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Babies Don't Get Narcolepsy? They Do. My Story.

by Mark
(Australia)

From day one I slept most of the time (parents historical assessment). Walked at two years but crawled for 12 months. Kept falling over. Mother either carried me or pushed me on a pram till 5 years old. Why? She said that if we stopped to cross the road or for any reason I would fall asleep. Talking 1959 here.


When we shopped with Mum my sister was assigned to find me which was usually asleep under something or next to food products on the lower shelf.

School was a nightmare as I could not keep up with the other students as I was a recluse as an infant sleeping more the playing.
Standing in line waiting to enter class at age 5 I would have these dreams of bizarre content. This has and always will be part of my life. Drifting in and out of sleep to dreams and trying to find balance to reality.

I would collapse standing at assembly with 100 students. I would be left there with words. He will get up when his ready. Most of the time the assembly ground was empty by the time I was able to rise.
Spent a lot of time avoiding school. Children used to push me until I fell to the ground and then take turns sitting on me.

As an infant I avoided any new visitor or circumstance by climbing a tree or staying under a bed. I did not leave that position until they went home. Could be hours to almost half a day. I always felt safe laying on a floor or ground which I always did.

Always hard to wake in the morning to almost impossible.
School was always difficult and I used others around me to keep up with the class. I would sleep in my hands with my arms braced on the desk. Unbearable it was everyday to keep my eyes open in class.
Never got educated as all my efforts was to stay awake.

Left school at 14 and worked in various jobs where I slept at every opportunity. In trenches, under houses, in roofs, amongst goods in a warehouse etc.

Continually stepped in front of cars, had accidents which left me burnt, cut and bruised. By using tools, falling over and attempting to help others by holding or lifting items. Vigilance is so important when holding or using electric saws and equipment.

Love life started early but it was never possible to kiss a girl standing for a period of time. I soon learned drinking alcohol was really good and stopped this feeling of uneasiness in me. Once I drunk alcohol I was able to be affectionate and be intimate. Interesting was that girls once aware of this would encourage me to drink or provide alcohol so that I would be affectionate. There was no emotional exchange without alcohol.

Without rambling on about my life which has mostly been dreamt away. I can watch the same movie up to ten times because I can't remember it completely.

Nearly got divorced but a diagnosis of narcolepsy helped stop that but it never ever has removed the problem. Dexamphetamine has made a big difference but it only has emphasized how bad it is without medication.

I fall asleep having sex, eating, waiting for transport and end up many stations past my destination. I have to stand up in malls because if I sit down security will wake me up. All my mind wants to do is sleep and I have been a great risk to my children at the beach, railway station, shopping at home without the door locked.

Now at 58 I am still somewhat married but sleep poorly at night and cannot hold a conversation for too long without falling asleep. I am hard to talk to because I break off and start new content without finishing or don't say all that I think which leaves important words or parts of grammar that make talking understandable.

Hang in there you all and know this life is the only one you have. Thank You.

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Welcome! This site is continuously being created by students of Dr. William C. Dement's Sleep And Dreams course at Stanford University.

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