Queen of Sleep

Living with narcolepsy: a personal journey

Laughing – a complicated pleasure

with 2 comments

A few days ago, I really let myself go and laughed as much as could. I haven’t laughed like that for years, partly due to fear of loosing control of my body and partly because the electrical currents that roam around my brain hurt. It’s difficult to explain because it doesn’t feel like pain, perhaps more like a medium pained cramp and then it makes you absolutely exhausted. I am taking medication that is supposed to control cataplexy but it doesn’t so do it so well so I simply avoid genuine laughing, frustration, anger, centre of attention /surprise situations. In social situations, I don’t even think about it anymore – sometimes I just walk away, sit down or my speech gets slurred. People don’t tend to notice. My body reacts so violently internally on external stimuli and it’s hardly visible on the outside. Occasionally, it makes me feel strange – to carry around this burden (hidden disability) because so much in our contemporary culture exists on the surface.
Except from one or two, a majority of my friends have no idea how funny I can be. I would die of laughter 😉 if I didn’t practise self-restraint! I don’t have to vocalise my sense of humour to trigger an attack. It’s enough just thinking about it. Yes, I have had to learn to control my thoughts – how? I can hear you ask. Stop your mind racing – don’t think of anything. Or if something is triggering cataplexy think of the direct opposite. Not just think the thought – you have to feel and live the opposite thought so your brain registers it as reality. It helps me sometimes when I am in public places and I can feel my muscles start to weaken.
Anyway, so two days ago I had a friend over and I laughed hard for at least 30 minutes. I had to sit/lay in my bed because otherwise I wouldn’t have been safe. Laughing, having attack after attack after attack, then back to talking, laughing, more laughing and then attack attack laughing attack…. I got completely exhausted and my brain was hurting  but it was worth it. I was elated and deliriously happy in a way I haven’t experienced for years.


Written by Queen of Sleep

June 29, 2011 at 10:26 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Obviously I LOVE this post 😉 xxxxx


    June 30, 2011 at 6:50 pm

  2. I love this post as well! I’m happy you have a few friends you can feel comfortable around while having attacks. I’ve had narcolepsy for about 3-5 years and so far my only symptom is excessive daytime sleepiness. I worry all the time about when or if I’ll get my first catalepsy attack and how bad it will be.


    August 10, 2011 at 3:46 am

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