As I mentioned in a couple of previous blog posts, I’m getting ready to go in for a little arthroscopic surgery on my left knee for a torn meniscus. I’ve been talking to some people who have undergone this little operation and they all seem to think it’ll come out fine.
No big deal. In fact, when I talked to my orthopedic surgeon he made it sound like it was almost and in and out type of thing. Sure. A little pre-op preparation, the operation, a little post-op and home.
What does this have to do with sleep apnea. A whole lot.
While I was answering questions about my health for the pre-pre-pre surgical procedure, I answered “yes” ot the “Do you have sleep apnea?” question. Well, that took me from the orthopedic guy’s little surgical center located in an office building to the hospital. No explanation other than it was because of my sleep apnea.
Then, during the pre-pre surgical procedure questioning (this time for the hospital), I answered “yes”, again, but it didn’t seem to set off any alarms. So far, so good. I’m still thinking I’ll be in for 3 or 4 hours and then be able to go home and chill.
Finally, the pre-surgical procedure questioning and final instructions. This is when the truth came out. Come 2 hours before the surgery for pre-op (Check), the operating room has been reserved for two hours but probably won’t take the whole time (Check), recovery room time about 1 to 1 and a half hours (Check). Let’s call that about 4 hours assuming the orthopedic guy is right and his job is only about an hour.
Here’s the kicker. Because I have sleep apnea complete with the need for a CPAP machine, I’ll need to go into post surgical after recovery to be monitored for up to six hours. Six hours! Why? Because they need to make sure the effects of the anesthesia have worn off enough for me to go home. In fact, I need to bring my CPAP machine to the hospital with me, presumably so I can put it on while I doze and such waiting for the anesthesia to wear off.
I wasn’t expecting to stay in the hospital for close to 10 hours (and possibly longer). I wish someone had told me about this a little ahead of time so I could prepare myself a little more psychologically. It’s a royal pain in the patootie.
What Does This Have To Do With Being Overweight? It turns out that of the possible causes listed on WebMD for sleep apnea being overweight is Number Two on the hit parade. Number One is being male.
So, once again, my obesity is the cause for a health problem. Sleep apnea itself is a health issue, now it is cause for an extended period in the hospital to monitor my anesthesia. On the website that got me started with this whole counting calories thing and the inspiration to keep going with the weight reduction, there was a commenter that mentioned that he was able to get rid of his CPAP machine after he lost a good number of pounds.
This is yet another reason to drop the poundage. Airline seats, movie theaters, clothes – all of that are good reasons to drop the weight. This sleep apnea thing is another.