In 2012 after a year long battle with doctors and test results, I was diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy. The shortest way to explain narcolepsy is that it is your body's inability to regulate the sleep cycles. When an average person falls asleep at night, they go into Stage 1 sleep, then Stage 2 sleep, and then REM sleep. It typically takes about 90 minutes to hit that deep REM sleep. For me? I get there in about 5 minutes and then my brain rapid cycles my sleep all night long. I wake up exhausted as if I've run a marathon in my brain. Cataplexy is a part of narcolepsy and about half of people diagnosed with narcolepsy have it. During the day, a strong surge of emotion makes the brain think you are sleeping and in REM sleep, so it tries to paralyze you. My cataplexy has caused me to fully collapse or it can just be the complete loss of feeling in one part of my body.
Luckily for me, medication has helped me to live a relatively normal life. I have to make adjustments to my schedule and I'm definitely less social than I once was. This disease is still being researched and there is so much still unknown. That's why fundraisers like this are so important to help us find a cure!