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Ina R.

cured from sleep apnea on 03.04.2019

Cured from sleep apnea

I have been allergic to pollen for many years. About 15 years ago, I had severe colds every year that lasted for weeks. A lung specialist then diagnosed me with asthma and I was given a cortisone spray. This had to be dosed higher and higher, in the end I had a permanent cough.

In 2018, my daughter noticed that I stopped breathing in between at night. So my lung specialist sent me to a sleep lab that works with him. They diagnosed me with sleep apnea and very heavy snoring. Of course, the latter was not new to me. I was prescribed the Löwenstein breathing mask. While I was still in the sleep lab, I expressed my displeasure that there must be another solution. Yes, I could wear an anti-snoring splint on my teeth, but then I would have to pay for it myself. My dentist advised me against the snoring splint. So I was left with the CPAP breathing mask.

Dr. Frey explained the connections to me very impressively

At home, however, I immediately researched on the Internet and quickly came across Dr. Frey's site. I called him immediately and Mr. Gashi took a lot of time to answer all my questions. Now I got an appointment for an interview. In the meantime, I continued to try the mask. When I started having sneezing attacks during the day, I thought it was my allergy at first. But at the sleep lab, they explained that I would need a humidifier for the CPAP mask. So from now on, I had to bother with one more additional part - this also made cleaning the device more difficult. At my appointment at the Seegartenklinik, Dr. Frey explained to me very impressively all the connections between my sleep apnea and my illnesses. After I had slept on it for one or two days, my decision was made: I was going to have the operation. Unfortunately, I did not receive any support from my attending physicians, so the only medical experts who could help me were the Seegartenklinik.

Blood pressure and heartburn are secondary diseases of sleep apnea

Durch Herrn Dr. Frey erfuhr ich, dass viele meiner weiteren körperlichen Beschwerden Folgeerkrankungen der Schlafapnoe sind:  mein Bluthochdruck, der seit mehr als 10 Jahren mit immer höher dosierten Medikamenten behandelt worden war, mein Sodbrennen, welches ich ebenfalls medikamentös behandelte, und eben das Asthma, was mir immer stärkere Probleme bereitete. Es waren somit gar nicht die Atemaussetzer selbst unter denen ich leiden musste. Die Behandlung mit der Maske konnte ich hingegen nur schwer ertragen. Und mein ständiges Schnarchen war mir unheimlich peinlich. Ich war durch die Atemaussetzer natürlich schon viele Jahre häufig müde,  das nimmt man dann jedoch irgendwann als gegeben hin.“ Man wird ja nicht jünger,“ dachte ich.

The sleep apnea surgery

I was definitely afraid of the sleep apnea surgery, but I always had the goal in mind and dealt with the possible risks as little as possible. Instead, I was always looking for positive reports about the surgery to read as encouragement. Of course, many people tried to warn me, but they quickly realized that I could not be dissuaded. I had a very safe feeling with Dr. Frey.

The doctors at the Seegartenklinik advised me very well, answered all my questions and thus took away my uncertainties as best they could. Dr. Frey and the whole team assured me that I could pack my things and leave on the morning of the day of the operation if the anxiety got the better of me. This reassured me, but was out of the question for me.

Thank God I didn't notice anything from the surgery. However, the after-effects were severe. I already knew about many of them through my extensive research.

After sleep apnea surgery

I slept through most of the day of the surgery, I just know it wasn't pretty. The ice mask that you get from the clinic is certainly good against the swelling but it also hurt quickly. I couldn't talk for two days, I didn't read that in any report. The staff also told me that this is very rare. The day after the surgery I took my blood pressure medication again dissolved by the tied up teeth. Since then my blood pressure has always been normal and I have decided to go completely without my medication. The asthma inhaler, heartburn medication, blood pressure medication and of course the CPAP mask have been a thing of the past from then on. My parents rented an apartment in Heidelberg during this time to be close to me. I live in NRW and so no one else could visit me. It was very nice not to be all alone, even if it would have been possible on my own. The care in the clinic was very nice and good. If possible, all wishes were patiently fulfilled. Thank you very much!

The pain was bearable because of the painkillers I was given. Two days of not being able to speak and the swallowing difficulties I found worse.

For me, the long journey for all the follow-up examinations was always very arduous. Sometimes I was on the road by car and train for up to 17 hours. In terms of appointments, I was always well accommodated - the trains were not always so punctual.

I would always have this surgery again

Now I really appreciate not being so tired all the time. Before the surgery, I could only ever plan longer car trips after breakfast because I was afraid of falling asleep at the wheel. I sleep much more soundly at night and don't wake up as often. In the evening after work, I can now watch a movie without falling asleep. My colleagues have been talking to me about the fact that I no longer have coughing attacks. All this without any medication and without a CPAP mask. My blood pressure has also been normal since then.

Unfortunately, my jaw cracks when I eat, as I knew it would before the surgery on me. Now, unfortunately, it feels even worse. I was not promised that the cracking of the jaw would be gone after the surgery, but I still hoped for that. In addition, the upper and lower jaws still feel numb. I am also struggling a bit with my appearance. I still feel a bit strange in the mirror.

Nevertheless, I would have this operation again and again. For me, it was good not to question all the dangers associated with it so far. The CPAP mask was the final straw for me. I definitely didn't want to have to live with it at 55. Finally, it is also a great liberation to no longer have to take medication.

Family and friends have commented that I am a bit pushy with my glorification of the jaw advancement. I really have little understanding for not having the surgery if you have these disease findings and can afford it. Unimaginable to have to go on vacation with the CPAP mask, for me that's just the way it is. Of course, in the end it is up to each person, but I am not a nice person to talk to if you don't want to have the surgery. I sometimes feel sorry for that and try to take a step back.

I am annoyed with all the doctors I have asked about alternatives to the CPAP mask and from whom I have not received an answer. If I had asked, the doctors would have been obliged to inform me about this surgical option. You can then decide for yourself whether this is an option.

It would be nice if this report helps others in their decision.