Observations About Myanmar from an Expat

Observations About Myanmar from an Expat

Travel
It has been one year now since I came to Myanmar! What I planned as a three-week adventure has evolved into so much more! So I thought it was time to update this post on my observations about Myanmar. I have gone from being a tourist to an expat.  (Expat is short for expatriate, a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than their native country. I can't remember if I knew or used this word before coming here.)  (more…)
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How to Treat Narcolepsy

How to Treat Narcolepsy

Diet, Lifestyle, Narcolepsy
There are a million resources out there that will tell you how to treat narcolepsy medically including various stimulants, or other medications like Baclofen, or Xyrem. There are also some new medications being tested that sound promising, but I don't have any personal experience with those. For some people, when they receive the right combination of medications, their narcolepsy is managed well and they go on with their life, which is amazing.  But for many of us, the medications alone don’t give us the results we desire. Physically our bodies are all different and mentally we are all in different places as well. So, it makes sense we all need different things to treat narcolepsy symptoms. (more…)
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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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Tell me how you take time to love yourself!

Tell me how you take time to love yourself!

Narcolepsy
Write down the five things that are most important to you in the whole world. I'll wait a moment while you do that…. If you are anything like me, your list may include values like independence or peace; it may consist of goals or aspirations, or people like your family or friends. But tell me, are YOU on that list? (more…)
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Breaking up with Keto – Stopping the Ketogenic Diet

Breaking up with Keto – Stopping the Ketogenic Diet

Mindset, Personal Story
So, I've got a theory about stopping the ketogenic diet.  It is a theory that I am ready to test out; 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. Narcolepsy My parents and I searched for something to explain my insurmountable sleepiness and lack of energy. When I was about 13 years old, I was diagnosed with narcolepsy.   Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that disturbs the sleep-wake cycle.  But little did I know, its more than just feeling sleepy.  I took that diagnosis and wrapped it…
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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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Digital Nomad or Hobo – Which label fits?

Digital Nomad or Hobo – Which label fits?

Mindset, Narcolepsy, Personal Story
Am I a digital nomad or hobo?  The label of "Digital Nomad" 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. But am I a hobo? I am an English teacher who just happens to work online. I use that advantage to travel as much as possible. But how did I get here? Was it a choice? Which phrase fits, digital nomad or hobo? (more…)
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Accepting Narcolepsy

Accepting Narcolepsy

Mindset, Narcolepsy
I believe I have tried almost everything available to treat narcolepsy. I have a strong desire to feel better. Like many people with narcolepsy, I am not lazy. I am actually overly ambitious and often do more than my body can handle and later face the consequences. I think I have worked pretty hard to feel as good as I feel now, but I always desire to feel better. (more…)
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People First Language Matters

Narcolepsy
Have you ever been called names?  Have you heard someone describe you in a way that didn’t sit well with you? Your first instinct may have been to go back to the schoolyard saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Unfortunately, that is not true. (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, Travel
In 2014 I applied for the Ministries of Spain Auxiliares program on a whim. I didn't know the healthcare in the auxiliar program in Spain would be so great! 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…
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5 Things You Can Do NOW to Manage Narcolepsy

5 Things You Can Do NOW to Manage Narcolepsy

Lifestyle, Narcolepsy
Can Narcolepsy be cured? While narcolepsy can still not be cured, there are lots of things we can do to manage narcolepsy.  There are so many different narcolepsy treatments available, we don't have to give up.  Everyone has to find the narcolepsy treatment options that work for them! Some people choose to treat narcolepsy naturally.  There are ways for us to mitigate our symptoms without taking narcolepsy medication. We want to beat the brain fog, fight fatigue, and take back control over how we feel.  This list is about short-term goals!  Try one or more of them NOW! (more…)
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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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