I woke up to a new life

Chat - - EYES WIDE OPEN -

There’s no cure, but I turned my health around

Dis­cov­er­ing I had nar­colepsy was life-chang­ing.

I live in Texas, USA, but in 2017, I joined Nar­colepsy Sup­port Group on Face­book.

The more I re­searched, the more I un­der­stood my con­di­tion.

Lack of en­ergy, weight gain, vivid dreams, hal­lu­ci­na­tionsÉ

And, fi­nally, I could lose the ‘lazy’ tag that had fol­lowed me around for years.

‘I’m afraid there’s no cure for nar­colepsy,’ my doc­tor ex­plained to me.

But there were ways of man­ag­ing my symp­toms, turn­ing my health around. Maybe even los­ing weight. Still, at 22st and a size 30, I had a long way to go.

‘It’s time to tackle this head on,’ I vowed in Septem­ber 2017.

I’d re­alised that sug­ary, caf­feinated drinks made me slump even more once the ef­fects wore off.

So in Oc­to­ber, I stopped buy­ing fizzy pop.

Then, weeks later, I cut out en­ergy drinks, too.

I drank fruit­in­fused water in­stead.

Feel­ing more hy­drated, I turned my at­ten­tion to food.

While I’d al­ready cut my por­tion sizes years ear­lier, I’d still give in to temp­ta­tion.

I’d find my­self di­alling for piz­zas, burg­ers…

So, that month, I swapped junk food for grilled fish, tur­key, rice and veg­gies.

Bread was banned and I filled up on fruit.

Amaz­ingly, I never felt hun­gry and had bags more en­ergy, too!

I started do­ing light ex­er­cise – stretches at home, walks along na­ture trails, even swimming.

My clothes started to feel baggy and, ev­ery month, I’d step on the scales and cheer.

I vowed to keep go­ing, went as far as go­ing ve­gan for a few months.

Af­ter two years of di­et­ing, this year I hit 15st 1lb.

It was a to­tal loss of 15st and 10 dress sizes.

‘I feel like a new woman,’ I beamed, buy­ing new clothes in size 16.

‘You look amaz­ing, Mum!’ the kids told me proudly.

And I look younger, too. Have clearer skin, shiny hair, and my un­der-eye shad­ows have gone.

Although I have loose skin on my legs, arms, tum and back, I’m sav­ing up £17,000 for surgery to have it re­moved.

I’m just grate­ful to be able to move around more – and touch my toes!

I’ve learnt to cope with the waves of ex­haus­tion the nar­colepsy causes.

Now I don’t fight it,

I just take time off to re­cover and then get back to my rou­tine.

I’m man­ag­ing my con­di­tion, and I can look af­ter my kids.

I do my best at work and go out with friends. I en­joy life.

I’ve even met a lovely man on­line – Demetrius, 31.

He’s been on his own weight-loss jour­ney – los­ing over 7st – so we un­der­stand each other.

I want peo­ple to re­alise that there’s of­ten more to ‘lazi­ness’ and de­pres­sion. There may be un­der­ly­ing is­sues.

So, if you’re de­pressed and strug­gling to stay awake, go and get help.

No one’s life should be a never-end­ing night­mare. Nar­colepsy is a rare, long-term brain con­di­tion which causes suf­fer­ers to fall asleep un­ex­pect­edly. It can be caused by a lack of hypocre­tin – a brain chem­i­cal that reg­u­lates wake­ful­ness – and can be trig­gered by a num­ber of rea­sons, such as hor­monal changes and in­her­ited ge­netic faults.

Symp­toms in­clude sleep at­tacks, ex­ces­sive day­time sleep­ing, hal­lu­ci­na­tions and de­pres­sion. There’s no cure, but it can be man­aged. If you think

Now I’m a you may have symp­toms, bomb­shell! see your GP, and take part in a sleep study.

I bought some great clothes, too!

Now: look­ing so much younger

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