Friday, February 2

Living with Narcolepsy

This week Newsweek's website published the story of a narcoleptic's journey to diagnosis. Before the diagnosis sleepiness had become a normal aspect of Sarah Shonyo's everyday life.

Her friends were very supportive although they don't pass up the obvious opportunity for cheap laughs.
My two best friends immediately e-mailed me a cartoon depicting a job applicant sleeping in an interview and the employer saying, “It says here you have narcolepsy. What’s that?” and then assured me that they would be more than willing to hold my ponytail at dinner to keep my forehead from hitting the table. Another friend told me about a policeman from his hometown who had narcolepsy. After his condition became known, he was referred to by the locals as “Officer Fally-Downy.”

At this point Sarah never fell down as or loss muscle control as a result of narcolepsy. To my knowledge about half of narcoleptics don't develop sever cataplexy. Eventually however Sarah did developed cataplexy.

Its kind of warming to see her friends making light of the situation because laughter is a powerful medicine, but I can only hope that laughter doesn't trigger Sarah's cataplexy. Such irony would not be laughable.