Narcolepsy and Its Effect on My Family

Happy Juneteenth, and Happy Father’s Day to all you dads. It’s been yet another hectic and strange week in my life. My wife, after years of struggling with sleep issues, was officially diagnosed with narcolepsy. I had always known she suffered from the disorder, but she would never acknowledge it. She didn’t want to address it at all, in fact. Thankfully, she finally caved and after years of my insistence she made a doctor’s appointment. She is already showing great improvement with a new medication. It’s a scary thing, narcolepsy. So, it’s more than comforting that it is being dealt with.

The Mayo Clinic describes narcolepsy as a “a chronic sleep disorder characterized by overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep. People with narcolepsy often find it difficult to stay awake for long periods of time, regardless of the circumstances.” Surely you can see how this might be scary, and not just for my wife.

According to NORD, an organization dedicated to the study of rare diseases, narcolepsy affects about every 1 in 2,000 people. Like bipolar disorder, the cause of narcolepsy is not completely known. It’s a rare condition that often goes undiagnosed for years.

My wife suffers from sleep attacks, and once she’s out, it’s game over. I trust my oldest kids to be fine in a situation such as that, but I don’t trust that my 10-month-old son would be able to take care of himself in a situation such as that. That’s why it’s been so scary for us. Again, though, she is already doing much better, and I couldn’t be more proud of her.

Mowing has been fun, too, with temps getting up to 105 degrees with the heat index. I’ve been too tired to read or write much this week. Heat like that will tap you out and it’s supposed to be hotter this week. It’s only June. If you don’t believe in global warming…well, then yeah.

It’s definitely been a busy, hectic week but I really have nothing to complain about. So, I’m not going to spend a lot of time here taking the chance of finding something negative to dwell on. Because I can and am good at it. What can I say? It’s a gift. Or more like a curse.  

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