I completed a sleep study a few weeks ago, at the behest of my neurologist (never mind why I have a neurologist in the first place… it’s a long story).
I was surprised to find out that I have very mild sleep apnea – which, as it turns out, almost everyone has – but not at all surprised to find out that I have narcolepsy.
Tom has been calling me ‘Narcoleesi’ for some time now.
Don’t be mistaken: it is not the sexy narcolepsy you see from Hollywood. I do not randomly fall asleep without any warning.
I will however collapse if you startle me badly enough. Like one of those fainting goats.
Yeah. Just like that.
The biggest problem is the excessive daytime sleepiness. Due to a low level of (or a complete lack of) a hormone called hypocretin, I wake up a lot. According to the sleep study, my sleep is disrupted about every 4 minutes. Thankfully, while the average person takes 90 minutes to hit REM sleep, I can get there in less than 5. So I have crazy vivid dreams that pick right back up where they left off.
So what’s to be done about narcolepsy? Well, there are two treatment options.
Treatment option #1: drugs. These would be to keep me awake and alert throughout the day. I believe the word ‘amphetamines’ was used.
I passed on that one.
Treatment option #2….
Brutal. However shall I manage?