Tendonitis in both my achilles & right arm - could this be dietary related?

by CJ
(Kent, UK)

Hi


I've been suffering from achilles tendonitis for over a year now (approx 15 months) and have also got tendonitis in my right arm, which started about 4 months ago. I also suffer from Carpal Tunnel in both wrists.

I have just turned 35 and do not do any excercise other than walk to and from the office (approx 15/20 minutes each way) to access public transport. I am not a member of a gym. The only other excercise I get is in general day to day activites ie grocery shopping etc.

All research I have done relating to tendonitis talks about the cause being down to extra excercise or new excercise regimes.

I am a vegetarian and I was wondering if tendonitis could be caused through lacking something in my diet. I was wondering if you could advise?

My History:

I have seen 4 doctors, 2 of which didn't diagnose the condition. I was living abroad for 9 months and while I was I paid for physio twice a week and this helped with the achilles immensely.

Mainly the massaging of my calves, however the benefits only lasted a couple of days if that. Now I'm back home and I am no longer seeing a physio, although I am on a waiting list. The pain is back and is severe.

It's getting to the point that I cannot continue with the excercises given to me by the physio as it is too painful. The pain is with me 100% of the time, even when sitting down. When walking (shuffling; I cannot bend my ankles properly) the pain intense and getting upstairs or the slightest gradient is extremely painful.

Prior to getting the condition in my achilles I noticed that I was quite flat footed in the mornings and couldn't walk properly first thing after getting up. I was like this for months, if not a year and again the doctors I saw came up with nothing. My blood tests and x-rays were clear.

The day the tendonitis struck in both achilles was when I tried to get off the coach I get home from work, in July 08. I'd been fine all day (I had been at work). I work in an office and am either at my desk, out at a client or in meetings, so mainly desk driven) and I'd got on the coach without a problem. The journey takes approximately 1.5 / 2 hours.

When I tried to get up, my ankles just wouldn't work! The pain was excruciating. I had to be helped off the coach! The following day I could barely walk. I consulted my doctor and I was sent for more blood tests & X-Rays. I was prescribed diclofenac in both tablet form and gel. The tablets didn't seem to make the slightest difference (I had 2 prescriptions worth), although the gel was / is soothing.

As the pain continued and I had taken the courses of anti inflammatories (diclofenac) I saw another doctor and he didn't give me anything and said he'd refer me to the physio, however by this time I was moving countries, so I couldn't go on the waiting list.

I moved (Nov 08) and saw a doctor abroad approx 5 months later. During this time I was still in pain and struggling to walk. As way of explaining to you; people were commenting on my limping and asking what I'd done.

April 09 I saw a new doctor and he diagnosed me with achilles tendonitis. I was referred to a physio and started my sessions at the beginning of May 09. She said my condition was acute and was shocked at my lack of mobility. She also told me I have shin splints, which I still have but I do not experience as much pain as with the tendonitis. My last session with the physio was the 1st week of Aug 09. I am now finding it hard to walk and even driving is beginning to become an issue.

The pain in my right arm started in June 09. My physio believed it was due to me working so hard and stress. She thought it might relate to my using a mouse at work (I'm in IT), however I am left handed (mouse included)! I did have physio on my arm, but it has just got worse.

I have done some research and have even resorted to healing. Please tell me you can help!

Kind regards
'Constantly in Pain!'



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Joshua Answers:


Hi CJ.

Yikes!

Constant pain is NO fun.

It's great that you have gotten some diagnoses for Tendonitis and Carpal Tunnel, and shin splints, but that doesn't tell you -why- you have them.

I think your intuition is correct. I absolutely do think that it is nutritional.

Some questions first:

1. How long have you been vegetarian?

2. Are you a good vegetarian or a bad vegetarian? Describe your general diet.

3. Do you have any digestive issues?

4. How are your energy levels?

5. Taken any Levaquin or Cipro antibiotics in the past few years?

6. Describe the Achilles Tendonitis pain and symptoms, in detail.

7. How bad is the Carpal Tunnel, how bad is the shin splints?





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Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert
www.TendonitisExpert.com













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Comments for Tendonitis in both my achilles & right arm - could this be dietary related?

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Oct 06, 2009
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PART 2 - Answers to your questions - Tendonitis in both my achilles & right arm - could this be dietary related?
by: CJ

Hi Joshua,

Here are the answers to your questions:

1. How long have you been vegetarian?
A: approximately 20 yrs

2. Are you a good vegetarian or a bad vegetarian? Describe your general diet.
A: Generally good. I know it's pretty good as I had to see a nutritionist in 2006 as I was suffering with acute anemia at the time and she said my diet was good although she was concerned about my calcium levels, however I have since made a daily effort to increase these through foods opposed to supplements as suggested. My anemia was not diet related and has since been taken care of.

I eat a balanced diet and substitute meat with Quorn products. I do make my meals from scratch so will typically have casseroles, lasagnes, roast dinners, fajitas, freshly made curries, stir frys etc I add seeds and nuts and cheese where I can. I eat a lot of eggs. I eat most vegetables and fruit and have at least 3 if not 5 portions a day, depending on the meal.

I also eat dried apricots as snacks and add spinach to dishes as I know these contain iron. I struggle with the calcium as I do not like milk or cheese on their own. However I've got round this by drinking chocolate flavored milk and putting cheese into things (even stir frys or sprinkle some on pasta). I also eat more yogurts now, usually at a minimum of one at least every other day.

Of course like most I eat some crap, but everything in moderation. I don't eat any type of fish and I'm concerned about my Omega 3 & 6 intake. I have done some research and found that flax seeds, walnuts and starflower oil could help with this.

(Due to being limited on the number of characters I can post I will send this and then a further posting).

Many thanks
Cass

Oct 06, 2009
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PART 3 - Further Answers - Tendonitis in both my achilles & right arm - could this be dietary related?
by: CJ

3. Do you have any digestive issues?
A: Not that I'm aware of

4. How are your energy levels?
A: It's hard to say as I have only been back in the UK for a month and while living in Oz I was working an average of a 16 hr day, 5 days a week for 9 months, so, yes I was tired, however I still got up and got out and about at weekends. Since I have been back I have typically been getting 8hours plus a night as I have yet to start the job hunting. All I can say is that having experienced acute anemia a couple of years ago, I do not feel anything like that and am not feeling like I want to fall asleep all the time.

5. Taken any Levaquin or Cipro antibiotics in the past few years?
A: All I've had is the diclofenac.

Oct 06, 2009
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PART 4 - Answers to your questions - Tendonitis in both my achilles & right arm - could this be dietary related?
by: CJ

6. Describe the Achilles Tendonitis pain and symptoms, in detail.

A: It's a hard pain to describe, but I cannot touch my achilles as they are sensitive to touch.

The pain occurs the most when I walk and I bend my foot and my heal leaves the floor. The pain is concentrated around my ankle. It feels like I've been down the gym and exercised 2 days ago and I'm suffering with aches, however it's a lot more intense.

My calves are tight. It just feels like I cannot stretch my leg out ie the tendon is constricted - it's not long enough to allow my leg to straighten.

The pain is at its worse when I first get up in the morning, or I've sat down for a period of time, it's like my ankles have seized up. They also hurt when I walk for a few minutes, again it's a pain like I've exercised too much.


When I drive; I can no longer drive my manual car due to applying pressure to the clutch pedal is to much for me. I can manage an automatic as it's controlled by my right foot which isn't as bad. It's easier to describe the pain in my arm. When I go to reach for something, it's like it catches and that's when I feel pain. I cannot stretch my arm right out and I cannot twist it over ie if I were trying to hold a plate of food. I cannot actually hold anything of weight, ie a plate of food is too much.


7. How bad is the Carpal Tunnel, how bad is the shin splints?
A: I've known I've had Carpal Tunnel since I was about 10 when I asked my mum if she could grip things in the mornings as my hands hurt. I've been told it's not bad enough to have key hole surgery yet, but not far off. I cannot do certain things in the morning until I've had a shower ie clean my teeth, as I cannot grip a toothbrush until I've been up for a while. I have to have certain brands of shower gel as I cannot squeeze bottles such as Radox. I'm probably ok after I've been up for about 40 minutes.

The shin splints only start to hurt when I've walked for a little bit. When I was working if I walked for approx 5/10 mins at a normal pace this would bring on the shooting pains up the front of my calves. Again, it feels like I've overdone it on the exercise - it's almost like the fatigue feeling your muscles get when you are working out.

I hope this answers everything.

Thanks for you help.

CJ



Oct 07, 2009
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PART 5 - Tendonitis in both my achilles & right arm - could this be dietary related?
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Joshua Comments:

Thanks for all that CJ. And, you're welcome. No worries.

I've got a bunch to say but don't have time right at the moment so I'll get back to this today or tomorrow.

Couple more questions:

1. Describe the catch when you try to straighten your arm. Pain? A hard physical stop?

2. What job activities were you doing for 16 hours a day? What job?

3. You've had wrist pain since age 10? Ok, that's good to know. History of other pain?

4. How long have you been a vegetarian?

5. Height and weight, and approximate calorie intake? I'm looking for an idea of how much actual food/nutrition you take in.


I'm sticking to that there is a big nutritional component. People don't just get tendonitis issues all over. You are definitely having tendonitis -symptoms- all over...which doesn't necessarily mean that you have tendonitis injury.

For instance, I'm 100% sure that you are Vitamin D deficient. I'd guess you are very deficient, let's talk about you getting your levels checked. Vit D deficiency plays a huge role in physical pain.

Answer the above questions, that will give me a better picture of what's going on, and then I'll say a bunch of stuff. :)







Oct 08, 2009
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PART 6 -More questions and answers - Tendonitis in both my achilles & right arm - could this be dietary related?
by: CJ

Hi Joshua,

Here are the answers to your recent questions:

1. Describe the catch when you try to straighten your arm. Pain? A hard physical stop?
A: Pain - it stops me in my tracks - it's like a muscle aching pain (like I've worked out too much). My whole arm does go dead now, from the shoulder blade.

2. What job activities were you doing for 16 hours a day? What job?
A: I'm an IT manager

3. You've had wrist pain since age 10? Ok, that's good to know. History of other pain?
A: I've only had the carpal tunnel since I was approx 10. It doesn't really cause me much pain, just I cannot grip anything first thing in the morning. It quickly goes off.

4. How long have you been a vegetarian?
A: Approx 20 years

5. Height and weight, and approximate calorie intake? I'm looking for an idea of how much actual food/nutrition you take in.
A: Height; 5.7" Weight; 10.5 / 11 stone
Calories intake, no idea. 2 / 3 meals a day. Usually cereal or toast for breakfast (2 slices of bread). Lunch, typically a sandwich and a yoghurt. Dinner; something like a casserole or lasange or meat substitute, potatoes and other veg. I quite offen have a small bar of chocolate in the afternoon when I'm a work.

Hope this helps.
CJ



Oct 09, 2009
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Part 6 - Tendonitis in both my achilles & right arm - could this be dietary related?
by: The Tendonitis Expert

Joshua Comments:



1. The carpal tunnel since 10 thing is likely either A. you are one of the tiny percentage with a genetically too-small carpal tunnel (but I doubt it), and/or B. you for some reason use up a lot of some nutrient or other, the deficiency of which leaves you with your symptoms.

I'm fishing a little bit here, but with the shoulder involvement, potentially some birth trauma/injury set you up for future problems. That's certainly not unheard of.

I'm again going with nutritional deficiency.


2. You say your arm goes dead. Combine that with CTS symptoms and 16 hours a day in front of a computer, and it's safe to say that not only is the front of your neck/chest/shoulder WAY too tight and compressed and rolled forward, but there is involvement in the underarm area too.

Check out this page and see how it relates to you.
Shoulder Impingement.


3. Dietary intake wise, maybe you have enough calories (I doubt it), but you definitely, aren't getting enough vital nutrients.

If nothing else, add more protein and good fat in the breakfast meal. It is very important.

And a REALLY good multivitamin/multimineral for a start.


Suggestions:

Ok, you have a lot going on. It's going to take something to reverse this and to support your body.

1. Supplement with Magnesium as described on the link at the bottom of this Magnesium for Tendonitis page.


2. Get your Vitamin D levels checked. Tomorrow. Get your Vitamin D levels up as soon as possible. This is VITAL.

Check out the Vit D pages at
www.Easy-Immune-Health.com



3. Were I you, I would make a dietary exception and start eating A LOT of Bone Broth as the best Tendon Supplements.

I promise you that you are protein deficient. Which means that structurally, you will get weaker and weaker and literally less structurally strong. I.E., the Achilles Tendons.


4. Find a gentle yoga class, and/or focus at home on stretches of the Lats, torso, neck, etc. A skilled instructor can help you out. Definitely get the lats.


5. Vitamin B6 and B12. This has a lot to do with muscle/nerve pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. Take a lot for a week. It's cheap, and you can't overdose.


6. Add in Omega 3 fats, and Coconut oil, which is extremely good for you.



Let's start with that. If you're actually going to do any of these, or have questions, I'm happy to elaborate.

Like I said, it's going to take something. It think MUCH of it is dietary related. The rest of it is from too much sitting in front of a computer and not physcial countering of that position.

MOre questions, more answers.





Oct 12, 2009
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Thanks
by: CJ

Hi Josh,

Thanks for the advice and I will definitely look into everything you've suggested other than the broth - sorry I've been a vegetarian for too long to even consider it.

I thought I'd let you know that in the mean time I have been continuing my research and bought some Starflower Oil capsules and some Flaxseed Oil capsules (both vegetarian and as you are probably aware help with the fatty acids that I'm not getting). I started taking them last Thursday (1 tablet a day of each) and I am already benefitting!!!! I have much less pain in both my ankles - I can't believe it! It's happened so quickly! I haven't been in this state for over a year (ok I'm still in a bit of pain but no where near as intense). So I'm hoping it will keepp getting better and I will take a look at all the information you've provided too and hopefully I will be a lot better in the not too distant future.

Thank you very much for your time - it's much appreciated.
CJ


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Joshua Comments:

Great!

Yep, it's pretty mind boggling. We assume that since we eat food we must be nutritionall good.

Not often the case. And if a person is deficient in, say, good fats, that can result in pain.

Get your body full of good fats, and no more deficiency.

Might not be the whole answer but it's a great start!


Jan 30, 2011
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tendonitis and auto-immune disease - Tendonitis in both my achilles & right arm - could this be dietary related?
by: Anonymous

Hi, I just wanted to add that I have an autoimmune disease and this is commom symptom - I have it. You might get checked for Hashimotos, Lupus etc...just a thought.


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Joshua Comments:

In which case, you should go TOTALLY off ALL gluten, as gluten intolerance is responsible for the vast majority of auto-immune responses.


Jul 08, 2012
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Try Achilles stretches
by: Anonymous

My morning foot pain just about disappeared after I started stretching twice a day. I placed a yoga block under my bathroom cabinet. While brushing my teeth for two minutes twice a day I dropped my heels and stretched my Achilles.

I couldn't believe the difference.

I pass this trick on to as many people I can. Like me, most of them think they have arthritis rather than tendonitis. While sleeping your blankets push your toes down and contract your Achilles. Try putting a pillow on top of your shins to lift the blankets weight off of your toes.

Or you could wear a boot made for this condition to bed. Good luck!


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Joshua COmments:

Hi Anonymous.

I like the multi-tasking approach to the Eccentric Heel Drops.

Your last paragraph I had a hard time making sense of. Please rephrase it?



Jul 16, 2012
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thanks
by: Anonymous

thanks for the comments added following my epic log last year! You may all like to know that I still have tendonitis, however it's almost under control in both ankles!!!!! I continued taking my supplements and the initial positive affects wore off after a few weeks and I was back where I started. Good news came when I got referred to a podiatrist and later a specialist. I now have inner soles made to measure and hey presto, no more achilles or shin splits!!!!!! PS to the person who commented about dropping the heels off a block - yes this is a good excercise which can be done on the stairs & was given to me by my physio, but to be honest I couldn't even consider doing this excercise til recently due to the pain.

Nov 02, 2013
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Nutrition
by: Sherri

Doing a case study now on a person with hypoactive achilles and she has b12 defiency causing it. Glad you feel better. I am vegan, and just recently started talking b12 pills and am going to school to become a registered dietician, in my last year now..


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Joshua Comments:

Hi Sherri.

Out of curiosity, why do you think it's 'hypoactive achilles' and why do you think B-12, or only B12, is the culprit?

And you're takign B12 Methylcobalamin sublingually, yes?





Nov 04, 2013
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Will it ever end?
by: Anonymous

Interested to hear more on the b12 thing. It's now been 6years and I've still got Achilles tendinitis in both ankles and the shin splints make the odd appearance. Still wearing my tailored inner soles daily and seeing a physio weekly (been seeing him since Xmas eve 2012).

I've come a long way but still suffering and am truely sick of it now! Also been referred to a critical pain clinic - start in a few weeks and if they can't help, next stop is neuro and if they can't help, it's sounding like we're running out of options.

So tell me more about b12 and any other supplement.

Thank you

Jan 08, 2015
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My vegetarian experience
by: Anonymous

Tried a vegetarian diet. Lost 25 pounds but my joints and tendons suffered and I was becoming nearly immobile. Felt like a 80 year old man when trying to stand from a chair. Went back on lean meats, bone broth and some grass fed beef when possible, and have been improving dramatically.

I hope this helps, I think we are all different but the vegetarian diet did not work for me.



Jan 10, 2015
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I feel your pain
by: Jen

You sound like me. Ithe spring of 2010 I started suffering from bi-lateral achilles tendonitis. It started as a "hitch" in one ankle on a vacation, and then went full blow within 6 months.

I went to the doc, who also prescribed diclofenac and eventually physical therapy.

At the same time I was having occasional hand tremors which he dismissed and told me not to drink sodas. (I don't drink soda).

Lucky for me my employer sponsors a Wellness panel once a year and those results discovered I had hyper-thyroidism. We dealt with that and now I am on synthroid. Then I started suffering from the worst gastro intestinal reflux and take prilosec daily.

I am convinced all of these symptoms (which occurred at the same time) are related - but I can't get any health care professional to agree with me.

I'm sure I have some inflamatory disease - but have not been diagnosed. Being physical (walking, hiking, bike riding); stretching; ice; aleviates the pain, but it is temporary. The discomfort is always with me. I was hopeful that there would be solutions here - but it seems as though it is something we are stuck with and just need to learn to manage.


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Joshua Comments:

Hi Jen.

Just something one has to live with?

That sounds terrible.

I'd find somebody interested in 'curing' you and getting your body back to working optimally.

Are there any functional medicine practitioners in your area? They're big on gut function and dealing with the causes of things like hyperthyroidism.



Jan 11, 2015
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continuous suffering
by: CJ

Hi jen

I wish you well and good luck. I'm still suffering and have now done the following with no luck and have pretty much been told, that's it, we're out of ideas, on you go, have a nice life...

1. Podiatrist (out of my own money)
2. Chiropractor (out of my own money)
3. Physio (when i lived abroad, i had to pay for this too, came back home to the uk & got a year (appointments twice a week) on the nhs
4. Numerous doctors (possibly as many as 16 now)
5. Back specialist - they thought it was nerve related
6. MRI (but they didn't scan my ankles! Just my back)
7. A ankles / feet specialist
8. Rheumatology dept
7. Numerous blood tests
9. Numerous anti inflammatories - non worked - like taking smarties!
10. Orthotics dept
11. Accupunturist
12. Ultra sound

I'm now at a total loss, shoes are a daily battle and i don't accept, but continue my days in pain - now been 8 years in july!

I've also got tendinitis in my arm now - feel like I'm riddled with it! So painful and frustrating and people who've not had it just don't understand - not that you want people asking how you are every 5 minutes, but who's going to have any sympathy after 8years?!

I wish you all the very best & hope you find that 1 person that will help you. Stay strong & try to stay positive - i know it's hard but i believe it helps.

CJ


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Joshua Comments:

Hi CJ.

Sorry to hear that, and thanks for sharing your encouraging words.

What was the scenario that started all this off?




Jan 11, 2015
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I feel your pain
by: Jen

I'm not sure I know what a functional medical practitioner is? I live in the states in university town with a large medical center. So there are plenty of resources available.i guess I just haven't found the right one yet.


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Joshua Comments:

Hi Jen.

Functional Medicine is in my opinion, what 'western medicine' should be.

Functional medicine is very western based, but instead of believing that pain and problem and disease shows up out of the blue for no reason, FM looks at how the body works, what's not working right and thus causes symptoms, and then effectively getting the body back into working order.

Your local hospital treats symptoms. Functional medicine treats the cause of the problem.

Your local hospital will tell you that chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc, are 'incurable' and thus prescribe pharmaceuticals that have no hope of fixing anything.

Your local hospital will prescribe powerful antibiotics to people that have no bacterial infection.

Crazy.

Google your local area and functional medicine practitioner. And, they don't necessarily have to be local.



Jan 12, 2015
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reply to Jen
by: CJ

Josh my story is above... Jen commented on it, hence my reply. You tried to help me a couple of years ago.

Jen, one thing i did think of that might be worth a go, if you're like me, you've possibly got to the point you'll try anything...

For a separate issue (& i'm now thinking why haven't i thought of this for my achilles), a long time ago i went to a homeopath. It cleared my migraine type headaches I'd bree having since my mid teens into my late twenties and a doctor was going to subscribe some heavy drugs which at 16years old i didn't feel comfortable taking & a friend of my mums suggested a homeopath - it was amazing! A bit of an odd experience but did the trick!

May be worth a go? Good luck!

CJ



Jan 16, 2015
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Keeping on
by: Jen

CJ - thanks for your words of encouragemt. As I read through your list of things you've tried I was nodding my head, 'yes'. 'Did that' ...

The only thing I haven't done was get orthotics. Luckily, my pain isn't debilitating, just limiting in what I'm Able to do.

Can't be on my feet too long. I'll keep you in my thoughts and if anything helps I will return here.

Good luck.



Jan 18, 2015
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Response to Jen
by: Anonymous

Thanks Jen - thanks very kind of you - good luck with it all - hope you find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! :)



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