I was diagnosed with narcolepsy at age 21 after a year abroad. I left university at second year to go abroad. Why did I go abroad? I was, for the first time in my life unable to stay awake during classes, unable to study, unable to keep up with friends and struggling to get out of bed. After a year away I came back fighting…full force for something to happen it took a year of pushing, whining, insisting that something was wrong. The sleep study I was finally referred for was a threat. The words the Dr. said were “well if you are really that tired, then why don’t you go for a sleep test? I remember saying “absolutely, yes”. My sleep test showed what I feel like I already knew, there was something wrong with my brain…I wasn’t lazy or unmotivated, I had narcolepsy. I knew absolutely nothing about it and set out to learn as much as I could. I tried my first round of meds and felt a little better, I still felt foggy and so incredibly tired. I was able to return my school and finish my degree. Over the next few years I would try various meds and combos of meds. I returned time and time again to the neurologist explaining that the meds weren’t working I still felt tired. He put his hand on my shoulder and said ” you know at some point you are going to have to realize that you can’t do everything you want to do, you will have to say no, you will have to acknowledge your limitations”. Well…that did not go over well…I have spent the last 18 years proving to myself that I have narcolepsy but I’m not a narcoleptic. I am thankful to have an understanding husband and friends and beautiful children. I work full time at a job I love and volunteer as well and I am TOTALLY EXHAUSTED. I am also happy and I live my life to the fullest.
Krista lives with narcolepsy. The symptoms of this incurable disorder include: falling asleep unexpectedly, extreme sleepiness throughout the day, disrupted sleep during the night, sudden loss of muscle control and even hallucinations.
But the impact of narcolepsy in daily life reaches far beyond these symptoms.