Lisa’s Wake Up Call –

Raising Awareness of Narcolepsy and Cataplexy, a Rare Neurological Disorder

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I first met Lisa at a local grocery store. I noticed her friendly demeaner right away as I commented about how discovering Teddy Grahams excited me and brought me back to when my kids were younger. It was easy to quickly become friends with our instant rapport.

A week later, Lisa and I met up at Starbucks and before we met, she explained to me that she had Narcolepsy and Cataplexy. I had no idea what it was and had never heard of it before. She went on to break down what exactly she was dealing with on a daily basis.

She told me that Narcolepsy is a condition in which she suffers a lack of hours of sleep and deep sleep at night, then falls asleep for short periods of time during the day at random and unpredictable/inconvenient times. Her condition includes “cataplexy”, which results in sudden loss of muscle control when experiencing everyday emotions like laughter or surprise.

The consequence of this condition is decreased concentration and focus, memory and chronic fatigue. People with Narcolepsy and Cataplexy have to navigate today’s life through these very serious and difficult challenges.

To raise awareness, help with resources, educate people and help connect those who are affected, “Lisa’s Wake-Up Call” fb page was launched.

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I experienced her condition first hand on that day at Starbucks. She had been dropped off by a friend so she wouldn’t have to drive. I didn’t know what to expect and we just started talking like friends usually would, we got quite excited about possibly writing about her disorder and all of a sudden, her eyes shut and she seemed unconscious. “Help,” was my first reaction, what is happening?, How long will she sleep? Is she okay? How often does this happen and various other questions raced through my mind.

Several minutes passed by as she came back. This happens several times a day and was not a full description of Narcolepsi and Cataplexy. It’s basically a neurological disorder that disrupts ones natural cycles of sleeping and waking and is characterized by excessive sleepiness during the day and cataplexy interfers with muscle control and causes partial paralysis when feeling certain strong emotions. Considered a rare disease, Narcolepsy with or without cataplexy affects 2-5 out of 10,000 people.

Lisa is an exceptionally strong woman. When faced with obstacles, she does not falter, instead, she finds new ways to overcome personal hardships. Lisa is very creative by nature and she is the queen of making gorgeous flower arrangements and is a very talented photographer as well.

Image may contain: text that says 'Shout out to all the people struggling with chronic illness, who get hassles for being late, for cancelling plans, or who miss out because their health prevents them, and feel bad because of it. It's not your fault you are doing the best you can. @meme_the_sick_away'

From Lisa’s post: LISAS WAKE UP CALL- Narcolepsy and Cataplexy · August 21, 2019 · This stands for me very strongly… I struggle with this just even simple things that have to get done because I can’t stop sleeping all day. But when I do have good days and I get out and get things done ✅ boy I sure do pay later that day and the next day. Everyday I try my Best! ~ Lisa

Check out this article about a 2019 movie “Ode To Joy,” a romantic comedy that portrays a man living with Narcolepsy with Cataplexy while navigating a romantic relationship: https://aasm.org/movie-narcolepsy-cataplexy-sleep-doctors

To learn more about Lisa’s Wake Up Call, visit her fb page: https://www.facebook.com/Lisaswakeupcall

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