Diagnosed with narcolepsy in 2017 after 10 years of exhaustion and stress-induced paralysis, a writer for Glamour explains how debilitating the sleep disorder can be.
Fearing I couldn’t afford the necessary tests and unsure about what was even going on, I opted to just tough it out through my teens and early twenties. Until finally, with a solid insurance plan, I went to get checked out last year.
The doctor was brusque and dismissive, and left me waiting for hours. This felt like a slight after I was finally seeking the treatment I knew I desperately needed. And then came another one when I opened up to my two closest friends about my diagnosis. We talk about everything in our group chat: books we’re reading, futile attempts at getting together, dating advice, memes. But not, I would soon learn, important health updates.
After I shared my diagnosis, one friend wrote, “I thought you were having trouble falling asleep?” I was. Insomnia is a symptom of narcolepsy. Restless sleep is another one, and I sometimes wake up feeling like I’ve just run a marathon.