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Updating Image column holding text data


I'm working with an application that stores long descriptions for some things in image columns that also have a "length" integer column that goes along with it. I'm trying to read/write the data in these fields but it always comes out looking like "0x77006800610074007300200075007000". I have tried using READTEXT and WRITETEXT functions, but they show the same data. The text shows up correctly in the application, the above data corresponds to "whats up" in the app. Any ideas what I'm doing wrong when trying to read/write this kind of data?