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This makes a bit more sense, now... (more medical stuff) - John [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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This makes a bit more sense, now... (more medical stuff) [Jan. 19th, 2015|02:47 pm]
So, I saw an ENT. Thankfully, with all my medical tests, they have a head MRI, and he could see, and visually verify, a severely deviated septum - my left side is pretty heavily blocked.

Now, if you lie on one side, blood tends to pool on that side - so it gets a bit more congested. So if I lie on my right side, my right nostril is partially stuffy, *and* my left is tight due to the deviated septum. Breathing is hard - do-able, but with a significant effort.

This explains why one of the notable changes since getting the CPAP is that my left shoulder hurts *a lot* less.(I was sleeping on it pretty constantly. I would go to sleep in that position, and wake up in that position. I knew people moved when asleep - but I was wondering if I was a partial exception. Instead, it looks like I just keep returning to that position, but have to keep leaving it due to the shoulder pain.)

This also explains why I'm waking up with a rabid blowdryer attached to my face - my nose is clogged enough that the pressure of the CPAP won't help (or won't help enough). Without my being so deviant, it probably wouldn't be as annoying. (Seriously: the doctor says it looks like a u-turn, but I prefer to think of it as a switchback.)

A quick search about deviated septum repair surgery suggests that it's routine surgery with a pretty good shot at success - 80% is the number I've seen quoted.

Does anyone know if there's another "sleep apnea" surgery that's riskier, or less likely to work? See, my memory is screaming there's *something* about "surgery" and "sleep apnea" that go together, and there's something about "but it usually doesn't work". And I'm wondering where my brain is pulling that from.

In the meantime - I've found some things similar to Breathe Right strips that might help with my airway at night. I'm going to try them and see. Before I let people start looking at my nose with knives in their hands, I want to see if I can prove it's likely to help.


A spot of research, and some helpful LJ/DW comments, shows that a pure "deviated septum" surgery is relatively low risk, with a pretty good prognosis. After that, there's a variety of other surgeries, but they're all a bit more of a gamble.

[User Picture]From: wolfette
2015-01-20 07:25 pm (UTC)
there's a surgery that is sometimes done on the palate/back of the throat to try stop it 'falling closed' when you sleep. I think it's a laser surgery.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2015-01-23 04:55 am (UTC)
Nod. There are several. Some are worrisome reading.
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