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Question regarding medicals (sleep apnea surgery)

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  • Question regarding medicals (sleep apnea surgery)

    Hi,

    I'm 34, male, healthy, turn 35 early May...it's crunch time. I have wanted to be in the military for most of my life, but due to uncontrollable personal circumstances, I have not been able to able to join until now.

    My question:

    I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea about 10 years ago. I was not overweight and I have always been fit/active as a rugby player. I was prescribed a cpap machine and I absolutely hated it! So, I decided to have the surgery about 4 years ago. My tonsils (they had always been HUGE), adenoids, uvula, and just a sliver of my soft palate was removed. The most painful experience of my life. The surgery must have worked because I no longer need to use a cpap. I sleep fine, I no longer snore, and I have zero daytime sleepiness. The specialist that did my surgery said he truly believes it was due to my gargantuan tonsils.

    Here's the thing... I spoke with a recruiter a couple years ago, another one about 6 months ago, and another one a week ago. I told them all in detail the specifics of the situation. Two of them said, because I no longer require a cpap, I will be good to go and not to worry, we will work something out... That sounded fishy. One of the two said I don't need to even mention it. I told him that wasn't going work. I do not lie, plus I'm pretty sure the docs at meps are going to notice when I open my mouth. The recruiter I spoke with last week said it may be a problem as sleep apnea is known to return and I will need a waiver. I truly appreciated his honesty. I'm meeting with him tomorrow.

    Has anybody else been through something similar with enlisting and sleep apnea? ...and/or What are my real chances of getting a waiver and being able to enlist?

    It seems like a tricky beast beings that it was corrected, but it's still a previous diagnosis.

    Any insight would be much appreciated!

  • #2
    Re: Question regarding medicals (sleep apnea surgery)

    I had the exact same surgery when I was 30, tonsils and all. To enlist, without a waiver, I had to get a sleep study done to prove I no longer had sleep apnea. I paid out of my own pocket to get this test done. Then you will have the results sent to a MEPs DR. who will then tell your recruiter if you will be allowed to even begin the process of joining. It took me about two months to just get to MEPS.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Question regarding medicals (sleep apnea surgery)

      Originally posted by ruggermick View Post
      Hi,

      I'm 34, male, healthy, turn 35 early May...it's crunch time. I have wanted to be in the military for most of my life, but due to uncontrollable personal circumstances, I have not been able to able to join until now.

      My question:

      I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea about 10 years ago. I was not overweight and I have always been fit/active as a rugby player. I was prescribed a cpap machine and I absolutely hated it! So, I decided to have the surgery about 4 years ago. My tonsils (they had always been HUGE), adenoids, uvula, and just a sliver of my soft palate was removed. The most painful experience of my life. The surgery must have worked because I no longer need to use a cpap. I sleep fine, I no longer snore, and I have zero daytime sleepiness. The specialist that did my surgery said he truly believes it was due to my gargantuan tonsils.

      Here's the thing... I spoke with a recruiter a couple years ago, another one about 6 months ago, and another one a week ago. I told them all in detail the specifics of the situation. Two of them said, because I no longer require a cpap, I will be good to go and not to worry, we will work something out... That sounded fishy. One of the two said I don't need to even mention it. I told him that wasn't going work. I do not lie, plus I'm pretty sure the docs at meps are going to notice when I open my mouth. The recruiter I spoke with last week said it may be a problem as sleep apnea is known to return and I will need a waiver. I truly appreciated his honesty. I'm meeting with him tomorrow.

      Has anybody else been through something similar with enlisting and sleep apnea? ...and/or What are my real chances of getting a waiver and being able to enlist?

      It seems like a tricky beast beings that it was corrected, but it's still a previous diagnosis.

      Any insight would be much appreciated!

      The Medical Standards (DoDi 6130.03) says this about apnea:

      "b. Sleep-related breathing disorders (327). Current diagnosis or treatment of sleep-related
      breathing disorders, including but not limited to sleep apnea (327.2) [does not meet the standards]."

      I interpret "current" to mean just that; a current problem that is diagnosed or being treated. This bodes well for your situation since it has been several years without any issues. The Medical Regulation AR 40-501 concurs (see section 2-30).

      I'm not a doctor or a recruiter, but I can see where if you do need a waiver, it is more likely to be accepted than not. Keep us posted!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Question regarding medicals (sleep apnea surgery)

        It's been a while since my original post, but life has been crazy! Went to MEPS last week and it was a lot easier then anticipated. No sleep study was required and no waiver needed. The doc just said, "I'm happy the surgery worked out for you". On the paperwork he just made a note stating it was a "successful corrective surgery". Before I went to MEPS, the doctor that did my surgery wrote a letter covering everything from point A to point B. I don't know if this helped, but it seemed to. The letter was sent over with the pre-screen. I passed everything with no issues except I had to go back to do another urinalysis. I was dehydrated and the proteins were a bit high. Went back and retested, no issues. Because I have a GED (1996), I also had to take the AIMS test. I scored a 60 and was told that is a high score...who knows... I swear in this week pending a hand tattoo waiver. Recruiter says I'm good to go and won't have a problem. I'm excited and looking forward to shipping out!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Question regarding medicals (sleep apnea surgery)

          Glad it worked out for you, congrats.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Question regarding medicals (sleep apnea surgery)

            Thats awesome news! Stay motivated!


            "Motivated, Motivated, Down Right Motivated! Hooah!"

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Question regarding medicals (sleep apnea surgery)

              Thanks! Looks like I'm shipping out to basic/ait early next month.

              Comment

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