- I fell asleep during my ex-boyfriend's grandmother's wedding. Out of all the places and times I have ever fallen asleep, this one has stuck with me as the most humiliating. Not only was I irresistibly closing my eyes and drifting off, but I started to twitch. So even if I wanted to, I couldn't hide the fact that I was dozing off during a really important and emotional point in his life. What was worse was that I couldn't explain it, I couldn't excuse it, and I could hear his disbelief and disappointment when he prodded me and said, "Are you falling asleep???". As far as I am aware, he doesn't know about my narcolepsy, as even when I tried to explain it to him after we broke up he didn't want to hear about it. Maybe if I had known about it then, things would have gone very differently for us. But I didn't, and it hasn't, and I really don't think he cares to know about it anymore.
- I fell asleep upside down in a car once. I was 16, I think, so it happened around about the time my sleepiness started to become overwhelming. By upside down, I mean that I had twisted myself into a position in the back seat where my back was laying on the seat and my feet were touching the roof. I don't remember how or why I decided to sleep that way. It was a friggen long car trip though!!
- Once I fell asleep on a train and woke up JUST as the train was pulling out of my station. I was so annoyed... but even more annoyed when I realised that my stop had been the last stop on the trip. So not only had EVERYONE else gotten off, but the guards must have gone through the train to check if anyone was still there, and even then they had missed me. So, feeling slightly alarmed, I went to go and find someone to say 'hey, there's still a person here'. Finally found a train guy, and he said I had to wait on the train for 20 minutes while it sat in limbo between stations, and then it would go back to my station to start running its next trip. Bah. I was so annoyed with myself!!! I'm actually surprised I didn't miss my station more over the years... did pretty well on that front.
- I can't believe I did this so many times, for so long but... every weekend for 6 months I drove from Western Sydney to Wollongong, there and back. It's a trip that's about... an hour and a half?? Maybe more if you do the speed limit, which I never did. This was in 2003, so I definitely had sleeping problems. The thing that is most alarming was that at the end of the weekend when I had to drive back to Wollongong, I would start the trip at about 11pm/midnight. Every weekend. I would have a rehearsal, then the obligatory trip to the pub with mates (no drinks, thankfully I'm not COMPLETELY stupid), then I would start the journey. On long highways, pitch black, hardly any cars around, some roads in the middle of thick bush. I don't know how I did it, how I managed to stay awake and alive. These days I get on the M7 (a major highway) for 20 minutes and I have to pull over for a nap! Scary stuff.
- I worked as a teacher at a senior high school for a term. It was great, the kids I got to teach were so awesome. But any period or lunch break or whatever that I had free, I was in my staffroom, at my desk, crashed out. Drool on the desk, everything. And I still didn't think I had a problem....
I think I've written about my ex-boyfriend in this blog a few times. He comes up a bit when I think about all my narco stuff because of how much it affected our relationship, without me knowing that I was narcoleptic. It really, really frustrated him, how tired I was all the time, leaving early from everything, occasional lack of focus to make it seem like I didn't care what he was saying and wasn't listening. In the end I suppose it was much more than that that made the whole thing implode - obviously if he really cared we would still be together - but still... sometimes I can't help wondering if it would have gone done any different had we both known that some things were beyond my control. Same goes for other things too... I wonder if my work colleagues, particularly in my teaching jobs, would have viewed me differently had they known that I was falling asleep everywhere because I had a condition, not because I was lazy, or whatever.