While I Was Sleeping…

A few weeks ago, I accidentally fell asleep on the couch one night. When I woke up around 6 am, I felt more refreshed than I had in weeks.

The very next day I insisted that Mike make an appointment to see the doctor for his snoring.

But I know I’m not completely innocent here, with the whole sleep moaning thing. So I decided to make an appointment for myself too. We both went in to the doctor last week (together) and got to have scopes put up our noses.

A scope. Up my nose. Oh, what FUN that was. (Ugh.)

Fortunately, the doctor said that about 90 – 95% of my problem stems from problems with my soft palate, and a UPPP (also known as Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty) or a LAUP (done with a laser) should resolve most of my problems. Mike has slightly different issues though, so our treatments in the end will probably be different.

Before the doctor can decide what the best treatment is, we get to do sleep studies. Last night was my turn. Around 11 pm, the technician came to my house and hooked me up to all sorts of monitoring nodes – things to check my breathing, record my snoring, monitor the flow out of my nose and mouth, and check the oxygen level in my blood. Once we were all done, I got to stay up for awhile (I’m never really tired at 11pm), and then when it was time for bed – I got to connect myself to the machine. Just two cords, and I was being recorded.

The tape holding the mic on my neck was sticky, and by the time I went to sleep I wanted to rip it off. The electrode thing under my right arm was jabbing into my ribs while I tried to fall asleep. And that monitor on my index finger? Healthcare may cover it longer if you meet in person with your doctor, and your doctor documents in your medical record that the CPAP Machines therapy is helping you. I’ve had that before at the hospital, and I forgot how frustrating it is to suddenly have no use of your index finger. It took me forever to fall asleep last night – much longer than usual. I had to have a minimum of 6 hours of recording time though (otherwise we would have had to repeat the study), so I told Mike & Jason to be sure not to wake me up this morning – and I ended up sleeping until almost noon! Eep!

The technician just came to pick the machine back up, and once he downloads the data he will send a report on to my doctor. Thursday night, it’s Mike’s turn.

(Related links: Brian’s snoring surgery (non-medical perspective), Information on UPPP and LAUP, and a book on apnea and snoring.)

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

72 replies on “While I Was Sleeping…”

It has now been three months and the white dry scar tissue circuling my missing UVULA seems to be a permanent fixture in my throat. Not getting bigger nor smaller, but it irritates the back of my toungue still and makes me gag occasionally. I have found keeping it moist is the best thing, but still have not found anything other than chewing gum that does the trick. Still no snoring or sleep apnea incidents. The congestion is greater, however, it is hayfever season. Long and short, I have learned a lot on this site that I wish I had known, however, I would have still gone forward with the surgery over using the CPAP.

I just had the UPPP procedure done friday morning. It’s now Sunday night and I’m doing just fine. My throat hurts, of course, but it’s endurable, particularly with the help of Tylenol 3. Having read all of the horror stories, I was very worried. My doctor also was pretty straight-forward in advising me that the recovery would be “very difficult”. I think it was acutally good that I had such horrific expectations because the reality was not all that bad. I’ve not had a lot of difficulty with the clear liquids and have acutally moved on, as of yesterday, to yogurt drinks, Slim Fast, and even a regular yogurt. I’ve found that drinking water is harder than drinking Gatorade – a tip I got off of a page like this. I’m still planning to take the full 2 weeks off, though I expect that I’ll be feeling much better about a week from now.

The antibiotic is NASTY tasting, and grainy and sour. I sort of sprained my stomach supressing a barf this morning. I’m thinking I might take a shot at eating scrambled eggs tomorrow (without toast, of course).

I’m not expecting perfection, as far as the results go, but I do know that I had a freakishly large uvula and that my tonsils looked like they pretty much filled my whole throat. I also got throat infections a lot, so at this point I’m really thinking this was the right thing to do.

The CPAP? Forget it. I just could not tollerate it, despite having a buddy who swears by his. I was even given a BIPAP, but it really wasn’t much easier to tolerate.

Day #14…doing much better after UPPP and tonsillectomy. Spent 2 days in the hospital and on pain meds – liquid oxycodone for 5 days or so, back to work (I’m a doctor) in 7 days. Lost 15# from a slender frame of 5’10” 180# to start. Liquid diet and jello for the first week, pureed after day 5, then moist minced. Able to eat quite a bit now by chewing carefully and slowly but can’t bite into any sandwiches yet or tough meats and turkey was tough without gravy. Started swimming on day 8 and went to the gym on day 10, running yesterday 2 miles – slow jog. All in all, painful as heck but doing great. No snoring at all, dreaming a lot more and wife is happy!

I am scheduled for my UPPP in two weks and have been collecting as much information as possible.
Thanks for the great information on this forum !

I also had septoplasty and turbinate surgery last year which made an incredible improvement in nasal breathing and sinus health, but not much improvement in snoring (hence the UPPP).

Has anyone ever tried the neti pot sinus irrigation system for sinus health? I have done some resaerch on this and have been doing it for about 2 weeks now and have noticed some improvements such as less nasal congestion, improved sense of smell and less post nasal drip.
Here is a link for more informatio about the neti pot

The last few comments have been very positive, congratulations! It has now been 4 months and I am doing fine. I still have scar tissue but the weird sensation of it is now not so noticeable. I do still cough up phlem balls which I never ever did before in such a nasty gurgle. You have to be constantly aware of where you are when you clear your throat as it becomes an annoyingly gross habit. My wife is still elated that I no longer snore and stop breathing, however, I have begun to slightly snore, but in a more rythymic manner which seems normal and does not wake her. My first comment was that this procedure was worse than my back surgery 12 years ago, however, I threw my back out (slipped disk) four weeks ago and am now reminded how painful siatic nerve pain is running down your butt to your feet. I should not have spoken so soon. Must be bad Karma! You wonder when these annoying issues will ever stop, but I guess as we age, we need to continually be aware of how we take care of ourselves when we are healthy. So happy the last few of you had a good go of the procedure. No matter how bad, you will soon forget it and be happy you made the right decision.

Anyone had a GAHM? Where they put a screw in your jaw and pull your tongue forward. I just had my sleep study after the tonsils and uvula came out and I went from mild sleep apnea to severe. Looks like no pain no gain does not hold true. Lots of pain and no gain but a loss. Let me know about the tonque thing. They said this is my next step.

Great Site, surfing web 4th day after to kill time and dull the discomfort. In at 9 home at 12, felt great, was able to swallow, percocet 1 or 2 times st day, actually went to office on Friday…..then I hit the wall and have been in constant pain/discomfort since, 2 percocet 4 to 5 imes a day is normal, no sleep last night, a headache today.

It’s been a pain (literally)but she says no snoring, seemed less resless, seemed like I could breathe easier. I’m a mouth breather (helped with the snoring) but I felt like more air was passing through my nostreals.

Keep foor bland, eggs good old chicken soup with noodles, other pasta’s, soft food, well chewed. Constant hydrating, thought it huts on every swallow, percocet, swelling pills, antiobiotic, tynanal, welbruten all must go down and all hurt.

My regular Doc said expect depression issues to subside as you actually get some sleep, expect to lose weight as metobolism changes with return of normal sleep.

Daughter in from west coast and surprised that the “snore roar” was gone.

net/net….I’ll live with the pain as the benefits are already outweighing dark side.

Merry Christmas….no more percocet for balance of day so that a “few pops” can be taken at this evenings family meal.

Some very interesting comments. i was concerned because i had a tonsllectomy diathermy on my nose and laser palatoplasty but was surprised to find that they had removed my uvulva when i was told at the pre-assessment that they just laser either side of the uvulva. didnt know if the uvulva has a purpose. had my operation in november, sometimes when i drink it comes out of my nose and it seems noisy when i drink, dont know if this will change with time, i hope so does anybody else know?

I do not have fluid come out my nose when I drink, but do have to control how fast I swallow. The greater issue is the amount of food and phlem that just sits in my throat. My doctor told me that some say the uvula helps glide phlem down and thus it is now more likely to just sit there. He told me after about a year, your body somehow corrects this issue. I hope the same is true for your issue.

March 2, 2008

I had the UPPP with tonsils uvula and some scar tissue from my vocal cords being removed on Thursday Feb 28th (discharged fri 29) and for some reason feel absolutly wonderful. I am not in horrid pain although I am scared of being in pain so I do stick to a strict medication schedule. I was in more pain when I was in the hospital but once the nurses changed the medication I was on I felt much better. I have not yet been scheduled for my follow up sleep study but my father has said that he doesn’t notice me gasping for breathe in my sleep anymore. When I woke up this morning I felt much more rested than I usually do upon waking. As of now I think this surgery was a very good decision. Just have to continue healing and let the swelling go down more and hopefully that will make me feel even better than I already do. Go to a Dr you trust and follow your gut when it comes to making the decision on weather or not to have this surgery.

well its almost 7 months now although I have stoped snoring, still have the feeling that there is a big lump in the back of my throat, abd a very strange taste all the time. It feels like i have a fish bone wedged down there, got a apointment with consultant on 20th to put my mind at rest that everthing is ok. It just dont feel right.

I just had septoplasy and uvelectomy yesterday (4-18-08)and I would agree the pain is pretty intense when I swallow. Popsicles and Chlorseptic spray seems to help. I haven’t noticed much pain from the septoplasty but the uvula more than makes up for it. I think cold, thick drinks go down the easiest and I do better drinking several continuous gulps is more tolerable than slow painful sips. I have also been gargling with salt water helps later but is pretty intense at the time. I am intending to return to work Tuesday if it progresses satisfactorily. It sounds like that may be too fast based on most comments here but I have a pretty tolerable pain threshold (I hope)
Good luck to all!

I did go back to work Tuesday as planned but it was a rough day. Throat pain was pretty intense the first 8-9 days but has improved a lot. Salt water gargle and snorting it up my nose helped alot and helped keep the nasal passages open and clean. Now at day 12 and almost no pain but have a little problem with liquids going down my windpipe if I am not careful. Has anyone had a bony growth in the front roof of mouth after these surgeries? I will see my doctor again in almost 2 weeks and will have to ask him about then.

My husband is scheduled for the UPPP and tonsilectomy tomorrow. You guys have provided lots of great tips and information. I typed up a list to take home with me so that I will know better what to expect for the next few days. Thanks so much.

My relationship is in major jeopardy. I have tried the CPAP but am frustrated since it is not working. I have been recommended for UPPP, then possibly Somnoplasty or snoreplasty, then just having the Uvelectomy and Tonsilectomy. I am not concerned about the short term amount of pain but if I have some other side effect I will have to deal with the rest of my life. Should I go through with this surgery, Any suggestions. Somnoplasty and Snoreplasty are much less evasive.

It was well woth the short term pain with the UPPP. I would not think about it twice. I in the other hand have not done the snoreplasty or the somnoplasty. I did have the uvelectomy and it’s fine. The only discomfort I had was when I would swallow juice or the liquis meds, and that was only for the first 6 days after the surgery. I had mine done in May of 05. My wife did say that now I have a low snore but nothing bad. I do sleep alot better now.

I am on day 5 following septoplasty turbinate reduction as well as uvula removal. I thought for sure I had sleep apnea but the sleep study proved wrong. Snoring was still an issue so my ENT dr. recommended this procedure. It is alot of pain – that’s the truth – I’m hoping the results in a couple weeks are worth it. The liquid vicodin tastes horrible and caused pain until it began working. Today I had plastic stents removed from nose today – can’t believe how large they truly are! Now things are much better as I can breathe through my nose. Throat is the real issue although nose is tender to touch and a bit raw to breathe through. Looking forward to sleeping at night without the stents!

Wow, interesting stories on here. I have something to share about my experience with and after I had my tonsils out. I had my tonsils out 5 years ago and I still have pain. I have been to many many doctors and after many doctor visits and tests I went to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. They thought my constant pain was caused from muscle tension dysphonia(sp)so I went to a speech pathologist for quite a while with no relief. I ended up going back to the Mayo clinic and they did exploratory surgery and the only thing the doctor saw in my throat was that I has nodules on my vocal chords and so he removed those and my vocal chords were really tight or something so he made slits in them to relieve some pressure, he thought this would surely relieve some of my pain. It didn’t. Anyway, I still have the pain to this day and zoloft was recommended to me and I was hesitant to try it because I am not depressed but somehow it helps relieve some pain. I gave in and tried it because I was always in so much pain and slept practically all the time. It helps the pain some but it still hurts 24-7. Anyone else ever heard of anything like this? I am thinking there has to be someone else in the world that has symptoms like this. If anyone has ideas let me know. Thank you!

PS. I have always loved to sing but now I can’t sing long at all before I am in too much pain. Please help!!

Has anyone had the uvula shortened? The doctor says it can be done in the office and it will only take 30 minutes. I’m curious as to how much recovery time I will need. I haven’t gotten much imformation from doctor yet, he makes it sound simple, but says it will hurt a lot afterward. Anyone have it done and know what to expect?
Thanks for feedback-if you have any.

I just had the UPP exactly 9 days ago. it has been painful from day one. However, at least for the first 4 days i was able to eat ice cream, popsciles, cold water….now day 9 i can barely swallow room temperature water…talk about depressing. and why when i think im getting good sleep do i wake up and feel like my throat does not work, its dry, and hurts like heck… i’m getting depressed and the my ears are killing me. Im looking over this page for sugestions and tips ….otherwise im not gonna make it…seriously

I had a up3, tonsils removed, turbinates reduced and septoplasty. Today is now day 4 and I’m doing rather well. My throat is pretty sore but it’s bearable. I only had one strange episode of dizzyness, probably a side effect of percocet.Not sure what it was from though. So far my pain is tolerable. I know it will probably get worse as the days progress until the scabs start falling off. So I’ve still got that to deal with but I’m not complaining, much.

I remember the test that you are talking about that recording thing took 30 minutes before I went to sleep. After word I cam to know that all my snoring problem was because of Tonsils.

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