I am calling this post "Narcolepsy sucks and so do people". Not anyone who reads this blog, of course. My awesomeness permeates the screen and rubs off on all who read this blog. Or is it that awesomeness attracts awesomeness and only awesome people gather here? A discussion for later.
One of the interesting symptoms of Narcoleopsy is called cataplexy. Not all narcoleptics have it, but I do. Here is what Wiki says about it:
Cataplexy, a sudden muscular weakness brought on by strong emotions (though many people experience cataplexy without having a emotional trigger), is known to be one of the other problems that some narcoleptics will experience. Often manifesting as muscular weaknesses ranging from a barely perceptible slackening of the facial muscles to the dropping of the jaw or head, weakness at the knees, or a total collapse. Usually only speech is slurred, vision is impaired (double vision, inability to focus), but hearing and awareness remain normal. In some rare cases, an individual's body becomes paralyzed and muscles will become stiff.
In my case, it results in dropping things and getting clumsy when I experience extreme emotions. It seems to be getting worse, but that's par for the course I'm told as narcolepsy just gets worse as time goes by.* I have had paralysis of my facial muscles (I thought I was having a stroke a few times before I was diagnosed) and often the left side of my face feels tingly no matter my emotional state.
OK, so on with the story. Today my kids were really aggravating. They just pick, pick, pick, pick, pick like only kids can do. Victoria and Rosemary were at it all. day. long. Then Lilly and Madeleine joined in when they got home from school. So I was really irritated, aggravated and had had it. I needed to go to the store. Lilly came with me (my mom was here to look after the others) and she was just nonstop complaining and bitching (I don't like saying that about my own kid but hey, it is what it is). And it was over the stupidest things. Like not wanting glasses. We haven't even got her eyes checked for crying out loud! Then it was about Madeleine, Victoria and Rosemary making fun of her for... having glasses she doesn't even have. And then it was this and then it was that. It didn't matter what I said, I was wrong. (Yeah, all you mommies with girls, you say it won't happen to you... but it will. I tried, oh how I tried! But, here we are. Pre-adolescent girl with the mouth you want to smack sometimes.) Of course, I can't get away from it because I can't just leave her (actually, I suppose I could have as we were walking and she knows the neighbourhood.) So, on the way home from the store, during the nonstop bitch fest**, my one foot gives way and I trip and fall. I tried to stop myself, but there I was, sitting on my kiester on the ground, one shoe off (oddly, not the foot that made me trip).
There were people around. Three of them, all adults. Guess how many came over to ask if I was OK. If you guessed none, you were right. It took me almost a minute to regain proper control of my leg and no one came to see if I was OK. Lilly was cool. She put the stuff she was carrying down (the source of her complaint at the moment, being forced to carry a brick of cream cheese and box of stuffing) and rushed to my side to make sure I was OK. I had to reassure her a few times that I was fine, but no one came to check on us. I mean, if I had broken my leg or something, why would an adult think leaving me in the care of a not-quite-ten-year-old is an OK thing to do? One lady was walking right up the same path when I fell and passed us while I was holding on to the fence to keep my balance until my muscles decided that they would listen to my brain again. Walked right on by without saying a word. I simple "Are you OK?" would be in order, I think and it's what I would have done in her shoes.
In order to not get more aggravated and experience yet another malfunction, I am indulging in 260 calorie chocolate therapy.
*Interesting note: Narcolepsy does not progress steadily, instead going in spurts. Narcoleptics will reach a plateau and remain there for a while, often years, and then suddenly, their symptoms will start to worsen. They will continue to worsen over an amount of time and then plateau again for a time. The brain is weird. This is why most teenagers who have narcolepsy are often written off as just lazy. Their symptoms are not yet extreme enough to warrant medical attention. But, as time goes by and their symptoms worsen and new symptoms begin to appear, that is when they are diagnosed. So mom, don't ya feel guilty for calling me lazy all those years? :)
**I am not calling Lilly a bitch. Even the most even tempered person will on occasion bitch about something. Lilly is a wonderful girl who has a free spirit and genuinely kind heart. But, today, she had one major bitch fest.