dealing with narcolepsy, wedding planning, a law degree and some new fitness goals…

Idleness sets in

My GP referred me to a locum neurologist at the Whittington Hospital in London.  A lovely man who had 2 eager interns sitting either side of him.

He asked me to describe my symptoms while pretending that I had never heard about the words narcolepsy or cataplexy.  So I did.. and there came the “Dr House gleam”.. the excited oooh yes we know what this is look!  He agreed that it certainly sounded like cataplexy and referred me to a sleep specialist.

That appointment took months and months to roll around.  By the time I finally had my appointment, I had already met my now fiance, and was in the process of moving my life back to Australia.  The appointment was the day before our last holiday before leaving for Australia.  I met with the specialist who confirmed that it would take many more months to get me in for a sleep study and that I would be better to pursue this back in Australia.  She said she would find out the names of some suitable clinics I could get in touch with.

So, with no answers, but many questions I returned home to Australia wondering what lay ahead for me.

The locum neurologist I had seen was wonderful, he wrote to me several times with details of clinics I could see in Australia and asking me how things were.  I’m ashamed to say I never responded to his letters.  I also didn’t go to see any of the clinics he recommended for over 12 months.

I can’t really explain why I did this.  I suppose part of me was reluctant to admit that there was something wrong with me.  Part of me was certainly concerned about losing my licence.  I had been living in London for nearly 3 years, I was used to grabbing a cab, running for the bus or jumping on the tube.  Suddenly I was in Queensland, out in the burbs with no access to decent public transport, the nearest “anything” was a 20 minute drive away.  I was homesick for London, I missed my friends, I was wondering if turning my life upside down for this guy was a smart thing to have done.  I had no job, I was waiting to start Uni.  I am not offering excuses, I am just trying to paint you a picture of what my life looked at.  Admitting I was not well and going to see a Dr was not high on my list of priorities at that point.  It should have been.

Eventually in 2012, half way through my law degree, I got to a point where I fell apart a little bit.  I was behind in lectures.  Very behind.  Law can be boring and dull at the best of times.  When you are asleep in most of your lectures, you kind of miss out on a fair bit of content!  Despite only working one day a week, I was struggling to keep up.  I wasn’t getting any of the readings done because I would pick up a case and wake up with my head on the desk.  Each day was difficult.  Each assignment and exam was a total struggle, my marks started to suffer and after averaging all HD’s in my first year, in my second year I received my first “P” (Pass) the lowest mark I’ve received so far.

I finally realised I was kidding myself.  I was a danger on the road, I would constantly have “microsleeps” and struggle to stay awake, and my Uni grades were now suffering.

I finally made an appointment with my local GP.


« Getting diagnosed

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