Saturday 8th March 2014 marks the day of narcolepsy awareness. Whilst many people have heard of narcolepsy, few really understand it.
Quite often when I tell someone that I have narcolepsy their response is:
But I’ve never seen you fall asleep.
There is a common misconception that having narcolepsy means you’ll fall asleep with any control for example while standing or talking to someone.
Yes, this does happen – stereotypes have to come from somewhere. But for a large number of sufferers this is not an accurate representation of what we go through.
I am lucky in that for the most part I have enough control over the condition to not fall asleep just anywhere. That’s not to say my body wouldn’t happily nap at my desk every day, and I will on occasion sneak off to the toilets to close my eyes for 5min…but it generally is something I can control.
So I guess my point is that just because you haven’t seen me fall asleep mid conversation or whilst sitting at my desk or dinner table, doesn’t mean that I’m pulling your leg.
Narcolepsy is real. Narcolepsy is scary. Narcolepsy is pain.
This week is dedicated to raising proper awareness so that the invisible illness can be seen for what it really is and not just another illness that pop culture creates humour from. Don’t get me wrong…Rowan Atkinson’s character in Rat Race is hilarious…it’s just not a true representation.