Monday, March 15, 2010

The Narc Side: Could You Have Narcolepsy?

Do you feel that? It’s time to spring forward an hour, which means you’re probably pretty tired today. I know I am, but I’m afraid this has nothing to do with the clock. Instead, it has everything to do with my having narcolepsy. This is an autoimmune disease caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.

With sleep in the forefront of many minds today, I thought this was a perfect time to do a little to raise awareness of this illness. I lost 13 years of my life to this disease, and it’s now my goal to see that this doesn’t happen to others…possibly you.

Questions to Ask

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself if you or someone you know never feels rested:

  1. Do you experience frequent sleepiness? This can be to the point where you’re nodding off in any and all places. For example, I’ve slept through root canals, through movies, and even through a Def Leopard concert.

  2. Do you have a hard time remembering things, especially recent things?

  3. Are you easily distracted?

  4. Do you get a full night’s sleep only to wake feeling ready for a nap?

  5. Do you experience sleep paralysis?

  6. Do you have nightmares that feel real?

  7. Do you wake up often during the night?

Now, I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but if you answered “yes” to several of the questions on my list, I would highly encourage you to ask your doctor for more information on narcolepsy.

Take Control

This is a rare-ish disease, but part of that is because so many have gone undiagnosed. Don’t lose years of your life. Instead, take control and find the answers you need. That’s what I finally did, and after years of being told nothing was wrong with me, and I was able to get the help I so desperately needed. This is your life; own it!

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s celebrate Daylight Savings Time by taking a nap. Zzzzzz…

Read more about my narcolepsy story here.


Kim Watson said...

Megan...I never knew most of these things. Thanks so much for sharing something so personal from your life.

I knew someone who suffered too & being a surgical intern, it was a bit of a problem for her. I wish then I knew what you have shared now...I think I could have offered her more compassion.

heykid said...

Isnt "narcolepsy" just a way of saying "I"m a lazy slob, and I just wanna sleep all the time"? Just akin' Kiddo...