Realtorin’ With Narcolepsy…

Realtorin’ With Narcolepsy…

Realtorin’ With Narcolepsy…

Over the past few years, a number of folks have asked me about my narcolepsy- “What is it?”, “How does it affect you?”, “How does it impact your everyday life?”, etc.  A few have even asked (and I presume innocently so) “You mean, narcolepsy is real?”.  I figured I might as well write something about it.

Knocking out the latter (and perhaps most obvious) question first-  Yes, narcolepsy is real.  And despite the humor found in a character from Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, the “real life” version of narcolepsy is no joke.

So what is narcolepsy?  WebMD does as good of a job explaining it as they do any condition ( for those concerned about the particulars- but the basics of it mean that one suffering from it loses the ability to control when they’ll fall asleep that others take for granted.  In short, one’s body is going to get the sleep it needs- whether that sleep comes in 8-hour blocks or in 3-minute segments is the question.

In the video above, Sarah Elizabeth does a great job of illustrating the devastating effects of narcolepsy on her life as a dancer, etc.- falls and all.  I have a number of the same experiences- cataplexy (falling over/down), momentary confusion while recovering (which she calls “memory bobbles”).

I take amphetamines during the day- to keep me awake and keep us all safe as I travel the roadways of Central Florida doing my Realtorin’.  I’m painfully aware that one accident- however major or minor- could very well end my driving career and all but doom my Realtorin’.  Maintaining the balance of sleep/awake remains a chore, though- and often the drugs I take in an effort to stay awake during the day keep me awake well into the night.

I spend a bit of time on the floor.  In a practical sense, if one is going to fall or fall over (and it happens), the less distance one travels, the better.  I’ve gone through phases where I’ve strategically placed pillows or cushions around the house “just in case”- with mixed results.  It’s important for me to drink stuff out of bottles that I can close right after I take a drink of something- to prevent a collapse that might send a Mountain Dew flying across the room and causing a ridiculous mess.

The last part of my daily Realtorin’ life and life in general as I deal with narcolepsy is probably the most difficult: keeping track of what I was thinking about/doing before a sleep episode.  Recovery time varies- and despite the length of time I’ve been dealing with this and the tons of information I’ve learned about the condition, I struggle with the knowledge that there’s stuff going on in my head that I can’t control.

“So why this post?”  Great question.  One thing that has made Sarah Elizabeth‘s video so popular, I believe, is that it has pulled back the curtain and exposed narcolepsy for the not-so-pretty Wizard of Oz that it is.  It’s my hope that I’m doing a bit of the same towards increasing narcolepsy awareness- for unlike physical deformities which are easily visible and readily apparent, narcolepsy is for the most part a condition where folks suffer in darkness and out of the public’s eye.

And it’s my hope that any who don’t understand narcolepsy might learn a bit more about it- so that they can better understand those dealing with it every day- whether they be living their Realtorin’ lives or other ones.

Realtorin’ With Narcolepsy…

About Dennis Burgess

Dennis B. Burgess Realtor in Orlando, FL ORRA Vice-chairman of Strategic Planning/Secretary ORRA/FR Boards of Directors Empire Network Realty 6000 S. Rio Grande Ave., #104 Orlando, FL 32803 Cell: 205-445-4755 Office: 407-440-3798 Twitter: @orlrentals Turning vacant into occupied, and "houses" into "homes"
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