I am curious if there is anyone else like me out there. As some background: I was diagnosed with Narcolepsy in 2003. At the time I had been an RN for 4 years and a PNP for 2 years. Looking back it's so easy to see that I was suffering from this disease but at the time there was always some other reason that I thought I was tired. When my job as a PNP went from working day shift to 24 hour shifts... well, all hell broke loose. Some of my co-workers had a hard time with those kind of hours. I on the other hand completely deconstructed - every symptoms I had got magnified about 10 times. It was pretty obvious to me and everyone around me that something was very wrong. I had a sit down with my boss to discuss things and we agreed something was wrong, I needed to get checked out by a doctor and I needed off 24 hour shifts until we could figure out what was wrong and then see what we needed to do from there.
Long story short - I got diagnosed and my doctor explained that he could help me - this was the best news I had had in ages. I was obviously shaken and scared to have a diagnosis of narcolepsy/cataplexy which I knew couldn't be cured. At the time though I was very focused on "he can help me" part and so I went back to my boss and gave her the news. I was so naive in believeing that she really just wanted to help me. 6 months later - after enduring the most humiliating, demeaning and nasty treatment she could manage - I was put out.
I won't go into all the details here. I mostly wanted to know how other people have managed and in what jobs. Has anyone successfully fought off a hostile administrator? What was your experience like with co-workers? (in my case - it was a mixed bag and most people, even when they were nice to my face - I found out later on that they believed I was faking or that I was unfit to do my job). What ideas do you have for being successful in the long run?
It is disappointing to me how people in the medical profession can be so unsympathetic. Especially to another nurse who has a problem like narcolepsy. For those who do not know what narcolepsy is please visit http://med.stanford.edu/school/Psych.../symptoms.html
This disorder can be treated with medication to prevent sleepiness such as Provigil. It is not easy to obtain a diagnosis of narcolepsy only because they don't know exactly what causes it. Most of the dx is based on the symptoms along with a comprehensive sleep test that lasts for about 16+hours. There is now an identifiable gene and if the patient has the narcolepsy gene along with abnormal sleep study they are dx with narcolepsy. As you can see the pt. goes through a lot of testing. I say that if this woman has been dx with narcolepsy than she has narcolepsy.
I support you PNP2004 and so glad that you have found out what is going on with you. Now that you know what is wrong you can be tx with medication to help you have a life without falling asleep all the time. What I can say is this...Keep your head up high, know that people are judgmental and possibly uneducated about the disorder. Remain confident and in control. Possibly seek legal advice about your situation.
Always have something to look forward to and just move forward. Draw out the positive of this traumatizing experience. Don't let others drag you down and forget about what everyone else may say/think.
Last edit by cuddlebug on Oct 14, '07