It's been a very long time since I have been that completely exhausted. It was an absurd day, even for a normal person, let alone a narco. I was up at 5am, in order to be at school for a rehearsal at 7.30am. I was incredibly tired on the drive in the morning, which didn't bode well. I had a full day at school - no breaks, really intense teaching, had to be consistently alert. By period 5 I was already rubbish... I was irritable and basically moving around the room just to keep myself awake. After school there was a full staff meeting, which I thought I might sneak a sleep in... but no, I sat at the table which the principal eventually sat down at, so I had to volunteer to take notes during the meeting just so I would stay awake.
Leaving school at 5pm, the drive back to Sydney was hideous. I was so ready to sleep the whole way. But I couldn't go home... I had an orchestral rehearsal starting at 7.30pm, so I drove straight from school to rehearsal, eating a crappy dinner on the way. I had a restless nap in the car for 40 minutes before going into the hall and realising that I was having difficulty walking straight and keeping my eyes focused. To my credit, I played pretty friggen well, but every time we stopped playing I would close my eyes; if I had only short phrases to play I would memorise them and play with my eyes closed. As it was getting closer to the break I decided to tell the conductor that I would have to leave... I couldn't imagine how I would be able to cope with the rest of the rehearsal, and then have to risk the drive home at 10pm. When I talked to the conductor I started to cry - tired and emotional much?? He didn't know quite what to do with me.
I have never been so fearful of falling asleep at the wheel as I was driving home that night. I think that me having a bit of a cry actually helped to clear my eyes and wake me up a bit because I didn't have to stop on the way home, but I was so conscious of my alert state. I felt so irresponsible, yet so trapped by my commitments. More and more I'm starting to realise that making the choice to stay home and sleep is a damned if you do, damned if you don't kind of choice. In this case, I guess I chose to value my commitments over my health, and luckily managed to do so without suffering dire consequences. But it sucked all the same. And by the middle of the day I could tell I was already totally rubbish. It's not a good way to exist.
If anything, Monday gave me clear evidence that full time work is just not an option for me right now. Just one day like that this week has been enough to mess me up for the rest of the week, I can't imagine what I would be like if I had to be as switched on as that 5 days a week. A talk with my specialist on Tuesday also made me feel immensely guilty for not officially acknowledging my condition on my license renewal... now I have to have a test that proves I have the ability to stay awake while driving. My fear is... what if I fail? Can I never drive again?
Aaarggghh the ongoing narcoleptic dramas.