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Old 08-28-2017, 09:56 AM
Martin Keith Martin Keith is offline
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Default Let's send good thoughts out for Jason Kostal...

Hey all,

As per Jason's Facebook post (copied below), he's going in for some heavy surgery today. Let's send him some good thoughts...sounds like a really tough thing to go through.

Jason - if you read this...looking forward to seeing you in Woodstock!

Jason's post:

I have had a lot of people reaching out to me asking me about the surgery that I will be going through on Monday, and wondering what they can do. I am not one to usually share about the obstacles I face in my life, as I feel like they are mine alone to overcome, and honestly, we all have our own stuff to deal with, and mine always seems inconsequential compared to what so many others are dealing with. With that being said, if you are able and willing, all positive thoughts and prayers will be accepted and appreciated these next few days.

The short answer as to what is going on is that I am unable to breathe and get oxygen to my brain while I am awake, and it gets even worse when I am sleeping. This is not a result of sleep apnea which is related to the soft tissue in the throat, tongue and the airway, and can be fixed with a CPAP machine, but rather a series of genetic issues that have been with me most of my life, and I have somehow figured out a way to overcome it all these years between athletics, the military, etc. The airway, divided into the upper and lower airway, extends from the top of the nose down to the brachial tubes that send air into your lungs. My entire system is essentially blocked or obstructed due to a mix of genetic factors, and things that have happened in the healing process post-injury. As I have gotten older, it has gotten worse, and the situation has become high risk enough that doctors have now told me it is time to do something about it. The normal oxygen saturation level for most people is around 97-98% give or take a point. My resting oxygen level when awake is around 84-86% and it drops to 71% when I am sleeping. At 64% the brain experiences irreversible brain damage and also increases the potential for stroke and other unhappy events. Unlike sleep apnea, which can be fixed by forcing air into the airway to open it up, my situation is the result physical, unmovable blockages consisting of excess tissue in my larynx, a hard palate that extends far below my tongue, and a tongue that is 40% too large for the size of mouth that I have. My nasal passages are also completely blocked as a result of repeated injury and broken noses after years of martial arts and using my face to stop my falls!

The concern is that, if left untreated, I will eventually, in the next few years, experience some form of brain damage at best (some would argue I am already there), and could asphyxiate and die at worst (not my preferred way to go). The surgeries being performed are essentially 7 different surgeries performed at one time which increases the degree of difficulty and risk, but reduces the risks associated with multiple trips under anesthesia, and also reduces the long recovery process to one unhappy period of time instead of multiple. Four of these surgeries are pretty routine: removing the tonsils, laser cutting out the hard palate of the mouth and the uvula, breaking the nose and resetting it and then enlarging the nostrils, and drilling new passageways that connect the nostrils to the upper airway and installing cages in the nostrils to keep them open. The high-risk part of the surgery is the reduction of the tongue by 1/3 in size, reattachment of the tongue muscle itself, and routing tissue away from the outer wall of the larynx to create a larger larynx and lower airway. I am basically having everything from the brachial tubes to the top of my nose reconstructed from the inside (It almost feels like a Router Rooter commercial in my head). Normal risk for a surgery is usually somewhat low. For this surgery it starts at a moderate level, compounding and becoming more complex with each additional surgery. Potential risks include loss of the ability to speak permanently, loss of the ability to speak temporarily and having to relearn how to speak afterward as a result of changes to the tongue itself, and the loss of all taste sensation. There are a few others but frankly, they didn’t even register on my level of concern. There are only a handful of doctors in the US qualified to perform all of these surgeries as most of the tongue related surgeries are pretty new, and the one that I have is amazing. So, at this point, I look at it as doing nothing yields potentially horrible results, so it has to be done, and I will see how I am doing after the surgery, and deal with that result then. I will begin the process Monday morning at 5:30. Surgery will begin around 6:30 or 7 and should end around 5 or 6 PM. It’s a long time to be off in happy land but I have been under for the same amount of time in the past, so it should be ok. I will be in the hospital for 1-3 days afterward as nothing that is being done can be sutured or cauterized, so everything will essentially be an exposed mass of tissue, making infection a very real concern. Recovery will be about 4 weeks after that according to my doctor, which equates to 2-3 days in the “world of Jason”. It will only be my throat that is recovering, so my plan is to be back at work as soon as I can do so without risk. In my mind that is about two days, but I know I will have to wait for the “OK” from others.

That’s pretty much all I know. It’s a scary time for me, which is not a feeling that I have very often these days, and I am working to deal with it to the best of my ability. My doctor is concerned, which is not typically how you want to go into a surgery, but I view it as a positive in that he will not go into the surgery believing it to be routine, but rather will be very sincere in how he approaches each step in the process. I have spoken with 5 separate doctors all qualified to do this surgery and every one of them said he was one of the best choices…I just have a really extreme case! Yay for being an over achiever! My regular doctor has been providing me with a series of IVs filled with exciting things to help make the recovery a little better, and I will do some more IV treatments after to help flush the system of the anesthesia and start the healing process as well.

Thanks again to everyone for their concerns, and well wishes. They mean a lot and I am a big believer in the power of positive thinking! I do not get upset over obstacles in my life as I have found there is always a way over the wall, around the wall, under it, or through it. Some days though you just wish that the wall would stop appearing for a little while! I will be off the net for a little while as I prepare for this and go through the surgery but will let everyone know how it went when I come up for air (pun intended!).

Last edited by Kerbie; 08-28-2017 at 04:17 PM. Reason: Edited language
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Old 08-28-2017, 10:13 AM
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Guitars44me Guitars44me is offline
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Smile Yikes!

Jason, I am sure the entire gang here in AGF land join me in sending positive thoughts and prayers to you, your family, and your Doctor and his staff!

May you heal completely and FAST!


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Old 08-28-2017, 10:31 AM
JSDenvir JSDenvir is offline
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All appendages crossed. Good luck Jason.

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Old 08-28-2017, 11:05 AM
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fazool fazool is offline
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Good luck Jason
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Old 08-28-2017, 11:19 AM
Nemoman Nemoman is offline
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All the best for a successful surgery and speedy recovery process, Jason!
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Old 08-28-2017, 11:29 AM
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Keeping you in thoughts here, best wishes for a full and fast recovery.
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Old 08-28-2017, 12:13 PM
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Bruce Sexauer Bruce Sexauer is offline
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Difficult as this sounds, it is in a sense voluntary, at least as far as timing is concerned, and some of your story that you have related to me makes this task sound relatively trivial, for you, not me. You are a genuine survivor so I expect nothing less this time, none the less; the best of luck to you, Jason.
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Old 08-28-2017, 02:32 PM
wannabeGP wannabeGP is offline
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Best wishes and may God bless!
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Old 08-28-2017, 02:48 PM
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El Conquistador El Conquistador is offline
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All best wishes.

Still crazy after all these years.
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Old 08-28-2017, 04:05 PM
runamuck runamuck is offline
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I very much appreciated what you wrote here. I don't know you but as a fellow human being, I feel some emotion with you about this. I'm wishing you the very best.

Jim McCarthy
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Old 08-28-2017, 04:21 PM
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Haasome Haasome is offline
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Wishing you the best Jason.
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Old 08-28-2017, 04:35 PM
Chris T Chris T is offline
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My very best wishes Jason.
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Old 08-28-2017, 05:19 PM
mcduffnw mcduffnw is offline
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All good prayers and wishes to you Jason for a safe and successful surgery..."you'll call it a procedure, but it's a surgery" {;-) And as quick and smooth a recovery as can be.

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Old 08-28-2017, 07:43 PM
palolowarrior palolowarrior is offline
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Default My prayers


My prayers for healing and strength.
May others join in. Yes, the more the merrier.

Godspeed brother.
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:57 PM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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Does anyone have word on how the surgeries went?
"Still a man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest."
--Paul Simon
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