How to be Positive about a ‘Positive Diabetes Diagnosis!

How to be Positive about a ‘Positive Diabetes Diagnosis!

Having been diagnosed with Diabetes in March 2016, I’ve been on a ‘mission’ to put my Type 2 Diabetes into ‘remission’.

Background:

In December 2015, my blood glucose readings were 45 and I was asked by my GP to return for a repeat blood test. This didn’t mean anything to me at the time as I thought it was just one of the routine blood pressure tests… I was working long hours and it was therefore several weeks before I managed to return and I was shocked to receive a follow up call from the GP surgery to inform me that I have Type 2 Diabetes, as my blood sugar test reading had increased from 45 (pre-diabetic) to 60 (diabetic)… YIKES!  

I’d joined the ranks of many thousands of other people who are diagnosed with Diabetes across the UK and many other countries on a daily basis.

The realisation hit hard – I was one of the ‘Statistics’ – one of the 137,000 people who’d been diagnosed with Diabetes here in the UK, in the last year.

It still meant very little to me until I started to do some research and realised that the implications were potentially life threatening.

It was Pretty Negative & Scary Stuff To Read As A Newly Diagnosed Diabetic!

Doctors are saying that the ‘diabetic’ crisis is reaching epidemic proportions with:

  • Over 1500 people dying EVERY MONTH as a result of Diabetes related illness

  • Over 200 people suffering significant life changing health issues EVERY DAY including heart attacks, strokes, amputations and kidney failure.

So how did this Manchester Lifestyle Blogger decide that she was going to become a POSITIVE DIABETIC?

I took a long hard look at how I was living and working and recognised that how I was ‘living’ and ‘working’ each day was having a dire impact on my physical and mental health and had escalated in the previous few months, resulting in a number of physical ill health conditions and finally in the Diabetes Type 2 Diagnosis.

According to the NHS here in the UK:

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain a normal blood glucose level, or the body is unable to use the insulin that is produced (insulin resistance).

Risk factors for type 2 diabetes

Three of the main risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes are:

  • age – being over the age of 40 (over 25 for people of south Asian, Chinese, African-Caribbean or black African origin, even if you were born in the UK)
  • genetics – having a close relative with the condition, such as a parent, brother or sister
  • weight – being overweight or obese

People of south Asian and African-Caribbean origin also have an increased risk of developing complications of diabetes, such as heart disease, at a younger age than the rest of the population.

  • Excess and extended periods of Stress is also recognised as a contributory factor to the development of Diabetes

Yep I fitted into most of the ‘risk factors’:

  • I’m over 40 …..(56 actually!)
  • I’m overweight
  • I’d worked excessively hard under significant stress for too long!

I was also suffering other ‘stress related’ conditions… Due to excess stomach acid production, I had damage to my oesophagus which was causing difficulty swallowing food and causing my wind pipe to ‘shut off’ as if I was choking… very unpleasant! (I had no idea at the time that this was ‘stress related’)

I look back on this photo taken on Xmas Day 2014 and apart from being 1.5 stone heavier, I think I look ‘tired’… the sparkle was missing from my eyes… what do you think?

wendy-xmas-2014

So how could a diagnosis of Diabetes EVER be classed as Positive? For me, I look back on that diagnosis as ‘the best thing that could have happened’ at that time because…..

“It was a MASSIVE WAKE UP CALL!”

It took this diagnosis to finally accept what my family had been telling me for months, that I had to make significant changes in the unhealthy way I was working and… 

  • That working excessively long hours was having a significant and negative impact on my health. 
    • I’d put on a stone in weight over a 12 month period and I’d already gradually increased my weight over the previous few years.
    • My blood pressure which had been controlled with medication for several years was now ‘out of control’ and rising!
    •  I was eating ‘the wrong food’ at the ‘wrong time’… (too much carbohydrate & eating late at night when I eventually returned home from work…)
    •  Work related stress was contributing to production of excess stomach acid which had damaged my oesophagus and made eating some foods like meat virtually impossible..

If I didn’t make some significant changes, I was facing suffering some of the life threatening illnesses associated with being a Type 2 Diabetic which include increased risk of:

  • Stroke/heart conditions
  • Loss of limbs through amputation
  • Blindness
  • Some Cancers

So my journey to MAKE A CHANGE TO MY LIFESTYLE began in March 2015. I was fortunate that early on in my research, I discovered the Newcastle University Study which gave me some HOPE. The NHS currently believe that once you have received a diagnosis of DIABETES, it isn’t possible to REVERSE the condition although they do state that it is possible to put diabetes into REMISSION…. However, the Newcastle University Study suggests that it is possible to actually REVERSE diabetes:

Reversing Type 2 Diabetes – Newcastle study states:

Our work has shown that type 2 diabetes is not inevitably progressive and life-long. We have demonstrated that in many people who have had type 2 diabetes for up to 10 years, major weight loss returns insulin secretion to normal.

Further information about the Newcastle Study can be found as follows:

http://www.ncl.ac.uk/magres/research/diabetes/documents/Diabetes-Reversaloftype2studyJune15.pdf

This study gave me the BELIEF that if I make the necessary changes to my lifestyle, I can REVERSE or at the very least, put Type 2 Diabetes into remission.

This was the boost I needed to what had been a very ‘negative’ period, to create a change in my mindset and to enter a period of significant change in my life.

Having read the Newcastle Study research, I realised that the ‘healthy eating advice’ I’d followed since the 1970’s i.e. Cut down on red meat and eggs and eat more carbohydrate e.g. brown rice, wholemeal pasta etc. had been completely wrong and had contributed to a gradual weight increase over 30 years.

My weight increase had become more significant in 2014/15 due to the long hours I was working in my role as a Senior Manager and not having time to cook – just grabbing ‘baked beans on toast’, late at night when I eventually got home from work and which I now know is probably one of the worst things I could have been doing..

I bought the 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet Book by Dr Michael Mosley, which reinforced the ‘hope’ and ‘belief’ that it is possible to reverse the Diabetic Diagnosis and significantly reduce my risk of developing long term conditions. This book has become my ‘food bible’ in my ‘low carb’ lifestyle change and I have managed to completely change my diet.

Making this change hasn’t been as difficult as I’d imagined. Once I’d got over the craving for sugar that I experienced in the first few days, it’s been relatively simple. The key for me has been to ‘cook’ fresh food rather than living off Supermarket ready meals or beans on toast!  I’ve added a links below to a couple of my favourites in my ‘low carb’ meal recipe selection ..

Foody Friday: How To Cook Low Carb Lasagne

‘Foody Friday’: 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet Recipe Review

I’ve found some great recipes that are really quick and easy to make and that the whole family enjoy. Sometimes I just make a variation to an original recipe as you will see in the ‘Low Carb Lasagne’ recipe above.

I’ve also loved finding alternatives for pasta and rice and really enjoy using my spiraliser to make ‘courgetti’ in place of pasta or the blender to make ‘cauliflower rice. These are so easy, light to eat and yet don’t taste strong when teamed with blognaise sauce, chilli or curry etc.

I think I’ll do a future post on the ‘spiraliser’ very soon so watch this space!

Due to the range of medical conditions I was suffering from, I was signed off sick from work in March 2016, which provided me the opportunity to make the necessary lifestyle changes and focus on my health as a ‘priority’, which hadn’t been the case for several years, with work taking the highest priority in my life previously!

Within 9 months of the diabetes diagnosis, I’ve:

  • Lost 1.5 stone in weight (half way there…)
  • Reduced my blood sugar reading back down to pre-diabetic level
  • Reduced the production of excess stomach acid which has resulted in me being discharged by the hospital consultant back to the daily care of my GP.
  • I’m no longer suffering from the constant COUGH that I’d had previously and which had increasingly caused wind pipe closure attacks which I hadn’t realised previously was a ‘stress cough’ caused by the excess stomach acid…

I’m due to return to work in the near future and will be returning with improved KNOWLEDGE which I know will help me to KEEP MY DIABETES UNDER CONTROL as I am determined that I will maintain:

  • Healthy working hours
  • Healthy eating
  • Regular exercise

My journey to continue to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle continues and I hope that sharing my story, will highlight the importance of making such changes and to reduce the level of stress in your life in order to avoid one of many serious medical conditions associated with living unhealthily…

It would be great if just one person is inspired by my story, to make a change in their life that prevents them getting Diabetes in the first place or gives the ‘BELIEF’ to a current Type 2 Diabetic, that following a Low Carbohydrate and Healthier Diet can help to REVERSE their condition and at the very least, reduce their risk of developing some life changing and/or life threatening conditions associated with being a Diabetic!

Starting my blog has helped me to focus on ‘positivity’ and many of my new ‘blogging friends’ have really encouraged me to continue my journey for which I am eternally thankful!

I’ve also had the opportunity to support my family (as well as receive their support), during what has been a tricky year all round.. Life Has Thrown A Gigantic Lemon.. It’s Being Thrown Right Back!!!

Onward and upward for 2017… Not that I’m wishing my life away but I am looking forward to a brilliant year in 2017 and being a Diabetic In Remission and keeping going with the positive changes I’ve made, I think I have a great chance to really enjoy myself and really have some ‘fun’!

So – as you can probably tell from my story so far, the diagnosis of ‘Diabetes’ turned out to be my silver lining, in a cloud under which I’d been living life for far too long!

This Manchester Lifestyle Blogger is

finally getting her ‘sparkle’ back!

 

Photo 1 – Xmas 2014                                    Photo 2 – Ready to Party Xmas 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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69 Comments

  1. March 21, 2017 / 8:10 am

    Thank you so much for this lovely post Wendy. I am learning a lot.

    • March 21, 2017 / 8:23 am

      Fabulous Arlene – I’m delighted! xx

  2. February 5, 2017 / 7:03 am

    I just got my Type 2 diagnosis, but I’ve suspected it for a year. I had my son a year ago, and I had gestational diabetes (but the doctor suspected it was actually undiagnosed Type 2 – they just can’t diagnose it when you’re pregnant). I just started a blog (http://sanguinediabetic.wordpress.com) to document as I come to grips with this…I chose that name carefully, because I fully expect to turn this around and get control of my health. It is LOVELY to find your blog and read such a positive, hopeful message. Thank you for sharing it!!

    • February 5, 2017 / 8:57 am

      I’m so pleased that you found something positive in my blog and I truly hope it helps inspire you with the changes you now have to make. When I was first diagnosed, I admit – I felt that horrible sense of ‘shame’ about how I’d allowed myself to put on weight and not exercised etc. and then after a few days, I came across the Newcastle University Study about how it’s possible to reverse diabetes with a change to Low Carb diet. It was my ‘lightbulb moment’.. when I realised that there was ‘hope’ and that this doesn’t have to be a lifelong condition. I realised that there was no point feeling bad about how I’d ended up at this point as there are lots of reasons and excuses I could make.. The important thing is how I was going to be moving forward and knowing that it’s possible to shift my eating patterns and thus shift the diabetes, pressed the ‘button’ in my head that made me determined to be successful with the ‘change’ that I needed…. I truly hope you find that ‘button’ that just needs to be pressed too!!! You have to find the reasons WHY you wanted to succeed. There’s no beating around the bush – It is down to you and I’m sure you can find lots of reasons Why you can enjoy making the change with your new baby to live for…
      I can honestly recommend reading that Newcastle Study and buying the 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet Book by Michael Mosley as it explains what you need to do so clearly and easily (and no I’m not getting paid to say it ..haha!)… YOU CAN DO IT TOO!! After the first few days, it became much easier than I ever imagined it would be! Good Luck…xxx

  3. January 27, 2017 / 2:34 pm

    Love it! Wish my patients had your thoughts and motivation!

    • January 27, 2017 / 2:36 pm

      Aww – thanks so much! It has been a ‘positive’ wake up call, which has led to lots of life changes.. all for the better. Thanks so much for reading and commenting and following my blog, which I really appreciate! x

  4. January 22, 2017 / 1:18 am

    You are very positive and awsome ! Enjoy your health and lifestyle.
    all the Best!!!!.

    • January 22, 2017 / 7:23 pm

      What a beautiful comment – thank you for your encouragement which is VERY much appreciated! Wishing you a magical 2017! x

  5. January 5, 2017 / 1:34 pm

    This was a lovely post! Your story is very similar to my own! Although I allowed the diabetes diagnosis to go without nary a thought. I figured, “Well, I’m old, and this is what happens when you get older. You get fat, you get diabetes, and you die.” Only after some thought for a few months and a conversation from my cousin who is a PA did it finally get through to me: I don’t have to accept Type 2 Diabetes. I don’t have to stay fat for the rest of my life. I can live longer than a few more years. I changed my diet and lost over 110 lbs. I even started running (finished 4 miles last night!). Change is within us.

    • January 5, 2017 / 3:48 pm

      You’re so right – what a moving story and change is within us. I have to admit though – the changes to diet have been much easier and I’ve sustained them whereas my ‘get fit’ requirement with exercise is still a definite.. work in progress. I’ve just bought an old bike so am going to give that a try.. Yep – CHANGE – that’s what I need to focus on for phase 2.. Exercise! Thanks for inspiring.. x

      • January 5, 2017 / 3:56 pm

        Sure! No matter what you choose to do for exercise, just do it for 20-30 minutes without stopping three times or so a week. Doesn’t matter what it is; just do it. Exercise ability will feed upon itself and grow. I know mine has!

        • January 5, 2017 / 3:57 pm

          Well you’ve definitely inspired me to give it a whirl.. yep 20 mins 3 x per week – that’s achievable I’m sure.. Well done to you though! x

  6. January 4, 2017 / 5:05 am

    Thanks for sharing your story and your continued journey.

    • January 4, 2017 / 10:42 pm

      You’re very welcome and thanks for popping over to my blog which is much appreciated! x

  7. December 15, 2016 / 9:43 pm

    Wendy, I am sure your blog has already inspired many people to improve their health through diet and lifestyle changes. You now have a glow that wasn’t there before.
    My husband (turning 65 soon, married to a very young woman — I am just a few months older than you 😉) used to blame stress for his asthma and acid reflux. Eliminating dairy and preservatives took care of those problems!
    I am hoping to post more “no sugar added” recipes in the near future. I’ll be thinking of you when I do!

    • December 16, 2016 / 12:15 am

      Fabulous Joelle… thanks so much for reading and I’m glad your hubby (married to a VERY young woman..) has been able to manage his asthma and acid reflux through changes in his diet which is brilliant! I’m looking forward to trying some new recipes from your blog Joelle.. Have a lovely Xmas! xx

  8. December 2, 2016 / 11:51 pm

    First of all, you look fantastic! Great job on turning things around and taking care of you! It can be really overwhelming and scary to get a diabetes diagnosis. A lot of reading and research is required before a feeling of “Ok I can do this” sets in. Great work!

    • December 2, 2016 / 11:58 pm

      Thanks so much I really appreciate your encouraging comment! It’s been a year of change and although at the start of the year it felt like a ‘disaster’ of a diagnosis, I can look back now and realise it was the best thing that could have happened to make me stop and ‘change’ for the better! Much appreciated xx

      • December 3, 2016 / 12:09 am

        It’s great that you’ve been able to stay on track. It can be so easy to fall back into old (bad) habits. However, after some amount of time the new way becomes habit and that’s what you were able to do – make the new healthy way your new habit. It’s impressive.

        • December 3, 2016 / 12:10 am

          I just think of what it would be like if I wasn’t able to spend time with my gorgeous granddaughter and it keeps me ‘on track’! Thanks so much! xx

  9. December 1, 2016 / 3:41 pm

    Congratulations on your blogging followers and your personal achievements. You do not look like the same woman! You have got that va va voom factor now…
    Cheers to the next instalment on your journey. x

    • December 1, 2016 / 3:48 pm

      Ahhh – thanks Brigid.. Va Va Voom – love it! That’s going to be my mantra for 2017! Cheers to you too! xx

  10. November 30, 2016 / 8:53 am

    What a great attitude Wendy- you are so inspiring! It sounds like you have made some very positive progress in your health and lifestyle!

    • December 1, 2016 / 12:24 am

      Thanks so much and the changes have been really positive and definitely a case of ‘onward and upward’! x

  11. November 29, 2016 / 3:38 pm

    Wow! What a change … you look lovely in the Christmas picture but when compared to you now – energised and with eyes positively glistening with life, it is really salutary. You can certainly inspire others, I am sure. To not see a diagnosis as a death sentence but to see it as a call to action to change what needs to be changed. Chapeau to you. I am really thrilled for you but what it boils down to is a ‘can do, will do’ attitude and not a feeling of being done to. Xxx

    • November 29, 2016 / 3:43 pm

      Ahh – thanks Osyth – what a lovely comment! Ooo I love that – Can Do and Will Do attitude – I hope that’s the case.. I try…VERY much appreciated! x

      • November 29, 2016 / 4:22 pm

        De rien. Trying is the key to everything, isn’t it? And trying again and again and not being put off. And you are clearly doing that and you have my absolute respect xx

        • November 29, 2016 / 4:53 pm

          Merci Beaucuop mon ami! xx

      • November 29, 2016 / 1:07 pm

        Much better – thanks Felipe! x

    • November 29, 2016 / 1:08 pm

      Much appreciated! x

  12. November 29, 2016 / 4:01 am

    Wow Wendy…I wasn’t aware what you were going thru but you made a huge change in your diet and…girl…you look great! Please share a few of your recipes.

    • November 29, 2016 / 8:26 am

      Thankyou so much! What lovely encouragement I’m getting from my blogging friends which is very much appreciated. I do a Foody Friday post which has some of my favourite low carb recipes and can be found under both ‘health & fitness’ and ‘Travel & Food’ categories on my blog… One of my favourite and absolutely easiest recipes is the ‘pesto peppers.’ – yum!

  13. November 29, 2016 / 12:34 am

    “Neighhhh” Ralphy! haha – I’m going as fast as I can!! x

  14. November 28, 2016 / 11:25 pm

    No ! I am not ill, but finally am all set up again to make a comment on your post Wendy.
    I am really pleased for you. The way you took diabetes by the scruff of its neck and have it in check is wonderful. Well done my friend 🙂 <3

    • November 28, 2016 / 11:36 pm

      Haha – Fab and great to have you ‘back’ Ralphy! Thanks for the great comment – it helps spur me on! Well done you for mastering the new laptop.. xx

      • November 29, 2016 / 12:25 am

        I didn’t know that I had a spur, but as you like it ….giddy-up ! lol xox

  15. November 28, 2016 / 11:23 pm

    Wendy, I didnt know your full story , just a little when Brigid mentioned you in one of her posts. Well your sparkle is back. What a story! Well done for not letting it beat you and well done in general. So are you diet control or tablet. Mum has diabetes but that was due to having been prescribe too msny steriods for too long .. back then we didnt know too much.

    Well done, great post, very inspiring. Well done on being on top of your diabeties

    • November 28, 2016 / 11:39 pm

      Ahh – thanks Bella .. When I was diagnosed last March, the GP wanted me to go on tablets – 4 tablets per day. I asked for 3 months to see if I could start to manage by diet changes and the Doctor reluctantly agreed. So with the success of the ‘low carb’, I’ve managed to avoid tablets (for now anyway) and I’m hoping I can keep it that way! I’m sorry about your mum though.. it’s difficult I’m sure for your mum and for you! Thanks for reading and giving such encouraging feedback Bella – I really appreciate it! xx

  16. November 28, 2016 / 10:31 pm

    You look wonderful, and you’ve definitely inspired this gal. Thanks for sharing your story. OK, I’ll knock off the evening popcorn….. 😉

    • November 28, 2016 / 10:34 pm

      Haha Karen – that’s fab – go for it Gal! There now – I’ve succeeded in my goal of ‘inspiring’ one person to make a change.. I’m still travelling along my journey so welcome aboard this ‘train’… Thanks Karen! x

      • November 28, 2016 / 10:50 pm

        Happy to get on board. Well, the truth be told, I NEED to get on board. Like, yesterday (or longer). My father passed away from out-of-control diabetes over several years, and his body simply gave out. Really sad to watch. His grandma was also an insulin-dependent diabetic, although it bypassed my grandma and my sister and I, so far. It’s also on my mother’s side–we have nearly every health ailment so the genetics are not overly favorable–so we need to practice good habits. Thank you for the reminder! Hugs.

        • November 28, 2016 / 11:03 pm

          Wow – you definitely need to consider cutting down on carb’s then.. If you haven’t got Diabetes you don’t need to be quite as vigilant and I’m not expert but from the research I’ve done, the low carb seems to be the best way to avoid lots of serious conditions and particularly diabetes! Just some of the simple changes can make a really big difference. With your dad suffering so badly from it, you know first hand the worst impact.. I’m sorry about your dad and wish you the best! xx

  17. November 28, 2016 / 10:06 pm

    You definitely have got your sparkle back, you look fabulous Wendy and you should be so proud of yourself. Isn’t it amazing how a wake up call, although scary and initially over whelming, can completely turn our lives around. Well done my friend … keep up the great work. xo

    • November 28, 2016 / 10:11 pm

      Thanks Miriam – for the first time in a few years I feel like ‘myself’ again! It’s so great and I’d probably have continued working all the hours God sends if it wasn’t for the ill health I started to suffer.. It really was a ‘great wake up call’! I hope you’re ok Miriam.. I’ll be having a ‘blog catch up’ at your end very soon xx

      • November 28, 2016 / 10:15 pm

        Everything happens for a reason I believe. You were meant to have that wake up call Wendy so you could feel fabulous and back on track again now . I’m so glad for you. Now just enjoy and look forward to the Christmas season. 😊❤️ xo

        • November 28, 2016 / 10:30 pm

          Thanks Miriam.. I agree – I actually think it’s my mum making ‘change’ happen for the best reasons.. I know some people would think that’s a bit crazy but there have been so many strange little messages one way or another I do believe it! x

          • November 28, 2016 / 10:44 pm

            I don’t think it’s crazy at all Wendy. She most probably is looking after you. And it’s good that you’re open minded and noticing all the messages. I believe it too. xo

          • November 28, 2016 / 10:47 pm

            I knew you’d understand Miriam.. I wouldn’t admit that to many people! x

          • November 28, 2016 / 10:56 pm

            Of course I understand. I’m still waiting for some messages! xo

          • November 28, 2016 / 11:00 pm

            They’ll appear when you least expect it.. and when you most need it.. It’s probably too soon now… xx

          • November 28, 2016 / 11:10 pm

            Yeah, I’m sure you’re right. Still grappling with so much in my head. Some days are so hard but life goes on, right? Hugs xo

          • November 28, 2016 / 11:55 pm

            Yes Miriam – very hard.. it does get easier as time moves on.. obviously it never goes away completely. I found the first year really hard.. Having to put a ‘brave face on’ for others takes it’s toll… Life does go on and it’s important to take care of yourself and allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling too… Big hug Miriam!! xx

          • November 28, 2016 / 11:59 pm

            Thanks Wendy, I appreciate that more than you know and really love that you’re there, even if it is on the other side of the ocean! Better get that speed boat out again for another ocean-Atlantic hug xo ❤️😊

          • November 29, 2016 / 12:32 am

            The engine’s running Miriam! Setting off right away for that midway hug!! I’m just glad that I’m here too as I know how hard this time is! Much love and hugs xxx

          • November 29, 2016 / 1:21 am

            Thank you, my dear friend xo

          • November 29, 2016 / 2:25 am

            And vice versa Miriam (hey.. just woke up sat up in bed with laptop on my knee.. just nodded off after the last comment so sorry about delayed response! I’m off to bed.. see you in the middle! x

          • November 29, 2016 / 2:55 am

            Haha you make me laugh. Go to sleep Wendy and dream of good things … xo

          • November 29, 2016 / 8:27 am

            Thanks Miriam – yep had a good few hours snoring.. x

          • November 29, 2016 / 8:37 am

            Goodo! Happy Tuesday! 🙂

          • November 29, 2016 / 8:39 am

            Yey!! Happy Tuesday to you too Miriam!! xx

          • November 29, 2016 / 9:41 am

            Thanks, just finished dinner and relaxing in the lounge with a short black ☕️xo

          • November 29, 2016 / 1:09 pm

            Ooo lovely. xx

  18. November 28, 2016 / 9:29 pm

    I think the improvement is very noticeable- you look fab! Well done for getting this under control..and I love my spiraliser! Hours of fun…:) xx

    • November 28, 2016 / 9:44 pm

      Thanks Samantha – much appreciated! I love my spiraliser too! Looking forward to a fun Xmas xx

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