Mr. Wrong By Joe MacLeod

Mr. Wrong: Everybody is entitled to a well-behaved uvula

City Paper

I have been thinking a lot about my uvula. How’s your uvula? Do you ever think about your uvula? Do you even know what a uvula is? Did you know before just now that you probably have one?

Here is what Wikipedia teaches us about uvula:

The palatine uvula, usually referred to as simply the uvula, is a conic projection from the posterior edge of the middle of the soft palate, composed of connective tissue containing a number of racemose glands, and some muscular fibers (musculus uvulae).

I am totally starting a band called Palatine Uvula. C’mon, uvula! It’s the punching-bag thing in the back of your mouth, that’s your uvula. It’s totally OK to look at your uvula in the privacy of your own home. You probably shouldn’t try to touch it, though. Just saying.

Uvula! I mentioned previously in a Mr. Wrong Column that my Dental Hygienist mentioned my uvula to me and had some remarks about it, my uvula. She was not Uvula-Shaming me in any way, she is a person of Science, and she told me I had an unusually long uvula, and that got me all Uvula-Aware, thinking about my uvula, wondering about my uvula, looking at my uvula (in the privacy of my own home), but I did not take a selfie of my uvula or anything like that. I am not trying to brag on myself in any way but right now I might be the most Personally-Uvula-Conscious citizen in the entire United States of America, except for, probably, Doctors of Medicine who specialize in uvula.

Speaking of Doctors, I have been thinking about Death lately, and I think I have the Sleep Apnea, which is the thing where you die in the middle of the night because you are not breathing, and then you have a heart attack and wake up going Gack! Ack! Guk! Uurrrrk! Baughk! Then you start breathing again. That’s not good, man. What I am saying to you right now is I think my uvula is trying to kill me.

Today, in fear for my own life, I explored the topic of uvula and sleep apnea on the Wikipedia Website:

Snoring and sleep apnea The uvula can also contribute to snoring or heavy breathing during sleep; having an elongated uvula can cause vibrations which lead to snoring. In some cases this can lead to sleep apnea, which may be treated by removal of the uvula or part of it if necessary, an operation known as uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (commonly referred to as UPPP, or UP3).

When I sleep on my back, I am pretty sure I get the sleep apnea, man, I’m not kidding. Sleeping is one of my Superpowers, seriously, I can fall asleep in seconds, in almost any position. If I’m on an airplane or bus or whatever, I don’t even need to recline my seat (which nobody should ever do anyway for any reason, ever), I just close my eyes and tilt my head back a li’l bit and I instantly fall into the Arms of Morpheus. Lately, though, I realize I have been doing the whole Khukk! Snuk! Ack! Cchack! thing and snapping out of my nice little nap, and probably frightening my fellow passengers on Southwest or the Greyhound, which, this is a little off-topic, but the Greydog is just as cheap as the BOLT bus if you buy your fare on the internet, even cheaper sometimes.

OK, back to me and my uvula! Can you believe you have read the word “uvula” so many times in one space? Uvula! I wonder if there is a Uvula Advocacy organization out there that would give me an Award for this column’s exploration of uvula? I feel like I should get some sort of prize for promoting uvula, you know?

Look, I am a firm Believer in Medical Science, so now I’m thinking it looks like all I gotta do is find somebody to snip my uvula, right? I’m down with UP3, yeah you know me! Where can I get me some quality uvulopalatopharyngoplasty that’s covered by my Obamacare? Oh, wait, there’s a “however,” of course, in my pipe dream of a nonlethal uvula.

However, this operation can also cause sleep apnea if scar tissue forms and the airspace in the velopharynx is decreased. The success of UPPP as a treatment for sleep apnea is unknown, but some research has shown 40–60% effectiveness in reducing symptoms.[10] Typically apnea subsides for the short term, but returns over the medium to long term, and sometimes is worse than it was before the UPPP.

Damn, I totally took Mental Ownership of a Post-Uvulopalatopharyn-goplasty Lifestyle! I sincerely hope you have a uvula that is fit and well rested, and if you don’t, I want you to know I am a fellow seeker of uvula health, and I will share any uvula-advice that results from my officially appeal to the Gentle Readers of the Mr. Wrong Column: I would appreciate some recommendations from anyone in the Medical Community as to possible uvulopalatopharyngoplasty substitute therapies for my whole uvula situation, and I would also be interested in your uvula-related anecdotes, subject, of course, to heavy Editing and possible Censorship. I wonder if there is a nonsurgical uvulopalatopharyngoplasty thing I could do, like tape it to the side of one of my tonsils? 


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