Hello my name is Grace, I am 31 years old diagnosed with Narcolepsy and Cataplexy in November 2013.
Before this weird and wonderful journey began I envied people who could nod off at the drop of a hat during a long coach journey or throughout a rather dull story.
I soon learned that this illness is so much more than the ability to have a satisfying kip on demand. In the past few years I have fallen asleep on the back of a moped, during the 100 metre sprint at the Olympic Games, during conversations with friends and have been asked to leave from a pub due to looking drunk after laughing at a joke and fallen to the floor after being surprised to see a friend in Tesco’s.
I would never want to make light of the impact that Narcolepsy and Cataplexy have on peoples lives; it is a debilitating illness. However for me I, almost immediately, made the decision that I was not going to let the condition control my life or stop me from fulfilling some of the brave (stupid?) dreams and goals that I had – and still have.
In September 2014 I left the UK and headed abroad to travel and volunteer in India, Nepal and South East Asia working with vulnerable individuals. I have no idea what will happen during those 12 months, or how I will cope, and perhaps a year abroad (with limited access to good chemists who stock the necessary medication) is over zealous (I hasten to put the word stupid again in brackets). However I am determined to give it a go and see where my next adventure takes me?There is one thing I know for certain…I’ll come back with some truly entertaining stories.
If it wasn’t for my incredible friends and supportive family, I’m not sure I would have such a positive outlook on what others with the same condition have described as a restrictive, and sadly depressing way of life. In return, I regularly entertain the people I love with the most with my embarrassing stories, and have become somewhat of a crowd pleaser.
From rude awakenings by cantankerous train conductors at the end of the Jubilee line (after what should have been a two-stop journey) to a close encounter in a pool that nearly resulted in me drowning (but what a great party!) living with Narcolepsy and Cataplexy has been irritating, frustrating, embarrassing and dangerous. However, it has also been comical, entertaining, a great ice breaker and one hell of an adventure. I find myself continuously explaining my idiosyncrasies and I am often misunderstood but, in short, this has become an integral part of who I am. Would I change it if I could? Most definitely. But it sure makes dinner parties a damn sight more interesting.
ABOUT MY BLOG
The aim of my blog is to share my adventures and the ups and downs of having Narcolepsy and Cataplexy. I want to share my stories with as many people as possible to show that what ever obstacles maybe in your path you can still achieve your dreams.