Thursday, January 17, 2008

Various stuff

Things moved quickly this week with Doctors. Sunday I had my sleep test, yesterday I met with the Gastric surgeon on the Lap-band surgery and today I met with the Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor. I am moving forward with the Lap-band surgery, which may happen in about five weeks. That seems really soon to me, but it is probably better to get it done quickly. The ENT Doctor had some good news. The nodule on my vocal cords has healed and is gone and there is minimal swelling of the cords. That's not bad since I spent two weeks with laryngitis. He was very pleased. It was too soon to evaluate the sleep test.

On the sleep test topic I have been meaning to say a bit about sleep apnea. My sleep apnea was diagnosed about 15 years ago in a time when Apnea was largely unknown. It is more recognized now but I am still amazed at the people I meet who are not aware of it. The form of Apnea I have is obstructive sleep apnea. In this form of apnea as I fall asleep and go into the deep and refreshing form of sleep my body totally relaxes. This is generally a good thing. However in my, and many other people's, case the tissues in the throat become relaxed and actually close the throat. I therefore cannot breath for a while until my body makes an effort to breath and pulls me out of the deep sleep. I may or may not wake when this happens, but I have lost the deep refreshing sleep. Over time this loss of sleep becomes cumulative and I fall asleep at inappropriate times (like while I am driving.) There are other bad effects due to lack of oxygen and there is the possibility that I won't be able to breath in an episode and die.

Anyone who snores heavily and finds that they are not refreshed by a night's sleep or perpetually falls asleep inappropriately should suspect apnea and at least discuss being evaluated by a Doctor. It could mean your life!

So much for the update and soap box.

Be well!

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