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Trying to get UPPP surgery - Dr. denies me
RE: Trying to get UPPP surgery - Dr. denies me
zonk Wrote:
duckydoom,(time=1309278667) Wrote:If I got up at all during the night (ie to go to the bathroom), I would take the mask off completely, and then put it back on once I got back into bed. Perhaps if I tried the other means - disconnecting the hose, that would yield different results. I haven't tried taping it to my face, though I have considered it. I was worried about my hair getting caught in the tape and having difficulties with that.
I find that the chinstrap hold the mask in place if i have to get up during the night just turn off the machine ,disconnect the hose and unclip the lower straps .
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RE: Trying to get UPPP surgery - Dr. denies me
Evy Wrote:duckydoom and anyone else considering UPPP:

I recently had UPPP because of an unusually long soft palate. Honestly, you could look at the back of my throat and couldn't even see my uvula it was so far south. My tonsils are so tiny that my ENT thought I'd already had them removed so they were spared during the surgery. From the time I was diagnosed until my surgery, I was CPAP compliant. A pain in the butt because getting a mask that worked for me was almost impossible and my nasal septum is so straight that nasal pillows don't work for me. I wanted freedom to do what it is I love to do again (backpacking and wilderness camping) and also a chance at a normal night's sleep where I could sleep in some position other than my back if my body needed to shift. Although I also was terrified out of my mind when I started reading about UPPP and the recovery, from my very personal experience here I think most of the pain is from the tonsillectomy which is never easy in adults.

My uvula is history but unlike that other stories here, I was experiencing more frequent chocking episodes before the UPPP. Now I'm careful about swallowing because I'm curious about how the removal and trimming of the uvula and soft palate may have affected things. However, no problems so far. My tonsils remain in my throat since they were not an issue and not enlarged. I'm at day six post op and doing fine. My ENT and I discussed the surgery beforehand and I think that he was careful to do enough but not too much. Once I'm healed entirely in a few months, we'll see how it all goes and I'll get back here to share an update.

Currently sleeping without CPAP (drs orders - doesn't want the stitches "blown" by a pressure that may not be appropriate with my new anatomy) and having no issues beyond a little residual soreness at the top of my throat and getting cravings for crackers and popcorn which are currently off limits.

UPPP isn't for everyone. Too many people rush into it to avoid using the CPAP and that also accounts for its failure to "cure" OSA. If there isn't a good anatomical reason that can't be cleared by reaching and maintaining a normal body weight and body fat range, UPPP isn't any more likely to cure OSA than liposuction can cure obesity.

My recommendation for those considering surgery is to have a frank heart-to-heart with the ENT. If it sounds like tonsils need to go that would probably be the worst part of a UPPP's pain. Do you have any other complicating issues such as being overweight (even by 20 lbs), unusually long soft palate, narrowed nasal/pharyngeal passages? Be honest with yourself about what your particular physical issues are and don't think of UPPP as the easy way out as compared to it being the most appropriate form of treatment for your particular case.
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RE: Trying to get UPPP surgery - Dr. denies me
duckydoom Wrote:Hi, Evy - I'm glad to see that there is someone else on here post op. I had my surgery on the 1st, so I'm 3 days post op and pretty out of it, to be honest. I do have to say though, that I'm already feeling much better. My o2 saturation went from 89 to 94% without an o2 mask within the first night. My edema is almost completely gone in my legs, which is amazing for me.

The pain was the worst on the first day, simply because I was trying to adjust to the presence of the stitches. I have a pretty high pain tolerance, but it's still surprising to have that sandpapery feel in the back of the throat. It's not so bad anymore... I'm using Extra Strength Liquid Tylenol in conjunction with my oxy as recommended by the ENT, and it really seems to be helping. Drinking lots of fluids, and I've even been able to eat some regular food - the first day I had mashed potatoes and meatloaf, last night I had some noodles and chicken broth.

Doc doesn't want me on cpap yet until I've gone back in for my post op appt, I'm to go back to the sleep specialist for another sleep study in a few months, and my followup with the ENT is in a month.

To answer your other question, I am unfortunately overweight. I'm 5'6" and 220 lbs, which was another aspect of my frustration... not so much related to cpap non compliance, but I have tried weight watchers, nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, boot camps, excercise dvds etc, with no results when it came to weight loss. The sheer exhaustion limited me from quite a bit of exercise, and I think that was my main issue when it came to weight loss. I also apparently have a deviated septum, to the right. I definitely weighed the pros and cons of UPPP for quite awhile before making the final decision (about 6 months), and I had been on the CPAP for almost 2 years before giving up on that out of frustration when the adjustments simply didn't seem to work. I just wasn't finding much information online from people who had positive reactions, which is why I finally posted on the forum.

Other than being totally wonky from the drugs, I think I'm doing better overall. I'm able to sleep on my back. I'm not snoring anymore according to my husband.

I hope your recovery continues to go well - did you have the full UPPP? I've re-read your description a few times, but my brain isn't quite absorbing it. Guess it's time for a nap...
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RE: Trying to get UPPP surgery - Dr. denies me
Evy Wrote:Oh, ducky! Do I know how you feel right now. I was convinced that my percocets were sticking to the back of my throat and here it was the danged stitches giving that sensation. I envy you mashed potatoes on day one. I was on clear liquids in the hospital (23 hour admit) and my system isn't accustomed to that much sugar. I was so glad to get home and scramble a few egg whites; didn't think I could tolerate the slight "sulfury" smell of the yolk since I was nauseated from all the meds.

I'm doing pretty well. Weaned off the percocet by day 3 but had to take one this morning when I woke with a very sore throat. From what I've read, days 4 through 11 might be a little rough because of scabs coming off the surgical sites. Given that I'm CPAP free, sleeping 8 hours a night, and able to control any discomfort, I'm not complaining. I'll see my ENT in a couple of days to get clearance for returning to work.

I got all the UPPP I needed. Kept my tonsils and anything that wasn't in the way but the uvula and part of the soft palate are history. ENT also did some cauterization around the nasal turbinates (I too have a slightly deviated septum), so now I can breathe easier both awake and asleep. Hooray!!

Ah, the frustration with weight loss systems. There is so much misinformation out there and, unfortunately, the government agency guidelines that are supposed to help us are too politically influenced to be in our best interest. I just finished a "gut to cut" at my coach's facility where I took the challenge not so much for fat loss (I'm at 127lbs and 5'8" - a true ectomorph) but the nutrition information. It's been a good guide for me during recovery and I'm holding stable. Going to try to do a little something light in the gym tomorrow. And I do mean light, like going through the motions just to keep the joints limber. Plenty of time for the tough stuff once my recovery is complete. Hopefully now that you won't be exhausted from struggling with a machine and not getting a restful night's sleep, you'll be able to tackle the nutrition/exercise issues (according to my coach, nutrition is 90% of the battle).

Good luck with your follow-ups.

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RE: Trying to get UPPP surgery - Dr. denies me
duckydoom Wrote:Thanks for the luck, Evy, and to you as well Smile I may have to try the egg whites... I just finished a soft pretzel and had some oatmeal earlier. I also braved some odwalla... it stung a bit, but felt so good to have in my system. The oxy is making me pretty nauseated, and I do admit I've had some interesting hallucinations. But that's neither here nor there... pain wise, my main problem is when I sleep I have my mouth open and it all dries out... other than that though, I don't seem to be having excruciating pain - or at least what I was expecting. What sort of light exercise are you going to do? I've been puttering around the house (we just moved, so there's plenty to do), and taking the dogs outside, but not much more. I'm still mortally terrified of somehow popping a stitch and hemorrhaging, though I really think that's all in my head.
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RE: Trying to get UPPP surgery - Dr. denies me
Evy Wrote:*hehe* Well, it is all in your head or at least the back of your throat.

Today was a nice walk. I'm holding back on anything like push-ups or weights until I check with the doc tomorrow and see what he has to say. If the dry mouth gets to be much of an issue, check your local pharmacy for dry mouth gels that you can use while you sleep. That will be some help and most pharmacies carry something given the number of people with either dry mouth syndrome or a medication side effect.

Yeah, I hate the nausea from the percocet and tried to get off them as soon as possible. Still taking those danged horsepill size antibiotics (honestly, people. They make a liquid for children; why not adults who have just have throat surgery????). However, almost a week out and my larynx still hurts - probably due to the intubation. Kinda makes me wonder how rough they were.
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RE: Trying to get UPPP surgery - Dr. denies me
duckydoom Wrote:They ended up putting me on the nasty bubble gum flavored liquid amoxicillin. Thank goodness it's not pills... I dont think I could handle anything normal sized.

I didn't try eggs yesterday, but had a hankering for sardines on toast. I figured they were soft enough and had protein. Took me like an hour to eat. Horrible idea. Ended up vomiting (sorry for the TMI!) and felt like death for a few hours, but no real bleeding. Drank lots of cold water and took a cool shower, and made my husband scrub my back. Today I was well enough looking/acting that he suggested that I vaccum while he was gone. HA! Apparently my throat is a little pink, and looks fine other than the healing.

Still no scabs coming off as far as I can tell, and today I was able to have some scalloped potatoes at lunch, and for dinner I had some asiago chicken spinach tortellini that we microwaved. I had to let it cool down a bunch, but so far so good. I've also been drinking the Celestial Seasoning's K-Cup Sweet Teas - they're delicious, and the caffeine is enough to keep the oxy from knocking me out completely. I was actually up a full day today.

I lol'd at the back of your throat comment - I'm glad you have a sense of humor about it Wink My husband met the surgeon before I went back and solemnly shook his hand while I said in my best twang "Yeh, honey, this is the guy you go after if'n I don't make it." Big Grin The surgeon actually measured my neck at the beginning of all of this with a USB cord and a marker because he couldn't find a real tape measure, lol, so luckily he got it Smile The nurses looked slightly horrified. Oh well Smile

I'm definitely going to have to look at this dry mouth gel. My only other mouth complaint is one of my molars is now incredibly sensitive to cold, which I figure might have something to do with the maneuvering done in my mouth, but it's liveable.

I'm off to try on shoes now to see what my formerly horridly edema'd feet fit in! Hope you're still doing well!
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RE: Trying to get UPPP surgery - Dr. denies me
duckydoom Wrote:Also, out of curiosity, are your dreams more vivid? Mine are expressly so... I bought one of those 10" wedge pillows and have been sleeping on that, and this morning dreamt that I was drinking my coffee, sitting at the table. I woke up and was holding on to my nearly full (!!!) water glass. Hadn't spilled a drop, thank goodness - that would have been a mess to wake up to. I've also been having really vivid waking dreams, where I have to remind myself that I haven't done what I thought I had - it was only a dream. If that makes sense...

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RE: Trying to get UPPP surgery - Dr. denies me
duckydoom Wrote:Just another quick update recovery wise. Yesterday was hell. I was really tired the whole day, and wanting to not use my painkillers as much (I'm still using 2 most of the time). Somehow, i ended up falling asleep and sleeping through my medication alarm not once, but twice. The entire day I felt as though I'd been screaming at the top of my lungs - my throat was raw and it hurt to even try to talk, and my ears and jaw were killing me. I had no appetite to speak of, and my husband was getting worried. I got back on the correct med schedule of 10mg/4 hours, upped my teas and water, and slept. I have some rice/herb packs that I usually use for heating pads, but I threw 'em in the freezer instead, and they were amazing. I really dont think I would have made it through the night without them. I'm only up now because the dogs needed to be taken out and my husband had a long day yesterday... so I'm getting one of my cool packs and going back to sleep.

Also, as of Weds, I'd lost 10.6 lbs since the surgery. I'm going to weigh later tonight to see what I am exactly a week after.
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RE: Trying to get UPPP surgery - Dr. denies me
duckydoom Wrote:On day 10, I've lost 11 lbs total. I'm back to eating regular food with no real restrictions (just no spicy stuff yet, sadness). I just take super small bites and drink a ton more water with each bite than I do at normal meals. I feel that I was unprepared for the severity of the sore throat in this phase. Cloroseptic (sp?) cough drops and the numbing spray are my lifesavers at this point. The worst aspect is where the new tissue is growing in - the stitches are ridiculously itchy and the new tissue is really really sore - if I have the compulsion to yawn, or even burping slightly causes a pretty high pain spike. Only on children's pain liquids now, I'm alternating between liquid ibuprofen and liquid tylenol. Both taste disgusting, and cause irritation at the suture site.

Still glad I had it done, but quite happy I only have to go through this recovery once!
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