I'm filling out my questionnaire for my physical and there is a box to check for sleep disorders. I've never been fully diagnosed with one, but I did go to a sleep doc and she suspected that I have either narcolepsy or hypersomnia. I scheduled the sleep test but due to my schedule and the out of pocket costs I would've had from it, I cancelled.
I've never fallen asleep anywhere I wasn't supposed to, or even felt like I was going to. I've worked 16 hour shifts and stayed awake the entire time (with lots of coffee). I have a family history of narcolepsy, though. And I need more sleep than the average person. I can get 7-8 hours a night during the week, but by Friday I'm dragging and I sleep all weekend to recover. I prioritize work and school and don't have much of a social life because all my energy goes to those two things. There's none left for anything else. A diagnosis would mean treatment which would improve my quality of life. But I've never allowed my sleepiness to affect my work so I don't see it making a difference there.
My question is, since I didn't get the test and get a legit diagnosis, do I have to disclose it? I'm worried that since it's suspected but not treated they'll say I have to get it sorted out before I can start the program.
Jul 19, '17
No, you don't have to disclose anything that is just "suspected." You sound like someone with a very busy schedule and sleeping in on weekends is quite normal. Also, many people need more than 8 hours of sleep per night. Personally, I need 9. Try to get the student health insurance once school starts and go get a sleep study done. In addition, it might be helpful if someone can tell you if you snore at night or grind your teeth - these can interfere with a good night's sleep. I think the FitBit also can monitor your sleep, or if there are apps available (I'm sure there are).
Jul 19, '17
That's good to know! I've asked people if I snore and they've all said not that they've noticed. I have a fitness tracker and it shows that I get poor sleep (which is normal for people with narcolepsy). Like I said, I have a family history and have even attended a narcolepsy conference so I'm pretty well educated on it. I also forgot to mention that the 7-8 hours is actual night time sleep. Most days I come home from work and fall asleep on my couch for a 2-3 hours. And when I say I sleep during the weekends, I don't mean I just sleep in till noon. I mean I sleep from the time I get home Friday (at like 5) until Saturday around noon. Then I move to my living room and go in and out of sleep for the entire day. I don't actually feel rested until Sunday.
I'm probably going to get the test soon. I have insurance through my parents still but it's not very good. My mom recently contacted me saying she would handle the costs if I go have it done, though. I'm dragging my feet because I really don't want the diagnosis. My plan is to go for my masters then work in one of the branches of military long enough to get my loans all paid. I know narcolepsy will probably not preclude me from any civilian nursing jobs
, but it definitely would make me ineligible for the military.
Jul 19, '17
Until you have a confirmed diagnosis, I would not list anything. I have a laundry list of things I suspect about my health, but until a doctor puts his/her John Hancock on a diagnosis, I can't say they are anything more than my suspicions.
Jul 20, '17
If you are sleeping poorly, you definitely need to get the sleep study. It's great your mom will help you out. Lack of sleep is bad for your overall physical and mental health. There are treatments for narcolepsy. If you can't get into the military, there is the National Health Service Corps. In addition, there are also many loan repayment programs - federal, state, employer-based. Good luck.
Jul 20, '17
I would also not disclose anything that is not formally diagnosed. I have sleep issues from working night shifts in the past and have done a lot better with waking up and feeling rested by using a Phillips light alarm clock. Doesn't replace getting a proper work up, but might help in the interim.
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