I just can't catch a break.
For about six months or so now things just haven't been making too much sense. I've been tired, really tired, much more than usual. It's not an 'I just ran a marathon' or a 'my twins have been ADHD rabid howler monkeys all day' kind of tired.
Part of my Sarcoidosis is 'fatigue not remedied by sleep' - which means that I have a nap but wake up feeling worse, or that I literally do not have the energy to do simple things at times like brush my hair or cook a meal. I will usually be able to force myself to keep going, but it is a substantial conscious effort at times.
This is different, and it has been going on for about six months now.
I recently went on a business trip to Ireland -
and spent the entirety of the trip sleeping in the back of a car, waking up to attend meetings and then falling asleep again as the lush greenery of Northern Ireland and Ireland continued to pass me by. I saw NOTHING. I remember NOTHING.
Then I started to notice that the couch in my office seems to be getting a lot more use lately.
Then we had a friend come by for an epic Mario Kart 8 Smackdown (I am disturbingly good at Mario Kart) and I fell asleep on the couch. I couldn't really even communicate - I was just going down and going down fast. I couldn't even stand to say goodbye, I couldn't even carry a conversation. I managed to lay down on the couch on top of a set of controllers, a toy pony castle, my laptop and the dog. I was out and snoring before our friends had made it to their feet.
The problem became more obvious last weekend when I was sitting on the couch chatting with a friend when she suddenly asked if I was 'alright'. She commented that my mood had suddenly changed and I had become distant and unfocused, was I upset about something?
Not at all, I was just fighting off falling asleep at random. It was so strange.
Then we went biking yesterday to go check out the sets of the new star wars movie (as you do!) and I found myself drifting off to sleep while riding around. We came to a patch of deep mud and Paul blew through it, Lochie squealing as he pulled her through the mud. We built up some speed behind them and the next thing I knew I was stopped and leaned over to the side in the mud, Kaitie having expertly leaped off her bike to safety like a premonitious gazelle, my shoe completely buried and shaking the sleepiness from my head.
We then took a break at the next junction and I remarked to Paul that all I wanted was to sleep - leaning over my shihtsu in his bike basket and eyeing up the thistle bush forest like it would make a great place for a power nap.
Something was definitely wrong. We started to discuss it in the car on the way home but then I fell asleep before we were out of the parking lot.
So today I did what any normal person would do when they're given a new diagnosis (after a bunch of medical tests, of course) and I joined a Facebook group for Narcolepsy to see what this was all about.
There are some things in life, often medically related, that are so unintentionally funny that you choke just trying to breathe.
I should have known better, as I had done this once before. I recently experienced a particularly horrible week of 'no action' from yet another med adjustment and spent an evening googling 'can you die from constipation?' and oh did the internet ever deliver! The forums and threads dedicated to this topic throughout the internet produced username gems such as
The home remedies! Oh the tales of woe! The horrors and the tears. Comments like 'try to go in the morning because you'll have more energy to push then' and the entirely new and horrifying knowledge that if it waits too long it can actually come up the other way. Paul and I have never laughed so hard in our lives as we did reading that (which didn't help, unfortunately). I positively howled to the point that I rolled off the sofa and nearly wet myself.
You think I would have learned.
But no. I have joined one narcolepsy group on Facebook. One. And it is already so unintentionally funny (yet also very supportive and informative) and this is CLEARLY one set of disease card holders with a wicked sense of humor. You would have to find the funny in it, you would just have to.
One guy was all upset that he meant to have a super productive weekend so he got up at 7am, had a shower and then went to get dressed, when he woke up again it was night - but he wasn't sure which day it was.
A woman posted a picture her three year old daughter had drawn of her - she was a bed. With a face and hair. And the bed was holding a lollipop.
Another woman keeps getting woken up in the parking lot of her daughter's daycare center, passed out in her car. (maybe she shouldn't be driving, though) and a group was relating their experiences of falling asleep and snoring loudly in the waiting rooms of their doctors - entire groups of narcoleptics passed out collectively in a doctor's office.
So I still haven't yet come to grips with this, but it feels very validating that there is a reason I've been falling asleep so constantly and rudely. I've not been a completely rude douchebag to my friends, colleagues and random strangers by zoning out and falling asleep while they are talking to me (or while I am talking to them).
I'm just narcoleptic.
Gotta run, the kids need me.