A Night’s Sleep Part 5

A good half hour to 45 minutes late, the pulmonary doctor who is going to look into why I am breathing in air finally comes through the door.  He is about my age I guess.  A little younger and recently arrived in SB from Texas about two years ago.  He is a new doctor for me because, as I said, my previous pulmonary guy died on me in his sleep in his apartment, alone, because his faithful dog had died not long before he did.

Anyway this guy is OK and I do believe spends about 30 minutes, maybe a few more, actually talking with me and getting a fix on my condition—which is pretty amazing.  I mean I am not used to the red carpet treatment, doctorwise.  And finally he says something like all that weight loss may be the cause of the problem and maybe I don’t even need a sleep apnea machine anymore.  So he says he will prescribe another sleep study thing at the sleep disorder clinic for me.

Then he decides to check me out physically I mean, which I don’t like, and for which I have to take off my shirt.  So he does the chest tapping thing and the chest listening thing with the stethoscope and then he says open wide and looks in my mouth and says something like Sweet Jesus or Eureka and has to stifle a laugh because he says, “You have one enormous uvula!”  He even calls Carol over and says take a look at this, and she looks in and says, “My God.  You have one enormous uvula.”  I mean I have been living with this woman for nearly 30 years and she has never noticed my enormous uvula before.

Of course, I have never taken a good look at her uvula either; so the pot shouldn’t call the kettle black

But then I go to the mirror and look in my mouth and I have to say—I hadn’t noticed either—that I have one enormous uvula.  It starts out normal looking enough at the base—a bit wide, I guess—but then it just keeps going and going and disappears clean out of sight behind my tongue.  Twist and turn as I might looking into the mirror I can’t see the end of it.


I tell you I feel a bit weird looking at the damn thing.  I don’t know if I was born with it—if it’s genetics or something—or if maybe I stretched it out somehow.  But of all the weird things a person might have to be weird about: like huge hands to play the guitar with or huge ears or other huge things—I don’t really appreciate or understand why I should have a weird uvula.  I guess there is no rhyme or reason to it.

Now a weird or elongated uvula can be and frequently is one of the causes of sleep apnea because if you are a back sleeper the damn thing can easily flop back and block the airhole, so while he said we would wait for the result of the sleep study, there’s a strong chance the doctor will recommend that I get my uvula chopped in about half.  This is a very minor procedure, he says, out patient with a local.  I could be in and out with a shortened uvula in about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, while we wait for the study, he gave me a prescription to get the calibration on my sleep apnea machine reduced to help fight off the gas from breathing in too much air.


Ellwood in the evening with a tiny sliver of a moon. 

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