Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I'll Take Sleep Disorders for $300 Alex!

Sleeping disorders, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways. Well, I would count them if I could stay focused long enough. I had Sleep Apnea for years. Sleep Apnea is a disorder where your brain forgets to tell you to breathe during the night or there is an obstruction to keep you from breathing properly. Now I'm sure the brain doesn't do this on purpose and it's simply an over site on it's part. I'd hate to think it was an act of revenge but if it were I would imagine it would be for the times I spent watching Desperate Housewives.

I didn't know what was wrong with me. I could sit down in a chair and be asleep in seconds. Nice if you're 80 years old or like to take small naps during the day, not so nice if you like to do it while say..driving a car down a freeway or while at work. The toll it took on my mental state was vast. I could not concentrate on anything. Many hours passed by with me staring into space, not really thinking about anything, just enjoying LaLa land and the carnival rides they have there.
Mistakes I made at work were plentiful, thus, why my bosses tended to yell and scream at me. It was a good thing I was riding the merry-go-round inside my head and didn't hear a thing they said. I lived in a fog so much of the time, I considered tying a flashlight to my head so ships wouldn't run into me.

I was given a CPAP machine. It's a machine of torture that has a mask you place over your face while it gently forces air into your nose and/or mouth to keep your airway open, much like placing your lips around a jet engine during takeoff. It's not that I didn't enjoy having to stuff my lungs back into my chest with a broom handle up my wazoo or anything, it just didn't work. I could not get used to it. The next step was a bit more drastic. They wanted to take my tonsils out.

Hey! The kids on TV always had all the ice cream they wanted. They always made it out to be a very simple procedure.

Lies.. all dirty, dirty lies.

Sure, you could have all the ice cream you want.. what they don't tell you is that once it goes past your mouth.. it morphs into salt encrusted razor blades with thumbtack sprinkles.
You see, the roots of your tonsils keep growing as you age. At age 40, mine had grown so long that my body had put up a fence much like they have for the lines for park rides at Six Flags.
The beginning of the operation was a nightmare. Since I had sleep apnea, they said they had to intubate me...


I liken the experience with having to swallow a garden hose.. and attached sprinkler head. They made me swallow disgusting things, vile tasting things. They claimed it was to deaden my throat for the operation but I was fairly certain that when the tonsils tasted this stuff, they would just get up and walk out on their own.

It was the most painful experience I had ever had. I pushed that morphine button like a Jeopardy contestant on crack, but alas, it did not help. I had to drink several glasses of water a day. It was excruciating to do so but NOT keeping the wound hydrated would make the pain worse. They also took out my adenoids in my nose. When I went back for a checkup, my doctor asked me if I had much pain in my nose and I said "no." he said "well you really do but your throat hurts so much you can't tell." Thats kinda like hitting your foot with a hammer so your focus is off your toothache. A coworker had to have her tonsils out a few months later. She told me that the pain was worse than childbirth. At least I had something to compare it with now even if it was by proxy.

All in all.. the pain finally started to go away, after three weeks. My throat healed. My sleep apnea, cured. The good thing about it is that I know what to expect if I ever give birth.


Mary at My New 30 said...

I'm in pain just thinking about that Bill! I once had to have a feeding tube re-inserted into my nose when I was still unable to swallow (long story) but this time they had to do it while I was awake. Dear God in Heaven.

That said, my primary sleeping disorder these days is The Hubs. Or rather his Snoring. Well, that and that other things that happens to us, err.. elder women.

Bill said...

LOL! yeah, I get the mature woman stuff. That tube thing was horrible. I was off work for more than a month for that and lost 30 lbs. Kinda wish I could do it again just for the weight loss.

Maralee McKee said...

Hello Bill,

I'm so sad to hear that you suffered for such a long time with the sleep disorder. My brother has to wear the smae type of breating machine you did nighlty. Like you, it's a devil he hates dancing with.

Your surgery sounds horrific, however, I'm happy that it sounds like after the pain subsidded your healing is now permanent.

I wish you an extra dose of great health and sleepy filled nights!


Bill said...

Thank you Maralee. It was difficult for sure. Have a wonderful Day maam!

~Brittainy said...

Momma has sleep apnea, but has never done anything about it, that sounds absolutely dreadful! What makes it worse than childbirth is no baby to hold afterward. Maybe if they had given you a puppy to cuddle you could have forgotten it.

Bill said...

Heh..Brittainy, A puppy would have been much preferred!

I have seen people die from it right in front of my eyes. Eventually it messes up your heart if untreated.

~Brittainy said...

She may have started getting help since she was diagnosed with Lupus, I know though she has had it for years though. Good Luck

Anonymous said...

Bill, that sounds like a total nightmare. It's so much easier when your a kid. My daughter had her tonsils and adnoids out at 5years old. (She snored louder than her father did)for her it was a piece of cake. After hearing your story I'm so glad she had it done. Her doctor at the time said that if they stayed in she could develop sleep apnea. Glad it's all behind you.

JoAnn Walsh

amy play said...

When I had my tonsils taken out, I was 10. I was also told about the ice cream. IT WAS A LIE! After the surgery they said I couldn't have ice cream because it caused too much mucus. I was stuck with jello. But the jello was good. And I loved playing with the hospital bed. I always heard that getting your tonsils out when you are a kid is a million times easier than when you're an adult. So is chicken pox.


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