The Janke Family


During a recent doctors visit to explore migraine treatments my doctor examined my throat and exclaimed in astonishment “holy crap you have giant tonsils!” She asked me “Do you snore?” LOL! Do I snore? Is the Pope Catholic?! Like a bear, I proclaimed. She hypothesized that lack of sleep can lead to health problems, in my case it may be causing migraines. I was sent to a sleep lab, and the results were less than desirable. I had 80 apnea events that night, in other words while sleeping I stopped breathing 80 times. Another concerning result of the test was that my oxygen saturation dropped to 80, oxygen saturation should normally be above 96. So, in a nutshell I was not sleeping, and I was doing it very well! The sleep lab wanted to commit be to a life of a c-pap machine, the Darth Vader oxygen sleeping mask. I had heard some interesting stories about c-pap machines, and I wasn’t quite ready to submit myself to a life of sleeping with an apparatus. I consulted a great ENT (Dr. Randall Swenson) regarding alternatives to the c-pap. There were multiple things causing the sleep apnea. My giant tonsils were the “biggest” cause, but I still had a severely collapsed nasal septum (thanks Tom and Jon!), and year round rhinitis (swelling of the sinus tissues). So Dr. Swenson determined the best treatment would be to remove my tonsils, trim my uvula, repair my nasal septum (correctly this time), and trim the turbinates in my sinuses, all at the same time. I was advised repeatedly that tonsillectomies in adult males are very difficult, but I thought I was tough and could handle it. On July 14th Dr. Swenson performed all four procedures successfully. Six weeks later things are great, I can breath better than I can ever remember being able breath. But it really was one of the worst experiences of my life. The physical aspect of the recovery was very challenging, but I think the psychological aspect was the worst part. A week into the recovery my mental state was definitely questionable. I am still realizing all the benefits, these x-rays will tell the story better than I can. The first is my airway before the surgery, the second is my airway after the surgery. The difference is visibly noticeable! Hopefully there will be no long term negative effects. DOH!

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