~  Busy Bees make the sweetest things  ~
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
my throat and i
A couple of months back i went to a sleep clinic. This is one of those places that hook you up to a bunch of sensors, and monitor all aspects of your sleep. They observe your REM stage, oxygen levels, and a minutia of other vitals. They then create a profile of your sleep. What prompted me to do this in the first place? Well, for those of you who know me, i love sleep. I mean, it's one of my favorite things to do. I usually would try to give myself 9 or so hours a night. But when the alarm went off in the morning, i was still groggy, would hit the snooze button a bunch of times, and literally have to drag myself out of bed to go to work. I didn't pay much attention to this, and that's how i lived for years. Well, fast forward to last year, when i moved in with my fiance. Here the cloak of mystery was removed.

i snore like a truck.

Not just any snoring, mind you, but the deep, throaty kind. Of course it would never wake ME up. Take this, combined with rolling around like a cement mixer all night, led my lovely Sarah to the brink of suicide. She demanded i do something about it.
So off to a sleep clinic i went. Here's me, ready to be plugged into their machine.

Well, half way through the night, they came in and put a mask on my face, and said i wasn't getting enough sleep. This mask is a positive pressure device that blows air into your nose and prevents snoring. The next morning i was sent home.

The results, i'm sure, are the most interesting part of the the whole experience. Turns out i have severe sleep apnea.
- i snore
- dropped down to 91% oxygen levels
- i never hit stage 4 REM (the deepest)
- i can fall asleep in under a minute
So these facts, except for the last one which is pretty darn neat, let them to recommended i get one of their brand new MarkIII models of assisted breathing devices to wear "in the comfort of my own home." Well, let me tell you how comfortable these masks are. NOT.

I felt i was on the wrong end of hoover with this thing on. It was noisy and ridiculously uncomfortable. It pressed up against your nose and made your mouth area all wet. And it stunk like a 80 year old man. (don't ask). It would be like going to bed with a full set of scuba gear on. And they wanted me to do this, every night, for the next FORTY YEARS OF MY LIFE!!!
i told the doc thanks, but no thanks, and asked him what my other options were.

A tonsillectomy.


I go in for surgery at 6am. A simple procedure, they say. But not really. In addition to removing my tonsils, they are planning on "trimming my uvula." It's called a UPPP. Looks kind of like this:

All in the name of not snoring. Of course, what they didn't tell me, is that the recovery would be longer, because your throat would not just be in pain on the sides, but also on the entire top. Great. I come out of surgery at 10, looking like a friggin' zombie, completely dosed up on morphine. Wow did i have the MOTHER of sore throats. Every sip of water i took felt like i was swallowing one of these:

Not to mention, i haven't eaten for 13 hours, and the medicine they give me for pain makes my stomach do somersaults, and gives me a serious migraine (the one you get right before you throw up). Yea, the nurse tells me i shouldn't do that.
So i can't breath through my nose, i can't talk, and any baby-tiny sip of water i take stings like crazy. Not a pleasant situation. Turns out my 'quick 1 hour recovery' is now over 4 hours. And every time i press the button for the nurse, she gets on the speaker and asks if i need help. Of course i can't answer her, because i JUST GOT MY TONSILS OUT! So i press the button again. "can i help you?" comes the response. This charade goes on for about 5 minutes before they finally send someone out to check on me.
none the less, at about 4pm, i'm ready to go home. my head hurts, and i can barely walk. I get up to pee, and am peeing for like six minutes straight. Insane. But at least i get to go home.

So i'm resting. My pain medication wears off, and i reach for the prescription i was given. Oh, look at that. the pill is a nice large, white, oblong shape, the SIZE OF MY THUMB. What the @&$#! am i supposed to do with that?!! If i could swallow something that big, i wouldn't NEED a friggin' pain pill to begin with! A complete lack of foresight on somebody's part here. Thank goodness i have my lovely Sarah waiting on me hand and foot, so she crushes the pill up for me, and i sip it down with water.

Now it's coming up on 22 hours of not eating, and i'm getting nauseous. I try apple sauce. Too coarse. But a watered down pudding seemed just right. It takes a long time to eat when you can only swallow half-sized bites. And then the anti-biotics caught my eye. Yes, i thought. I should start taking these. Of course it was another mammoth sized white pill. But upon crushing, it wend down ok with the pudding.
A few minutes later my head started hurting. I wondered why. And then it got worse. That's when Sarah felt it was prudent to inform me that the anti-biotics make you nauseous. And should be take with LOTS of food.
Friggin' great.
Within 15 minutes, everything i ate found its way right back out into the bottom of a trashcan. With my head reeling, i laid down and went to sleep at 9pm. So much for eating on Tuesday.


So i woke up today, having sworn of anti-biotics for at least another day or two, feeling a bit better. But only a little bit. My throat is sore, and swallowing hurts, but it is no longer a sharp pain. I haven't eaten anything in over a day and a half, and i've relegated myself to some frozen baby food. I'm gonna try some cold chicken soup a little later and see how that feels.

I don't know why i subject myself to this kind of torture. Granted its not as bad as the surgery from hell, it definitely ranks a strong #2. Sarah, you owe me big time. But, i guess as they say, it's all in the name of love....


Well it's now the NEXT Wednesday, and i've finally managed to come into work today. I'm still not feeling well, but at least i can talk enough to get by. My throat is still sore, and it hurts when i swallow. I saw the doctor yesterday, and he said i should be all better by Sunday. SUNDAY! That's like another FOUR days away! For pete's sake. I definitely under-estimated the impact this surgery would have on me. I've lost like 15 pounds over the last week. Had i known all of this going into it, i would have re-thought the whole thing.....

. . . = = COMMENTS = = . . .

Konrad  posted on  Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Great! If I would know that they plan to remove your uvula, I would strongly recommend NOT. Now, in addition to colds and flu, you are prone to suffocation and/or pneumonia when any food gets into your trachea. Regarding food, I would recommend ice cream and sherbet for now. Pieprze taka milosc!

Jen Rankin  posted on  Thursday, June 11, 2009

ohh mark! i am soo sorry you are in pain, but you did make me laugh a lot with reading about it. feel better dude

john  posted on  Tuesday, June 16, 2009


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