fix, they fix them, and you feel better. You've been through too much already.

    Peace and healing!

    Peace, Hope, Faith, Love

    by mapamp on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:40:01 PM PDT

  •  I had ear surgery 1 week ago yesterday (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueyedace2, ladybug53, 207wickedgood

    1. "No, I don't remember any adverse effects from anesthesia in 1965 when I had my tonsils removed", I told them.

    2. Uncertainty of how long you will be there.  Yes, it's outpatient surgery but I'm going all the way under and have no idea how long anything will take.

    3. Anesthesiologist: "I can give you something to be more comfortable while you're waiting."  Me: "Don't give me an extra drop more of anything.  I don't metabolize things quickly."

    4. The only thing I wanted overnight prior to surgery was a drink of water, only because I knew I couldn't have it.  I drank a 12 oz seltzer water at 11:30pm and then nothing until I had ice chips around 2pm.

    5. Pros: love the warm blankets! Wifi!  Cons: Boring to wait, boring for my son to have to be there all that time (but payback for me having to spend 8 hrs at the dentist office when he had his wisdom teeth removed :)

    6. When I make it to the recovery room (yea!!) they say that they had trouble getting me to breathe but that I was awake as soon as they stopped the drip of knock out drugs in the OR.

    7. Glad it's over!!

  •  I hate the release form. "This surgery (6+ / 0-)

    could do really bad things to you, including causing death, but you still need it. But if anything goes wrong, it's not our fault. sign here." ACK!

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:52:32 PM PDT

  •  I hate the post-surgical nausea. (7+ / 0-)

    I've had two abdominal surgeries--one for stage four endo and the other cancer which kept me in the hospital for almost ten days--and each time I ended up barfing my "bland diet" all over the luckless nurse and myself. Luckily they were able to give me shots in the butt that worked really quickly whenever I thought I was going to ralph again.

    The beds are horrendously uncomfortable, too, but bringing in my own pillow from home (they supplied a clean pillowcase for me) helped a lot.

    I also hated not being able to shower. I thought I was going to go crazy between the clammy feeling I get when I don't get a chance to clean up, and the greasy, oily head of hair I sported after just four days.

    The room I shared on the cancer ward had a shower the size of half a phone booth. I had a suprapubic catheter in, because the surgery had damaged one of my urethral tubes, so I had to carry a bag of my own piss around the hospital. (To add insult to injury, the bag didn't even match my shoes!) That made the exercise of trying to maneuver in the tiny shower space with the help of a nurse an exercise in contortionism. I finally gave up.

    Even after I went home, trying to maneuver in a slippery shower stall and not trip on the tubes or step on the bag put me off even trying to shower until the doc deemed me healed enough ten days later to yank out the catheter.

    You should have heard the groans of pleasure emanating from my bathroom when I was finally able to shower. Spousal Unit said it sounded like a porn movie.

    "The truth will set you free...but first it'll piss you off." - Gloria Steinem

    by Sharoney on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:52:36 PM PDT

  •  This is really timely. Having prostate surgery in (4+ / 0-)

    a couple of weeks.  There will be a robot assisting the surgeon...or is the surgeon assisting the robot?  I don't know, but the scariest thing that keeps coming to mind is that Robot with his five or six arms.  They punch holes in your abdomen so the robot can get his arms inside and that just gives me the creeps thinking about it.  Reminds me of the old horror movies where people are impaled on a giant ant's pincers.

    And then, I was watching this science show about robots the other day, and they were talking about robots who could make their own decisions and it occurred to me that my robot might decide the surgeon didn't know what the hell he was talking about and they would get into a heated argument over what to do next while I'm lying there with a pissed-off robot's arms inside me.

    I signed a paper today that said I agreed to let them do this operation in spite of a long list of bad things that could happen to me as a result.  I read the first couple, then clapped my hand over my eyes and signed the damn thing blind.

    I didn't have to have the surgery.  Surgeon said I had a lot of options, which sounded good until I found out that none of them were much better than the other.  

    Said I was a candidate for "watchful waiting," which entails having a biopsy every year until you decide you've waited enough I guess.  I really didn't see the upside to that.  Do not understand the appeal of watching and waiting to see how fast a cancer can grow.  

    And besides, I've done biopsy, and one is quite enough for me, thank you very much.  They took me in the procedure room and left me for 15 minutes with the instruments in plain sight.  I swear that hypodermic looked like it was designed for an elephant.  That was almost as scary as when the doc told me to stick my rear out and pull my knees up to my chest.  For that you're awake the whole time.  Yecchh!

    I think I would hate the sinus surgery worse though.  Really.  That sounds nasty.

    Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

    by ZedMont on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:53:03 PM PDT

  •  Intubation (4+ / 0-)

    I understand why it has to be done ... I don't have a problem with the concept, only that it is in my throat as I wake up, and every single time I wake up fighting because of it

    in the last surgery (which will be repeated in the middle of April) the intubation "tube" was ridgid and seemed too big for my esophagus because when I woke I was in pain where it seems to stretch my  esophagus

    and it wasn't mild pain either, which made me fight all the more

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 09:16:49 PM PDT

    •  My chart has in big red letters (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clytemnestra, peregrine kate

      DIFFICULT INTUBATION - No Elective Surgery

      Last time, I woke with huge bruises under my chin where they were grasping my jaw as they desperately tried to get the tube down. Damaged some nerves that make it difficult for me to swallow some things still.

      They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. - Andy Warhol

      by 1864 House on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 12:31:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm so afraid of all of it, to the point... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, 207wickedgood, 1864 House

    that I've never had any, and I mean any surgery. Haven't even had my wisdom teeth taken out yet, and my massage therapist thinks she can put off my right knee replacement for a few more years. I dread loosing conscientious on other than my own terms. I don't mind pain, I've got a ton of tattoos and can deal with that, but I can't handle not being in control. Period.

    No one knows what it's like, To be the bad man, To be the sad man, behind blue eyes....

    by blueyedace2 on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 09:29:33 PM PDT

  •  Good luck! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, 207wickedgood

    escapee, may you return safe and sound, well and happy, from this venture into the realm of danger and adversity, an intrepid pioneer soul.

  •  Waking up in ICU (3+ / 0-)

    next to a man who kept repeating "I'm dying!  I'm dying!"

    He did die, I don't know how much later.  You kind of lose track of time.

    190 milliseconds....

    by Kingsmeg on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 12:27:55 AM PDT

  •  As a doctor who's had some surgery, I hate... (0+ / 0-)

    that nagging feeling during the worst of the post-operative pain day one or two that "maybe I shouldn't have had this operation".

    The day after that it's much better, and it's all good after that, but still. The first day or two always sucks.

  •  My sister had (0+ / 0-)

    a deviated septum and sinus reaming, so I know what you will be going through (mostly, sort of).  Do have a humidifier nearby - moist air will help your throat a lot while you have to mouth breathe. Also, drink lots of fluids, as it's hard to suck on hard candies or ice chips to keep your mouth hydrated when you have to breathe through it. The humidifier really makes a huge difference.

    What I hated most about surgery is something most people don't have to worry about - I am allergic to nearly all anesthesias, pain relievers, and antihistamines. My breathing becomes excessively depressed and my heart stops under anesthesia and I swell like a balloon everywhere, when my arms swell, it pops IVs out because the needles aren't long enough, and all kinds of other dramatic stuff.

    So I hate the whole process and am so thrilled I am healthy and sturdy and well and therefore don't need medical assistance often.

    All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

    by Noddy on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 06:30:10 AM PDT

  •  Sorry I missed this in time to say "good luck" (0+ / 0-)

    in advance, escapee. Hugggs and best wishes for a successful and relatively painless procedure.

    My surgery for cancer two years ago was actually pretty easy to deal with--apart from the diagnosis, of course. What I think I mind most is something I personally have no recollection of. Just out of recovery, when I first saw my husband, I told him that I knew that something was wrong, that things were worse than they had hoped.

    I was, in fact, correct. The surgeon had just told him that the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes, and that she could not get it all. (One of the nodes was stuck to my left iliac artery.) Somehow I must have been "conscious" enough on some level to have discerned that when I was under.

    However, my husband, who was himself just absorbing that terribly frightening news, had been asked not to say anything to me about it. Poor dear; I'm still distressed on his behalf.

    I do not have one iota of memory of that conversation with him, and that bothers me a lot. A control thing. I did not lose my conviction that something was wrong, however, even though I couldn't persuade the residents to tell me what was going on.

    I am confident that you will not have this level of bad news to deal with. Heal well, and let us know if there's any way we can help you.

    Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 05:50:38 PM PDT

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