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I Need A Nap

It's been a long journey to truth. If you haven't read Narcoleptic Nicki(i) I will try my best to fill you in. 

Over the last two year's I have dealt with uncontrolled accessive daytime sleepiness. I went from the mother who took her kids to the park to play tennis and ride bikes, to the mother who could only find the strength to take a nap after work and who needed two days off just to sleep and recover from the work week. Sleeping at night warranted no true rest, no matter how many hours of sleep I achieved. The next day I would always have this dire need to take naps. In fact, at one point I would often go to work in the morning only to find myself very sleepy midday, sleepy enough I could fall asleep standing up... or even walking. This would become so cumbersome I'd seek the help of my primary care physician for answers to this mounting problem. After a misdiagnosis of depression (That would be an entirely different blog for a different day on that struggle.) I would finally come to suggest having a sleep study done to see if I had sleep apnea. Sleep apnea tests have a grading system of 1-5 points. On my first test, I scored a 4.9 and was told that I did not have sleep apnea. Having to seek a second opinion with another doctor I was tested again and this time diagnosed as having sleep apnea. Upon that discovery, I was also tested for daytime sleepiness. The verdict? Hypersomnia.

What is Hypersomnia?
According to WebMD Hypersomnia, refers to either excessive daytime sleepiness or excessive time spent sleeping, and is a condition in which a person has trouble staying awake during the day. 

"Everyone has trouble with daytime sleepiness, everyone needs a nap from time to time" These are the type of statements you will hear from those who couldn't possibly understand the difference between being sleepy and being utterly exhausted day in and day out no matter how much sleep you get and no matter how many naps you take. I have a bad pattern of sleep, to begin with. I normally wake up every 4 hours or so, and if by chance I do get more sleep than that it never seems to be enough. I have to set multiple alarms to wake me up in the morning. starting anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour early just to get up for work on time. Each of these alarms then goes off in five-minute intervals until I can finally pry myself out of bed. I've tried tremendous amounts of caffeine to help me get through the day to no avail. Vitamin B-12? Does nothing. Multi-vitamin? Nada. Extra iron? Nope. None of these things seem to work. I am unable to find relief. Of all the things I've ever been diagnosed with in my life. This by far is the most difficult thing I have to live with. I can even deal with the apap machine on my face each night better than I can the daytime sleepiness. 

My entire life is now centered around sleep and naps. Making sure I get at least 4 hours of sleep with the apap machine, hoping I make it through the day at work without getting too sleepy to drive home. Being able to drive home but too tired to function once I get through the door, then having to take a nap before I'm able to do even the simplest of things like cooking or taking my son to his football practices. Rainy days make these symptoms 10 times worse. I find myself fighting against the sleepiness. Although I can sleep hours on end and take 3-4 hour naps at a time, there are days where I just stay up to try to have some sort of normalcy to my life. This actually doesn't help and the cycle starts again.

If there is one thing I would like people to come to understand from this post is that yes, I know I sleep a lot, yes I know I don't do the things that I used to do and it bothers me even more than it bothers you. Reminding me of such every other day doesn't make me feel any better about my condition and the effects its had on my life. Please be patient and try your best to be understanding. I am not the only person who's gone through this and will not be the last. A little understanding and nonjudgment can go a long way. 

*If you or someone you know feels as though you may have any type of sleep and or mental health disorder please seek professional help. This is a personal blog and should never be taken as medical advice or medical truth. All sources cited as a hyperlink.*


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