Cured patient reports his sleep apnea cure
Thomas Weindl

cured from sleep apnea 04.04.2019

Patient report sleep apnea cure by Thomas Weindl

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Even in my childhood, I usually breathed through my mouth and slept with my mouth open. I always felt like I was snoring. I could never breathe through my nose for long and constantly, somehow it always felt like I wasn't getting enough oxygen.

Over all these years, I have not given a thought to a genetic defect or even a disease in connection with the existing symptoms, as I was supposedly fit and able to perform. I had long since become accustomed to the fact that my sleep had been restless for a long time, and the deterioration was gradual.

After some parallel stress events in 2017, it then rapidly got worse, my sleep resembled a single disaster, I went to bed tired and got up in the morning even more tired, my snoring became unbearable for me and my environment, suddenly my performance was massively collapsed, lack of concentration up to nodding off in meetings, microsleep while driving, permanent sleep phases in between (e.g. before soccer training and again afterwards), etc., were suddenly daily concomitants.

Sudden weight gain

After I have weighed for years with a sporty figure around 90 kilos, I suddenly gained weight, despite immediate countermeasures such as carbohydrate reduction, 16:8 diet, etc. a weight loss was not possible. As usual, I rode about 800 km on a racing bike during my summer vacation in Spain, only this time I gained an insane 3 KG, despite sports and a Mediterranean diet! My weight fluctuated from now on around 100 KG and peaked at the end at 105 KG, physical discomfort, heartburn, digestive problems, multiple nightly urination and regular migraines included. My family doctor appeased my weight gain with the words: "Don't get upset, for 50 you have an extraordinary amount of body muscle, the next 10 years will probably bring you another 10 KG with your predisposition...

A sleep lab was made

A visit to the cardiologist then additionally revealed sleep apnea high blood pressure and a rather high pulse, only he gave the decisive hint: Please make an appointment at the sleep lab immediately. A good one, he should be right....

The year 2018 came to an end, I felt terrible. Finally the appointment at the sleep lab, end of November, incidentally my 50th birthday, result: AHI index of 80!!!! 80 dropouts per hour with an average of 16 seconds, so I didn't breathe for a total of more than 20 minutes in one hour. Red alert, danger to life! To be honest, that's how I felt. Announcement from the very corpulent doctor; "You are too fat, sleep apnea you now have for the rest of your life, there is no way to fix it surgically, from now on you will have to sleep with a CPAP mask and regularly come to see us in the sleep lab. A lot of people have that."

I was shocked and angry at the same time about the clumsy diagnosis without why, from where or why. For me as a graduate engineer and technology-loving person, this was unacceptable. Having to sleep lying in bed like a dead pilot without knowing the actual cause was not an option for me, I drove home and started directly with internet research on the subject. After an extensive search and what felt like half a medical study online, I finally found Drs. Sailer in Switzerland and Frey in Heidelberg.

From diagnosis to making an appointment with Dr. Frey did not pass 10 days, 10 days sleeping with mask that was already enough for me, rubber band marks on the face and hair, inflamed tip of the nose, unpleasant bloated feeling in the morning, conjunctivitis due to leakage of the mask included. Disaster! I longed for the date of the initial examination in Heidelberg.

Finally, February 12, 2019 in Heidelberg, I am full of expectations..... professional examinations and a more than 2 hour conversation with Dr. Frey, unbelievable, a simple X-ray shows the cause: 2 narrow spots in the trachea smaller than 8mm in diameter, plus the detailed explanations of biochemical reactions in the body by Dr. Frey and my decision is made. I immediately make an appointment for sleep apnea surgery as soon as possible. So far, so good.

One question remained, why neither my family doctor nor the doctor from the sleep lab had any interest in finding the cause? They advised me not to have the surgery, even though they did not know the surgical method.

Consultation with Dr. Frey

However, the conclusive explanations by Dr. Frey, my internet research, patient contacts as well as my mind solidified my decision.

Now I had 7 weeks until the surgery, time was racing and off I went to Heidelberg. On April 3, 2019, I was first inserted the fixed bracket in Mannheim with Dr. Frey, the treatment was great, but even that was a big cut at 50 years!

  1. April 2019, the big day, the day of the surgery, already the fixed brace was annoying me and I was hypernervous, finally 3 pm, I got an "is-me-egal-pill" as arranged, from 4 pm then the surgery. When I came to in the evening around 8 pm, I felt bad. I was in pain, had difficulty swallowing(dysphagia) and had a swollen face like a medicine ball. It was hell, but I was very well cared for on the ward by the nurses, Dr. Frey and the entire team. Despite the hell jellyfish, I slept without CPAP mask from the day of surgery with excellent blood oxygen saturation. Already from the 3rd day after surgery I had to change the usual pillow arrangement, from now on I could almost feel how my cervical spine straightened. I was also able to stop taking blood pressure medication from day 1. Due to the now normal-sized trachea, I now got as much air as never before in my life, unfortunately I had a sore throat as a result for almost 4 weeks.

On the 3rd day after surgery(sleep apnea surgery video) I went for a walk for the first time, not easy, I looked like a monster, but the people in Heidelberg are probably medically used to a lot, at least I had the feeling that my disfigured appearance did not attract much attention. The first 3 days were the worst, after that it went continuously uphill. However, the diet proved to be difficult over a long period of time, when you have pureed everything, you know at some point why babies like to spit it out....without biting, chewing and tasting, it is really just nutrition. In addition, there is the numbness feeling, spilling full belonged from now on for a long time to the order of the day.

After discharge from the SeegartenKlinik

After a week of inpatient treatment in Heidelberg, I went home by car and the back of my head was permanently touching the headrest when there were slight bumps in the road, which was not the case before, a clear indication of the straightening of my cervical spine.

The operation was performed 14 months ago, and apart from persistent numbness in my lower lip, chin, teeth and gums, a lot has changed. For decades before the operation, I breathed almost exclusively through my mouth. Since the operation, I breathe almost exclusively through my nose, even when sleeping. Only during physical exertion do I now have to breathe through my mouth. My blood pressure has been in the normal range since the operation without blood pressure lowering medication. My sleep is restful and I like to go to sleep again (completely silently J). Without oxygen deprivation, sports are really fun again. Today I feel tired and worn out, then only because I either worked too much or did too much sports. All in all, I feel as if someone had given me 10 years. By straightening my cervical spine, my musculoskeletal system has improved enormously, even agonizing tension in the shoulder and neck area is a thing of the past. Daytime fatigue, physical discomfort, heartburn, digestive problems, multiple nighttime urination and regular migraines are also a thing of the past.

Despite the exorbitant pain and restrictions after the surgery and the long recovery period with another surgery for metal removal, I would immediately have it done again by Dr. Frey and his super team. I am really very happy and grateful for the newly gained quality of life.

The only drawback is the acceptance of private health insurance and thus the assumption of surgery and treatment costs. I personally fought with my health insurance for almost 25 weeks, in the end it was settled up to 1500,- Euro. All's well that ends well...

With best regards

Thomas Weindl

Baunatal, the 22.06.2020