Okay, this one is for all those folks who I've attempted (poorly) to explain what having narcolepsy (or any neurological sleep disorder) is like. This was originally created on a sleep disorder message board I post at. (For those of you who didn't know, I have non-REM Narcolepsy.)
It was written as a joke more or less, but everything on the list is a symptom of having a neurological sleep disorder. Of course, not every one with narcolepsy has all the symptoms, the same ones, or the same severity of their symptoms. Most of us can relate to quite a few though. I know that when I read what was every one else had wrote I found myself nodding my head & smiling in recognition of many of my behaviors/symptoms. And laughing outright at quite a few also. If you find yourself doing the same, I highly suggest getting a sleep study!
You might have narcolepsy if..
-If your TV only has commercials.
-If the first place you check for missing items is the fridge.
I actually wish I had this problem still! I got myself to stop putting things in the fridge, but now I put them "in a safe place" where I'll be able to find them again. *laughs* Yeah, I wish I could find them again! It's usually such a safe place, that I can't remember where it is!
-If you stop mid-sentence twice a day to say "Oops!Forgot to take my meds!"
Yeah, I've done this before. Usually only 3 or 4 days a week though!
-If you require an interpreter to talk to people who speak your native language.
-If your college professor counted you absent because that one day your eyes were actually open and he didn't recognize you.
-If you often awaken with strange imprints on your forehead from things such as a computer keyboards.
-If 2 + 2 = 22 makes sense to you.
Just because it's not correct, doesn't mean it doesn't make sense!
-If you remember that you studied in the textbook (yes, the first 3 paragraphs on page one) and forgot to go to class to take the final exam. (You could swear you had class on Thursday, not Wednesday.)
-If one of your regular weekend chores is searching your house for randomly misplaced items.
-If your co-workers take turns tapping you.
-If your side of a conversation consists mostly of "And then...wait, I think I was...what was I gonna say?"
Sadly, this happens way more than I'd like it to.
-If, when you see a spider on your wall, you envy his ability to keep moving, but realize he is probably really a figment of your imagination.
Yup, I've had these moments too!
-If you have a clock on every wall in your house and all of them are purposely set ahead to different times so you'll always think "It's time to go!"
-If you've never seen a whole feature film, but appreciate the longer ones because you actually wake up before it's over and you can see the end.
-If you use your driver's license to regularly check the spelling of your name before signing a check or formal document.
I have never done this. However, I do have to say that I've had to stop and think about how to spell my name more than once.
-If you have a 10 hour or more delay on memory retrieval.
-If you have memorized or carry in your wallet a list of "Why I'm Late for Work" excuses for 250 days of the year plus one for leap year.
-If you have to put lunch on your "to do" list.
Now if only I'd remember to read my to do list!
-If you've trained your dog to turn on the coffee maker, pull the covers off you in the morning when your alarm goes off, and prod you into the shower.
I would love to have a dog that does all that.
-If you have more than 3 sticky notes on your bathroom mirror daily and one of them says "Don't forget to read your sticky notes".
I haven't done this one, but it sounds like something I'd do!
-If you've forgotten your own birthday.
Yup, done that too!
-If you feel like you're trapped inside an invisible time machine that thrusts you forward in time in random 2 hour spurts.
*laughs* Yup, I'm very familiar with this one!
-If "yawn" is a four-letter word in your house.
-If "NIGHT is to DAY as SLEEP is to ____" sounds like an unsolvable riddle.
I think that this is a trick question of some sort!
-If you function better when you are under the influence of amphetamines.
Significantly better in fact.
-If your weight loss is linked to memory loss.
-If you can remember to call your doctor, but you can't remember why.
-If Santa Claus hits your house around noon on Christmas because that's when you're most likely to be unconscious.
-If every time you pass a cop on the road you think to yourself, I hope he didn't see me nod off.
This is one of the reasons I don't drive.
-If you tell people at least twice a day that, "I am so sorry, but I'm absolutely exhausted, and I can not believe that I did that."
-If you tell people the above, and they respond, "What are you talking about, you say that you're absolutely tired everyday!"
-If your boss starts trying to work it so that you can go home at regular hours to get some rest and even is willing to take on duties to do it.
-If you're too tired to sleep.
-If regularly hallucinating when you fall asleep &/or wake up is normal and you are shocked when you realize that not everyone experiences this.
-If you take a drug and experience being awake for the first time in a long time/if ever and think that being awake is the most novel thing on this earth.
I remember that feeling! It really was the most novel thing on earth. I kept thinking of all the things I'd be able to do now that I could stay awake for more than 2 hours at a time.
-If you take a drug and are able to remember the entire drive to work and are shocked by that fact.
-If your doctor can ask you to spend the night without losing his license.
-If "deja vu" crosses your lips at least 5 times a day but draws worried glances from people nearby who just watched you repeat the same behavior.
-If the phrase "rest home" sounds like heaven.
-If "let me slip into something more comfortable" generally means sweats.
-If the lights go out in your office every 5 minutes ever since the management had motion detector sensors installed.
-If there's a good reason your significant other doesn't know what color your eyes are.
-If your children offer tic-tacs to people who doze off in front of them.
-If you praise yourself every time you remember something before it is too late.
-If you've trained yourself to bite the inside of your cheeks to keep your lips tight so you won't drool when you doze in public settings.
I keep meaning to try this...
-If you usually beat your computer to hibernation mode.
-If your dog brings you a treat for remembering to let her out to pee.
-If you have ever put the phone it the fridge only to find it later and replace it with a roll of toilet paper.
-If you have to heat the toilet paper with a hair dryer so you don't get frost bite on your butt because the toilet paper was left in the fridge.
-If your friends talk to the answering machine more than they talk to you.
I'm very guilty of this one.
-If you feel like you have a hangover but missed the party.
This one too. It has been better lately though.
-If you can't remember to whom you are speaking when you made the phone call.
-If you can't remember to whom you are speaking as you stand in front of them.
-If you can't remember if you spoke to anyone yesterday, or if it was all a dream.
-If all of the sudden there are no clean underwear even though you are sure you just did laundry.
This happens to me all the time!
-If most of your interesting tales stop abruptly with, "Oh wait, that was a dream."
-If having someone else clean your house sounds like torture...how would you find anything if someone else put it away? You can't even remember where you put it!
-If you open the same drawer 4 or more times in a row with the hopes that this time that missing item will be in there.
I'm very guilty of this one. I don't know why I do this. I know that what ever I'm looking for isn't going to magically appear.
-If you said yes to something and dreamt you did it, but never really did.
-If you can watch your cat sleep and explain the different stages of sleep as they go through them.
-If you dread hearing the phrase "What was I just saying?" more than pop quizzes in astrophysics.
-If you send the same bill 3 times and still find that check written out for that bill on your kitchen table.
-If your doctor has mistakenly sent you 'narcotics anonymous' instead of 'narcolepsy support group', and you still seem to fit right in.
-If being on prescription stimulants helps you to lead a productive lifestyle which eliminates 3 out of the 5 naps you used to take.
-If 'productive' to you means actually starting and finishing at least one thing in a day!
-If the last place your significant other looks for his clean clothes is in the closet or the dresser drawers.
-If your significant other is no longer surprised by finding car keys, shoes, etc. in the fridge.
-If you get up to go to the bathroom and halfway there forget where you were going.
Sadly, yes, this has happened!
-If you can fall asleep on a roller coaster.
-If you need naps more than your toddler does.
-If you have to constantly ask someone "did this actually happen or was I dreaming?".
-If you are absolutely positive you paid that bill, you remember it vividly, you can even tell what check # and everything only to discover that the check is still in the book and there is nothing on it.
-If you can eat dinner and five minutes later have no idea what you just ate or if you ever did.
-If the statement "I have so much to do right now I'd better go to sleep." makes perfect sense.
Hell yeah it does!
-If you regularly rediscover for the first time that a side effect of your medication is memory loss and are thrilled to have an explanation for your bad memory.
Really? It is? That's great! Wait, I think I heard this before somewhere...
-If you have to read the same things over and over and over and over.
-If you promise to call a friend on Saturday, and it's Thursday before you realize that Saturday has come and went.
I feel really, really bad when I do this! Thank you all for being so understanding with me!
-If you're not a truck driver, but you know every truck stop from here to Canada because you've slept in 'em all.
-If you have to make an appointment with yourself to remember to make your appointment, and then you forget whether or not to make a reminder call to remind yourself to remind you, or to just remind yourself that you remembered.
-If you totally understand the previous statement and remembered that you have an appointment tomorrow at 5:00pm and you forgot to remind yourself.
*giggles* Actually, I do and I did!
-If you know all the Serta Mattress sheep by first name.
-If you are not sure if the change in meds cause more micro sleeps or make it so that you are more alert and therefore notice more micro sleeps, and you spend hours trying to figure it out, because you really want to know.
I really do want to know, but I haven't figured it out yet!