Letter From a Person Living with Narcolepsy

Letter From a Person Living with Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy, Personal Story
Dear friend, Do you remember that time we had big plans to do something amazing on the weekend and I told you at the last minute that I really wanted to go but I just couldn’t do it? Well, I remember it. Because it was hard for me to make the decision to take care of myself instead of going to do something fun that I was really looking forward to. Instead, I spent the day making sure I had healthy food lined up for the week. I took a few short controlled naps. I drank a gallon of water and meditated. I arranged my calendar for the week so I would not miss any appointments, forget to pick up my prescriptions or miss a due date for my bills.…
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From Self-Hate to Self-Love

From Self-Hate to Self-Love

Mindset, Personal Story
Her small hands hesitate just the slightest bit as they brush over the thick pink scars.  Brown eyes meet mine and then immediately flick back down to the rushing water of the pedicure chair. Her eyes pry, "What happened to you?" or "Who did this to you?" I can't be sure which. (more…)
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Breaking up with Keto

Breaking up with Keto

Mindset, Personal Story
So, I've got a theory.  A theory that I am ready to test out.  My theory is that my mind is more powerful than my body.  You see, my whole life I've worked to try to fix my body, trying to do things to it to make it better, to change it.  For as long as I can remember, I have fought with my body. Today I've decided to surrender. When I was about 13 years old, I was diagnosed with narcolepsy.  It was a diagnosis that my parents and I had been searching for over a number of years to explain the insurmountable sleepiness and lack of energy I was experiencing.  I took that diagnosis and wrapped it around me like a security blanket. It was the explanation for…
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Cataplexy in a Cathedral

Cataplexy in a Cathedral

Narcolepsy, Personal Story, Travel
Sharing a plate of fried watercress, a heaping dish of tea leaf salad, and a bowl of eggplant curry, I found myself saying more about my chronic illness than I ever expected to disclose on a first encounter. I heard myself explaining things my body does in words I had never strung together verbally before. Maybe it was the second glass of wine, or maybe it was the humid air, the colorful Myanmar decor, and the attentive listener on the other side of the able. He seemed genuinely interested in how a person with narcolepsy had come to travel as a lifestyle choice. (more…)
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Scared of the Dark: The Narcolepsy Symptoms That Nobody Talks About

Scared of the Dark: The Narcolepsy Symptoms That Nobody Talks About

Narcolepsy, Personal Story
One night around age eight, I was lying in bed thinking of the fun I had had that day with my family. I opened my eyes slowly to see a huge, hairy, manlike monster hovering above me on the ceiling. His appendages stuck to the plaster effortlessly, like a giant spider, and I could see his gigantic teeth waiting to sink into my flesh. I was completely paralyzed. So much that I couldn’t even scream. I lay there on my Care Bear sheets, trapped in my own body, unable to even clench my fists, or turn my head away from the terrifying sight above me. He dropped onto my chest, and I could feel the enormous pressure of his weight. The next thing I knew, it was morning. As a…
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How Narcolepsy Lead me to be a Digital Nomad

Mindset, Narcolepsy, Personal Story
Digital Nomad. It’s a label I’m not exactly fond of as it generally calls up images of social media influencers, relaxing on the beach, posting pictures that make everyone jealous.  While I do enjoy sharing my travel experiences, I am not quite on that level.  I am an English teacher who just happens to work online and use that advantage to travel as much as possible. But how did I get here? Was it a choice or am I really a hobo? (more…)
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Tips for Riding a Sleeper Bus in Vietnam

Tips for Riding a Sleeper Bus in Vietnam

Personal Story, Travel
Before my sleeper bus experience, I had never imagined being asked to take my shoes off as I entered a public bus.  But when you get on an overnight sleeper bus, it makes a lot of sense.  An attendant held out a black plastic bag for me to place my shoes in. I continued barefoot down the aisle to my very own reclined sleeper seat. (more…)
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Healthcare in Auxiliar Program Spain

Healthcare in Auxiliar Program Spain

Narcolepsy, Personal Story
In 2014 I applied for the Ministries of Spain Auxiliares program on a whim. I was also considering teaching in Asia for programs like EPIK and HESS. I had promised myself I was going wherever I got an offer first because I had to get out of the USA. The day the email came telling me I had a position in Spain I couldn’t believe it. I was going to be living in Ibiza! Everything happened pretty quickly since I got my carta mid-summer. I had to quit my full-time job, sell all my furniture, get the Spanish student visa in Chicago, and physically move to Spain! But of course, there were some worries. I had no idea what healthcare in Spain would be like. As a person with Narcolepsy,…
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Intermittent Fasting for Narcolepsy

Intermittent Fasting for Narcolepsy

Diet, Lifestyle, Personal Story
Intermittent Fasting for Narcolepsy Have you ever tried intermittent fasting for narcolepsy? I would love to hear about your experience! I’ve seen the term a million times in the keto community, but I always tell myself I am doing well enough with what I have. There is no need to make it more complicated.  I enjoy my early morning coffees and snacks throughout the day that fit my ketogenic diet. But lately I’ve been lacking mental clarity and I’m ready to try something new. I started looking into fasting, which seems very travel-friendly. I gave myself the weekend to wrap my head around it and decided I would dive in on Monday. Today is my first day. I have decided to start with the 16/8 method that I learned about…
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