Even though I love it there, it's getting harder every time. I get up about 3.45am, to catch a 5am train to be at Taronga by 7am (Driving would make the journey shorter, but also would be a probable death sentence). I'm then there all day, generally doing physical labour, until 2pm. I mean... that can be tough enough for a normal person but the narcolepsy just makes it SO much worse. I sleep on the train, on the bus, at morning tea, at lunch, then on the bus and train home. If I have to wait for a keeper to come and get me for something I'll nap on a bench. Occasionally they've left me to sleep in the lunchroom and I'll wake up half an hour later wondering where the hell everyone is. The keepers there all know about my condition and find it mildly hilarious, but like everyone else all they see is me sleeping all the time.
What they don't see is the incredible mental effort it takes just to actually overpower every part of my body in order to get out of bed in the morning. They don't see that I search for the jobs that will leave me alone for periods of time, doing repetitive stuff, which will mean that I can basically zone out and sort of sleep with my eyes open (I've done this many times during gigs as well). They don't see how hard it gets over time to concentrate on what someone is saying, so I can hear it, process it and then respond. In the afternoon it's awful... I know it's nearly time for me to be able to sit down and sleep again, so my brain kind of checks out early and leaves me only with my basic cognitive functions. My whole day is basically just one big nap, with occasional animal-related interludes.
I love going, and I love learning all about everything... but I may have to quit soon just because of the complete physical and mental toll it takes. I've lasted more than a year doing it though, which is quite remarkable. I'm proud of myself for being able to do it at all!!