Julie Flygare is a leading narcolepsy spokesperson, published author, blogger, yogi and runner diagnosed with narcolepsy and cataplexy. In this video she introduces herself and shares which symptoms she experienced before she was diagnosed.
I was diagnosed in September 2007 with narcolepsy with cataplexy and the symptoms I was having leading up to that diagnosis were excessive daytime sleepiness. I was getting really tired; studying at night, during my classes, during the day I had a hard time getting through class and had trouble driving with sleepiness. I was also having the symptom of cataplexy where my knees started actually giving out on me when I was laughing about jokes and also when I was annoyed about things and then that same little knee dip became a bigger dip and eventually I was actually completely collapsing to the ground when I experienced the motions. I was also having these experiences at night when I thought I had woken up and had people coming into my room to attack me, but I could not react to the attack and that is another I realized once I was diagnosed that is another symptoms of narcolepsy called sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations. I was really confused as my symptoms were developing, because I did not know what to make of them. My really vivid nightmares at night, I never really experienced anything like that before, but I just made lot of excuses for that, I thought this well may be go away. At one point, I asked my brother about it and he said, oh I had those same experiences in college and they will go away, so I said okay hopefully mine will go away. With the sleepiness, I just made excuses for the longest time and it was very hard to reach the point of saying I think this is a sleep disorder, it took years really and with the cataplexy when my knees were giving out with emotion, I thought that that was very strange always, it will felt like I was melting internally, so that always felt like a weird sensation and as it got worse, I got more and more scared about it.