Narcolepsy

Long time, no blog. I’ve been waiting for various test results to come back and I’ve also been sick (seriously, who gets an inflamed pancreas out of a common cold!?). 

Anyway, today I got the results from the sleep studies I did a few weeks ago. Turns out there’s a high chance that I have mild narcolepsy. The first thing that popped into my head when I heard that was Rowan Atkinson’s character in Rat Race (anyone remember that movie?). Here’s a photo so you can get that same image in your mind…


Obviously I don’t have severe narcolepsy – we’d have all known about it years ago if I did. Unlike in these cases of severe narcolepsy, I can control when I fall asleep. Essentially my problem is that I want and often need to sleep more than the average person. 

So how did I get to this diagnosis?
According to the night time sleep study, I slept for a solid 10 hours (which is a relatively long time). After this 10 hour sleep, I was able to fall asleep in all 4 naps that I had to have during the day. Whilst it is common for people to be able to nap during the day, the abnormal part was how quickly and how long I was able to nap for and still nap again 1.5 hours later. Normally it should take beyond 10 minutes, closer to 20 minutes to fall asleep when you’re forced to nap. In all 4 instances, it took me less than 5 minutes. Key indicator that I have narcolepsy!

I now have to go have another 2 tests done. First is an echo to check my heart and second is a blood test to see if I have the gene that typically holds the final confirmation of narcolepsy. The blood test tends to be positive for 95% of people with narcolepsy. However, it also shows up for 20% of people who don’t have narcolepsy. The echo needs to be done before I can go on the medication to help me stay awake during the day. 

Fun times ahead!

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