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Old 05-21-2007, 12:34 PM  
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Advice for "Snoring" and Snoring Sugery???

OSA = Obstructive Sleep Apnea
UPPP = Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty

I'm undergoing the U.P.P.P. surgery on Thursday....anyone been through it before???


Long story, made....not-so-short....

I've always snored. Ever since I can remember. Even when I was a kid. Over the past 25 years, it's become progressively worse--especially during the last 10 yrs. Over the course of our marriage, my wife says it's gradually worsened....over 18 yrs. During the past year, it's become....unbearable for her. She "diagnosed" my problem last year, and said I needed to see a doctor. Well, I hemmed and hawed and I dragged my feet....until I finally decided to go to the doctor, as it was becoming real sore spot for her.

After a sleep study I was diagnosed with "Severe OSA" (I "stopped" breathing an average 102 times per hour.) The Doc recommended use of a CPAP (night-time breathing machine,) and strongly recommended that I consider surgery. I had always kind of laughed off "snoring surgery" as it's sometimes called, so I literally asked the doctor: "So, what you are really trying to tell me, is 'hey, fatso....get off your ass, and get some exercise and lose some weight?'" She said, "I wish it were that easy."

Doc told me losing 25-30 lbs could help--but probably not much...at least not in my case anyway (that the severity of my problem was more indicative of a person weighing 100-150 lbs or more than I do.)

Long term effects of OSA can lead to hypertension, heart problems, and other organ failure--as a result of long-time and chronic oxygen deprivation during sleep (yeah, colleagues have subsequently dubbed me "braindead"....heh)...that, apparently, leads to quite a number of premature deaths...in otherwise normal and healthy people whose only apparent problem is varying degrees of being overweight (....I know, I know...I'm fat, but certainly not morbidly obese--which is often the stereotype for this ailment.)

The bottom-line is I still have my tonsils and adenoids, along with a "constricted" or narrow air passage, and a thick tongue (someone mentioned this may be what Reggie White died of?) They immediately put me on a CPAP machine to assist my night-time breathing. In a sentence, I've become a new man. Even though I still only get 5-6 hours of sleep, I awake refreshed....like I used to, 20 years ago.

I had just resigned myself to the thought that getting fatter and older, with four young kids, was draining me. I've always been a, "ah, just quit your whining and suck it up....screw going to the doctor" kinda guy. But of course, being dog tired 70-80% of the day....I had little energy or desire to exercise the way I used to, back in the day. Which, of course, compounded the problem with weight gain---about 4-5 lbs a year over the past 9-10 years. And weight had never ever been a major issue for me....so I should have paid closer attention, I guess.

According to the doctor (and some reading I've done,) it becomes a self-perpetuating problem: snoring leads to poor sleep (no REM--it's great "dreaming" again...heh), which leads to decreased energy/chronic exhaustion, which leads to less exercise, which leads to weight gain....which aggravates the sleep apnea, which compounds the whole cycle....and can contribute to depression and the physical ailments I mentioned earlier.

On Thursday, I go in for the dreaded UPPP. Apparently, it's a pretty nasty procedure, and takes 2 weeks or so to recover. Doc says though, afterward....I should REALLY be a new man. And that I may not even need the CPAP machine afterward. I guess we'll see.

Anyone have any experiences or knowledge they would be willing to share, I'd be interested to hear about it. Thanks in advance.

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Old 05-21-2007, 02:50 PM   #16
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I'm pretty sure I've got some degree of sleep apnea as well... My grandfather and uncle had it, but my father says he doesn't. I've never had a sleep study done, but my ex and several old roommates claim to have witnessed me wake up gasping for air like I was having an asthma attack quite often. I very rarely remember those episodes though. I do wake constantly throughout the night.

Do you happen to know a rough cost estimate of a polysomnogram? Out of curiosity...


I don't think I could ever get used to a CPAP machine though... I'd have to drug myself just to fall asleep in that getup...
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC Kings
Move the tongue forward??? I never heard of that part, but I got a UPPP and a tonsilectomy at the same time back in 99. My sleep apnea did not get any better. The surgery sucked and was pretty painfull for 3 days, but the military hospital would only give me Tylenol 3 for the pain.

I went back in for a sleep study 3 months later, and the surgery didn't help my apnea at all. It altered the sound of my voice and I soar throats are a lot worse now than they were before. With the uvula gone if you ever vomit, make sure you plug your nose or the vomit will keep going straight up into your nasal cavity. Don't drink beer to fast or the foam will go up there as well. I waited until I got out of the military, had another sleep study done and was put on a CPAP. It is a pain being hooked up to a machine every night, but it resolves the apnea issue.

Hopefully you will have better luck than I had, but with over 10 other diseases such as kidney failure, heart problems, alzimers, etc... having had partial links found to sleep apnea you have no choice but to do something about it.
Yeah, I've heard and read about reactions/results like yours. I'm hoping to be more lucky, I guess. Doc says I'm an ideal candidate....but there's a part of me that wonders if that's her medical credentials or checkbook talkin'. If you are gonna have something "wrong" with you, this isn't too bad...as long as I've caught it in time to avoid the related issues.

Thanks for your insights.
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:24 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Phobia
I thought your problem was rat poison?
It was rat dung, man. Turds. That was the cause of the encephalitis issue a couple of years ago.

With Tabasco, they aren't bad....







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Old 05-21-2007, 04:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC Fish
I'm pretty sure I've got some degree of sleep apnea as well... My grandfather and uncle had it, but my father says he doesn't. I've never had a sleep study done, but my ex and several old roommates claim to have witnessed me wake up gasping for air like I was having an asthma attack quite often. I very rarely remember those episodes though. I do wake constantly throughout the night.

Do you happen to know a rough cost estimate of a polysomnogram? Out of curiosity...


I don't think I could ever get used to a CPAP machine though... I'd have to drug myself just to fall asleep in that getup...
I'll have to check on the sleep study....off the top of my head, it was a couple of grand, but I have insurance so it was like $400-500 out-of-pocket.
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC Fish
* * *
I don't think I could ever get used to a CPAP machine though... I'd have to drug myself just to fall asleep in that getup...
works good for me...
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Old 05-21-2007, 04:53 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go bo
works good for me...
I spend money on a CPAP.... money on drugs..... I can't keep up man.....
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Old 05-21-2007, 06:17 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go bo
works good for me...
Do you use the CPAP?
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Old 05-21-2007, 06:47 PM   #23
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Hey Mr. Kotter

The symptoms you described are so similar to mine it is spooky...

I have always had some degree of apnea, but when I was younger as long as I slept on my side and stayed off my back, it was a minor problem. Unfortunately, as I age it seems to be a worsening problem. Sometimes on my worst nights, I'll awake 15 or 20 times a night gasping for air.

And after a quick google search, I see some long term effects that are not only scary, but in many cases I have already experienced. About two and a half years ago I had a heart attack (one listed effect of sleep apnea) and now have sometimes severe heart arrhythmias (another), high blood pressure (another), diabetes (another), weight gain (another)...well, you get the picture. My wife (who is an RN) has been urging me for years to have this problem checked out, and I have just been blowing it off, and, like you, attributing it to age and gaining weight. I think your little post has just changed my mind.

Just out of curiosity, what does a "sleep study" consist of? What's it like trying to sleep with one of those machines attached to your face? I've always been a bad insomniac, and I wonder how much trouble I would have trying to sleep with it....

At any rate, thanks for your post. I am going to be making a call to my doctor tomorrow....
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Old 05-21-2007, 07:39 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikey23545
Hey Mr. Kotter

The symptoms you described are so similar to mine it is spooky...

I have always had some degree of apnea, but when I was younger as long as I slept on my side and stayed off my back, it was a minor problem. Unfortunately, as I age it seems to be a worsening problem. Sometimes on my worst nights, I'll awake 15 or 20 times a night gasping for air.

And after a quick google search, I see some long term effects that are not only scary, but in many cases I have already experienced. About two and a half years ago I had a heart attack (one listed effect of sleep apnea) and now have sometimes severe heart arrhythmias (another), high blood pressure (another), diabetes (another), weight gain (another)...well, you get the picture. My wife (who is an RN) has been urging me for years to have this problem checked out, and I have just been blowing it off, and, like you, attributing it to age and gaining weight. I think your little post has just changed my mind.

Just out of curiosity, what does a "sleep study" consist of? What's it like trying to sleep with one of those machines attached to your face? I've always been a bad insomniac, and I wonder how much trouble I would have trying to sleep with it....

At any rate, thanks for your post. I am going to be making a call to my doctor tomorrow....
Wow. Sorry that you may share my ailment; but I'm glad it may have waken you up. PLEASE, if you've already had a heart attack...you REALLY need to check into this, at the very least. I may have been fortunate to have caught it before it caused any real issues for me. I hope you can help yourself too, man.

As for the sleep study, for me it was no big deal. Go in about 8-9 pm, they "prep" you....allow you to follow your normal routine (read, TV, music, etc)...and when you are ready for bed, they just hook you up to a bunch of monitors and electrodes. If you are a light sleeper, it might be weird....but I'd guess you'd fall asleep eventually. Anyway, if they see strong evidence of sleep apnea...they'll hook you to a CPAP that night, and try to see how it may affect your apneas during the rest of the night. Then some sleep specialist doc will review your 1100 page "record" of the night, and pass on the results to your doc.

In addition to snoring (and now, the sleep apnea) I'm also a really HARD sleeper (someone told me that was Reggie White's mistake too.) So I don't "wake-up" gasping for air....I just snort/chortle/cough....and remain "asleep" but I never reach REM--so it's low-quality sleep along with the depleted oxygen levels (mine dropped to around 76% before they put me on the CPAP--it's supposed to be about 89% I guess.)

Being an insomniac, may make the study and using the CPAP difficult for you---without some sleep aid. I don't know though, but I'd certainly discuss it with your doctor. Be sure to check into the "nasal pillows" option for the CPAP....for me, it was less confining, more comfortable, and easier to keep the head gear on. It depends on individual preferences though.

Whatever you do, bro...get yourself into an EENT specialist soon. You may need a referral, depending on insurance....but the sooner the better--given what you've said. Be sure to let me know how things go for you too. Of all the "ailments" we could have though, this isn't too bad. So I guess we should count our blessings.

You'll be in my thoughts man. Good luck.
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Old 05-21-2007, 07:43 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Kotter
Do you use the CPAP?
yes, every time i go to sleep...

works great for me...
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Old 05-21-2007, 07:51 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go bo
yes, every time i go to sleep...

works great for me...
What's your Doc said about the surgery for you?
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Old 05-21-2007, 08:18 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pittsie
Now that I'm back in the land of the fully insured (after a 4+ year absence for grad school), I'm going to press for a sleep study. Per the various g/f's, I have quite a bit of sleep apnea.

I guess the first step would be to find a GP, however.
Good luck, Pittsie...if it's the worst of your problems, like me....you can consider yourself pretty lucky.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KC Kings
BTW, I was 24 years old, 6'1" 220lbs at the time of the surgery. I'm 5 years older and 50 pounds fatter now, but the severity of the apnea is still the same.
Wow. That's kind of depressing to hear....do you use the CPAP?
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Old 05-21-2007, 08:25 PM   #28
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I was just diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. My CPAP machine and I have not made friends yet. Hopefully I'll get used to it, but it's the full mask and I feel kind of claustrophobic wearing it.

GoBo, how long did it take you to get used to that thing?
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Old 05-21-2007, 09:02 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Kotter
Go in about 8-9 pm, they "prep" you....allow you to follow your normal routine (read, TV, music, etc)...
So do they furnish the porn, pills, and pilsner?

Just kidding, the idea of going to a hospital/doctor's office and trying to get a "normal" night's sleep just seems so weird.
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Old 05-21-2007, 10:48 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Kotter
Wow. Sorry that you may share my ailment; but I'm glad it may have waken you up. PLEASE, if you've already had a heart attack...you REALLY need to check into this, at the very least. I may have been fortunate to have caught it before it caused any real issues for me. I hope you can help yourself too, man.

As for the sleep study, for me it was no big deal. Go in about 8-9 pm, they "prep" you....allow you to follow your normal routine (read, TV, music, etc)...and when you are ready for bed, they just hook you up to a bunch of monitors and electrodes. If you are a light sleeper, it might be weird....but I'd guess you'd fall asleep eventually. Anyway, if they see strong evidence of sleep apnea...they'll hook you to a CPAP that night, and try to see how it may affect your apneas during the rest of the night. Then some sleep specialist doc will review your 1100 page "record" of the night, and pass on the results to your doc.

In addition to snoring (and now, the sleep apnea) I'm also a really HARD sleeper (someone told me that was Reggie White's mistake too.) So I don't "wake-up" gasping for air....I just snort/chortle/cough....and remain "asleep" but I never reach REM--so it's low-quality sleep along with the depleted oxygen levels (mine dropped to around 76% before they put me on the CPAP--it's supposed to be about 89% I guess.)

Being an insomniac, may make the study and using the CPAP difficult for you---without some sleep aid. I don't know though, but I'd certainly discuss it with your doctor. Be sure to check into the "nasal pillows" option for the CPAP....for me, it was less confining, more comfortable, and easier to keep the head gear on. It depends on individual preferences though.

Whatever you do, bro...get yourself into an EENT specialist soon. You may need a referral, depending on insurance....but the sooner the better--given what you've said. Be sure to let me know how things go for you too. Of all the "ailments" we could have though, this isn't too bad. So I guess we should count our blessings.

You'll be in my thoughts man. Good luck.
Thanks dude....Good luck to you as well with your upcoming surgery.
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