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

Treating cataplexy

Once I had read about cataplexy and narcolepsy on line, I was quite convinced that this was me.

The Dr House gleam

I called my GP the next day.  I get put straight through.  She listens, she gets me in to see her that same day.  She has spent the day reading her textbooks between appointments and finding out about narcolepsy.  She gives me a hug when I arrive and there is a little sparkle in her eye.  I end up getting quite used to seeing this look in Drs.  I describe it as the “Dr House gleam”.  It’s the nerdy medical student in them, secretly sort of thrilled to have found the answer to something that has stumped them.  She is nervous and excited, she tells me it completely matches everything I have described to her.  She has no idea what she is supposed to do but she has called a neurologist who can see me in a few weeks time.  In the meantime she has looked up what kinds of medication might be suitable for me.

She is only familiar with one of them, ‘Fluoxetine’, otherwise known as Prozac.

Anti depressents have been shown to effectively treat cataplexy.  The GP is concerned because I am a pretty happy vibrant person.  She thinks maybe Prozac will turn me into a crazy bounce off the walls over excited person.  However, we decide to give it a go.  I start taking it that same day.

I wouldn’t say I was crazy, but I was probably pretty irritating at this time.  I was very very enthusiastic!  Super happy and super cheerful, like an overzealous evangelist preacher that you see on tv at strange hours in the morning.  Ironically, Prozac affected my sleep.  I worked out that if I took it at certain times in the day I would be completely wide awake at night.  For hours and hours on end.  A totally foreign concept to me!  So, this meant I was even more tired in the day.  I changed the time I took the medication and that worked quite well.  Interestingly I did not experience cataplexy once the 3 months I was on Prozac.

In the end.  I decided to stop taking it.  Once I knew what the symptoms I was experiencing were, I wasn’t as worried about it anymore.  I had been concerned I had a problem with my heart, once I knew it was cataplexy I felt a bit safer.  It is mild enough that people hardly ever notice it, and I really couldn’t justify taking Prozac on a regular basis to stop the symptoms.

What needed to take my focus now was tackling narcolepsy and my lethargy.


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One response to “Treating cataplexy

  1. […] bad news is, the Dr asks me about my cataplexy and how it has been since starting dex.  I haven’t experienced cataplexy as often as I had […]

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