Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Complications with the non-uvula

Originally uploaded by iTripped.
You know, most days I don't miss my uvula at all. A little background: a couple years ago I had it removed in a (failed) attempt to stop snoring. I also suffered from sleep apnea and luckily, the procedure cured me of that instantly.

As I said, most days I don't notice a difference at all. But yesterday was miserable. One of the side effects of not having a uvula are an increased chance of food falling into your windpipe (it's supposed to help block the pipe when swallowing). Yesterday I must have choked about 4 times, from sipping coffee, chewing a breath mint, attempting to eat while climbing stairs and when paying for food at a restaurant. Drinking water does not usually help, since the problem tends to be in my windpipe and the general plan is to prevent food and drink from going in that direction. So I have to cough my guts out and hope for the best. This sometimes works. In the picture, the inflamed areas on the sides of my mouth are a direct result of my coughing fits.

It's not all bad. Now that I don't have the sleep apnea, I am able to fall into a deep sleep, instead of hovering in REM sleep all night. (Generally speaking, that's what happens to apnea sufferers, since the body doesn't dare fall into deep sleep in case it needs to force itself awake to start breathing again.) Now, no matter how relaxed I am at night, my air passages are not blocked. So it was still worth getting my uvula removed, even with the occasional coughing fit.


iTripped said...

I forgot another side effect: puking is even worse now, as food doesn't only exit via my mouth, but can also get forced up into my nasal passages. :(

Endless Drool said...

I should stop reading blogs at lunch. Thanks, Dave for that pleasant topic, picture, and add-on comment.

As for the picture: Closed-mouthed Dave, or no Dave at all, that's what I say...

erinator said...

well, even with my uvula intact, vomit comes out my nose too.


iTripped said...

I wondered what it would take to get more comments. Looks like I found my niche.

Eric: best comment ever. heh

Erin: my condolances. it sucks.

Alissa said...

I saw this picture on Google pics and noticed that you had it Sergically removed. I hope all is going well for you on that. I was actually born without a Uvula. I don't really have gagging reflexes and Vomit doesn't come out of my nose. I've adapted to it and Hopefully by now you have to. I know this is belated but Goodluck.