Publisert av: For the Little Prince - Per | april 5, 2008

Narcolepsy: Driving With Narcolepsy

Take your Provigil.

Don’t take Provigil. You should.

Get plenty of rest.

Eliminate distractions.

Turn down the heat.

Eat light.

Don’t eat foods that make you drowsy. i.e. turkey

Think positive.

Take frequent breaks.

Eliminate stress.

If you are stressed; don’t drive.


I have heard that driving while tired is NO DIFFERENT than driving while intoxicated.

I know that.


When you are driving down the road, know that people have been drinking and driving,

people have been putting on lipstick and driving, people have been reading and driving,

and- people that are heading in YOUR DIRECTION might be sound asleep and you don’t know it.


I always thought that it was funny to watch some one nod off when they were lecturing.

Until, I was teaching a small group and it happened to me.

I always thought that it was funny to watch a little baby nod off after dinner.

Until, I was sitting at the table and it happened to me.

I always thought that people with narcolepsy were sort of dull and unexciting.

Until, I became that person that fought to stay awake day after day after day.

I always thought that people that slept 12-14 hours a day were lazy and unmotivated.

Until, I became that person.

I remember being in a car with a close relative and they constantly nodded off.

Until, I became that person, I didn’t recognize the danger of it all.

I always thought that medical atrocities happened to other people.

Until, it happened to me.


I drive. I stop. I nap. I drive. I stop. I nap. I drive. I stop. I nap. I drive. I stop. I nap. I drive.


During many a two-three hour road trip, I’ve been woke up by that bright and shining flashlight held

by those charming Minnesota Highway Patrolmen. They always ask, «Have you been drinkin’?»

It’s been a while since I’ve done the ‘been drinking and I’m walking toe to toe’ assignment.

(Note: I don’t drink.)


Are you gonna’ be o.k.? Yes, sir. Just let me get back to sleep! I just want to get home to

my blanket and my teddy bear. Good night. (My kids are at home with papa waiting for me.)


Apart from driving, Narcolepsy poses JUST A FEW more problems:

cataplexy; a situation where your muscles in your arms, knees, hands, etc. suddenly stop working


I wish that I could find someone who has described this medical situation.

Perhaps, Jimmy Kimmel has a few words to say about Narcolepsy and Cataplexy. I’ll check it out.


Cataplexy is:

As you are walking along, usually carefully, and all of a sudden your muscles just give out.

You crash to the ground. You sit there and think. Oh, how’d this happen. You get up, brush

yourself off. Check to see that nobody noticed. Get on with your life. Until it happens again…


Ever drop a glass full of water. And, you were being so very careful? Happens all of the time.

I use plastic cups.


You are in a hurry. The kids are hungry. Your meeting is in an hour. You fumble through the

sock drawer. You are in search of a hair brush. Your kids are painting with peanut butter AND

jelly all over the new table cloth. Now, it’s gonna’ strike. It’s here. Your muscles simply refuse

to work. Oh, you can move alright. But, your brain and your muscles are slow as molasses and…

you are getting no where fast. I describe it as having ‘oatmeal’ for brains. And, I have an I.Q that

I am very proud of. Narcolepsy does absolutely nothing for your pride. Have a sense of humor, honey!


Spend some time with a sloth eating eucalyptus leaves at the zoo. You’ll catch on, I think you will.


That’s all, my friends. Go hug a Narcoleptic Patient. They are friendly. They are fun-loving. They

are just plain funny- and we know it. This is our life and we’re living it. You’re just a spectator.

Step in our shoes and it isn’t so very funny anymore. Learn to laugh and you’ll get through this too.



Sandy S. Zoo

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