Saturday, February 21, 2015

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

I've been told I snore. 
Yes, people snore, and women do snore. The problem with me though is that I've been told I stop breathing after a very loud snore. And this had been going for some time and hadn't really thought much of it even though my family have had constantly told me to get it checked out. So after ignoring it for the longest time, I finally went to a sleep clinic to get myself checked. (Because it was getting serious and even I was starting to notice and coincidentally I saw a program related to sleep apnea and how badly it could affect your daily life and health.)

February 6th, 6:30pm was the day of the appointment with the doctor at my sleep clinic in Gangnam. We did a short survey, and met up with the doc and did the CT scan, x-ray, and blood works. Didn't take much time maybe an hour or so then at 9pm came back to the clinic to get hooked up on the wires and whatnots to get my brainwave, breathing and movement scanned and filmed. Went to bed around 11pm and the next day they had the results ready by 5pm. 

February 7th, second meeting with the doc... and I was hoping maybe a little retainer would do the trick but it wasn't going to be that easy. He said my results were pretty much on the top of one of his worst female patients. (I pretty much rank 2nd) the results said that I've been waking up over a 100 times in an hou tall becaue of sleep apnea and generally 30/hr is in the red zone and my results were 3times higher. Also, the longest I didn't breathe was 37seconds and that's not good. 

Hence, it came down to two choices, non-surgically I could be using the breathing mask to help me breathe during my sleep for the rest of my life OR surgically, I could broaden up my airways. Luckily, and thankfully I didn't have to get the complicated surgical procedure done.. just a simple not to painful surgery was an option for me, which involves: reduction of the tonsils, uvula and tongue. And yes, it sounded horrifyingly painful and frightening when the doc explained it. And it made me think of all the brave women out there who actually get jobs done willingly just for the sake of beauty... I could never do that. From the CT scan, we could also see that I had a narrow and crooked nasal cavity, hence that needs to get fixed as well and having all that fixed should cure 90% of my problem. (So, 2nd surgery si scheduled for 6th of March)

February 12th, 7pm - The Day of Surgery!
Nervous, anxious and a little frightened.. changed into hospital gown and walked into the surgery room. As I lay down on the surgical bed, I saw those circular lights that we see often on tv and the doctors started connected me to IVs and other electrical wires. The anesthetistf came in and started injecting something into the IV and put a mask on me, telling me to take deep breaths. After couple of breaths I don't remember anything but waking up in the recovery room, shivering.It wasn't painful at all, like the doctor had said, but felt all swollen and awkward, yes, swallowing was very hard. I started out with water, which was difficult, it felt like my throat was the size of a pin hole.

For the first couple of days, I could only eat water, ice cubes and ice cream. I still have to be careful with what I eat because I can't risk the stitches tearing and bleeding. So, for the next couple of weeks until everything is all healed and my lower jaw and four lower front teeth are back to normal, I can only have liquid food, no seasoning, chunks, spice... just soft, cold, sweet stuff.. Oh, and I have to sleep sitting up until the swelling goes down. It's been pretty good so far, I guess it helps because I cant chew or swallow. However, I can't wait till I can eat alll the food I've been missing out on! :)

It's been about 10 days since the surgery and the swelling has gone down substantially, the bruises are almost gone, there stilll are a bit of yellow and blue, purple patches but it should disappear in time :)

I have a checkup at the hospital coming Monday to get the threads removed and to see how the healing's been progressing so far.