Thursday, May 17, 2012

Once Upon a Time I FounsdfjsdkljfzzzZZZZzzz...sorry I fell asleep.

This will probably be scatterbrained because my medication should be wearing off and I have half a Chick Fil A chicken salad sandwich staring at me and because of said medication I can't decide if I'm hungry or not (my mind is telling me yes but my body is telling me no) is so confusing and I hate this because I love CFA and I know there are people in other places who can't have CFA on a whim (granted that whim isn't on Sunday) like Hawai'i so I shouldn't let it go to waste. This is a good enough reason for me to not do drugs. Except in this case if I don't do drugs I'll just fall asleep all day at work. I know that sounds awesome, but the people who fund my salary probably wouldn't think so. Maybe if I put together a really good powerpoint I can convince them...good thing I have drugs to keep me awake and alert to prepare said powerpoint.

The point is I have finally been diagnosed with narcolepsy. I typically wouldn't broadcast this on the internets, but anyone who has even been around me for a few short hours has picked up on my incredible almost super-power-like ability to fall asleep. Anywhere. Anytime.

In college I had a roommate who was diagnosed and immediately our other roommates assumed me to be the same way. The roommate (whom we affectionately referred to as "Narcy") and I had very similar habits and it wasn't until after her sleep study were other people all "something's wrong with your brain, too" and I was all "too much awesome? I don't see anything wrong with that" and they're all "it's not normal to fall asleep while under your bed when all you were doing was retrieving a shoe" and I was all "umm whatever, I'm going to take a quick 2hr nap."

In the next 5 years I continued to have the same issues but just dealt with it. I was tired of trying to explain to people what I was experiencing when certain symptoms were "flaring up" so to speak, but got a little annoyed when people would just respond with "yeah whatever, just sounds like laziness to me." The only people who seemed to really understand my struggle were people with similar focus/alertness issues such as ADD. I am a motivated person. I like to get things done. So it is extremely frustrating when my day is spent lying in bed 3-4 hours after I wake up because I don't even have the willpower to get up and pee no matter how bad I have to go, just to wake up, pee, walk downstairs and lay down "for a minute" on the sofa. A couple hours later, perhaps drifting in and out of TV shows (if the remote was within arms reach from the sofa) I'll get up, wanting to do something with my day. I would think about going to the beach (to nap, of course) but if I had to take the bus, even the thought of walking to the bus stop was enough to tire me out so I'd usually end up back on the sofa, angry with myself and wondering why I can't physically make myself clean my room like I had planned on. I wanted a clean room. It would be very easy too and not take much time at all. Just putting away clothes, taking some trash outside and vacuuming. But instead I was able to catch bits and pieces (when I wasn't asleep) of Sleepless in Seattle for the umpteenth time.

There were/are also times when I feel like I'm letting my friends down and for no good reason other than I just got tired. If I'm out and about and engaged, I'm usually good. Once I sit down after a day of work for 5 minutes, I'm done. If I start getting tired, it is a slippery slope and there is no coming out of it. I got pretty good and coming up with excuses to back out, then feeling crappy about it later. This was especially so if I missed an event celebrating a birthday or new job, etc.

I never felt depressed or anything. Just tired, and often times sleep would be physically irresistable and my ability to will myself to do anything was gone.

The past couple of months it has been especially tough. I was going entire weeks where I felt like I maybe did a couple hours worth of work total. This was not my nature and it was very frustrating. I always prided myself on how I never got stressed out and was able to maintain a cool head and cross of my to do list no matter how long. At first I refused to admit even to myself that something was wrong and I just kept up my usual routine of everything's great and always had a witty remark on hand. Every morning and even moreso, every afternoon around 3pm I would turn into a bobble head falling asleep at my desk and could not shake it. I would drink Mountain Dew, get 5-6 shots in my Starbucks, suck down candy hoping I would find something that would give me at least a burst of energy to get things done. None of this worked. I was not on top of things and this caused anxiety because I'm still new at this job and this was not the work ethic I boasted of when I interviewed for the position. Thankfully I have a great boss who I felt like I could at least try to explain what was going on and he was very gracious and understanding when I said I was going to go to a doctor to see if it can be figured out.

A blood test and sleep study later and I'm now on a stimulant to help get me through work (or long periods of driving). I didn't really know what to expect, but based on what I've read so far about the medication either my body is handling it well (despite the appetite thing...but we'll blame that on Henry my tapeworm) or I will require a higher dosage than "typical" for adults. It's just my first week so I'm still adjusting. I'm already seeing an improvement in my ability to stay alert and focused on what I'm doing. Whereas the medication does help me focus, I still get to choose what I focus on. A fingernail tears, and next thing you know, 10 minutes later I'm still shaping it and making sure it is the most smooth and even nail ever...even if it is now practically whittled down to the nub and I'm just going to chew on it later. I'm thinking I should just put a shiny object on my work tasks to keep bringing me back....

Okay, this wasn't meant to get serious but it did. It is funny to me that people's suspicions are "officially" true, and I'm just glad that I'm feeling more myself again--especially at work. I tried telling my boss that if I'm 5x as productive now that ought to translate to 5x my salary but he just laughed and said "uhhhh yeeahhh...let's talk about that later." which, sarcasm aside, isn't a definitive "NO" so I'm praying for that one in a million chance. I can feel my last pill wearing off since I'm yawning again and I finally ate the rest of the sandwich. So I'm gonna stop talking before I falsdlkfjsdlkjcfksdjlzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.............

Colorado Springs score: 3 (+2 for fixing my brain!)

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