Tuesday, July 20

History of A Narcoleptic

I thought of titling this post, "The Narcoleptic Who Didn't Know What Was Wrong," because that's exactly how it went for my husband. When I first met him many years ago, he was a shy, quiet teenager who had a tendency to sleep a lot. As he got older, he also seemed to have plenty of mood swings, but what teenager doesn't, right? His mother often even jokingly commented on his moods and sleep patterns.

When I met him again as an adult years later, I discovered that his long bouts of sleep were even more dramatic. He would sleep for hours and hours, yet never felt refreshed. He also had a terrible memory and always seemed tired. In the back of my mind, I knew that something wasn't normal, but I was thinking more along the lines of some sort of vitamin deficiency or something. (Ironically, it turns out that Narcolepsy is an auto-immune disease).

Before our child was born, I finally convinced my husband to mention his sleep issues with our family doctor. When he did, the doctor immediately said, "You need to see a sleep specialist." It was a relief to have someone else (besides me) demonstrate alarm at my husband's symptoms.

Image courtesy of vectorolie/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The sleep study and subsequent research revealed the obvious: my husband's sleep patterns WERE NOT NORMAL. When he was officially diagnosed with narcolepsy, cataplexy, and sleep apnea, I actually felt happy! I wasn't crazy! He wasn't crazy! Something was wrong - really wrong - and now we knew what it was! He wasn't lazy or feeling sorry for himself or just too tired - he was a man with an illness. So many other people suffered the same symptoms. There were support groups, books, information, medications... now we could fight this thing! Finally, we knew what to do!

Sort of.

So began the long road of The Narcoleptic's Journey. Still traveling.

2 comments:

  1. ....and then she becomes...Wonder (if it will ever get just a little better) Woman!!! Very appropriate pic.

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  2. Ha!
    I didn't think of it like that... maybe because I know that it will get better!

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