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    Old 02-06-2004, 07:38 AM   #1
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    Sleepy all the time

    I have a problem with sleeping too much. I have yet to see a Dr. about it, I don't want them to think I'm just lazy or hypochondriac or something, because I already have some medical issues going on.
    Anyway, it seems like I'm sleepy ALL THE TIME. And not just sleepy, I literally fall asleep every chance I get. I even doze off while I'm standing up at work and its a slow period in the day. I get sleepy every time I get in my car, and have fallen asleep several times while driving. I am normally ok if someone is in the passenger seat, but if I'm driving alone or I am the passenger, I sleep. What could be causing this??? Its been going on for several years, but getting worse lately. I've tried everything, cold air blasting in my face, caffeine drinks, caffeine pills... I could sleep or fall asleep during anything... Is there any way to fix this? Thanks!

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    Old 02-06-2004, 08:23 AM   #2
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    Re: Sleepy all the time

    Sounds like either narcolepsy or sleep apnea. These are both dangerous conditions, because obviously if you fall asleep while driving a tragedy could result. Consult with your GP and ask if a sleep study would be appropriate. The sleep study with determine if you have sleep apnea or not.

    Old 02-06-2004, 09:07 AM   #3
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    Re: Sleepy all the time

    Thanks for the info. I'm pretty sure its not narcilepsy, because it doesn't come without warning. I get the droopy eyes and hazy vision first, then I start to fall asleep. I fall asleep at every stop light, stop sign, etc. I sleep in my car during lunch, I sleep in my car on the way to work, on the way home from work... When I get home I'm tired, I hit the snooze button 6 times before gettin' up every morning... I guess I should see a doctor about it, but they always make me feel like a hypochondriac when I describe my symptoms. thanks again for the info

    Old 02-06-2004, 12:36 PM   #4
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    Re: Sleepy all the time

    Narcolespy isn't what people think it is. I almost always have a warning. It usually feels like I've taking a sleeping pill and am trying to stay awake, but am unable to function well, remember, speak, much of anything. I forget words, lose time, put things in odd places with no memory of it, have terrible nightmares, migraines, muscle fatigue (mild form of cataplexy), have more attacks when under more stress, visual and audio hallucinations if I fight too hard against attacks....etc. Very few narcoleptics get no warning. It may not be much of a one, but most people percieve it this way because you fight it until your brain just shuts off anyway, to an outsider, it looks like you just went out.
    Mine has also worsened over the years, with the most profound increase being after I had my second child. It's a good possibility mine was triggered by a head injury as a teenager. It started so slowly that I did feel I was just lazy, I was more "awake" but didn't even have to energy to get up to turn off the lights. I too had other medical problems on top of it. I had Grave's disease and after 2yrs of being hypo from the radiation and my doses being level, I still felt no relief in the fatigue. I was driving and would see the bumpers of the cars in front of me and not register what would happen if I didn't stop, but at the last minute would snap to and swerve. I quit driving for over a year and finally told my doc to test me for apnea. My MIL had it and it sounded similar. I took an on-line quiz and it said it was apnea or narcolepsy. I bawled for days when I found out it was narcolepsy. I was terrified and so upset, it was incurable, so in my mind, at 23, I was doomed to spend my life semi-aware.
    I finally sought treatment after the birth of my second because it became so severe that I had two episodes where my body was going limp so quickly and the sleep was overwhelming me, that it was all I could do to grunt to my then 7yr old and I was gone. Thankfully he was here and took care of the baby.
    Does this sound like you???? You sound like the largest tendency to fall asleep is when your brain isn't challenged and it just shuts off. It's harder to fall asleep when engaged in something you are interested in, but it does still happen. It also has some other weird symptoms that I would never tell my doc because if they didn't think I was a nut before, they would now. But on another group, we all got the nerve to post our "wierdeties" and found that the majority of us shared the same symptoms. Which also is what made us feel crazy, because you've already got several medical problems, yet suffer from symptoms that seem too odd and diverse to fit with anything else.
    I will tell you one thing...many docs will say you're a hypchondriac, some won't understand, no matter how hard they try, others will try and fail, and my favorite... I couldn't possibly have narcolepsy, in spite of the conclusive tests, because I wasn't text book. Narcolepsy in a text book is no where near narcolepsy in real life!!! They don't tell you how it effects your mental well-being, your physical self or how many social changes you make to accomidate for this odd creature that is taking over your life without explanation. You can understand some of the symptoms better also by looking up effects of sleep deprivation. Although narcoleptics sleep too much, it's not the restfull sleep which in turn causes us to suffer the effects of sleep deprivation on top of the attacks triggered by the brain.
    I hope this helps, would love to hear back from you and see if this fit at all or if you have any questions about it. If you don't mind me asking, what other medical problems do you have??? Depression is also common with this, it needs to be treated seperately but it's compounded by narcolepsy. Also if you don't mind, feel free to list any weird things that happen that you can't explain or understand. Don't be embarassed, if I haven't already been through it, I know pleanty of narcoleptics who have. It will also put your mind at ease, that all though we can't explain why they happen, they must be related for so many of us to share the same problems.
    Hope to hear from you fear, you're not nuts. That's the biggest sign that you're not full of wonder...fakers don't wonder, they just KNOW they're sick and dying....narcolepsy makes you definately second guess everything, your sanity being the first!! Angel
    If you don't experience anything bad, you'll never appreciate the good when it comes around!!!

    Old 02-06-2004, 05:37 PM   #5
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    Re: Sleepy all the time

    Wow thanks so much Angel, what a big help! I'm so sorry that you have to go through this! I've only had a few "weird" episodes that I can recall: one time I was in Home Depot with my fiance and I left him to use the restroom. I, as always, was feeling very sleepy and I think I may have fallen asleep and did some sleep-walking in home depot, because i ended up on the other side of the store and couldn't remember how I got there! It was so strange! Another time in high school marching band I apparently just fell over during practice, because I don't remember anything up until I was already getting dressed for school (practice was in the AM and lasted until school started). My section members said that I fell over then they had to walk me back inside the building. Strange that I don't remember anything about it.

    Mainly I just am sleepy all the time. I could literally fall asleep standing up anywhere. I try and stay awake but like I said, sometimes I have fallen asleep while driving and occassionally veered off into oncoming traffic. My main symptoms are: sleeping while I'm driving or a passenger (anytime I am in a car basically), after I eat, while I'm at the movies, when its slow at work, in class... you name it. I also suffer from exhaustion, it seems like my body is so slow and doesn't want to work. I can't even go to the gym anymore because I'm just too tired all the time. And my weight fluxuates like crazy, probably because my exercise does. It seems like I'm not motivated to do anything, I'm very forgetful, and even my classes are suffering. I am in my 4th year at college and the last two semesters I had to withdraw because I just couldn't focus and I fell asleep during every class.

    My other health problems include: chronic UTI's, IBD, HPV (I just had surgery to remove lesions/warts caused by it), and stomachaches all the time. I was diagnosed a few years back with healing ulcers which were causing me my stomachaches, but now those are gone and as far as I know I only have IBD and possibly gall bladder problems (runs in the family). When I was 15, I had breast reconstruction surgery because during puberty only one of my breasts grew (one was an A cup and the other a DD - if you can imagine how awful that was!) I am also now 30 lbs. overweight and hate myself. I have been on a few antidepressants but nothing really worked, and I'm not ALWAYS depressed, I just go through times of depression like a lot of people do. I want to have a baby and work from home soon, but I'm afraid that I will just sleep all the time! But I also don't wanna drive around with a baby and accidently fall asleep and have an accident! Its bad enough that I have to drive my dogs around, lord knows I would hate myself if I hurt them in anyway.
    I'm just afraid that with all of my other problems, my doctors will think I'm crazy if I go to them with this. It already seems that they used IBD as a cop out diagnosis for the stomach problems and bowel problems I have had for so long.
    I don't know what to do! It is just getting worse, any advice or info is appreciated!

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